Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Open and Fruitful Discussion

Hi All,
First off, kudos to Iris, Shayne and Yeshika for coordinating a terrific session last night. Also kudos to our panelists - Matt, Emily, Mo, Mike, Sarah, Drs Foster and Harris. Lastly, kudos to all the students who contributed to a terrific turn out for our discussion!
So, here's what I heard around which we had consensus:
  *We can gather together having different points of view and have a robust discussion about making a difference with our patients.
  *Docs should be skilled to deliver effective health and sex education to their patients (and parents.)
  *In ways small and large, there is a great interest in helping promote safety of children so that they have as many options available to them.
  *Lives of our patients may be very different than our own, so imposing our attitudes and expectations may not be a 'best fit.'
   *Patient autonomy and respect are important.
   *We can be respectful of difference in opinions but facts and opinions are two very different things and excellent clinicians based actions on evidence.
   *Free condoms never hurt!
   *Women's reproductive choices play an important part of their lives and are never a trivial matter.
Regrettably, we weren't able to 'solve' the healthcare delivery and finance problem in the time provided. We did have an engaging discussion about divergent opinions and varied viewpoints.

So from a least to most about getting involved or learning more - here's some after-care sites to check out:

THE NUMBERS: Numbers and trends of abortion
*Abortion is one of the most frequently performed procedures in the U.S. Abortion rates have steadily declined since the procedure was legalized in 1974; however, the rate of decline has been slowing down since 2000.

*Of the 49% of unplanned pregnancies (2001), 24% ended in abortion (this number excludes miscarriages)
*This 24% consisted of 16% of currently married, 16% formerly married and 67% never-married women.
*61% of abortions were obtained by women who have one or more child
*The majority of women who obtained an abortion (54%) were using some type of contraceptive method (that failed due to inconsistent or incorrect use) 13-14% (pill vs condom) uses reported correct use and method failure.

References Finer LB, Henshaw SK. Estimates of U.S. Abortion Incidence, 2001–2003. Guttmacher Institute. August 3, 2006. Available at http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2006/08/03/ab_incidence.pdf. Accessed September 09, 2006.; Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK. Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in 2000–2001. Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health. September/October 2002; 34(5):226–235. ; Jones RK, Finer LB and Singh S, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2010.; Jones RK, Darroch JE and Henshaw SK, Contraceptive use among U.S. women having abortions in 2000–2001, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002, 34(6):294–303.
*ABOUT 1/3 - An estimated 35% of women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
Reference  Boonstra HD, Gold RB, Richards CL, Finer LB. Abortion in Women’s Lives. New York, NY: Guttmacher Institute; 2006.

Abortion rate line chart
Finer LB and Zolna MR, Unintended pregnancy in the United States: incidence and disparities, 2006, Contraception, 2011, doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.07.013.

Jones RK and Kooistra, K., Abortion incidence and access to services in the United States, 2008, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2011, 43(1):41-50.
*Abortion rates are trending downward - The CDC reported a 2% drop in rates (see here)
A number of factors contribute to the overall decline in abortion rates in the US:   1. More and better contraceptive options; 2. Increased and improved contraceptive use, particularly of long-term contraceptives;     3. Decreased access because of fewer providers and/or anti-choice harassment and stigmatization         (This study did not delineate differences in age, income levels or other factors)
References  Finer LB, Henshaw SK. Abortion incidence and services in the United States in 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. January/February 2003; 35(1):6–15.

*AGE RANGE FOR HIGHEST RATES: 56.9% of abortions occurred in women ages 20-29 (29.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20--24 years and 21.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 25--29 years).

Eighteen percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15–17 obtain 6% of all abortions, teens aged 18–19 obtain 11%, and teens younger than age 15 obtain 0.4%
In contrast to the overall unintended pregnancy rate of 49%, teens unintended pregnancy rate is 82% with 40% of these ending in abortion.
Reference   Jones RK, Finer LB and Singh S, Characteristics of U.S. Abortion Patients, 2008, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2010; Finer LB, Henshaw SK. Disparities in Rates of Unintended Pregnancy In the United States, 1994 and 2001. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2006; 38(2):90–96.

