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NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Director: Dan Burgard

Daniel Burgard, DirectorThe NN/LM SCR would like to introduce Dan Burgard who serves as the Director for the South Central Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Daniel Burgard has worked in Lewis Library at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth since 2000 and been Executive Director since 2009. Before becoming Executive Director, he served as an Instruction Librarian and Associate Director for Public Services. Prior to coming to Fort Worth, he was the Psychology Subject Specialist in the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and worked as both a Science and Social Science Librarian at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Dan received his library degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dan will serve an invaluable role in providing administrator expertise for the South Central Region.

Contact Dan at Daniel.Burgard@unthsc.edu or 817-735-2589.

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Requirements for Clinical Trials Reporting Set to Change in January

“Photo” by DarkoStojanovic is licensed under CC0.

Stethoscope

In 1996, a federal law was passed that required the registration of clinical trials that were investigating drugs or devices regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). As part of this legislation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were charged with developing a publicly searchable repository in an attempt to combat publication bias, attempts by pharmaceutical companies to hide negative results, and any adverse events. Out of this, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) developed ClinicalTrials.gov. However, a recent article has shown that even NIH researchers have not been compliant with the laws already in place.

On September 16th, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Final Rule in regards to clinical trials results reporting. This new regulation applies to any clinical trial including those funded solely by private companies. Additionally, the Final Rule requires more detailed information be uploaded to ClinicalTrials.gov within one year of the end of data collection.

Additionally, the NIH released a supplementary policy that expands the requirements for those trials funded by the NIH. This new policy makes changes to how grants can be submitted, what format they may be submitted in, required submission components, and reporting requirements in ClinicalTrials.gov. One of the biggest changes that the NIH Policy makes is expanding these requirements to all clinical trials no matter what stage of research or the presence of medical components. This means that many behavioral intervention trials will now be required to comply with the much higher rigor and oversight of a medical intervention.

These changes take effect January 18, 2017. It will be interesting to see if this can change the compliance issues that have plagued ClinicalTrials.gov for years.

For more information see the full HHS rule, the NIH Commentary in JAMA, and the history of ClinicalTrials.gov.

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-Written by Bethany Livingston, Research Administrator, NN/LM SCR

Dental Care Limitation and Rural Health

“Photo” by Yingpis Kalayom is licensed under CC0.

Teeth

How do you go about finding a dentist? Ask friends and coworkers where they go? Look at online reviews on Google, Yelp and the like? For millions of Americans, it’s not that simple. The rural poor, many of whom rely on Medicaid, have slim dental options, if any.

A recent article by NPR tells the story of Wisconsinite Jessica Stefonik, who at 31 had all of her upper teeth pulled and was fitted for dentures. The article shines light on the sad facts about U.S. dental care, like a quarter of Americans went without dental care in 2014 because they couldn’t afford it. Or that four states don’t offer any dental insurance for Medicaid beneficiaries, and 15 states only offer dental insurance for emergency care.

In the SCR region, 50 to 70 percent share of need is met in Texas and Louisiana, while in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas, only 30 to 50 percent share of need is met.

But facilities like the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin are changing that by offering all dental services to those rural populations completely through Medicaid.

Read more about rural dental health at “A Good Dentist is Hard to Find in Rural America.”

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SCR Regional Highlight: Oklahoma Has Largest Earthquake on Record and New Fault Line is Discovered, All Within Two Weeks

“Earthquake!” by
Richard Walker is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Earthquake

On Saturday, Sept. 3, Oklahoma experienced a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, its largest temblor on record. And since then Oklahoma has experienced more than 10 others. Since 2011, the number of earthquakes has increased by 5,000 percent.

Is this normal for Oklahoma? Well, it’s becoming so. In fact, Oklahoma is becoming as prone to earthquakes as California–in 2014, Oklahoma displaced California as second with most earthquakes in a year to Alaska.

But now the question is why? Why are parts of Oklahoma getting more earthquakes? Contrary to popular belief and rumors, it is not fracking. Not exactly, at least. It is wastewater disposal wells, wells that inject fluid deep underground in rock formations of sandstone or limestone.

