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A Brighter Tomorrow > News > USC Dornsife – USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 5:47 pm

From environment to family, transportation to health care, from work and leisure to what well eat and how well age, USC Dornsife faculty share how they think our future world will look. [11 min read]

As the 19th century drew to a close and a new era dawned, an American civil engineer named John Elfreth Watkins consulted experts at the nations greatest institutions of science and learning for their opinions on 29 wide-ranging topics. Watkins, who was also a contributor to the Saturday Evening Post, then wrote an extraordinary magazine article based on what these university professors told him.

Published on Page 8 of the December 1900 issue of Ladies Home Journal a sister publication of the Post it was titled What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years. Watkins opened the article with the words, These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. In fact, many of his far-sighted predictions for the year 2000 which included the invention of digital color photography, television and mobile phones proved remarkably accurate.

For this issue of USC Dornsife Magazine, we have repeated the experiment by inviting 10 scholars drawn from USC Dornsife faculty and representing diverse disciplines to predict what the world will look like in the year 2050 and the year 2100.

A Bluer Planet

Astronauts circling the globe in 80 years may find our blue planet looking quite a bit bluer, says Naomi Levine, assistant professor of biological sciences and Earth sciences.

The middle of the Pacific or Atlantic oceans are what we call the deserts of the ocean. Theyre really low in nutrients, and things that live there are usually small. As a result, these areas look very blue because there isnt much ther except water, Levine explains. As the climate warms, we predict that these desert areas are going to expand. So, ocean waters will look bluer from space.

A Brighter Shade of Green

Our planet may also look a bit greener. Travis Williams, professor of chemistry, says that without an active plan for removing the carbon clogging our atmosphere, nature could step in.

If we dont choose a biomass thats going to utilize higher temperatures and that atmospheric carbon, nature is going to choose on our behalf, and I dont think were going to like it, he says. To avoid harmful organism explosions like algae blooms, Williams foresees a human-led reforestation of the planet, at a scale several times the size of the Amazon rainforest.

What's On the Menu?

A greening planet could also be due to changes in our agricultural systems. A move away from monoculture farming and a return to an ancient polyculture approach might be on the horizon, says Sarah Portnoy, associate professor (teaching) of Spanish. Portnoy researches indigenous food cultures of Mesoamerica and suggests that in the future we could adopt the milpa food system. Animals would be grazing on the same land where there are cover crops and squash, corn, beans and all kinds of herbs growing together, she says.

This isnt just a utopian pipe dream. Governments will have to seriously rethink agriculture if they want to reduce rising rates of chronic disease such as obesity, especially among the poor. The agriculture that is supported by the government now is skewed toward crops like soybeans and wheat. Our food system is geared to the cheapest calories, Portnoy says.

The high-calorie, processed foods produced from these monoculture, subsidized crops are less expensive than fruits and vegetables, but do little for our health. Unless we reprioritize which crops get government cash, we can expect disparities in health between economic classes to continue. By 2050, only the privileged might be able to afford strawberries or carrots.

Food supplies will alter in other ways as well, thanks to climate change. The bluer oceans will be less friendly to bigger marine organisms, which means fewer large fish to harvest.

When you change ocean temperatures, it changes what types of organisms can grow, and that cascades up the food web, says Levine. Sushi chefs in 2050 might dish up more avocados and scallops than tuna rolls. This could work for future diners, Portnoy thinks. Theres a move toward being a lot more intrepid as an eater, and toward plant-based diets, she says.

One Big, Happy Family

Starting off your day in 2050 could mean wheeling your toddler to the state-funded neighborhood day care center. Birth rates are currently plummeting across the industrialized world and governments may soon need to tackle the problem as a public health priority, says Darby Saxbe, associate professor of psychology and director of the USC Center for the Changing Family.

Well realize that, when the birth rate goes down, that affects our future workforce, she says. When were not able to replace our population, it ultimately becomes a national security issue. Child care benefits, family leave and subsidized, part-time work schedules for parents could be the governments strategy to encourage a new baby boom.

We may be well into the digital age, but you might not find too many iPads in the nurseries of the future. Increased awareness of the pitfalls of screen time could change our approach to parenting via device. The original scions of social media themselves now admit to limiting their own childrens time online, observes Saxbe. In fact, in some of the more expensive private schools in Los Angeles, you have to sign a no screen time pledge.

