2015 News Archives

June 2015

Case Western Reserve University receives $2.27 million for scholarships. Northeast Ohio’s Bonacker and Warburton families exemplify the spirit of interprofessional health care. Now, their foundation will advance a similar spirit in education. President Barbara R. Snyder announced a $2.27 million commitment from the Ralph T. and Esther L. Warburton Foundation to support scholarships for students in nursing, medicine, and dental medicine. This award joins an earlier grant of more than $700,000, putting the family foundation’s total commitment to health sciences scholarships at $3 million. Read more on cleveland.com

May 2015

Helicopter simulator's impact on emergency health care. The state-of-the-art helicopter simulator is the first of its kind in the country, and has the opportunity of improving the level of health care during an emergency. The new helicopter simulator at Case Western Reserve University is the first in the country dedicated to training health professionals. "We have a sim man so we can simulate just about any medical condition that we can run them through that we can see in critical care transport," says Stephanie Steiner, director of the Dorothy Ebersbach Academic Center of Flight Nursing. "We can simulate different flights for them, different lengths of flights, different weather patterns." Read more on wkyc.com.

NIH grant supports training that could lead to better management of multiple chronic illnesses. Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing will begin training predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers to study people with multiple chronic illnesses in hopes of discovering better methods for managing such a complex combination of illnesses. The school of nursing received a five-year, $1.79 million training grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health for the program, which starts July 1. The program was based on the need to research and better understand the complex health-care situations presented by patients with multiple chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, said Shirley M. Moore, the Edward J. and Louise Mellen Professor of Nursing, associate dean for research and director of the Self Management for the Advancement through Research and Translation (SMART) Center. Read more in The Daily. To learn more about the program, contact Dr. Moore at shirley.moore@case.edu.

FPB Welcomes International Exchange Students. Shauna Mcloughlin and Aisleen Clarke are exchange students from The National University of Ireland, Galway. They will spend the month of June at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing under the supervision of Dr. Mary Quinn-Griffin. Cristina Noriega (bottom left), is post-doctoral fellow from San Pablo CEU University, Spain. She will spend the three summer months working with Dr. Carol Musil on her Grandparents’ research project. Xiaolin Hu (bottom right), a pre-doctoral student from Sichuan University in China, arrived in Cleveland this winter and is working with Dr. Mary DolanskyView more

April 2015

Nursing’s Christopher Burant selected for Diekhoff teaching award. Assistant Professor Christopher J. Burant is the recipient of one of Case Western Reserve University’s highest honors, the John S. Diekhoff Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Teaching. Created in 1978, the award is presented annually to two faculty members who have made exemplary contributions to graduate students in the classroom. Burant will be recognized for his award Sunday, May 17, at commencement. “I get excited when I see a student wanting to learn,” he said. “I don’t want the students to be intimidated by the material. If they’re going into the academic world, they will have to do research, and they will need a strong foundation in statistics.” Read more on The Daily.

Housework keeps older adults ‘physically and emotionally fit’. Researchers tested a theory called House’s Conceptual Framework for Understanding Social Inequalities in Health and Aging – considered a blueprint for understanding how different factors influence an older person’s health. The study’s 337 participants, aged 65-94, had at least one chronic condition. They also had physical restrictions that prevented them from doing at least one basic daily task, such as bathing and dressing, and were unable to manage responsibilities like taking medicines, handling finances or accessing transportation. The researchers, from Case Western Reserve University’s School of Nursing, linked geographic and socioeconomic information on the neighborhoods in which the participants lived with health data. Lead study author Kathy D. Wright, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, PMHCNS-BC, instructor and KL2 Scholar, said she was surprised to find that housework and maintaining property affected the participants’ physical and mental wellbeing more than factors such as neighborhood or income. Read more on The Nursing Times

Nursing’s Irena Kenneley to talk about vaccinations at final Public Affairs Discussion GroupIrena Kenneley, PhD, RN, APRN-BC, CIC, an associate professor of nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, will lead the next Public Affairs Discussion Group on Friday, April 24, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Kelvin Smith Library’s Dampeer Room. The topic of Kenneley’s discussion will be “Avoiding Vaccinations: Reason and Consequences.” Adults avoiding flu vaccines is an old story. But, increasingly, adults are preventing their children from being immunized for other diseases, such as measles and whooping cough. Measles was declared “eliminated” in the United States in 2000. But in 2014 there were over 600 cases. Those were largely related to unvaccinated Amish communities in Ohio and travelers from the Philippines. But there have also been occasional outbreaks related to other unvaccinated groups. This year, about 140 people were infected in an outbreak related to visits to Disneyland in California. The California Department of Public Health reported on April 17 that the outbreak is over, but noted the risk of further outbreaks when high numbers of unvaccinated foreign tourists mix with a California population that also has significant gaps in vaccination rates. Read more on The Daily.

Your top sleep questions answered. Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Michael Decker, PhD, Diplomate, ABSM, RN, RRT, associate professor, joined Jimmy Malone on Fox 8 to answer sleep questions. Watch on Fox 8.

