July 25 - 29, 2011

Nine days and counting
The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware)
..."Deficit politics change the boundaries of Medicare policy," said Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy professor at the University of North Carolina, saying a $1.4 trillion annual deficit comes with an "imperative" to get something done. "I think you do engage a broader universe of possible reforms, including controversial reforms that would be difficult, if not impossible, otherwise."

UNC Air Care Celebrates 25 Years Of Saving Lives
WFMY-TV (CBS/Greensboro)
They arrive to some of the worst accidents imaginable, and this year they are celebrating 25 years of service. UNC-Chapel Hill Medical Center's Air Care emergency transport service celebrated their 25th anniversary at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport. Emergency vehicles including helicopters, fire trucks, and even an airplane were there to show of their gear, and to fellowship with other emergency personnel.
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What is the microbiome?
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Dr. Andrea Azcarate-Peril is director of the Microbiome Core Facility, one of more than 60 such facilities supported by the N.C. Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. Here she talks about how bacteria are a part of life, one that it is practically impossible to live without.

Spare the rod (Editorial)
The Chapel Hill News
According to a recent study headed by a UNC researcher, more than 70 percent of North Carolina mothers of children 23 months of age have spanked their kids within the past year. Lead author Adam Zolotor, an assistant professor at UNC and member of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, said he and his colleagues were surprised at what they called the "staggeringly high rate" of corporal punishment in the home.

Pardee, UNCH highlight terms of hospital pact
The Times-News (Hendersonville)
UNC Health Care System’s management agreement with the Henderson County Hospital Corp. spells out the limits of UNC’s involvement with Pardee Hospital, and affirms that Pardee remains a community hospital. The agreement, signed by the hospital board of directors on June 29 and presented to the Henderson County Board of Commissioners last week, states that the hospital CEO is the only person on the Pardee staff employed by UNC Health Care. All others remain employees of the Hendersonville hospital.

Federal Cuts To Medicaid Would Likely Impact UNC Hospitals
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
As the battle over the nation’s debt, Social Security, and Medicaid brews in Washington, local officials and UNC hospital personnel are talking about how Medicaid cuts could affect Orange County. Karen McCall is the Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing at UNC Health Care. She says at this point in time, it’s hard to tell exactly what kind of tangible effect the cuts may carry.

Genetic repair might treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy
The Los Angeles Times
...Two decades ago, pharmacologist Ryszard Kole of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill began exploring the use of a technique called antisense RNA to treat the condition. He used a specially prepared chain of ribonucleotides called an oligomer that binds to the mutated part of the gene, effectively hiding the stop signal from the cell's protein-making machinery.

Oncologists by day, rock stars by night
The Washington Post
...“GYN cancers are not things people talk about in our culture, and they’re woefully underfunded and misunderstood,” said John Boggess, who sings and plays guitar and keyboard in the band when he’s not working at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “We really believe that we’re starting a conversation. Because there are worse things than getting cancer, and that’s feeling isolated and without help and understanding.”

National, Utah experts caution against Alzheimer’s genetic testing in most cases
The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah)
...Editor-in-chief James Evans said the college had to respond to the growth in interest in testing because their labs provide most of the results. "It would be a real abdication of responsibility for us not to issue" the guidelines, said Evans, Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics & Medicine at the University of North Carolina medical school.

Breastfeeding problems tied to moms' depression
Reuters (Wire Service)
...Whether the breastfeeding difficulties are to blame is not clear, according to lead researcher Stephanie Watkins, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A limit of the study, she told Reuters Health, is that there was no information on whether mothers had suffered depression during pregnancy.

Study Highlights Importance of Pre-Op Phone Call
Outpatient Surgery
Nurses at the University of North Carolina Health Care ASC decreased daily case cancellation rates and pumped up surgical volume simply by improving communication with patients during pre-op phone calls, according to research published in the July issue of AORN Journal.

CCHIT certs for 'homegrown' EHRs often better than buying new
Healthcare IT News
John Baba, chief technology officer for the University of North Carolina said achieving meaningful use certification for the university’s 15-year-old “home grown” system under CCHIT’s EACH program saved the university the $200 million or more it would have cost to swap out the system.

Early birth stress disorder link
John Thorp, BJOG deputy-editor-in-chief. said women with PTSD need specialised care, and screening is essential to ensure the best outcome for mother and baby. He added: "Raising awareness will help health workers identify those women at risk and provide the relevant support during the antenatal period."

Re-Stacking the Deck
StrokeSmart Magazine
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) have developed a new tool to help people with aphasia express themselves and set their own rehabilitation and recovery goals. They are called Life Interests and Values (L!V) Cards.

Epidemiology makes a career of studying arthritis health disparities for Leigh Callahan, PhD
the Rheumatologist
While growing up, researcher Leigh Callahan, PhD, had no specific blueprint for a future career, but her love for math as a youngster eventually drew her to a profession that suits her well.

The Triangle’s three hospital systems providing plenty of work for builders
The Triangle Business Journal
...“Patients will be able to see all of those doctors, with multiple disciplines, at one time,” adds Lisa Schiller, vice president for communications at Rex. Rex, which is owned and operated by the UNC Health Care System, will pay for the cancer center though a combination of cash and bonds. Rex received state approval July 16, 2010. Now, with the city’s site plan approval, Rex can begin construction.

Staying Healthy in Health Care
The Triangle Business Journal
...A challenge going forward will be to find primary care doctors, of which the nation has a shortage. To help in that regard, Wake Internal partners with the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine in a program in which medical students spend a month at the practice observing the real world of primary care. “We feel it’s a priority for us,” says Shireman.

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