Vital Signs

June 2007

Quality of Cardiac, Stroke Programs Recognized by AHA

Heart patient Lonnie Chandler has his blood pressure taken by Cheri Nolan, R.N., prior to being discharged this week from 7-3600.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) has awarded two Get With the Guidelines Annual Performance Achievement Awards to Strong Memorial Hospital for meeting its high standards.

Strong Memorial is the only hospital in the Rochester area to be recognized with these honors, which celebrate a 12-month compliance of AHA/ASA standards.

“This is a welcome recognition of our efforts to continuously improve care for cardiac patients as we work to reduce the risk of recurrent heart attacks and death,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., chair of Medicine, chief of Cardiology, and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Medical Center.

Strong Stroke Center Director Curtis Benesch, M.D., said, “We have a long and successful history of implementing a higher standard of stroke care at Strong and strive to further improve our comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients. We know that with a stroke, time lost is brain lost.”

Awards are given to hospitals that have demonstrated that at least 85 percent of its eligible patients receive treatments outlined in the Get With the Guidelines (GWTG) for 12 consecutive months. GWTG–CAD include aggressive risk reduction therapies such as cholesterol-lowering drugs and aspirin, smoking cessation and weight management counseling, and referrals for cardiac rehabilitation.

Stroke guidelines focus on aggressive use of medications like tPA, antithrombotics, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis. GWTG-Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had an acute event, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their health care professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke.



Taubman Selected to Lead Department of Medicine

Mark B. Taubman, M.D.

A national search for a new chairman of Medicine at the School of Medicine and Dentistry led to the selection of Mark B. Taubman, M.D., as the School’s next chair, effective May 1.

As chairman and Charles E. Dewey professor of Medicine, Taubman oversees the single largest department within the Medical School, a role most recently filled by now Medical Center CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. Taubman will continue serving as chief of Cardiology and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute.

“URMC searched wide and hard for our new chief of medicine, and carefully considered some of the best candidates in the nation,” said Surgery Chair Jeffrey H. Peters, M.D., who chaired the selection process. “After nearly nine months of effort, in the end the search committee felt strongly and unanimously that we had the right mix of leadership, skill, talent and humanism in one of our own – Dr. Mark Taubman.”

“Mark is an accomplished researcher, clinician, and educator, nationally recognized in all three areas,” said School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D. “He has the knowledge, experience, personality, drive, and depth of commitment to be a stellar chair of Medicine.”

Taubman joined the Medical Center as chief of Cardiology in 2003 from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is credited with significantly advancing that school’s M.D.-Ph.D. program. Since Taubman took over leadership of Cardiology, overall funding for research in the unit has increased by 11.8 percent, going from $8.5 million to $9.5 million by the end of 2006. Overall research funding figures are comprised of grants from the National Institutes of Health, funding from the pharmaceutical industry to conduct clinical trials of new treatments and funding from disease-specific foundations. Taubman has more than 110 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications to his credit.

He’s also been the guiding force behind the expansion of cardiac patient care services, faculty recruitment, strengthening treatments for those with heart arrhythmias and heart failure, adding new preventive cardiology programs such as the women’s heart program, and forging strong regional services. Last December, Taubman was named editor-in-chief of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, one of five international medical journals published by the American Heart Association, and the leading journal in the field of vascular biology.

“The Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester has a storied history,” Taubman said. “I am honored and delighted to be the next in what has been a list of outstanding academic medicine chairs. The launch of the new Medical Center strategic plan and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute make this a particularly exciting time to be at the helm of the department and will provide unprecedented growth opportunities.”

Taubman is a graduate of the New York University School of Medicine who interned at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital before completing his medicine residency and cardiology fellowship training at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. He held academic appointments at Harvard Medical School, Boston’s Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine prior to being recruited to the University of Rochester.

“Mark has clearly earned the respect of his colleagues within the Department of Medicine and across the country. He is a brilliant scientist, skilled administrator and an accomplished clinician and teacher,” said Berk. “He is the ideal person to lead the department and help URMC take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”



ICU Earns Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence

Douglas Diver, R.N., cares for a patient on 7-1600, the cardiac-vascular intensive care unit honored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

An honor designed to recognize the nation’s top hospital intensive care units (ICUs) was recently bestowed upon Strong Memorial Hospital’s 14-bed cardiac-vascular intensive care unit (CVICU/7-1600). The Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, sponsored by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, is given to those ICUs that exhibit high quality standards, exceptional care of patients and their families, and healthy work environments.

