Jun 7 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Soda taxes, suicide-prevention training, the environmental justice movement, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

Michigan Radio reports on a study led by RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Aasim Padela, MD, MSc, that examined discrimination against American Muslims in health care settings and what providers can do to better meet the cultural needs of these patients. Read a post Padela wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the study.

A study co-authored by RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Esteban Burchard, MD, MPH, finds that African American and Latino children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are much more likely to suffer from acute asthma symptoms in their teen years than are children whose mothers did not smoke, Medical News Today reports.

The Washington Post Wonkblog cites research by RWJF Health & Society Scholar Jason Fletcher, PhD, on soda consumption and the impact of soda taxes on body mass index.


Asthmapolis, founded by Health & Society Scholar alumnus David Van Sickle, PhD, MA, is now enrolling patients in a free, year-long asthma study in Louisville, Ky., according to the Lane Report. Asthmapolis aggregates data collected from inhalers with built-in Global-Positioning System (GPS) technology to help identify possible causes of asthma attacks and help patients better manage their illnesses. Read more about Van Sickle’s work and his Q&A with the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

Belinda Needham, PhD, MA, also an alumna of the Health & Society Scholars program, spoke to the Birmingham News about a National Institutes of Health exploratory grant the University of Alabama-Birmingham is applying for to study disparities in genomic health care.

A person’s social relationships—especially with individuals in the same household—can play a role in his or her ability to fall asleep and stay asleep, according to a study co-authored by Health & Society Scholars alumna Sarah Burgard, PhD. Psych Central reports on the findings.

Nurse.com reports that Karen Drenkard, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, executive director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center and an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program, visited The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., last month to celebrate National Nurses Week. Read the National Nurses Week blog carnival on the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

The Matt Adler Suicide Assessment, Treatment and Management Act of 2012 will take effect June 7 in Washington state, KING 5 Television reports. The law, advanced by Adler's widow and Health & Society Scholars alumna Jennifer Stuber, PhD, requires mental health professionals to receive additional training to help them detect and prevent suicides. Read a post Stuber wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the law.

Judy Berry, an RWJF Community Health Leader, was among the presenters at a University of Minnesota School of Nursing conference on caring for people with memory loss, the Minnesota Daily reports. Berry is founder of Lakeview Ranch Dementia Care Foundation in Darwin, Minn.

Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times Sunday Review about the role of salt in a healthy diet. The “eat-less-salt argument has been surprisingly controversial — and difficult to defend,” he writes. “Not because the food industry opposes it, but because the actual evidence to support it has always been so weak.” Taubes was also a guest on New Hampshire Public Radio to discuss another food staple: sugar. Read more about Taubes’ research.

New America Media interviewed Health & Society Scholars alumnus Jason Corburn, PhD, about the impact of refineries, chemical plants, and other pollution sources on the health of residents in Richmond, Calif., and about the environmental justice movement.

Health & Society Scholars program National Advisory Committee member James Knickman, PhD, wrote an op-ed for The Atlantic, titled “We Should Be in a Race for Prevention, Not Cures.”

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Community Health Leaders, Executive Nurse Fellows, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Healthy Schools, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Medical, Nursing & Dental Workforce, Nursing, Research & Analysis