PARENTAL NOTIFICATION AND IMPACT - Fear is a health hazard for teens

Parental notification laws have a negative impact on adolescents’ access to reproductive health care.

According to the American Medical Association and the Society for Adolescent Medicine, the primary reason that adolescents often do not get the health care they need is that they fear disclosure of confidential information to their parents or guardians.

A regional survey of suburban adolescents found that less than 20% would seek care related to birth control or STDs if parental notice was mandated.

Another study found that 59% of sexually active adolescent girls would stop, delay, or discontinue using specific sexual health care services if parental notification were legislated.
References   Lieberman D, Feierman J. Legal issues in the reproductive health care of adolescents. J Am Med Womens Assoc. Summer 1999; 54(3):109–114.; Marks A, Malizio J, Hoch J, Brody R, Fisher M. Assessment of health needs and willingness to utilize health care resources of adolescents in a suburban population. J Pediatr. March 1983; 102(3):456–460.; Reddy DM, Raymond F, Swain C. Effect of mandatory parental notification on adolescent girls’ use of sexual health services. JAMA. August 14, 2000; 288(6):710–714

HEALTH CARE DELIVERY RE-INTEGRATION - A FOCUS OF CHANGES TO SUPPORT OPTIONS? "Most of the difficulties in providing and obtaining access to abortion services would disappear if abortion were integrated with other health care for women" 
Reference  Henshaw SK. Factors hindering access to abortion services. Family Planning Perspectives. March/April 1995; 27(2):54–59, 87.

This is a procedure that is part of comprehensive women’s health care - Perhaps the health care delivey change is putting it back into comprehensive care practice?

SAFETY ISSUES AND ABORTION - a complete listing of information is available from the Guttmacher Institute located here  Highlights include: highly safe procedure; no evidence of association between abortions and risk for any types of cancer; no hazard for mental health.

Poverty compounds sexual health educational understanding, resources and choices - abortion rates decrease across all racial/ethnic groups as income levels increase. (So maybe better educational systems and better jobs are one solution!)
Although women who are White have the lowest abortion rates, they also have the lowest pregnancy rates.
Reference  Jones RK, Darroch JE, Henshaw SK. Patterns in the socioeconomic characteristics of women obtaining abortions in 2000–2001. Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health. September/October 2002; 34(5):226–235

CAUSES: So if we consider that we want to address root causes (the why) rather than the symptoms (the abortion) - what is in the literature about the causes and what can we do to address them?
1- (74%) Not ready for parenthood and make changes involved (including employment and educational opportunities put at risk) and overall increase in responsibility
2- (73%) Can't afford a child - lack of economic support for a child (or another child)
3- (48%) Don't want to be a single parent or relationship problems (not in one, not want to marry or continue with parnter or he won't/can't marry or support her)
Additional reasons:
Does not want anyone to know she has had sex or is pregnant

Too young or immature to be a parent or carry the pregnancy to term
Does not want any more children; may feel overwhelmed and overworked
Partner, man involved in the pregnancy, or parents want her to have an abortion
The fetus has health problems or genetic abnormalities

Victim of interpersonal violence/sexual coercion, including rape or incest
Pregnancy may pose risk to the woman’s health

References Finer LB, Frohwirth LF, Dauphinee LA, Singh S, Moore AM. Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Sep 2005; 37(3).; Planned Parenthood. Choosing Abortion. New York, NY: 2006. Available at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/birth-control-pregnancy/abortion/choosing-abortion.htm. Accessed November 14, 2006.