Annie Wennerberg Named UAA Softball Athlete of the Week. Annie Wennerberg, sophomore BSN student, was named University Athletic Association Softball Hitter of the Week for the week ending March 29 as announced by the league office. Wennerberg batted .600 (6-for-10) with four home runs, nine runs scored, and 12 runs batted in as the Spartans went 4-0 to extend their winning streak to seven games. She hit four home runs in a doubleheader sweep of Mount Union. Her third home run of the first game was a game-winning two-run shot in the sixth inning to complete a four-run inning in a 9-8 Spartan comeback victory. Read more on CWRU Athletics.

March 2015

Discontinuing statin therapy for patients with life-limiting illnesses is found safe and beneficialMaryjo Prince-Paul, an assistant professor of nursing from Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and other researchers in palliative care can now answer questions from patients with terminal illnesses about stopping statin medications. Research published today in the JAMA Internal Medicine article, “Safety and Benefit of Discontinuing Statin Therapy in the Setting of Advanced, Life-Limiting Illness A Randomized Clinical Trial,” provides Prince-Paul, other palliative-care nurses and health-care providers with the first scientific evidence that it’s okay for patients with cancer, heart disease and other life-limiting illnesses to stop taking statin medications, or at least begin conversations about making that choice. Prince-Paul, PhD, APRN, ACHPN, FPCN, was among a team of doctors, palliative-care nurses, social workers and statisticians from 15 Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group member sites nationally that recruited and collected data for the major National Institute of Nursing Research-funded study. Read more on think.

HIV patients may soon be prescribed home exercise in addition to antiretroviral medications to help ward off chronic illnesses. In addition to antiretroviral medications, people with HIV may soon begin receiving a home exercise plan from their doctors, according to Allison Webel, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing. "People with HIV are developing secondary chronic illnesses earlier and more frequently than their non-HIV counterparts," said Webel. "And heart disease is one for which they are especially at risk." With the long-term goal of creating a new evidence-based, home-exercise intervention that doctors can share with HIV patients, researchers from Case Western Reserve, Kent State University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center wanted to first find out whether people with HIV even exercise at home. They recruited 102 HIV patients to study their weekly exercise habits and found that most did exercise, but not intensely enough. Read more on think and The Daily.

Study finds more weight-loss approaches needed for people with neurological disabilities. A review of nutrition and weight-loss interventions for people with impaired mobility found strategies are sorely lacking for people with neurological disabilities, according to a team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic. Interventions are overwhelmingly geared toward muscular disorders, leaving a gap in approaches that could help people with neurological disabilities become more active, eat healthier and lose weight, they conclude. Unhealthy eating and lack of exercise can lead to weight gain that increases the likelihood of developing other illnesses, such as diabetes and heart problems. Such ailments, in turn, present additional challenges for people to engage in healthy behaviors, said Matthew Plow, assistant professor at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Read more on The Daily.

Why Do We Feel Tired After A Good Night's Sleep? While there are several possible explanations for this unappreciated feeling of cloudiness, Michael Decker, Ph.D., a sleep specialist and associate professor at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, first suggests that something called sleep inertia may be to blame. "As we sleep, our brain rotates through several stages known as non-rapid eye movement (NREM), slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep," Decker told The Huffington Post. "Although asleep, our brain is metabolically very active in REM sleep, and fairly active in NREM sleep. In the morning, we typically awaken from NREM sleep. As our brain is already metabolically active, the leap to consciousness is very short." However, when we are still in SWS, the brain reduces metabolic activity, which significantly limits our conscious awareness and responsiveness, according to Decker. If we happen to be in SWS when the alarm clock goes off, the leap to consciousness is a more disruptive one than experienced from NREM or REM sleep. Read more on Huffington Post Healthy Living.

No. 12 Spartan Women Move to 6-1 with 9-0 Win In Puerto Rico. The No. 12 Case Western Reserve University women's tennis team started it's spring break trip with a 9-0 victory over the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez. The No. 2 doubles team of Sara Zargham, junior nursing student (Torrance, Calif./California Academy of Math and Science), and freshman Nithya Kanagasegar (Crossville, Tenn./Cumberland County) won 8-1 at No. 2 doubles. The Spartans captured all six singles matches with Zargham winning by 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 singles. The Spartans will continue spring break matches in Puerto Rico through Wednesday, March 11. Read more on Spartans Athletics

Researchers conclude cancer experience triggers thoughts of healthy lifestyle, changes in survivors and family. After studying cancer survivors and their family caregivers, researchers at Case Western Reserve University concluded that the period between the final cancer treatment and first post-treatment checkup may be an ideal time for the entire household to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. “A window of opportunity exists during the post-treatment transition period for oncology clinicians to reach out to patients and their caregivers who want to have a healthy start on life after cancer,” said Susan Mazanec, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Mazanec, also a nurse scientist at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, was lead investigator of the study, “Health Behaviors in Family Members of Patients Completing Cancer Treatment,” recently reported in Oncology Nursing Forum. Read more on The Daily