The keywords there might be expensive and private. A movement away from childhood spent online could leave behind children from poorer families as technology becomes cheaper and the cost of human labor rises. It will likely soon be less expensive to instruct classrooms of kids via lessons on tablets than by engaging a human teacher.

You might end up with a two-class system, Saxbe warns. You have more kids having a digital childhood thats a little less regulated, especially in neighborhoods where its not safe to play outside. Wealthier families are going to be able to afford more hands-on child care and more hands-on educational activities, instead of leaving kids alone with their technology.

However, technology can still benefit the family in the coming decades. In fact, Saxbe believes this is a largely untapped opportunity with great potential. Silicon Valley technologists primarily childless young men still havent tackled devices like the breast pump or baby monitor, which could both use a redesign.

Has there been a real focus on innovation and investment when it comes to things that serve parents and families yet? asks Saxbe. I think theres a big market there.

Working 10-4

After dropping your child off at day care, you head to work. You likely wont be putting the keys in the ignition of your own car, though. Kyla Thomas, sociologist at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research and director of LABarometer, a quarterly internet-based survey of approximately 1,800 L.A. county residents, says that by 2030 commuters will probably rely more on public transit and shared, autonomous vehicles to get around.

Public transportation will be faster and more convenient, and increased density in neighborhoods will mitigate sprawl. Parking will be more expensive and harder to find. By 2100, Thomas says, private car ownership will be a thing of the past.

Hopping out of your driverless commuter van, you clock in at the office for your six-hour work day. Patricia Grabarek, lecturer with USC Dornsifes Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program, believes that the traditional 40-hour work week could get phased out by 2050.

We are in the midst of a job revolution thats on the scale of the Industrial Revolution, Grabarek says. The entire nature of work will change.

Automation promises to replace many jobs, and streamline others. Combine this with the growing emphasis on work-life balance, embodied by current millennials pushing for workplace flexibility, and we could see our work week lighten in load.

Our leaders are recognizing the problem that employees are burning out. People are working too much and they are not as productive as they could be. Bosses will start modeling better behaviors for their employees, Grabarek says. After-hours emails could soon be banned, as is already the case in France and Germany.

This doesnt mean well all be aimlessly underemployed, however. There is a fear that automation will eliminate jobs but, in the past, weve always replaced the jobs that weve lost. Innovators will come out and replace them with new jobs we cant even come up with now, she says.

No matter how advanced computers become, human curiosity remains superior. Automation will be good at analyzing data, Grabarek says, but the questions will still originate with human researchers.

It's Quitting Time

Finished with work for the week, youre off to start the weekend. One item not likely to be on the agenda? Attending a traditional religious service.

In the United States, theres a trend away from institutionalized religion and toward highly individualized spirituality, says Richard Flory, associate professor (research) of sociology and senior director of research and evaluation at the USC Dornsife Center for Religion and Civic Culture. People just arent interested in institutions anymore, and nothing seems to be stepping forward to replace that interface between the individual and society.

Churches and temples could find new life as condos, bars or community centers, with religion relegated to a decorative background.

Rather than kneeling in prayer, people might find themselves downing a psychedelic drug to reach personal spiritual enlightenment. Movements that center around hallucinogens such as ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea from the Amazon, have gained traction in recent years, Flory notes.

Of course, there might just be an app for it all. Consciousness hacking aims to use science to bypass years of devotion to a spiritual practice and give everyone the hard-won benefits of such a practice instantly. In the future, I could see having some sort of implanted device to get to this level of consciousness, Flory says.

Reading the Tea Leaves

You may also use your leisure time to crack open a good book one with a slightly different texture. As climate change threatens our traditional resources, more sustainable alternatives such as seaweed could step in as a paper substitute, predicts Mark Marino, professor (teaching) of writing and a scholar of digital literature.

By 2100, literature could be written across the heavens instead.

Roboticist poets will create autonomous micro-texts that will be able to swarm into collectives, self-organize, aggregate and adapt, says Marino. Bevies of these nano-rhy-bots will create superstructures that can write epics on the Great Wall of China, on the surface of Mars or in the bloodstream of their readers.

Better Living Through Quantum Computing

Aging in the New Age may mean more nontraditional family units. Older adults prefer to age and die at home, but what happens when you dont have a big family network to support that? It may mean people might be more invested in friend networks, or the idea of chosen family, says Saxbe. Cue The Golden Girls theme song.

