Category Archives: Expert Advisories

GRU Explains West Nile virus infections

As the Georgia Public Health Laboratory confirmed three cases of West Nile virus infections in Augusta, local people may wonder what they can do to protect themselves and their families.

Dr. Jim Wilde, professor of pediatrics emergency medicine at Georgia Regents University, is a member of the Georgia Pandemic Influenza Planning Committee and the Medical College of Georgia Pandemic Flu Committee and serves as the state medical director for GUARD – Georgia United Against Antibiotic Resistant Disease. Following the H1N1 flu scare in 2009, Wilde worked in conjunction with the East Central Health District to develop and activate G-LINE: Georgia Region G Local Information Network for Emergencies. This website was designed to provide locally relevant information to physicians and the general public during public health emergencies.

GRU Explains the Confederate Flag debate

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The South Carolina legislature convened Monday to debate proposals to remove the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds.

Dr. John Hayes, an assistant professor of History at Georgia Regents University, teaches courses on the American South. In a new video, he discusses history’s role in the current controversy.

“The removal of the flag from Statehouse grounds in South Carolina would be symbolically very powerful,” Hayes said. “It’s a way of saying we’re coming to terms with a certain commemoration of the past that spoke for only half – maybe not even half – of the people of South Carolina and, as we confront that commemoration, this has no place going forward. Does that mean South Carolina has all of a sudden turned a corner and become a radically different state? By no means. But I think it’s an important small step in charting a better future, a future that includes all South Carolinians rather than only some.”

A rising scholar in Southern history, Hayes’ research focuses on religion in the late 19th and 20th century South. He has published chapters in edited collections, including Big River: Johnny Cash and the Currents of History; The Christ-Haunted South: Contextualizing Flannery O’Connor, and journal articles, such as The Evangelical Ethos and the Spirit of Capitalism; Recovering the Class-Conscious New South; From Christ-Haunted Region to Anomic Anyplace.

7 safety tips to keep July 4 fun

AUGUSTA, GA. – The Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. It’s our nation’s birthday, and most people like to top off the celebration with fireworks. Although fireworks are fun and colorful, they can be dangerous to everyone around.

On average, about 200 people will go to the ER with fireworks-related injuries each day around the Fourth of July holiday, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“Most of the injuries we see involve burns,” said Dr. Natalie Lane, Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia Emergency Department. “For example, a sparkler can burn as hot as a blow torch; and, unfortunately, we have had to treat children with sparkler burns several times. But these are avoidable injuries, if families will carefully follow safety procedures.”

Here are some tips Dr. Lane recommends to help keep your July 4 fun:

  1. Always read and follow directions on the label carefully.
  2. Adults should always supervise young children when around fireworks. Even sparklers, which are assumed to be safe, should be supervised, as they can reach to 1000 degrees, and can cause severe burns.
  3. If a firework is deemed a “dud” after not going off once lighted, do not stand near it to see what’s wrong. Instead, wait 15-20 minutes; then put the “dud” out with water and dispose of it.
  4. Never shoot fireworks off in metal or glass containers. Instead light them outdoors on a smooth, flat surface away from homes, leaves, or other flammable materials.
  5. Always keep some type of water source on hand in case of fire. A large bucket of water or garden hose will do the trick.
  6. Light fireworks one at a time. Lighting multiple fireworks simultaneously could result in the person setting the fireworks to catching fire or being hit by a firework that goes off early.
  7. Do not use fireworks where prohibited by law. However, if they are legal in your area, be sure to buy them from a reputable seller.

The 154-bed CHOG is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children. Visit CHOG at facebook.com/GAChildrens and twitter.com/GAChildrens

7 ways to help kids avoid summer brain drain

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Recent studies have shown that most students lose several months’ worth of learning over summer break. Dr. Andrew Kemp, a Professor in Georgia Regents University’s College of Education, recommends the following tips to help your child combat summer learning loss:
 
1.      Cultivate your child’s inner bookworm: Help your child learn to enjoy reading without always associating it with school work by creating a book club with purely recreational books that are both interesting and challenging.  Take time to also read newspapers, magazines, and kid-friendly websites.
 
2.      Use television to your advantage: While you want to limit the amount of time your child spends watching television, be sure to make educational programming part of the routine.  However, while  watching the show, start a discussion regarding the television program.  This is a great way to discover what your child is comprehending.
 
3.      Take a field trip: In addition to heading to the beach this summer, be sure to add attractions such as museums, zoos, and farms to the itinerary. These locations are not only educational, but also fun to explore. 
 
4.      Try something new:  Do not be afraid to introduce your children to new foods, music, art, or an activity.  Trying new things will allow for critical thinking and promote confidence.
 
