Vital Record » Public Health http://news.tamhsc.edu Your source for health news from the Texas A&M Health Science Center Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:07:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Preparing African journalists for the next health crisis http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=preparing-african-journalists-for-the-next-health-crisis http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=preparing-african-journalists-for-the-next-health-crisis#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:27:59 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21669 Bernard Appiah, Dr.P.H. surveys members of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) working in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to better understand the professional characteristics of journalists and what factors serve as barriers or motivators in covering science stories]]>
Journalists with ten or less years experience reported writing more science articles than reporters with more than ten years experience, indicating younger reporters would benefit most from training.

Journalists with ten or less years experience reported writing more science articles than reporters with more than ten years experience, indicating younger reporters would benefit most from training.

Journalism and the media are key factors in the public’s understanding of science and health information. With the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa, the tremendous need for dissemination of accurate health information to the public has been highlighted. Findings from a Texas A&M Health Science Center study completed in Ghana and recently published in the Public Understanding of Science journal, provide insights and recommendations that could help the country’s media response to future disease outbreaks

Bernard Appiah, Dr.P.H., instructional assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, surveyed members of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) working in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to better understand the professional characteristics of journalists and what factors serve as barriers or motivators in covering science stories. GJA is composed of both broadcast and print journalists.

Bernard Appiah, Dr.P.H.

Bernard Appiah, Dr.P.H.

The study found that in most media organizations, general reporters rather than specialized science reporters produce science stories. Barriers include lack of science writing training, no access to contact information of scientific researchers, lack of senior level media organization support and reporters being too busy with non-science stories. Top motivational factors that might influence journalists to report more science stories include receiving more training in science journalism, career advancement opportunities and better availability of science research findings.

“Of particular interest was that journalists with ten or less years experience indicated reporting more science stories than journalists with more than ten years experience, which indicates younger reporters would benefit most from training,” Appiah said.

Other recommendations include introducing science journalism as a core course to students studying journalism and government public information officers producing fact sheets/press releases in layman terms on scientific findings for distribution to the media. Also, compiling databases of both scientists and journalists to aid in media-researcher communication would be beneficial.

Additional Texas A&M researchers include Barbara Gastel, M.D., M.P.H., James Burdine, Dr.P.H., and Leon Russell, D.V.M., Ph.D.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=preparing-african-journalists-for-the-next-health-crisis/feed/ 0
Hong evaluates mobile application to promote physical activity in older adults http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=hong-evaluates-mobile-application-to-promote-physical-activity-in-older-adults http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=hong-evaluates-mobile-application-to-promote-physical-activity-in-older-adults#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 15:23:45 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21664 Yan Hong, Ph.D. leads team of researchers in the development and testing of iCanFit, a mobile-enabled web application to promote physical activity in older adults with chronic conditions]]>
Mobile health programs have become increasingly popular among older adults.

Mobile health programs have become increasingly popular among older adults.

Increasing numbers of older adults are using the Internet. Recent statistics show almost 90 percent of older adults ages 50 – 64 are online, with almost 60 percent of those older than 64 years of age online as well. With such high Internet access and use, mobile health programs have become increasingly popular. However, among the thousands of online applications and mobile tools available to promote physical activity, very few are designed and marketed towards older adults.

Yan Hong, Ph.D., associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, led a team of researchers in the development and testing of iCanFit, a mobile-enabled web application to promote physical activity in older adults with chronic conditions.

According to Hong, “iCanFit is designed to address common barriers to exercise noted by older adults including lack of motivation, difficulty of tracking physical activity, inadequate social support and limited knowledge on how to exercise properly.” The application features “Goal,” an interactive function that allows users to set and track physical activity goals and view progress. The application also has other functions including community resources and healthy tips.

Hong and colleagues tested usability of the app with ten older adults in a computer lab in a senior center, where they were able to identify and implement changes to improve usability and senior friendliness. Next, they had 23 older adults (ages 60-82) use the app at home for two weeks and then interviewed them concerning their experience.

Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Yan Hong, Ph.D.

“Overall, the testing revealed high levels of ease of use and usefulness of the application, and most participants stated they would continue to use the program,” said Hong.

The complete report, “Testing usability and acceptability of a web application to promote physical activity (iCanFit) among older adults” is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, Human Factors.

An efficacy trial of iCanFit is currently underway, and the application will then be further developed to assist a larger population of adults with chronic conditions.

