Nov 14 2013
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Human Capital News Roundup: Retail clinics, urban crime, diversity in medicine, 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:

As the demand for nurses continues to grow and more people go into the field, it is important to encourage a focus on community-based health and population health, Yvonne VanDyke, MSN, RN, told Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate KXAN. Van Dyke is an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow and senior vice president of the Seton Clinical Education Center in Austin, which is seeking to increase the number of nurses earning Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

A new program funded by the RWJF New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) is enlisting ex-military members to help enroll people in insurance plans in the state. NJHI Director Robert Atkins, PhD, RN, an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar alumnus, told New Jersey Spotlight that veterans are well suited to the job of insurance-application counselors because “they know about service, they know about working in teams.” The New Jersey Hospital Association is hiring 25 veterans as certified applications counselors with the $1.8 million NJHI grant.

Diverse Education profiles RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Scholar alumnus and National Advisory Committee member Levi Watkins Jr., MD, about his work to promote diversity at Johns Hopkins Hospital. “The best way to recruit minority students is by example … and the intervention of mentors,” Watkins said. “Students don’t look at recruitment and diversity offices when they are choosing schools, but they want to see if there are faculty and students in the place that look like them.”

Where an athlete grows up has a significant influence on whether or not he or she makes it to the professional level, Jimi Adams, PhD, writes in a letter-to-the-editor in the New York Times. Adams, an RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus, conducted a study of newspaper articles to understand the social backgrounds of National Basketball Association (NBA) players and found that zip codes and socio-economics had an impact on whether or not a youth reached the heights of the NBA. The lesson from the study is that although sports can be beneficial to youth, they must be combined with academics, Adams said.

The Obama administration’s Promise Zones initiative shows potential but could face big hurdles due to underfunding, Patrick Sharkey, PhD, a Health & Society Scholars alumnus, told The Atlantic Cities. The program would concentrate grant money in underserved neighborhoods and create an integrated approach to addressing the interconnected problems of high-poverty. “[I]t fits with the idea of policies that provide holistic investments in tough places … [But] the initial ambitious idea turned into a small-scale program.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to ban artificial trans fats from the nation’s food supply. The transition may not be particularly disruptive for consumers because manufacturers began eliminating trans fats several years ago, after labeling requirements prompted consumers to begin avoiding foods that contain them, Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD, MA, said in an article posted on New Jersey.com. Niederdeppe is an RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus.

A new study showing that retail clinics can reduce costs when Nurse Practitioners (NPs) practice independently is making headlines. The study, funded by the Future of Nursing National Research Agenda and published in Health Affairs, was led by Joanne Spetz, PhD, FAAN. Coverage included the Albuquerque Business Journal, which noted that New Mexico allows NPs to practice autonomously. The study was also covered in The Lund report and The Incidental Economist, among other outlets. Read more about it.

Tags: Executive Nurse Fellows, Future of Nursing, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, Health & Society Scholars, Human Capital News, Leadership Development, Media Coverage, Nurses and Nursing, Nursing