Vital Signs

November 2005

Pharmacy Earns its Second "Best Practices" Award

ED Pharmacists Honored for Enhancing Safety in Trauma Resuscitation


Team members honored for enhancing patient safety during trauma resuscitations are (l. to r.): Thomas O'Brien, PharmD, Pharmacy Director; Sarah Kelly-Pisciotti, PharmD; Mark Gestring, M.D., director of Adult Trauma Services; Daniel Hays, PharmD, BCBS; RJ Fairbanks, M.D., Emergency Medicine. Matthew Metz, M.D., surgical resident, is missing from photo.

Innovative work by Strong Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department (ED) pharmacists has garnered a prestigious Best Practices Award from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).

This year's award marks the second for Strong, the only organization to win more than once since the award's inception in 1999. ASHP presents up to six awards each year, recognizing innovation and outstanding practitioners in health-system pharmacy.

Strong's Pharmacy earned the honor for Pharmacists Enhancing Patient Safety During Trauma Resuscitations, a project led by ED Pharmacists Sarah Kelly-Pisciotti, PharmD, and Daniel Hays, PharmD, BCPS. The project demonstrated that a pharmacist's presence during trauma resuscitations improves patient safety and allows medications to be prepared and administered promptly.

"Of the 200 trauma charts we reviewed, in every case where an ED pharmacist was present during trauma resuscitation, there were no adverse drug events," said Kelly-Pisciotti. "In addition, the timing of medications was improved by an average of seven minutes per case on every medication, so all patients received appropriate and timely sedation, analgesia and/or antibiotics."

Hays developed the ED pharmacist role at Strong, one of fewer than 50 hospitals in the country to do so. Since then, he's created an accredited residency training program that prepares pharmacists for clinical work in emergency and critical care settings. Kelly-Pisciotti did the chart-review project during her residency training. When the results demonstrated the benefits of a pharmacist's presence in trauma care, they submitted their project to ASHP to highlight that ED pharmacists can make a significant difference in patient care and safety.

"Our ED pharmacists, working collaboratively with Strong's trauma team, have demonstrated the valuable contribution they make toward patient care and patient safety by their presence and expertise," said Pharmacy Director Thomas O'Brien, PharmD. "We're among a handful of hospitals in the country that recognize the important role a dedicated ED pharmacist can play. We are proud of Sarah and Dan and our team at Strong, and thrilled to see their efforts to improve patient care gain national attention."

In addition to Kelly-Pisciotti, Hays and O'Brien, team members contributing to the success of the project included Mark Gestring, M.D., RJ Fairbanks, M.D., and Matthew Metz, M.D.

Representatives from the University of Rochester Medical Center and Strong Health's Department of Pharmacy will travel to Las Vegas in December to accept their award at the 30,000-member American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibits.

Medical Center Pediatrician Leads National Training Effort

Jeffrey Kaczorowski, M.D., with three-year-old Jireh Reese

Jeffrey Kaczorowski, M.D., associate professor of Pediatrics at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong, has been appointed Principal Investigator of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) new Community Pediatrics Training Initiative. This initiative is aimed at developing and expanding medical education efforts to actively include community-oriented and community-based health care in its training efforts.

In 1994, while still a pediatric resident at the Medical Center, Kaczorowski and another resident – coincidentally, his wife, Laura Jean Shipley, M.D. – co-founded PLC, or Pediatric Links with the Community, an innovative training program designed to improve children's health while simultaneously helping pediatric residents gain insight into the myriad socioeconomic factors involved in shaping a child's health. Through hands-on experiences with community organizations, it was hoped that residents, once practicing physicians, would be inspired and empowered to become leaders in improving the health of children in their communities.

PLC has done just that and much more, receiving multiple honors and grants to sustain and expand its work, and often is cited as a model program for other institutions to follow. By January 2005, more than 250 pediatric, medicine pediatric and family medicine residents and over 200 medical students have participated in PLC program activities in collaboration with more than 50 different community organizations in the Rochester region.

Kaczorowski will dedicate 30 percent of his time to the AAP's Community Pediatrics Training Initiative, working to develop a model for training residents in community health, supporting established programs and assessing the current status of community pediatrics training nationwide.

