Vital Record » Public Health http://news.tamhsc.edu Your source for health news from the Texas A&M Health Science Center Fri, 22 May 2015 19:52:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 School of Public Health receives federal grant to establish maternal and child health program http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=school-of-public-health-receives-federal-grant-to-establish-maternal-and-child-health-program http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=school-of-public-health-receives-federal-grant-to-establish-maternal-and-child-health-program#comments Thu, 14 May 2015 20:50:20 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=23435 The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded a $350,000, 5-year grant to support the creation of the interdisciplinary program in maternal and child health at the school]]>
Mother with Child

Graduate students will have the option to pursue classes in maternal and child health.

Improving the health of mothers and children in Texas is the goal of the new maternal and child health program at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded a $350,000, 5-year grant to support the creation of the interdisciplinary program in maternal and child health at the school. Brandie Taylor, Ph.D., will direct the program that will help to address the current maternal and child health public health needs of the state.

Brandie Taylor, Ph.D.

Brandie Taylor, Ph.D.

The program will expose students to foundational maternal and child health content through coursework, seminars and research. Taylor will work with co-director, Eva Shipp, Ph.D., to develop graduate-level coursework in maternal and child health. They will collaborate with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Census Research Data Center, and prenatal clinics to develop training, research and internship opportunities.

Funding will also be used to provide students scholarships for directed research with maternal and child health faculty as well as travel to maternal and child health conferences.

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Infographic: Pandemic Influenza (preparing for the next unknown) http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-pandemic-influenza-preparing-for-the-next-unknown http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-pandemic-influenza-preparing-for-the-next-unknown#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 19:30:38 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21378 Disease outbreaks, such as the H5N1 avian influenza, H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009, and more recently the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, exposed the need for quick access to high-quality, life-saving vaccines and therapeutics, and the importance of reliable, U.S.-based vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities and expertise. ]]>

PandemicInfluenza

 

Read more on the advancement of a national Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Facility.

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Tuberculosis: Breaking the chain of transmission http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-breaking-the-chain-of-transmission http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-breaking-the-chain-of-transmission#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 15:00:38 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21396 New, rapid point-of-care TB test dramatically reduces the current delays in diagnosis with incredible accuracy, accelerating appropriate treatment and reducing the death rate of the highly infectious disease. Low-cost, easy-to-use test has the potential to eradicate ]]>

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Learn more about the rapid point-of-care Tuberculosis test.

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Infographic: What’s needed to end pandemics? http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-whats-needed-to-end-pandemics http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-whats-needed-to-end-pandemics#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 19:30:24 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=23376 There have to be solutions in place to protect global public health from infectious disease. Microbes respect no national boundaries, political affiliations, or ethnicities. These challenges extend far beyond our national borders. The fight against ebola is far from over, but the world needs to be prepared for the next outbreak. So how do we do it]]>

Infographic

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Infographic: Managing the next public health outbreak http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-managing-the-next-public-health-outbreak http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-managing-the-next-public-health-outbreak#comments Mon, 11 May 2015 15:00:45 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21091 Ebola is a stark reminder that an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere. This is both the harsh reality and the shining truth, but more than just managing this outbreak, we must learn from it and vow to prevent the next one by overcoming social, scientific and economic barriers that inhibit effective public health preparedness and response. ]]>

Infographic

View the full article.

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Center for Health Organization Transformation creating Strategy for Kenya Biomedical Industrial Park http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=center-for-health-organization-transformation-creating-strategy-for-kenya-biomedical-industrial-park http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=center-for-health-organization-transformation-creating-strategy-for-kenya-biomedical-industrial-park#comments Thu, 07 May 2015 13:34:19 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=23349 The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded CHOT will work with Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa (UBRICA) on the project termed UBRICA ONE, which will be located on 4,000 acres in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya]]>
Great Rift Valley of Kenya

The research team will create a strategy for the biomedical industrial park that meets the needs of Kenyans and the environment in which they live.

Creating the strategy for a master-planned biomedical industrial park in Kenya is the first international project of the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT) at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded CHOT will work with Ustawi Biomedical Research Innovation and Industrial Centers of Africa (UBRICA) on the project termed UBRICA ONE, which will be located on 4,000 acres in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya. The biomedical industrial park will include hospitals, research facilities, residential areas, recreational areas and industry.

The CHOT research team will work with UBRICA to create a strategy for the biomedical industrial park as a sustainable human development enterprise that meets the needs of Kenyans and the environment in which they live. Initial research will be conducted on international development models of health specific to Kenya as well as conducting a stakeholder analysis in order to develop a strategic plan for UBRICA.

Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A.

“We are pleased to add UBRICA as one of our industry partners, and to work with them on translating their vision for this enterprise into evidence-based strategy and design,” said Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., director of CHOT.

The research team will consist of faculty and students from not only the Texas A&M School of Public Health, but other Texas A&M University colleges and centers including the Center for Health Systems and Design and Architecture for Health Program at the College of Architecture, along with the Colleges of Education and Human Development and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“We at UBRICA feel very fortunate for CHOT to take this work of creating sound strategy for our proposed biomedical park. The results of the work by the CHOT team will break a brand-new path for globalization of health that will facilitate understanding on effective ways of dealing with the most complex health problems affecting people in Africa,” said Macharia Waruingi, M.D., UBRICA’s Chief Executive Officer. “The strategic plan that will come out of research by the CHOT team will also enable American health care leaders to understand how they can contribute effectively in building and managing health care organizations in African countries, to prevent and contain diseases of global health importance such as the Ebola virus.”