So look at that list - what do you think needs to be in place to address the root causes?
If you go to an area school that has no books and are unable, even at graduation to read, what type of job can you obtain?
You may be saying that as a future physician - reading or public education isn't on your 'to-do list' - but maybe your voice can mobilize action and change.
What do you need to be doing to educate boys and men about what it means to be a man in our society?
How can you support economic empowerment so that individuals can garner a living wage and be able to support a family?
What messages do we need to be better at conveying about self-esteem? About protection of children from sexual assault? How can we provide meaningful information about real-world options to prevent the legacy of teen motherhood?
We need your ideas - your innovation - your time understanding the people who are disconnected from being as healthy as they can be. If we had the answers, in theory, we'd be done - we aren't. So....

So these all seem huge and daunting, I'm sure.
Here's some baby steps to take (from little to more :>)
1. BE INFORMED: Subscribe to, add to an RSS feed or regularly check out Kaiser Family Foundation Women's Health Policy located here ; CDC data here; Preventing Teen Pregnancy here  Read about What Can Be Done here
People talking
2. IDENTIFY USEFUL RESOURCES: Check out the CDC Adolescent Health site here; There is an amazing library of resources at CORE (Curricula Organizer for Reproductive Health Education) located here; A Philadelphia based awesome resource, Women's Law Project located here

3. FIND OUT WHAT YOUR FUTURE FIELD IS DOING IN THIS AREA - APA (Peds); SGIM (General Medicine); APGO (Ob/Gyn); AAFP/STFM (Family) all have information. Check it out and see how you can be involved.

image of adolescents
4. FIND OUT OTHER ORGANIZATIONS like the Association of Reproductive Health Professional (click here) ; the Guttmacher Institute (click here); Our local family planning council has a wonderful list of resources here. Here's a site that's mission is to use the law to advance reproductive freedom as a human right (click here ); APHA and reproductive rights (policy statement here); Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (click here)

5. VOLUNTEER to get a better idea of the lives, circumstances and challenges (as well as strengths) of our patients (and future patients) Reflect on the causes noted above. Consider what interventions or changes you could create to make a difference.

6. MAKE TIME FOR LOBBYING TRAINING AND VISIT PEOPLE (Harrisburg, Washington, local offices, attend a town hall of someone running for election/re-election, your hometown...)

Together, we can come up with ideas and solutions that respect our patients and help them have more options in their lives while living healthier!

Monday, November 14, 2011


At the most recent Association of American Medical Colleges conferences, there was a presentation by Joseph Gerry from Vitalsmarts  who talked about research about behavior change.

Mr Gerry cited an article by McGinnis (J.M. McGinnis, P. Williams-Russo, and J.R. Knickman, “The Case for More Active Policy Attention to Health Promotion,” Health Affairs 21, no. 2 (2002): 78–93.) that attributes 40% of deaths due to behavior. In contrast, medications, procedures, labs and tests only contribute 10-15%!

SOURCES OF BEHAVIORAL INFLUENCE  His theme for his presentation was about the six areas that need to be working to promote behavior change.

  1. Personal Motivation – overcome your own reluctance and resistance
  2. Personal Ability – learn how to master the necessary skills for success
  3. Social Motivation – enlist help from leaders or other opinion leaders
  4. Social Ability – leverage teamwork
  5. Structural Motivation – reward your early successes 
  6. Structural Ability – surround yourself with a supportive physical environment  
If you want to make change, you need to use four or more of these sources of influence to change bad habits. If you use all six, you can be 10 times more successful.
Per research from his organization, if a person has four areas working for them, they have four times the likelihood at making the change.
PRACTICING CHANGE - The average number of times you need to make the change (before it sticks) is 23!!
SKILL NOT WILL - Another area highlighted was that we overdepend on motivation ("If only I wanted that enough!") and under-rely on learning skills to promote change. He refers to this as the 'will power trap.' My this over-reliance we merely abuse ourselves (at our failures) rather than learn from our mistakes. The barrier to change is our blindness to this fact - not our motivation.  See the blindness video here or click below:
HOLD TWO VIEWPOINTS In the presentation, Gerry encouraged the audience to become "the subject AND the scientist." By identifying how I am excellent at avoiding exercise, for example, I have a long list of what doesn't work - what skills to not-exercise that I have. By writing them down, I can generate the skills I need in order to make a change.
Check out the Changeanything.com website with a custom change plan here.
SO WHAT DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE? Per Gerry - we aren't unmotivated, we are blind and outnumbered. So we have to first see what we are (and aren't doing) and identify the skills we need.
WHAT EXPERT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE IN NOT-CHANGING? (aka "I'm aware that ultimatums don't work for me'; "I'm excellent at procrastination) WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED?
I think that part of the success we've had within the Philadelphia Ujima Collaborative is that we include a number of the change factors.
To read more - Check out tutorial videos at change anything.com website 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From little time to more - Listing of opportunities for you

