Aug 9 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Ambulance diversion, hospital delirium, nursing leadership, 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:

Twenty nurses from across the country have been selected as RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows for 2012, the Foundation announced this week. This diverse group will participate in a three-year, world-class leadership development program that is enhancing nurse leaders’ effectiveness in improving the nation’s health care system. Read more about the new cohort on

RWJF Health & Society Scholar Aric Prather, PhD, continues to receive media coverage for his study finding that patients’ lack of sleep could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Among the outlets to report on the findings: United Press International, the New York Times Well blog, the Scientific American, and CBS News.

A paper released this week by Health & Society Scholars alumna Elizabeth Rigby, PhD, MA, looks at what can best predict a state’s resistance to the health reform law, the Washington Post Wonk blog reports. In states asked to make the most drastic changes under the law, and with greater public opposition—which was largely driven by the party affiliation of the state’s elected officials—resistance was higher, she concluded.

Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc, an RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar, is the lead author of a study that finds emergency department overcrowding and ambulance diversions are more likely to happen at hospitals in areas with large minority populations. “If you pass by a closer hospital that is on diversion for a hospital 15 minutes down the road, you are increasing the amount of time the patient is in a compromised situation,” Hsia told Health Canal. Read a post Hsia wrote for the RWJF Human Capital blog about her research.

Almost half of adults with type 2 diabetes report acute and chronic pain, according to a study led by RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Physician Faculty Scholar Rebecca Sudore, MD. Health Canal reports on the findings and the authors’ recommendations, which include making palliative care part of standard management of the disease.

“The Nebraska Medical Center has tested a new set of strategies to combat and diminish hospital delirium,” the Omaha (Nebraska) World-Herald reports. “Although the results haven’t been compiled yet, scientists and medical practitioners hope the protocol will make a difference in patients’ conditions in the hospital and after release.” RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) grantee Michele Balas, PhD, RN, APRN-NP, CCRN, is overseeing the research.

The work of another INQRI grantee is also in the media: The Standard-Examiner (Utah) reports on a study led by Susan Letvak, PhD, RN, that finds nurses experience depressive symptoms at a rate twice as high—18 percent—as the general public. Read more about the study.

The Seattle Times reports on high-tech devices to monitor asthma, like the inhaler with a Global-Positioning System (GPS) from Asthmapolis, founded by Health & Society Scholars alumnus David Van Sickle, PhD, MA. The inhaler—called a Spiroscout— sends a signal with the time and location to a remote server every time a patient uses it. Asthmapolis tracks and analyzes the data and sends regular reports to patients and physicians, along with observations and recommendations. Read an RWJF Human Capital Blog Q&A with Van Sickle about his work. reports on the “Lead without Limits” nursing leadership conference sponsored by the Institute for Nursing at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Jeanette Ives Erickson, MSN, RN, FAAN, was among the speakers at the conference.

Greening vacant lots—removing trash and planting grass and trees—makes neighborhood residents feel safer, according to a study co-authored by Health & Society Scholars alumna Carolyn Cannuscio, ScD, ScM. The neighborhood improvements may also be associated with reductions in certain gun crimes, Science Daily reports.

Medical XPress reports on a study that finds significantly more children get health insurance coverage when federal matching funds to states for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are increased. The study was led by RWJF Clinical Scholar Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS.

Thomas Fuller-Rowell, PhD, a Health & Society Scholar, is one of the authors of a study that finds behavior problems during adolescence—like aggression and delinquency—can be linked to chronic stress in early childhood. R&D Magazine and Medical XPress report on the findings.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Executive Nurse Fellows, Grant Awards, Health & Health Care Policy, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Media Coverage, Nurses and Nursing, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Publications, Research & Analysis