This is an aggregation of all of the recent blog posts of the Case Blog system. The entries are in reverse chronological order according to each entry's last modified date. Persons with questions regarding Planet Case or the Blog system can check the FAQ or email us at blog-admin@case.edu.

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April 16, 2015

New CWRU study will analyze link between neighborhoods and cancer screenings


News Release: April 16, 2015


Can neighborhood factors influence whether older residents have access to cancer screening information and testing?

Gillian Marshall, PhD, assistant professor of social work at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, plans to find out.

“We want to clarify assumptions that people with low incomes are less likely to receive or be recommended for cancer screenings,” she said.

Marshall will analyze data from 650 residents 65 and older in Cleveland, upstate New York and South Florida about communication experiences with their doctors.

They participated in the five-year, $1.3 million National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute study, “Health Care Partners in Cancer Prevention and Care among the Aged.”

In the study, half the participants were randomly selected to participate in “Speak Up,” an intervention to improve doctor-patient communication through verbal and written information with instructional films at centers operated by the federally funded Area Agencies on Aging. The other half were encouraged to volunteer in a community project.

The researchers contacted all participants at three different points in the project: at the beginning, at two months and at 12 months. They answered questions about access to cancer screening information and tests and their experiences communicating with their doctors.

Marshall’s research project is part of a larger study led by Eva Kahana, PhD, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology and the Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson of the Humanities and the director of the Elderly Care Research Center.

Kahana’s study mainly focused on improving patient-doctor communication about cancer screening. The goal of Marshall’s new study, which received $198,666 from the National Cancer Institutes, will examine what neighborhood-wide factors help or prevent people from getting these important medical tests.

Because of health disparities in poorer neighborhoods, Marshall said she wants to find out if residents in these areas have less access to information and screenings for breast, prostate, colon or skin cancers.

The association between characteristics of neighborhoods where older people live and access to health care continues to be a growing public concern, Marshall said.

Lack of access to information widens the health gap, she said.

Geocoded information will be completed by Tsui Chan, programmer analyst at the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, and data analysis will be completed by Marshall and Jeong Lee, PhD, of the Elderly Care Research Center.

“Together, we hope this information will provide a new picture on who has access to health information,” Marshall said.



Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 05:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

April 16, 2015

How Hackers Think: Researcher studies the hacker mind

Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management PhD Timothy Summers expects to build on his research through cybersecurity startup company




News Release: Thursday, April 16, 2015




Timothy Summers is providing a better understanding about how hackers think through his research and newly formed startup, Summers & Co., LLC, designed to improve cybersecurity.

Located in Silver Spring, Md., Summers & Co. assists businesses, governments and other organizations to protect data. His new website, How Hackers Think, recognizes the brilliance of hackers, who can either be malevolent or highly valued strategists.

Summers recently completed and defended his dissertation, titled "How Hackers Think: A Mixed Method Study of Mental Models and Cognitive Patterns of High-Tech Wizards." He now holds a PhD in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Hacking, the invasion of data meant to be protected, requires exceptional cognitive abilities, according to Summers, who finds that hackers can make mental representations of complex systems. He said his dissertation findings are useful for leaders and managers in private, government and nonprofit sectors with an interest cybersecurity and innovation.

"Tim’s study is groundbreaking in revealing the key cognitive processes and behaviors associated with hacking,” said Kalle Lyytinen, Weatherhead School Associate Dean for Research and professor of Design & Innovation. “These can be used to hire, manage and retain high-quality hacking resources, which are becoming more critical in many digital businesses."

Summers considers himself "part of the hacker community," while acknowledging the well-deserved bad press hackers get, for example, when customer data of a major retailer or a financial institution is stolen. He accomplished his research in part through interviews with hackers. In addition, he brings to his research expertise in cognitive psychology. Hackers try to outsmart a computer system, but they make very human choices.

"What my research uncovered is that there is a substantial, very interesting uniqueness to how hackers think versus how the rest of the (human) community thinks,” Summers said. “People can choose to be hackers. But it's also as if hackers are chosen because of their cognitive skills and traits. A hacker is a person capable of command and control of a system.”

Hackers account for enormous costs associated with data intrusion in a world increasingly reliant on computer and Internet-based technologies.

“Hackers have a compulsion to analyze, to explore and to be curious to the point of obsession. I would say that my research provides a solid framework for understanding the hacker mind," he said.



Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

April 16, 2015

Housework keeps older adults more physically and emotionally fit, according to new study by Case Western Reserve nursing school researcher


News Release: April 16, 2015



Older adults who keep a clean and orderly home—because of the exercise it takes to get the job done—tend to feel emotionally and physically better after tackling house chores, according to new findings by a Case Western Reserve University school of nursing researcher.

“House cleaning kept them up and moving,” said Kathy D. Wright, PhD, RN, CNS, a postdoctoral KL2 Scholar at the university’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. “A clean environment is therapeutic.”

Wright and a research team set out to test a theory called House’s Conceptual Framework for Understanding Social Inequalities in Health and Aging. It’s considered a blueprint for understanding how factors such as income, education, environment and health behaviors, like smoking and exercise, influence an older person’s health.

The study’s 337 participants, from 65 to 94 years old, had to have at least one chronic illness, be enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, have physical restrictions that prevented them from doing at least one basic daily task, such as bathing and dressing, and be unable to manage such responsibilities as taking medicines, handling finances or accessing transportation. All lived in Ohio’s Summit and Portage counties.

They discussed their backgrounds and physical and emotional well-being in interviews. The researchers then used the University of Utah’s Digit Lab, where Wright earned her doctorate degree while working for the Summa Health System, to link geographic and socioeconomic information on the neighborhoods with health data.

Wright said she was surprised to learn that housework and maintaining their property affected the participants’ physical and mental well-being more than such factors as neighborhood or income.

“What I found was that neighborhood poverty did not directly affect mental or physical health,” she said.

The study provided evidence that Wright had observed in her visits: people living in a chaotic environment seemed less satisfied than those in a place that was neat and tidy.

Wright hopes the study shows how important it is for sedentary older adults with disabilities and chronic illnesses to continue physical activities, such as doing reaching exercises while sitting, arm curls and standing up and sitting down in a chair.

Wright and her team’s findings were reported in the recent Geriatric Nursing article, “Factors that Influence physical function and emotional well-being among Medicare-Medicaid enrollees.”

Ginette A. Pepper, PhD, RN, FAAN; Michael Caserta, PhD; Bob Wong, PhD; and Cherie P. Brunker, MD, CMD, FACP (the University of Utah); Diana L. Morris, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Christopher J. Burant, PhD, MACTM (Case Western Reserve); Susan Hazelett, MS, RN, (Summa Health System); Denise Kropp, BS, CCRP (Northeast Ohio Medical University); and Kyle R. Allen, DO, AGSF (Riverside Health System Lifelong Health and Aging Related Services Administration), contributed to the study.

Data was used as a secondary analysis of findings from a previous study: After Discharge Care Management of Low-Income Frail Elderly, (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant #1 R01 HS014539-01A1 R01 HS014539-01A1).




Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 03:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

April 15, 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Gillian Weiss, Dr. William Rogers, selected as 2015 Freedman Fellows!

FF2015-recipients.jpgKelvin Smith Library and the Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Freedman Fellows awards:

Dr. Weiss’ project aims to uncover the historical role of Jewish students, faculty and administrators in the social movements, physical infrastructure and intellectual life of Case Western Reserve University from its founding to the present. A website featuring archival documents, images, video, audio and interactive finding aids with accompanying explanatory essays will be developed during the course of the Fellowship.

Dr. Rogers’ project is focused on the authors and scribes whose lives intersected with St. Bartholomew’s, a former church complex and current hospital located in London, England. St. Bartholomew’s was present in the lives of several late-medieval and early modern English literary figures and was important in the dissemination of manuscripts and incunabula that today serve partly as foundation for the early English literary canon. The goal of this project is to track not only the authors and scribes involved with or living at St. Bartholomew’s, but also the manuscripts and imprints produced there. An interactive map and accompanying digital archive will be produced from the results.

The Freedman Fellows Program is funded and supported by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Kelvin Smith Library and the Freedman Fellows Endowment by Samuel B. and Marian K. Freedman. This annual award is given to full-time faculty whose current scholarly research projects involve some corpus of data that is of scholarly or instructional interest (e.g., data sets, digital texts, digital images, databases), involve the use of digital tools and processes and have clearly articulated project outcomes.

More information about the program can be found at http://library.case.edu/ksl/freedmancenter/digitalscholarship/fellows/

Posted on KSL News Blog by Hannah Levy at 10:28 AM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Freedman Center

April 09, 2015

Weatherhead School of Management’s Michael Goldberg awarded Fulbright fellowship in Namibia




News Release: Thursday, April 9, 2015



Michael Goldberg, a visiting assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, on May 8 will start a Fulbright fellowship in Namibia. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist, Goldberg will work at Polytechnic of Namibia, helping to develop the South African country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Polytechnic, which enrolls about 13,000 students, includes a graduate school of business and various other disciplines.

Goldberg plans to bring concepts which have resonated in many parts of the world through his popular massive open online course (or MOOC), “Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies,” presented on the Coursera online platform. The course uses Cleveland and Ohio as a complex case study in how to establish a structure in which entrepreneurs can thrive.

