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News briefs

For immediate use

July 18, 2007

UNC and Chinese university open logistics center in Beijing

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Tsinghua University, China’s top technology university, officially launched a new joint Research Center for Logistics and Economic Development this week in Beijing with four days of events at the center.

Faculty, staff, students and officials from both institutions and corporate supporters participated in events Friday (July 13) through Monday (July 16) that included a ribbon cutting, the center’s first board meeting, a workshop in the center’s logistics simulation laboratory and informal meetings to explore opportunities for collaborative research.

UNC and Tsinghua University are already partnering on a series of activities in support of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Additional efforts are planned for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

“We see this partnership as a major step forward in better understanding this important world market and forming the linkages that will improve the competitive position of North Carolina and U.S. businesses in Asia,” said John D. Kasarda, director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Logistics and Digital Strategy at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise has led development of the joint venture.

The partnership brings together two of the world’s leading educational institutions for logistics and operations research to focus on logistics and global supply-chain management research that can enhance trade between the United States and China, support economic development and address issues of business competitiveness, such as offshore outsourcing. The new center will serve as a launching point for Carolina initiatives to meet the needs of the growing percentage of U.S. managers who must learn to compete and collaborate with business interests in China.

The center’s programs and research will be shaped by an advisory board of representatives from UNC, Tsinghua and both Chinese and U.S. industry affiliates. An international partnership agreement to establish the center was signed by Carolina Chancellor James Moeser and Tsinghua President Gu Binglin in 2006. A series of launch events are planned for both Beijing and North Carolina during the coming year.

Note: For more information on the new UNC-Tsinghua Center and opportunities for research and corporate partnerships, contact Noel Greis at (919) 962-8201 or noel_greis@unc.edu

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School contact: Allison Reid, (919) 962-8951 or allison_reid@unc.edu
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962- 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu

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Telephone ‘quitline’ has successful first year

A telephone service set up to help North Carolina residents quit smoking was successful in its first year of operation, according to an evaluation by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.

The service, called Quitline NC, was established jointly by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund. It began operating on Nov. 1, 2005, using 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) as its phone number. The service also has a Web site at http://quitlinenc.com .

UNC’s Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program (TPEP), based in the School of Medicine’s department of family medicine, recently released an evaluation of the program’s first year.

“We found that Quitline NC is right on track when compared to similar programs in other states after their first year,” said Adam Goldstein, M.D., TPEP director and professor of family medicine at UNC.  “It’s off to a good start and is well positioned for expansion, so that more people can get the help they need to kick the tobacco habit.”

The evaluation found that Quitline NC received more than 4,000 calls during its first year and 3,020 of those were from people who wanted help with quitting. At follow-up, 14 percent of these callers reported that they had quit for 30 days or more and 94 percent said they were satisfied with Quitline NC services.

TPEP recommended in its evaluation report that funding for Quitline NC be continued and expanded to support comprehensive Quitline NC services for adults, young adults, and youth. It also recommended additional funding for development of an effective promotional campaign targeting youth and young adults, and a promotional campaign to increase awareness and use of Quitline NC among N.C. health professionals.

TPEP Web site:  http://www.fammed.unc.edu/TPEP/

School of Medicine contact: Stephanie Crayton, (919) 966-2860 or scrayton@unch.unc.edu
NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund contact: Vandana Shah, Executive Director, (919) 855-6878 or vandana.shah@ncmail.net

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DuBose receives award from international energy group

The International District Energy Association recently presented its 20/20 Vision Award to Raymond DuBose, director of energy services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. District energy systems produce steam, hot water or chilled water at a central plant and then pipe that energy out to buildings in the district for space heating, domestic hot water heating and air conditioning.

The IDEA award recognizes DuBose’s participation in all 20 of the group’s campus energy conferences held through 2007. The award also reflects his 20/20 vision for the association, for which. DuBose served as chair of the board in 2000-2002.

“Today the association’s vitality is strong, and its future is bright,” said Robert P. Thornton, president of IDEA, who presented the award during ceremonies June 19 in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Much of that is due to Ray’s steady and calm leadership and guidance through a major change in our operations. It was definitely the right move, and we’re grateful for the role he played. Ray’s dedicated participation in the organization through the past two decades shows his commitment not just to the association, but to the industry.”

DuBose manages operations of Carolina’s campus utilities systems and is leading the university’s energy planning for its new 900-plus-acre Carolina North campus, where the university is seeking to use 100 percent alternative energy sources in its energy production. A registered professional engineer in the state since 1977, DuBose is an active member of the Vice Chancellor’s Sustainability Advisory Committee at Carolina.

With headquarters outside Boston, IDEA was founded in 1909 and has 900 members from 22 countries. Its core mission is to support the growth and use of district energy as a means to conserve fuel and increase energy efficiency to improve the global environment. For more information about IDEA, visit www.districtenergy.org

Photo: http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/staff/dubose_ray.jpg
Cutline: Robert P. Thornton (left), president of IDEA, presented the association’s 20/20 Vision Award to Ray DuBose, director of energy services, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, during ceremonies June 19 at IDEA’s 98th Annual Conference & Trade Show. (Photo: Jeff Stanton)

International District Energy Association contacts: Rob Thornton, (508) 366-9339 or rob.idea@districtenergy.org ; Monica Westerlund, (952) 935-4904 or mlw@westerlund.com
News Services contact: Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu

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UNC program receives grant for improving preventive primary medical care

A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-based program aimed at improving the quality of preventive medical care given at primary care practices has been awarded a grant to expand the program.

The program, called Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP), will receive nearly $250,000 from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust to add 10 new primary care practices that serve low-income individuals. The goal is to dramatically improve preventive care provided in primary care practices.

Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) is a national program led by the boards and specialty societies of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. North Carolina is one of two demonstration states.

“IPIP has focused initially on chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes, and that effort is growing into a statewide initiative led by the governor’s office,” said Warren Newton, M.D., chair of the department of family medicine in the UNC School of Medicine and leader of the North Carolina IPIP coalition. “The grant from Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust will give us the additional resources to extend the insights and methods of IPIP from chronic disease into the area of prevention. This will allow us to improve care for underserved patients in our practices, while giving us an opportunity to pilot approaches which we will then apply across the state.”

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was created in 1947 by the will of Mrs. William N. Reynolds of Winston Salem. Three-fourths of the trust’s grant’s are designated for use for health-related programs and services across North Carolina and one-fourth for the poor and needy of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

School of Medicine contact: Stephanie Crayton, (919) 966-2860 or scrayton@unch.unc.edu