Health, Medicine & Nutrition
UI researchers identify genes that contribute to cleft palate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Hawkeye Caucus   
Friday, 13 July 2012 12:30

Investigators at the University of Iowa have identified the genes that contribute to cleft palate as one focal point of ongoing research that has remained active for more than 20 years.  Advances in DNA analysis in recent years have enabled these researchers to identify several genes that cause rare, highly inheritable forms of cleft as well as about 10 genes that contribute to the common forms of cleft.

As part of this research, investigators have also found that some of the same genes appear to affect how some wounds of all types—the cleft is a kind of an embryonic wound—might heal, which has implications for trauma and surgical treatments.

Finally, researchers are also using three-dimensional facial imaging to determine how the normal face develops.


Jeffrey Murray, M.D., professor of neonatology and genetics at UI Carver College of Medicine and professor of biological sciences, dentistry and epidemiology in the College of Public Health: “These findings provide immediate benefits in finding new pathways in facial development and hold the promise for improving diagnosis and treatment. … All of this work has benefitted from the active participation of many families from Iowa who contribute freely to the research to benefit others.”


Approximately one in every 1,000 babies born in the United States is affected by a cleft palate, a cleft lip or both, making the condition the most common birth defect in the country.

Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness seeks volunteers for healthy schools PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Emily Neal   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:39

AmeriCorps service program benefits include living stipend and education benefit of $5,500

DECORAH, Iowa -- The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative has openings for four School Outreach Wellness program volunteers starting Sept. 1.

An AmeriCorps Volunteer position, these School Outreach Wellness members of the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative team will receive a living allowance stipend and an additional $5,500 educational award at the end of their service.

For information and applications, contact Emily Neal, director of School Outreach at Luther College, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , telephone (563) 387-2138, postal address Luther College, Attn: Emily Neal, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA  52101.

Successful candidates will demonstrate ability to work with others, good communication skills, and experience working with young people. Post-secondary degree preferred.

Review of applications begins July 20, 2012.

The four successful candidates will join a team of enthusiastic folks working in more than 20 schools throughout northeast Iowa to promote local food and physical activity.  They will receive training to serve as a resource for school wellness committees in three regional school districts.

School Outreach Wellness members strengthen relationships with schools and communities regarding wellness for area youth.

Volunteers will sometimes serve as teachers or presenters and at other times train others to be teachers and leaders.  They will help organize school-community events that showcase Farm-to-School and Safe Routes to School programs, develop community partnerships and build healthy families.

Projects can include starting or maintaining school gardens in many communities and instructing students, teachers and staff about the benefits of growing and consuming healthful food. Volunteers work from an office in Luther College Environmental Studies department with desk, computer and phone to facilitate connections with other organizations and people doing similar service.


Drug caucus to hold hearing on prescription drug abuse PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 14:38
Washington—Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Co-Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today announced a hearing Wednesday, July 18, at 2:30 p.m. on prescription drug abuse in the United States.


According to a recent survey by Monitoring the Future—a University of Michigan study of U.S. students and young adults funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse—prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs after marijuana.


·         Sen. Feinstein

·         Sen. Grassley

·         Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse

·         Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

·         Joseph Rannazzisi, deputy assistant administrator with the Drug Enforcement Administration

·         John Eadie, director of the Prescription Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University

·         Avi Israel, a parent advocate in Buffalo, N.Y.

·         Vernon Porter, a parent advocate in Orange County, Calif.

·         Joseph Harmison, owner of Harmison Pharmacies in Arlington, Texas


WHAT: Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control hearing: Responding to the Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 18

WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562

A live stream of the hearing will be available online at


Republican House Votes to Strip Health Care Benefits from Millions of Americans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Brad Wright   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:57

House Vote to Repeal the Affordable Care Act = Politics as Usual

“We are in this fight to keep Medicare benefits from being stripped away from millions of seniors by Members of Congress who vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The ACA will save lives, it will provide coverage to millions who lack insurance and it already provides improved benefits for less cost to seniors in Medicare. America’s health and economic security should take priority over election-year politics; however, this vote proves once again, politics trumps policy in the House.  The Affordable Care Act is law, it’s working, and it’s long past time for Congress to start making economic growth a priority.” Max Richtman, President/CEO

While political rhetoric dominated much of today’s House repeal debate, the facts about the benefits provided to seniors in Medicare -- which would be lost if health care reform was repealed -- were largely ignored.  Here are just a few of the benefits that would be lost if the Affordable Care Act was repealed.

*  The typical senior would lose $4,200 over the next decade in prescription drug savings provided in the ACA

*  The Part D coverage gap known as the ‘donut hole’ would return

*   Annual wellness visits for beneficiaries would no longer be covered by Medicare

*   Seniors will now pay more for preventive services. Medicare would no longer fully cover

screenings like mammograms, pap smears, bone mass measurements, depression screening,

diabetes screening, HIV screening and obesity screenings

*   Almost 3.3 million uninsured Americans ages 50-64 who would have been insured under

Medicaid will remain uninsured

*   The Medicare Trust Fund’s solvency would be shortened by 8 years

A full analysis of the Medicare and Medicaid improvements that were preserved as a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act can be found on the National Committee’s website.


The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

Braley Statement on House Vote to Repeal Healthcare Reform Law PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Thursday, 12 July 2012 13:56

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement today after voting against a Republican bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA):

“I voted against repeal today for the sake of thousands of Iowans like my nephew, Tucker.  Tucker survived a fight with liver cancer at age 2 because he had health insurance.  But his parents lived in constant fear of losing their jobs because if they did, Tucker would be denied new insurance due to his pre-existing condition.  The healthcare reform law ended those fears – but repealing the law would roll back this important reform and many more.


“Because of the Affordable Care Act, 18,000 young Iowans can stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions, screenings for diseases like breast cancer are covered 100 percent, and 42,000 Iowa seniors are saving an average of $615 per year on their Medicare prescription drug benefits.


“Iowans can’t afford to go back to where we started.”


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