Campus Focus on Health Care | One Month In....
The first month of In Focus featured outstanding lectures and informal seminar sessions by the distinguished Cohen lecturer, Dr. Paul Root Wolpe, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics, the Raymond F. Schinazi Distinguished Research Chair in Jewish Bioethics, a Professor in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Sociology, and the Director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University.
Dr. Root Wolpe’s back-to-back lectures, the first delivered in Foy Hall on the evening of September 11 for the graduate symposium on Building Better Brains: How Neuroscience is Altering Human Functioning, and the second to the campus community for convocation in Johnston Hall on Thursday September 12 on Re-Creation: The Biotechnological Restructuring of Life, were both provocative and stimulating. His interactive, engaging style was well-received by his audiences, and continued to resonate and incite meaningful discussions during informal seminars conducted over a faculty luncheon and a student symposium, both held following the convocation lecture.
In Focus programs featured in the coming month promise to be of similarly high caliber. World-renowned expert in mental health nursing Dr. Mary Moller from Yale University will be delivering a lecture on The Growing Concern of Mental Health Issues in the Nation for the Janet A. Sipple Lectureship series on Wednesday evening, October 23 in Foy Hall. Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and Peace and Justice Scholar Chris Hedges will be lecturing on Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt on the evening of October 22 in the Prosser Auditorium.
Moravian College students are tackling health care issues with characteristic zeal. Junior nursing major Photini Petrides presented her summer volunteer experience working with disadvantaged Nicaraguan children seeking health care services to the campus community on September 26. Alexis Billiard, as an intern placed with the Alliance for Sustainable Communities, is intent on increasing campus awareness of the effects of genetically-modified food sources on health. As part of her work, she will be showing the film “Fresh” on campus on Thursday evening, October 17. Senior nursing major and Peace and Justice studies minor Lydia Reynolds is working diligently to assemble a team of students to help disadvantaged Latino families in our local community navigate their way through the health insurance marketplace.
Indeed, in anticipation of the continuing enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the In Focus committee is working in collaboration with college administrators to host an informational panel session so that we can all become better acquainted with how the act will affect employees at Moravian College, as well as residents more widely in the state of Pennsylvania and the nation as a whole. A tentative date of November 6 has been selected, and Johnston Hall has been reserved to host this event. Mark your calendars – more news will be forthcoming shortly!
In the meantime, we invite everyone who would like to become better acquainted with the law to review information resources available (with websites displayed in the adjoining column). One of these resources is made available through the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Kaiser is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own research, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations or major media companies. KFF serves as a non-partisan source of facts, information, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the public. Kaiser's product is information, always provided free of charge — from the most sophisticated policy research, to basic facts and numbers, to in depth health policy news coverage provided by our news service, KHN, to information young people can use to improve their health or elderly people can use to understand their Medicare benefits.
The non-partisan, non-profit Alliance for Health Reform’s website likewise offers a wealth of materials that may be reviewed that can readily answer most consumer questions about the ACA. They also include specific information about navigating the health insurance marketplace, as does a federally-sponsored site that is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (refer to links in the right-hand column of this eNewsletter).
We wish to thank all of our many good colleagues – faculty, students, and staff, for making this first month of our Health Care programming a resounding success. Please continue to reach out to us with your ideas, projects, and programs that integrate the theme of health care.
Dr. Virginia Adams O’Connell
Dr. Kerry H. Cheever
Co-directors of the Health Care Center of Investigation
Faculty Focus on Health Care Research
Sabrina Terrizzi, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Economics and Business recently completed a research project assessing the effect of sorority membership on disordered eating among sorority members. Eating disorders (EDs) are prevalent in the United States. One in 200 women suffer from anorexia nervosa (AN), and two to three in 100 women suffer from bulimia nervosa (BN). These are two of the most common EDs (Patton, 1999; NIMH, 2002), and represent a growing concern to policymakers, medical professionals and families. Between 1999-2000 and 2005-2006, hospitalizations for EDs increased 18% (Zhao and Encinosa, 2011), and these statistics only include those who have been diagnosed and hospitalized for EDs; there are still many that go undiagnosed: about only one in ten people with an ED is ever treated (Eating Disorder Statistics, 2003).
Previous research established a positive correlation between sorority membership and EDs (Squire, 1983; Kashubeck et al., 1997; Schulken et al., 1997; Alexander 1998; Hoerr et al., 2002; Allison et al., 2004). Dr. Terrizzi and her co-authors, Dr. Averett and Dr. Wang, investigate a possible causal link between sororities and weight-related behaviors and eating disorders using data from the American College Health Association. Using Propensity Score Matching and Instrumental Variable methods, they confirm that sororities exert a negative effect on the weight-related behaviors of their members. However, females who are more resilient to these outcomes self-select into sororities, implying that females in sororities are less adversely-affected by them than females who would randomly join a sorority.
