Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

Archive for April, 2012

Through Sept. 28: "Intersections" exhibit

An art exhibition offering insight into the human body, science and biology is free and open to the public, and just a short one-block walk from CHEC.

Open through September 28 at Tompkins-McCaw Library  for the Health Sciences, the exhibition “INTERSECIONS: Art and Science” showcases artwork on scientific illustration themes of interest to the general public.


Save the date: Oct. 18

The Community Health Education Center marks its 10th anniversary with an October public presentation by a nationally known speaker. The topic will be teamwork in hospitals and emerging health care trends focused on patient care. Look for details soon.

2012: 10-year anniversary

As a consumer health library, free and open to all, the Community Health Education Center is marking 10 years of service to the metro Richmond community in 2012. Our librarian welcomes invitations to speak to groups and we also participate in health fairs.

CDC warns be wary of fair fare

Fairs and festival season will soon be in full swing and the Centers for Disease Control offer detailed advice on protecting yourself and your family from bad food that can make you sick. The article According to the CDC, the consumer should consider these questions before buying food from a vendor at a fair or festival or on the street.

  • Does the vendor have a clean/tidy workstation?
  • Does the vendor have a sink for employees to wash their hands?
  • Do the employees wear gloves or use tongs when handling food?
  • Does the vendor have refrigeration on site for raw ingredients or pre-cooked foods?
  • Has the vendor been inspected? Temporary and mobile vendors, like those at fairs and carnivals, should have a license to sell food and beverages. Check to see if the vendors are licensed and if a food inspection has been completed.

Taking your dog to work may reduce job stress

A 2012 study by Virginia Commonwealth University is the first national quantitative research to explore the relationship that keeping pets in the workplace may have to reducing stress.

The study, published in the March issue of “The International Journal of Workplace Health Management,” found “that dogs in the workplace may buffer the impact of stress during the workday for their owners and make the job more satisfying for those with whom they come into contact,” according to this University News Center story.


April 25: Donate Life Educational Event

April is National Donate Life Month! Celebrate with us on Wednesday, April 25 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in the Community Health Education Center. Stop by during this time for the opportunity to learn more about organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact Sarah or Dana at 828-2432 or email

Visit Donate Life America to learn more about how to become a donor and provide hope to those in need.

July 19: “Recognizing Depression” Presentation

Please join us in CHEC on Thursday, July 19 at noon for a special program about depression.

Nurse Practitioners at the VCU Medical Center, Margaret Spivey and Cindy Frey, will be presenting “Recognizing Depression.”

Light refreshments will be provided.  Space is limited, and registration is required.  For more information or to register, please contact Sarah or Dana at 828-2432 or email

May 1: Spider Bites Program in CHEC

Please join us in CHEC on Tuesday, May 1 at noon for a special program on spider bites.  Evelyn Waring, RN, Education Coordinator at the Virginia Poison Center will be presenting.

Spiders are everywhere in our natural environment and sometimes are found in our homes.  Come to learn about the two poisonous spiders in Virginia: where they’re most often found, how to recognize them, and what problems can be caused by their bite.

Light refreshments will be provided.  Space is limited, and registration is required.  For more information or to register, please contact Sarah or Dana at 828-2432 or email

Incontinence drugs offer "modest benefits" with "significant side effects"

A significant review of research drawing data from 94 different studies shows that drugs that treat incontinence caused by overactive bladder “offer modest benefits to women and often come with significant side effects,” reports Web MD. The article

The review compared darifenacin (Enablex), fesoterodine (Toviaz), oxybutynin (Ditropan, Oxytrol), solifenacin (Vesicare), tolterodine (Detrol), and trospium (Sanctura). The study,  published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

How to choose wisely on health tests is talk of the nation

The health talk of the nation this week: Do you really need to have that test or screening done and, if so, at what benefit and at what cost?

This week (Wednesday, April 4) doctors came together in a national public information campaign “Choose Wisely” that made headlines and TV news spots everywhere. Medical specialty societies representing 374,000 physicians shared lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question.” Their idea is to recognize, according to the Choose Wisely Web site, “the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures.” The New York Times suggested this effort by doctors to recommend fewer tests is a “move likely to alter treatment standards in hospitals and doctors’ offices nationwide.”

This effort is on the vanguard of a national movement to manage health care costs better. In a short article about the project in the online edition of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the authors note that “some estimates suggest that as much as 30% of all health care spending is wasted. ,,,​ To reduce unnecessary tests and procedures, physicians will need to play a leading role—their decisions account for about 80% of health care expenditures.

These lists prepared by physicians’ organizations represent specific, evidence-based recommendations physicians and patients should discuss to help make wise decisions about the patient’s care. What tests and procedures should patients and physicians talk more about? Read the lists.

For more information:

Did You Know?

1,300 people each month visit The Community Health Education Center to seek free and reliable consumer health information and guidance from its librarians and volunteers.