Vital Signs

February 2006

New Chair of Pediatrics Named

nina schorAfter a year-long search, the University of Rochester Medical Center has found its new leader in pediatrics, reaching into one of America’s top-rated children’s hospitals. Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D., was named chair of the Department of Pediatrics, pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong and professor of Pediatrics at the Medical Center. Schor, who is currently chief of the Division of Child Neurology of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, will begin her appointment Jan. 1, 2007, succeeding current chair Elizabeth McAnarney, M.D., who will continue to be actively involved at the Medical Center as professor of Pediatrics in Adolescent Medicine and chair emerita. 

"Under Dr. McAnarney, Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong has become a leading pediatric care and research institution for children across upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. With that strong foundation, Dr. Schor will be able to continue to build the hospital into an unparalleled organization," said C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. "In addition, Dr. Schor’s background in neurology will strengthen the Medical Center’s efforts in the Neurosciences."

Schor will be the seventh chair of the Department of Pediatrics since its inception 80 years ago. She is nationally recognized for her research on neuroblastoma (the most common tumor of the nervous system in children), and degenerative disease and oxygen radical damage in the nervous system. She currently holds the Carol Ann Craumer Endowed Chair for Pediatric Research at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is chief of the Division of Child Neurology, director of the Pediatric Center for Neuroscience, and associate dean for Medical Student Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"Dr. Schor’s career embodies and celebrates the academic clinician. Not only is she widely recognized as a superb investigator, clinician and educator, but she has managed to weave these skills together to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts," said Dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D. "Her demonstrated leadership and administrative skills, as well as her ability to engage the community in children’s health, will be a great asset to the University of Rochester and to the region." 

Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong is the region's only children's hospital, providing care for close to 100,000 children through its inpatient and outpatient services. It is in the final stages of a capital campaign that has raised more than $40 million to date, which in part is helping to fund new expansions and programs at the hospital including the recently opened Pediatric Intensive Care and Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Units and a surgical suite currently under construction.

"Nina Schor, succinctly said, is one of the finest young pediatric academicians in the country with an impeccable academic pedigree and deep integrity. She has skillfully navigated the academic worlds in both neurology and pediatrics with great aplomb," said McAnarney.

Schor trained in Pediatrics and Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. She received her M.D. from Cornell University Medical School and her Ph.D from the Rockefeller University. Schor has been an attending physician in child neurology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh since 1986 and has won numerous awards, including several for teaching.

"I am very much looking forward to joining this wonderful University, Medical Center, and community," Schor said. "I will work to maximize the health and wellbeing of our children and to ensure that tomorrow's children will enjoy a level of health care that surpasses the best we can offer today."

Fourteen faculty and staff members participated in the search for the new chair. Richard Burton, M.D., senior associate dean for Academic Affairs, chaired the committee with members Linda Alpert-Gillis, Ph.D., associate professor of Psychiatry, Judith Baumhauer, M.D., professor of Orthopaedics, Ashwani Chhibber, M.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology, Susan Fisher, Ph.D., associate professor of Public Health Sciences, Steven Goldstein, president & CEO of Strong Memorial Hospital and vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Arthur Hengerer, M.D., professor and chair of Otolaryngology, Barbara Iglewski, Ph.D., professor and chair of Microbiology and Immunology, Jonathan Mink, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Neurology, Tatiana Pasternak, Ph.D., professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Walter Pegoli, Jr., M.D., associate professor of Surgery, Ronald Rabinowitz, M.D., professor of Urology, Mark Taubman, M.D., professor of Medicine and chief of Cardiology, and James Woods, Jr., M.D., professor and chair of Obstetrics-Gynecology.

The Senior Leadership Team thanks the search committee for their time and dedication.

University Prepares to Launch 2006 United Way Campaign

A Memo from University of Rochester President Joel Seligman

united way

Campaign runs
Feb. 27 - Mar. 31

When Jean Whitmore’s mother was diagnosed with dementia, it answered many of her questions about her mother’s recent erratic behavior.  But it also raised many additional questions, and Jean was unsure of where to turn.

"Lucky for me, some friends suggested I contact the Alzheimer’s Association, which proved to be a font of resources and information," said Whitmore, who is currently an administrative assistant for the Department of Pediatrics.

Through a support group for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Whitmore was able to talk with other caregivers about their experiences, and together the group could brainstorm on new ideas for dealing with their loved ones.  The support group also would bring in guest speakers, and it was through one of these speakers that Whitmore learned her mother could be eligible for Medicaid.

This is in turn opened up even more resources for her mother to tap into, including aide services and transportation to a daycare program, "allowing my mom to remain in our home safe, secure and happy until her death," Whitmore added.

