As the State of Georgia's only public academic health center, Augusta University has unique strengths and responsibilities in developing clinical services and biomedical research responsive to community health needs. The innovative solutions developed through the Institute of Public and Preventive Health will ensure that Georgia will be a healthy place to live and work for generations.

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  • Adherence to the USPSTF Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendation in the United States

    Ansa, Benjamin; Dergaga, Hayat; Olsen, Erik; Mumford, Pennica; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (2020-10-27)
    Timely screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) can reduce CRC-related mortality by detecting the tumor at an early curable stage. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for CRC starting at age 50 and continuing until age 75, with blood stool test performed every one or two years, sigmoidoscopy every five years, and colonoscopy every ten years. The Healthy People 2020 targets 70.5% of Americans to have received CRC screening by 2020, based on the most recent guidelines. This study assessed the prevalence and likelihood of fully meeting the USPSTF recommendation for CRC screening among individuals aged 50 to 75 in the United States. We analyzed the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) dataset and utilized the Chi square test and binary logistic regression method. A total of 201,691 individuals were included in the study. The overall prevalence of those who fully met the screening recommendation was 72.1% (N= 145,347). Individuals older than 50-59 years, that were females, of black ethnicity, in a couple relationship, with high school or greater than high school education, earning $25,000 or more annually, and having insurance coverage, were more likely to meet the screening recommendation. Overall, the majority of adults (72.1%) have met the CRC screening recommendation, and have surpassed the goal of the Healthy People 2020, targeting 70.5% of Americans to have received CRC screening by 2020. However, differences persist in the rates of CRC screening based on socio-economic characteristics. More effort to promote screening among disadvantaged groups is warranted.
  • Interprofessional Education and Collaboration in Healthcare: An Exploratory Study of the Perspectives of Medical Students in the United States

    Zechariah, Sunitha; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Johnson, Stephanie W.; Gates, Amy M.; De Leo, Gianluca; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (MDPI, 2019-10-15)
    Qualified and competent healthcare professionals working in a collaborative team environment is a prerequisite for high quality patient care. In order to be successful in the healthcare working environment, medical students need to be exposed to interprofessional learning early in their education. A single stage online survey was administered to medical students to evaluate their attitudes and perceptions of interprofessional education (IPE) and whether prior exposure to IPE increased their appreciation for interprofessional collaboration. The results suggest that irrespective of prior exposure to IPE, medical students appreciated the importance of interprofessional education and collaboration. Medical students showed a strong interest in attending interprofessional courses in other disciplines. Time constraints, scheduling conflicts, and communication emerged as barriers to IPE. Medical students embraced IPE and welcomed the opportunity to learn with other disciplines. Clinical case studies and simulations were identified as potential methods to integrate with other healthcare disciplines. The positive attitude and perceptions of the medical students toward interprofessional education and collaboration warrants the inclusion of related courses in medical curricula, as this may further increase students’ potentials in becoming effective healthcare providers.
  • Attitudes and Behavior towards Interprofessional Collaboration among Healthcare Professionals in a Large Academic Medical Center

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Zechariah, Sunitha; Gates, Amy M.; Johnson, Stephanie W.; Heboyan, Vahé; De Leo, Gianluca; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (MDPI, 2020-09-06)
    The increasing rates of comorbidities among patients and the complexity of care have warranted interprofessional collaboration (IPC) as an important component of the healthcare structure. An initial step towards assessing the e ectiveness of collaboration requires the exploration of the attitudes and experience of healthcare professionals towards IPC. This online survey aimed to examine the attitudes of healthcare professionals working in a large public academic medical center toward IPC in patient care and the healthcare team, and their behavior and experience regarding IPC. The rankings, according to the perceived importance among the respondents, of the four Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) core competencies (values/ethics, roles/responsibilities, interprofessional communication, teams/teamwork) were assessed. There were strong but varying levels of consensus among healthcare professionals (N = 551) that IPC facilitates ecient patient care, improves patient problem-solving ability, and increases better clinical outcomes for patients. They acknowledged that IPC promotes mutual respect within the healthcare team and providers’ ability to make optimal patient care decisions. However, overall more than 35% of the respondents did not attend multidisciplinary education sessions (grand rounds, seminars, etc.), and about 23% did not participate in bedside patient care rounds. Interprofessional communication was ranked as the most important IPEC core competence. Although the attitude towards IPC among healthcare professionals is strongly positive, many healthcare professionals face challenges in participating in IPC. Institutional policies that facilitate interprofessional learning and interactions for this group of healthcare professionals should be formulated. Online distance learning and interactions, and simulation-enhanced interprofessional education, are options for addressing this barrier. Hospital administrators should facilitate conducive work environments that promote IPC, based on IPEC core competencies, and promote programs that address the challenges of IPC.
  • The Gulf War Women’s Health Cohort: Study Design and Protocol

