Finally, good news—NCAA champs, interesting articles, America’s Health Rankings and a White House puppy

Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. It’s been a fabulous week in Chapel Hill. There have been so many people celebrating and shopping for tee shirts that at times the traffic was completely stopped on Franklin Street.  Store owners told me that people said they had driven for hours to come to Chapel Hill, because they were so excited. We won, and that was great. But I am equally happy to see people flooding Franklin Street and buying tee shirts. (FYI, the majority of the University’s state budget funds come from sales taxes. Tee shirts are taxed.) I really enjoyed talking with students who had gone to the Final Four. Jessie Lamar and Sheriff Muse-Ariyoh, who work in our office, both went, and had a great time.Jessie Satia, PhD, Special Assistant to the Dean for Diversity and Professor, Epidemiology and Nutrition, has a very nice article in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association on disparities in diets in the US, focused especially on how minorities may be disadvantaged.

There also is an interesting article in JAMA on academic health-the point is that we have gotten so focused on teaching, research and service as outcomes that we forget the real goal of all our efforts in improving the public’s health. However, I believe people in our School don’t forget why we are here, and research like Jessie’s is a good example.

bo.jpgWe had a very interesting meeting here last week, led by Tom Ricketts, PhD, Professor, Health Policy and Management. Tom leads the Scientific Advisory Committee for America’s Health Rankings, an effort to provide numerical rankings for all the US states, based on good statistical indicators linked to important health outcomes. It is a stellar advisory group, and I learn a lot every time I attend. From a communications perspective, it makes sense to give states a sense of where they stand relative to other states and what factors contribute to those rankings.

In between working much of the last several days and getting a lot done, I replanted a bunch of daylilies and pansies from our garden at home. It is always satisfying to finish something in the garden. The results are so tangible.

But the most exciting news of the week, aside from the Tar Heels winning the NCAA Championships is that Bo has arrived at the White House. He’s a very cute six-month-old Portuguese water dog with winning looks. Maybe he will have a positive impact on the stock market. Bo is welcome to come play with my dogs any time!

Happy Monday. Barbara

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