Sean Curran, associate professor of gerontology and biological sciences, believes that a focus on increasing our health span, the period of life during which one is free from serious disease, rather than simply elongating our life spans, will improve the quality of our longer lives as we age.

The goal is to have a personalized approach to aging that takes into account an individuals genetics, environment and life history, explains Curran. The assisted living facility of the future will be patient-centered, with each resident having a personalized prescription to maintain optimal health.

Eli Levenson-Falk, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, predicts that quantum computing could unlock the development of those drugs.

Quantum computers solve problems much more swiftly and with higher information density than todays computers. Although the technology is still in its infancy, Levenson-Falk predicts that by 2050, practical quantum technologies will be used commercially by major drug companies for research and development.

Enormously complicated computational tasks like simulating a chemicals molecular structure are much more achievable through this technology.

The idea is that with a quantum computer you can sort of emulate nature, he explains. We might have the canonical example for this by 2050: the physical shape of a protein molecule.

Predicting this shape is nearly impossible with a classical computer, Levenson-Falk says.

Measuring it is difficult and requires you to predict the shape first. With a good quantum simulator, we can emulate the protein and just let quantum mechanics do the processing for us, then measure the result at the end.

The Quantum Age

Indeed, quantum computing might solve questions that relate to the very fabric of the universe. Or at least get us closer to the answers.

Dark energy, dark matter, quantum gravity and thequantum classical transition are the principle problems existing in physics today. Quantum technologies are the best bet to solve the last one, says Levenson-Falk. Quantum sensors will probably also be used to help detect dark matter, or at least falsify some theories. And there are some proposals for using quantum technologies to poke at quantum gravity.

We cannot, of course, predict our shared future with 100 percent accuracy, but one thing we can be sure of is that it will be filled with new challenges and opportunities to create a better tomorrow. Although advances in technology will certainly help determine our future, how equitably those advances are shared in our interconnected world will also play a dominant role in shaping it.

This is a tale of two societies: You could either see things get better and more supportive for families, or you might see two-class stratification, Saxbe warns.

As the future unspools, we are given both the invaluable gift and the tremendous responsibility of deciding how we want it to look. Whether our world in 2100 takes on the dystopian qualities of Blade Runner or embodies the utopian, egalitarian ideals of Star Trek remains in the terrestrial hands of those already building that future.

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LaShyra Nolen is pushing for change within Harvard Medical School. Heres what she wants you to know. – Boston.com

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm

In the week after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, LaShyra Nolen was asked by her professors each day how she was doing.

To share how she was feeling, the first-year student at Harvard Medical School shared a poem on Twitter, explaining that she could no longer pretend to be okay. In her verses, she drew attention to the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of color, systemic racism, and police brutality.

The truth is Black students are NOT okay, she wrote.

Nolen, who is the first Black woman to serve as student council president at the institution, is no stranger to advocating for social and racial justice. The Harvard student told Boston.com she believes it is her responsibility to make sure she uses her growing platform in the medical field to fight for health equity and to help tell the stories of communities whose voices are not being heard.

In June, Nolen announced she and her classmates had launched a petition to rename the Holmes Society at Harvard Medical School, named after Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., citing his promotion of eugenics and violence toward Black and Indigenous peoples.

The same month, the medical student had an essay published in the New England Journal of Medicine that laid out the need for increased representation of Black people and minority populations in medical training, providing examples from her own training.

In one, she noted that her CPR training used mannequins with white male bodies. In another instance, she recalled that during a discussion about Lyme disease in a microbiology class the professor showed photos from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the red bulls-eye rash on white skin, only noting that it is more difficult to see the rash on melanated skin in response to a students question.

If medical students and trainees are taught to recognize symptoms of disease in only white patients and learn to perform lifesaving maneuvers on only male-bodied mannequins, medical educators may be unwittingly contributing to health disparities instead of mitigating them, Nolen wrote.

The California native said she knew since she was in third grade that she wanted to be a doctor, but her dedication and interest in addressing inequities stems from when she moved from Compton to the suburb of Rancho Cucamonga at the age of 10.

It was a completely different life, she said.

The roads were different, the access to basic needs everything was just so plentiful, and that was so different from my experience in Compton and in L.A. she said. That was when I really started to think about differences and race.

