Mar 14 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Television ads for statins, advanced nursing education, treatment for gunshot wounds, 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:

In a piece about the growing need for advanced nursing education, Nurse.com interviewed a group of nurse leaders working to fulfill a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which calls for doubling the number of doctorate-level nurses by 2020. Among those quoted: Christine Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, co-principal of RWJF’s RN Work Project; RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Jane Kirschling, RN, DNS, FAAN; and Susan Bakewell-Sachs, RN, PhD, PNP-BC, program director for the New Jersey Nursing Initiative, a program of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Nurse.com and Infection Control Today report on an RWJF-supported study that finds hospitals that have higher percentages of nurses with baccalaureate degrees have lower rates of postsurgical mortality. The study, published in the March issue of Health Affairs, stems from the Future of Nursing: Campaign for ActionRead more about the study.

“I recently traveled to Singapore, where I met with other doctors and told about being the emergency department (ED) doctor at the University of Colorado Hospital the morning of the Aurora theater shootings on July 20, 2012,” RWJF Clinical Scholars alumna Comilla Sasson, MD, MS, FACEP, writes in an op-ed for the Denver Post. “One thing dawned on me as I spoke: I had seen more gunshot wound victims in that one night than these doctors will see in their entire careers.” Read a post Sasson wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the Aurora theater shootings, and learn more about her experience talking to the national news media afterward.

The Washington Post Wonk blog cites research by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipients Jens Ludwig, PhD, and Philip J. Cook, PhD, about policies that can be used to reduce crime rates, such as holding gangs collectively responsible for violence committed by their members. While these interventions have been shown to work, they are labor-intensive and costly, Investigator Award recipient Harold Pollack, PhD, MPP, who co-directs the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab with Ludwig, told the Wonk blog. Pollack is also an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus.

A study by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD, MA, finds that television ads may be driving an over-diagnosis of high cholesterol and over-treatment with statins among those at low risk for future cardiac events. “In addition, we found no evidence of favorable associations between exposure to statins in television advertisements and statin use among those at high risk for future cardiac events,” Niederdeppe said.

Health Canal reports on a study by Health & Society Scholars alumni Christopher Wildeman, PhD, and Kristin Turney, PhD, and Investigator Award recipient Jason Schnittker, PhD, that examines the effect of men’s incarceration on the mothers of their children. Contrary to the assumption that these women are “relieved to be rid a partner who has long struggled with addiction and been prone to violence," the researchers found that they are instead 25 percent more likely to be depressed, driven by financial instability, disruptions in their romantic union, and increases in parenting stress, among other factors.

David Kindig, MD, PhD, the University of Wisconsin Health & Society Scholars program site director, is co-author of a study that finds women's life expectancy is declining, particularly in the South and West. “We were surprised to find out how big a role social determinants played in our research, such as family income, graduation rates and smoking,” Kindig told the Wall Street Journal. “[W]e found the social determinants to be significantly associated with the decline. To see that come through this national data set and underscore it was fascinating.” MSNBC also reported on the findings.

“Value in health care depends on who is looking, where they look, and what they expect to see,” RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar Lisa Rosenbaum, MD, wrote in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. But concepts of value differ between patients and physicians, she says, and this contradiction is posing an obstacle to achieving genuine health reform. Medilexicon, News Wise, and Medical XPress are among the outlets to report on the article.

Does winning an Emmy mean you’ll live longer than the person you beat for the honor? No, according to a team of researchers led by Bruce Link, PhD, Health & Society Scholars Columbia site director. The researchers studied Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, Emmy Award winners, and former Presidents and Vice Presidents, and those that they bested for each achievement, and found no consistent life-span advantages for winners. “Overall, the results suggest that access to resources and opportunity is more important than relative status,” Medical XPress reports.

Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor of nursing and associate dean for academic affairs at the University at Buffalo School of Nursing and a principal investigator of RWJF’s RN Work Project, was interviewed by The Buffalo News on “the state of nursing in 2013.”

Advance for Nurses identifies RWJF’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) initiative as one strategy to create a more technologically advanced and well-educated nursing workforce. APIN was designed to create state and regional strategies to build a better educated nursing workforce.

Tags: Medical, dental and nursing workforce, Research, Clinical research, Community violence, Obesity policy, Behavior change, Human Capital, Future of Nursing, Executive Nurse Fellows, New Jersey Nursing Initiative, Campaign for Action, Clinical Scholars, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Health & Society Scholars, Scholars in Health Policy Research, RN Work Project, Academic Progression in Nursing