Dec. 3 - 7, 2012

ER doctors look for ways to relate, quickly, to patients
http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2012/12/01/74004/er-doctors-look-for-ways-to-relate.html
Chapel Hill News
Dr. Nikki Waller treats most of her patients in the emergency room with a common treatment: a rub to the shoulder, and often, a smile. ... Waller, who is trained in emergency medicine, treats patients and teaches resident physicians as the assistant director of the UNC Hospitals Emergency Medicine residency program. She serves as an example for her residents. But when asked about why she rubs her patients’ shoulders, she laughed. “Did I do that?”

Health insurers learn how to woo
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2012/12/03/health-insurers-scramble-to-market-themselves/1744147/
USA Today
...At the same time, most Americans will be required to carry insurance — or face a fine — and federal subsidies will be available to help some do so. It is uncertain whether the subsidies and fines will be enough to entice younger and healthier people to buy insurance, seen as necessary to spread costs and help slow premium growth. "This is a revolution in health insurance regulation: Insurers in the non-group market will have to play by new rules," says health policy expert Jonathan Oberlander at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Blue Cross and UNC create medical training program for veterans
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/12/03/2522883/blue-cross-and-unc-create-medical.html
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
UNC-Chapel Hill and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina are teaming up to fight the state’s shortage of health care professionals by turning veteran military medics into civilian physician assistants. University and BCBS of North Carolina officials on Monday announced a new master’s degree program at the university’s School of Medicine designed for veteran medics who have left the military.
Related Links:
http://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/TBC120412.mp3/view
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/21010204/article-UNC-to-train-special-forces-vets-as-physician-assistants?

Military Medics To Get Civilian Training
http://www.ncnn.com/edit-news/8339-military-medics-to-get-civilian-training
The North Carolina News Network
The state’s largest health insurer is joining forces with the military to use the skills of those trained in medical fields in uniform here at home.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), and the UNC School of Medicine (UNC) are collaborating to create a physician assistant (PA) masters degree program designed for returning military veterans with input from the United States Army Special Operations Command team at Fort Bragg.
Related Links:
http://www.wral.com/unc-blue-cross-partner-on-degree-program-for-military-medics/11838772/
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8907050
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2012/12/blue-cross-and-unc-look-to-train-more.html

On World AIDS Day, Triangle celebrates medical advances, laments continuing stigma
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/11/30/2517536/on-world-aids-day-triangle-celebrates.html
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Science has come a long way, to the point that researchers are talking about the infection’s eventual eradication. A 2011 UNC-Chapel Hill study showed that proper HIV medication reduced sexual transmission of the virus from an infected person to his or her partner by 96 percent.

Wake mental-health transition holds uncertainties for clients, staff
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/12/02/2521132/wake-mental-health-transition.html#storylink=cpy
News & Observer
Future treatment for as many as 3,000 Wake County people with mental illness – from child sexual-abuse victims to former Dorothea Dix hospital patients – remains in limbo as the county works to complete a partnership with UNC Health Care and the Alliance managed care organization.

Duke leads in number of gamma imaging procedures
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2012/11/a-look-closer-look-at-dukes-spect.html
Triangle Business Journal
In fiscal year 2011, Duke University Hospital in Durham performed 13,194 of the procedures and Durham Regional added another 3,202. By contrast, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill performed 8,548 such procedures. These are mostly outpatient procedures.

Much at stake in hospital’s search
http://www.theherald-nc.com/2012/12/04/25348/much-at-stake-in-hospitals-search.html
Smithfield Herald
...But the board has revealed that its search is down to three finalists – WakeMed, UNC Rex and Vidant Health.

UNC, High Point Regional on track to merge hospital first quarter 2013
http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/print-edition/2012/12/07/unc-hp-on-track-to-merge-hospital.html?page=all
The Business Journal
Officials with UNC Health Care and High Point Regional Health System anticipate completing their proposed merger during the first quarter of 2013, only slightly later than the year-end goal they had anticipated.

Cancer diagnosis deadlier for men, study finds
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/12/07/cancer-diagnosis-deadlier-for-men-study-finds/
Reuters (Wire Service)
Not only are men more likely than women to be diagnosed with cancer, men who get it have a higher chance of dying from the disease, according to a U.S. study. ...Sex hormones may also contribute to differences in men's and women's immune systems, metabolism and general susceptibility to cancer, according to Yang Yang, a sociologist and cancer researcher from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who studies health disparities but wasn't part of the study.

Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/12/06/166648187/perfection-is-skin-deep-everyone-has-flawed-genes
"All Things Considered" National Public Radio
...So, as James Evans of the University of North Carolina puts it, the new study shows we're all going to have to get used to the idea that no one is perfect. Far from it. "We're all mutants." Evans says. "The good news is that most of those mutations do not overtly cause disease, and we appear to have all kinds of redundancy and backup mechanisms to take care of that."

Report: CA stem cell agency needs a restructuring
http://news.yahoo.com/report-ca-stem-cell-agency-needs-restructuring-183407651.html
The Associated Press
California has transformed into a powerhouse player in stem cell research, but the taxpayer-funded institute responsible for that needs an overhaul, a report released Thursday found. ..."It's an odd structure," said genetics professor Terry Magnuson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and vice-chair of the report.

New in utero surgery opens doors for spina bifida patients
http://triangle.news14.com/content/675158/new-in-utero-surgery-opens-doors-for-spina-bifida-patients
News 14 Carolina
Every year hundreds of babies are born with spina bifida, a type of birth defect that affects the spine. But UNC Hospital now offers an in utero surgery which is opening the doors to fetal treatment. ..."The in utero surgery has shown some improvement in nerve function such as ability to walk or sensation in those babies that had repair while they were still inside, compared to repair after they were born," said Dr. William Goodnight from the UNC School of Medicine.

UNC Health Care wants in-patient mental health unit in Raleigh
http://www.wral.com/unc-health-care-wants-in-patient-mental-health-unit-in-raleigh/11850984/
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
UNC Health Care is seeking approval from state regulators to open a 16-bed inpatient mental-health wing in Raleigh that would be operated as a psychiatric unit of UNC Hospitals. ..."It ends up being the place of last resort for many people with mental illness," said Dr. Jack Naftel, vice chairman of the UNC Department of Psychiatry. "In Wake County, there are more psychiatric beds in Central Prison than there are in the private sector. (That) says mental illness is a pervasive problem, and it affects society in a lot of different ways."