CHOT is one of NSF’s 70 Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (I/UCRC) in the U.S. and the only I/UCRC focused on innovations in health care delivery. Through their cooperative research model, CHOT researcher and industry members from across all spectrums of health care work with university faculty and graduate students to conduct research on strategies for improving health and transforming the delivery of health care.

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Stewart named Fulbright Specialist http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=stewart-named-fulbright-specialist http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=stewart-named-fulbright-specialist#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:53:51 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=23278 Trae Stewart, Ph.D. was chosen for the Fulbright Specialist Program by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars]]>
Trae Stewart, Ph.D.

Trae Stewart, Ph.D.

Trae Stewart, Ph.D., a graduate student at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was recently chosen for the Fulbright Specialist Program by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

The Fulbright Specialist Program promotes linkages between U.S. and international scholars and professionals and their counterparts at host institutions overseas. Grants are awarded to qualified U.S. faculty and professionals to engage in short-term collaborative two- to six-week projects at eligible institutions in over 140 countries worldwide.

Stewart is completing his master’s degree in public health from the Environmental and Occupational Health Department and was recently inducted into Delta Omega, the national public health honor society. He is currently an associate professor in the College of Education at Texas State University.

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Alexander awarded Founder’s Award from Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=alexander-awarded-founders-award-from-texas-organization-of-rural-and-community-hospitals http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=alexander-awarded-founders-award-from-texas-organization-of-rural-and-community-hospitals#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 14:58:23 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=23267 James Alexander, Ph.D. received the Founder’s Award from the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals (TORCH) during their annual awards luncheon in Dallas earlier this month]]>
Dr. James Alexander receives the Founder’s Award

Dr. James Alexander receives the Founder’s Award from Dave Pearson, President and CEO of TORCH

James Alexander, Ph.D., associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, received the Founder’s Award from the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals (TORCH) during their annual awards luncheon in Dallas earlier this month.

“This award recognizes an individual for a career that is dedicated to the improvement and enhancement of rural hospitals, evidenced by the number of students who credit James with inspiring them to become a rural hospital CEO or work in a rural health setting,” said Dave Pearson, President and CEO of TORCH.

Alexander has served as a faculty member at the Texas A&M School of Public Health since 2001. Prior to coming to the school, he was influential in founding TORCH and has extensive experience as a health care facility executive. His knowledge and experience have influenced not only many of the careers of graduates of the school, but the way rural health care services are delivered across the state.

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Want kids to pay attention in class? Give them standing desks http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=want-kids-to-pay-attention-in-class-give-them-standing-desks http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=want-kids-to-pay-attention-in-class-give-them-standing-desks#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 13:34:29 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=23173 A study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts. In fact, preliminary results show 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which equates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time. ]]>

For years, teachers have been searching for ways to get students to be more attentive in class.

Mark Benden, Ph.D., CPE, associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, may have the answer: standing desks.

Boy standing at desk

Preliminary results show 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which equates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time.

A recent study in the International Journal of Health Promotion and Education published by Benden and other researchers from Texas A&M  found that students provided with standing desks exhibited higher rates of engagement in the classroom than their seated counterparts. Preliminary results show 12 percent greater on-task engagement in classrooms with standing desks, which equates to an extra seven minutes per hour of engaged instruction time. The findings were based on a study of almost 300 children in second through fourth grade who were observed over the course of a school year. Engagement was measured by on-task behaviors such as answering a question, raising a hand or participating in active discussion and off-task behaviors like talking out of turn.

Standing desks – also known as stand-biased desks – are raised desks that have stools nearby, enabling students to sit or stand during class at their discretion. Benden, who is an ergonomic engineer by trade, originally became interested in the desks as a means to reduce childhood obesity and relieve stress on spinal structures that may occur with traditional desks. Lessons learned from his research in this area led to creation of Stand2Learn™, an offshoot company of a faculty-led startup that manufactures a classroom version of the stand-biased desk.

Benden’s previous studies have shown the desks can help reduce obesity – with students at standing desks burning 15 percent more calories than students at traditional desks (25 percent for obese children) – and there was anecdotal evidence that the desks also increased engagement. The latest study was the first designed specifically to look at the impact of classroom engagement.

Benden said he was not surprised at the results of the study, given that previous research has shown that physical activity, even at low levels, may have beneficial effects on cognitive ability.

“Standing workstations reduce disruptive behavior problems and increase students’ attention or academic behavioral engagement by providing students with a different method for completing academic tasks (like standing) that breaks up the monotony of seated work,” Benden said. “Considerable research indicates that academic behavioral engagement is the most important contributor to student achievement. Simply put, we think better on our feet than in our seat.”

The key takeaway from this research, Benden said, is that school districts that put standing desks in classrooms may be able to address two problems at the same time: academic performance and childhood obesity.

Additional Texas A&M researchers involved with the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, were Hongwei Zhao, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Texas A&M School of Public Health; Jamilia Blake, Ph.D., assistant professor of educational psychology at the Texas A&M College of Education; and Marianela Dornhecker, doctoral student in educational psychology at the Texas A&M College of Education. Monica Wendel, Dr.P.H., associate dean for public health practice at the University of Louisville, also contributed to the research.

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