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Sullivan, Kimberly; Krengel, Maxine H.; Heboyan, Vahé; Wilson, Candy; Lobst, Stacey; Coughlin, Steven S.; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (MDPI, 2020-04-02)
    Military service and deployment affect women differently than men, underscoring the need for studies of the health of women veterans and their receipt of health care services. Despite the large numbers of women who served during the 1990–1991 Gulf War, few studies have evaluated Gulf War illness (GWI) and other medical conditions specifically as they affect women veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. The objectives of the Gulf War Women’s Health Cohort study are: (1) to establish the Gulf War women’s cohort (GWWC), a large sample of women veterans who served in the 1990–1991 Gulf War and a comparison group of women who served in other locations during that period; and (2) to provide current, comprehensive data on the health status of women who served during the 1990–1991 Gulf War, and identify any specific conditions that affect Gulf War women veterans at excess rates. The study will utilize both existing datasets and newly collected data to examine the prevalence and patterns of Gulf War Illness symptoms, diagnosed medical conditions, reproductive health, birth outcomes and other health issues among women who served during the Gulf War. The Gulf War Women’s Health Cohort study will address the need for information about the comprehensive health of women veterans who were deployed to the Gulf War, and other wars during the Gulf War era.
  • Pancreatic cancer survival trends in the United States: 2001 - 2015 SEER 18 data

    Ansa, Benjamin; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (Augusta University, 2019-11-06)
  • Aspirin Use among Adults with Cardiovascular Disease in the United States: Implications for an Intervention Approach

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Hoffman, Zachary; Lewis, Nicollette; Savoy, Cassandra; Hickson, Angela; Stone, Rebecca; Johnson, Tara; Institute of Public and Preventive Health (Augusta University, 2019-11-11)
    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major underlying cause of death, with high economic burden in most countries, including the United States. Lifestyle modifications and the use of antiplatelet therapy, such as aspirin, can contribute significantly to secondary prevention of CVD in adults. This study examined the prevalence and associated factors of aspirin use for the secondary prevention of angina pectoris, myocardial infarction (MI), and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) in a sample of American adults. The 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) dataset was analyzed for this cross-sectional study. Almost 16% of the study population (N = 441,456) had angina, MI, or stroke. Weighted percentages of respondents with angina, MI, and stroke were 4%, 4.3%, and 3%, respectively. Overall, weighted prevalence of daily (or every other day) aspirin use was about 65%, 71%, and 57% among respondents with angina, MI, and stroke, respectively. Factors that were significantly associated with aspirin use included male sex, more than high school education, high blood pressure, diabetes, and less than excellent general health. There were existing differences among individuals with CVD based on diagnosis, demographic and socioeconomic status in the use of aspirin for secondary prevention. Resources for promoting aspirin use should be directed toward groups with lower utilization.
  • Stage at diagnosis is an important determinant of survival among pancreatic cancer patients: Learnings from the National Cancer Database

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Islam, K. M. Monirul; Institute of Public and Preventive Health, Augusta University
  • Race/ethnicity differences in access to opioid agonist treatment (OAT)

    Covington, Katherine; Chung, Yunmi; Johnson, J. Aaron; Krawczyk, Noa; Augusta University; Johns Hopkins University (2018)
  • Narcan (naloxone nasal spray) availability in Georgia retail pharmacies

    Johnson, J. Aaron; Chung, Yunmi; Covington, Katherine; Augusta University (2018)
  • Evaluation of colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy utilization for colorectal cancer screening in Georgia

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Hoffman, Zachary; Lewis, Nicolette; Johnson, J. Aaron; Augusta University (2018)
  • Evaluation of blood stool test utilization for colorectal cancer screening in Georgia

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Lewis, Nicolette; Hoffman, Zachary; Johnson, J. Aaron; Augusta University (2018)
  • Syphilis rates and trends in the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia and South Carolina

    Stone, Rebecca; Chung, Yunmi; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Augusta University (2017-10)
  • Determinants of adherence to physical activity guidelines among adults with and without diabetes

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Covington, Katherine; Augusta University (2017-10)
  • Trends in HIV testing among adults in Georgia: analysis of the 2011-2015 BRFSS data

    Ansa, Benjamin E.; Smith, Selina A.; Chung, Yunmi; White, Sashia; Augusta University (2017-04)
  • Disparities of cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates in US between 2000 and 2012

    Yoo, Wonsuk; Kim, Sangmi; Coughlin, Steven S.; Bae, Sejong; Augusta University; UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (2016-10)
  • The impact of general experience with patients on baseline measures of confidence in an SBIRT training program

    Johnson, J. Aaron; Chung, Yunmi; Brown, Shilpa P.; Augusta University (2016-10)

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