nursing schoolSafe Haven for Abuse Victims a Life or Death Matter. Housing availability can mean the difference between survival and further abuse or death for women who have survived intimate partner violence (IPV), according to professor Nancy Glass, PhD, MPH, RN, nursing doctoral graduate Jessica Draughon, PhD, MSN, RN, senior research program coordinator Amber Clough, MSW, and a colleague. Based on in-depth interviews with IPV survivors, the study confirms the critical nature of safe housing and identifies significant barriers to it. One is a disconnect between local housing and domestic violence service systems. Over 2 million injuries are attributed to IPV annually. For some, the drive to escape abuse results in creative but ultimately temporary solutions, such as living in a car or an abandoned building. “From a public health perspective, IPV survivors need safe housing as a first step in recovery. We can and must do better,” Glass says. “Funding, policy, and service delivery must be restructured to better meet these survivors’ complex physical, behavioral, environmental, and social needs. With growing numbers of IPV survivors likely to be identified through [Affordable Care Act] women’s health screening requirements, the time is now for action.” [“‘Having housing made everything else possible’: Affordable, safe and stable housing for women survivors of violence,” Qualitative Social Work, published online September 20, 2013.]

Attacking Obesity Through the Affordable Care Act. Poor choices in diet and in daily activities by people of all ages can lead to heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other chronic conditions. The key to reducing obesity and its damaging effects is primarily a matter of prevention—a focus of the Affordable Care Act and other recent laws, according to associate professor Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb, PhD, RN, ANP, FAAN, and a colleague. They explain in the November/December 2013 Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing how the Affordable Care Act, along with programs like WIC, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, and the National School Lunch Program, promote nutrition and exercise at school, in the home, and in rural, urban, and ethnic communities at greatest obesity risk. Dennison Himmelfarb notes, “Nurses must advocate for and participate in implementing the Affordable Care Act to achieve its foremost goal of improving the health of the public.” [“Preventing obesity and promoting cardiometabolic health: The promise and potential of policies and the Affordable Care Act.”]

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