June 3 - 7, 2013

International Coverage

Elderly more likely to wait in French ERs: study
Reuters (Wire Service)
..."Some of this may just reflect that (doctors) are making a choice to see the simplest patient earlier but then decide to go back and spend more time with the older patient," said Dr. Tim Platts-Mills, an emergency medicine doctor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. For example, it would probably be appropriate for a doctor to take one minute to assess a younger patient with a sprained ankle if the doctor can then spend 10 minutes with an older patient, said Platts-Mills, who reviewed the new study for the journal.

Strength tests may not predict football injuries
...Bing Yu, from the physical therapy division at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said over-stretching of the hamstring muscle is a direct cause of strains. "Increasing flexibility is one of the ways to prevent muscle strain injury such as hamstring injury," Yu, who wasn't involved in the new research, told Reuters Health in an email.

National Coverage

Wisdom teeth: Should they stay or go?
USA Today
... But in a position paper in 2011, the oral surgeon's group said that policy was "based on an unscientific extrapolation of data." The group laid out evidence that most symptom-free wisdom teeth were not disease-free. "About two-thirds of the time, there's going to be some problem," most often gum disease or cavities, says Raymond P. White Jr., an oral surgery professor at the University of North Carolina.

Gizmo Uses Lung Cells To Sniff Out Health Hazards In Urban Air
National Public Radio
Cities like Houston are dotted with air-sniffing monitors that measure levels of benzene and other potentially unhealthy air pollutants. But those monitors can't answer the question we care about most: Is the air safe? That's because there's no simple relationship between toxic air pollutants and health risks. Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill are trying to get a leg up on that problem. They are building an instrument that uses human lung cells to measure health hazards in the air more directly.

More B-School Deans Should Be Meteorologists
Bloomberg Businessweek
...Despite the fact that life at the top of an academic institution may not be as comfortable as it once was—as LBS’s Buchanan found out very quickly—it’s unlikely that there will be a shortage of candidates for the lengthening list of open roles. Life in the hot seat obviously still has its attractions. Which might explain why Kenan-Flagler’s James Dean Jr. is not swapping his deanship for the beach or the golf course, but for the job of provost for the entire University of North Carolina.

UNC Release:

Outgoing UNC chancellor: Let ADs handle athletics
The Associated Press
Holden Thorp is packing up after nearly five years as chancellor at the University of North Carolina, preparing for his next job as provost at Washington University in St. Louis. It's no accident he's leaving a school that regularly plays for national titles at the NCAA's highest level to one that competes at its lowest.

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State and Local Coverage

Pardee, Blue Ridge evaluating partnership options
BRCHS and Pardee have signed a Memorandum of Agreement to explore the prospects for sharing facilities and developing new medical practices, and they will review the benefits of aligning administrative resources, according to a news release from Pardee Hospital. …In the past few years, Pardee has collaborated with Mission Health, the YMCA of Western North Carolina and now BRCHS. On top of that, Pardee recently strengthened its management agreement with the UNC Health Care System.

NC’s Blue Cross to vacate Chapel Hill HQ, consolidate operations in Durham
The state’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, is planning to vacate its longtime Chapel Hill headquarters and consolidate its Triangle operations in Durham. The insurer paid $10 million for an additional two buildings on a campus on University Drive in Durham where it already owns and occupies six buildings. …Jennifer James, a spokeswoman for UNC Health Care, said the buildings will house about 900 administrative workers when moves that started last month are complete.

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Get your fluids without the extra calories (Commentary)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Be aware of a hydration hazard this summer: Cuploads of calories from a continuous drip of fluids. I’m talking about you two-fisted drinkers keeping company with jumbo-sized drinks all day every day. They’re with you in your car, at meetings and at your desk while you work or surf the Net at home. It’s hot outside, but you don’t need that much fluid. And those drinks, if they contain calories, can dash your diet plans.
(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.)

Should chancellor search process stay private at universities?
Triangle Business Journal
Two Triangle universities recently hired new chancellors, but neither university released any names other than the actual hire. These types of closed searchers are increasingly common across the nation, and are creating somewhat of a back and forth across higher education, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. ... In February, N.C. Central University named Debra Saunders-White as chancellor and in April, UNC-Chapel Hill announced Carol Folt as chancellor.

New breast cancer care center opening Monday
Rex Healthcare, now partnered with UNC Health Care, has long been a major center for breast cancer screening services, both at its Raleigh campus and with its mobile unit that travels the state. On Monday, the new Rex Breast Care Center will open at 3100 Duraleigh Road. It is three times the size of its current center and offers women a more comfortable environment.

The call for help
Daily Tar Heel
…[It’s] 11:30 p.m. in the emergency room at UNC Hospitals, and the day is coming to a close. But as the hour grows later and the weekend looms, the vacant beds start to fill, awaiting the patients who tend to inhabit them more often than anyone else — intoxicated students. With the number of calls to emergency medical services for student alcohol overdoses rising, and new statewide legislation in place to encourage calling for help, the University is now facing a bigger question — what, if any, consequences these students should face. …Jeff Phillips, an E.R. nurse who has worked at UNC Hospitals for 18 years, said though calls might be more frequent, the vast majority of intoxicated students who come in don’t require much medical care. “For the most part, they just sleep it off,” he said.

Mission Children’s Hospital to open pediatric program to help children with hearing loss
Mountain Xpress
Mission Children’s Hospital is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to provide the Asheville area with expert-level care of children with hearing loss.
…As part of the collaboration with the UNC-Chapel Hill, Mission Children’s Hospital welcomes Melissa Aldana Hermann, PhD, as its Pediatric Audiologist. Dr. Hermann completed her doctoral externship at UNC Hospitals’ pediatric audiology program and comes to Mission Children’s Hospital with a multitude of experiences working with hearing loss in infants and young children.

Over eggs and bacon, Decker offers take on Medicaid
Triangle Business Journal
Despite estimates that Medicaid expansion could bring as many as 25,000 new jobs to North Carolina, Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker says she supports lawmakers’ decision to reject that portion of the Affordable Care Act. Speaking at Triangle Business Journal’s Power Breakfast Thursday morning, Decker said she would “not recommend” to reverse the General Assembly’s decision to reject the expansion of Medicaid, which would have increased Medicaid eligibility to anyone below 138 percent of the poverty level. Without the expansion, which was vocally supported by hospital leaders including UNC Health Care CEO Dr. Bill Roper, the program covers largely low-income women and children or disabled and elderly adults.

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