5.      Get creative: Arts and crafts, such as creating a summer vacation scrapbook, are a perfect way to let your child express their creativity while keeping their mind stimulated.
 
6.      Summer enrichment programs:  Keep your child engaged by taking advantage of school or community programs.
 
7.      Just talk:  One of the most important things that you can do is talk to your child about what is going on in their lives, in the neighborhood and in the world.  You might find that your child has interests that you did not know about. 
Click here to view Dr. Kemp sharing his tips with WFXG.
 
Kemp is Professor of Teacher Education in the College of Education at GRU and a former high school teacher. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from South Dakota State University, and a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Central Florida.
 
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Georgia Regents University is one of four public comprehensive research universities in the state with nearly 10,000 students enrolled in its nine colleges and schools, which include the Medical College of Georgia – the nation’s 13th-oldest medical school – the nationally-ranked Hull College of Business and Georgia’s only College of Dental Medicine. The clinical enterprise associated with the university includes the 478-bed Georgia Regents Medical Center and the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia. GRU is a unit of the University System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution. http://www.gru.edu
 

5 questions about hand sanitizer answered

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Hand sanitizers are more popular than ever – and so are myths about the products.

We get a lot of questions about hand sanitizers and their uses. Are they safe? Are they effective?” said Dr. Stephen Hsu, a Georgia Regents University researcher with a growing line of green tea products.

His start-up biotechnology and drug development company Camellix, LLC, uses green tea-derived technologies to treat dry mouth, dandruff, and cold sores with natural ingredients. Now, Hsu has turned his attention to creating a better hand sanitizer and lotion using compounds derived from green tea.

“People have come to expect that they can use a hand sanitizer to help protect themselves during cold and flu season,” said Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology, Oral Health & Diagnostic Sciences in the GRU College of Dental Medicine. “That’s true, but in reality, hand sanitizers have so much more potential.”

Hsu’s ProtecTeaV® EGCG Hand Sanitizer and EGCG Skin Lotion use a modified epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) compound derived from green tea because it’s got the potential to protect against an extensive range of deadly or debilitating viruses. The new hand sanitizer and lotion are available in pharmacies and online starting this summer. Here, Hsu tackles five common myths about hand sanitizers:

Myth #1: Hand sanitizers only prevent colds.

“Studies in a number of research journals show us that EGCG protects human cells from infection of HIV, herpes, norovirus, hepatitis B and C viruses, human papilloma virus, even Ebola, according to recently published antiviral research by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases ,” said Hsu, a recipient of the 2015 Georgia Bio Innovation Award. “The significance of this technology is the potential to save thousands, if not tens of thousands, of lives from a variety of viral infections.”

As a result of the research, Camellix plans to donate shipments of its new EGCG sanitizer and lotion to military personnel fighting the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

Myth #2: Hand sanitizers replace hand washing.

“Soap and water are still the best way to clean the skin. When they’re not available, hand sanitizers are a great option,” Hsu said. “Sanitizers work best when your hands aren’t overly dirty or greasy, so if it’s possible, you always want to wash or wipe down your hands first to remove visible grime.”

Myth # 3: All hand sanitizers are created equally.

Most sanitizers kill bacteria and some viruses with alcohol, which evaporates in about 20 seconds. “This is fine for immediate cleansing if applied correctly, but it is temporary,” Hsu said. “The key is to provide a long-lasting barrier against viruses. The unique ProtecTeaV® formulation provides a 2-hour barrier by combining alcohol with lipophilic EGCG, a compound patented by Georgia Regents University.”

Myth # 4: Sanitizers kill all bacteria and viruses.

Most bacteria can be killed by alcohol-based sanitizers, but in order to effectively kill viruses, the concentration of alcohol must be very high, or about 90 percent,, which is dangerously flammable.

“With norovirus, for example, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands with soap and water frequently to prevent infection instead of relying solely on alcohol-based sanitizers,” Hsu said. “The rabies and polio viruses are also resistant to alcohol. Compounds to kill these alcohol-resistant viruses are urgently needed. We believe EGCG, especially lipophilic EGCG, is an excellent candidate.”

Myth #5: There is no wrong way to use hand sanitizer.

“The sanitizer can’t do its job if it isn’t applied properly,” Hsu said. “Put a nickel-sized dollop of the product in the palm of one hand and rub hands together, until the surface of your hands and fingers are coated. Keep rubbing until dry. For the best results, wash and dry your hands before using hand sanitizer, then follow with lotion.”

About Dr. Stephen Hsu

Dr. Stephen Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology, Oral Health & Diagnostic Sciences in the College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Regents University, earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Wuhan University after a six-year forced labor experience in a rural farm in China.