The research team included from the Texas A&M School of Public Health Marcia Ory, Ph.D., Deborah Vollmer Dahlke, Ph.D., S. Camille Peres, Ph.D., Debra Kellstedt, M.P.H., and graduate student Rachel Coughlin; from the Texas A&M Department of Geosciences Daniel Goldberg, Ph.D. and Edgar Hernandez; and from St. Joseph Regional Health Center Jessica Cargill.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=hong-evaluates-mobile-application-to-promote-physical-activity-in-older-adults/feed/ 0
The Daily Rundown: Director of new Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=the-daily-rundown-director-of-new-texas-task-force-on-infectious-disease http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=the-daily-rundown-director-of-new-texas-task-force-on-infectious-disease#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:19:08 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21621 Peter Alexander, of msnbc's The Daily Rundown, talks to the director of Texas’ new task force on infectious disease, Dr. Brett Giroir, CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center]]>

Peter Alexander, of msnbc’s The Daily Rundown, talks to the director of Texas’ new task force on infectious disease, Dr. Brett Giroir, CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center.

This video originally appeared on msnbc’s The Daily Rundown.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=the-daily-rundown-director-of-new-texas-task-force-on-infectious-disease/feed/ 0
Texas A&M awarded grant to help reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles – First-year funding will go mainly to program efforts in South Texas http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-am-awarded-grant-to-help-reduce-chronic-diseases-promote-healthier-lifestyles-first-year-funding-will-go-mainly-to-program-efforts-in-south-texas http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-am-awarded-grant-to-help-reduce-chronic-diseases-promote-healthier-lifestyles-first-year-funding-will-go-mainly-to-program-efforts-in-south-texas#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 17:11:36 +0000 http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21537 The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health in conjunction with the Texas A&M AgriLife focus on improving access to healthy foods, as well as safe and convenient locations for physical activity within targeted communities in Hidalgo County]]>
Programs will focus on lowering obesity rates, resulting in a healthier Hidalgo County for current and future generations.

Programs will focus on lowering obesity rates, resulting in a healthier Hidalgo County for current and future generations.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has been awarded a “Programs to Reduce Obesity in High-Obesity Areas” grant to support national efforts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending. Working with the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, Texas A&M AgriLife received $783,000 for the first year of a three-year grant focused on improving access to healthy foods, as well as safe and convenient locations for physical activity within targeted communities in Hidalgo County.

According to Health and Human Services, $4.6 million in new grants is being awarded to six land-grant universities in states with counties having a greater than 40 percent prevalence of adult obesity.

The initiative is important because data shows chronic diseases in the U.S. such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are the leading causes of death, disability and health care costs. They account for seven of 10 deaths among Americans each year and more than 80 percent of the $2.7 trillion the nation spends annually on medical care.

“This grant will be administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and much of the initial funding will be used to establish a Working on Wellness/Trabajando en el Bienestar community-based program to address obesity in Hidalgo County,” said Dr. Carol Rice, AgriLife Extension health specialist and program leader and co-principal investigator for the program, located in College Station. “Hidalgo County was selected for the project because CDC has determined that more than 40 percent of the county’s 800,000 residents are obese.”

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

“The program is a partnership between AgriLife Extension and the Texas A&M Health Science Center, combining the skills and expertise of both organizations to help solve a problem,” said Dr. Marcia Ory, regents and distinguished professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health in College Station and co-principal investigator.

“Both entities have ‘boots on the ground’ in Hidalgo County, where we have a campus in South Texas and AgriLife Extension county agents are available to collaborate on the program,” Ory said. “Our Center for Community Health Development’s National Community Health Worker Training Center enables us to reach the most underserved communities using approaches that are culturally appropriate.”

“Working with community coalitions, we will select high-need communities within Hidalgo County for intensive intervention,” Rice said. “Utilizing a community-based approach, assessments will be conducted and proposed strategies for addressing high rates of obesity will be discussed with community stakeholders. This program should have a major impact throughout the county, not just specific high-need communities.”

Ory said the team will begin with an evaluation of current assets in the community and identified needs. She stresses the value in increasing knowledge of healthy behaviors, promoting greater collaboration with health-oriented community groups and increasing community-wide practices to promote the availability of both healthy foods and safe areas for physical activity.

