Rapid Pulse: News and notes

Georgia State awarded $19 million grant for tobacco research

In what is the largest grant in Georgia State University history, the School of Public Health and its partners will receive $19 million over five years from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health to establish one of 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science.

Georgia State, with its partners, the University of Illinois at Chicago and RTI International, will focus on an important and often overlooked aspect of regulatory science: the understanding of human decision-making around the use of tobacco. Led by Michael P. Eriksen, dean of the School of Public Health and lead author of the “Tobacco Atlas,” the Georgia State TCORS will conduct three research projects to examine human economic behavior, consumer reaction to tobacco marketing and individual perception of risk of using novel tobacco products.

The TCORS program provides young investigators with training opportunities to ensure the development of the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists. Georgia State researchers from the School of Public Health and the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as a number of pre- and postdoctoral fellows, will collaborate on the grant.

Grant to train nurse leaders: The Helene Fuld Health Trust has donated $6.5 million to establish an innovative palliative care fellowship program at Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and the Emory Palliative Care Center. The program aims to develop nurse leaders who can make an impact in palliative care, an area of health care that is rapidly growing as more Americans are facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses.

The grant will create the Fuld Palliative Care Fellowship Program to prepare nursing students to work collaboratively with physicians, social workers, physical therapists and chaplains to provide specialized holistic palliative care.

The grant will provide program support and scholarships to select students each year to become immersed in palliative care clinical initiatives, research and policy development by working with the Emory Palliative Care Center. The new program will enroll its inaugural cohort of students in summer 2014.

Good for moms: Working Mother magazine named WellStar Health System among the top 10 of the 2013 Working Mother 100 Best Companies. WellStar was cited for its commitment to progressive workplace programs, including child care, flexibility, career advancement and paid family leave.

The 100 Best Companies are featured in the October/November issue of Working Mother and at www.workingmother.com.

WellStar offers a multitude of benefits to all employees including two on-site day cares for children of employees and back-up care assistance for children and family members of employees who need last-minute, in-home temporary care. Additionally, concierge service is offered to all WellStar employees to help with such tasks as dry-cleaning pick-up, car maintenance and grocery shopping.

Stroke research grant: The National Institutes of Health, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, has awarded a research grant to Dr. Michael Stechison, Ph.D., and Gwinnett Medical Center to expand treatment options for intracerebral stroke patients.

The study will explore the use of tPA (a thrombolytic or clot-busting drug) delivered via a catheter placed using CT guidance. Physicians will investigate clot-size reduction related to improved outcomes.
Gwinnett Medical Center is one of 60 participants internationally in the study and the only participant in Georgia.

WellStar promotion: WellStar Health System has promoted Bethany Robertson to vice president and chief learning officer. In this position, Robertson will continue to lead WellStar’s Organizational Learning department.

Robertson’s research and teaching has centered on quality and safety in health care, and the science of teamwork as a system of work design. She also has focused on partnering with leadership to implement strategic initiatives that support continued growth and development.