Depression symptoms of African-American cancer patients may be under-recognized, study finds. Nurse scientist Amy Zhang, who has long examined quality-of-life issues in cancer patients, wondered whether depression in African-American cancer patients has been under-recognized for treatment. Accurately assessing depression in cancer patients is difficult in general because the physical symptoms of cancer and depression—low energy, lack of sleep and loss of appetite—are so similar. “African-American cancer patients are often sicker and have more severe physical symptoms,” said Zhang, PhD, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, “So I wanted to see if something was missing in how and what we were asking patients.”Among other important implications, identifying and treating depression in cancer patients is critical because those with a more optimistic outlook tend to live longer. Read more on think

Feeling a little jet lagged? It must be daylight savings time. On March 8 in (most) of United States we again advanced the time on our clocks by one hour. Shifting clocks an hour can’t be that much of a big deal, right? Actually, it is. In our sleep-deprived society, every minute counts. Losing 60 precious minutes of sleep can really hurt. Your mom always told you get eight of sleep (and might still be nagging you about that no matter how old you are). We all know that getting enough sleep is critical to our minds and bodies. And yet despite this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey revealed that more than one-third of American adults typically sleep less than seven hours over a 24-hour period. Read more from Elizabeth Damato, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, associate professor, and Michael Decker, PhD, RN, RRT, Diplomate ABSM, associate professor on The Conversation

No cause too small: Student fundraising helps pay for hospital cribs. Hanna Potter, a first-year at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and Georgia O'Leary, a senior at Lake Placid High School, have raised more than $10,000 to fund two new pediatric cribs for Adirondack Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit. Potter, a Lake Placid High School alumna and 2014 graduate of New Vision, a cooperative program between the hospital and Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES, initiated the fundraising as part of her LPHS senior project. "After seeing the monstrosity of a crib that was in a patient’s room, I knew that raising money for a new one was something I felt very passionate about," said Potter. The current cribs are about 30 years old. One new crib has already been ordered and is expected to arrive at the hospital later this week. It is of high medical quality, with easy-to-adjust sides, O'Leary said. Read more on Press Republic

February 2015

CWRU nurse researchers work to debunk myth that getting flu shot will make you sick. The fear that getting a flu shot can make you sick is a common misperception. But Elizabeth Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN, and infectious disease control expert Irena Kenneley, PhD, APRN-BC, CIC, also from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, studied the myth and other barriers to getting immunizations. Their findings were explained in an article, "Barriers and Facilitators to Provision of Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccines in Home Health Care Agencies," published in Home Health Care Management & Practice. Vaccinations are known to save lives, yet about 30 percent of Americans don’t get a flu vaccine, Madigan said. The CDC reported in 2011 that 53,826 people died in 2010 from the flu, and that older people already battling illnesses are especially susceptible. Read more on The Daily

January 2015

CWRU Doctor of Nursing Practice publishes first dermatology textbook for advance practice clinicians. Most health-care workers learn about diagnosing and treating skin disorders through on-the-job training, because there’s no standardized curriculum and few continuing education programs. To help fill that gap, Margaret Bobonich, DNP, FNP-C, DNCP, FAANP, from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and Mary Nolen, BC, DCNP, a dermatology nurse at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Massachusetts, wrote and published Dermatology for Advanced Practice Clinician (LLW, 496 pages, 2014). The book is intended as a resource for advanced practice nurses, midwives, general physicians and physician assistants with little training in the specialty, said Bobonich who holds faculty positions at the nursing school and Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Read more on think

CWRU researchers find caregiver interventions are not enough; families with mentally ill members also need help. Listening to older sisters of mentally ill siblings discuss their mothers’ difficult caregiving experiences made Case Western Reserve University co-investigator M. Jane Suresky wonder if something important about families was missed in a prior study that focused on women caregivers of mentally ill family members. To find out, Suresky, DNP, PMHCNS, BC, recommended that data be reexamined from a 2008 Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing study of 60 women who cared for a family member with mental illness. The participants, who were between 23 and 65 years old, cared for a family member diagnosed with bipolar disorder (45 percent), schizophrenia (45 percent), depression (8 percent) or panic disorder (2 percent). After reviewing the data, Suresky’s hunch was right. Read more on think

Nursing school develops how-to exercise pamphlet for people with MS. Fatigue and pain, along with other symptoms, prevent many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) from exercising. But a new how-to guide for a home-based exercise program, tested by researchers at Case Western Reserve University’s nursing school and the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic, offers a way for people with MS to stay more physically active. The researchers developed a 24-week exercise program, based on a series of pamphlets, with varying levels of difficulty. The program helps inactive individuals start at a lower, shorter level of activity and gradually build to longer, more difficult exercise routines. “The printed pamphlets have shown promise in helping people with multiple sclerosis engage in exercise and offset the disabling effects of multiple sclerosis,” said Matthew Plow, PhD, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and an exercise trainer for people with MS. Read more on The Daily