Monday, June 30, 2014

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington launches free online courses for Hoosier health workers

The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has announced the launch of the "Public Health & You" initiative, a new program aimed at enhancing the knowledge and skills of Indiana's front-line public health workers.

Designed specifically for professionals and practitioners whose work impacts the health of the public, the initiative offers free online courses that were developed in conjunction with the Indiana State Department of Health, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, and the Indiana Public Health Association.

"The School of Public Health-Bloomington is committed to our long-standing partnerships with those who work each day to improve the health of Hoosiers," said Mohammad Torabi, founding dean and chancellor's professor at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "By providing these dedicated health professionals with these no-cost and community-focused tools, we not only help them enhance their knowledge and skills, but ultimately help all of us here in Indiana, because a better-prepared public health workforce means a healthier Indiana. A healthier Indiana means improved economic stability and enhanced quality of life for all Hoosiers."


Saturday, June 28, 2014

IU School of Public Health-Bloomington renews agreement with Beijing Sport University

Leaders from IU and Beijing Sport University
This May, Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie led a university delegation, which included IU School of Public Health-Bloomington Dean Mohammad Torabi, on a trip to Asia to further IU’s strategic focus on key international locations. These partners are important to the university’s long-term mission of global engagement that generates increased academic and research opportunities for IU students and faculty.

On May 23, as part of the delegation's visit to China, leaders from Indiana University and Beijing Sport University renewed a longstanding partnership agreement. The relationship has led to substantial faculty teaching and research collaborations and student exchanges.

Partners since 1989, Beijing Sport University and Indiana University, through the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, have engaged in joint research collaborations in such areas as sport marketing, high altitude training, and recreation. In 2010–2011, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington hosted four retired Chinese Olympic champions from Beijing Sport University as visiting scholars.

Beijing Sport University, which just celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, has an amazing athletic tradition as one of the world’s elite sports universities: in the past four Olympic Games alone, students and faculty from the university have won a whopping 30 gold medals, 16 silver medals and nine bronze medals.

At the signing ceremony, Beijing Sport University President Yang Hua spoke glowingly about his university’s longstanding relationship with IU and the School of Public Health-Bloomington (formerly the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation).

Remarkably, the relationship between IU and Beijing Sport University spans four IU presidents and four School of Public Health-Bloomington deans; numerous faculty and student exchanges; and major joint initiatives, including several that helped support Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Torabi added how strategially important the partnership is, given Beijing Sport University’s expertise and position in sport and recreation. It is home to multiple Chinese national sport teams, allowing Beijing Sport University sport scientists to conduct extensive research related to these athletes. 

President McRobbie talked about how honored he and his colleagues were to be visiting Beijing Sport University on such an auspicious occasion: the celebration of a quarter-century relationship between two universities committed, through the new agreement, to continuing faculty, student and staff exchanges and working together to advance their mutual interest in the important role that sports and physical education can play in public health. 

"This partnership aligns with the School of Public Health-Bloomington’s innovative approach to public health," McRobbie added. "A wealth of research has shown that sport and recreation improve quality of life, mitigate non-communicable diseases, improve mental health, promote youth development, reduce health-related workplace costs and prevent early death."

Friday, June 27, 2014

IU experts comment on Supreme Court's contraceptive coverage ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby: Access to contraception, health care benefits men and families, too

Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, said access to health care, including reproductive health care, benefits not only women, but men and families. Most women in the U.S. and their male partners, including most religious women and their male partners, use some form of contraceptives, but costs and reliability vary.

"As noted in the dissenting opinion, IUDs can cost significant amounts of money and yet are long-lasting, safe and effective forms of contraception that an increasing number of women and men choose to help plan their families. Birth control pills are particularly common," said Herbenick, who also is a sexuality educator at The Kinsey Institute. "And yet many women and men, often due to lack of sexuality education or money or insurance for contraceptives, don't use reliable methods of birth control and may find themselves needing emergency contraception. About half of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, and nearly one-third of women have had or will have an abortion in their lifetime.

"We need to increase access not only to sexuality education but also to reproductive health care and contraception, including emergency contraception, in order to most effectively help women and men plan their families. Women and their partners may find themselves taking today's ruling into consideration when they consider not only where they want to work, but where they want to shop."