"It's an honor to be asked to lead a national initiative like this," Kaczorowski said. "In many ways, it's no accident that we're getting asked to do this. It's part of the history of this department, and really is a salute to the track record here in Rochester."

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry's commitment to community health stretches back decades before Pediatric Links with the Community. After he became Chair of Pediatrics in 1964, Robert J. Haggerty, M.D., coined the term "the new morbidity" in reference to biological and social problems that had been outside the topics with which pediatricians were trained to handle. Those problems include violence, education and behavior.

In 1973, Haggerty published "Child Health M.D. and the Community," which recommended a major shift in pediatric training to help coordinate community child health services.

New Appointments for Medical Center Faculty

Regis J. O'Keefe, M.D., Ph.D.

In a move to further enhance the success of the Medical Center's musculoskeletal basic science and clinical research programs, Regis J. O'Keefe, M.D., Ph.D., has been named director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. With funding topping more than $7 million, the Center is home to dozens of comprehensive research programs emphasizing a translational approach to orthopaedic science.

Work from the Center for Musculoskeletal Research garnering recent national attention includes: studies allowing scientists to transform transplanted bone graft into living tissue; studies of the effects of lead on skeletal growth and development, as well as bone fracture healing; investigations into the causes of bone loss in joint implants; and the development of a gene therapy to augment bone repair. The Center recently landed a $1.4 million grant from the Department of Defense to fund studies that will uncover new information concerning the effects of nicotine on the healing of bone fractures.

A graduate of Yale University, O'Keefe received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Rochester. He joined the Medical Center's Department of Orthopaedics in 1993, where he continues his dedication to the pursuit of excellence in research, patient care and teaching.

O'Keefe maintains an active clinical orthopaedic practice, while directing an expansive portfolio of research projects; his NIH grant support has consistently placed him among the most highly funded orthopaedic surgeon-clinician scientists in the United States. Author of more than 140 journal articles and numerous book chapters, O'Keefe also is very involved with national orthopaedic organizations, serving in leadership roles in many instances.

Fisher Named Deputy Chair of National Cancer Research Group

Richard I. Fisher, M.D.

The Director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center recently was named Deputy Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), one of the largest cancer clinical trials cooperative groups in the United States. Richard I. Fisher, M.D., also will lead the group's scientific advisory board, which oversees clinical cancer research around the country.

"I consider it a privilege to serve as deputy chair and to help guide the Scientific Advisory Board," Fisher said. "Southwest Oncology Group has made great strides in the fight against cancer and we are getting closer every day to solving and treating the many forms of cancer."

SWOG researchers enroll nearly 7,200 patients into clinical trials each year and have about 120 clinical trials underway at any given time.

Fisher has been active in the Southwest Oncology Group, which includes a network of more than 5,000 clinician-scientists at nearly 650 institutions, for 20 years. He has been chair of the Lymphoma Committee since 1988 and co-chair of the Tumor Biology Lymphoma Subcommittee since 1993. In addition, he serves as a member of the SWOG Board of Governors and the Correlative Science Committee.

SAFE Center Acquires Forensic Equipment

The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Center in the Emergency Department at Strong Memorial Hospital has received $17,000 in state funds to purchase critical forensic equipment. The funding – which was secured by State Senator Joseph E. Robach – has allowed the SAFE Center to acquire a specially designed camera that will enable SAFE Center staff to more effectively document traumas associated with sexual assault. One of the primary objectives of the center is to provide police crime labs with evidence that will enable district attorneys to successfully prosecute rapists.

"The SAFE Center is a unique and critical resource for this community," said Dee Krebs, N.P., coordinator of the Sexual Assault Program at Strong. "We are deeply grateful for Senator Robach's support. His efforts will strengthen our ability to work closely with local law enforcement and district attorneys to bring perpetrators of sexual assault to justice."

The SAFE Center, which is the only facility of its kind in Monroe County, is a 24-hour, victim-focused treatment center for survivors of sexual assault. In addition to forensic examination and evidence collection, the center also conducts medical assessment and treatment, and provides the support of a rape crisis advocate. It is a community-wide collaboration involving Strong Memorial, the Rape Crisis Service at Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region, and local police and prosecutors.

