May 23 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: New Jersey nurses, increasing diversity in dentistry, taxes on alcohol, 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, alumni and grantees. Some recent examples:

The New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), a project of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation, has graduated its first cohort of doctorally prepared nurses, NJ Spotlight reports. The new graduates are on track to become nursing professors, to help address New Jersey’s staggering 10.5 percent nurse faculty vacancy rate. Read more about the New Jersey Nursing Scholars who graduate this month.

In an op-ed for the Daily Journal, New Jersey Nursing Scholar Marlin Gross, MSN, APN, NP-C, writes, “I’m able to combine my love of nursing practice and education because NJNI put me on a fast track to a master’s degree in nursing… I also benefited from the program’s professional and personal development activities and its many mentoring and networking opportunities. But most importantly, NJNI helped me re-imagine my future. I now see myself as an emerging nurse leader and plan to enroll in a doctorate program in the fall to realize that vision.” Robert P. Wise, FACHE, a member of NJNI’s Leadership Council, also wrote about NJNI in an op-ed for The Times of Trenton.

Insight Into Diversity reports on the Dental Pipeline National Learning Institute, an RWJF-funded project led by the American Dental Education Association and the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. It is funding dental schools to create new recruitment projects that will help increase the number of underrepresented students at their institutions. Read a post on the RWJF Human Capital Blog by National Learning Institute Director Paul Glassman.

Most parents are unaware that their children have taken “study drugs” like Adderall and Ritalin, according to a poll led by RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus Matthew Davis, MD, MAPP. “What we found in this poll is a clear mismatch between what parents believe and what their kids are reporting,” Davis told Red Orbit. “But even though parents may not be recognizing these behaviors in their own kids, this poll also showed that one-half of the parents say they are very concerned about this abuse in their communities.”

In a post about the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief Act of 2013 (BEER Act), the Washington Post Wonk blog cites research co-authored by RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient Phillip Cook, PhD. Cook’s research finds that the last time the price of beer went up, there was a 4.5-percent reduction in injury deaths, including traffic accidents, homicides and suicides. The BEER Act would lower the price of beer by halving its federal excise tax, among other provisions, prompting concerns about its impact on public health.

University of Wyoming Nursing School Dean Mary Burman, PhD, RN, an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program, spoke to Wyoming Public Radio about the school’s Re-NEW program, which shares curriculum and resources with community colleges to help more registered nurses pursue baccalaureate degrees.

The Washington Post Wonk blog also spoke to RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus Brendan Nyhan, PhD, about his research on the timing and political conditions under which reporting about scandals is most likely to take root in the media, including political context and the congestion created by other news stories. Nyhan’s research was also cited in The Atlantic and Huffington Post.

Medical XPress reports on a National Institutes of Health-funded research project by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus James Macinko, PhD, MA, which will examine how individual states develop public policies on a range of health topics. It also will looks at whether neighboring states pass similar laws because of related ideologies or their proximity to each other.

In anticipation of the upcoming Supreme Court decisions involving the constitutionality of laws banning same-sex marriage, NPR reports on 2010 research co-authored by Health & Society Scholars alumni Mark Hatzenbuehler, PhD, and Katie McLaughlin, PhD, that finds same-sex marriage bans can negatively affect the mental health of gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans.

Investigator Award recipient Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, spoke to The Atlantic about a recent Institute of Medicine conclusion that there is no evidence to show that low-sodium diets are better than moderate sodium intake. “The gist of it is that we jumped on salt early as a potential cause of hypertension because it seemed like an obvious cause,” Taubes says. “The effort alone becomes reason to believe it. There's so much smoke, there must be fire.” Read a post Taubes wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about nutrition research and obesity.

Doctors and health professionals need to become better story tellers, Investigator Award recipient Jason Karlawish, MD, tells WHYY. Relaying medical information to patients and the public through stories and narratives, coupled with the facts and data, make the information easier to identify with and more compelling.

Ruchi S. Gupta, MD, MPH, an RWJF Physician Faculty Scholars alumna, wrote a post for the New York Times Motherlode blog about today’s parents bringing children to work and what such experiences have taught her own children. Read a post Gupta wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about how personal experiences have affected her research on food allergies.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Dental Pipeline, Executive Nurse Fellows, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, New Jersey Nursing Initiative, Nurses and Nursing, Nursing, Physician Faculty Scholars, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research