Oct. 14 - 18, 2013

National Coverage

National Institute of Health Launches $25 Million Study on Newborn Genetic Testing
Huffington Post
Researchers will spend $25 million in federal funds over the next five years assessing the effectiveness and ethical implications of making genetic testing of newborns a new delivery room standard. Launched by the National Institutes of Health last month, the study will be divided into four projects at the University of California, San Francisco, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC Health Care Uses IBM Analytics to Manage Medical Data and Improve Patient Care
Consensus Press
IBM today announced that UNC Health Care is using IBM big data analytics to help hospital workers reduce costly and preventable readmissions, decrease mortality rates, and ultimately improve the quality of life for patients.

Regional Coverage

Strength, balance exercises may prevent sports injury
Chicago Tribune
Strength training and balance exercises are more likely to help prevent sports injuries than stretching, a new look at the evidence suggests…Researchers said it's not clear which specific exercises have the best chance of warding off ankle sprains, ligament tears and other injuries.

…Bing Yu said the way studies were combined in the new review also makes it difficult to take away any specific messages. "Counting all injuries together, it's very hard to say which (exercises) actually work for which injury," said Yu, from the physical therapy division at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did not participate in the current report. 

State & Local Coverage

Rex opens new hematology oncology practice in Garner
Triangle Business Journal
Rex Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of UNC Health Care, has opened Rex Hematology Oncology Associates of Garner. Rex hopes to attract patients from southern Wake County as well as neighboring Johnston County and other areas. The N.C. Office of Budget and Management projects Wake County’s population to increase by 106,000 in the next five years, or an 11 percent increase from July of this year. Much of that growth is projected to happen toward the southern suburbs of Raleigh.

… Doctors will team with the Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh and the N.C. Cancer Hospital and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill. Rex already has radiation cancer treatment at Clayton Radiation Oncology and Smithfield Radiation Oncology, a joint partnership between Johnston Health and Rex/UNC Health Care.

UNC-CH becoming a capital of research aimed at tougher tobacco regulation
News & Observer
A perfect growing climate and companies such as R.J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem and American Tobacco in Durham once made North Carolina the cigarette capital of the world. Now, though, the state is becoming a capital of research to build tougher tobacco regulations.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs solid data to underpin its 4-year-old authority to regulate tobacco products, and so it decided to fund 14 “Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science.” UNC Chapel Hill is the only institution in the country to win two of them, and together they will bring in nearly $40 million in grants spread over five years and employ nearly 100 people.

One, led by Kurt Ribisl, a professor of health behavior at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, will be based at the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Among other things, it will explore better methods of communicating the risks of tobacco products to consumers, particularly for the array of emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes.

Chapel Hill oncology startup nets $12.5 million
Triangle Business Journal
Chapel Hill oncology startup just netted $12.5 million in series A financing, a potential boon for both cancer patients and investors in the small company….G-1 Therapeutics is developing a compound to protect bone marrow from chemotherapy treatments. G-1’s technology comes out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

UNC family hopes to cheer coach Hatchell through leukemia battle
News & Observer
Sylvia Hatchell, the effervescent, strong and inspiring coach of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill women’s basketball team, has been a faithful member of the university community for 27 seasons as head coach. Now it’s her turn to have the team and the university community cheer only for her.

Fog of distortion obscures ACA’s benefits (Commentary)
News & Observer (Raleigh)
As part of the Affordable Care Act, states were given an option to establish their own marketplace, share the responsibility with the federal government or use the federally facilitated marketplace. North Carolina initially considered establishing its own marketplace, but reversed that decision, which resulted in turning away millions of federal dollars to create a system of information and support for citizens to navigate this change.
(Sherry Hay, MPA, is the Director of Community Health Initiatives and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.)

UNC alumni receive awards during University Day ceremony
The Herald Sun
During Saturday's University Day ceremony to install Carol L. Folt as the 11th chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, five Carolina alumni received the Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Awards and another the Edward Kidder Graham Award.

The Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Award was created in 1971 to recognize “alumni who had distinguished themselves in a manner that brought credit to the University.”

Stuart Bondurant, professor and dean emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine and a native of Winston-Salem. After attending Carolina, he earned his B.S. and M.D. degrees from Duke University. At the National Heart Institute, he led the establishment of the first national program of myocardial infarction research. He served as dean of the UNC School of Medicine from 1979 to 1994 and again from 1996 to 1997. Bondurant Hall is named for him.

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