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  • 8 May 2023 2:07 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Poverty in early childhood correlates with lower school achievement and reduced earnings as an adult. It is also associated with differences in brain structure and electrical brain activity. Brain activity exhibits repetitive patterns at various frequencies. More low-frequency activity has been associated with behavioral, attention, and learning problems. Higher-frequency activity has been associated with better language, cognitive, and social-emotional scores. [NIH Matters]

    The study adds to growing evidence that interventions to relieve poverty can affect how infants’ brains develop. Photo Juliya Shangarey 

    Some evidence suggests that children from lower-income families tend to have more low-frequency activity and less high-frequency activity than those from higher-income families. But it’s not clear whether poverty causes these changes in brain activity or is merely associated with other factors that cause them.

    To find out, researchers created the Baby’s First Years study, a randomized controlled trial of poverty reduction in early childhood. In this study, 1,000 low-income mothers of newborns received a cash gift for the first several years of their children’s lives. The size of the gift was randomly chosen to be either $333 or $20 per month. The mothers could spend the money in ways that made the most sense to them, with no strings attached.



  • 5 May 2023 3:56 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    What is the effectiveness of the Parent-focused Redesign for Encounters, Newborns to Toddlers intervention, a model for well-child care that integrates a community health worker into preventive care services at well-child care visits?  [JAMA Network]

    Findings  In this cluster randomized clinical trial including 914 parents with a child younger than 2 years of age, those in the intervention group had a higher score for parent-reported receipt of recommended anticipatory guidance during well-child visits vs the usual care group (mean score, 73.9 vs 63.3, respectively); however, emergency department use was similar in the intervention and usual care groups (37.2% vs 36.1%, respectively).

    Meaning  Integrating a community health worker into well-child care visits to provide early childhood preventive care services can improve the care that children receive.

    Full paper here> 


  • 4 May 2023 8:29 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The feasibility of AI and machine learning (ML) tools in healthcare settings is up for debate. ChatGPT made headlines after a recent experiment proved it could pass all three parts of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). At the same time, experts continue to raise concerns about the tool’s limitations in real-life healthcare situations, as well as its proclivity for inaccuracies and bias.

    While clinicians and other medical experts continue to debate ML’s effectiveness for treating patients, they’re neglecting a much more dependable and equally impactful use case: administrative work. ML has tremendous potential to streamline tedious administrative tasks and free up valuable time for clinicians, which ultimately leads to better patient outcomes. However, the effectiveness of AI in reducing administrative workloads hinges on providers’ ability to properly incorporate these tools into their work routines. 



  • 3 May 2023 12:53 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    OSF HealthCare’s Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center has generated $180 million in economic impact since opening its doors a decade ago, the health system announced last week. [Health News Illinois]

    A study, worked on by OSF and Bradley University, also found the facility has created more than 1,000 jobs throughout central Illinois.

    Additionally, the health system highlighted achievements from the center, such as a smart mirror that reads patient vital signs and 3D printing and virtual reality for presurgical planning.

    All of that helps better deliver care to patients, Dr. John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer for innovation at OSF HealthCare, told Health News Illinois ahead of the report’s release.

    “There's a great advantage, especially to OSF, if we can apply these techniques for good purpose for health and wellness, to flip the access curve — no longer relying on the patient to knock on our door to gain access to healthcare — but us reaching out more in anticipation of needs,” he said.

    Chris Setti, Peoria Economic Development Commission CEO, said the center has not yet approached its full potential. A goal, he said, is for Peoria and healthcare innovation to become as synonymous as Rochester, Minn. and the Mayo Clinic.

    “That's what OSF is building, in large part because of what Jump has done,” he said.

    Vozenilek said they continue to partner with providers and institutes of higher learning like the University of Illinois on grants to further develop new technologies, with collaborations occurring either at the center or by filling “trucks with equipment” to work with smaller communities and rural hospitals and train workers there.

    “We show them the technologies and we show them how we support and provide infrastructure for people with great ideas across disciplines,” Vozenilek said of the collaborations. “And when we try to recruit individuals to come to Peoria, and they can see all of this happening and all of the value and all the opportunity — boy I'll tell you what, the conversation gets quite sweet.”


  • 3 May 2023 12:19 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The mission of the Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation is to continue the legacy of Michael Reese Hospital by supporting research, education, and community service through relationships that foster quality health care. Our vision is for the provision of excellent care for all patients, regardless of demographic conditions.

    The Michael Reese Foundation realizes this mission through:

    ● Providing grants for translational research projects, addressing clinical issues, converting

    research to practical applications.

    ● Scholarships for diverse students to complete their health care education and fill the need within

    their communities.

    ● Connecting underserved patients with comprehensive care and other community support


    The Foundation is seeking a new Executive Director due to the retirement of their current executive director. 

    More details here> 


  • 2 May 2023 6:24 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    To better understand the social determinants of preterm birth, research efforts have shifted from women’s individual level characteristics toward their exposure to contextual markers. The Index of Concentration at the Extremes (ICE) is a novel measure of spatial social polarization that quantifies the extremes of both privilege and deprivation. Our population-based study adds to the limited published literature on the relation of ICE to preterm birth rates among African-American and non-Latinx white women. We found that the high degree of both racial and income polarization within communities was associated with preterm birth rates even among those who received adequate prenatal care.

    Download article here>


  • 1 May 2023 9:05 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Every day, Adrienne Grimmett and her colleagues at Evara Health in the Tampa Bay area see stories of inequity in their patients’ teeth, gums, and palates.

    Marked in painful abscesses, dangerous infections, and missing molars are tales of unequal access to care.

    All of these ailments — which keep patients out of work because of pain or social stigma, and children out of school because they can’t concentrate with rotting roots — are preventable.

    Annual dental checks are essential to overall health. But of the 67 counties in Florida, experts say, only one has enough dentists to treat all patients. Nine counties in Florida have fewer than three practicing dentists apiece. Lafayette County, in north Florida, doesn’t have a single one.

    “It’s a social injustice,” said Grimmett, director of dental services at the not-for-profit, which serves Medicaid and uninsured patients in the Tampa Bay region.



  • 28 Apr 2023 7:11 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    A new subvariant of the coronavirus has been gaining steam in recent weeks, and it has spread to several countries, including the United States.  The XBB.1.16 subvariant, a member of the omicron variant’s lineage that has been nicknamed Arcturus, has become increasingly common in the U.S. recently, making up almost 10 percent of all cases last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only  the XBB.1.5 subvariant, which made up almost three-quarters of cases last week, is more common. [ The Hill]



  • 27 Apr 2023 7:56 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

     Good luck to the students at the National Hispanic Medical Association! 

    Great turn out~ Welcome to Chicago! 

  • 26 Apr 2023 4:49 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a key presence in 2023, even as the public health emergency designation — which has propped up funding and key programs in the sector — winds down in May, sparking a major transition in the industry. [Healthcare Dive]

    Providers, already facing pandemic-fueled labor shortages, may struggle to rein in expenses, and financial cricumstances for hospitals and clinicians may fall into negative margins this year. To make matters worse, clashes are expected between payers and providers during rate negotiations as both groups eye a potential widespread economic recession.


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