Feb 14 2013

Human Capital News Roundup: Chronic migraines, food recall ‘message fatigue,’ longevity and obesity, 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:

Health Canal reports on a study led by RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumna Joanna Kempner, PhD, that examines the social stigma surrounding chronic migraine sufferers. “The enduring image of the typical migraine patient is a white, middle-class woman who just isn’t good at handling stress,” Kempner said. “She is seen as neurotic and weak, a stigma that has been hard to change.”

RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar alumna Ruth Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN, FAHA, was featured in MyHealthNewsDaily, an online health care news digest, for her study suggesting Tai Chi can reduce the number of falls in adults who have survived a stroke. Taylor-Piliae, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing in Tucson, surveyed 89 stroke survivors and found that practicing Tai Chi helps alleviate balance problems that afflict many survivors. Read more about her work.

Medpage Today reports on research co-authored by William K. Hallman, PhD, director of the Rutgers University Food Policy Institute and recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, about how to motivate consumers to look for and discard recalled food products. Hallman participated in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meeting this week on breaking through food recall “message fatigue” [free subscription].

Health & Society Scholars alumnus Haslyn Hunte, PhD, MPH, was a guest on Northeast Public Radio to discuss his research on the link between perceived discrimination and substance abuse among African Americans and Black Caribbeans. The study found that those who reported higher levels of unfair treatment were more likely to have problematic use behaviors, like “continued use of alcohol/drugs even though the person knows that their behavior is causing a strain in their personal relationships.”

Approaching gun violence in the way the U.S. government approached smoking in past decades could help educate people and change perceptions about gun violence, Investigator Award recipient David Hemenway, PhD, and other researchers say. Business Insider reports the researchers suggest adding a tax to firearms and modifying “sociocultural norms” about violence, as the government did with cigarette smoking.

Nurse.com reports on the progress of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), a project of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation that aims to address the nurse faculty shortage in the state. In late 2012, NJNI faculty, scholars and other experts presented the initiative’s work over the past three years during a New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing about progress in ending the state’s nurse faculty shortage. Read more about the hearing.

Kaiser Health News reports on a study led by Harlan Krumholz, MD, RWJF Clinical Scholars program site director at Yale University, that finds no major link between hospitals with high readmissions and those with low mortality rates. Two RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars alumni were also featured in the story, sharing their expertise and research on similar topics: Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, and Michael Ong, MD, PhD.

Being obese raises people’s risk of death as they get older, the Wall Street Journal reports on a study co-authored by RWJF Health & Society Scholar Ryan Masters, PhD, and Bruce Link, PhD, program co-director at Columbia University. The researchers argue that past studies of longevity and obesity were biased due to limitations on the data and study population, Health Canal reports.

Research co-authored by Health & Society Scholar Van C. Tran, PhD, is cited in a Washington Post Wonkblog post about how fears about foreign languages shape how we think about immigration.

Zane Gates, MD, an RWJF Community Health Leader, spoke to the Altoona Mirror about his opposition to an expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania. Medicaid generates embarrassment, he told the newspaper, and an expansion of the free clinical model––like the one he has pioneered to serve the working poor in the community––would be a reasonable alternative.

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