In 2012, Goldberg was a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam at the National Economics University in Hanoi.

“Every time I have traveled, I am deepening my understanding of the unique challenges entrepreneurs have to build their companies,” he said. “It gives me the opportunity to share best practices from Cleveland and from other parts of the world. I’m sure I’ll take away some news ideas about ways to support startup companies.”

His MOOC, which began in April 2014, continued last fall and is being offered again this spring. He expects large participation from students and others in Namibia and neighboring countries because he will be there to take their questions and listen to their comments. Since its start,
Beyond Silicon Valley has attracted about 45,000 students from 190 countries. The course has been translated in 12 languages, making it the most translated MOOC among all Coursera offerings.

Goldberg expects to conduct seminars on topics covered in the course, such as getting government to support entrepreneurship, attracting donors, attracting participation of non-governmental organizations and anchor institutions, accessing capital and mentoring.

Goldberg has conducted similar seminars on behalf of the United States in Cambodia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Laos, Macedonia, Morocco, Myanmar, Spain, Tunisia and Vietnam. He plans to help Polytechnic faculty with current entrepreneurship course offerings as a guest lecturer.

After completing his collaboration with Polytechnic, Goldberg will lead workshops in Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of the 2015 Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, which is supported by the U.S. Department of State. He will also conduct seminars based on his MOOC in Botswana.

Goldberg already has a good comfort level with Southern Africa. He lived and worked there for three years for the National Democratic Institute as a program officer. He also did political party training in Namibia in 1994.



Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 06:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

April 06, 2015

Researchers create first metal-free catalyst for rechargeable zinc-air batteries


April 6, 2015


CLEVELAND—Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and the University of North Texas have made what they believe is the first metal-free bifunctional electrocatalyst that performs as well or better than most metal and metal oxide electrodes in zinc-air batteries.

Zinc-air batteries are expected to be safer, lighter, cheaper and more powerful and durable than lithium-ion batteries common in mobile phones and laptops and increasingly used in hybrid and electric cars.

This carbon-based catalyst works efficiently in both the oxygen reduction reaction and oxygen evolution reaction, making the battery rechargeable. The catalyst is also inexpensive, easy to make and more ecological than most of the alternative materials.

The research is in the online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

“With batteries, cost is always an issue and metal-free catalysts can reduce cost while improving performance,” said Liming Dai, professor of macromolecular science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University and senior author of the study. “These batteries could be used in computers, data stations, for lighting— anyplace batteries are used now.”

Dai worked with Case Western Reserve postdoctor Jintao Zhang, who performed experimental work; and North Texas University’s Zhenhai Xia, professor of materials science and engineering, and Zhenghang Zhao, a PhD student, who performed theoretical simulations.

Zinc-air batteries mix oxygen from the air with zinc in a liquid alkaline electrolyte to create a charge. The batteries can have three times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries, but have been sluggish. To counter that problem, researchers are seeking different catalyst materials.

This catalyst is a stable carbon aerogel, or foam, with pores ranging from 2 to 50 nanometers in diameter, providing enormous surface area and room for the battery electrolyte to diffuse.

The researchers followed a foam-making procedure published by Stanford University scientists in 2012. They polymerized molecules of the organic compound aniline into long chains in a phytic acid solution, then freeze-dried the three-dimensional hydrogel into an aerogel.

“What we did that’s new is carbonized the 3-D structure, changing it into a graphitic carbon material,” Zhang said.

To do that, the researchers heated the aerogel to 1,000 degrees Celsius in the absence of oxygen. The process, called pyrolysis, caused a thermochemical reaction, turning the foam into a graphitic network, with many graphene edges that proved to be crucial to catalysis.

“This is a low-cost, one-step, scalable process,” Dai said. “The electrocatalyst produces comparable or better results than more costly materials.”

The aniline infuses, or dopes, the foam with nitrogen, which enhances the oxygen reduction reaction. Phytic acid infuses the foam with phosphorus. “The co-doping of nitrogen and phosphorus enhances both the oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions, as confirmed by the first-principles calculations”, Xia said.

In comparisons, the carbon foam’s performance in a primary, or non-rechargeable, battery and a rechargeable battery matched or surpassed that of expensive platinum/metal oxide-based catalysts. And, it had better long-term stability.

The carbon foam also matched or outperformed most previously reported metal-free catalysts, even recently developed carbon-based catalysts with metals.

Moving forward, Dai’s team has begun to further optimize the process while also investigating other graphitic carbon materials co-doped with different elements for possible use in other energy and environmental technologies.

Dai's lab previously developed carbon-based catalysts that perform comparably or better than more expensive metal-based catalysts used in alkaline and acidic fuel cells and in dye-sensitized solar cells.

“Maybe it’s time to push for metal-free catalysts in commercial devices,” Dai said.

The work was supported by Air Force Office of Scientific Research and National Science Foundation.



Posted on Think by Kevin Mayhood at 03:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

April 06, 2015

Join us April 8-10 for "Reading Interfaces: Inquiries at the Intersection of Literature and Technology"

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Stop by Kelvin Smith Library for an exhibition and colloquium exploring contemporary works of electronic literature and poetic production and reception across media:

Reading Interfaces is an open space for reading, interacting with and perusing born-digital literature by writers like J.R. Carpenter, Kate Pullinger, Serge Bouchardon and many others. Case Western Reserve University students and classes will also exhibit selected digital projects and a companion exhibit of experimental literature in print will be presented by KSL special collections.

All events will be held on the first floor of KSL (Clapp Reading Room) unless otherwise noted.

Special Presentations:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2015

THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 2015

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

Curated by Allison Schifani and Kristine Kelly
Supported by the Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, the Matthew and Ellen Feldman Digital Technology Grant, the Department of English, SAGES, Kelvin Smith Library and ITS.

Posted on KSL News Blog by Hannah Levy at 10:45 AM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

April 03, 2015

Namesakes - Newton D. Baker and the Baker Buildings

Newton D. Baker is well-known as Cleveland’s mayor from 1912 to 1916 and Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921. Baker’s CWRU connections are extensive, as well. He was a Trustee of Western Reserve University (1916-1937), Adelbert College (1929-1937), and Cleveland College (1925-1937).

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Newton D. Baker, ca. 1937

An advocate of adult education, Baker was instrumental in the founding of Cleveland College in 1925. Opening in rented quarters in downtown Cleveland, Cleveland College focused on the part-time, adult student, with evening classes and an emphasis on life-long learning. When the Depression pushed the heavily tuition-dependent school to the brink of closing in the early 1930s, Baker was an energetic fundraiser whose efforts kept the college alive.

In 1942 the college acquired its own building on Public Square. It was understandable that it be named for Baker, who had died in 1937. When Cleveland College was moved to the Western Reserve campus in University Circle in 1953, the original Newton Diehl Baker Memorial Building was sold to the Society for Savings.

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Downtown Baker Building, 1942

The proceeds of the sale, and other funds, financed construction of the university’s second Baker Building, on the southwest corner of Adelbert Road and Euclid Avenue. This Newton D. Baker Memorial Building served as the home of Cleveland College until it was consolidated, with Adelbert and Mather colleges, into what is now the College of Arts and Sciences in 1971. Baker Building, at various times, also housed the School of Management, Instructional Computing, several Arts and Sciences academic departments, the School of Library Science, Western Reserve College offices, Graduate Studies, and Alumni Relations and Development offices. Baker Building was razed in 2004.

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University Circle Baker Building

Posted on Recollections from the Archives by Jill Tatem at 07:08 PM | Comments (153) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Places

April 01, 2015

CWRU’s oral pain specialists among small group treating complex health issues, according to new survey


News Release: April 1, 2015


Andres Pinto, an orofacial pain and oral medicine specialist at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, often feels like the doctor in the television series House, who solves medical mysteries each week.

Pinto is among about 700 facial pain and oral medicine specialists nationally who patients often turn to when their own doctors are unable to identify and treat complex and rare medical conditions. In fact, according to a new study Pinto conducted with input from fellow members of the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), patients see, on average, 2.2 doctors over 17 months before visiting facial pain and oral medicine specialists, hoping to finally find the cause of their discomfort.

Unfortunately, Pinto said, the delay in getting treatment allows the pain to escalate from acute to the chronic stage, reducing the patient’s quality of life dramatically.

Patients come from as far as the Gulf States to be evaluated and treated by the team of pain specialists at the CWRU dental school—one of just seven inclusive teams nationally and the only one in Ohio with specially trained head and neck radiologists, oral and maxillofacial medicine and orofacial pain clinicians and oral and maxillofacial pathologists all within one clinical setting.

Pinto, DMD, MPH, FDS, RCSEd, in the dental school’s Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine and Diagnostics Sciences, heads the university’s orofacial pain and oral medicine group, which tackles ailments with such exotic names as, idiopathic persistent facial pain, oral chemosensory disorders and glossodynia.

To better understand the work by pain specialists at Case Western Reserve and others nationally, Pinto recently led a research team to survey AAOM members.
The report, which updates a similar industry survey in 1996 and a national database analysis in 2001, is the first to describe in detail the types of patients the specialists see in the United States and the largest to describe the field’s characteristics, Pinto said.

Practitioners (74 in 20 states) provided information about patient demographics, referring health-care providers, medical issues, diagnoses and themselves.