After moving to the United States, he earned a Master of Arts degree in molecular biology from Montclair State University in New Jersey and a Ph.D. in cell biology and anatomy from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Dr. Stephen Hsu is founder of Camellix, LLC, which develops and markets products using green tea-derived technologies to treat dry mouth, dandruff, cold sores, and viral infections with natural ingredients. The products were developed and patented in the Georgia Regents University Life Sciences Business Development Center in the Office of Innovation Commercialization. Hsu joined GRU 1999 and serves as Course Director for both Nutrition and Biochemistry courses. He has joint appointments in the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, GRU Cancer Center, and VA Medical Center Augusta.

More information

Learn more about ProtecTeaV® EGCG Hand Sanitizer and Skin Lotion at www.camellix.com or the GRU Office of Innovation Commercialization at www.gru.edu/oic.

 

 

 

GRU diversity expert available for National Nurses Week

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Nursing student diversity is on the rise, says Dr. Faye Hargrove, chair of the College of Nursing Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee at Georgia Regents University.

A diverse nursing workforce is key to providing culturally sensitive patient care. It’s why the GRU College of Nursing Dean Lucy Marion and Multicultural Affairs Coordinator Melissa Johnson-Bates recruited a dedicated committee to advise college leadership on how to best attract and retain students, faculty, and staff from under-represented groups in nursing. Hargrove, Chief Development Officer at the Family YMCA of Greater Augusta, brings expert leadership to the team.

Since its inception in February 2014, the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee has reviewed a five-year diversity and inclusion plan, participated in and promoted training, analyzed student and employee demographic data, and made recommendations for recruitment, programming, and processes. This year, one of their most significant contributions has been to propose guidelines for a nursing curriculum that includes cultural competency development for all new nursing students.

“Our diverse community deserves the best caregivers we can provide, ” Hargrove said. “Real information about diversity and inclusion isn’t always intuitive. You have to educate yourself and make the effort, which is what the College of Nursing is doing. We’re looking at everything. It’s not just race and ethnicity. It’s age and gender and religion and lifestyle and so many other things that make the difference in providing quality patient care.”

From May 6-12, GRU and GRHealth will celebrate nurses as part of National Nurses Week. Events include a gala for nurses, and free webinars sponsored by the American Nurses Association and National Black Nurses Association. April is also Diversity Awareness Month at GRU. The month, designated by the university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, encourages the exploration of cultures and differing perspectives.

Hargrove, a personal development coach and team trainer for corporations and clients across the United States, is a published author and civic leader active in various organizations. She is a founding member of Women in Philanthropy of the Central Savannah River Area and also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Community Foundation of the CSRA, the First Tee of Augusta, and the United Way of the CSRA.

Hargrove is an alumna of the University of Georgia. She has previously served as CEO of Hargrove Leadership Services, as a faculty member in the School of Business at Georgia College and State University, as the Head of the School of Business Administration and Economics at the University of South Carolina Aiken, and as Vice President for Student Development at Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.

She periodically teaches non-profit management and strategic planning for non-profit organizations in the Masters in Public Administration program at GRU.

Hargrove is available to discuss diversity and inclusion in business, education, and leadership, and the need to attract students and faculty from under-represented groups in nursing. To schedule an interview prior to or during National Nurses Week, contact Kelly Jasper at 706-513-0719.

Faculty expert: Supreme Court hears oral arguments on same-sex marriage bans

 

 AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Supreme Court of the United States convened on Tuesday to weigh the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.

Dr. Martha Ginn, an Associate Professor of Political Science, teaches Constitutional Law at Georgia Regents University. She is available for interviews after the court hears oral arguments in the four cases challenging state bans on same-sex marriage.

One of the nation’s leading scholars in judicial politics, Ginn’s research interests include judicial selection, Appellate courts decision-making, and public opinion, particularly of the judiciary. Her unique blend of legal expertise and analytical skill, coupled with a passion for the Constitution, make her an engaging professor for students on topics such as Constitutional law, the judicial process, political scandals and affairs, and public administration.

Ginn is available to discuss:

  • Background concerning the four cases in front of the Supreme Court
  • Potential impact for Georgians
  • Next steps following Tuesday’s oral arguments

To schedule interviews with Ginn, contact Kelly Jasper at 706-513-0719.

Watch: Dr. Vazquez discusses “superbug”

Two patients treated in a UCLA hospital reportedly died this week from a CRE infection that was traced back to a particular scope used in an exploratory procedure.

Dr. Jose Vazquez, Chief of the Section of Infectious Disease at the Medical College of Georgia at GRU talks about the prevalence of CRE bacterias, also referred to as a “superbug,” and how the rampant abuse of antibiotics contributes to growth of more antibiotic-resistant infections.