Dec. 2 - 6, 2013

National Coverage

Hypnosis: You are getting sleepy ... and calm, and thin, and …,0,671237.story?page=2 - ixzz2mKesSVGi
Los Angeles Times
Ever wonder why some people, even under adverse circumstances, set goals and achieve them effortlessly?...Irritable bowel syndrome affects the lower gastrointestinal tract and typically brings on diarrhea, constipation, bloating and gas — often with little warning. But research shows that hypnosis, when combined with psychotherapy, can ease symptoms…"With IBS, up to 80% and higher experience significant relief," says Williams, referring to research from William Whitehead, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

HIV Screening for New Inmates Has Low Yield (online)
Screening for HIV among people entering a prison system might not pick up a lot of new cases, researchers reported…In an 11-month period, HIV testing of new inmates in North Carolina found that 1.45% of them had HIV, according to David Wohl, MD, and colleagues at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Oxytocin Found to Stimulate Social Brain Regions in Children With Autism
The New York Times
Scientists have been eager to see if oxytocin, which plays a role in emotional bonding, trust and many biological processes, can improve social behavior in people with autism…“Here we have a really clear demonstration that oxytocin is affecting brain activity in people with autism,” said Dr. Linmarie Sikich, director of the Adolescent and School-Age Psychiatric Intervention Research Program at the University of North Carolina…

Obama defends Obamacare: 'We will make this work'
President Barack Obama on Tuesday launched a planned three-week-long push for — and defense of — his embattled health-care reform law, vowing to "make this work"…But Dr. Sam Weir, a physician cited by Obama in his speech for his support of the Affordable Care Act, told that "many of my patients are looking forward to getting coverage."…"From where I sit, anything that expands coverage of people who have to make choices about what medicines to take because they can't afford them, or they end up in the emergency room because haven't gotten the preventative care they need, those are important steps in terms of health care policy," said Weir, medical director of family medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Regional Coverage

Checklist screens for multiple mental health disorders,0,6835212.story
Chicago Tribune
People concerned about their mental health can jump-start a conversation with their doctor by self-screening for common disorders…It screens as accurately as some of the single-disorder checklists," said Dr. Bradley Gaynes, psychiatry professor at the University of North Carolina Medical School and the lead author of a study on the diagnostic validity of the M3, published in 2010 in the Annals of Family Medicine.

State & Local Coverage

UNC’s new nursing degree expands opportunities
The Daily Tar Heel
The new degree program being offered by the UNC School of Nursing this academic year should be applauded. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program will provide nursing students with an additional opportunity to expand their knowledge of the profession.The DNP is slated to become the highest form of education for a nurse. The continued education the students will receive will develop them as stronger leaders and team members that can impact any role they are placed in.

New medical director for state Medicaid office named
News & Observer
The state Medicaid office has a new medical director, Dr. Nancy Henley. She starts work Dec. 19, according to an email to state Medicaid employees. Henley replaces Dr. Randall Best. Henley is now a clinical associate professor of medicine at UNC and a consultant with the health care consulting firm.

Physician assistant program targets veteran medics
The Daily Tar Heel
A year after being announced, a UNC physician assistant master’s program designed to help special forces medics transition to civilian health care is on track to welcome its first class. The program was unveiled last December by former Chancellor Holden Thorp. Since then, newly appointed program director Prema Menezes, along with an advisory committee, has been working within the UNC School of Medicine to develop the program.

Program provides cancer patients student support
The Daily Tar Heel
Senior Molly Laux was sitting in a UNC hospital room with her most recent CPAL, a young person with cancer who she was partnered with to support and befriend throughout his treatment, when “Wagon Wheel” came on the music TV channel. He danced around while lying in bed and sang along to the song, and she sang with him.

…And Jessica Irven, the pediatric psychosocial support program coordinator at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and liaison between the hospital and CPALS, said the ability of UNC’s pals to stick with patients no matter what is what makes the program great.

WakeBrook to Offer Primary Health Services Through UNC
Raleigh Public Record
UNC Health Care will soon provide primary health services for mental health patients at WakeBrook. On Monday, the Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a lease amendment, allowing primary care services to be offered at the WakeBrook facility. “What they’ve found is that a fair number of patients do not have a primary care physician,” said Assistant to the County Manager Denise Foreman.

Vaccines are rightly being pushed in virtually all parts of the health care system
News & Observer
The awareness of the importance of vaccines is heightened here in the Triangle, given two huge teaching hospitals at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke and the presence of WakeMed. That’s excellent fortune for residents, who will, one hopes, aggressively pursue up-to-date vaccines for themselves and their children.

Creating High Point Community Health Fund
The Business Journal
Tina Markanda faces a unique prospect — launching a $50 million community health fund in High Point that, once fully established, will be offering at least $2.5 million annually to promote health and wellness in the community. In North Carolina, there are only a handful of these funds created by the sale or merger of community hospitals, with most of them in the Triad. The High Point Community Health Fund came to be following the merger of High Point Regional Health with UNC Health Care earlier this year.

Needed: New ways to deliver our medical miracles to the world
News & Observer
The U.S. government’s decision to reduce funding for direct support for AIDS treatment in South Africa has stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy. After more than a decade of offering life-saving HIV-AIDS treatment to millions of people in Africa, the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will begin shifting more responsibility for providing this care to local nations.
(Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D., is executive dean of the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.)

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