Among the findings, reported in April’s Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, and Oral Radiology article, “The practice of oral medicine in the United States in the twenty-first century: an update”:

Almost half of the specialists (46 percent) practiced in dental schools. About a third (31 percent) practiced in hospitals, and 18 percent practiced in combined settings. Only 5 percent were in private practice.

Most specialists received referrals from general dentists and otolaryngologists, hematologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists, rheumatologists and dermatologists. If postdoctoral training in oral medicine and facial pain management is offered, more patients in that particular state will be referred for the services.

The leading cause of the referral was oral lesions, followed by orofacial pain, dry mouth, burning mouth and oral sores or ulcers. The tongue and gums were predominant sites for pain, but less so for teeth and lips. About one-third of the referred patients reported pain in at least two locations.

Oral lesions and pain caused by oral lichen planus (a skin disease that can occur in the mouth) was the main reason many sought treatment, followed by problems with the salivary glands.

The researchers also examined the link between oral and overall health, and what diseases—such as heart disease, endocrine, rheumatoid and digestive issues—may be associated with oral findings.

The average age of the patients was 57. Nearly twice as many of the patients were women.

Pinto said the study highlighted several changes in the field since the last survey 19 years ago:

• Specialists are seeing more oncology-related oral treatments, from preparation for cancer therapy to management of complications during therapy.
• The pattern of patient referrals demonstrates the breadth of the interprofessional practice with ear, nose and throat surgeons, dermatologists and oncologists, general practice dentists and other health-care providers.

Pinto established the team 14 months ago at the CWRU patient clinics. The clinic is seeing between 50 and 60 patients with complex pain issues weekly.

Mohd Khalaf, DDS, from Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Head and Neck Surgery in Sacramento, Calif., and Craig S. Miller, DMD, MS, in the Division of Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Oral Radiology in the Department of Oral Health Practice at the University of Kentucky, contributed to the study.


Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 12:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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April 01, 2015

Attend April webinars on the Scalar publishing platform

This month, Kelvin Smith Library will host two webinars for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture (University of Southern California) on the born-digital, open source, media-rich scholarly publishing platform Scalar.

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“Introduction to Scalar" will cover basic features of the platform: a review of existing Scalar books and a hands-on introduction to paths, tags, annotations and importing media. 

“Intermediate Scalar” will delve into more advanced topics including the effective use of visualizations, annotating with media and a primer on customizing appearances in Scalar.

If you're interested in attending or have additional questions, please contact Leigh Bonds at leigh.bonds@case.edu.

Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that is designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required. To learn more about Scaler, click here.

Posted on KSL News Blog by Hannah Levy at 08:46 AM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

March 31, 2015

Researchers uncover obstacles that prevent people with RHD in Uganda from receiving life-saving penicillin


News Release: March 31, 2015



Penicillin has nearly eradicated rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in the United States. But 15 million people still suffer with the disease worldwide, and 1.4 million die each year, according to World Heart Federation.

Access to penicillin can prevent deaths from RHD. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University, Makerere University and the Uganda Heart Institute at Mulago Hospital, a national referral hospital in Kampala, collaborated to learn about those obstacles to receive the medication and find ways to overcome them.

The researchers heard from some Ugandans that paying for an injection meant that other family members might go without food. Others didn’t want to pay because they believed the person with heart disease would die anyway.

Their findings were reported in the Global Heart article, “A Qualitative Examination of Secondary Prophylaxis in Rheumatic Heart Disease.”

RHD, which develops as an inappropriate immune system response to strep infection, is the most common cause of heart disease for Ugandans between age 15 and 49. The body develops an autoimmune reaction that causes an inflammation and destruction of the heart valves. Penicillin controls the inflammation by preventing strep infection.

Reaching people with information about the penicillin injections hasn’t been easy, said Allison Webel, assistant professor of nursing at Case Western Reserve’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and one of the researchers.

Webel collaborated with Case Western Reserve researchers Daniel Huck (School of Medicine), Scott Frank (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Family Medicine, School of Medicine), and Chris Longenecker (Division of Cardiology, School of Medicine) and Ugandan collaborators Haddy Nalubwama (School of Public Health, Makerere University) and Emmy Okello (Uganda Heart Institute, Mulago Hospital).

The researchers organized five focus groups, with six to eight participants each, and asked questions about their experiences in accessing and receiving monthly penicillin injections.

The biggest reasons people gave for not getting injections were money and transportation, followed by pain, fear of the injection and poor knowledge about the consequences of a missed treatment.

While many families were supportive, the individuals felt a stigma for having the health condition and being a burden to their families. Webel said some people with RHD were uncomfortable having penicillin injections that might be mistaken for treatments for syphilis by the health-care workers. Also, system-wide barriers prevented easy access to treatments: lack of clinics in their local communities, unskilled health-care workers giving injections that were painful, a shortage of penicillin and long waits at the clinics.

The researchers found that while there were significant barriers, there were also important factors that helped them get injections. For example, patients reported that their symptoms worsened when they missed their monthly injections, which helped keep them motivated to go. Injection reminders and personal motivation also kept them on schedule.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation supported the research.


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March 30, 2015

View the "Art of STEM" contest entries and winners at reception April 1

Celebrate the creativity of science! You are cordially invited to join us for the opening reception of the "Art of STEM" exhibit featuring the STEM-related digital images that were entered in our juried competition earlier this year.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Kelvin Smith Library Art Gallery (1st floor)

Congratulations to our winners!

Case Western Reserve University Category

High School Student Category

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Daniela Solomon at dxs594@case.edu.

Continue reading "View the "Art of STEM" contest entries and winners at reception April 1"

Posted on KSL News Blog by Hannah Levy at 01:40 PM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

March 26, 2015

Discontinuing statin therapy for patients with life-limiting illnesses is found safe and beneficial


News Release: March 26, 2015



Maryjo 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. Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Duke University were the principal investigators on the project.

Statins, used to control cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the country. About 25 percent of Medicare patients have prescriptions for the medication.

“Some have been taking this medication for years. We need these kinds of evidence-based studies to guide our conversations with patients in order for them to make meaningful decisions about their care,” Prince-Paul said.

She explained that many patients with life-limiting illnesses take 15 or more drugs, which are expensive. But some question whether patients diagnosed with a limited time to live really need to take the medication.

The study analyzed the outcomes of 381 patients, who had received a prognosis that they would live from one month to one year. They had an average age of 74. Nearly half had cancer.

The participants were divided into two groups. One group continued taking the statins; the other did not. Of the 381 participants, 212 survived beyond 60 days of when the study began. There was no significant difference between the death rates of those who continued taking the statin (20.3 percent), compared to those who didn’t (23.8 percent).

The researchers also analyzed the cost savings of discontinuing statins in such situations, both individually and nationally.

The researchers estimated that the 212 surviving participants would save $3.37 daily for statin medications, or $716 each, over the trial period. Based on those costs, the annual savings nationally in 2014 would have been $603 million (or $529 million for a generic brand of statin), researchers concluded.

The authors wrote that the same energy used to launch new drugs to improve the quality of life for their patients should be applied to discussing the discontinuation of statin therapy with their patients.

The investigation was among the first to study whether a medication impacts the length and quality of life for people in their final days, Prince-Paul said.


Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 12:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 26, 2015

“From Tidal Waves to Terrorism,” will bring air medical responders to campus to learn and share information on air medical transport


News Release: March 26, 2015



Case Western Reserve University’s Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing will bring air medical transport responders from around the world to campus for the inaugural Ebersbach Flight Nursing Summit.

The daylong event is Tuesday, May 5, in the Tinkham Veale University Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd., in Cleveland.

Stephanie Steiner, director of the Dorothy Ebersbach Academic Center for Flight Nursing at CWRU’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, expects the conference to attract as many as 100 people who care for and transport the critically ill or injured from emergencies or unusual scenarios to acute-care hospitals.

Experts will talk about different models of care used in the industry across the globe and who have unique experiences in large scale scenarios from war and major disasters to terrorism—all extraordinary circumstances from which medical transport teams can learn, Steiner said.

Attendees will learn about a range of topics, from the physical challenges of caring for patients in a confined helicopter fuselage to coping with the emotional aftermath of a major event.

Among the guest speakers will be:

Ivan Ortega Deballon, Flight NP, LLB, MSc, associate professor at the Hi-Fi Sim Center and on the faculty of medicine and health sciences a the Universidad de Alcala de Henares in Madrid. Deballon will draw from his experiences working on the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service and ground Mobile Intensive Care Unit in Madrid. He was among those called to respond to 2004 terrorist bombings on trains in Madrid, and was sent to Indonesia after the catastrophic tsunami that same year.

Andrea Robertson, president and CEO of STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society) and STARS Foundation, will provide a perspective on how her program delivers Canadians in three provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan) safe, rapid and specialized emergency medical services, air-lifting the critically ill and injured and transporting them to medical facilities.

Kimberlie A. Birever, LTC, AN, chief of Critical Care Nursing Services at the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Benilani M. Pineda, CCRN, RN, CPT, AN, director of the Joint Enroute Care Course for the United States Army School of Aviation Medicine at Fort Ruckers, Ala. They will share experiences as members of the U. S. Army Nurse Corp and Enroute Critical Care Nurse. Pineda spent more than 300 combat hours in nine months during a deployment to one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan, the Helmand Province. She helped evacuate U.S. and allied military forces from the field to medical facilities.