Each year, about 70 staff members provide specialized care for nearly 1,000 patients on the 14-bed cardiac-vascular ICU, who are undergoing treatment for a wide range of cardiac issues. Many are enrolled in the artificial heart and heart transplant programs, which provide a high level of sophisticated and coordinated care.

In addition, the CVICU is also home to the area’s only Critical Care Transport Team, which operates a customized ambulance to handle transports for critically ill cardiac patients in the outlying region. These patients are often too sick to travel by regular ambulance, and require the extensive training of staff, and the specialized equipment in order to make the one- to two-hour trip to Strong Memorial. More than 100 such transfers are handled each year.

“Since its inception in 1998, the CVICU’s multidisciplinary team has been committed to providing service excellence in every aspect of patient care,” said Nurse Manager Larry Stalica, R.N., B.S.N. “We have relied on the latest evidence-based practices to ensure the highest quality of health care possible, and the Beacon Award recognizes those efforts.”

The honor is an acknowledgement of Strong Memorial’s ongoing focus regarding quality improvement of patient care, said Kathy Parrinello, chief operating officer for Strong Memorial Hospital. “We are so proud of our staff and the dedication they exhibit each and every day. This award is well deserved.”


University of Rochester Medical Center Launches

AED Program to Save Lives

Seventeen AEDs are now located throughout the Medical Center in high traffic public areas, including the hospital, the medical school and the MRB-X.

In early June, the University of Rochester Medical Center launched a program to dramatically improve the likelihood that someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest will survive on the Medical Center’s campus. Sponsored by Strong Memorial Hospital and the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the effort has strategically placed 17 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the Medical Center for use on adults and children. During cardiac arrest - also referred to as sudden cardiac death - the heart stops pumping blood because of a disruption in its electrical signals, and the victim falls unconscious. Unless the heart resumes beating within four to eight minutes, brain damage or death are likely.

“Lives can be saved with prompt use of AEDs, and the efforts of the
Medical School and the hospital to provide the necessary equipment
throughout our facility greatly increase the chance of survival for staff members and guests who suddenly experience a life-threatening cardiac event,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Center CEO.

Each year, more than 250,000 Americans die from sudden cardiac arrest. According to medical experts, the key to survival is timely initiation of a chain of survival events, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Due to recent technological advances, AEDs have recently become an important medical tool.

AEDs are advanced versions of the “paddle” defibrillators that doctors and paramedics have used for decades. They have automated audio voice instructions so that only a modest amount of training is required to use them. The AED device
automatically checks for a heart rhythm on the patient and will only work during appropriate situations.

More than 5,000 Medical Center staff members are trained in the use of AEDs as part of their ongoing certification.
The 17 AEDs are located throughout the Medical Center in public areas. If an individual collapses, there is
an AED available within two minutes. Locations include Miner Library, the main lobby of the hospital, the parking garage, the medical research buildings, and along common corridors.

If faced with a situation where someone has collapsed, employees should Dial 13 to activate an emergency response. Be aware of the nearest AED location in your area and retrieve the AED while waiting for the Medical Emergency Response Team to arrive. Follow the electronic voice instructions provided by the AED until the MERT team arrives.


Honors Bestowed on Medical Center Leaders

Patricia A. Chiverton, Ed.D., R.N., F.N.A.P., speaks at the Endowed Chair Installation.

Chiverton Named University’s First Endowed Chair

Patricia A. Chiverton, Ed.D., R.N., F.N.A.P., dean and professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing and vice president of Strong Health Nursing, recently was named the University’s first Pamela York Klainer Endowed Chair in Nursing Entrepreneurship.

A creative problem solver, Chiverton has led the charge to successfully launch and run new businesses within the practice mission of the School of Nursing. The Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship (CNE), the first of its kind in the nation, grew out of this effort and has had a significant impact on the School’s success.

She also has spearheaded a number of new and improved academic offerings, among them a one-year accelerated program for non-nurses, integrated M.S. and Ph.D. accelerated degree programs, and an MS degree in leadership in healthcare systems. The school’s total enrollment and faculty body have grown significantly, and its budget has nearly doubled. In addition, last year the School completed an $8.1 million renovation and expansion project—the first in its history.