Come spend time with us at WHEP.

1. Get information about a topic you are learning about or exploring. Just stop in - check with Winnie (wjones@drexelmed.edu) or Mikelle (mnickens@drexelmed.edu) and they can identify who can help you.

2. Access high caliber sex/gender health education materials. Again, stop in (228, 239) and ask!

3. Spend a session with us at the seminar series - topics are posted on the blog and emails are sent out to the classes. Just RSVP and show up. You can learn about an interesting topic, meet a future mentor, learn about access to clinical shadowing or research.

4. Drop by WHEP and let us know you are interested in community health education outreach. Set up a time to meet with Candace Robertson-James (croberts@drexelmed.edu) and join us as we go out to our partners.
5. Sign up for the Seminar Series elective - join us for the whole series and give us feedback on what you'd like to see in the next series.

6. Sign up to be a Scholar. Set up a time with Drs Kahng (kkahng@drexelmed.edu) or Núñez (anunez@drexelmed.edu)  to discuss your area of interest and set up a plan of attack to getting it done!

7. Get involved in work study or independent research. We are newly funded with our Philadelphia Ujima and in need of students (English and Spanish speakers) who are interested in children and adults to work with us in the Ujima collaborative. Just stop by and let us know!

8. Join us for the year in your senior year as a Pathway student. Selection time is February of your junior year.

Friday, August 19, 2011

HIV Virus May Hide in Brain

FRIDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The brain can be a convenient hiding place for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
That's the finding of Swedish researchers who analyzed samples from about 70 HIV-infected patients who'd been taking anti-HIV drugs. The tests showed that about 10 percent of the patients -- a larger proportion than expected -- had traces of HIV in their spinal fluid but not in their blood.
Another study by the researchers found that 60 percent of 15 HIV-infected patients treated with medication for several years showed signs of inflammation in their spinal fluid, although the levels were lower than they were without treatment.
Anti-HIV drugs can prevent the virus from multiplying, but the virus also infects the brain and can cause damage if the infection isn't treated, according to lead researcher Dr. Arvid Eden, a doctor and researcher at the Institute of Biomedicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.
"Antiviral treatment in the brain is complicated by a number of factors, partly because it is surrounded by a protective barrier that affects how well medicines get in," Eden said in a university news release. "This means that the brain can act as a reservoir where treatment of the virus may be less effective."
It is unclear whether small quantities of the virus in spinal fluid represent a risk for future complications, researchers said. Still, the findings indicate that "we need to take into account the effects in the brain when developing new drugs and treatment strategies for HIV infection," Eden added

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

ovarian cancer: is the fifth most common cancer in women.
It is a cancer that forms in tissues of the ovary.
There are three types: 1) those of the covering of the ovaries or the epithelial; 2) those of the ovaries themselves or germ cell (this type is seen most often in women under 40) and, 3) those of the connective tissue or sex-cord stroma.