To register or learn more, visit http://flightnurse.case.edu .

Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 12:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 26, 2015

“From Here to There and There to Here” conference explores how health-care workers can transition patients for better and safer outcomes


News Release: March 26, 2015



Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Courtland Center for Transitions and Health, will frame conversations about transitioning chronically ill people from home or care facilities to hospitals and back again.

She will speak during “From Here to There and There to Here”—the 21st Florence Cellar Conference on Aging, sponsored by the University Center on Aging & Health & the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Considered a national leader on the forefront of designing and implementing transition models in health care, Naylor will open the conference with the keynote address, “Transitional Care Science and the Transitional Care Model.” She sets the course of discussions to follow during the daylong event, on Friday, April 17, at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Dr. in Mayfield Heights.

Transitions in health care are pushing for better communication skills between the system and patients and caregivers, said Diana Morris, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA, director of Case Western Reserve’s University Center on Aging and Health, and Florence Cellar Associate Professor of Nursing, adding that the conference offers approaches to how to accomplish that.

“It’s expected that when people are sent home from the hospital or skilled care, there’s a plan in place to manage their health-care needs from medicines, home care, rehabilitation and other supports that allow the person to live as independently as possible in the community,” she said.

If transitioning patients between places is not done well, patiens can suffer the consequences, said Evelyn Duffy, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, chair of the Cellar Conference and associate director of the University Center on Aging and Health and associate professor at the school of nursing.

If a patients must return to the hospital, within, 60 days of their discharge, the hospitals are not fuly reimbursed for the patient’s medical care.

The conference is designed to reach a breadth of health-care workers—from hospital and residential skilled and long-term care facility administrators to professional care providers, social workers, direct care workers, and caregivers—to learn more about strategies that contribute to the safety and wellbeing of the patient and yet maintain or reduce health costs.

Other featured speakers are:

• Robert Applebaum, PhD, director of the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project and professor of sociology and gerontology at Miami University, will address, “The Changing World of Long-Term Care.”

• Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN associate professor of nursing at Arizona State and co-director of INTERACT, a program helping to reduce hospital admissions from skilled-care facilities, will focus on “Quality, Safety and Care Coordination.”

• Ellen Burst-Cooper, PhD, MBA, adjunct professor at CWRU’s Weatherhead School of Management and senior partner in Improve Consulting and Training Group, will give the luncheon address, “Building Resilient and Productive Teams to Navigate Care Transition.”

• Peter DeGolia, MD, CMC, a physician and geriatrician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare and Medicaid program that covers all health-care related needs, will discuss the PACE program during the closing Cellar talk.

The Cellar Conference honors Florence Cellar, a 1938 CWRU nursing school alumna, who worked for University Hospitals for 40 years. She was instrumental in establishing the Florence Cellar Associate Professorship in Gerontological Nursing, the country’s first chair in gerontological nursing.

The McGregor Foundation, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, Montefiore and Cleveland State University provided support for the conference.

For information or to register, visit http://fpb.case.edu/cellarconference. Continuing education CEU’s are available for nurses, social workers/counselors, psychologists and for certificate of attendance.


Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 12:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged:

March 26, 2015

On Becoming a Teen Mom, new book by CWRU sociologists, examines life events that lead to teen pregnancy


News Release: March 26, 2015



If Diane could reverse time, she never would have slammed the door—an act of teen frustration and ongoing family conflict that finally got her kicked out of her mother’s house.

Thus began a cascade of events that, a few years later, led to her pregnancy at age 19.

Diane is one of 108 teenage moms interviewed about their lives and pregnancies in On Becoming a Teen Mom: Life Before Pregnancy (University of California Press, 2015), a new book by Case Western Reserve University sociologists Mary Patrice Erdmans and Timothy Black that focuses on life events resulting in teen motherhood, revealing some realities behind the statistics.

The general perception is that teen pregnancy is a social problem, like drug addiction and crime, and that it is on the rise, said Erdmans, associate professor of sociology.

In fact, the number of births to teen moms has dropped 44 percent between 1991 and 2010, and down another 10 percent in 2012-13 from the previous year (the most recent reporting years) for moms age 15 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Erdmans and Black, also an associate professor of sociology, along with a team of interviewers, traveled throughout Connecticut over two years, collecting the life stories of first-time mothers, 108 of whom were teen moms. The mothers discussed what it was like in their families, neighborhoods and school while they were growing up. They talked about their relationships, the pregnancy and the decision to have a child.

“We now have a picture of what’s happened in these mothers’ lives before they became pregnant,” Erdmans said, “portrait that differs from general perceptions about teen pregnancy that tend to focus on the consequences of early childbearing.”

The authors address several myths about teen births:
• Teen births are a cause of poverty. They found most teen mothers were living in poverty before they became pregnant.
• Teen mothers will drop out of school. They found many teen mothers had dropped out or disengaged from school long before they became pregnant, while those doing well in school tended to stay and graduate.

One-fourth of the teen mothers from all socio-economic levels told stories of sexual abuse when they were young.

Others spoke of wanting to be accepted by peers, rebelling from extremely strict parents and a lack of knowledge about conception and contraceptives.

The researchers found that many of the youngest teen mothers didn’t want to have sex with the fathers, but did anyway because they did not know how or didn’t feel they could say “no.” They kept and raised their babies, even in cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape.

Their stories call attention to preventing pregnancies by improving unsafe neighborhoods, lowering high rates of urban poverty and overcoming systematic gender inequalities that rob women of their ability to say “no” at any point in a relationship, the researchers conclude.

Erdmans points out that many teen pregnancies could be prevented, beyond using birth control and abortions, by having better schools from first grade on.

Many teen moms, especially from inner cities, were unprepared for the academic and social challenges of high school. They reported getting pregnant within two years after quitting high school.

“It debunks the myth that teen pregnancies will lead to dropping out and living in poverty,” Erdmans said. “Many of these girls were already there.”

But socioeconomic factors did impact what happens after they gave birth. Mothers from more stable families (about 20 percent of those interviewed) were still in high school when they got pregnant, graduated and went on to college.

For some young mothers in poverty, having a baby had a positive effect. Some kicked drug habits, returned to school and graduated and worked hard to make a better life for their babies.

The sociologists also found that the responsibilities of adulthood were more quickly thrust upon the poorest teen moms, compared to teens from stable backgrounds, who followed the more traditional path of college and marriage.

The baby did not cause the negative consequences that are assumed to happen when a young woman becomes a teen mom, Erdmans said, but these women do need resources to build better lives.

Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 12:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 23, 2015

KSL represents Cleveland in "Ohio Memory Madness" - Vote today!

In the spirit and fun of college basketball's March Madness, the Ohio History Connection and Kelvin Smith Library invite you to participate in Ohio Memory Madness - a bracket of sixty-four historical events from across the state all competing for the unique distinction of being named the 2015 Ohio Memory Madness Champion. Since the historical events featured in the bracket are unable to play tournament style basketball, the winner of Ohio Memory Madness will be determined by public online voting at: http://www.ohiohistoryhost.org/madness

Kelvin Smith Library is proud to represent Cleveland in this statewide competition. Our entry is an image from the Charles F. Brush papers. Brush was an early innovator in electric lighting, and he created the arc lamp, one of the most widely used electric lamps of the 19th century. KSL holds his papers in our special collections. 

The public can vote throughout the tournament to be sure their favorite event image makes it to the championship – they can also enter to win a prize pack from the Ohio History Connection including tickets to the Ohio History Center in Columbus, a Retro Ohio t-shirt, and an assortment of Ohio munchies to enjoy while watching that other sport.

Don’t miss your chance to vote for the Ohio Memory Madness Champion! Your vote can make one of Ohio’s historical events go all the way this March.

Continue reading "KSL represents Cleveland in "Ohio Memory Madness" - Vote today!"

Posted on KSL News Blog by Hannah Levy at 11:08 AM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Events & News @KSL

March 25, 2015

EEPS Colloquium: Friday, April 10, 2015 Noon

Friday, April 10, 2015
Noon, AW Smith, Rm. 104

Chemical Reactions at the Core-Mantle Boundary in Earth (and other terrestrial planets) by Dr. Shun-ichiro Karato (Yale University)

Posted on Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences News and Events by Linda Day at 01:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Colloquia

March 25, 2015

EEPS Colloquium: Friday, April 10, 2015 Noon

Friday, April 10, 2015
Noon, AW Smith, Rm. 104

Chemical Reactions at the Core-Mantle Boundary in Earth (and other terrestrial planets by Dr. Shun-ichiro Karato (Yale University)

Posted on Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences News and Events by Linda Day at 01:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Colloquia

March 25, 2015

IEEE Xplore Remote Access

IEEE has recently released a brand new option for IEEE Xplore digital library subscribers to access their subscription remotely.

IEEE Remote Access is now an option for IP authenticated customers to offer roaming access to users who need to access the institutional IEEE Xplore subscription off-site. This feature is now enabled for Case Western Reserve University. To take advantage of this feature, you must be able to access an IP authenticated WiFi.

Users can take advantage of roaming access by following these steps:

Posted on KSL News Blog by Hannah Levy at 10:52 AM | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: New Research Tools

March 24, 2015

Shape-shifting frog discovered in Ecuadorian Andes

Amphibian blends to surroundings, changing skin from smooth to spiny

March 24, 2015


CLEVELAND—A frog in Ecuador’s western Andean cloud forest changes skin texture in minutes, appearing to mimic the texture it sits on.

