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3 posts from August 2015

08/26/2015

Health Policy Prof's Joint Research on Homeless Vets Featured in JAMA

MetrauxDr. Stephen Metraux, professor of health policy and public health at University of the Sciences, has done extensive research on homelessness and housing, mental illness and community integration, prison reentry, and other aspects of urban health. In fact, he is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as part of their commitment to ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.

The Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] on Aug. 25 published the results of research1 that he took part in to explore the association between misconduct-related separations and homelessness among recently returned active-duty military service members:

 

1. Gundlapalli AV, Fargo JD, Metraux S, et al. Military Misconduct and Homelessness Among US Veterans Separated From Active Duty, 2001-2012. JAMA. 2015;314(8):832-834. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8207.

08/19/2015

PCP Students Provide Faith-Based Healthcare to Underserved Philly Residents

SMI_20151Five students from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy collaborated with more than two dozen medical, dental, podiatry, and nursing students from various colleges across Philadelphia during this year’s Summer Medical Institute (SMI) Philadelphia. This three-week health outreach program is sponsored by the Medical Campus Outreach ministry of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and Esperanza Health Center.

“Teams of health professions students helped address the health and spiritual needs of residents in the Kensington and Hunting Park neighborhoods of Philadelphia,” said Daniel Hussar, PhD, Remington Professor of Pharmacy at University of the Sciences. “This unique experience allowed students to learn how to integrate their faith with their responsibilities as health professionals.”

After initial training sessions, Sherilin Joe PharmD’16, Rebecca Shatynski PharmD’16, Julie Varughese PharmD’16, Megan Pellett PharmD’16, and Christina Besada PhSci’17 joined their peers to conduct door-to-door health outreach in teams throughout the neighborhoods—offering diabetes and blood pressure screenings, as well as nutrition and healthy lifestyle education.

Students also lived together in community, and learned first-hand the impact of social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, and economic factors on individuals’ health. Through interaction with clinicians and staff members at Esperanza Health Center, Dr. Hussar said the students were able to observe an effective model of Christian primary healthcare.

Here’s a break-down of the recorded visits and activities completed by the students during SMI:

  • 630 visits to homes were conducted with health screenings provided
  • 787 blood pressure screens
    • 97 new positives for pre-hypertension were identified
    • 117 new positives for hypertension were identified
  • 756 blood sugar screens
    • 68 new positives for diabetes were identified
  • 737 BMI screens
  • 130 dental screens
  • 68 received in-home HIV testing
  • 200 people received asthma education
  • 917 people were prayed with
  • 87 people requested church follow-up

Following the conclusion of SMI, USciences students made follow-up phone calls to individuals with whom visits were made.  They also met with alumnus Neil Pitts P'73, PharmD'04 and visited the Miriam Medical Clinic that he started at Berean Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.

08/12/2015

College-Bound Students: Don’t Forget to Pack These Necessities, Says USciences Prof

Hewitt-3189Thousands of students across Greater Philadelphia will soon start the next chapter of their lives as they begin their college journeys away from home. But with their new freedom comes the exposure to millions of germs while living and studying in close quarters with others, said Stacey Gorski, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

“Because students share many of the same spaces and items in places such as residence halls and dining areas, many germs can spread quickly and easily,” said Dr. Gorski, who specializes in immunology. “It’s scary when you think about it, but the more you know about their risks, the better you can protect yourself.” 

So as students pack their bags with necessities like clothing, bed linens, accessories, and electronics, Dr. Gorski also encourages them to remember to pack the following items to help minimize their contact to germs:

  • Flip flops for the shower. Communal bathrooms in residence halls—thanks to their generally moist nature—are breeding grounds for germs, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Shower sandals can help protect students from catching viruses that can cause warts and fungi that commonly cause athlete's foot.
  • Laundry detergent. Students are probably unaware that they are sharing their bed with bacteria, yeast, and other fungi that can lead to skin infections and respiratory issues. Regularly washing bed linens, changing pillows, and showering at night can help reduce the number of germs in a student’s bed. Students should also avoid using their beds as seating areas for guests.
  • Disinfectant wipes. Viruses like the norovirus—commonly associated with gastrointestinal disease on cruise ships, but also a rising cause for concern on college campuses—can live and potentially infect a person for up to 7 days after being deposited on a surface. That’s why it is a good idea to wipe down shared objects, such as eating areas, desks, doorknobs, and keyboards, daily with disinfectant wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer.  Although soap and water works best for killing germs, alcohol-based hand gels can work in a pinch, especially for individuals who use public transportation, or do not have access to a sink for extended periods of time.

On a more serious note, Dr. Gorski also urges college-bound students to consider getting the HPV and influenza vaccinations. Both males and females should receive the three-dose HPV vaccine to protect themselves against preventable cervical, mouth, and throat cancers. She also added that flu shots are the best way to protect students against influenza and possibly missing weeks of class due to the highly-contagious virus. 

MEDIA COVERAGE:

HealthAug. 21, 2015:
Add Germ Fighters to College Packing List

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