Matt Fitzgerald joins the SAHP as Administrative Research Coordinator

Matt Fitzgerald

Matt Fitzgerald

Matt Fitzgerald, BA, has taken over as Administrative Research Coordinator in the School. Matt received his bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2001 from the University of Northern Iowa and worked at the University of Iowa for over ten years doing research in molecular oncology and radiation biology. He joined UNMC in the Department of Surgery in 2012 as a research coordinator, and now we’re happy to welcome him to the Allied Health family.

Matt moved to Omaha with his wife, Melissa, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He loves fishing, kayaking and birding.

Glad to have you, Matt!

Dr. Katherine Jones’ CAPTURE Falls research in the news

Chadron Community Hospital CAPTUREs Falls
May 27, 2014 12:10 pm  • 

Chadron Community Hospital and Health Services (CCH&HS) has a tradition of working with staff and patients to provide the safest care possible. In an effort to further reduce inpatient fall risk, the hospital joined with 17 hospitals across Nebraska and researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) to increase focus on the problem of inpatient falls. The result has been that the Chadron hospital has not had an inpatient fall that resulted in injury for over a year. Read full article…

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Pictured (back row, from left) are Maddie Nitsch, OT, Bobby Griese, PT, Lucy Bartlett, RN, Victoria Kennel, Research Assistant; (front row) Amy Hindman, RN, ND, Katherine J. Jones, PT, PhD, Principle Investigator, Hailey Wang, Pharm D.

Healthy diet linked with better lung function in COPD patients, featuring Corri Hanson

Press release from SAN DIEGO –

Corri HansonSure, everyone knows a healthy diet provides lots of health benefits for patients with respiratory diseases, but now a new study has shown a direct link between eating fish, fruit and dairy products and improved lung function among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Conducted by researchers in the U.S. and Europe, the study specifically looked at COPD patients’ lung function within 24 hours of eating grapefruit, bananas, fish and cheese.

The results of the study were presented at the ATS 2014 International Conference May 15-22.

“Diet is a potentially modifiable risk factor in the development and progression of many diseases, and there is evidence that diet plays a role in both the development and clinical features of COPD,” said study lead author Corinne Hanson, Ph.D. “This study aimed to evaluate that association.”

For their study, the researchers used data from the Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate Endpoints study (ECLIPSE). ECLIPSE was designed to help determine how COPD progresses and to identify biomarkers associated with the disease. Limited diet records were available for 2,167 ECLIPSE participants who provided dietary intake information at eight time points over a three-year period. Each participant reported the amount of a specific food they had consumed during the previous 24 hours.

Next, the researchers looked at specific standard lung function measurements for the same group of people, including the six-minute walk test (SMWT), St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) scores and inflammatory biomarkers. Results were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI) and smoking.

What they found was that people who reported recently consuming fish, grapefruit, bananas or cheese had showed improvement in lung function, less emphysema, improved six-minute walk scores, improved SGRQ scores, and a decrease in certain inflammatory markers associated with poor lung function including white blood cells and C-reactive protein.

“This study demonstrates the nearly immediate effects a healthy diet can have on lung function in in a large and well-characterized population of COPD patients,” Hanson said. “It also demonstrates the potential need for dietary and nutritional counseling in patients who have COPD.”

Based on these results and the results of other studies indicating a link between COPD and diet, the role of diet as a possible modifiable risk factor in COPD warrants continued investigation, she added.

Article on CBS News

Article on US News & World Report