Feb 8 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Food billboards, pharmaceutical company gifts to medical students, tracking asthma, 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:

An op-ed in the Star-Ledger reflects on the contributions of Tom Kean, former governor of New Jersey, during his more than two decades of service on the RWJF Board of Trustees, including eight years as chairman of the Board. Learn more about Kean’s commitment to leadership and service.

The Washington Post reports on an inhaler with a built-in Global-Positioning System (GPS), designed by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus David Van Sickle, PhD, MA, that sends a signal with the time and location to a remote server every time a patient uses it. The data is then sent regularly to patients and physicians to help provide more comprehensive treatment. The data can also be used to find asthma “hot spots” in cities, where attacks are triggered, Health & Society Scholar Meredith Barrett, PhD, said. Read more about Van Sickle’s work here and here.

Judi Hilman, director of the Utah Health Policy Project and an RWJF Community Health Leader, gave comments to the Deseret News about decisions and deadlines Utah will have to meet in 2013 to comply with the health reform law.

A study by RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Lenard Lesser, MD, finds that living in a neighborhood with a lot of outdoor food advertising increases the chance that residents will become overweight. For every 10-percent increase in food advertising in neighborhoods in Los Angeles and New Orleans, Lesser found there was a 5-percent greater chance of the residents being overweight or obese. Among the outlets to report on the findings: Examiner.com, Health Canal, Red Orbit, and Medical Xpress. Read more about the findings.

Health & Society Scholars alumna Natasha Dow Schüll, PhD, MA, was a guest on WNYC’s "Leonard Lopate Show" to discuss the science of gambling addiction. Schüll is author of Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, which examines the ways that the gambling industry has designed gambling machines to encourage addiction. Learn more about Schüll’s research here and here.

RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, gave comments to Medscape [free subscription] about a study that examined the impact of university policies that restrict gifts by pharmaceutical companies to medical students. The study looked at how these policies affected the drugs medical students prescribed when they entered clinical practice. Kesselheim has also studied pharmaceutical industry marketing to medical students. Read a post he wrote on the topic for the RWJF Human Capital Blog.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Community Health Leaders, Food Marketing, Health & Society Scholars, Health Care Workforce, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage