VHIN Blog

Latest from the Virginia Health Innovation Network

  • Antibiotic Resistance and Healthcare Today February 23, 2018
    Without a doubt, the discovery of penicillin and consequently, antibiotics was one of the greatest health achievements of the 20th century. From Alexander Fleming’s initial finding of a mold juice that could kill harmful bacteria, to the large-scale production of penicillin during WWII, antibiotics have become a necessity in health care treatment today.4 While today, the use of antibiotics a……
  • Innovator Interview: Secretary Daniel Carey, M.D. February 20, 2018
    Dr. Daniel Carey, M.D, joined the Northam Administration as the Secretary of Health and Human Resources this January. Secretary Carey served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Centra and has held the past positions of President of the Lynchburg Academy of Science, the Medical Society of Virginia and the MSV Foundation. VHIN got the exciting opp……
  • Medication adherence? January 30, 2018
    “Do you believe that the patient will take the medications you’re prescribing?”This question was recently posed to me by my primary care clinical preceptor.  In my ideal world, every patient adheres to the health and medication regimens that we, as clinicians, prescribe for them; however, I am discovering that a gap exists between my expectations and reality.  As I have discovered, this……
  • (Too) Common Research Mistakes January 28, 2018
         Science is committed to the search for truth. The scientific method is built on principles of test and retest, to constantly be open to being wrong and seek to find accurate results, no matter the cost. Modern science has contributed more to the world than anyone could have possibly imagined, and yet experts agree that the majority of scientific studies are……
  • Helping the Uninsured of Virginia January 15, 2018
    According to the Virginia Health Care Foundation’s (VHCF) 2017 Profile of the Uninsured, 10.7% of Virginians under the age of 65 are without medical insurance1. This equates to 747,000 uninsured neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Another staggering statistic found is that nearly 40% of all uninsured Virginians live below the Federal Poverty Line1. For these uninsured, there are limitations ……
  • Governor Northam on Health Care: 5 Things to Know January 14, 2018
    Governor Northam on Health Care: 5 Things to Know              January has brought the dawn of a new year for Virginia and with it a new gubernatorial administration led by the former Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam. Northam’s 2018 assent into office promises to bring 4 years of heightened political attention to Virginia’s pervasiv……
  • Narrowing the Men's Health Care Gap January 5, 2018
    There is a notable gap in healthcare when it comes to men’s health.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12.4% of men 18 years and older are in fair or poor health [1], with only 60% of men in the U.S. having a primary care physician [2]. According to a study by Tudiver and Talbot [3], who interviewed family physicians for their perspective on the matter, sever……
  • The Emergency Department Puzzle January 3, 2018
    The process of drafting plans to reduce the utilization and cost of avoidable emergency department (ED) visits can be likened to the complexity of attempting to complete a jigsaw puzzle while blindfolded–challenging but possible, requiring patience and tactile sensation, with the ability to strategically connect pieces.  The American College of Emergency Physicians has identified that minimi……
  • How Childhood Trauma Impacts Health December 31, 2017
    The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study    As health care professionals, we are familiar with chemical signals and cellular processes. Cortisol, for example, is secreted by the adrenal glands under times of stress. Among its many functions, it signals the liver to undergo gluconeogenesis, raising blood sugar levels and supplying the body with quick energy. Cortisol also ……
  • Home Visitation Programs: Modifying a Traditional Model of Care December 20, 2017
    As healthcare costs in the United States continue to rise, health care delivery organizations are increasingly searching for new models that will streamline and enhance patient care. One such model is surprisingly old school: home visitation programs. The home visit practice calls to mind the image of the family medicine physician in town–the one who knew details of each patient’s personal histo……
  • Shingrix: An Improvement of the Herpes Zoster Vaccine December 15, 2017
    There is no doubt that the year of 2017 has brought about numerous advancements to the medical world. From the development of bioabsorbable stents for coronary artery control to the advancements of gene editing and splicing to transform our genes, our understanding of the human body is progressing at an incredible rate. Of the many innovations that have been introduced this year, one of the most ……
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Program can help improve outcomes in patients with chronic disease December 12, 2017
        According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the leading causes of death and disability in the United States (U.S.) are related to chronic diseases and conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity and arthritis [1]. These health conditions are among the most common and costly of all health problems, many of which are pre……
  • Delaying school start times may positively impact student academic performance November 25, 2017
    Sleep is an essential component of life. Adequate sleep is necessary for optimal mental and physical health and improves quality of life [1]. Sleep improves memory and learning, attention, emotional regulation, mental health & well-being, and weight control [2]. During the adolescent years, between the ages of 13-22, changes in sleep patterns occur [3]. A lack of sleep in this patient populat……
  • The Great American Smokeout is coming! November 10, 2017
    The Great American Smokeout is coming!November 16, 2017 Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. [1]. Every year, cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in our country; this is more deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, injuries from motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined. Smokers are at higher risk of developing coro……
  • Virginia's Response to the Opioid Epidemic November 1, 2017
    The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States. In 2015, drug overdose was the leading cause of death. Over 30,000 of these deaths were due to prescription opioids or heroin.1 Prescription opioids are everywhere. Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen was the most commonly prescribed drug in 2010, with the U.S. consuming 99 percent of the world’s supply.2 A……
  • Innovator Profile: Dr. Clifford Morris October 20, 2017
    Dr. Clifford Morris leads the Morris Cardiovascular and Risk Reduction Center in Chester, VA. Dr. Morris is a board-certified cardiologist who takes an innovative approach to health and wellness. I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Dr. Morris about his practice style and views on health care. Dr. Morris said he “fell in love with medicine” at an early age. Although his specialty ……
  • Breast Cancer is More Than a Pink Ribbon October 9, 2017
    The Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation (VBCF) believes breast cancer is more than a pink ribbon and is dedicated to providing Virginians with knowledge and a voice in the fight to end breast cancer. VBCF was founded by a group of women who felt the resources offered to breast cancer patients were insufficient in Virginia in 1991, the year with the highest cancer death rate in the United States. VB……
  • A New Model for Dementia Care September 30, 2017
    The shifting age demographics in the United States are impressive. By 2050, the population over the age of 65 is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double of what it was in 2012.1 Within this age bracket, the population over the age of 85 specifically will reflect an even more precipitous increase. In Virginia, the senior population is expected to double by 2030. This gradual shift will continu……
  • Robot-assisted surgery in Gynecology September 22, 2017
    Robot-assisted surgery was initially developed more than 25 years ago [1] by the military for use in the battlefield [2]. Since then, the science and technology of robotic surgery has grown exponentially due to its benefits in the surgical suite, including heightened stability, accuracy, and enhanced range of motion versus traditional surgical techniques [1]. Gynecology is one of the increasing n……
  • Let's get moving! Walk with a Doc program at Augusta Health September 6, 2017
    Physical activity is a key component to a healthy body and mind. Research has shown that physical activity can have a significant impact on health [1]. Those who engage in physical activity for approximately 7 hours a week have a 40% lower risk of early death than those who are active less than 30 minutes per week. There are multiple health benefits of regular exercise. Physical activity can……