Jun 21 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Income-based discrimination, nursing education, bans on sugary drinks, 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:

“As a physician, I have seen the tremendous capabilities of nurses – capabilities that are essential to meeting patient needs,” RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, writes in a June 14, 2012 post on MedScape Today [free subscription]. “But to ensure that they maximize their contributions to health and health care, nurses will need advanced skills and expertise in care management, interdisciplinary teamwork, problem solving, and more. This makes higher levels of education imperative. In addition, having a larger pool of highly educated nurses will be necessary to expand the ranks of nurse faculty, addressing the shortfall that now causes nursing schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants each year. These advanced degree nurses are also needed to help ameliorate the worsening primary care shortage.” The piece was reprinted from Pediatric Nursing.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar Amy Non, PhD, MPH, is the lead author of a study that finds a significant association between low education levels and hypertension in African Americans. The findings debunk the theory that African ancestry plays a role in the disproportionately high rates of hypertension. U.S. News & World Report, Health magazine, and MSN Health are among the outlets to report on the findings. Read more about the study.

United Press International (UPI) and the Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wis.) report on a study led by Thomas Fuller-Rowell, PhD, also a Health & Society Scholar, that finds social-class- and income-based discrimination harms child health. Read more about the study.

The New York Times spoke to Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, about a recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force “that healthy postmenopausal women should not take low doses of calcium or vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures.” Bibbins-Domingo is a member of the task force, and an alumna of the RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program.

RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, continues to receive media coverage for a study that finds that, among “cream of the crop” physicians, females make an average of $12,000 less a year than their male counterparts even after accounting for age, race, education, parental status and other factors. CBS News, Becker’s Hospital Review, and UPI are among the outlets to report on the findings. Read more about the study.

Miriam J. Laugesen, PhD, recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, spoke to the Wall Street Journal about a poll that finds support for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed sugary drink ban breaks down along gender lines. “Women tend to be more liberal and supportive of these kinds of public health interventions and government policies that are targeted to protect and help children,” Laugesen said. “One interpretation of the ban is that it will help to decrease childhood obesity.” Read a post Laugesen wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about physician fees and high health care costs.

An op-ed in the New York Times cites a 2010 study by Health & Society Scholar Matthew Killingsworth, PhD, that used a smartphone app to track real-time human happiness. Learn more about the project at www.trackyourhappiness.org.

RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) grantee Gary Rosenthal, MD, spoke to the Gazette (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) about a $7.7 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that will be used to improve care coordination and communication with practitioners in 10 rural Iowa counties. Rosenthal is a professor of internal medicine and health management and policy at the University of Iowa, which is partnering with 11 Iowa hospitals for the telehealth project.

The research of Investigator Award recipient Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, on sugar, salt and nutrition has recently been cited in several media outlets. Among them: The Cleveland Post, WDAY (Fargo, ND), and Mother Jones. Read more about Taubes’ research.

The New York Times’ FiveThirtyEight Blog spoke to RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico Associate Director Gabe Sanchez, PhD, for its “Presidential Geography series,” an examination of the economic and demographic factors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that will contribute to the outcome of the presidential election. Read a post Sanchez wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

Tags: Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, Grant Awards, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Physician Workforce, Publications, Research & Analysis