She continued to question the disparities she saw between the suburb where she lived, which was predominantly white, and her old neighborhood, which was predominantly Black and Latinx. Those questions took on another layer of urgency when she was 15 and a family member passed away from what she called a preventable death, from complications of obesity and diabetes.

It wasnt until she got to college and learned about the social determinants of health that she began to be able to articulate what shed grown up witnessing, she said.

I started to get a lexicon for all these different things that Id experienced in my childhood, Nolen said. Why we have these differences, how those differences then go on to impact your health, how that impacted my family. All of those things came together, and that is what really inspires my passion because Ive seen it personally. I still continue to see it.

Below, Nolen speaks more about the importance of activism in health care and the changes she hopes to see occur in medical institutions to address systemic racism.

The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Boston.com: The country is now in a moment of addressing two public health crises COVID-19 and racism. How does it feel to be a medical student right now, and what concerns do you have as efforts to address these two crises move forward?

LaShyra Nolen: Its such an interesting time to be a medical student, and I think its an especially interesting time to be a medical student at Harvard. Because here I am getting this amazing education Im learning about ace-inhibitors, Im learning about the pathophysiology of COVID-19. But even if I get the best education, even if I become the best surgeon, theres still a huge possibility that my patient could walk outside of the clinic and be stopped by a police officer. And if they move too quickly, they might end up losing their life. Or, its very possible that my patient will go back to a community where they dont have access to the basic needs that they need to live out a healthy life.

I think those are the conversations that were starting to finally have. Because it doesnt matter how good medicine gets at finding cures and doing research and pushing the envelope in the biomedical realm, [if] theres still going to be systemic inequity in our society.

If we dont address that, then were never really going to be able to help our patients have the best outcomes that they deserve. As a medical student, Im learning all this science, which is so key for treating your patients. But theres also work that needs to be done outside the clinic it cant stop there.

What were you hoping people would take away from the poem you shared on Twitter, and what was the response that you received after you shared it?

That poem came from a place of all of this turmoil around us being laid to bare. In one context, we have this global pandemic, COVID-19, ravaging through Black communities, Latinx communities, indigenous communities. Then concurrently we have this other pandemic that weve always known to exist systemic racism.

Were seeing so many Black peoples lives being taken on screens, being shown across the country, across the globe. And I was expected to come to class, and I was expected to pretend that everyone was OK. I was expected to just learn the pathophysiology, recite the things that I had studied the night before. That isnt just an experience of medical students its the experience of all Black professionals and all Black students. We have to separate our Blackness from our experience as students and professionals so often. And that was me just saying, Im not OK, and instead of you asking if Im OK, I want you to educate yourself and learn about why Im not OK and make sure that you arent complicit in the system that is contributing to the reason why Im not OK.

Thats really where that came from, and the response that I got from it was really positive. What always surprises me when I speak out is how much feedback Ill get from people who are higher up in the medical hierarchy. Residents and folks who are professors, and they say, Thank you for saying that. Because they dont have the space to say that and be vulnerable and feel comfortable and feel like their jobs arent going to be jeopardy if they say, Hey, Im not doing OK, and, You guys really need to address these issues that were experiencing. It just goes to show how the hierarchy of academic medicine can be harmful.

What do you see as the responsibility you and medical professionals have when it comes to activism? What role do you think doctors or health care professionals should be taking on when it comes to advocacy and social justice, and why do you think its important they are involved?

I think its extremely important. Number one, because I think physicians and health care providers should care about all things that affect their patients health. There have been numerous studies that have come out and shown that access to housing, access to education, access to basic human needs are what folks need to have the best health outcomes. All of that is so inextricably connected to sociology and history and psychology.

We cant continue to just stay in the realm of medicine, because our world gets the benefits from medicine. Almost 20 percent of our GDP comes from health care spending and costs. So we cant just pretend that medicine isnt a political issue, or that its completely separate. Its extremely important for us to not just stay in this lane of medicine because thats just the beginning. When we give the patient the medicine, we have to make sure that theyre able to afford it, we have to make sure that the pill bottle is in the correct language for them to understand, we have to make sure that theyre able to have transportation to get to the clinic. Its so important that we engage in activism because its going to be a huge part of maintaining our patients health and thats essentially what were supposed to be doing as healers.