Katie Grove inducted into NATA Hall of Fame

Katie Grove
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, a nonprofit organization representing and supporting members of the athletic training profession, will induct six individuals into its prestigious Hall of Fame at the NATA 65th Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Indianapolis on Friday, June 27 including the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington’s own Dr. Katie Grove. The Hall of Fame is the highest honor an athletic trainer can receive. Honorees will be recognized for their significant, lasting contributions that enhance the quality of health care provided by athletic trainers and advance the profession. They have shaped the profession through their noteworthy accomplishments and dedication to service, leadership and professionalism. Since inducting its first class in 1962, the Hall of Fame now has 288 members. 

Katie Grove, PhD, LAT, ATC, has served the athletic training profession as an educator and practitioner for nearly 40 years. She has directed the undergraduate athletic training curriculum at Indiana University at Bloomington for more than 20 years, 17 of which she also served as an assistant athletic trainer. She was previously the head athletic trainer at Westminster College (Fulton, Mo.) and head women’s athletic trainer at Eastern Michigan University. In addition, she served as head women’s athletic trainer, assistant professor and program director of the undergraduate athletic training program at Indiana State University.

Grove has served in many leadership roles at the state, district and national levels; has been frequently published; and has given numerous professional presentations. She has been widely recognized for her contributions including induction into the Indiana Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame, as the first recipient of the IATA Diversity Award and as a recipient of numerous NATA awards including Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer. In addition, Grove has championed full inclusion of women in leadership positions in the profession. She received her Bachelor of Science from University of Montana; Master of Science from Indiana State University; and Doctorate of Philosophy from University of Missouri.

"We champion the outstanding contributions of these six Hall of Fame recipients and their constant commitment and passion for the athletic training profession, says Chuck Kimmel, ATC, NATA past president and Honors & Awards Committee chair. "We recognize and celebrate this tremendous class of 2014 and all they do to support NATA, its wide reaching programs and the members it represents." 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

IU's Indiana Prevention Resource Center to enhance alcohol and drug screening as preventive care

A successful initiative designed to retool how patients and health care providers discuss alcohol and drug use is being expanded through funding awards and technical assistance provided by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Several hundred community health centers across Indiana can apply for the funding and assistance to implement drug and alcohol screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment -- referred to as SBIRT -- which is seeing initial success in community health centers run by Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis and in several others centers across the state.

The initiative began in 2011 when an Indiana Prevention Resource Center-led coalition received an $8.3 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The center is now ramping up availability of the services by awarding $360,000 in seed funding to up to nine community health centers.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Study: Kids value support at disability-specific camp, want similar experiences in home communities

Doug Knapp
Camps for children with disabilities or life-threatening illnesses can provide fantastic social and self-affirming opportunities for campers that just can't be matched outside of camp -- and this can be a problem, found Indiana University researchers.

At Camp Riley, held each summer at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington's Bradford Woods outdoor center in partnership with the sponsoring organization Riley Children's Foundation, campers can interact daily with other "camp war buddies," as they call each other, as they take on various challenges, including wheelchair races, ropes courses and swimming goals.

"The social interaction of the kids with other kids with the same disabilities provides enormous support," said Doug Knapp, associate professor in the School of Public Health. "Kids with terminal cancer can say, 'Yes, I've got that,' and they can talk about it like any normal thing. The kids can't even get this with their family."

Knapp's study, "Examining Perceptions of Social Acceptance and Quality of Life of Pediatric Campers with Physical Disabilities," was published in the journal Children's Health Care.

Read more >> 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Former Surgeon General receives Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award

Bill Yarber, Dr. Satcher and Jeanne White Ginder
David Satcher, MD, PhD, 16th U.S. Surgeon General, was presented the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award at the 20th anniversary celebration of IU's Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention (RCAP) in April. 

Dr. William L. Yarber, RCAP senior director and Jeanne White Ginder, Ryan White's mother, presented the award in recognition of Dr. Satcher's outstanding contributions as Surgeon General to advancing sexual health and promoting AIDS/STD prevention.