Rice and Ory said they plan to work with schools, neighborhoods, partnering agencies and local government entities to identify and implement strategies that help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities for people to be physically active.

In addition to current AgriLife Extension programs that are teaching people how to grow their own food, they hope to increase access to food by working with city and county government entities to recruit new food retail outlets. The Texas A&M Health Science Center campus has extensive contacts with county public health officials and community stakeholders that can be immediately mobilized towards this effort.

Program strategies to increase access to physical activity will include locating neighborhood parks, playgrounds or other suitable areas that could be improved, rebuilt or made safer for those in high-need communities.

“We’ll work with communities to identify parks that we can help them reclaim through community policing and neighborhood efforts, as well as possibly adding lights, benches and trees to produce a more comfortable and fun environment in which residents can be physically active,” Ory said.

The two said meeting the goals of this combined effort will help to lower obesity rates and reduce instances of chronic disease, resulting in a healthier Hidalgo County for current and future generations.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=texas-am-awarded-grant-to-help-reduce-chronic-diseases-promote-healthier-lifestyles-first-year-funding-will-go-mainly-to-program-efforts-in-south-texas/feed/ 0
HuffPost Live: Interview with Dr. Giroir http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infectious-disease-dr-ebola-patients-condition-is-serious-but-stable http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infectious-disease-dr-ebola-patients-condition-is-serious-but-stable#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 20:54:32 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21493 Brett P. Giroir, M.D., CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center, joins HuffPost Live to talk about the recent Ebola scare in the United States]]>

Brett P. Giroir, M.D., CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center, joins HuffPost Live to talk about the recent Ebola scare in the United States.

This video originally appeared on HuffPost Live.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infectious-disease-dr-ebola-patients-condition-is-serious-but-stable/feed/ 0
School of Public Health announces Faculty Emeritus recognition http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=school-of-public-health-announces-faculty-emeritus-recognition http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=school-of-public-health-announces-faculty-emeritus-recognition#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:58:28 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21452 The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Hawes, Ph.D., Charles Phillips, Ph.D., and Jerome Congleton, Ph.D., PE, as Faculty Emeritus. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents formally awarded the Professor Emeritus status ... ]]>
Catherine M. Hawes, Ph.D.

Catherine M. Hawes, Ph.D.

The Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Hawes, Ph.D., Charles Phillips, Ph.D., and Jerome Congleton, Ph.D., PE, as Faculty Emeritus. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents formally awarded the Professor Emeritus status to all three during a recent meeting.

Hawes and Phillips have previously been honored as Regents Professors. Both received the Public Service Award from the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Reform and served for many years on the editorial board of The Gerontologist. They have also been recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as leading scholars in their fields, among the top one-half of one percent of all published researchers worldwide in each of 21 categories “who have demonstrated great influence in their field” and “made fundamental contributions to the advancement of science” as measured by citations to their work.

Charles Phillips, Ph.D.

Charles Phillips, Ph.D.

Hawes is an internationally recognized expert in long-term care, with particular attention to quality of care. Her numerous awards and accolades are testament to her devotion to the quality of care for the elderly and infirm. She also led a team of researchers who developed an assessment system used in all U.S. nursing homes to develop resident’s care plans and evaluate the quality of care. This tool has been translated into 22 languages and is now used in 19 other countries.

Phillips is a gerontologist and public health professional specializing in long-term care policy and health services research. He also has a particular interest in measuring and evaluating quality of care and quality of life in care settings providing long-term care to the frail elderly and disabled.

Jerome Congleton, Ph.D., PE

Jerome Congleton, Ph.D., PE

Congleton is a professional engineer, certified professional ergonomist and Director Emeritus of the Ergonomics Center, which he founded. His main research interests are in human factors and ergonomics with attention to workplace design. He has excelled in teaching and mentoring having chaired 19 doctoral dissertations and 49 master theses and was advisor to an additional 40 master students. His mentorship has been instrumental in helping students find leadership positions while maintaining an outstanding record of research and service that led to eight patents and 38 journal publications.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=school-of-public-health-announces-faculty-emeritus-recognition/feed/ 0
Kash refines the health care strategic management framework http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=kash-refines-the-health-care-strategic-management-framework http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=kash-refines-the-health-care-strategic-management-framework#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:43:07 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21449 Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE conducted a multi-hospital system case study to provide a better understanding of the role of resource dependency theory (RDT) and resource based view (RBV) in health care strategic management]]>
A recently multi-hospital system case study provides a better understanding of the role of resource dependency theory (RDT) and resource based view (RBV) in health care strategic management.

