May 27 - 31, 2013

National Coverage

Unresolved grief can be hidden health risk, experts say
USA Today
...Donald Rosenstein, a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, is charting new territory into the bereavement process of fathers who lose their wives to cancer. He started a first-of-its-kind support group called Single Fathers Due to Cancer Program, part of the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program. "Everyone has a different reaction to grief,'' Rosenstein says. "We (health care professionals) don't have a lot of good information about how to get people to move on. But these fathers have been teaching us."

'Nano' Medicine Might Someday Free Diabetics From Daily Needles
HealthDay News
Researchers have developed a network of so-called "nanoparticles" that theoretically could be injected into the body and release insulin to counteract rising blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. ..."The main aim was to mimic the activity of the pancreas. In our system, when glucose levels go up, the nanoparticles degrade to release insulin," said study author Zhen Gu, from the joint department of biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.

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New Study Focuses On Autism, Development Of Language Skills
CBS News Channel
...Researchers tested the brain patterns of 2-year-olds on the autism spectrum. They found children who had patterns similar to a typical child progressed well by age 4 and 6. But children whose response was more scattered went on to struggle. “It will help us to identify very early in life – this is at age 2 – which children are going to have difficulties so that we can then provide them with extra treatments,” says study co-author, Dr. Geraldine Dawson, a psychiatrist at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Note: This interview was conducted from the Carolina News Studio.

Opinion: Let's talk about autism in public spaces
...So what should a person do if they witness a child with autism (or frankly any child) in distress? According to Amanda Benson, LCSW, an autism specialist at The University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program, the most useful thing that bystanders can do is ask the parents: "Is there something I can do to make this easier for you?" "The parents will know what will best help their child," Benson said, such as dimming the lights, moving to a quieter space or offering a preferred toy as a distraction. In the specific case of a haircut, the child might be more comfortable with scissors only or conversely only with clippers. Because autism encompasses such a broad spectrum, there is no single solution that will work well for all individuals.

Seib & Wessel: What We’re Reading Thursday (Blog)
The Wall Street Journal
...Because Medicare spending growth has moderated, the Independent Payment Advisory Board created by President Barack Obama‘s Affordable Care Act — which still hasn’t any members — won’t be as important as either its supporters or its detractors have claimed, says Jonathan Oberlander of the University of North Carolina.

Sequestration hurts key medical research
NBC News
As Congress debates immigration reform to allow more highly-skilled workers to come to the U.S., the irony is that it is chasing away a generation of young American scientists by starving them of billions of dollars in funding for important medical research. Stephanie Zerwas, a University of North Carolina researcher hoping to find the genes that place young girls at risk for developing devastating eating disorders, is one of them. Last year, she sent a grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health for her first independent investigation, a career milestone for young scientists.

North Carolina lawmakers shame state (Commentary)
In the face of injustice, the Book of Isaiah tells us to "cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet." North Carolina's State Constitution says the people have a right to assemble and petition their lawmakers for the redress of grievances. ...This battle is so urgent that Dr. Charles Van Der Horst, a pioneering AIDS researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was arrested at the General Assembly, despite having completed a 199-mile ultra-marathon the previous day. Though physically drained, he still took a stand.

125 Hospital and Health System CFOs to Know

Becker’s Hospital Review
Becker's Hospital Review has named the following CFOs to its list, "125 Hospital and Health System CFOs to Know." …Chris Ellington. Executive Vice President and CFO of UNC Health Care (Chapel Hill, N.C.). Mr. Ellington has served as executive vice president and CFO of UNC Health Care since July 2010, monitoring all financial decisions of 824-bed, $1-billion UNC Hospitals …Bernadette Spong. Senior Vice President of Finance and CFO of Rex Healthcare (Raleigh, N.C.). Ms. Spong has served as senior vice president of finance and CFO of Rex Healthcare, an affiliate of UNC Health Care, since 2005, acting as a driving force behind the 660-bed health system's strong portfolio and operations.

Regional Coverage

Health answers: What are the health effects of ozone?
The Boston Globe
Q. What are the health effects of ozone? A. Although ozone in the upper atmosphere protects us, near the ground it can harm. Ozone is produced as a byproduct of chemical reactions in sunlight; it’s a component of urban smog and its levels tend to be highest on hot, sunny days in cities. David Peden, an allergist and immunologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that some people have an immediate reaction to ozone. They find it hard to take a deep breath, and may notice airway pain, irritation, cough, or wheezing.

State and Local Coverage

And, how was your stay in our lovely hospital?
Triangle Business Journal
As surprising as it might sound, many hospitals still use 20th century technology when trying to assess patient satisfaction. Dr. Seth Glickman, an emergency physician with UNC Health Care, helped found a company in 2010 called Bivarus that asks for patient feedback through email and SMS text messaging. Glickman calls Bivarus “an entirely new science of measuring the patient experience, which allows health care providers to get actionable information and make immediate improvements on the ground.”

UNC blood drive marks a quarter century
The Chapel Hill News
Organizers of UNC’s Carolina Blood Drive, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on June 4, hope to mark the occasion by collecting 1,000 units of blood. Among those scheduled to donate – the drive is 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Smith Center – are UNC athletic director, Bubba Cunningham; Patti Thorp; WCHL’s Ron Stutts; UNC’s executive vice chancellor and provost, Bruce Carney; former Voice of the Tar Heels, Woody Durham; chancellor emeritus Paul Hardin and his wife, Barbara; Tar Heel Sports Network announcers Jones Angell and Eric Montross; UNC student body president Christy Lambden; and UNC’s mascot, Rameses.

UNC Release:

Genetic tests offer early warnings for disease, for better or worse
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Kristy Lee, a certified genetic counselor at the UNC Cancer Center, said she has counseled patients who have had difficulty interpreting their commercially obtained results. Some seem overly frightened by slight elevations in risks with little statistical significance, while others are shocked to learn they may someday face serious disorders with no known treatment.

C-section surgery saves babies before birth
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
Some babies require surgery right after they're born, and other procedures can be done on a developing fetus inside the womb. In the past couple months, a team at the University of North Carolina Hospitals performed life-saving surgeries on two babies in between. ...UNC pediatric surgeon Dr. Sean Mclean and UNC-Rex maternal medicine specialist Dr. William Goodnight led a multidisciplinary team to plan the best course of survival for the two babies. "Everyone was on the same page. That helped build confidence in us," said Audrey's father, Brian Robak.

Dinner With Thorp: Community Leaders Dine With The Chancellor
WCHL-FM (Chapel Hill)
Out-going Chancellor Holden Thorp is welcoming Orange County leaders to his house for dinner Tuesday. Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton is going—he says it is goodbye dinner of sorts but also a time to just talk. ...He says Thorp has been a committed community member during, and also before his time as chancellor. During his five years at the helm for Carolina, Chilton says Thorp has successfully built collaborative efforts between the university and local governments in the area.

New research studies link between eye movement, autism
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
Using new research techniques, doctors at UNC Hospitals are coming closer to answering a key question about autism spectrum disorder – when does it begin? ... Doctors at UNC diagnosed him with autism based on co-occurring behaviors. "They begin to show sort of the social deficits and ritualistic, repetitive behaviors," Dr. Joseph Piven, a pediatric psychiatrist at UNC, said.

Is there a link between postpartum depression and oxytocin?
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
Is there a link with postpartum depression and oxytocin, which is sometimes called the “love hormone”? Three researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are starting a five-year study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that’s aimed at understanding the role of oxytocin in postpartum depression and bonding between mothers and babies.

UNC Release:


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