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Dr. Anita Hunter pets an elephant at an animal sanctuary in Uganda.
Anita Hunter’s passion to help others took her around the world

Anita Hunter has traveled the globe, but the pediatric nurse practitioner, professor and academic leader didn’t hit the tourist spots. Instead, she chose destinations where people were suffering and she believed she could help: Ghana, Belfast, Tijuana, Uganda.

Community fitness program helped overweight teens in Coeur d’Alene

Image of two feet in running shoes.

Five years ago, researchers in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, wanted to test whether overweight teenagers would be receptive to a community-based fitness program that included exercise, goal-setting, and nutrition coaching.

A portrait of Ruth Bryant in her commencement robes.
Recent PhD grad Ruth Bryant recognized for research on pressure ulcers

Ruth Bryant, who received her PhD from the WSU College of Nursing earlier this month, is the first person to receive a new award from the Western Institute of Nursing Gerontological Special Interest Group.

Portrait of Halle Schulz
Nursing student’s Photovoice project asked homeless women to document their lives and health

It’s a simple request: take photos to answer questions about your life like “Where do you sleep?” and “Where do you get your support?” Then talk about how the images make you feel.

Photo of Mason Burley
Research spotlight: Predicting hospitalization for mental illness could aid early intervention

Research Spotlight: Mason Burley, “Evaluating Risk for Psychiatric Re-Hospitalization: a Recurrent Event History Analysis” (Individual Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program)

The treatment of people with serious mental illness has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, from long-term institutionalization to community-based care. But the community-care system is lacking, and some people with serious mental illness are repeatedly hospitalized, released and re-admitted, a costly and disruptive cycle.

Washington State University doctoral student Mason Burley wanted to identify consistent and reliable factors associated with psychiatric re-hospitalization to help guide public policy and treatment options.

Photo of Teresa Bigand gesturing to her research poster
Research Spotlight: Being overweight significantly increases odds of chronic pain

Research spotlight: Teresa Bigand, “Examining Risk for Overweight Status Among Adults with Chronic Pain

Doctoral student Teresa Bigand’s research concludes that being overweight significantly increases an adult’s odds of suffering chronic pain. In fact, the higher a person’s body mass index (BMI), the greater their likelihood of having multiple chronic pain conditions, she says.

So which comes first, the pain or the weight?

“One study seems to suggest that the weight comes first,” she said. “That’s more exciting for me, because if we can get people to get their weight under control, we can control two different disease processes at once.”

Bigand, who entered the … » More …

A panel of three people
Researchers tracking public health impacts of marijuana legalization

By Addy Hatch

The number of retail cannabis shops in a location is associated with higher marijuana use among young people there.

That’s just one of the public health-related findings presented Friday morning at the Inland Northwest Research Symposium on the campus of Washington State University Spokane. Panelists shared some of the research and outcomes from Washington, Oregon and Colorado, where marijuana is legal for recreational use.

Nicholas Lovrich, PhD, WSU Regents Professor Emeritus and chair of the WSU Committee on Cannabis Research and Outreach, introduced the panel by noting that marijuana purchases in the three states rival alcohol sales, so tracking, monitoring and documenting … » More …

Poverty a frequent barrier to achieving health goals, research found

Older people with multiple chronic conditions often face barriers that aren’t considered in setting goals for better health, a WSU College of Nursing undergraduate student found.

Mariah Petersen, who’ll graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, will present her findings at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA) on Monday.

Petersen found that poverty was a common “contextual” barrier to achieving health goals. For example, 23.8 percent of patients whose goal was to lose weight cited poverty as a reason they … » More …

Sara Van Natta-S2-nursing student
Washington a model for suicide prevention training

Sara Van Netta

By Addy Hatch

SPOKANE, Wash. – More than half the states mandate suicide-prevention training for public school teachers, but only seven states have policies requiring healthcare professionals to get similar training. That’s one of the findings of a research study conducted by Washington State University College of Nursing student Sara Van Natta.

She will present “Suicide Prevention Education: Policies for Healthcare Professionals across the United States” at SURCA, the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities on Monday, March 27, at WSU Pullman. SURCA is a venue for undergraduate students to display their … » More …

Anita Hunter, right, with Vancouver high school student Chris Bevin in Uganda
Project in Uganda led to discovery of widespread health impacts from contaminated water

As published in Northwest Crimson & Gray, a magazine of WSU Vancouver
 

Helping get a hospital built in Uganda was an important step for Anita Hunter. But it was just the first step.

More than 10 years ago, Anita Hunter was invited to Mbarara, Uganda, to build a children’s hospital that would treat children who were dying from preventable diseases. Thanks to many people, the hospital was built and has been operating since 2009.

But Hunter’s interest didn’t stop there. Too many children still had preventable diseases. “Our work has gone beyond building a hospital to cure illnesses. We need to prevent … » More …

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