WVU Medicine Cabinet News Stories

WVU Children’s Hospital providing patients with Beads of Courage

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Children’s Hospital patients battling cancer and blood disorders can now commemorate milestones in their treatment with colorful beads as a part of the Beads of Courage program. Founded in 2005, the Beads of Courage program allows children an opportunity to honor the challenging journey they face during treatment. Through the collection of Beads of Courage, they not only symbolize the courage they display but also honor milestones along their path of treatment. [...]

Compounds in non-stick cookware may be associated with elevated cholesterol in children and teens

Note: This press release was distributed by the Journal of the American Medical Association. [...]

Study to follow healthcare of chronically ill

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – A new research study at West Virginia University will determine how well the formal and informal health networks in rural areas serve people with multiple long-term chronic health issues. These individuals often move back and forth from their homes to hospitals and nursing homes for treatment. They interact with a wide variety of health professionals, health institutions and social agencies over the course of their illness. These transitions become more common and more complex as their conditions worsen, and they approach the end of their lives. With their caregivers' help, they often struggle to navigate multiple healthcare providers and programs, while experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and depression. As a result, their quality of life is often poor for many years before they die. Joy Buck, Ph.D., R.N., a researcher in the WVU School of Nursing based at the University’s Eastern Division in Martinsburg, will lead a team that includes social work and public health professionals and WVU medical, nursing and social work students. Buck has been working with a community advisory board comprised of representatives from multiple agencies in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties. The project, “Building Capacity for Rural Integrative Palliative Care: Bridges to Healthy Transitions,” is funded by a $378,000 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes of Health.  Volunteers with more than one serious health problem will be recruited over the next several months, and the research team will conduct in-depth interviews. Participants and their caregivers will be followed for about 18 months. Researchers will also talk with nurses, social workers, family members and others involved with the patient’s care to get a well-rounded picture of how well the care is working. “We want to understand more about what types of care and services they receive — at home, at their healthcare providers’ offices, in hospitals and elsewhere — and see how well it is aligned with what they really need and prefer,” Dr. Buck said. “It’s been our observation that the transition from one setting to another is often done poorly — that there are gaps in communication among the primary care providers, the specialists, the families and the patients. “We have also found that many of the symptoms they experience are not well managed. The study will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the socio-cultural context of living with and caring for adults with complex chronic illness in rural areas. Such a study is necessary in order to see the true impact of care on patients and identify points where the system can be improved to better serve rural populations. “We will do monthly follow-up calls to check in with the participants and see how they are doing.  If there have been changes in their conditions, we’ll go out and re-interview them,” Buck said.   [...]

WVU School of Nursing professor awarded grant

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Laurie Theeke, Ph.D., R.N., of the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Nursing, has worked for 20 years with chronically ill older adults in rural parts of the state. West Virginia is one of the most rural states in the country, and has the second-highest percentage of people who are 65 and older. Her previous research revealed that feelings of loneliness affect older adults’ health. Her current research will focus on ways to reduce these feelings, and thereby improve their health. [...]

Angels to land on High Street on Thursday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – An army of angels will land on High Street on Thursday, Sept. 2 in the form of West Virginia University students hoping to educate their peers about the responsibilities of safe drinking behavior for those who are of age. During the Ninth Annual Angels on High Street event, which will be from 10 p.m. to midnight, the WVU Department of Community Medicine’s Alcohol Education Project will provide students with blood alcohol strips that give an approximation of one’s blood alcohol level along with coasters that check for the presence of drugs, such as ketamine and GHB. In addition, urinal screens with a safety message will be distributed to downtown bars. “We have a responsibility to educate our students about alcohol, and the dangers of binge drinking, and to reinforce the concept of not driving while drinking and not riding with someone who is drinking,” Ruth Kershner, Ed.D., associate professor in the Department of Community Medicine and alcohol educator for the WVU School of Medicine, said. Students from Community Medicine and the WVU School of Pharmacy will be assisting with this event. For more information on the WVU Department of Community Medicine, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/cmed. For more information on the WVU School of Pharmacy, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop.   [...]

Rosenbaum Family House launches Expansion of Hope Campaign

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – There are 26 hotel-style rooms in Rosenbaum Family House, adjacent to Ruby Memorial Hospital on the West Virginia University Health Sciences campus, and every night, every one of those rooms is full. On any given day, some 20 families will be waiting for a room to open up. Some wait up to eight days before one becomes available. The need for the service Family House provides exceeds its ability to help. To remedy the situation, Family House has officially launched its Expansion of Hope Campaign, to not only serve more families but to enhance the environment for the people who stay there to be close to their families. “We’re proud to serve so many families, but we need to be able to serve more. When a serious illness or injury strikes, staying close to family is important,” Jena Prokopchuk, director of Rosenbaum Family House, said. “Not having a place to stay adds stress to families who are already coping with sometimes life-threatening changes.” [...]

Touch-A-Truck raises $3,050 for cancer patients

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Touch-A-Truck, an event that gave children of all ages a chance to explore emergency and service vehicles, raised more than $3,050 to benefit patients at the West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. [...]

WVU studies health effects of nanoparticles

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Manufacturers around the world are using new technology to incorporate tiny manmade particles into hundreds of industrial and consumer items. But what happens when these miniscule materials get loose in the air, and are sucked into someone’s lungs? [...]

MEDIA ADVISORY--Rosenbaum Family House to kick off expansion campaign

WHO: Beth Clements, West Virginia University’s first lady Jena Prokopchuk, director, Rosenbaum Family House Aly Goodwin-Gregg, president, Rosenbaum Family House advisory board Former guests of the Rosenbaum Family House [...]