So what is fracking and what is wastewater? Fracking (hydraulic fracturing) is a method of extracting natural gas, which can be manufactured into a fuel source, by pumping more than a million gallons of water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressure, cracking the rock layer and releasing the gas. Afterwards, all the water, sand and chemicals pumped underground have be to removed, creating wastewater, which is then injected back underground into a wastewater disposal well.

So why are wastewater disposal wells suspected of inducing earthquakes? Because wastewater is being pumped into untouched rock which creates a higher pressure underground, increasing the likelihood of induced earthquakes. As of 2015, there were nearly 3,200 active disposal wells in Oklahoma. Immediately following the Sept. 3 earthquake, officials took to shut down 67 of the wells in 1,100 square miles.

But the latest discovery? A new fault line, an area where there has been significant displacement of rock underground, and when energy is released, causes earthquakes. Upon discovery, officials ordered 32 more wells to be shut down, as they were deemed too close to the fault line.

To read more about Oklahoma and its earthquakes, please visit earthquakes.ok.gov.

To learn about health issues related to earthquakes, please visit the Disaster Information Management Research Center website.

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Written by Sara Goodwin, NN/LM SCR

NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Senior Administrative Coordinator: Carol Knisley

Carol Knisley, Senior Administrative CoordinatorThe NN/LM SCR would like to introduce Carol Knisley who serves as the Senior Administrative Coordinator for the South Central Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Carol is also the Senior Administrative Coordinator for Gibson D. Lewis Library and provides executive level administrative support to the Executive Director. Carol has an Accounting Specialist Certificate from the University of Texas at Arlington and has worked for over twenty-one years in a variety of administrative support positions at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

Carol will serve an invaluable role in providing administrative expertise for the South Central Region.

Contact Carol at carol.knisley@unthsc.edu or 817-735-5132.

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American Heart Association Recommends Zero Tolerance Approach to Kids’ Secondhand Smoke Exposure

“Photo” by Andrew Pons
is licensed under CC0.

Cigarette Butt

For the most part, it is widely accepted to be true that smoking is unhealthy for you. There is research behind it that has shown it can cause at least 12 types of cancer and many other chronic diseases like stroke, pneumonia, periodontitis and more.

Even more recently, research has shown it’s not just smokers who are impacted by smoking, those who inhale secondhand smoke are just as at risk for negative consequences like middle ear disease and lower respiratory illness in children, and stroke and lung cancer in adults.

According to a graphic released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the five states in our region make up the medium to high percentage of smokers:

  • New Mexico: 17.5% – 21.3% population smokes
  • Texas: 13.6% – 17.4% population smokes
  • Oklahoma: 17.5% – 21.3% population smokes
  • Arkansas: 21.4% – 25.2% population smokes
  • Louisiana: 21.4% – 25.2% population smokes

Recently, the American Heart Association announced its recommendation for children to avoid any and all types of secondhand smoke. “Parents should consider making their children’s environment smoke-free because cigarette smoke exposure is harmful to children’s long-term heart health and may shorten life expectancy,” statement panel chair Dr. Geetha Raghuveer, a pediatric cardiologist, said in an AHA news release.

This is a first. While it seems obvious to limit exposure to secondhand smoke as much as possible, there has never been a zero tolerance approach to this sort of issue. The AHA’s recommendation even comes with recommendations for healthcare providers—alert doctors if a child lives in a home with smokers so they can receive appropriate counseling and prevent harm.

For more information on the AHA’s recommendation, please visit: “Heart Docs: Never Expose Kids to Cigarette Smoke.”

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Nurses’ Health Study Seeking Participants

“Photo”
by WerbeFabrik is licensed under CC0.

Blood Pressure MonitorThe Nurses’ Health Study, a long-running study of health and wellness, is seeking participants for the third phase of its program (NHS3), the latest expansion since the study began in 1976. NHS3 will be completely web-based, and marks the first inclusion of male nurses in the study.

Conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Nurses’ Health Study utilizes brief, technical questionnaires and depends on the health expertise of nurses to gather accurate information about long-term risk factors for disease as well as diet and lifestyle factors. Some of their key research findings examine correlations between activities such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity to breast cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), eye disease, and other conditions.

NHS3, launched in 2010 by Drs. Jorge Chavarro, Stacey Missmer, Janet Rich-Edwards, and Walter Willet, represents the third generation of the study, with the first two cohorts from 1976 and 1989 still going strong. Research on the new cohort aims to explore more diverse backgrounds and will consider health issues related to lifestyle, fertility/pregnancy, environment, and nursing occupational exposures.

To be eligible for the study, participants must be nurses or nursing students between the ages of 19 and 51. Both male and female participants will be accepted from the United States and Canada. The time commitment is minimal; enrollees will be asked to complete a 30-minute survey once every six months. Further eligibility requirements can be found on the NHS3 website. Those who are not eligible for the study are encouraged to share the information with others.

For more information about the Nurses’ Health Study and how to become a participant, visit www.nhs3.org or email nhs3@channing.harvard.edu.

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Written by Sarah Miles, Health Professions Coordinator, NN/LM SCR

 

 

Zika is an STD

“Photo” by Alejandra Quiroz
is licensed under CC0.

Zika is an STDZika is a sexually transmitted disease…but have you ever heard it called that before? Likely not, but it is.

Yes, Zika is carried and transmitted by mosquitos, don’t think it’s not. But it’s not the only method of transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn of the dangers of transmitting Zika through sex and provide prevention tips on its website.

But while the CDC provides this information, Zika as an STD is not at the forefront of this public health issue; health professionals and politicians are most concerned with the mosquito factor since the insect has made its way to Florida, and there is also a high concern they could make their way to Louisiana and Texas (two states in our region).

The Oklahoman explains the situation well: “…while mosquitos are a key menace when it comes to Zika, the media and public officials are too focused on them. They also need to pay attention to sex: If we are going to stop the spread of this disease, we are going to need better access to Zika testing for anyone who is sexually active.”

Doctors and nurses, are you warning your patients about this risk?

To read more on the subject, please visit “Zika is an STD: Why are we not calling it one?

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NN/LM South Central Region States Rank in Bottom 10 for Health Care Quality

“AHRQ State Snapshots”
from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

AHRQ State SnapshotsThe Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released the AHRQ State Snapshots graphic, coinciding with new reports, comparing the quality of health care among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The snapshot is broken up into three sections: Top 10, Middle 31, and Bottom 10. All of the states in the South Central Region (New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana) fell in the Bottom 10.

AHRQ looked at more than 200 measures to make their ranking. And aside from just simply stating whether a state reached every benchmark or not, AHRQ provides several graphics that are useful for showing visually how health care looks in each state.

Because the amount of information available from the AHRQ is so vast and detailed, it would not be adequate to list the statistics in a blog post. Instead, you can find the links to data for each state below if you’re interested in learning more.

New Mexico
Texas
Oklahoma
Arkansas
Louisiana

To find out more about the health care quality in your state, please visit ahrq.gov.

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September is National Preparedness Month

“Photo” by NASA is licensed under CC0.

WeatherSeptember is National Preparedness Month, so the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Ad Council have teamed up to encourage families to create emergency plans, just in case, through a series of PSAs.

One of the most important things to realize and plan for when it comes to emergencies, is knowing that it is likely that you will not be with your family when a disaster occurs. So if you’re not together, what should you do and where should you go to meet?

“Disasters don’t always occur when we are together with our family and friends, and so it is important to take a few minutes now to plan what you will do in the event you are separated,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in a FEMA press release.  “It only takes a few minutes to talk through the greatest risks that can affect where you live, work or go to school.  But by having that conversation or making a plan, families will have more confidence and be better prepared when the next event happens.”

National Preparedness Month is managed and sponsored by the Ready campaign in hopes of raising awareness for how to plan and prepare before a disaster, and how to react during and after one.

To learn more about National Preparedness Month, please visit “September is National Preparedness Month.”

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