Originally discovered by a Case Western Reserve University PhD student and her husband, a projects manager at Cleveland Metroparks’ Natural Resources Division, the amphibian is believed to be the first known to have this shape-shifting capability.

But the new species, called Pristimantis mutabilis, or mutable rainfrog, has company. Colleagues working with the couple recently found that a known relative of the frog shares the same texture-changing quality—but it was never reported before.

The frogs are found at Reserva Las Gralarias, a nature reserve originally created to protect endangered birds in the Parish of Mindo, in north-central Ecuador.

The researchers, Katherine and Tim Krynak, and colleagues from Universidad Indoamérica and Tropical Herping (Ecuador) co-authored a manuscript describing the new animal and skin texture plasticity in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society this week. They believe their findings have broad implications for how species are and have been identified. The process may now require photographs and longer observations in the field to ensure the one species is not mistakenly perceived as two because at least two species of rain frogs can change their appearance.

Katherine Krynak believes the ability to change skin texture to reflect its surroundings may enable P. mutabilis to help camouflage itself from birds and other predators.

The Krynaks originally spotted the small, spiny frog, nearly the width of a marble, sitting on a moss-covered leaf about a yard off the ground on a misty July night in 2009. The Krynaks had never seen this animal before, though Tim had surveyed animals on annual trips to Las Gralarias since 2001, and Katherine since 2005.

They captured the little frog and tucked it into a cup with a lid before resuming their nightly search for wildlife. They nicknamed it “punk rocker” because of the thorn-like spines covering its body.

The next day, Katherine Krynak pulled the frog from the cup and set it on a smooth white sheet of plastic for Tim to photograph. It wasn’t “punk ”—it was smooth-skinned. They assumed that, much to her dismay, she must have picked up the wrong frog.

“I then put the frog back in the cup and added some moss,” she said. “The spines came back… we simply couldn't believe our eyes, our frog changed skin texture!

“I put the frog back on the smooth white background. Its skin became smooth.”

“The spines and coloration help them blend into mossy habitats, making it hard for us to see them,” she said. “But whether the texture really helps them elude predators still needs to be tested.”

During the next three years, a team of fellow biologists studied the frogs. They found the animals shift skin texture in a little more than three minutes.

Juan M. Guayasamin, from Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, Ecuador, the manuscript’s first author, performed morphological and genetic analyses showing that P. mutabilis was a unique and undescribed species. Carl R. Hutter, from the University of Kansas, studied the frog’s calls, finding three songs the species uses, which differentiate them from relatives. The fifth author of the paper, Jamie Culebras, assisted with fieldwork and was able to locate a second population of the species. Culebras is a member of Tropical Herping, an organization committed to discovering, and studying reptiles and amphibians.

Guayasamin and Hutter discovered that Prismantis sobetes, a relative with similar markings but about twice the size of P. mutabilis, has the same trait when they placed a spiny specimen on a sheet and watched its skin turn smooth. P. sobetes is the only relative that has been tested so far.

Because the appearance of animals has long been one of the keys to identifying them as a certain species, the researchers believe their find challenges the system, particularly for species identified by one or just a few preserved specimens. With those, there was and is no way to know if the appearance is changeable.

The Krynaks, who helped form Las Gralarias Foundation (www.lasgralariasfoundation.org) to support the conservation efforts of the reserve, plan to return to continue surveying for mutable rain frogs and to work with fellow researchers to further document their behaviors, lifecycle and texture shifting, and estimate their population, all in effort to improve our knowledge and subsequent ability to conserve this paradigm shifting species.

Further, they hope to discern whether more relatives have the ability to shift skin texture and if that trait comes from a common ancestor. If P. mutabilis and P. sobetes are the only species within this branch of Pristimantis frogs to have this capability, they hope to learn whether they retained it from an ancestor while relatives did not, or whether the trait evolved independently in each species.



Posted on Think by Kevin Mayhood at 07:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 16, 2015

ILL Convenient Services at the KSL Service Center

Just a brief reminder of some of the things related to your ILLiad services that can be handled by Access & Delivery staff at the Kelvin Smith Library Main Service Center...

These are the services you can take care of routinely at the KSL service desk, with the assistance of attending AD team members:

* Basic help with initial ILLiad account registration process
* Pick-up & check-out of ILLiad loan items -- please ask staff as this is not self-serve
* Hold shelf availability of ILLiad loan materials -- inquire in-person or by phone
* Return of ILLiad loan items -- to desk or in book drop (except for A/V or fragile items)
* Request a renewal (if item is eligible)
* Replacement of signed-out 'Library Use Only' loans to the hold shelf for future use
* Return of 'Library Use Only' loans still checked out but being kept securely on the hold shelf -- in-person or by phone
* Return of unwanted ILL items still on hold but not yet picked up -- in-person or by phone
* Brief ILLiad patron account inquiry
* Basic patron authentication issues -- 'good-standing' status of your library patron account in the circulation database
* Brief ILL loan status inquiry -- active transactions only (excluding article requests)
* General ILL policy information -- links to KSL ILLiad logon page & help pages

Of course, all the above can also be handled by contacting ILL staff directly. Below are some issues that will need to be addressed specifically by referral to ILL staff members:

* In-depth ILL service and policy issues
* Resolve patron account registration and web access issues
* Unblock patron record -- after overdue loan issues have been cleared
* Merging duplicate patron records & re-activating disavowed accounts
* Request status detail inquiry -- loan or copy transactions still in process & not yet received, citation discrepancies, potential suppliers, etc.
* Electronic delivery concerns (article requests only)
* Password reset & user account information update assistance
* E-mail notification issues
* Lost item replacement compensation issues
* Anything & everything else ILL...

You may contact Access & Delivery staff at the KSL Main Service Center by phone at (216) 368-3506 during regular hours. As always, please feel free to contact ILL staff, by phone at (216) 368-3463 or (216) 368-3517, or by e-mail at smithill@case.edu.

Posted on Carl's ILLiad Blog by Carl Mariani at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Features | Recommendations | Services

March 23, 2015

Law students devote their spring break to immigration detainees at family residential center in Texas




News Release: Monday, March 23, 2015



When three third-year students at Case Western Reserve University School of Law were offered an unexpected chance to use their spring break getting real-time immigration law experience where it matters most, they quickly agreed.

Harrison Blythe, JoAnna Gavigan and Madeline Jack spent the week at the recently opened South Texas Family Residential Center, in Dilley, Texas. They went to experience the plight of hundreds of women and children confined there after fleeing Mexico and Central America seeking refuge and asylum in the United States. The students learned first-hand about the tragic reality of displaced families searching for a better life but now are detained, their futures uncertain.

The center in Dilley is the fourth such facility the Department of Homeland Security has used to increase its capacity to detain and expedite the removal of adults with children who have illegally crossed the Southwest border of the United States. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently closed a problematic family detention center in the remote New Mexico town Artesia.

Jennifer Peyton, a Cleveland immigration lawyer, had been directly and emotionally involved as one of a dedicated group of volunteers last August, helping women and children at Artesia through their legal and personal struggles. So she was well aware of the new center in Dilley and the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

“These families have become the latest collateral damage in an immigration system that lacks sensibility, flexibility and humanity and that fails to provide fair hearings, even for those who face grave danger if they are wrongly deported,” Peyton said.

Peyton, along with other volunteer activists, began considering a trip to the Dilley facility, just as they had gone to Artesia. The Dilley facility only houses mothers and children.

Peyton came up with the idea to include law students to “provide them with a practical experience that many law students lack in law school,” she said.

The week that fit best into her schedule happened to be spring break at the university, where she is a law school alumna and an adjunct professor for the Immigration Practicum.

Peyton had already booked her flight to Texas when she proposed the opportunity to the students.

“Eleven days before I was supposed to leave, I walked into class and asked my three students their plans for spring break,” she said. “None of the three had plans for break, and, during class that evening, each one verbally committed to volunteering. The next morning, I emailed the law school deans (Michael Scharf and Jessica Berg) for permission (and financial support), and then I began to chase down other donations to help my dream team fall into place.”

Peyton said the needed funds were quickly raised through the law school and other sources to cover travel and hotel stays for the students. In all, the three students and Peyton were joined by two more attorneys and two interpreters, all from Ohio, and other volunteers in Dilley. It formed Peyton’s Ohio “dream team.”

The practical experience at the family detention center was invaluable on many levels, Blythe said.

“We (Team Ohio) were all working together in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, where legal issues are inextricably intertwined with sometimes more pressing concerns about the well-being of mothers and their children,” he said. “In that way, we had to use each other’s skills to provide a holistic service.”

Under Peyton’s supervision, the students met with detainees and performed an initial client interview to assess legal needs. They also worked with the detainees to gather bond documents and prepare bond submissions for immigration court as a crucial step toward liberation.

Each student was able to observe court or immigration hearings known as “credible fear interviews,” where each woman discussed the often-tragic reasons why she fled her home country with her child or children. Each woman the students met is eligible for the legal protections of asylum.

This spring break got personal in a hurry for the students.

“My major takeaway has been the personal stories that the (detained) women shared with me,” Blythe said.

