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Each year our Clinical and Translational Science Award pilot projects program awards approximately $500,000 in translational pilot funding to advance health in South Texas. We identified needs to improve the timeliness, transparency, and efficiency of the review process by surveying applicants. Lean six sigma methodologies, following a “Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control” approach, were used to streamline the pilot project application and review by identifying and removing bottlenecks from process flows. We evaluated the impact of our reorganized review process by surveying applicants and reviewers. Process mapping identified pilot project review as the main source of delay, leading to the implementation of a study section-style review mechanism. After one cycle, 90.3% of pilot applicants and 100% of reviewers were highly satisfied with the new processes and time to award notice was reduced by 2 months. All reviewers familiar with both review processes preferred the study section. We demonstrated how lean six sigma, a methodology not commonly applied in research administration, can be used to evaluate processes in translational science in academic health centers. Through our efforts, we were able to improve timeliness, transparency, and efficiency of the review process.
Intestinal health is important for maximising the health, welfare, and performance of poultry. In addition, intestinal health issues in poultry can have devastating financial impacts for producers, and food safety concerns for consumers. Until recently, intestinal health issues were seen as a handful of known infectious agents leading to a set of severe and identifiable named diseases. There is however an emerging area which depicts intestinal health as a more complex and multifaceted system than previously known. Recent progress in technology suitable for microbial community analysis has evolved our understanding of the chicken intestinal microbiome. It is now understood that shifts in the composition of microbial communities can occur. These shifts can result in a series of implications, including: disease, welfare, environmental, and food safety concerns. Minor shifts in intestinal microbial balance can result in a wide continuum of disease presentations ranging from severe to mild clinical, subclinical or asymptotic. Differential diagnosis of poultry intestinal health issues may be challenging and is important for applying appropriate treatment options. This review discusses new and emerging topics in broiler chicken intestinal health, with a focus on microbial composition, newly discovered microbial shifts in classical poultry diseases, range in severity of enteric diseases, newly identified organisms in normal intestinal flora, implications of shifts in intestinal microbial communities and diagnosis of emerging intestinal health issues in poultry.
This study aims to explore the health literacy needs of South Asian men with diabetes to generate scoping data to inform culturally appropriate interventions with this group. Health literacy levels were measured using the TOFHLA-UK (n=45) and supplemented by semi-structured interviews with healthcare providers (n=12). Data suggest that the majority of participants from this cohort tend to have marginal to inadequate health literacy levels. A generational gap was also found. Although language is a common barrier, low literacy confounds this issue since some patients are unable to read even in their own language. Thus health communication and care plans need to be simplified to match current health literacy levels of South Asian men with diabetes. Interventions need to work around cultural norms and collaborate with community members. Research and interventions that consider the needs of older generations of South Asian people with diabetes are also needed.
Shade plots, simple visual representations of abundance matrices from multivariate species assemblage studies, are shown to be an effective aid in choosing an overall transformation (or other pre-treatment) of quantitative data for long-term use, striking an appropriate balance between dominant and less abundant taxa in ensuing resemblance-based multivariate analyses. Though the exposition is entirely general and applicable to all community studies, detailed illustrations of the comparative power and interpretative possibilities of shade plots are given in the case of two estuarine assemblage studies in south-western Australia: (a) macrobenthos in the upper Swan Estuary over a two-year period covering a highly significant precipitation event for the Perth area; and (b) a wide-scale spatial study of the nearshore fish fauna from five divergent estuaries. The utility of transformations of intermediate severity is again demonstrated and, with greater novelty, the potential importance seen of further mild transformation of all data after differential down-weighting (dispersion weighting) of spatially ‘clumped’ or ‘schooled’ species. Among the new techniques utilized is a two-way form of the RELATE test, which demonstrates linking of assemblage structure (fish) to continuous environmental variables (water quality), having removed a categorical factor (estuary differences). Re-orderings of sample and species axes in the associated shade plots are seen to provide transparent explanations at the species level for such continuous multivariate patterns.