Jan 16 2014
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Human Capital News Roundup: Racism and aging, the economics of obesity, a culture of fear for health care navigators, 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:

Racism may accelerate aging in Black males, according to a study led by David Chae, ScD, MA, Forbes magazine reports. The study found advanced cellular aging in Black men who reported facing more racial discrimination and who had internalized anti-Black bias, according to the Black-White Implicit Association Test. Chae is an RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus. His research was also covered by: CBS News, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Black Star, and The Huffington Post, among other outlets.

In an opinion piece for CNN, RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, discusses the ethical issues involved with end-of-life decisions. Rushton specifically addresses the impact of such situations on medical personnel who are providing treatment that may not be welcomed by patients or their family members.

Bloomberg Businessweek covers a National Bureau of Economics Research Reporter article by John Cawley, PhD, in which he discusses the economics of obesity. Cawley, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus and member of the program’s National Advisory Committee, addresses health care spending on obesity, the effectiveness of weight-loss products, misuse of body-mass index, and more.

Laws passed in nine states that limited the ability of health care “navigators” to advise customers about the Affordable Care Act reduced people’s ability to gain access to health care, according to a study reported by USA Today. The laws created a culture of fear for health clinic employees who explain the law to the uninsured, said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the study’s senior author and recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. The study was also covered by KARE, The News Star, and Cincinnati.com

The American Prospect carried a review of Stuck in Place, a 2013 book by Patrick Sharkey, PhD, that discusses the failure of educational policy to spur upward mobility among low-income African American youth. Sharkey is an RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumnus. The book was also covered by the Washington Post Blog and National Review Online’s policy blog.

Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN, told participants at a University of Wyoming health care leaders’ conference that it is time to move past the old paradigm in which nurses, social workers, and psychologists study in isolation, reports Wyoming Public Media, an NPR affiliate. Zierler, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow alumna, said health care professionals should train together as students so they understand roles and responsibilities and can work and communicate together effectively.

Although stereotypes about Black fatherhood remain, a federal survey from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that, by most measures, Black fathers who live with their children are just as involved, or more involved, as dads from other ethnic groups, the LA Times reports. Laura Tach, PhD, an RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna, and fellow researchers also found that Black fathers were more likely than White or Latino dads to stay close to their children after having more children with a new partner.

In a Huffington Post blog, Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellow and co-authors urge health care providers to utilize resilient practices taught in nursing curricula at the University of Virginia and elsewhere. These include meditation and exercise. “Stressed out nurses and physicians are more likely to give lackluster care,” they write.

Tags: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Disparities, End-of-life care , Executive Nurse Fellows, Health & Society Scholars, Health reform, Human Capital, Human Capital News, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nurses, Nursing, Scholars in Health Policy Research