He said the concept gets lost on many U.S. citizens that “the United States isn't some enchanted land where once you cross its border you automatically experience freedom and upward mobility. Every single woman and child detained in that facility is still on an incredibly long and painful journey.”

For many in the detention center, they just want to end up where they can be near family and free from sexual, domestic and gang violence and police corruption, Blythe and the others learned.

“Our experience in Dilley was frustrating, inspiring, sad, and an incredible eye-opener,” Jack said. “Putting my immigration knowledge and legal training to use to help these women and children, and then to see the result of my work, was an incredible feeling. I learned so much more about the asylum process in my week of hands-on work than I did in months in the classroom. I think this kind of experiential learning, especially if it is connected with a pro bono project, should be required for law students.”


Posted on Think by Marvin Kropko at 07:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 23, 2015

HIV patients may soon be prescribed home exercise in addition to antiretroviral medications to help ward off chronic illnesses


News Release: March 23, 2015


In addition to antiretroviral medications, people with HIV may soon begin receiving a home exercise plan from their doctors, according to a researcher at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

“People with HIV are developing secondary chronic illnesses earlier and more frequently than their non-HIV counterparts,” said Allison Webel, PhD, RN, assistant professor of nursing. “And heart disease is one for which they are especially at risk.”

An estimated 1.2 million people nationally live with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Studies have shown that people with HIV can engage in a variety of moderate to intensive physical exercises that result in a range of benefits, from lower cholesterol to better cognitive and mental health outcomes.

But a search of research literature turned up just two programs specifically designed for people with HIV to exercise at home.

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.

According to The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care article, “A Cross-Sectional Description of Age and Gender Differences in Exercise Patterns in Adults Living with HIV,” the researchers found that women exercised an average of 2.4 hours a week and men for 3.5 hours. The predominant exercise was walking, followed by climbing stairs, stretching and lifting weights.

Remove walking from the routine and the amount of time women spent exercising per week fell to 1.1 hours. They found that men exercised longer, but less strenuously than the women.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises five days a week, or 25 minutes of vigorous exercises three days a week and moderate muscle strengthening at least two days a week.

The study’s participants were all on antiretroviral therapies, had an average age of 48 and were predominantly African-American (83 percent). They had lived with HIV for slightly more than 13 years and were on antiretroviral therapy for more than nine years. Most (80 percent) had a co-occurring health condition. Depression and hypertension topped the list.

Each had his or her height, weight and vital signs measured at the beginning of the study. All were asked to complete a computer survey of social and demographic questions and keep a seven-day diary to document daily exercise and its duration, frequency and intensity.

Now that the researchers know people with HIV exercise at home, Webel said the next step is to design a flexible plan that meets people at their initial levels and helps them progress to more intensive levels to maximize the health benefits of exercising.

Jacob Barkley, PhD, associate professor in exercise science at Kent State University; Christ T. Longenecker, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute, CWRU; Alison Mettelsteadt, RD, registered dietician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center; Barbara Gripshover, MD, associate professor of medicine, and Robert A. Salata, MD, professor of medicine and chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine at CWRU, contributed to the study.

The study received support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (grant #P30AI36219) and the National Center for Research Resources and National Center for the Advancing Translational Science, National Institutes of Health (grant #5KL2RR024990 and #KL2TR000440).



Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 05:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 23, 2015

“From Here to There and There to Here” conference explores how health-care workers can transition patients for better and safer outcomes


News Release: March 23, 2015


Mary Naylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Courtland Center for Transitions and Health, will frame conversations about transitioning chronically ill people from home or care facilities to hospitals and back again.

She will speak during “From Here to There and There to Here”—the 21st Florence Cellar Conference on Aging, sponsored by the University Center on Aging & Health & the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Considered a national leader on the forefront of designing and implementing transition models in health care, Naylor will open the conference with the keynote address, “Transitional Care Science and the Transitional Care Model.” She sets the course of discussions to follow during the daylong event, on Friday, April 17, at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Dr. in Mayfield Heights.

Transitions in health care are pushing for better communication skills between the system and patients and caregivers, said Diana Morris, PhD, RN, FAAN, FGSA, director of Case Western Reserve’s University Center on Aging and Health, and Florence Cellar Associate Professor of Nursing, adding that the conference offers approaches to how to accomplish that.

“It’s expected that when people are sent home from the hospital or skilled care, there’s a plan in place to manage their health-care needs from medicines, home care, rehabilitation and other supports that allow the person to live as independently as possible in the community,” she said.

If transitioning patients between places is not done well, patiens can suffer the consequences, said Evelyn Duffy, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, chair of the Cellar Conference and associate director of the University Center on Aging and Health and associate professor at the school of nursing.

If a patients must return to the hospital, within, 60 days of their discharge, the hospitals are not fuly reimbursed for the patient’s medical care.

The conference is designed to reach a breadth of health-care workers—from hospital and residential skilled and long-term care facility administrators to professional care providers, social workers, direct care workers, and caregivers—to learn more about strategies that contribute to the safety and wellbeing of the patient and yet maintain or reduce health costs.

Other featured speakers are:

• Robert Applebaum, PhD, director of the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Project and professor of sociology and gerontology at Miami University, will address, “The Changing World of Long-Term Care.”

• Gerri Lamb, PhD, RN, FAAN associate professor of nursing at Arizona State and co-director of INTERACT, a program helping to reduce hospital admissions from skilled-care facilities, will focus on “Quality, Safety and Care Coordination.”

• Ellen Burst-Cooper, PhD, MBA, adjunct professor at CWRU’s Weatherhead School of Management and senior partner in Improve Consulting and Training Group, will give the luncheon address, “Building Resilient and Productive Teams to Navigate Care Transition.”

• Peter DeGolia, MD, CMC, a physician and geriatrician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare and Medicaid program that covers all health-care related needs, will discuss the PACE program during the closing Cellar talk.

The Cellar Conference honors Florence Cellar, a 1938 CWRU nursing school alumna, who worked for University Hospitals for 40 years. She was instrumental in establishing the Florence Cellar Associate Professorship in Gerontological Nursing, the country’s first chair in gerontological nursing.

The McGregor Foundation, the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, Montefiore and Cleveland State University provided support for the conference.

For information or to register, visit http://fpb.case.edu/cellarconference. Continuing education CEU’s are available for nurses, social workers/counselors, psychologists and for certificate of attendance.


Posted on Think by Susan Griffith at 03:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 16, 2015

Conference considers Canada-U.S. “Digital Border” issues




News Release: Monday, March 16, 2014



The annual Canada - United States Law Institute conference, this year on the topic “The Digital Border,” occurs Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20 at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.

“The Digital Border” is a topic of increasing importance. This conference will bring together law and policy experts from both sides of the border to discuss emerging digital issues of common concern.

The program will include panels on intellectual property, digital content, cyber security, and digital privacy, along with in-depth dialogue concerning North America’s digital future.

View an agenda: http://cusli.org/2015Conference/Agenda.aspx

A live webcast is planned at this website:
http://law.case.edu/Lectures.aspx?lec_id=395

Here is the link to background for the various speakers:
http://cusli.org/2015Conference/SpeakerBios.aspx

Speakers include:

Stewart Baker, Partner, Steptoe and Johnson, and former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and former general counsel of the NSA.

James Dickmeyer, Consul General of the United States to Canada.

David Jacobson, former United States Ambassador to Canada.

Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada to the United States.

James Blanchard, former Governor of Michigan, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

John M. Melle, Assistant United States Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere.

Jim Peterson, former Canadian Minister of Trade.

The Canada-United States Law Institute (CUSLI) is a bi-national, not-for-profit, multidisciplinary organization created jointly in 1976 by Case Western Reserve University School of Law and Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario, in London, Ont., Canada.

CUSLI serves as a forum where the respective governments, business communities, legal professionals, academics, non-governmental organizations and can explore the issues confronting the Canada - United States relationship.

CUSLI specifically aims:
• To establish institutional and professional linkages between Canada and the United States;
• To provide its members with current resources and continuing education regarding the bilateral relationship;
• To afford comparative law and research opportunities to the students and faculties at member institutions, as well as the private and public bars in each country.


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March 13, 2015

Namesakes - Laura Kerr Axtell and the Kerr Professorship in Mathematics

In the spring of 1885, the 4-year-old Case School of Applied Science boasted an enrollment of 39 and a faculty of 7. Tuition was $50 for the year. The financial statement for 1885 reported gross income of a little more than $239,000.

In May 1885 Laura Kerr Axtell donated to the school real estate valued at approximately $125,000 to endow a professorship in Mathematics in honor of her brother, Levi Kerr. One can only imagine the reaction of the trustees upon receving a gift equivalent to 52% of the school’s total annual income. The Kerr Professorship was the first endowed professorship established at Case School of Applied Science.

Laura and Levi were cousins of Case’s founder, Leonard Case, Jr. Levi had served as administrator of Leonard’s estate and was one of the original incorporators and trustees of Case School of Applied Science. Brother and sister were both born in Mentor, Laura in 1818 and Levi in 1822. More is known of Levi’s life than Laura’s. In his teens he spent 3 years in the West Indies and Japan. Upon his return to America he worked in the dry-goods business in New York. He later relocated to western Pennsylvania where oil was found on a tract of land he had purchased and later sold to Standard Oil. Levi returned to northeast Ohio around 1870 and prospered as a banker and businessman until his death in 1885 in a drowning accident in Florida.

