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October 2018

Namita Jayaprakash, Mary Thomson, Nakul Shekhawat, & Yagnaram Ravichandran · Physician Investigator Research Awards

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation recently awarded four Physician Investigator Research Awards. Among the grantees are:

  • Henry Ford Health System, Namita Jayaprakash, MD—to assess the impact of early critical care consultation by senior level decision makers, who are certified physicians in emergency medicine and critical care, on boarders who remain in the emergency department. ($10,000)
  • University of Michigan, Mary Thomson, MD—to assess the impact of an intervention designed to advance patients’ medication knowledge and disease self-management, as well as improve the transition to the outpatient setting among hospitalized patients with cirrhosis. ($10,000)
  • University of Michigan, Nakul Shekhawat, MD, MPH—to leverage recent advances in big data analytics to generate a comprehensive picture of current management practices, clinical outcomes, and health care disparities in the Herpes Simplex Virus Keratitis and Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus. ($10,000)
  • Wayne State University, Yagnaram Ravichandran, MD—to describe the proportion of patients prescribed Dexamethason versus systemic corticosterioids (steroids) for asthma upon discharge from the emergency departments and determine the relapse rate. ($7,160)

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation (Detroit, MI)

Contact: Nora Maloy
Phone: 313.225.8205

Christina Zarcadoolas · 2018 Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion

Health Literacy Media announced that the internationally-known health literacy innovator and scholar Christina Zarcadoolas is its 2018 Cecilia and Leonard Doak Health Literacy Champion.

As one of the first generation of pioneers who have advanced health literacy, Ms. Zarcadoolas has helped us all better understand how people make sense of health and scientific information, and how they can apply this knowledge in their lives. Her 2006 book, “Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action,” has been called “required reading” for health professionals. Among the institutions where she has left her mark are Brown University’s Center for Environmental Studies, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Hunter College, and City University of New York. She is also the founder and creator of the Health Literacy Lab.

The Doak award will be presented at the 2018 Health Literacy Awards Dinner in St. Louis, Missouri on October 30.

Health Literacy Media (St. Louis, MO)

Phone: 314.361.9400

Cicero, Illinois; Eatonville, Florida; Klamath County, Oregon; and San Antonio, Texas · 2018 RWJF Culture of Health Prize

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced four communities chosen to receive the 2018 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. The winning communities were selected from nearly 200 applicants. The 2018 winners are: Cicero, Illinois; Eatonville, Florida; Klamath County, Oregon; and San Antonio, Texas.

Each winner will receive a $25,000 prize, join a growing network of prize winning communities, and have their accomplishments shared broadly to inspire other communities across the nation who are building a Culture of Health. Each prize community has own distinct vision for the future, but all the winners are aligned in their commitment to deliver the promise of opportunity and improved health for all residents:

  • Cicero, Illinois—A suburb of Chicago, Cicero, Illinois, is empowering residents of all ages to improve community health and outcomes. In a Latino-majority town where 45 percent of residents identify as immigrants, community members and organizations have rallied to keep their school-based health clinic open, prevent violence on school routes, provide safe and enriching afterschool programming, and increase access to early education. Community providers offer mental health counseling and trainings to help generate trauma awareness and combat its negative effects. Cicero’s efforts are guided by a collaborative of community stakeholders. Direct engagement with residents, parents, and young people has shaped solutions, setting the stage for a stronger community for future generations.
  • Eatonville, Florida—North of Orlando, Eatonville, Florida—the oldest historically black incorporated town in America—is looking at the big picture of what creates conditions for good health. It’s strengthening its workforce with training and certifications in high-need trade areas and adult education classes. The town is expanding housing by offering more options for families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. Residents actively shape its priorities as demonstrated by the community-led revision of the town charter. It’s also fostering leaders of all ages to pass the Culture of Health baton through initiatives like Leadership Eatonville. In 2011 when a study revealed the town’s high diabetes rates, community partners launched into action, creating Healthy Eatonville Place to promote and support healthier lifestyles.
  • Klamath County, Oregon—Collaboration is in the fabric of Klamath County, Oregon. Partners come together to improve high school graduation rates for all students, build a strong cadre of local, skilled workers through job training, and attract new businesses. Leaders from law enforcement and mental health agencies have teamed up to provide alternatives to incarceration and build stronger police-community relations by increasing positive interactions with residents. Bilingual community health workers and a rural health care residency program are working to remove barriers to health care. Community leaders and organizations address housing challenges by incentivizing exterior home improvement through mini grants to residents in low-income neighborhoods. Local leaders also drive the development of trails and green space through geographic information system mapping.
  • San Antonio, Texas—Leaders in San Antonio, Texas are working to ensure its future success leaves no one behind. Resident-driven efforts focus on factors that impact health, from approving funding for city-wide, all-day pre-K to expanding internet connectivity among public housing residents. The city’s strong data-driven collective action is demonstrated through efforts like SA2020, which publicly tracks city progress on nearly 60 indicators of community health and holds leaders accountable. The city’s Equity Office puts policies into play to reduce disparities and the city’s budget is designed to prioritize opportunities for neighborhoods and populations that have been historically marginalized. Mental health is a community-wide priority that includes decriminalizing issues related to mental health and substance abuse and diverting individuals with mental health crises or substance abuse problems from jail to treatment.

To learn more about this year’s winners and how to apply for the 2019 RWJF Culture of Health Prize award, click here.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Princeton, NJ)

Contact: Melissa Blair
Phone: 609.627.5937
More information:

Denise Craddock Hannon, Reggie Monroe, & Abigail Strudwick · Unsung Hero Awards

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina awarded three Unsung Hero Awards to individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary care to enhance the well-being of children in South Carolina’s kinship families as part of its Kinship Care Initiative. Formal (licensed) and informal (non-licensed) kinship caregivers in South Carolina who provided care for a relative’s child throughout the preceding year or longer were eligible for nomination, including fictive kin. The three outstanding individuals will be recognized at the Kinship Care Summits held in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, South Carolina. Each Unsung Hero had different stories representing the spectrum of kinship families.

  • Denise Craddock Hannon (Greenville, South Carolina) Ms. Hannon was nominated by Rhonda Goodman, Case Manager, DSS. She and her husband stepped in at a moment’s notice to care for their grandson. They have navigated the system with compassion and commitment to their grandson’s safety, happiness, and stability and they are working with his mother to do what is necessary to rebuild the relationship between mother and child.
  • Reggie Monroe (Charleston, South Carolina) Mr. Monroe was nominated by Elizabeth McGuan, Program Manager, HALOS. Mr. Monroe stepped in to care for his three nephews after learning of his younger brother’s substance abuse. He humbly says that the institutional process of securing guardianship has helped him understand what type of parent he needs to be for the boys and helped him learn how to parent for the very first time.
  • Abigail J. Strudwick (Columbia, South Carolina) Ms. Strudwick was nominated by Melissa Strompolis, Volunteer Guardian with Richland County CASA. Ms. Strudwich was a 20-year-old college student at the University of South Carolina-Upstate when her nephew and her younger sister were placed into foster care after testing positive for an illegal substance. Ms. Studwich applied and received guardianship of her nephew and sister. She is currently back in college and her nephew and sister are in the care of her mother who is in recovery.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)

Contact: Langley Shealy
Phone: 803.254.0230