Jan 24 2013

Human Capital News Roundup: Gun violence, incarceration and psychiatric disorders, extremes in body weight, 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 program alumnus Arthur Kellerman, MD, MPH, FACEP, was quoted in a Washington Post story on the Obama Administration's push to renew federal funding for public health research on gun violence. Language initially included in a 1996 appropriations bill has, he said, "virtually stopped good public health science on [gun research] for the last 10 to 15 years.” White House lawyers recently concluded that the law doesn’t prohibit such research. Kellermann, also an alumnus of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program, co-authored an article on the subject in the Journal of the American Medical Association with Clinical Scholars alumnus Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH.

RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program Director and Health Policy Fellows alumna Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, was also in the news discussing gun violence. Boufford wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Idaho Statesman and Long Island, New York's Newsday, about the public health effects of gun violence. “As a society, we address public health threats by identifying the root causes, reducing exposure, and instituting protective measures…  In the same way, we must protect Americans from irresponsible gun use,” she writes.

A study by RWJF Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research recipients Jason Schnittker, PhD, and Chris Uggen, PhD, finds that incarceration increases the risk of mood disorders such as major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and dysthymia after release. That, in turn, is strongly related to disability and increased incidence of substance abuse and impulse control disorders. United Press International, Medical Xpress and Science Day are among the outlets to report on the findings. Read an RWJF Human Capital Blog post about the study.

Clinical Scholar Alan Teo, MD, spoke to NPR about a study he co-authored that found experienced psychiatrists at a major urban psychiatric facility were wrong about which patients would become violent about 30 percent of the time. Requiring mental health professionals to report potentially violent patients may not prevent many shootings, the authors conclude.

A study led by Investigator Award recipient S. V. Subramanian, PhD, MPhil, finds extremes in body weight are increasing in low- and middle-income countries. Obese and overweight people in developing countries are gaining weight rapidly, Medical News Today reports, while those who are severely undernourished are not experiencing similar gains.

Laura Brennaman, MSN, RN, CEN, a fellow at the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico, wrote an op-ed in the Sun Times urging Florida––her home state––to expand the state’s Medicaid program in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Read a post Brennaman wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

Critically ill patients treated with the "ABCDE bundle"—an interdisciplinary and multi-component approach to critical care—experience more days breathing without ventilator assistance and less delirium, Medscape Today [free subscription] reports about a study led by RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative grantee Michele Balas, PhD, RN, APRN-NP, CCRN.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Health & Society Scholars, Health Policy Fellows, Human Capital News, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nursing, Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico, Research & Analysis, Violence and Trauma