"I had always contributed to United Way, but never dreamed I’d be using one of their services," Whitmore. "I guess now, I look at my donation as buying me peace of mind – because you never know when you might need it."

Last year, thousands of University faculty, staff, and retirees pledged over $1 million to the Greater Rochester United Way/Red Cross Campaign.  It was the first time we achieved this benchmark. Let me express my personal gratitude to all who helped make last year’s campaign a success. It is my hope that this year, we are able to do even better.

You will soon be receiving your 2006 United Way pledge packet by way of the many volunteers here at the University. During the campaign, I hope you will take the opportunity to view the 2006 United Way Campaign video, which gives a wonderful overview of United Way’s importance to the Greater Rochester community.  As you consider a gift, please keep in mind the following:

  • Your donation is greatly needed. It helps to provide support to over 150 United Way agencies that collectively serve the needs of over 600,000 people annually throughout the Greater Rochester Community. This includes over $1 million in funding for University and Medical Center programs that are vital to our community.
  • Through "donor designation," the Greater Rochester United Way provides program funding to an additional 400 organizations. Please be assured that donor designated funds are always provided to the agency as designated.
  • When you donate to the United Way of Greater Rochester, 100 percent of your gift goes directly to programs that help people in need.  Earnings from the United Way Endowment Fund, not from your campaign contribution, cover the United Way of Greater Rochester’s operating expenses.
  • Choosing "Continuous Pledge" in the payroll deduction section of the pledge form is an efficient way to give. Your pledge remains in effect from year to year, without the completion of additional paperwork and may be easily revoked at any time by calling the University’s United Way Office at 275-4756.  (Please keep in mind the United Way of Greater Rochester does require annual filing of a Donor Designation Form, should you choose to designate all or part of your annual gift.)

Thank you for your consideration of a gift to the 2006 United Way/Red Cross Campaign.  Please visit the University’s United Way Web site ( during the campaign to monitor our progress as we strive to reach $1 million in employee donations.

NY State Gives Stamp of Approval to Residents’ Work Hours

residentsThe New York State Department of Health has found Strong Memorial Hospital in compliance with state-established work hour limits for medical residents. The state’s decision follows a lengthy inspection that recently occurred.

"Being in compliance means that residents have the opportunity to find a better balance between their professional and personal lives," said Diane Hartmann, M.D., associate dean for Graduate Medical Education at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. "There is also a much greater chance that when they are here, they are awake and alert and capable of better patient care decisions as well as more fully participatory in their educational activities. For the patients, they have better rested physicians who should be more capable of making more thoughtful and safer decisions."

New York State has had work hour regulations for residents or physicians in training since 1989. The rules include: a maximum of 80 hours a week (including moonlighting); at least eight hours off after 24 hours of call; shifts in the emergency department of no more than 12 hours; and at least one day off each week.

In 1998, the School of Medicine and Dentistry became the first in the state to develop an internal survey process to monitor resident work hours. The anonymous survey requires resident to keep work-hour diaries. Strong also has devised systems to more efficiently allocate work hours for residents. In some instances, the hospital has attending physicians and nurse practitioners perform duties once completed by residents.

To determine whether a program meets the work hour regulations, representatives of the state’s Health Department make unannounced visits annually to facilities across New York State. When this team came to Strong last November, it conducted interviews with approximately 300 residents and fellows in internal medicine, anesthesia, surgery, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology, and with the directors of resident training programs. The inspection team reviewed all rotations and call schedules as well as instruction schedules. They also examined operating room and birth logs and selected medical records.

Faculty Spotlight

Media Clips


Work by memory experts Mark Mapstone and Miriam Weber, exploring the relationship between memory problems and menopause was covered by CNN (Feb. 2 ) and Medpage.

Neurosurgeon Paul Maurer was asked by ABC World News Tonight (Jan. 29) to comment on medical care of wounds suffered in the war.  The story was replayed on Good Morning America the following morning.

Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to the Medical Center was covered by Newsday (Jan. 23), CNN (Jan. 24), the Washington Times (Jan. 24), and other outlets.

John Treanor served as a source for a Q&A (Jan. 18) on bird flu, and also discussed the proper use of drugs approved to treat the flu, with WebMD (Jan. 25).

Shanna Swan spoke with the Oakland Tribune (Jan. 25) about possible dangers of chemicals when they’re used in conjunction with other chemicals.

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center is the only center in Upstate New York listed in an ABC News online (Jan. 27) resource of cancer centers that focus on the emotional needs of patients, and in a list of centers conducting new research into breast cancer. (Click on "Where to go" and "Breast Cancer")

Work by Ann Falsey and Ed Walsh on respiratory syncytial virus and other bug threats was covered by United Press International (Jan. 19).