ER doctors look for ways to relate, quickly, to patients
Chapel Hill News
Dr. Nikki Waller treats most of her patients in the emergency room with a common treatment: a rub to the shoulder, and often, a smile. ... Waller, who is trained in emergency medicine, treats patients and teaches resident physicians as the assistant director of the UNC Hospitals Emergency Medicine residency program. She serves as an example for her residents. But when asked about why she rubs her patients’ shoulders, she laughed. “Did I do that?”
http://www.chapelhillnews.com/2012/12/01/74004/er-doctors-look-for-ways-to-relate.html
Health insurers learn how to woo
USA Today
...At the same time, most Americans will be required to carry insurance — or face a fine — and federal subsidies will be available to help some do so. It is uncertain whether the subsidies and fines will be enough to entice younger and healthier people to buy insurance, seen as necessary to spread costs and help slow premium growth. "This is a revolution in health insurance regulation: Insurers in the non-group market will have to play by new rules," says health policy expert Jonathan Oberlander at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2012/12/03/health-insurers-scramble-to-market-themselves/1744147/
Blue Cross and UNC create medical training program for veterans
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
UNC-Chapel Hill and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina are teaming up to fight the state’s shortage of health care professionals by turning veteran military medics into civilian physician assistants. University and BCBS of North Carolina officials on Monday announced a new master’s degree program at the university’s School of Medicine designed for veteran medics who have left the military.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/12/03/2522883/blue-cross-and-unc-create-medical.html
Related Links:
http://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/TBC120412.mp3/view
http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/21010204/article-UNC-to-train-special-forces-vets-as-physician-assistants?
Military Medics To Get Civilian Training
The North Carolina News Network
The state’s largest health insurer is joining forces with the military to use the skills of those trained in medical fields in uniform here at home.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), and the UNC School of Medicine (UNC) are collaborating to create a physician assistant (PA) masters degree program designed for returning military veterans with input from the United States Army Special Operations Command team at Fort Bragg.
http://www.ncnn.com/edit-news/8339-military-medics-to-get-civilian-training
Related Links:
http://www.wral.com/unc-blue-cross-partner-on-degree-program-for-military-medics/11838772/
http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8907050
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2012/12/blue-cross-and-unc-look-to-train-more.html
On World AIDS Day, Triangle celebrates medical advances, laments continuing stigma
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Science has come a long way, to the point that researchers are talking about the infection’s eventual eradication. A 2011 UNC-Chapel Hill study showed that proper HIV medication reduced sexual transmission of the virus from an infected person to his or her partner by 96 percent.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/11/30/2517536/on-world-aids-day-triangle-celebrates.html
Wake mental-health transition holds uncertainties for clients, staff
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/12/02/2521132/wake-mental-health-transition.html#storylink=cpy
News & Observer
Future treatment for as many as 3,000 Wake County people with mental illness – from child sexual-abuse victims to former Dorothea Dix hospital patients – remains in limbo as the county works to complete a partnership with UNC Health Care and the Alliance managed care organization.
Duke leads in number of gamma imaging procedures
http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2012/11/a-look-closer-look-at-dukes-spect.html
Triangle Business Journal
In fiscal year 2011, Duke University Hospital in Durham performed 13,194 of the procedures and Durham Regional added another 3,202. By contrast, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill performed 8,548 such procedures. These are mostly outpatient procedures.
Much at stake in hospital’s search
http://www.theherald-nc.com/2012/12/04/25348/much-at-stake-in-hospitals-search.html
Smithfield Herald
...But the board has revealed that its search is down to three finalists – WakeMed, UNC Rex and Vidant Health.
UNC, High Point Regional on track to merge hospital first quarter 2013
http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/print-edition/2012/12/07/unc-hp-on-track-to-merge-hospital.html?page=all
The Business Journal
Officials with UNC Health Care and High Point Regional Health System anticipate completing their proposed merger during the first quarter of 2013, only slightly later than the year-end goal they had anticipated.
Cancer diagnosis deadlier for men, study finds
Reuters (Wire Service)
Not only are men more likely than women to be diagnosed with cancer, men who get it have a higher chance of dying from the disease, according to a U.S. study. ...Sex hormones may also contribute to differences in men's and women's immune systems, metabolism and general susceptibility to cancer, according to Yang Yang, a sociologist and cancer researcher from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who studies health disparities but wasn't part of the study.
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/12/07/cancer-diagnosis-deadlier-for-men-study-finds/
Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes
"All Things Considered" National Public Radio
...So, as James Evans of the University of North Carolina puts it, the new study shows we're all going to have to get used to the idea that no one is perfect. Far from it. "We're all mutants." Evans says. "The good news is that most of those mutations do not overtly cause disease, and we appear to have all kinds of redundancy and backup mechanisms to take care of that."
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/12/06/166648187/perfection-is-skin-deep-everyone-has-flawed-genes
Report: CA stem cell agency needs a restructuring
The Associated Press
California has transformed into a powerhouse player in stem cell research, but the taxpayer-funded institute responsible for that needs an overhaul, a report released Thursday found. ..."It's an odd structure," said genetics professor Terry Magnuson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and vice-chair of the report.
http://news.yahoo.com/report-ca-stem-cell-agency-needs-restructuring-183407651.html
New in utero surgery opens doors for spina bifida patients
News 14 Carolina
Every year hundreds of babies are born with spina bifida, a type of birth defect that affects the spine. But UNC Hospital now offers an in utero surgery which is opening the doors to fetal treatment. ..."The in utero surgery has shown some improvement in nerve function such as ability to walk or sensation in those babies that had repair while they were still inside, compared to repair after they were born," said Dr. William Goodnight from the UNC School of Medicine.
http://triangle.news14.com/content/675158/new-in-utero-surgery-opens-doors-for-spina-bifida-patients
UNC Health Care wants in-patient mental health unit in Raleigh
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
UNC Health Care is seeking approval from state regulators to open a 16-bed inpatient mental-health wing in Raleigh that would be operated as a psychiatric unit of UNC Hospitals. ..."It ends up being the place of last resort for many people with mental illness," said Dr. Jack Naftel, vice chairman of the UNC Department of Psychiatry. "In Wake County, there are more psychiatric beds in Central Prison than there are in the private sector. (That) says mental illness is a pervasive problem, and it affects society in a lot of different ways."
http://www.wral.com/unc-health-care-wants-in-patient-mental-health-unit-in-raleigh/11850984/
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