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Tuesday, February 20, 2018
HomeMedia EngagementMore Than Just An Injury: the impact of inflammation on the body

More Than Just An Injury: the impact of inflammation on the body


Pain, redness, and swelling typically encompass the expected after-effect from an accidental injury. Might inflammation represent a grander health concern than just a local injury response?


A delve into the Merriam-Webster dictionary describes the process of inflammation as “a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.”


This complicated definition seems distant from the daily human experience, and prompted further investigation by Senior Fellow, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Kristi Westphaln. Ms. Westphaln continues her adventures at the 49th annual Western Institute of Nursing Conference as she interviews inflammation expert from the University of Arizona College of Nursing, Dr. Carrie Merkle. With a unique combination of undergraduate/graduate education in nursing and a PhD in Zoology, Dr. Merkle is gifted both in her research repertoire as well as in her ability to make the processes within advanced cell biology palatable and pertinent.


During her delivery of the esteemed Distinguished Researcher Lecture at WIN, Dr. Merkle explained how the complex mechanism of inflammation is so much more than a bump or bruise, and that it holds serious implications for many chronic health conditions.


Tune into HealthCetera Radio live on April 14, 2016 at 99.5FM or streamed at

or listen via free podcast on iTunes

to learn from an inflammation expert about how inflammation is linked to wound healing, heart health, cancer, diabetes, endometriosis, depression, and cognitive decline. Inflammation impacts our health, and the swell work of Dr. Carrie Merkle helps explain why.

Written by

Kristi Westphaln, MSN, RN, PNP-PC, is a San Diego-based pediatric nurse practitioner with a passion for all things pediatric. She has been in the nursing profession for 15 years, with 11 years of PNP expertise in the areas of pediatric primary care, pediatric emergency health care, pediatric trauma and child abuse. Ms. Westphaln will be producing for the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement a series of elementary school-based health education podcasts and will continue her work in radio with “HealthCetera.” She currently serves as the legislative/health policy chair for the San Diego chapters of the National Association of Pediatric Nurses (NAPNAP) and the California Association of Nurse Practitioners, and she was recently honored as a 2017 National NAPNAP Advocacy Scholar. She anticipates completing her PhD in nursing from the University of San Diego in May 2018 and aspires to pursue post-doctoral education in the pediatric health policy research arena. Her research interests include child health promotion, social capital, health care access and use, home visitation and health disparities/social justice.

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