In 2001, Dr. Satcher released the report, The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Sexual Behavior. "This report was the first government recognition of the importance of a sexual health framework to enhance population health in the United States," Dr. Yarber said. Yarber continued by stating that "Dr. Satcher showed extraordinary vision and exceptional courage, commitment and strength in championing the development of this landmark report."

The report was enthusiastically acclaimed by the chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians as an overdue paradigm shift and widely praised by sexual health professionals throughout the United States. However, the report was criticized by some political groups for providing information beyond abstinence and for being too permissive toward homosexuality and condom distribution in schools.  Despite the criticism, Dr. Satcher remained in the Surgeon General's office and was allowed to retire with his four-star grade of Admiral. Yarber was a member of a collaborative group of 130 persons representing 90 organizations that made recommendations for the conceptual framework of the report.

Prior recipients of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award include former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, MD; Otis Bowen, MD, former Governor of Indiana and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Jeanne White Ginder.

At the celebration, the RCAP Honor Award to recognize persons who have made special contributions to AIDS/STD prevention was presented to: Doris and Robert Fox of Bloomington; Susan Dreisbach, RCAP co-director emeritus of Denver, Colorado; and Doug Wasitis, IU Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations.

Established on March 1, 1994, RCAP is located in the Department of Applied Health Science of the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and is the only center in the nation that solely focuses on AIDS/STD prevention in rural communities.

Special needs campers fly high on new zipline

On Monday, June 23, 2014 representatives from the Finish Line Youth Foundation and CHAMP Camp participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling a new, fully accessible zip line at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana. The 370-foot zip line, funded by a grant from the Finish Line Youth Foundation, was designed to allow campers of all ability levels participating in the therapeutic summer camps at Bradford Woods to enjoy the unique experience. CHAMP Camp, which provides an overnight week-long summer camp experience for kids who have tracheostomies and those who require respiratory assistance, including the use of ventilators, was excited to unveil the new amenity which will serve an estimated 800 campers throughout the summer.

"At CHAMP Camp we are a can-do camp, and we listen to our kids throughout the years, and hear what they want to be able to do. And you know, this is just something that five to ten years ago we never thought we'd be able to do, either. But we just listen to the kids, hearing their desires and their heart in terms of what they want to be able to experience what other people are able to experience as well. We said, you know what this is something we can do. And we put our brains together and figured out a way to get this done for them," said Jennifer Kobylarz, executive director, CHAMP Camp.

See the new zip line in action >>

Friday, June 13, 2014

IU underwater science experts to investigate 'compelling' evidence of Santa Maria discovery

Underwater science researchers from Indiana University Bloomington are investigating evidence that the wreck of the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus' initial voyage to the Americas in 1492, may have been discovered off the coast of Haiti.

Charles Beeker, director of the Office of Underwater Science and Academic Diving and associate clinical professor of kinesiology in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, said recent investigations look promising, based on scientific diving and visual inspection of the site and evaluation of remote sensing data and historic records.

"The evidence looks very compelling, and Indiana University will conduct a full investigation to determine whether this is the Santa Maria, hopefully as early as this summer," Beeker said. "We are very excited about the potential of this discovery and very pleased to help protect sites such as the Santa Maria for future generations as Living Museums in the Sea."

Read more >> 

Monday, June 9, 2014

World Oceans Day offers opportunity to reflect on program success

Charles Beeker
As part of World Oceans Day festivities, Charles Beeker, Director of the Office of Underwater Science and Academic Diving and associate clinical professor of kinesiology in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, recently provided updates on his various expeditions. 

With over 20 years of experience conducting underwater archeological investigations in the waters of the Caribbean, he has been instrumental in the establishment of Living Museums specifically in the Dominican Republic protecting both history and the surrounding environments while encouraging sustainable tourism. 

Officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008, the celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8th brings together environmentalists, educators, and enthusiasts to celebrate the worlds ocean’s, educate the public on our impact, and generate a worldwide movement to mobilize projects for their sustainable management. 

Want to learn more about Professor Beeker’s work?