Most ovarian cancers are either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (85-90%) or malignant germ cell tumors (5%)

Estimated New U.S. Cases and Deaths from Ovarian Cancer
New cases - 21, 880 Deaths - 13, 850 (World wide cases 230,000)

*Family History of Ovarian Cancer
*Being of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) descent
*Having never given birth (or had difficulty doing so)
*Personal History of Breast, Uterine, Colorectal Cancer

*Personal History of Endometriosis
Modified from NCI

From CDC.gov
More white women than other ethnicities get this cancer (but Hispanic women come in at a close second) The average age of diagnosis is 63 and although most women get this over the age of 50 (90% of women are over the age of 40), women of any age can be diagnosed. In depth statistics are here


Early ovarian cancer may not cause obvious symptoms. But, as the cancer grows, symptoms may include:

• Pressure or pain in the abdomen, pelvis, back, or legs

• A swollen or bloated abdomen

• Nausea, indigestion, gas, constipation, or diarrhea

• Feeling very tired all the time

Less common symptoms include:

• Shortness of breath

• Feeling the need to urinate often

• Unusual vaginal bleeding (heavy periods, or bleeding after menopause)

Based upon the presenting symptoms and since they more often are not due to ovarian cancer, women who get diagnosed are often at advanced stages of their disease.

IN THE NEWS.... Two Gene Mutations Found That Mark Hardest-To-Treat Ovarian Cancer - Sept 9, 2010
Finding published in the journal Science and the New England Journal of Medicine (click here for full article)
The genes are for ovarian clear cell carcinoma (10 - 12% of all ovarian cancers) and is one of the most difficult to treat as well as most lethal. It is linked with endometriosis and is resistant to chemotherapy. Two teams of researchers published on this - one from Hopkins and one from the British Columbia Cancer Agency. Dr. Bert Vogelstein and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore named the two new genes as ARID1A and PPP2R1A. (Science abstract here )

Dr. David Huntsman from the British Columbia Cancer Agency published his groups study in New England Journal of Medicine and found that ARID1A was mutated not only in ovarian clear-cell carcinoma but also in a second type of ovarian tumor linked with endometriosis. He found that "Overall, 46 percent of patients with ovarian clear-cell carcinoma and 30 percent of those with endometrioid carcinoma had ... mutations in ARID1A," It was not found in other ovarian tumor types. The ARID1A gene is also a suspect in some cases of lung and breast cancer, Huntsman's team said.
These findings may identify new 'on-off switches' for these tumors, as well as mechanisms of action that aide in developing new medications to treat it.
MECHANISM OF ACTION - The ARID1A gene is involved in a process called chromatin remodeling, which helps squeeze DNA into cells and control when and how it gets "read" to perform a biological function. Mutations in it allow DNA to improperly 'read' and activated, per the Hopkins team.
"Taken together, these data suggest that ARID1A is a classic tumor-suppressor gene," Huntsman's team wrote. These genes, when not mutated, aid in blocking tumor formation -similar to other genes such as BRCA1 and p53.
Currently, since most women are diagnosed with widely spread disease, most (70%) die within five years.
SOURCES: link.reuters.com/nyg52p Science, September 8, 2010 and link.reuters.com/pyg52p


*HERE NCI Site with information, clinical trials and more

*What You Need To Know About™ (Epithelial) Ovarian Cancer NCI created resource on ovarian cancer

*If you have a hysterectomy, should you get ovaries out to prevent disease? Controversy discussed at CNN report

* Here's a CDC Podcast on Gynecologic Cancers

New England Journal of Medicine, September 8, 2010.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sex and Gender Medicine - A Lens for Evaluating Sociocultural Determinants of Disease

It used to be good enough to be smart - good in science; good at figuring things out. When you only have penicillin or sulfa, then just making the right diagnosis was pretty impressive. But times of have changed - we have PET scans and PCRs; we have minimally invasive surgery and a vast (if not overwhelming array) of medications and interventions at our disposal.

So today our gold standard has migrated past being smart and finding the disease 'in' a patient - now we are expected to influence health outcomes.