Laura inherited a sizable estate from her brother, which enabled her gift to Case. One obituary described her as “liberal in her benefactions.” During her life and at her death in 1890 she was a generous supporter of Case, the Lake Erie Seminary, and several Episcopal churches in the Painesville area.

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Francisca Himmelsbach painting of Laura Kerr Axtell

Kerr Professors and the dates they held the professorship are:

John N. Stockwell, 1886-1887
Harry F. Reid, 1887-1889
Charles S. Howe, 1890-1908
Theodore M. Focke, 1908-1944
Sidney W. McCuskey, 1945-1971
James C. Alexander, 1998-2008
Stanislaw Szarek, 2009-

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November 05, 2014

From strangers to mates in 15 minutes

Single gene enables female fruit flies to choose (Mr.) right

Nov. 5, 2014


CLEVELAND—Ah, to be a fruit fly. No meddling matchmakers, creepy dates or frog kissing.

Females process the sights, smell, sounds and touch of love to choose Mr. Right in 15 minutes. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University discovered the neural circuitry that allows females to make this decision.

That’s just one finding from the first-ever map of the brain circuits involved—an effort more than 40 years in the making. The work was published in the journal PLoS Biology and is featured on the cover of its October issue.

The mapping enabled the scientists to identify the single gene responsible for the network and the neurotransmitter that mediates the “yes” or “no” response—and confirm a 50-year-old hypothesis on decision-making.

By the way, humans have the same gene, but whether it works in us the same way is unclear.

A female’s choice of mate is a key factor in the survival or evolution of a species. She is deciding which traits will be passed on to the next generation.

“It’s a complex decision, “said Rui Sousa-Neves, a research professor in the department of genetics and genomic sciences, who led the research and is senior author of the study.

During courtship, “the female fruit fly is listening to love songs from the male and taking in the color of his eyes, how he dances and smells, and she’s getting cues from the way he touches her abdomen,” he said.

Sousa-Neves worked with PhD student Joseph Moeller Schinaman; biology and Spanish major Rachel Lynn Giesey, who graduated in May; and assistant biology professor Claudia Mieko Mizutani from Case Western Reserve; and University of California at Irvine researcher Tamas Lukacsovich.

Scientists have been working with fruit flies for more than 100 years. The University of Tennessee’s Benjamin Hochman isolated mutations on the fly’s fourth chromosome, a tiny chromosome compared to its three others, more than 40 years ago.

But the resource sat on a shelf because no one could link mutations to genes, Sousa-Neves said.

To link the mutation to a gene, Sousa-Neves previously developed a series of tools to molecularly map it and more recently developed a method to generate mutant neurons using a fluorescent color code.

They showed that the gene datilografo (dati), a transcription factor, is essential to organizing and maintaining the neural circuitry in the central brain that enables a female to accept a mate.

The gene is required in an excitatory circuit involving just a few neurons in the olfactory lobe, the first entry point for odor processing in the brain. The neurons express acetylcholine as their neurotransmitter.

In addition, dati is required in two other brain centers: a region where olfaction and other senses are integrated; and a novel region.

Monitoring females that were being courted “provides the first evidence for a hypothesis made 50 years ago,” Sousa-Neves said. “To make decisions we don’t balance all options like a computer does…. Here females made decisions based on a sum of stimuli that came from outside.”

Further testing showed that if they removed the dati gene, female flies made no decisions and never accepted to mate with males.

“Genes similar to dati are not only found in flies,” said Sousa-Neves. “It’s a conserved gene present in marine arthropods to humans.”

Does the gene play the same role in humans? Do humans actually make such a decision in 15 minutes?

“Nobody knows,”Sousa-Neves said. Finding the answers will take time.

But, now that they’ve discovered the players involved, “it opens up investigating decision-making at a brand new level,” he said.

The researchers are looking further into how dati establishes the circuits for decision-making in flies and what decision-making involves.

The paper can be found at: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001964


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July 01, 2014

Clot-building nanoparticles raise survival rate following blast trauma


July 1, 2014


CLEVELAND—A type of artificial platelet being developed to help natural blood platelets form clots faster offers promise for saving the lives of soldiers, as well as victims of car crashes and other severe trauma.

In preclinical tests led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher, the artificial platelets, called “hemostatic nanoparticles,” when injected after blast trauma dramatically increased survival rates and showed no signs of interfering with healing or causing other complications weeks afterward.

“The nanoparticles have a huge impact on survival—not just in the short term, but in the long term,” said Erin Lavik, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve. Other researchers had raised concerns that the foreign matter would interfere with healing, or form free-floating clots, but “we saw none of that.”

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, show the survival rate of mice models of blast trauma treated with the nanoparticles increased to 95, compared to 60 percent for those untreated. The research can be found at: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/06/25/1406979111.full.pdf.

Also, no unwanted side effects, such as accumulation of the nanoparticles, clot formation or aberrant healing, were found during examinations one and three weeks after the injection.

Lavik worked with Margaret M. Lashof-Sullivan, Erin Shoffstall and Kristyn T. Atkins, of Case Western Reserve; Nickolas Keane and Cynthia Bir of Wayne State University and Pamela VandeVord of Virginia Tech.

Explosions account for 79 percent of combat-related injuries and are the leading cause of battlefield deaths, according to researchers at Veterans Affairs hospitals and the federally run Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

The primary blast wave, flying shrapnel and being thrown to the ground cause the lungs, liver, kidneys and other organs to hemorrhage and bleed uncontrollably.

Such uncontrolled bleeding from collisions, blows and falls is also the leading cause of death among victims age 5 to 44 in the United States.

Natural blood platelets are the key ingredient to stopping bleeding, a process called hemostasis. The process works well for typical cuts and scrapes, but can be overwhelmed with serious injuries.

Hospitals try to stem internal bleeding by giving trauma patients blood products or the hemophilia medicine called recombinant factor VIIa, but there isn’t a good option for the battlefield or accident scenes. Recombinant factor VIIa must be refrigerated, costs up to tens of thousands of dollars per treatment and can cause clots in brain and spinal cord injuries, which are common from explosions.

Lavik’s team has fine-tuned the nanoparticles to increase clotting efficiency. “They are incredibly simple… spheres with arms of peptides that react with activated blood platelets in damaged tissues to help clots form more quickly,” she said.

The particles are made from short polymer chains already approved for other uses by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In earlier testing, rat models injected with the nanoparticles stopped bleeding faster than untreated models.

The dry particles remained viable after two weeks on a shelf. A medic in the field or an ambulance crew would add saline, shake and inject them, the researchers say.

Further research and testing are underway. Clinical trials on humans are likely at least five years out, Lavik said.

The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Grant W81XWH-11-2-0014 and the National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award DP20D007338.



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October 22, 2014

Amputees discern familiar sensations across prosthetic hand

System providing sensation for more than two years

Oct. 22, 2014


CLEVELAND—CLEVELAND—Even before he lost his right hand to an industrial accident 4 years ago, Igor Spetic had family open his medicine bottles. Cotton balls give him goose bumps.

Now, blindfolded during an experiment, he feels his arm hairs rise when a researcher brushes the back of his prosthetic hand with a cotton ball.

Spetic, of course, can’t feel the ball. But patterns of electric signals are sent by a computer into nerves in his arm and to his brain, which tells him different. “I knew immediately it was cotton,” he said.

That’s one of several types of sensation Spetic, of Madison, Ohio, can feel with the prosthetic system being developed by Case Western Reserve University and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Spetic was excited just to “feel” again, and quickly received an unexpected benefit. The phantom pain he’d suffered, which he’s described as a vice crushing his closed fist, subsided almost completely. A second patient, who had less phantom pain after losing his right hand and much of his forearm in an accident, said his, too, is nearly gone.

Despite having phantom pain, both men said that the first time they were connected to the system and received the electrical stimulation, was the first time they’d felt their hands since their accidents. In the ensuing months, they began feeling sensations that were familiar and were able to control their prosthetic hands with more – well – dexterity.

To watch a video of the research, click here: http://youtu.be/l7jht5vvzR4.

“The sense of touch is one of the ways we interact with objects around us,” said Dustin Tyler, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Case Western Reserve and director of the research. “Our goal is not just to restore function, but to build a reconnection to the world. This is long-lasting, chronic restoration of sensation over multiple points across the hand.”

“The work reactivates areas of the brain that produce the sense of touch," said Tyler, who is also associate director of the Advanced Platform Technology Center at the Cleveland VA. “When the hand is lost, the inputs that switched on these areas were lost.”

How the system works and the results will be published online in the journal Science Translational Medicine Oct. 8. The study and release are embargoed until 2 p.m. Eastern U.S. time, Oct. 8.

“The sense of touch actually gets better,” said Keith Vonderhuevel, of Sidney, Ohio, who lost his hand in 2005 and had the system implanted in January 2013. “They change things on the computer to change the sensation."

“One time,” he said, “it felt like water running across the back of my hand.”

The system, which is limited to the lab at this point, uses electrical stimulation to give the sense of feeling. But there are key differences from other reported efforts.

First, the nerves that used to relay the sense of touch to the brain are stimulated by contact points on cuffs that encircle major nerve bundles in the arm, not by electrodes inserted through the protective nerve membranes.

