June 24 - 28, 2013

National Coverage

Grocery Shopping Tips: How To Eat Fabulously On $40 A Week
The Huffington Post
...Intrigued but skeptical (I had often spent $20 on ingredients to cook just one meal), I put in a call to Barry Popkin, PhD. A professor of global nutrition at UNC Chapel Hill and author of The World Is Fat, Popkin has long argued that eating healthier can cost less. "With many convenience foods, we're paying for packaging and processing that adds fat, sugar, sodium, and calories," he told me.

Brought to you by Obamacare: Better hospital food
USA Today
When Lauren Heath learned she had to spend an extra day in Rex Hospital after delivering her baby girl in May, she wasn't complaining. "It means I get three more, really good meals," said Heath, 29, of Wake Forest, N.C. "The food is amazing." ..."It's been a game-changer for us," said Angelo Mojica, director of food and nutrition services at UNC. He said patient-satisfaction scores, which he tracks every day on a television monitor in the kitchen, have soared to the 99th percentile.

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Predators use social media to find victims
WTLV-TV (NBC/Jacksonville, Fla.)
...Dr. Sharon Cooper from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill serves as a consultant for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She is a leading expert in the United States on sexual exploitation of children online, with a particular focus on the role social media plays. "Any social networking site is a risk," Cooper said. Dr. Cooper said parents typically have the best of intentions when they let their kids have social networking accounts.

State and Local Coverage

UNC researchers study ‘love hormone’ ties to breastfeeding, postpartum depression
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...The powerful effect of oxytocin on the emotions and behaviors of new mothers is the subject of a five-year, $2.9 million study by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill. They plan to follow 230 women beginning in late pregnancy through their child’s first birthday, said Samantha Meltzer-Broder, associate professor of psychiatry at UNC’s Center for Women’s Mood Disorders in Chapel Hill.

Failures in state medical examiner system were exposed, not fixed
The Charlotte Observer
...Dr. Marcia Herman-Giddens, who was a member of the 2001 medical examiner study group, said the mishandling of the Boone hotel deaths was “appalling,” but hardly surprising. “There are huge holes in the system,” said Herman-Giddens, who is now a professor at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Public Health. Some current and former state lawmakers said they did not recall the 2001 study. They said they were unaware of existing problems in the medical examiner system.

Successful conclusion (Letter to the Editor)
The Chapel Hill News
Over the past year, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) has been reviewing the University’s compliance with accreditation requirements in light of past academic irregularities in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. ...As a founding member of SACSCOC, we are committed to an accreditation process, led by colleagues from our peer campuses in the region, that ensures accountability and strong academic standards. Under Chancellor Folt’s leadership, I’m confident that Carolina will bring our response to SACSCOC to a successful conclusion. (Holden Thorp, Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill)

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Don’t let profits squeeze care under Medicaid (Opinion-Editorial Column)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Governor McCrory recently announced his intention to ‘fix’ Medicaid by shifting its management from state government to private, for-profit companies operating under capped, pre-determined contracts. The goals are to contain run-away costs and to achieve greater year-to-year predictability in North Carolina’s budgetary share of Medicaid, a program that is funded two-thirds by federal dollars and one-third by state appropriations. (Jennifer Jolley and Ching-Ching (Claire) Lin are members of the Behavioral Health Carve-Out Study Group sponsored by the UNC-Duke Training Program in Mental Health Services Research at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research.)

N.C. emergency departments see twice as many mental-health patients as those in other states
Winston-Salem Journal
North Carolina hospitals have nearly twice as many people seeking help in their emergency departments for a mental-health issue that the national average, according to a federal study. …Dr. Judith Tintinalli, an emergency department physician at UNC Hospitals and a study researcher, could not be reached for comment. She was quoted in a posting by Rose Hoban for North Carolina Health News that patients are prioritized based on how critical their individual conditions are. “So, say you have someone come in with cancer, and they have pneumonia, and they’re also depressed; depression is the third diagnosis,” Tintinalli said. “If you come in saying you want to kill yourself, then the depression will be the first diagnosis.”

Learning to talk again, with help from friends
News & Observer
People who lose the ability to talk because of stroke or other health problems can continue to improve through a lifetime, not just for the year or so conventional wisdom once dictated. That’s the belief upon which Maura Silverman founded the Triangle Aphasia Project Unlimited 10 years ago. Now, both the organization and its core principles of community-based treatment are finding increasing acceptance. …Hundreds of [] people in the Triangle are getting help with regaining speech from the program – at its headquarters in Cary; through its associations with Durham Regional, Rex and WakeMed hospitals; in area long-term care homes and in community support groups of friends that TAP can train for individuals. “Patients we treat in the hospital for stroke, brain tumors and head injuries need these important, community-based support services,” Rex President David Strong said.

It’s summertime and the ice cream calls (Column)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
If only the pounds melted away as quickly as the ice cream in a cone. Even though ice cream is one of the most popular American snacks all year long, this is prime time for the cold, creamy treat. (Suzanne Havala Hobbs is a registered dietitian and a clinical associate professor in the department of health policy and administration in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.)

Duke Endowment gives program grants
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
...The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received nearly $1 million of the total to increase the number of family medicine residents trained in community health centers and to implement a N.C. telemedicine program for diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the retina.

HIV Call Center Opening In Chapel Hill
WUNC-FM (Chapel Hill)
A new statewide call center at UNC-Chapel Hill called ONE CALL will connect people diagnosed with HIV to the medical care, counseling, and other resources they need. More than three quarters of those living with HIV in North Carolina do not seek treatment. Those who do receive proper treatment have a normal life expectancy and are much less likely to pass the virus on the their partners. Cindy Gay, an assistant professor of medicine at UNC, says trained nurses will staff ONE CALL and walk patients through some of the obstacles in getting care.

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