Timothy Quill was quoted by dozens of outlets, including the New York Times (Jan. 18), Chicago Tribune, and ABC News (Jan. 17), about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding Oregon’s assisted-suicide act.

Michael Perlis talked to Psychology Today (Jan. 16) about getting a good night’s sleep.

Susan Hyman discussed alternative treatments for autism with the Orange County Register (Jan. 13), in a story also carried by several other newspapers.

Jonathan Mink also discussed an alternate treatment for autism, in a story carried by the New Jersey Herald Times (Jan. 17).

United Press International (Jan. 12) talked to Jonathan Klein for a story about the declining health of young adults.

The San Francisco Chronicle (Jan. 9), The Sacramento Bee (Jan. 11) and other newspapers throughout California covered Shanna Swan’s testimony about a proposed ban of chemicals known as phthalates in toys.

Sandra Schneider’s comments on the preparedness of emergency systems were carried by the Associated Press, USA Today (Jan. 10), New York Post, and other outlets.

Timothy Quill was quoted today in a New York Times (Jan. 10) story on treating chronic pain effectively, and his recent presentation on end-of-life care was covered by UPI (Jan. 9).

UPI (Jan. 9) discussed the use of medications to treat ADHD with Donna Palumbo.

John Treanor’s comments on the possibility that bird flu may be more common in people than has been thought were reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Jan. 9) and other publications.

Maiken Nedergaard’s research showing that astrocytes can control blood flow in the brain was covered by MSNBC (Jan. 7), UPI, and other outlets.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Jan. 5) turned to Howard Federoff to discuss a new initiative to develop gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

WISTV in South Carolina (Jan. 4) featured a new device developed by Steve Feldon to check for glaucoma.

Work by Michael Pichichero and Janet Casey reviewing the effectiveness of various antibiotics against strep was covered by the Los Angeles Times (Jan. 2) and Scripps Howard News Service, whose stories were carried by several additional newspapers.

WebMD (Dec. 28) spoke with Heidi Schwarz about the dangers of weight-loss surgery.

Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D., professor and associate chair of Neurosurgery, was recently honored with the "Recognition of Innovative Research" award by The Institute for the Study of Aging and Elan, a pharmaceutical company, for his research into creating new drug therapies to combat Alzheimer’s disease.  Zlokovic also was recently invited to present his research findings on how deficiencies in the body's blood-brain barrier may contribute to Alzheimer’s to a core group of researchers and administrators from around the nation at the National Council on Aging in Bethesda.

"The Language of Breathlessness: Do Families and Health Care Providers Speak the Same Language when Describing Asthma Symptoms?", an article published by School of Nursing Professor H. Lorrie Yoos, Ph.D., C.P.N.P., recently captured the Ellen Rudy Clore Excellence in Research Writing Award from the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.  The article was selected by the journal’s Editorial Board for the most outstanding research article of all those published in 2005.

Gary Lyman, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Medicine and Oncology and director of Health Services and Outcomes Research, was named associate editor of the Journal of Oncology Practice. He will coordinate the peer-reviewed, original research that the Journal publishes.

A number of faculty participated in the annual meeting of the Critical Care Congress of the Society of Critical Care Medicine held recently in San Francisco. Timothy Quill, M.D., professor of Medicine and Psychology and director, Center for Palliative Care and Clinical Ethics, gave one of the plenary addresses, "Ethics at the End-of Life:  In the Shadow of Terry Shiavo."  Peter Papadakos, M.D., professor of Anesthesiology, Surgery, and Neurosurgery and director of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, was a moderator and gave a lecture on "Differential Lung Ventilation."  David Kaufman, M.D., associate professor of Surgery, Anesthesia, Medicine, and Medical Humanities and director of the Surgical ICU, spoke on ICU design.

Sanjeev Chhangani, M.D., associate professor of Anesthesiology and Christopher W. Lentz, M.D., associate professor of Surgery and Pediatrics and director of the Strong Regional Trauma Center, were elected fellows of the prestigious American College of Critical Care Medicine, an honor only given to a small percentage of those nominated each year.

James L. McGrath, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Alan V. Smrcka, Ph.D., associate professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, Oncology, and Biochemistry and Biophysics, are the first recipients of grants out of the Discovery Concept Fund. The fund is an academic-industry partnership between the Medical Center and Johnson and Johnson launched last year to nurture early-stage research by young scientists who have promising ideas, but not ready access to research funding. Each was awarded $100,000.  McGrath’s work will focus on microscopic filters that could one day greatly improve renal dialysis filtration devices, while Smrcka will continue research on drug therapies that may represent a new way to treat heart failure, cancer and addiction.



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Last updated: 05/16/2013 4:13 PM