Surgeons Michael W. Keith, MD, and J. Robert Anderson, MD, from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Cleveland VA, implanted three electrode cuffs in Spetic’s forearm, enabling him to feel 19 distinct points; and two cuffs in Vonderhuevel’s upper arm, enabling him to feel 16 distinct locations.

Second, when they began the study, the sensation Spetic felt when a sensor was touched was a tingle. To provide more natural sensations, the research team has developed algorithms that convert the input from sensors taped to a patient’s hand into varying patterns and intensities of electrical signals. The sensors themselves aren’t sophisticated enough to discern textures, they detect only pressure.

The different signal patterns, passed through the cuffs, are read as different stimuli by the brain. The scientists continue to fine-tune the patterns, and Spetic and Vonderhuevel appear to be becoming more attuned to them.

Third, the system has worked for 2 ½ years in Spetic and 1½ in Vonderhueval. Other research has reported sensation lasting one month and, in some cases, the ability to feel began to fade over weeks.

A blindfolded Vonderhuevel has held grapes or cherries in his prosthetic hand—the signals enabling him to gauge how tightly he’s squeezing—and pulled out the stems.

“When the sensation’s on, it’s not too hard,” he said. “When it’s off, you make a lot of grape juice.”

Different signal patterns interpreted as sandpaper, a smooth surface and a ridged surface enabled a blindfolded Spetic to discern each as they were applied to his hand. And when researchers touched two different locations with two different textures at the same time, he could discern the type and location of each.

Tyler believes that everyone creates a map of sensations from their life history that enables them to correlate an input to a given sensation.

“I don’t presume the stimuli we’re giving is hitting the spots on the map exactly, but they’re familiar enough that the brain identifies what it is,” he said.

Because of Vonderheuval’s and Spetic’s continuing progress, Tyler is hopeful the method can lead to a lifetime of use. He’s optimistic his team can develop a system a patient could use at home, within five years.

In addition to hand prosthetics, Tyler believes the technology can be used to help those using prosthetic legs receive input from the ground and adjust to gravel or uneven surfaces. Beyond that, the neural interfacing and new stimulation techniques may be useful in controlling tremors, deep brain stimulation and more.

Daniel Tan, a Case Western Reserve PhD student who has since graduated, and Matthew Schiefer, a biomedical engineering instructor at Case Western Reserve and investigator at the APT Center at the Cleveland VA, are co-lead authors of the study. Joyce Tyler, an occupational therapist at MetroHealth Medical Center, and surgeons, Keith and Anderson are coauthors.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs funded the research.
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Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,200 undergraduate and 5,600 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.

About the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
Cleveland VAMC provides both inpatient and outpatient health care services at its facility located in Cleveland (Wade Park) as well as 13 Community Based Outpatient Clinics within Northeast Ohio.  The Wade Park Campus is classified as a Level 1 (the most complex) type of medical facility because of the range of available services. It is a teaching hospital with full service patient care, as well as education & research centers. 



Posted on Think by Kevin Mayhood at 07:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Entry is tagged: Official Release

March 10, 2015

Study of weight-loss strategies for people with disabling conditions finds more approaches needed for neurological disabilities

matthewPlow46.jpg

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.

The researchers wanted to learn more about interventions for people who, because of limited mobility, have difficulty losing weight through exercise and healthy eating.

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 Case Western Reserve’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

Plow was the lead researcher on the study—“A systematic review of behavioral techniques used in nutrition and weight loss interventions among adults with mobility-impairing neurological and musculoskeletal conditions”—funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant #K01NR012975). World Obesity recently reported the team’s findings.

The researchers were especially interested in interventions for such conditions as multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injuries, arthritis, lupus, cerebral palsy and spina bifida— neurological and musculoskeletal conditions that can limit mobility.

The team reviewed more than 900 papers from 1980 to 2013 about clinical trials on obesity. That body of work was narrowed to 41 studies, identifying 27 specific behavior-changing techniques targeting weight-loss for people with disabilities. Among them: various approaches for self-monitoring, overcoming problems, enhancing communication, managing time and planning specific actions.

The included studies in the review involved about 2,500 participants at least 18 years old. Most were female (65 percent). The average age was 56.5. Only 165 had neurological conditions; the rest had musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis.

The included intervention studies generally assessed the participants’ weight, physical functioning, pain, biomarkers, healthy behaviors, patient-reported mental health, social functions and fatigue.

Post-assessments for weight loss were made about 15 weeks after the intervention and again at 28 weeks.

Participants lost, on average, about 10 pounds. But because attrition rates were as high as 25 percent, the researchers questioned the weight-loss number’s validity.

To attack the obesity epidemic, more should be done to help people with disabling conditions who are most at risk for weight gain, Plow said. Fighting obesity also requires focusing on nutritional habits as well as physical activity, he said.

Shirley Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean of research at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing; M. Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director, Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center, ‎Department: Rheumatologic and Immunologic Disease at Cleveland Clinic; and John. P. Kirwan, PhD, Department of Pathology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, contributed to the study.

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March 09, 2015

Depression symptoms of African-American cancer patients may be under-recognized, study finds


News Release: March 9, 2015


Case Western Reserve University 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.

Zhang and her colleagues studied 74 cancer patients (34 depressed and 23 non-depressed African-Americans and 17 depressed Caucasians) at a Northeast Ohio medical center, hoping to identify depression symptoms in black cancer patients through group comparisons.

The participants had been diagnosed with early-stage breast or prostate cancers within the previous three years and were at least six months from their last treatment. They were asked a series of open-ended questions to measure depression.

Depressed African-American patients reported feeling irritable and wanting to be alone more frequently than non-depressed black patients—symptoms not usually described on the diagnostic test for depression. They also reported more insomnia, fatigue and crying more frequently.

Researchers also found that depressed African-American patients reported sad feelings less often than depressed Caucasian patients. Many black cancer patients didn’t use the word “depressed” to describe how they’re feeling, using instead such words as “feeling down,” “gloomy,” “low” or “blue.”

“Because we don’t use those words in standardized testing, we could be losing people with depression,” Zhang said.

Their conclusion: Standard psychological tests are mainly based on responses from white patients. Therefore, black cancer patients may benefit from more culturally sensitive depression measures that consider irritability, social isolation and describing a down mood in ways other than feeling “depressed.”

Given new clues to depression in black cancer patients may allow clinicians to more accurately diagnose and treat the disorder by asking new questions that specifically target such symptoms, Zhang said.

Next, Zhang hopes to begin testing a larger number of participants to see if using new culturally sensitive questions and descriptions of symptoms result in better diagnosis of—and treatment for—black cancer patients with depression.

Findings from the pilot study, conducted from 2006-09 and funded by the National Institute of Cancer of the National Institutes of Health (R03 CA115191-01A2), were recently posted online in the Journal of Mental Health article, “Exploration of depressive symptoms in African American cancer patients.”

Faye Gary, EdD, RN, FAAN, the Medical Mutual of Ohio Kent W. Clapp Chair and Professor of Nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing; and Hui Zhu, MD, assistant professor of urology at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and section urology chief at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, were co-investigators and co-authors on the study.

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March 05, 2015

CWRU’s Mandel School receives federal grant to train and educate county child welfare workers


News Release: March 5, 2015



The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University received a four-year, $588,000 grant from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute to provide tuition to 20 social workers from 10 Northeast Ohio county child welfare agencies.

The Mandel School also will provide an additional $969,538 to partially offset tuition costs not covered by the grant for the Child Welfare Fellows program. Applications, with a leadership essay, must be received before April 1. (Details can be found here: http://msass.case.edu/finaid/child-welfare-fellows).

The goal is to increase the number of public child welfare workers with master-level social work training. Such advance training allows them to learn new practices in their field, from investigating hotline calls about child abuse to assisting children who age out of the foster program at 18.

To qualify for the Child Welfare Fellows program, candidates must have at least a bachelor’s degree and be employed by a public child welfare agency in one of the 10 targeted Northeast Ohio counties. The program takes three years to complete. However, social workers with a Bachelor’s of Social Work (BSW) earned in the past seven years can complete the curriculum in two years.

The intensive weekend courses allow students to continue working fulltime, while incorporating what they learn in their jobs, said Victor K. Groza, the Grace F. Brody Professor of Parent-Child Studies at the Mandel School and the project’s director.

In addition to weekend courses, the social workers will have a field placement experience (the hallmark of the Mandel School’s program) within their agencies, but in a department different from where they work. All students will receive courses in leadership and supervision.

The Case Western Reserve program is one of just 13 funded nationally by the institute, which is housed at the Research Foundation for the State University of New York.

Support for these programs is through the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children Bureau (grant #90CT7002-02-00).

Since 2009, the Mandel School has received $1.13 million from the institute to help build highly trained child welfare staffs that bring new practices and leadership to social service agencies after earning a Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) degree, Groza said.

To date, the Child Welfare Fellows program has trained 25 social workers from Cuyahoga, Lake and Summit counties. Twenty-four are still working in their child welfare agencies—two of whom were promoted after completing the program.

The new funding expands the Child Welfare Fellows program to seven additional Ohio counties (Medina, Stark, Ashtabula, Geauga, Richfield, Huron and Trumbull) and adds technology-driven coaching to the training. The program will also offer supervisor training for Cuyahoga County child welfare workers with a license in social work who need two hours per week of job supervision to reach the next level of licensure.


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Entry is tagged: Official Release