A recently multi-hospital system case study provides a better understanding of the role of resource dependency theory (RDT) and resource based view (RBV) in health care strategic management.

Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, recently conducted a multi-hospital system case study to provide a better understanding of the role of resource dependency theory (RDT) and resource based view (RBV) in health care strategic management.

The study findings are reported in the article, “Health care strategic management and the resource based view” and were published in a recent edition of the Journal of Strategy and Management. In this article Kash proposes a refined health care strategic management framework that takes both RDT and RBV into consideration by systematically linking strategy formulation with deployment of resources.

“Our refined framework of health care strategic management suggests that decisions concerning development and deployment of key management resources and talent will eventually drive strategic decision making and define competitive advantages in the hospital sector,” Kash said. “This study describes, categorizes and groups similar strategic initiatives across the two multi-hospital sites and then compares strategy implementation approaches, primarily focusing on deployment of resources.”

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

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

Results of Kash’s analysis indicate a strong influence of RDT in health care strategic decision-making due to most U.S. hospital facing very similar external environmental constraints and factors. The study also reports important variations in strategy implementation approaches related to resource coordination and allocation, which supports the conclusion that RBV is most relevant to hospitals when engaged in implementation of mostly externally driven strategic initiatives. These results helped Kash and colleagues to develop a refined conceptual framework for health care strategic management that balances both theoretical approaches of RDT and RBV.

“We believe that as the RBV perspective gains importance in strategy implementation within health care organizations and other firms faced with a dynamic external environment of regulation and competition, it will gradually become part of the earlier stages of the strategic planning process,” concludes Kash.

Additional authors include Aaron Spaulding, Ph.D., University of North Florida, Larry Gamm, Ph.D., Texas A&M School of Public Health, and Christopher Johnson, Ph.D., University of Washington.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=kash-refines-the-health-care-strategic-management-framework/feed/ 0
Ory, Hong and Towne part of Texas A&M University Coalition for Healthy Active Living http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=ory-hong-and-towne-part-of-texas-am-university-coalition-for-healthy-active-living http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=ory-hong-and-towne-part-of-texas-am-university-coalition-for-healthy-active-living#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:03:54 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21424 Faculty from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health are joining forces with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, the Texas A&M College of Engineering, the Texas A&M University Division of Research, and the Texas A&M College of Geoscience to establish the Texas A&M University Coalition for Healthy Active Living (TAMU-CHAL)]]>

Faculty from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health are joining forces with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, the Texas A&M College of Engineering, the Texas A&M University Division of Research, and the Texas A&M College of Geoscience to establish the Texas A&M University Coalition for Healthy Active Living (TAMU-CHAL).

Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., director of the Program on Healthy Aging at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, will serve as co-PI and sees TAMU-CHAL as “the perfect opportunity to integrate multiple perspectives and disciplines to improve public and individual health, health care system and delivery, and the value of health care solutions.”

Additional Texas A&M School of Public Health faculty working with the multidisciplinary team include Associate Professor Yan Hong, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor Samuel Towne, Ph.D.

The full story can be found on the College of Engineering website.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D.

Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Samuel D. Towne, Ph.D

Samuel Towne, Ph.D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=ory-hong-and-towne-part-of-texas-am-university-coalition-for-healthy-active-living/feed/ 0
Sharkey presents at SEC Symposium in Atlanta http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=sharkey-presents-at-sec-symposium-in-atlanta http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=sharkey-presents-at-sec-symposium-in-atlanta#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 16:33:18 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21415 Joseph R. Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Joseph R. Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D.

Obesity is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and an issue the colleges in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) are joining together to combat.

Joseph Sharkey, Ph.D., M.P.H., RD, professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was one of two Texas A&M University professors selected to take part in discussions of obesity research at the 2014 SEC Symposium in Atlanta. Sharkey moderated a session on workplace strategies to prevent obesity.

Sharkey is director of the Program for Research and Outreach-Engagement on Nutrition and Health Disparities in the Department of Health Promotion & Community Services in the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

Visit TAMUtimes for the full story.

]]>
http://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=sharkey-presents-at-sec-symposium-in-atlanta/feed/ 0