Jun 12 2014
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RWJF Scholars in the News: Alzheimer’s disease, violence against women, drug marketing, 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:

Jason Karlawish, MD, participated in the design of new research that offers “an opportunity to study the future of the way we’re going to think about, talk about and live with the risks of Alzheimer’s disease,” he tells the Associated Press. The study is aimed at testing an experimental drug to see if it can protect seniors who are healthy but whose brains “harbor silent signs” of risk, such as a sticky build-up of proteins that can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s. Karlawish is an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research recipient. Read more about his work on Alzheimer’s disease here and here.

The work of RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumni Ted Gayer, PhD, and Michael Greenstone, PhD, is featured in an Economist article about incorporating into federal cost-benefit analyses the global benefits of regulation to reduce carbon emissions, rather than benefits that accrue only to the United States. Agencies conduct such analyses before promulgating regulations to test whether the estimated benefits of a regulation exceed the estimated costs. Typically, estimated benefits include only those that accrue to the United States, but because global warming reaches far beyond U.S. borders, the Obama Administration’s calculations include global benefits. Greenstone was also recently cited in the New York Times.

Chris Uggen, PhD, an RWJF Investigator Award recipient, writes about the decline in the incidence of sexual violence and intimate partner violence against women since 1993 in a Pacific Standard article. Rates of sexual violence and intimate partner violence decreased from almost 10 per 1,000 in 1994 to 3.2 per 1,000 in 2012, Uggen writes. While those numbers are encouraging, “misogyny and violence against women remain enormous social problems—on our college campuses and in the larger society,” he says. Uggen’s post also appeared on Sociological Images, a Pacific Standard partner site.

Academic medical centers have adopted policies that limit pharmaceutical sales representatives’ access to physicians, due in part to growing concern about the extent to which medicines are prescribed for “off-label” uses—those not approved by the FDA, reports the Wall Street Journal blog Pharmalot. A study co-authored by Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award, finds that prescriptions for off-label use fell by 11 percent following the introduction of these policies and prescriptions for approved uses of the representatives’ drugs dropped by 34 percent.

ProMed Network posted a NursingShow.com interview with Susan Lacey, RN, PhD, FAAN, about her work as program director for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurse Clinical Scene Investigator Academy, which is funded in part by the RWJF Partners Investing in Nursing (PIN) program. Lacey is also an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program.

A study co-authored by David Lee, MD, underscores the need for care coordination and medication management. Some 22 percent of seniors in the study had been prescribed at least one medication that could worsen a condition other than the one for which the medication was prescribed, Newsday reports. Seniors often see several physicians, and doctors may not know every medication the patient is taking. “Anytime you're given a new medication, you want to be sure that you understand what the side effects are,” Lee, an RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus, tells Newsday. “Don't assume that they’re automatically safe, just because someone prescribed it for you.”

The Times Record Online (western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma) features Carolyn Mosley, PhD, RN, FAAN, in a story about the increasing demand for nurses. Mosley is dean of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Within the next two years, the college will begin offering a master’s degree in nursing education and will increase the number of slots in its bachelor’s nursing program, she tells the Times Record. Mosley is an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna.

Taeku Lee, PhD, MPP, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus, found that for Latinos, language matters when it comes to politics. As the Pacific Standard reports, Lee’s examination of Latinos’ responses in both the 1989-90 Latino National Political Survey and the 2006 Latino National Survey show that participants’ opinions varied significantly based on what language the pollster was speaking. Lee explains that “this exists even after statistically controlling for, among other things, individual differences in education, national origin, citizenship status, and generational status.”

Public television’s Moyers and Company covers the recent work of Dalton Conley, PhD, MPPA, an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus and recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award, as he delves into the economic hardships that Black Americans experience that cannot be fully explained by income. He concludes that persistent economic disparities result from the lost opportunity to accrue and pass on wealth—a legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. “Wealth more than any other socio-economic measure picks up long-term historical legacies that are being passed on from generation to generation. Given this large wealth disparity between Whites and Blacks, there really is an unequal playing field,” Conley says.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Environmental health, Executive Nurse Fellows, HC Website Feature, Human Capital, Human Capital News, Interpersonal violence, Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research, Media Coverage, Nurses, Partners Investing in Nursing's Future, Research & Analysis, Scholars in Health Policy Research