Jul 12 2012
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Human Capital News Roundup: The adolescent brain, gang audits, cancer treatment resistance, 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:

Nurse.com reports on www.WeTeachNursingNJ.com, a website recently launched by the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a program of the RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The site provides important resources and information about what a career as nurse faculty involves and the path to that career. It includes information on what to expect as a nurse faculty member, and the education and skills necessary to pursue that career path, as well as profiles of current nurse faculty and a list of nursing programs in each county in the state. Learn more about WeTeachNursingNJ.com.

A review of medical and legal literature led by RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow Ruth Carrico, PhD, RN, finds no statistical likelihood that “people might faint behind the wheel after receiving influenza vaccinations at drive-thru clinics,” United Press International reports. In fact, Carrico says, the chances of that happening are less than the probability of being struck by lightning. Read more at Infection Control Today and Medical XPress.

Gary A. Taubes, MSE, MS, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on “What Really Makes Us Fat,” in response to a study that finds patients on a low-carb diet kept weight off longer than those on a low-fat diet. He was also a guest on NPR to discuss the issue further. Taubes is the recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. Read more about his research.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar Andrew Papachristos, PhD, writes on the Huffington Post about “gang audits”—surveys of a neighborhood’s gang landscape—and how they’re being used to reduce violence in Chicago.

Ryan Greysen, MD, MHS, an alumnus of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program, was a guest on Southern California Public Radio to discuss the pitfalls of social media for medical professionals. Greysen recently led a study that found state medical boards report an increase in incidents of doctors behaving badly online. Read more about the study.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Dominick L. Frosch, PhD, has received funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to test whether empowering patients to ask key questions will results in patients finding out more about their care options and likely outcomes. Frosch, an alumnus of the Health & Society Scholars program and recipient of an Investigator Award, recently conducted a study that found patients are often unwilling to speak up and engage in collaborative decision-making with their care providers. Read an RWJF Human Capital Blog Q&A with Frosch on his study.

RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, is part of a team of researchers who found that the interplay between cancer cells and their neighboring, non-cancerous counterparts may contribute to drug treatment resistance, and the recurrence of cancer after treatment. Health Canal reports on the findings.

“If you read Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as anything, read it as a victory for the more than 2 million Coloradans who have gained access to health care or expanded access to services they have always needed,” RWJF Community Health Leader Elisabeth Arenales, JD, director of the health care program for the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, writes in an op-ed in the Denver Post. “When you are evaluating [political debate and stories about Coloradans helped by health reform], I urge you to remember that first and foremost, the goal of health care reform is not political. The goal of health care reform is to offer to each one of us the security and peace of mind that access to quality, affordable health care can bring.”

David Meltzer, MD, PhD, an Investigator Award recipient and member of the RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars National Advisory Committee, was also in the news to discuss health care reform. “It sets us in the right direction,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t see any other way this country can deal with this problem it faces with health care other than to get more people insured so that we stop having an inefficient, piecemeal system of dealing with people’s illnesses only when it’s too late.”

“The brain continues to change throughout life, but there are huge leaps in development during adolescence,” Health & Society Scholars alumna Sara Johnson, PhD, MPH, says. She spoke to Live Science about five things researchers have learned about the teen brain.

The Atlantic featured a study by Physician Faculty Scholar Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, as its “Study of the Day.” The first-of-its-kind study examines the prevalence of child food allergies by geographical region and finds children who live in rural areas are less likely to have food allergies than children who live in cities.

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