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  1. Charles Figley, a psychologist and director of the Tulane University Traumatology Institute, says thinking too much about traumatic events, whether it's a refugee crisis on the other side of the world or a school shooting in our own country, can make people too anxious or depressed to function in their daily lives. Figley says, "It's a natural response called compassion fatigue. We of course think about ourselves being in such a place, in which someone would suddenly burst in and shoot things up, but if we think about that too much, then it deteriorates our sense of confidence and our sense of trust and our sense of safety."
  2. The U.S. is the most dangerous nation in the developed world in which to give birth, and Louisiana is among the states with the highest maternal death rates. Dr. Maeve Wallace, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist and researcher at Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has received two grants totaling $2.4 million to study pregnancy-associated mortality to study potential reasons why.
  3. The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and Louisiana consistently ranks among the top states for rates of death among pregnant and postpartum women. Dr. Maeve Wallace studies pregnancy-associated mortality and the state-level policies that could be contributing to the higher rates seen in Louisiana and the U.S. more broadly. Wallace and her team will also look at how factors including income inequality, structural racism and residential segregation play a role in the increased mortality rate among black women, who are currently three to four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or post-partum periods.
  4. Can cleaning vacant lots cause a chain of events that curbs child abuse or stops a teen from falling victim to violence? That’s the provocative question behind a new Tulane University research project to study whether maintaining vacant lots and fixing up blighted properties in high-crime areas reduces incidents of youth and family violence. The National Institutes of Health awarded Tulane a $2.3 million grant to test the theory in New Orleans.
  5. Tulane researcher Dr. Katherine Theall was just awarded a $2.3 million grant from the NIH for a first-of-its-kind study. The study seeks to learn if cleaning up overgrown, vacant lots and blighted houses can decrease youth and family violence. “To our knowledge, no other studies have examined the impact of blight remediation on youth and family violence, specifically,” said principal investigator Katherine Theall, PhD, Cecile Usdin Professor in Women’s Health. “However, research on other forms of neighborhood disorder suggest that it could have a substantial impact.”
  6. Dr. Emily Harville, an associate professor at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, said most people will be back to where they were within a year or so, but others will have difficulty for a longer period. "There will be a small group that continues to have long-term mental health issues," she said.
  7. As of the Fall 2018 semester, all new full-time, first-year undergraduate students will be required to complete at least one of the approved courses on Race and Inclusion. More than 50 existing classes have been approved as options with more coming in the future. This curricular requirement was one of several recommendations of Tulane’s Presidential Commission on Race and Tulane Values, which was initiated by Tulane President Mike Fitts in 2015 to make the university a more racially diverse, inclusive community. The commission includes Tulane faculty staff, students, alumni and board members.
  8. Tulane researchers conduct 4-year study, "Safe Schools NOLA," on trauma-informed approaches across 5 schools in New Orleans. These approaches include training for teachers to recognize signs of trauma, finding ways to make children feel safe, teaching coping skills and eliminating harsh discipline policies. The Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies, a key community partner for many Tulane researchers, surveyed New Orleans youth over the past several years to learn how deep the mental health issues are stemming from untreated trauma.
  9. In Baltimore and other segregated cities, the life-expectancy gap between African Americans and whites is as much as 20 years. This reality is a part of a much bigger story, one of how African Americans became stuck in profoundly unhealthy neighborhoods, and of how the legacy of racism can literally take years off their lives. Far from being a relic of the past, America’s racist and segregationist history continues to harm black people in the most intimate of ways—seeping into their lungs, their blood, even their DNA.
  10. Officials defend immigration-related detention facilities in Texas saying that shelters provide nutrition, hygiene and medical care. This isn’t enough. Children need consistent and individualized care from loving adults. Deprived of these experiences, a young child’s development is derailed.
  11. March for Our Lives – a student-led organization responding to the Parkland mass shooting – held a panel at Tulane as New Orleans was the group's last stop on the Southern leg of its Road to Change tour, which brought together survivors of the Parkland shooting and local activists and organizers to discuss topics including school-based gun violence prevention strategies and how to push politically for more restrictions on guns. Being conscious of their location, the panelists also turned to the issue of violence in urban environments, especially that which affects young people.
  12. Dr. Burnette has dedicated her career to studying the health disparities of indigenous peoples, examining everything from domestic violence to substance abuse. Her latest article, “Indigenous Women and Professionals’ Proposed Solutions to Prevent Intimate Partner Violence in Tribal Communities,” was selected as the 2018 Best Paper by the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work.
  13. Social Work Dean Bordnick this week received The Visionary Award for Outstanding Contributions to Youth Recovery Research at the 2018 Association of Recovery for Higher Education Conference (ARHE) in Houston for his work developing virtual reality solutions to substance misuse / addiction. Tulane is working to bring a recovery program to campus, and Bordnick said the School of Social Work is poised to be leader in this effort since social workers provide most of the treatment services for substance misuse issues.
  14. Researchers have found the amount of violence in a neighborhood can directly impact a child biologically, so much so, that the rate of violence directly correlates to the length of telomeres at the end of a child’s chromosomes. “We have evidence that there are changes in the actual DNA in the cells within each child. We have evidence that it changes how children's stress response systems work,” said Stacy Drury, the Associate Director of the Tulane Brain Institute.
  15. NOLA LEADs includes a series of six trainings held over three months that focused on helping people develop the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for changes in structural conditions that contribute to health disparities. Much of the program was modeled after the Louisiana Community Health Worker Institute, a program founded and directed by Ashley Wennerstrom (NOLA LEADs co-investigator).
  16. Drs. Maeve Wallace and Katherine Theall conducted a study focused on the relationship between state laws that shape the breadth and scope of women’s reproductive rights and two adverse birth outcomes (preterm birth and low birth weight) in every U.S. state. They found that women in states with the lowest scores — the most restrictive reproductive-rights climates — had greater odds of delivering a preterm or low birth-weight infant the following year (2012) as compared to women in states with the strongest reproductive rights. They also received the Charles E. Gibbs Leadership Prize for the best paper published in the journal Women’s Health Issues in 2017.
  17. Dr. Kat Theall notices how the abilities to raise a family in safe and stable housing, to eat healthy foods, to visit a doctor or get medicine when needed, to pursue high-quality education through college and beyond are taken for granted by some and distinctly out of reach for others. As the city's 300th anniversary approaches, Theall wonders if this will finally be the year New Orleans uplifts black women and black birth, which would the stage for a safer, healthier and more equitable next 300 years.
  18. Since 2015, Tulane University professors Stacy Overstreet, Courtney Baker and Kathleen Whalen have collaborated with a team of community partners to determine how six local schools can better support trauma-exposed students through an innovative study called Safe Schools NOLA. The study will help school administrators create an action plan to support those students.
  19. For Ashlee Pintos and other Tulane students, the 2016 election of Donald Trump was a sign they needed to do something for the community and engage civically. Determined to make change, many have ventured away from the elite campus in Uptown and into the world of local New Orleans organizing.
  20. As students participate in walkouts across the country to urge lawmakers to do something about gun violence, several universities, including Tulane, announced that they would not let discipline as a result of peaceful protest affect admissions decisions.

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