Friday, March 27, 2009

Worrying about North Dakota

Here in South Carolina, most of the state remains in drought despite modest rain during the past two days.  But what worries us is our friends in North Dakota, who are living with the opposite problem.  Hoping that the sandbags hold.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Promoting rural health everywhere

Moving into new media:  Note T-shirts worn by SCRHRC faculty at the Downtown Columbia Triathlon, March 21.  We always promote rural.  The back of the shirt was even better, but a photo of two backs would look odd.

Monday, March 9, 2009


     This story eventually gets to a research-related point and it does have a moral.  Will not be taking up a collection.
     Met one of the many charming & talented Arnold School of Public Health grad student women when exiting the Blatt PE Center last Thursday.  In the usual hi good to see you what are you doing here exchange, I noted that I was training for the upcoming Columbia triathlon.  Since disclaimers were clearly needed [I don't look the part], added that I took up the sport a few years ago, at age 57.  Further down the conversational line, as we were parting, the young woman said "I think it's so wonderful that you're still doing new things at your age."   At your age.  My internal response was not a pleasant one.  But I recognized the misguided sweetness and answered pleasantly, and we each wandered off home.
     As an early Baby Boomer, I'm just reaching the stage at which appearance trumps potential.  When I shopped for my current bike, salesmen automatically led me to the fat seat cruisers, not the racers.  I'm just an old woman.  But I've been able to spend most of my life being something else.  For persons of color, the experience of being categorized based on appearance begins a lot earlier.  That knot in the stomach translates into stress and stress related disorders.  My hope:  that as Baby Boomers age, more and more of them come to understand how it stings to be judged based on appearance and develop a broader empathy for others who encounter the same sting.  Promoting health disparities research will be a lot easier when a broad base of scientists have a visceral feel for the nature of discrimination.   --  JP

Friday, March 6, 2009

SCRHRC at the UNC Minority Health Conference

Kudos to USC grad (and former SCRHRC post-doc, current SCRHRC related faculty) Banky Olatosi, who represented the Center at the 30th Annual University of North Carolina Minority Health Conference, February 27, 2009.  Dr. Olatosi is currently faculty at Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, NC.  He participated in a panel discussion of Urban and Rural Health Programs.  

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cool Stuff at the SC Telemedicine Summit

   The SCRHRC, South Carolina AHEC, and the Medical University of South Carolina, with funding from the Duke Endowment, collaborated on "Telemedicine for South Carolina:  Addressing Healthcare Needs in Rural and Underserved Communities."  Full proceedings, including video, will be posted on the web.
   Coolest presentations, other than our own Amy Martin outlining the results of our statewide surveys of primary care and specialist docs:
   Ronald Weinstein, MD of Arizona on how that state created a telemedicine utility
   Herrmann Spetzler from the Open Door Community Health Network in Eureka, CA.  As a teacher of healthcare management, I particularly liked his focus on telemedicine as a business model, not a technology.  With telemedicine giving him the ability to draw patients from geographically diverse sites, Mr. Spetzler can afford to pay a flat fee for a specialist's time spent at one of the Network's clinics, knowing that all of that time will be filled.  
    The next hurdle: if we can just convince our educational accrediting bodies that if medicine can be handled in a virtual world, face-to-face video education can count as "contact time."

SCRHRC at the Office of Minority Health Leadership Summit

    We were represented at the Office of Minority Health Leadership Summit, held February 25-27, by Jan (Director) and two post-docs (Jessica and Crystal).  Jessica presented a poster reporting some of her dissertation work, dealing with the relationships between perceptions of racial discrimination and mistrust of the medical system and receipt of preventive health services.  Jessica & Crystal are shown at the luncheon on Thursday -- sorry that I didn't take more pictures, as that isn't Crystal's best look!