All posts by Jorge Moscozo

Medical Screening Media Day

Trailer of the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey outside the Texas Medical Center.
Trailer of the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey outside the Texas Medical Center.

With the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), also came Media Day, as access to the rooms was given by tour outside the Texas Medical Center.

Located near the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, the survey’s media day travels across the country, and now made Harris County its traveling stop. Medical Examination Center (MEC) Manager Baldemar Gomez talks about the participants who are randomly chosen to take these medical studies.

“They (the participants) are a mix of gender, age, and ethnic background,” Gomez said.

“They also do a household interview which can last to about an hour.”

In detail, the survey’s study director Jenni Echols explains the process of choosing the participants for the checkups.

“We form small groups, about 24 groups, and then we selectively sample about 30 households within each group,” Echols told.

“A computer algorithm randomly selects some, all, or none of the household members,” Echols said.

Established since 1959, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey have conducted studies of health and nutritional statuses of individuals living in the United States, like the title given in the survey group. What makes this survey unique from all others is that it combines interviews and physical examinations. Julissa Oviedo, a volunteer, took part of those exams as the medical staff held a run-through to test the equipment. Although Julissa speaks Spanish only, she was delighted to know about a few bilingual members there who speak her language, as, she said, they made her feel comfortable to be here and testing the equipment for efficiency.

Steve Trumbore, on the other hand, isn’t a volunteer and works in the lab as their technician. He was chosen by a process NHANES makes to bring qualified individuals in their staff.

“What they do is advertise,” Trumbore said.

“For instance, if a doctor were to quit, they advertise for another doctor.”

Trumbore also said that those in their respective fields are chosen to do their field of study.

“If they get lab techs, they got to be licensed lab techs. The ideate people are dieticians,” Trumbore said.

One of the things the Pennsylvanian native does is the lab work of the samples, including a prediabetes test called the glucose tolerance test.

To an extent, the glucose tolerance test is done after the participant, male or female, completes a blood test out of the many tests and physical examinations in the survey. Then, the participant ingests a sugar solution liquid, takes their second blood test, and later shows how the body breaks down the sugar and notifies that to the participant. All test results and individual’s information, whether they volunteered or participated, is kept confidential.

NHANES will do this at their next destination in an upcoming U.S. state county.


Delta Devils Take Tournament Opener Away From Tigers

Mississippi Valley State and Grambling State shaking hands after the game.
Mississippi Valley State and Grambling State shaking hands after the game.

Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and Grambling State University (GSU) opened the Men’s basketball side of the 2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament at the Toyota Center.

But after two competitive time periods, Mississippi Valley State’s Delta Devils advanced with an 87-73 victory over the Grambling State Tigers. MVSU head coach Andre Payne felt confident in getting his first win in his second year.

“It was a good win, but we have a long way to go,” Payne said.

Payne’s second season as coach also included his second overall SWAC tournament. He can finally put his first-game exit from last season’s tournament behind him.

Valley, which MVSU also goes by, and Grambling went through most of the first half scoring back and forth, points after points, until halftime showed 36-27 in favor of the Devils. Grambling only tied the game one time.

Throughout the second half became a different result. Continuous baskets from both teams were made until key defensive plays from Valley and smart shots made began to give Grambling an early exit from the tournament. Grambling eventually loses 87-73 at the end. Grambling State head coach Shawn Walker was disappointed with the loss but is not upset with the team’s future.

“I would expect us next year not to finish in last place of the conference,” Walker said.

Tiger and senior guard Ervin Mitchell had 19 points total, but Valley’s player and junior shooting guard Marcus Romain put up higher points with 32. Romain was one of three Valley players with double-digit points; Latrell Love had 21 and Isaac Williams finished with 20.

Valley’s next opponent is second-place Alcorn State University Wednesday at 2:30 pm.