Given the petition to rename the Holmes Society and your piece in the NEJM, can you speak more to the importance of health professionals addressing institutionalized racism within the institution of medicine and how that can be done?

These are the perfect examples of two buckets that I view advocacy and activism in. One bucket is the inward facing activism. The Holmes Society changing its name is an example of that, because here we have this society where students go to learn, students go to build relationships and form some of their fondest memories of medical school. But the namesake of this institution is someone who was a eugenist, someone who was known to be racist and was actively violent with their words towards indigenous and Black communities. When we have an individual like that representing this space thats supposed to be so wholesome and a safe haven, that can be really dangerous. That work needs to be done so that students of color Black students, indigenous students, Lantinx students can thrive and feel comfortable in these spaces. We cant continue to just recruit students of color and then not protect them when they get to these institutions. Protection goes beyond just evaluations and making sure that they feel like they can thrive academically and arent experiencing micro-aggressions. Its, Who are the people on our walls? How are we allowing violence to be perpetuated silently by who we allow to take up space in these institutions? That is why changing the name of Holmes is so important.

The New England Journal of Medicine piece came out of this idea of more outward facing activism. Even though its a change that needs to happen within the medical institution, if were graduating physicians who dont even know how to recognize key symptoms in patients of color or if we dont graduate physicians who understand the nuance of doing CPR on a person with breasts the fact that you have to take off that persons shirt and how uncomfortable that might be for that individual and talking about issues of consent its just so much more nuanced to the different things were learning. But we just ignore it. They call it the reference man we always use men as the reference, particularly white men. Thats so problematic because that can go on to perpetuate health disparities in the communities that we seek to serve.

If were going to be institutions that are mission-driven and we want to increase diversity within our medical school and we want to help mitigate health disparities, we have to look at the small insidious ways that we might be actually doing more harm than good. The worst part is that often Black students, the marginalized student, is often the person that has to put themselves out there to ask that question. And I think that in itself is a really big issue because why is that my non-Black peers didnt raise their hands and say, Hey, how would I recognize this in a patient with darker skin? Because those are going to be their patients, too. Thats the direction we have to move in this antiracist movement it shouldnt be that its always the responsibility of the marginalized person to stand up for the marginalized group. It should be a collective effort that we all value the humanity of all patients. And I really hope thats the direction that we go in.

In a speech last August, you addressed young Black girls, saying You cant be what you cant see when it comes to diversity in medicine. Can you speak to more of what you meant when you said that medicine will not progress without the diversity of having young Black women going into the field, and what changes do you want to see taken to ensure theres greater diversity?

I think it will play a very important role in the future. I personally did not see a Black doctor until the summer of my freshman year of college. I had gone through my entire life with this dream of becoming a doctor, and the reason why that dream was kept alive is because I had a grandmother and a mother who believed in me endlessly, even though they had never necessarily seen a Black doctor before. They just believed in me and they just breathed life into my dreams, but it wasnt until I saw that Black doctor that it all clicked, and I said, OK, it seems like its possible to actually achieve this dream. We have to start exposing youth to the sciences early on, and beyond just exposing youth to the sciences, we also have to mitigate the different forms of structural racism that are embedded in society. We have to think about, How is that when I build a new building for my medical school, that Im then taking tax revenue away from the city? And then, How is that going to affect how schools are able to invest in educational programs? We have to think about how we as institutions are complicit in systemic racism beyond just having these pipeline programs. We have to have a two-fold approach to addressing this issue of representation, but then also making sure that were doing the work to mitigate systemic racism.

Is there anything else you want to say or want people to know?

Antiracism has to be an every day, every moment work. It cant be something that only lasts this summer, it cant be something that only lasts in 2020. It has to be something that people are actively engaging in every moment of their life, because racism is so deeply embedded into the fabric of America and into the fabric of our everyday lives that we dont even realize it. Therere many different ways people can mitigate this, but its going to happen through uncomfortable conversations, speaking out against the ways that systemic racism has silently been able to fester in our academic environments, among other things. This work is uncomfortable and its ongoing, and we should never stop.

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LaShyra Nolen is pushing for change within Harvard Medical School. Heres what she wants you to know. - Boston.com

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Let COVID spark a new drive to expand medical education – ModernHealthcare.com

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm

The crisis the American people confronted on Oct. 4, 1957, seems almost quaint by current standards: Our Cold War nemesis, the Soviet Union, had launched an artificial satellite into low-earth orbit. The beach ball-sized object, known as Sputnik 1, exposed a purported technology gap between the Western powers and our Communist adversary.

