Dec. 5 - 9, 2011

Opioids May Be Overused for Chronic Stomach Pain
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/pain/articles/2011/12/02/opioids-may-be-overused-for-chronic-stomach-pain
HealthDay News
Prescriptions for opioid painkillers to treat chronic abdominal pain more than doubled in the United States between 1997 and 2008, according to a new study. This large increase of prescriptions written at outpatient clinics is concerning for several reasons, said lead author Dr. Spencer Dorn, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill, and colleagues.

UNC doctors help baby with severe birth defects
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8452872
WTVD-TV (ABC/Raleigh)
Doctors at UNC Chapel Hill are performing hours of surgery on a baby from India that was shunned by his biological family because of severe birth defects. ..."I looked at the pictures and I can remember thinking, 'I really want to do something for this family,'" said UNC surgeon Dr. John van Aalst. "It was a real visceral feeling."

Few Parents Recall Doctor Saying Child Overweight
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=143159693
The Associated Press
Pediatricians are supposed to track if youngsters are putting on too many pounds — but a new study found less than a quarter of parents of overweight children recall the doctor ever saying there was a problem. ..."It's tricky to say, and it's tricky to hear," says lead researcher Dr. Eliana Perrin of the University of North Carolina. She analyzed government health surveys that included nearly 5,000 parents of overweight children from 1999 to 2008.

Too few doctors may be telling parents their kids are overweight
http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-children-overweight-doctor-20111205,0,3998880.story
The Los Angeles Times
..."Parents might be more motivated to follow healthy eating and activity advice if they knew their children were overweight, but very few parents of overweight children say they have ever heard that from their doctor," said lead author Dr. Eliana Perrin, associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, in a news release.

UNC researchers win $6.4M grant
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2011/12/06/unc-researchers-win-64m-grant.html
The Triangle Business Journal
Researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have received a four-year, $6.4 million grant to study ways for healthcare professionals to use genome sequencing information in a clinical setting. Learning about the genetic makeup of a person can have huge medical benefits, says Dr. James P. Evans, a Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics in the UNC School of Medicine, and principal investigator.

Blue Cross joins UNC Health in venture
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/07/1694523/blue-cross-joins-unc-health-in.html
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Carolina Advanced Health, the new medical practice formed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the UNC Health Care System, is a real-world test of a new way of serving chronically ill patients. ...The new practice is designed to serve up to 5,000 patients. An initial round of letters inviting patients to check out the practice went out recently to eligible Blue Cross and Blue Shield members who live in the Triangle and have chronic illnesses, said UNC Health spokeswoman Jennifer James.
Related Links:

http://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/TTW120611.mp3/view
http://www.chapelboro.com/BCBS-Opens-New-Medical-Practice/11663527

HALTING HIV/AIDS Epidemics
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6061/1338.full
Science
Myron Cohen of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who heads HPTN 052, raises another caveat. Cohen contends that a disproportionate amount of transmission occurs from recently infected people who have high viral loads but do not yet produce the antibodies that standard HIV tests detect.

CeNeRx leaders bullish about drug’s potential
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/print-edition/2011/12/09/cenerx-leaders-bullish-about-drugs.html?page=all
Triangle Business Journal
...Dr. Bradley Gaynes, director of the UNC Health Care Psychiatric Outpatient Clinic, says patients respond to drugs differently, and many doctors use “trial and error” to find which medication works best for a patient. Only about 30 percent to 40 percent of patients recover from a depressive event after the first round of medication and only another 30 percent to 40 percent of the remaining patients recover after a second round with a different drug, says Gaynes. That leaves about half of all patients who do not respond, and the likelihood of recovery drops off significantly for those patients.

Healthiest Employers of the Triangle #4 – UNC Health Care
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/print-edition/2011/12/09/4---unc-health-care.html
Triangle Business Journal
...UNC Health Care was encouraged by the State Health Plan to implement a “work site wellness program.” In October of 2006, a committee was formed to develop a program geared around employee interest while addressing topics like healthy eating, exercise promotion and stress management. It was our goal to get employees excited about being healthy and encouraging them to take advantage of working for an institution that displays an interest in their overall health.

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