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Story Ideas for Media 3/2/09


Hospital unit cuts costs, improves efficiency. Ohio State University Medical Center’s Emergency Department is leading an effort designed to minimize unnecessary hospital admissions, and reduce costs for patients and the hospital.
A newly expanded clinical decision unit utilizes a structured evaluation process of more than 30 protocols for conditions such as congestive heart failure, stroke, kidney infections, chest pain and asthma. The goal is to decompress emergency department volumes and avoid unnecessary hospital stays and related costs.
“In a 23-hour period, time will allow for appropriate testing and observation to determine whether a patient needs to be admitted to the hospital versus being discharged,” says Dr. Mark Moseley, medical director of OSU Medical Center’s emergency department.
The 20-bed unit is staffed by 40 dedicated professionals, including certified nurse practitioners, board certified physicians, patient care resource managers and social workers, who monitor patients to ensure more specialized care and personalized attention. The unit is equipped with private rooms, a calm environment and other amenities. Family members are also able to stay at their loved one’s bedside. CONTACT: Sherri L. Kirk, Medical Center Communications, (614) 293-3737.


Ohio State study: Kids with contact lenses like their looks better than kids with glasses.
Children wearing contact lenses felt better about how they look, their athletic abilities and acceptance by their friends than did children wearing eyeglasses in a recent study.
The results suggest that nearsighted children as young as 8 years old reap social benefits from wearing contact lenses instead of glasses, researchers say.
In general, eye care practitioners in the United States tend to wait to prescribe contact lenses until children are in their early teens. But nearsighted children often are diagnosed with myopia and receive their first corrective lenses around age 8.
The study was designed to examine the effects of contact lenses vs. eyeglasses on a number of kids’ perceptions about themselves, especially what is called their global self-worth, or how valuable they think they are to society.
“The effects really seem to be in areas that we would think made sense - how they feel about their appearance, athletic abilities and what their friends think of them,” said Jeffrey Walline, assistant professor of optometry at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
CONTACT: Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310. SEE: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/lenspercept.htm

Growing berries for optimum health benefits. Black raspberries contain cancer-fighting properties, but how much those compounds benefit the consumer may depend on environmental factors and cultural practices, according to Ohio State University research.
Small-fruit specialists with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center analyzed four common black raspberry cultivars at eight production sites throughout Ohio and found varying levels of antioxidants. Joe Scheerens, horticulture and crop science researcher, said the findings might help growers produce berries with optimum cancer-fighting compounds, both for use in medical studies as well as for purchase by the general consumer.
“If you are going to create clinical products used to treat degenerative diseases, one of the things that becomes paramount is to have a consistent supply of berries with a reproducible amount of bioactive ingredients,” said Scheerens, who is part of a “crop to clinic” research project at Ohio State using berries to prevent or slow the development of certain cancers of the mouth, throat and digestive tract. To learn more about functional foods and how they can enhance health and quality of life, go to Ohio State’s Center for Advanced Functional Foods Research and Entrepreneurship (CAFFRE) at http://fst.osu.edu/caffre/. CONTACT: Candace Pollock, (614) 292-3799.


Obstacles and Opportunities: The Challenges Ahead for the Obama Administration – March 3. Former Republican congressman Rob Portman will discuss “The Budget Challenges Facing the New Administration” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday (3/3) at the Faculty Club, 181 South Oval Drive. Portman’s presentation is part of a winter quarter series sponsored by the John Glenn School of Public Affairs that has brought national experts to campus to offer their insight on the role and responsibilities of the new executive branch. CONTACT: Laura Sipe, (614) 247-6369.

The person listed as the CONTACT will have the most current information about the story. Call on our media relations staff for help with any Ohio State story: Liz Cook, (614) 292-7276; Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748; Jim Lynch, (614) 247-4110; or Amy Murray (614) 292-8385.