The U.S. responded neither with despair nor confrontation. Rather, the event proved a mainspring for an extraordinary investment in science and technology, transforming school curricula and leading to low-cost loans for STEM students through the National Defense Education Act.

Sputnik I also inspired a generation of young men and women to pursue careers in space technology and related fields. Watching the satellite cross the West Virginia sky propelled future Rocket Boys author Homer Hickam to a job as a NASA engineer; the event drove Alan Shepard, the first American in space, to become an astronaut.

Americans today face a grave crisis in COVID-19. Yet as thousands of healthcare workers serve on the front lines, fighting the virus and caring for their fellow citizens, we have an opportunity to make this pandemic our Sputnik I.

Despite increases in medical school applications and leaps in therapeutic offerings, perceptions of the medical profession have been in decline for some time. A 2014 study by Robert Blendon and colleagues found that only 58% of Americans agreed with the statement, "All things considered, doctors in the United States can be trusted." That compared with 76% in Great Britain and 75% in France. Increasingly, the burdens of electronic documentation and lost autonomy have thinned the ranks of physicians and scared away would-be replacements. If that were not deterrent enough, the average medical school graduate now carries more than $200,000 in debt.

COVID-19 may change some of those perceptions. In New York City, physicians have been cheered the way first responders were hailed after 9/11. Should we be fortunate, this newfound appreciation will prove the first step toward recruiting a future generation of passionate researchers and clinicians.

But inspiration is not enough. If our society is to make the most of this challenging moment, we must re-envision the healthcare workforce. Community buy-in for public health measures is essential during a crisis. Having a physician to whom one can relate is just as crucial for optimal care in non-pandemic times. This is best achieved through a diverse corps of physicians whose backgrounds and experiences reflect those of the broader population.

We are not there yet. For example, Black men have suffered disproportionate mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet the total number of self-identified Black males entering U.S. medical schools last year was 604. Other underrepresented groups include first-generation college students, those from low-income backgrounds, Latinos, Native Americans and veterans. Children of blue-collar workers, single parents, and the disabled still face counterproductive barriers to entry.

Several marquee medical schools now offer free tuition, while others cap debt. That is a step toward equity. However, this approach largely helps candidates already in the pipeline.

What is needed are free post-baccalaureate programs for highly talented individuals who did not have a meaningful chance to pursue science education in high school or college so they can complete the preliminary coursework necessary to apply. Alternative pathways to entry are also essential: linkage programs that guarantee admission to "career changers" as long as they meet certain academic benchmarks. Low-income students giving up stable jobs to pursue pre-med courses should know that there is place for them in a medical school class if they succeed.

Finally, the country desperately needs more medical schools. At present, the number of seats for students is set artificially low, which in turn generates higher reimbursement for doctors. Yet the patient demand, especially in primary care, continues to grow. In essence, in a world of markets, doctors belong to a medieval guild. Why not let anyone capable of practicing first-class medicine join the field?

Much as Sputnik I transformed American scienceultimately leading to the first human steps on the moonmedicine is ready for its own moon landing. Let us make this the positive legacy of the current tragedy.

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Let COVID spark a new drive to expand medical education - ModernHealthcare.com

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USD Medical School and Partners Win Grant to Expand Services to Prevent Sexual Assault in Western South Dakota – Yankton Daily Press

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm

VERMILLION The University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault (The Network) and a collection of partners have been awarded a $1.3 million grant to expand services related to preventing and responding to sexual assault and sex trafficking in rural, western South Dakota.

Bridget Diamond-Welch, Ph.D., a research scientist for the USD Sanford School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, said the impetus for the grant is the anticipated arrival of workers to rural and remote areas of South Dakota to build the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The development of so-called man-camps along the route of the pipeline and during its construction will deliver thousands of workers to western South Dakota, said Diamond-Welch. These sorts of projects have caused a rise in sexual assaults and sex trafficking in other states. Right now, medical facilities and expert counseling and response for victims of sexual assault, trafficking and other related problems are not conveniently available along the pipeline route in western South Dakota. We want to be prepared if the oil pipeline and those camps are built and if services are needed.

According to Diamond-Welch, Native American reservations and rural areas are already stretched thin as they work to meet the needs of victims, including Indigenous people.