Watch video from a recent expedition to the Dominican Republic, where his team continued to search for artifacts from the 1725 sinking of the Spanish galleon BegoƱa . 
(link: )

Watch video about the discovery and identification of Capt. Kidd's last conquest, the Quedagh Merchant (also called the Cara Merchant).

Read about his latest investigation of a shipwreck believed to be the wreck of the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus' initial voyage to the Americas in 1492. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Georgia Frey receives Collaborative Fellowship Grant

Georgia Frey
Dr, Georgia Frey, associate professor of kinesiology in the School of Public Health-Bloomington has been awarded a Collaborative Fellowship Grant from the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University.

The highly competitive award is designed to enable innovative and interdisciplinary research that will assist with facilitating the applicant’s successful process of promotion from associate to full professor at Indiana University Bloomington. 

The Institute for Advanced Study, a research entity within the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, is Indiana University’s leading center for the pursuit of new knowledge and new directions of inquiry in all fields of study. It pursues its goals and contributes to the university’s research mission by supporting intellectual exchanges that are primarily collaborative and interdisciplinary and at an early stage of development.

Read more >> 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How Indiana is handling the growth of the e-cigarette market

Photo courtesy of
When it comes to e-cigarettes, Indiana is at the heart of the new market. The state has long been a test market for tobacco companies and last year, Nu Mark, a sister company to cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris, also tested its new e-cigarette Mark Ten in Indiana.

"They always seem to pick Indiana to test-market their products," says Jon Macy, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s School of Public Health in a recent Indiana Public Media report. "They test-marketed some of the new smokeless chewing tobacco products, the snus and orbs and sticks. I think they pick Indiana because of our high rates of tobacco use in the state. Relatively lax tobacco control policies in terms of the amount of money we spend on tobacco prevention and cessation programs."

Anti-smoking advocates say allowing Indiana to be a test market, sends the message that the state supports smoking and it isn’t serious about getting people to quit.

"We need more research dollars, for sure, to address emerging issues," Macy says. "The tobacco industry out spends us by a lot in Indiana and nationwide and in terms of being able to do research to figure out their marketing strategies and the impact of their marketing is difficult when you don’t have the resource to do the research."

Read more >> 

School receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant for research in global health and development

The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has announced that it is a winner of the Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Debby Herbenick, co-director of the school's Center for Sexual Health Promotion, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled Development and Testing of the Female Pleasure Condom.

Grand Challenges Explorations funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Herbenick’s project is one of more than 50 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 12 grants announced Tuesday by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, Herbenick and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 12 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, behavior change, and looking into animal and human health. Applications for the next round will be accepted starting September 2014.

In the current project, Herbenick and her team are working to develop an innovative female condom that is attentive to women’s genital anatomy and that enhances sexual pleasure. Their idea grew from research as well as many years of talking with individuals and couples throughout the world about condom use, HIV/STI prevention, and pleasure.


Monday, June 2, 2014

IU research presented at 2014 American College of Sports Medicine meeting: Deception improved athletic performance

Indiana University researchers say a little deception caused cyclists in their 4-kilometer time trial to up their performance even after they realized they had been tricked.

The findings support the idea that the brain plays a powerful role in how hard athletes push their bodies.

"The idea is that there's some sort of governor in your brain that regulates exercise intensity so you don't overheat, or run out of gas, so to speak," said Ren-Jay Shei, a doctoral student in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington. "In this case, the governor was reset to a higher upper limit, allowing for improved performance."

For the study, 14 trained, competitive male cyclists participated in four time trials. For each session, they rode cycle ergometers, which are stationary bikes that measure such variables as speed and power output and display the readings on computer monitors on the handlebars.

Read more >> 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Counsilman Center researchers present at Australian conference

Dr. Joel Stager and students affiliated with the Counsilman Center were the sole presenters from an American institution at the Biomechanics in Medicine & Science Conference held recently at the Australian Institute for Sport in Canberra, Australia. 

Students and affiliates of  the Counsilman Center at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington made seven research presentations at the conference, which is held every four years. 

Dr. Brian Wright, Ben Skutnik, Chris Brammer, Kosuke Kojima, Dr. Joel Stager, Whitney Ogle, Dr. Andrew Cornett