Jun 14 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Allergies in kids, diabetes among the elderly, debate teams, 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:

A study by RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, finds female physicians considered to be among “the cream of the crop” make an average of $12,000 less a year than their male counterparts. The disparity persists even after accounting for physicians’ specialties, productivity, family status and other factors. HealthDay, Reuters, the Washington Post, Fox News and the Associated Press are among the outlets to report on the findings. Read more about the study.

Nurse.com reports on a study led by RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) grantees Michele Balas, RN, PhD, APRN-NP, CCRN, and William Burke, MD, that finds a series of evidence-based practices employed by a nurse-led health care team can reduce the risk of delirium for ICU patients and speed recovery after discharge.

Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, a Physician Faculty Scholar, is the author of a study that finds children who live in rural areas are less likely to have food allergies than children who live in cities. The study is the first to examine the prevalence of child food allergies by geographical region. CBS News, HealthDay, Parents Magazine’s High Chair Times blog and the Scientific American are among the outlets to report on the findings.


Although doctors were less likely to recommend cancer screenings for very sick, elderly patients—for whom such tests have no benefit and carry some risk —than for patients who are younger and healthier, a study led by RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Physician Faculty Scholar David A. Haggstrom, MD, MAS, finds that 25 percent of primary care doctors recommended colorectal cancer screening for an 80-year-old patient with advanced lung cancer who would not benefit from the screening. HealthDay reports on the findings.

INQRI grantee Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer about managing diabetes for nursing home residents. “How important is hyperglycemia [too much sugar in the blood] when your mother is 99?” she said. “Do you really want to say to her, ‘You can't go to the birthday party and eat cake with everybody else?’… We let you eat whatever the heck you want to eat and we regulate your diabetes around that.”

WBUR, the Boston NPR affiliate, spoke to RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna Briana Mezuk, PhD, about the benefits of debate teams for urban, at-risk students. Mezuk conducted a decade-long study of Chicago’s Urban Debate League and found that debaters were 19 percent more likely to graduate from high school than their peers who did not debate.

Erin Denholm, MSN, RN, an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program and president and chief executive officer of Centura Health at Home, spoke to the Colorado Springs Gazette about the Hospital at Home program, which provides in-home treatment to patients with non-life-threatening, chronic illnesses.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports on a new leadership development program designed specifically for nursing school deans. The program is a partnership between Penn’s Wharton School of Business and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), and will begin at the University of Pennsylvania in August. “Preparing nursing deans with top-level leadership skills is fundamental to advancing the profession and infusing nursing’s voice into the national conversation about healthcare reform and innovation,” AACN President and Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Jane Kirschling, DNS, RN, FAAN, said.

Natasha Dow Schüll, PhD, MA, an alumna of the Health & Society Scholars program, wrote a piece for Limn about how and why casinos use behavioral profiling to track gamblers’ behavior.

Advice from health care providers to reduce or stop soda and sugary drink consumption may be more effective than banning them all together, writes Rashawn Ray, PhD, an RWJF Scholar in Health Policy Research, in the New York Times Room for Debate blog. “My research on the effect of health care providers’ recommendations on physical activity shows that the content and quality of the advice given to patients about weight loss and physical activity matter… When individuals understand why they need to increase physical activity and stop eating certain foods, they usually alter bad habits—advice from health care providers is effective. What we need is an empirically tested script for health care providers to advise patients along the lines of race, gender and body type.”

Cancer Prevention Magazine profiled Health & Society Scholars National Advisory Committee member Robert Croyle, PhD. Croyle is director of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.

Tags: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Executive Nurse Fellows, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Leadership Development, Media Coverage, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research, Underserved Populations