We are really excited to work withour state and tribal partners with this grant funding to provide Native American sexual assault survivors in the pipeline area with access to sexual assault services and trauma-informed and patient-centered sexual assault forensic-medical exams, said Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director of The Network.

Specific objectives of the grant will be to expand counseling, safety planning, legal and victim advocacy and trauma-informed and patient-centered sexual assault forensic-medical exams. Specially trained advocates and experts will be hired as part of the grant.

Key on-the-ground members of The Network participating in the expansion of services are Communities Against Violence and Abuse (Lemmon), Missouri Shores DV Center (Pierre), Missouri Valley Crisis Center (Chamberlain), Sacred Heart Center (Eagle Butte), Sacred Shawl Society (Martin), Victims of Violence Intervention Program (Spearfish), White Buffalo Calf Womans Society (Mission), Winyan Wicayunihan Oyanke/Where all Women are Honored (Rapid City), and the Winner Resource Center (Winner).

The grant will be administered by The Network and funding will cover three years of effort.

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USD Medical School and Partners Win Grant to Expand Services to Prevent Sexual Assault in Western South Dakota - Yankton Daily Press

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Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world – CNN

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm

As coronavirus cases in Arizona continue to surge, Mayor Kate Gallego says Phoenix is facing a huge testing shortage.

People have been in line foreight hours in a hot car whilethey ache, waiting for a test," she said."We are five months in in theUnited States of America.People who want a test shouldnot have to wait that long."

Gallego says there is a need for low-barrier testing. She requested the federal government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for mass testing sites in Phoenix, but that request has been denied.

William Haseltine, a former Harvard Medical School professor, claimed that Arizona is implementing a crisis standard of care, which means, if you're old, youget sent home without care andyou die.

Unfortunately, our medicalprofessionals don't have theresources they need and so theyare being asked to makedifficult decisions, Gallego said, responding to Haseltines comments. She emphasized that people experiencing emergency conditions such as a heart attack should still go to the emergency room and that they will receive care.

Medical professionals are exhausted and asking for reinforcements, while warning that the worst is yet to come, Gallego says.

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Coronavirus pandemic: Updates from around the world - CNN

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Sidelined by coronavirus, these med students found a way to help the helpers – WHYY

Posted: July 8, 2020 at 5:46 pm

Since April, Zheng has met three times a week with 9-year-old Addie, the daughter of two doctors. Theyve kept a journal together, started their own book club, and bonded over shared interests.

We both love baking, Zheng said. We talk about baking a lot.

Addies mom, Dr. Hana Choe, said that when schools first closed she was really at a loss for how to keep her two kids focused academically.

And when this tutoring program came out I thought it was genius, Choe said.

Justine Garfinkel, a rising second-year student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), has been working with the daughter of a nurse. Theyve been tackling fractions together and talking about their shared love of Nancy Drew novels.

It was just a small way for me to feel like I was at least doing something to help someone, Garfinkel said.

This version of the tutoring program is temporary, but it has catalyzed the push for an expanded, permanent effort.

Hayoung Youn a Temple medical student who organized the initial tutoring program in the wake of the pandemic co-founded a new group with Garfinkel and a long-time Philly principal for students in the city who are at risk of dropping out.

Called RISE, the program will partner with the School District of Philadelphia and draw from a larger pool of tutors any postsecondary student in the Philadelphia area.

In the short-term, Garfinkel said, the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the families of frontline medical workers. Long-term, though, she believes children from low-income families will suffer most from the economic fallout caused by the virus and the instruction missed when school buildings shuttered. And thats where they think their tutoring muscle will be most needed when school returns in the fall.

The last few months have helped the group understand what works as they prepare to shift gears.

For Dr. Maura Sammons son Kaes, tutoring sessions became a chance to combat some of the isolation caused by the sudden end of in-person school.

It was really the bright point of his day, said Sammon.

The relationship between Kaes and his tutor, Temple medical student Vipin Dulam, started with academics. But soon they were chatting about the virus and video games and whatever else came up during their thrice-weekly sessions.

Originally, I think he was more motivated because his mom said theres a tutor you gotta do it, said Dulam. Then later I think he was looking forward to it specifically because he got a chance to talk with somebody.

See the original post here:
Sidelined by coronavirus, these med students found a way to help the helpers - WHYY

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