Faculty Spotlight

Media Clips


Work on a bird-flu vaccine in the Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit continues to be of intense interest to media worldwide. Nurses Diane O'Brien and Valerie Davis and physician John Treanor were featured in a 3:30 minute segment on CBS Evening News (Go to "CBS News video" panel on right, and click on "fears of bird flu pandemic") (Oct. 13). NPR (Oct. 11), Newsday (Oct. 11), the Los Angeles Times (Oct. 12) are among the other outlets covering the story around the globe.

WebMD and Fox News (Oct. 13) spoke with Michael Pichichero about a new vaccine for adults against whooping cough.

Timothy Quill was featured in a column carried by several publications, including the Providence Journal and Seattle Times (Oct. 13), about government intervention in decisions about death and dying. Earlier in the month, he spoke with USA Today (Oct. 4) about the language of death and dying.

Shanna Swan's work on phthalates and their effects on reproductive health was covered by the Wall Street Journal (Oct. 4) and San Jose Mercury News (Oct. 13).

Gunter Oberdoerster's work on the health effect of nanoparticles was covered in the New York Times (Oct. 7).

The roles of William Bonnez, Richard Reichman and Robert Rose in developing a promising vaccine against the virus that causes cervical cancer were highlighted by Newsday (Oct. 7).

Research by Jonathan Klein demonstrating the effectiveness of the Web site was covered by Forbes (Oct. 4), and several other outlets.

Research on the cavity-causing potential of breast milk and other substances, by William Bowen and Ruth Lawrence, was covered by Reuters Health, (Oct. 4), and several other outlets.

Shelly Yussman (Sept. 27) was quoted by in a story about caffeinated beverages for children.

Reuters Health (Sept. 29) covered research by Dante Pappano warning about the dangers of children jumping on beds.

A story on Lisa DeLouise's work on a smart bandage, and Ginny Hanchett's comments on the project, were carried by a Michigan TV station (Sept. 30).

The BBC (Sept. 27) covered research by Thomas O'Connor showing that children of mothers who were stressed during pregnancy may be more vulnerable to anxiety.

Christoph Proschel 's findings on vanishing white matter disease were covered in a TV piece (Sept. 22) sent to ABC affiliates nationwide.

WebMD (Sept. 20), the Winnipeg Sun and other outlets spoke with Giuseppe Erba about guidelines to help prevent video games from triggering seizures.

WebMD (Sept. 20) turned to Richard Kreipe to discuss developments on the genetics of eating disorders.

Research by Orthopaedic’s Michael Zuscik on the effects of smoking and bone healing was carried in an Associated Press column (Oct. 17) that ran in approximately 300 news outlets around the country, including the Washington Post, CBS News (Oct. 17), Miami Herald, and USA Today.

Bill Beckett spoke with WebMD (Oct. 17) about the fungal threats in our pillows.

Reuters Health (Oct. 20) covered an editorial by Mark Mapstone discussing research about potential neurological effects of heart surgery.

HealthDay (Oct. 19) reported research by Scott Thompson on the use of corticosteroids to treat mononucleosis.

An interview with Mark Taubman about inflammation and heart disease was carried on several TV stations (Oct. 17) nationwide.

The Department of Neurology, and Ralph Jozefowicz, M.D., associate chair for education, was awarded the Association of University Professors of Neurology Prize (AUPN) for recruiting the highest percentage of medical students into neurology residencies. The award is given annually to the top two neurology departments in the county "for outstanding success in encouraging medical students to elect careers in neurology."

Lee D. Pollan, DMD, MS, associate professor of dentistry, was elected vice president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) during the Association's recent 87th Annual Meeting. AAOMS represents more than 7,000 oral and maxillofacial surgeons in the United States, supporting its members through education, research, and advocacy.

The American Academy on Physician and Patient presented the Lynn Payer Award to Ronald Epstein, M.D., professor of Family Medicine and Psychiatry, for outstanding contributions to the literature on the theory, practice and teaching of effective health care communications and related skills. Epstein is director of the University's Center to Improve Communication in Health Care.



Press Room Home | Search | RSS News Feeds RSS News Feed

© Copyright University of Rochester Medical Center, 2006. Disclaimer.
For questions or suggestions concerning the content of these pages, contact the URMC Webmaster.

Last updated: 06/23/2009 10:10 PM