June-July 2013

Pressure PointsThis is the fourth in a series of special issues taking a closer look at the factors shaping modern medicine.

Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Medical Research—and Much More


Jennifer Anolik, M.D., Ph.D., studies how immune cells misfire, attacking healthy tissue in lupus patients.

In a lab on the first floor of the Kornberg Research Building, a group of researchers is using stem cells to repair the nervous system of a mouse—a pioneering feat that could lead to a treatment for multiple sclerosis. Just across the street, in the Saunders Research Building, a researcher scours genetic data on a computer screen, hunting for clues about a heart disorder that kills with little warning. And in the Wilmot Cancer Center, researchers are studying a drug that may halt acute leukemia in elderly patients—a vulnerable group for whom current therapies often fail.

In spite of these exciting advances, a storm is brewing: Funding for researchers at Rochester and at universities across the nation is being cut dramatically as the federal government tightens spending. In this issue of Pulse, we take a look what these cuts could mean for our research programs, for the medical center as a whole, and for the Rochester community. More»

Consultant Says URMC’s ICARE Efforts Are ‘Truly Personal’

As a URMC employee or faculty member, you’re hearing an awful lot these days about consistently delivering the “ICARE experience.” But you probably didn’t know that the business is deeply personal for one of our consultants: Linda Piontek.

Piontek is an employee of Brand Integrity, the group working with URMC to bring the ICARE experience to life. We hope that bringing you her family’s true story rejuvenates for you the reasons behind our commitment to putting patients and families first.

Rapid Response Team Intervenes Before Situations Warrant ‘Code Level’ Care

Over time, most caregivers develop a sort of sixth sense—a trained ability to notice subtle clues and anticipate when a patient might be heading for a dangerous turn.

And it’s Mark Ott’s job, as he heads up Strong Memorial’s Adult Rapid Response Team, to hone that instinct. A senior nurse manager who manages quality and safety projects for Adult Critical Care Nursing, he’s busy teaching caregivers how to read cues—and how to trust their guts.

Committee Taking Great Pains to Keep Patients Comfortable

Pain. It’s as individual as the person experiencing it—which makes measuring it, by nature, imprecise.

But hospitals try. Needless to say, at URMC, we want to keep our patients comfortable—but we’re also concerned with our HCAHPS (patient experience) scores, which tie back to our good reputation and ensure that we recoup performance-based funding. A team at Strong Memorial is taking a close look at these slippery but important issues, which absolutely hinge on good communication.

Faculty Accomplishments

We publish faculty and student accomplishments in every edition of URMC Pulse, highlighting both the prestigious honors our faculty/students receive, as well as the prominent leadership/advisory posts to which they are appointed.