This success has enhanced the School’s prominence nationally as evidenced by its climbing in the national ranks from 28th to 12th among nursing school’s receiving National Institutes of Health grants.

“Pat’s vision for nursing education is helping shape the future of health care in Western New York and beyond,” said Medical Center CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D. “Her creative approaches to improving nursing practice, dedication to supporting entrepreneurship in the field and keen ability to spot emerging trends and opportunities for growth have put the School of Nursing on the map as a national model for success.”

Griggs to Lead Nation’s Largest Organization of Neurologists

Robert Griggs, M.D.

Medical Center neurologist Robert Griggs, M.D., has been chosen to serve as the next president of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) – the nation’s largest professional organization of neurologists.

Griggs was elected to the position of president-elect at the association’s annual meeting in April and will begin his tenure as president in 2009. AAN, established in 1948, is an international association of more than 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals.

As chair of the Department of Neurology, Griggs has overseen a major expansion in education, clinical care, and research programs. Research funding to the department has skyrocketed from about $1 million per year when Griggs began leading the department in 1986 to more than $28 million last year. The department regularly ranks among the top five institutions nationally in the amount of research funding it receives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and leads the nation in overall neurological research funding from all sources. During Griggs’ tenure the University has become well known as the leader worldwide in conducting clinical trials of potential new treatments for diseases like Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

“Under Berch Griggs’ leadership the Department of Neurology has grown from 22 to 90 full-time faculty members and has established itself as a national – if not worldwide – leader in many fields of neurological medicine and science,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “It is fitting that his peers have chosen to recognize his significant contributions to the field with this distinct honor.”

Griggs is recognized as a leading authority on a variety of neuromuscular disorders. He helped develop treatment for the most common form of muscular dystrophy, and he is currently leading a large study to evaluate new ways to treat the disease. Griggs is also an expert in a rare neurological condition called periodic paralysis and is sought out by patients from around the world for treatment of the disorder. Recently, the NIH selected Griggs to lead the largest study ever of the disease, and also tapped him to lead one of seven national centers investigating especially rare diseases (periodic paralysis, episodic ataxia, and nondystrophic myotonias.)



Senior Advancement Professional Recruited to Lead Medical Center Advancement Efforts

R. Glen Smiley, F.A.H.P.

A renowned leader in healthcare and academic medicine advancement was recently tapped to lead advancement efforts at the Medical Center. R. Glen Smiley, F.A.H.P., was named associate vice president for advancement effective May 1.

Smiley brings over two decades of senior development experience in some of the nation’s most progressive academic health environments – Duke University Medical Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and Henry Ford Health System. He most recently served as the president of St. John Health Foundation and senior vice president for St. John’s Health, a nine-hospital health system in Warren, Michigan. In just four years, he tripled giving to that health network.

“Glen Smiley has a passion for academic medicine that’s apparent in his track record,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Center CEO. “He clearly understands the appeal that research and teaching have for donors interested in supporting health care. With the Medical Center’s new strategic plan well underway, Glen is the ideal person to help our team capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

In addition to active involvement on several professional and civic boards, Smiley is also a long-standing member of the Unnamed Society, a membership-by-invitation-only networking group comprised of chief development officers who represent 25 of the leading academic medical centers in the nation.

Smiley is the 2002 recipient of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s Si Seymour International Honors Award. He has also served as the president of the Association for Fundraising Professionals Greater Detroit Chapter and is past vice president of the Association’s Greater Houston Chapter.



Faculty Spotlight

Media Clips


The Washington Post (June 4) covered research by Sadhna Kohli showing that the drug modafinil offers promise for treating the cognitive side effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients.

Yeates Conwell discussed the complex causes of suicide in an analysis by (June 1) of a news story about the suicide of a TV weatherman.

An Associated Press (May 31) story discussed a New England Journal of Medicine perspective written by Mark Utell and colleagues on illnesses related to the 9/11 tragedy.

WebMD (May 30) spoke with Lawrence Saubermann about why some people but not others develop ulcers as a result of infection by h.pylori.

Robert Rose was quoted in the Canberra Times (May 28) about new results showing that the HPV vaccine protects boys as well as girls from a range of cancers.

Stephanos Kyrkanides’ research using gene therapy to treat arthritis in mice was covered by Reuters (May 25). (May 25) spoke with Neil Blumberg about whether rules banning gay men from donating blood should be changed.