This paper is currently under review at a peer-reviewed journal, but it is available for review as a discussion paper at the Institute for the Study of Labor: IZA discussion paper number 7512
Addressing the Health Needs in Nicaragua
Moravian College junior nursing major Photini Petrides (3rd from left) in photo taken outside the operating room in Rivas, Managua, Nicaragua, with (from left) Delaney (volunteer coordinator of FIMRC Nicaragua), Jessica (Field Operations Manager of FIMRC Nicaragua), Photini, and Amanda (A pediatric Nurse from Lund, Sweden).
Junior Nursing Major
It is one thing to read about poverty and its impact on the health of the world’s people, and it is quite another thing to witness it first-hand. Designed as an Interdisciplinary Project, Photini Petrides, a junior nursing student, achieved her learning goals through serving those less fortunate. Photini participated in a global health volunteer program offered through the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC). She spent the month of June living with a host family in Las Salinas, Nicaragua while working at the FIMRC Pediatric Clinic during the day. She also had opportunities to assist with therapy for physically and developmentally handicapped children.
Photini was able to make many comparisons regarding the provision of health care services between the United States and Nicaragua. As she wrote, there are approximately 15 hospitals in our local region. In Nicaragua, there are only two hospitals for Nicaraguans and one hospital for Americans. The hospital for Americans had private rooms, Internet and cable. The two Nicaraguan hospitals were quite dated, had open courtyards throughout the hospital. In an interesting observation she described the nurses wearing white uniforms, caps, stockings and shoes while they were often accompanied down the halls with dogs.
Her experiences were many and varied. Knowing that she wants to work with children, and possibly in a developing part of the world, Photini plans to continue to reflect on these experiences that may very well contribute to the formulation of an honors project. The Interdisciplinary Project provided a realistic opportunity to begin thinking about research involving vulnerable populations.
Dr. Michele August-Brady
Associate Professor of Nursing
Understanding The Affordable Care Act
In anticipation of the continuing enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the IN FOCUS committee is working in collaboration with college administrators to host an informational panel session so that we can all become better acquainted with how the act will affect employees at Moravian College, as well as residents more widely in the state of Pennsylvania and the nation as a whole. We will be back in touch soon with details about that session.
In the meantime, we invite everyone who would like to become better acquainted with the law to review information resources available online at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). Kaiser is a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the U.S., as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. Unlike grant-making foundations, Kaiser develops and runs its own research, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with other non-profit research organizations or major media companies. KFF serves as a non-partisan source of facts, information, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the public. Kaiser's product is information, always provided free of charge — from the most sophisticated policy research, to basic facts and numbers, to in depth health policy news coverage provided by our news service, KHN, to information young people can use to improve their health or elderly people can use to understand their Medicare benefits.
In particular, take a look at -the interactive maps--especially the local and state. And the "For Consumers" link: http://kff.org/aca-consumer-resources/ to see-frequently asked questions -and the "YouToons" video/
Also please see the following government sponsored site, https://www.healthcare.gov/, to learn more about the health insurance marketplace.
If you want to learn a bit about why American health care costs are so high compared to other nations in less than 8 minutes. Check out this video which discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who's at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game?(Hint: It's that one.)
For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist
The Commonwealth Fund's Study of Health Care Prices in the US
Some of the stats in this video also come from this
New York Times story.
This is the first part in what will be a periodic series on health care costs and reforms leading up to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2014.
Please share these links with family and friends who have questions about the law.
Ginny Adams O'Connell and Kerry H. Cheever, Co-Directors,
IN FOCUS 2013-2014, Centers for Investigation
Spring Courses: Healthcare
IDIS 190.2: Healthcare Film Series
Instructors: Ginny Adams O’Connell and Kerry H. Cheever
As part of the 2013-2014 IN FOCUS program on Healthcare, the IN FOCUS Center for Investigation is running a for-academic-credit film series in the spring semester. In order to earn 0.5 credits for this course, students will be required to attend seven of 14 heathcare films. The films will highlight a variety of timely topics related to the structure, function and delivery of healthcare in the United States and abroad. Topics include the health insurance system, the broken aspects of modern healthcare systems, a comparison of the US system with Canada, responding to viral outbreaks, pursuing medical breakthroughs, the obesity epidemic and the dangers of over-diagnosis and treatment. In addition to attending the films, students will be required to participate in post-film discussions, in online discussions, and to submit a series of short written reflections on the seven films they attend.
Community Service Opportunities
Students should contact Community Service to get involved in volunteer work in the community. Opportunities for students to volunteer at a food pantry, homeless shelter, local schools, and other community organizations are organized through the Center for Leadership and Service. To learn more, click here.