Nov 23 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: The nurse faculty shortage, discharging homeless patients, “diaper deserts,” 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:

NJ Spotlight reports on a state Senate committee hearing in New Jersey this week at which legislators heard from health, business and academic leaders about how the New Jersey Nursing Initiative has made progress in addressing the state’s staggering 10.5 percent nursing faculty vacancy rate. Among those testifying was John Lumpkin, RWJF senior vice president and director of the Health Care Group. Read more about the hearing.

A study by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus Haslyn Hunte, PhD, MPH, and colleagues find that Blacks who feel discriminated against or mistreated are more likely to abuse alcohol and illegal drugs, Medical XPress reports.

Kelly Doran, MD, an RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar, wrote a blog for the Huffington Post about why “Hospitals Should Never Discharge Homeless Patients to the Streets.” Hospital care teams often discharge patients “to home” without asking or thinking about their housing situations, perpetuating their cycle of homelessness by sending them back to the streets instead of supportive housing, she writes. Fierce Healthcare also reported on Doran’s post.

Brendan Nyhan, PhD, an alumnus of the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program, gave comments to the Daily Beast about political reporting and predicting election results.

MedPage Today reports on research by RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, that she presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology annual meeting. Gupta’s research finds that the economic cost of food allergy in the average American child tops $4,000, with more than half of the cost attributed to career sacrifices by parents.

Joanne Goldblum, an RWJF Community Health Leader and founder and executive director of the National Diaper Bank Network, wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about the nation’s “diaper deserts”—where diapers are either unavailable or sold at convenience stories in small packages for high prices packages. Read another post by Goldblum, which was cross-posted on the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

Health & Society Scholar Matthew Killingsworth, PhD, and his colleague used smartphones to survey 5,000 people from 83 countries about their experiences and associated happiness.  The researchers also examined “mind wandering.” Among their findings, Business Insider reports: people are happier when their minds are focused on the here and now instead of when their minds are wandering.

The Hartford Courant spoke to Health & Society Scholars program site directors Lisa Berkman, PhD, and James House, PhD, about why women's life spans are shrinking in many parts of the U.S.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Community Health Leaders, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Media Coverage, New Jersey Nursing Initiative, Nurses and Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research