When acute injury and infections were a major cause of death (and we had limited tools) we had challenges. Now, most diseases are chronic and the ability to influence runs over a longer timeframe. Diabetes, Obesity, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Cancer - not 'quick in- quick out' challenges and certainly not the easiest to impact on outcomes. Yet, it is do-able.

We just need to get all of the data - scrutinize the biomedical, be clinically and scientifically curious and obtain data about the person in her world. One of the ways we can impact health disparities (and therefore move care closer to excellent for all) is to see the whole picture. The whole person.

In understanding the whole person, we need their story - who lives with them? who helps them? who do they help? what do they think or fear is going on? how do they define a good outcome?
Just today, a short essay on the social history was published in NEJM

Complicated Lives — Taking the Social History  R. Srivastava  N Engl J Med 365:587, August 18, 2011.   I highly recommend that   you read it, as it is written by an Oncologist and gives an interesting perspective on what we need to know to care for patients.  Now worries, it's a quick read!

McGinnis, J.M. 2002;21:78-93
Sociocultural determinants of health issues need to be lenses that we use to evaluate our patients. 
Dr Schroeder from UCSF delivered the Shattuck lecture about this. (We Can Do Better - Improving the Health of American People. Schroeder SA. New England Journal of Medicine. 357(12):1221-8, 2007 Sep 20. ) Access HERE courtesy of Pubmed and NEJM.

As physicians, we need to zoom in and zoom out on the pathophysiology and the life of our patients in order to best understand what is going on and how we can best help them lead healthier lives.

For a review on our discussion about sex and gender health disparities, check out this blog entry - click on Sex and Gender Resources as well as check out our other blog entries.

Culture, Gender, Health
Our second blog is Culture Gender Health and it reviews some of the definitions we discussed. It is available on the left side of the blog

Our third blog is a patient health blog Philadelphia Ujima and is a useful place to find plain language (aka health literacy and culturally appropriate) health education info and resources.

You are invited to suggest topics or even contribute - no advanced computing skills needed!

This blog was created to help your educational experience - let us know what you think!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Female Pattern of Heart Disease

Welcome back! Some day, heart disease will not be the biggest killer of people in the U.S. And someday, despite higher risks in men - similar or fewer (rather than more) women will die of heart related deaths.
For this year, I'm trying something a bit different - but I will rely on your feedback to continue with it.
There exists a different way to show material called Prezi. I'm using this as a resource session / lecture review reinforcer to help you 'at a glance' review our time together.

So, here is the link http://prezi.com/hiu-zxeatihs/sex-gender-and-cardiac-disease/
Check it out and let me know if it is useful - these are pretty labor intensive so I need to know if  they are value added or not.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Advocating For Patients

Two weeks ago, on April 7th 2011, I attended the Planned Parenthood lobby and rally day in Washington DC. It was my very first real use of the U.S. political system outside of the utilization of my right to vote. I was nervous and (albeit embarrassed to admit) quite under educated about the true politics of “women’s health”. As an undergraduate student who was extremely involved in women’s health and education I used Planned Parenthood many times as a resource for the education and medical health of the women I worked with on campus. Thus, when I saw the flyer for the rally I contacted the coordinator that night to sign up.

In true over-worked, sleep-deprived med student fashion I debated backing out last minute for fear the rally would cut into my precious study time for our upcoming exams. Somehow, however I overcame the “med school mentality” and hopped on a bus the next morning with 30 other PP supporters ready to show Washington how important the Planned Parenthood organization is to this nation.

PP coordinators had packed the day full of lobby’s with Pennsylvanian senators including an all day rally on the national mall lawn. There were people from all walks of life who had come out to support the cause. It was truly inspiring to see the medley of medical providers, little children, senators, Catholics, atheists, mothers, and fathers all out in support of women’s health.

