$900,000 UTA Study Aims to Increase Connections Between Nurses, Social Workers

The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and School of Social Work will use nearly $900,000 during the next three years to fund research that aims to improve connections between nurses and social workers before they meet in the healthcare workplace. An $862,532 Advanced Nursing Education Grant was awarded to Judy LeFlore, interim associate dean for research and professor at UT Arlington College of Nursing. The funding, given by Human Services Health Resources, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will allow 40 graduate students to work together to come up with care plans… Full Story

Sesame and Rice Brain Oil Can Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Cooking with a blend of sesame and rice bran oils can not only drop blood pressure, but improve cholesterol levels, too, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research 2012 Scientific Sessions. The study, which took place for 60 days, broke up the 300 New Delhi participants into three groups: those taking medication, those using one ounce of the oils a day, and one incorporating both. Systolic blood pressure went down an average of 14 points in people using just the oils, 16 points in those taking the medication, and 36 points in those using… Full Story

Women in Academic Medicine Underrepresented

Fewer women reach leadership positions than men in academic medicine, according to a study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. As seen in American Medical News, the average medical school has 43 female full professors compared with 192 male, according to lead study author Linda Pololi, MD, despite the fact that women have made up about 50 percent of medical school students for the past decade. Researchers surveyed over 4,500 full-time faculty members at 26 medical schools across the country. Women reported a lower sense of belonging or support, and a higher level of pessimism about gender equality or… Full Story

Joint Commission Recognizes 33 North Texas Hospitals as “Top Performers”

The Joint Commission has released its annual report of top performing hospitals as part of its Top Performers on Key Quality Measures program. The report, Improving America’s Hospitals: The Joint Commission’s Annual Report on Quality and Safety 2012, named 620 hospitals as exemplary performers based on data reported in 2011. The list includes 50 percent more hospitals than 2011, and 244 hospitals have achieved status on the list for two consecutive years. Each hospital had to meet two 95 percent performance thresholds to be included on the list. According to the report, to make the cut hospitals had to do… Full Story

AHA: “Mini Strokes” May Lead to Disability

The American Heart Association’s journal Stroke has released a study concluding that transient ischemic attacks (TIA), or “mini strokes,” can lead to serious disability. The study highlights a condition that doctors often consider too mild to treat with drugs. “Our study shows that TIA and minor stroke patients are at significant risk of disability and need early assessment and treatment,” said Shelagh Coutts, M.D., lead author of the study in a statement. “We should be imaging patients earlier and be more aggressive in treating patients with thrombolysis if we can see a blockage no matter how minor the symptoms are.”… Full Story

Baylor Medical Facilities Combat Obesity

WFAA reports that all 12 Baylor facilities are eliminating sugar-sweetened sodas and unhealthy snacks from on-site cafés and vending machines with hopes of setting a healthier example to visitors. As a result, the facilities will only offer water, diet drinks, and fruit juices, and snacks will be limited to high-nutrient and low-calorie options. Half-sized cans of sodas can still be purchased in hospital-based convenience stores, but Baylor’s eventual plan is to shut down sales of all sugar-sweetened drinks.

Tenet Announces $67 Million Expansion of Sierra Providence in El Paso

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare  has announced a $67 million addition to Sierra Providence East Medical Center, with construction beginning in December 2012. “We are excited to be expanding our hospital after only four years,” said Sally Hurt, the hospital’s CEO, in a statement. “Since we opened our doors in 2008, an increasing number of patients have trusted us with their medical needs. We are proud to be a provider of choice and we look forward to increasing our capacity of care, enhancing our services and bringing new jobs to our community.” The El Paso upgrade will total more than 145,000 square feet,… Full Story

Expansion of Forney Medical Plaza Under Way

PM Realty has broken ground on phase II of  Forney Medical Plaza along East Hwy. 80 at F.M. 548 and Broad Street. The expansion includes 5,000 square feet of medical office space and a 13,248-square-foot emergency room. The project is slated for completion early next year, at which time Lake Pointe Health Network will take over operations. WB Kibler is serving as the general contractor and GSR Andrade is the project’s architect. “Growing population trends in urban and suburban communities, where patients are seeking convenient care closer to home, without the difficulties and time required to go to a traditional hospital emergency room,… Full Story

AHA Offers Scholarships to Increase Multiculturalism in Medicine

The Dallas-based American Heart Association has teamed up with Macy’s for a second year to offer 16 $2,500 national scholarships to minority students through the Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that just 6.7 percent of African-Americans and 7.5 percent of Hispanics made up the total number of medical school graduates in 2010. Additionally, research has shown that many ethnic groups experience worse health outcomes than their Caucasian counterparts, due in part to minorities’ underrepresentation in medicine. The AHA hopes these scholarships will combat the high level of underrepresented minorities in medicine and decrease treatment… Full Story

IOM Calls for Better Use of Technology in Healthcare

The Institute of Medicine has released a report calling for a better healthcare system in light of recent science and technological advances. An 18-member expert committee released the 382-page report, entitled “Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America.” According to Modern Healthcare, the report critiques the current healthcare system, which resulted in an estimated $750 billion loss in 2009 for being costly, of poor quality, and inefficient; it calls for a change to the current business model. The report also states that 75,000 lives could have been saved in 2005 if every state’s… Full Story