Oct 4 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Care transitions, "chemobrain," medical research funding, 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:

RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Eric Coleman, MD, is one of 23 MacArthur Fellows for 2012—the so-called "genius award," the MacArthur Foundation announced. Coleman is director of the Care Transitions Program, the New York Times reports, which has helped hundreds of hospitals and community agencies across the country improve communication among patients and health care providers to reduce the likelihood of readmissions.  Read more about his work and award.

Several years ago, RWJF Scholar in Health Policy Research alumnus Harold Pollack, PhD, and his wife “became custodians for his adult brother-in-law, who is intellectually disabled and has various medical problems. Harold has written about this experience before, movingly—and what it’s taught him about the value of programs like Medicaid,” The New Republic reports. “Now he’s decided to put his thoughts on a video.”

The New York Times spoke to Andrea Campbell, PhD, about a study she co-authored that looked at the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s health reform ruling. In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Court simultaneously bolstered public support for the law and hurt its own reputation with the general public, Campbell found—a combination of outcomes she said put the decision in a "public opinion class by itself." Campbell is an alumna of the Scholars in Health Policy Research program and recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

Linda Lawson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow, wrote an op-ed for the El Paso Times about the Texas Action Coalition’s work to implement the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine's Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report. “Health care is facing unprecedented challenges,” she writes, “and improving our health-care system will require active commitment from leaders in all areas of health care, academia, government, business, health plans and hospitals. Nurses must play a major role in meeting these challenges and El Paso's community and nurses are ready to take on the challenges that are needed to put the report's recommendations into action.”

Indiana Public Media reports on a study led by RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars alumna Diane Von Ah, PhD, RN, that finds computer exercises can help chemotherapy patients regain cognitive abilities—including processing speed and memory—that may have been affected by the cancer fighting drugs.

A study by Scholar in Health Policy Research Rachel Kahn Best, PhD, found that patient-led advocacy has brought about “fundamental shifts” in policy for disease-research funding since 1989, CBS Detroit reports. EndoNurse also reported on the findings.

RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumnus Yonas E. Geda, MD, continues to receive media coverage for her study that finds seniors who consume more than 2,200 calories a day are at increased risk for developing mild cognitive impairment. The Daily Herald reports on the findings.

Minority Nurse reports on a study led by Physician Faculty Scholar Renee Hsia, MD, MSc, that finds overcrowding is more likely at California hospitals in areas with large minority populations, resulting in ambulance diversion that could delay care. Read a post Hsia wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about ambulance diversion.

“It’s not news that unemployment is bad for a person’s health,” Science Blogs reports. “But it turns out that just the threat of unemployment is bad as well.” That’s the finding of a study co-authored by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna Sarah Burgard, PhD, MS, MA. The researchers found that perceived job insecurity is linked with “significantly higher odds” of fair or poor self-reported health, and of symptoms of depression and anxiety attacks.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Executive Nurse Fellows, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nurse Faculty Scholars, Nurses and Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research