During the lobby sessions I heard both sides of the PP budget cut battle. Senators who supported PP were happy to see us and could not stop thanking us for being there for this important moment in the history of women’s health. Senators who opposed PP, however, showed sentiments at both ends of the spectrum, from understanding and speculation of facts about the organization to total disinterest.

While not every lobby session was able to convert a senator, there were plenty of lives changed by the day’s activities. I met a man at the rally who had come all the way from Tennessee, missing school and work, to share his voice with congress and keep his sister and future daughters safe and reproductively healthy. I can’t tell you how many locals stopped to talk to him as they were riding by on their bicycles and how many women came up to thank him for coming.

This brings to light the point that, while we as health care professionals do work extremely hard every day to protect the health of our patients in our offices and on the wards, there are other important educational and health promoting opportunities out there that can make us even better at what we do, so we should choose to engage in them.

Sometimes it takes being on the front lines of the fight to really realize the true meaning of why were fighting at all.

For more info on Planned Parenthood/how to get involved CLICK HERE
For info regarding the budget cuts involving PP visits CLICK HERE

Blog post by Nicole Perry, MS II

Monday, March 7, 2011


What kind of care do women in college need? They need acute care for viral infections, skin problems, and minor sports-related injuries. They need gynecological care for STD checks, vaginitis, and annual exams. They need preventative care for nutrition, exercise, and safe health practices. But perhaps most of all, what they need (and maybe what they want without knowing it) is reassurance. These are 18-22 year olds, most of them away from home for the first time, and many of them taking care of their health for the first time. Much of what we do in the clinic involves counseling, support, and letting them know that we are there for them and that they’re going to be okay.

Take for example a typical College health patient -  a young woman came who comes in extremely anxious. She had just experienced an asthma attack in the student center in which she had had such a severe coughing fit that she ended up vomiting. This embarrassing experience accompanied by her fear over being short of breath caused a panic-like state. After being brought into an exam room and we began by telling her everything was going to be okay. The mere comfort of being in the clinic with myself and the nurses immediately calmed her down and we were able to do a complete exam and take the measures needed to help her out. In addition, we discovered in the history that she had stopped taking her controller asthma medications several days ago and was in the midst of an upper respiratory infeciton. We spent quite a bit of time counseling her on the danger of stopping her daily meds. We also instructed her on actions that she, as an asthmatic needed to be taking in her dorm room and in her daily life to prevent asthma attacks during upper respiratory infections. Finally, we scheduled her for a follow-up appointment in the next 2-3 days (another luxury of college health care!). She left breathing normally, her color returned, and with many thanks to us. It was a satisfying visit not only because we helped stablize her acute condition but because we were able to counsel her on measures that will hopefully stay with her throughout her life. In addition, we were able to establish a point of care and schedule regular follow-up so that we could track her progress and make sure she is doing well. And finally, we were able offer her reassurance that she would be okay and would be well cared for.

College tries to offer young people a home away from home. But when a young woman feels ill or injured or scared, she wants to be with people who will care for her. Short of parents, the college health clinic fills the void of a caretaker. And in addition, we try to prepare them for taking care of themselves, teach them to take their medications, to take care of themselves, and to see a doctor when they need to. Most of all, we tell them that everything is going to be okay.

Blog entry by Anna Booth, MSIV

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Resources from Sex and Gender Health Disparities IM Grand Rounds Jan 5, 2011

Thanks for joining me at Grand Rounds. As promised here's the resource listing I mentioned. I've listed the 'what can I use right now?" up front, right after tips to optimize your online blog experience. I included a listing of other resources on health disparities, sex and gender and literacy as well.  Ana Nùñez, MD Associate Professor of Medicine

PART I   Online Information from The Women's Health Education Program and the Philadelphia UJIMA Team
How To Get The Most Out of Your Search Here Click on a subject or search for a topic. Optimize your experience by clicking on hyperlinked objects that have articles, tools, resources or useful links.

  Interested in contributing?   Let us know! Don't be intimidated, the skills you need are  being able to create a Word document and to attach hyperlinks. If you are interested in more than that, we can help you. Call or email us!