Research by Ruola Ning on the development of a new type of scanner to diagnose breast cancer was covered (May 24) nationwide through an interview with Avice O’Connell.

Kevin Fiscella’s research testing whether RU-486 could be used to shrink uterine fibroids was covered (May 23) around the country.

Details aired (May 16) about work by Heidi Schwarz and colleagues testing minocycline as a possible way to slow Huntington’s disease.

Steve Cook spoke with WebMD (May 15) about why some diets work for some people and not others.

Roger Kurlan’s study showing that quetiapine is of limited use in Parkinson’s patients with dementia was covered by Reuters Health (May 10).

Timothy Quill’s view on a drop in physician-assisted suicide in the Netherlands, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was also carried by (May 9).

MSNBC (May 9) talked with Michael Perlis about insomnia and the lure of gambling.

Jonathan Klein’s research showing that pediatricians need more tools to address issues related to body-mass index in their patients was covered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (May 8).

Professor and Associate Chair of Imaging Sciences Mark J. Adams, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.R., recently was elected president-elect of the Monroe County Medical Society (MCMS). More than 1,700 physicians are members of MCMS, an organization dedicated to improving education and standards of medicine in Monroe County. Adams also was recently appointed to the Council Steering Committee of the American College of Radiology. With 30,000 members, ACR devotes resources to making imaging safe, effective and accessible to those who need it.

Steven Barnett, M.D., assistant professor of Family Medicine and co-associate director of the University's National Center for Deaf Health Research, was one of 10 researchers nationally to win a poster contest commemorating the National Health Interview Survey's (NHIS) 50th Anniversary. NHIS, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is having a special conference on June 25, where Barnett will present "Using NHIS Data to Demonstrate Disparities Experienced by Deaf People."

The New York State Association of Directors of Volunteer Services has selected Louise Criticos as the recipient of its first annual President’s Award for Professional Excellence. Louise, who is director of Friends of Strong, was presented with the award at the organization’s recent annual meeting. The award recognizes those who develop innovative programs, author professional articles, present at conferences, conduct research, mentor new individuals or accept state and national leadership roles.

Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, recently received the Weber EMS Leadership Award from the STEP Council of the Genesee Region. Fairbanks was honored for his work as chair of the Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee and the Associate Regional Medical Director for the Monroe and Livingston Counties EMS region.

Jason Huang, M.D., assistant professor of Neurosurgery, was selected as a recipient of the 2007 Young Clinician Investigator Award by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. The Young Clinician Investigator Award supports young faculty who are pursuing careers as clinician investigators. This award will enable Huang to pursue advanced research on peripheral nerve injury reconstruction.

The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) has selected Robert Pollard, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Deaf Wellness Center, as the recipient of its 2007 Award for Excellence in Diversity Training. Pollard was honored for his founding of The Program for Deaf Trainees. Part of the School of Medicine and Dentistry's psychology training program, the Program has graduated 12 doctoral interns, all of whom are deaf. Seven candidates for a master's degree and nine candidates for bachelor's degrees also have been trained. All are deaf. Pollard will receive the award in August at the APPIC general membership meeting in San Francisco.

J. Edward Puzas, Ph.D., Donald and Mary Clark Professor of Orthopaedics, recently took over the helm of the United States Bone and Joint Decade (USBJD). As its president, Puzas will help the organization continue its nationwide effort to improve research, public awareness and treatment of bone and joint disorders.

Vivian Lewis, M.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and associate dean for Faculty Development for Women and Diversity, recently was selected as the 2007 National Trends and Services Honoree by the Rochester chapter of The Links. An international organization of over 11,000 professional women of color, the Links aims to enrich and sustain the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Lewis was honored for her extensive knowledge and expertise that have influenced women’s health locally, nationally and internationally, as well as her advocacy and dedication to alleviating social disparities that often face women in professional advancement and in health issues.

Cyril Meyerowitz, B.D.S., M.S., director of the Eastman Dental Center; chair and professor, Eastman Department of Dentistry, has been named to the Council on Dental Education and Licensure, an American Dental Association agency dedicated to promoting high quality and effective processes of dental education, dental licensure and credentialing in the United States.

Hyun Michel Koo, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., was awarded the Basil G. Bibby Young Investigator in Cariology Award from the International Association for Dental Research. The award recognizes excellence in cariology research among those under age 40.



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