·      Women’s Health Info Online Resources  (you are here now!) – Target audience: trainees and clinicians. It is available at http://whepducom.blogspot.com
·      Consumer Health Online Info Target audience: patients and lay public. It is available at http://philadelphiaujima.blogspot.com/ (or from left side bar on this page)
·      Philadelphia Ujima website – This is the location of Ujima Collaborative Project and has numerous open access resources, materials and information. It is available at http://www.philadelphiaujima.com/ 
·     Cross Cultural Effectiveness: The Gender Lens – Target audience: faculty; educator and other interested. The site is located here http://culturegenderhealth.blogspot.com


STAY TUNED!! COMING IN FEBRUARY – New free online videos for motivational interviewing from Ileana Pina, MD at Case Western Reserve as part of the Heart Truth NHBLI Initiative
·      Not mentioned, but other local resources is our School of Public Health – additionally training will impart health services and community engagement tools into your skillset if you are interested in HSR as a way to making your impact on health care.
PART III   SELECTED RESOURCE LISTING  – For Health Disparities; Sex and Gender; and Health Services Research
Scope of Health Disparities in the US.
Schoen, C., Doty, M.,Collins, S., and Holmgren. Insured But Not Protected: How Many Adults Are Underinsured? A. Health Affairs Web Exclusive, June 14, 2005 W5-289W5-302
Krisberg, K. Millions of Americans Suffer From Low Health Literacy. Nations Health. American Public Health Association. 2004;34(6) 
Blacksher, E. Healthcare disparities: the salience of social class. Camb Q Healthc Ethics. 2008 Spring;17(2):143-53.
Lurie N. Health Disparities — Less Talk, More Action. N Engl J Med 2005; 353:727- 729
Heart Health and Women

Gender and Ethnic Issues in Heart Health – video and resources here
Sociocultural Determinants of Health and Healthy People 2020
Women’s Health Research
Women’s Health Report Card by State available at here
Institute of Medicine (2010) Future Directions for the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Reports. National Academy Press, Washington DC.
Health Services Research
Institute of Medicine (1995).  Health Services Research: Training and Workforce Issues (Eds. Field MJ, Tranquada RE, Feasley JC). National Academy Press, Washington DC.
Lohr KN, Steinwachs D.  Health services research: an evolving definition of the field.  Health Serv Res 2002;37(1):7-9.
UC Berkeley School of Public Health Strategic Plan 2003-2007
Community Participatory Research
            Kemmis S, McTaggart R. 2000. Participatory action research. In: Handbook of Qualitative   
            Research (Denzin NK, Lincoln YS, eds). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage, 567–605.
Heron J, Reason P. 2001. The practice of cooperative inquiry: research “with” rather than “on” people. In: Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice (Reason P, Bradbury H, eds). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage, 179–188.
Gender Informed Health and Analyses
Health Canada. Health Canada’s Gender-based analysis policy. Ottawa:Minister of Public Works, 2000
Integrating Gender Perspectives in the work of WHO, WHO Gender Policy, 2002 
Gender Analysis Toolkit from Gender Evaluation Methodology for Internet and ICTs available here
Wagner Chronic Disease Model
Wagner EH. Chronic disease management: What will it take to improve care for chronic illness? Effective Clinical Practice. 1998;1(1):2-4.]
Health Literacy
Institute of Medicine (2010) Safe Use Initiative and Health Literacy: A Workshop. National Academy Press. Washington, DC.
National Literacy Survey. 1993
National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) from the IES NAational Center for Education Statistics of the US Dept of Education Institute for Education Sciences 2003 located here
Rothman, RL, Housam, R, Weiss, H, Davis, D, Gregory, R, Gebretsadik, T, Shintani, A, Elasy, TA. Patient understanding of food labels: the role of literacy and numeracy. Am J Prev Med, 31(5), 391-8, 2006.