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Methodist Charlton Physician Receives Community Service Award

The Texas Osteopathic Medical Association presented Thomas Shima, DO, its 2014 Community Service Award. The award recognizes a physician for his or her service to the community “through the promotion of and dedication to osteopathic medicine in their practice.” Dr. Shima is the osteopathic program director for the Methodist Family Medicine Residency Program at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.
New Parkland Hospital features rapid response lab
Some tests have a 30 minute receipt-to-result time

targeted analytical tests for critical areas such as the Emergency Department, Operating Room, Labor & Delivery and the intensive care units. The lab is anticipated to perform 3.2 million tests annually and provide clinicians a turn-around-time of 30 minutes from receipt to result for most tests.

“Time is of the essence when you have a critically ill patient,” said Kyle Molberg, MD, Chief of Pathology at Parkland Health & Hospital System. “The rapid response lab will deliver test results quickly to providers, enabling them to initiate the proper course of treatment for patients as rapidly as possible.”

New laboratory equipment will offer both basic and advanced test results for blood chemistry levels, cardiac markers, liver and kidney profiles, complete blood counts, blood gases, routine coagulation testing and urinalysis panels. The lab will also be able to assess the entire blood clotting process in real time to enable precise transfusion and patient management on trauma patients.

The 6,500 square-foot lab design incorporated the Lean concepts of linear workflows with “first in/first out” processes to provide high quality service levels. The strategic location of the lab on the new hospital’s second floor directly over the Emergency Department and adjacent to other critical areas promotes prompt delivery of the specimens via the pneumatic tube system.

Through a comprehensive series of pneumatic tubes, much like bank tellers use with drive-through customers, the system will allow nurses to quickly send and receive blood products from the lab, thereby reducing errors and improving patient safety.

There will be a network of vertical and horizontal sealed tubes throughout the hospital. The system will pull carriers containing samples for testing from each loading station through use of computer monitored and controlled air-vacuum technology. Traveling at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, carriers will be quickly transported to the lab to ensure samples are rapidly tested and results reported to clinicians.

In fiscal year 2013, Parkland’s pathology department performed more than 10 million tests, making it one of the busiest hospital pathology departments in the Metroplex.

For more information on new Parkland hospital, please visit www.parklandhospital.com
Health care professionals often talk about the art and science of medicine as the difference between intuition and scientific evidence. Although each has its role in modern medicine, innovation in the new Parkland hospital will allow physicians to quickly make evidence-based decisions that will enhance and expedite patient care.

A rapid response laboratory in the new hospital, scheduled to open in 2015, will provide 
Protein variant may boost cardiovascular risk by hindering blood vessel repair,
UT Southwestern researchers find

The team of researchers found that apoE3 binds to a receptor, ApoER2, and that together they act on endothelial cells, which are the guardian cells of blood vessels, to produce a molecule called nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide blunts inflammation, a process that contributes to a variety of vascular disorders.

Up to 15 percent of individuals possess the gene coding for apoE4, and why these individuals are at increased risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease had previously been enigmatic. Using both cell culture and mouse models, researchers showed that in contrast to apoE3, apoE4 cannot activate endothelial cells to produce NO. The reparative and anti-inflammatory processes, therefore, do not occur. In fact, apoE4 prevents the actions of apoE3, explaining why even individuals with one copy of the apoE4 gene are at increased risk of vascular disease.

Using mutant proteins, the investigators further determined the structural feature of apoE4 that prevents the protein from having the favorable actions of apoE3 and instead causes it to antagonize cell responses to apoE3.

The findings, recently published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also suggest a potential preventive treatment for cardiovascular disease in the high-risk individuals who have the apoE4 variant. 

“An important mechanism that is lost when people possess apoE4 is the ability to produce NO, which leads to a loss of both the reparative and anti-inflammatory capacities of the endothelium,” said Dr. Shaul, who holds the Associates First Capital Corporation Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics. “Now, knowing this information, we believe such individuals may benefit from treatment with an NO donor. There is a form of aspirin, for instance, that is an NO donor,” he added.

Whereas there is considerable understanding of the biology of the apoE-ApoER2 tandem in the central nervous system and in Alzheimer’s disease, the basis for the cardiovascular impact of the receptor and apoE variants had been perplexing. The new findings on apoE and ApoER2 complement the team’s prior work on ApoER2, which revealed an important role for the receptor in the blood-clotting disease known as the antiphospholipid syndrome.

Other UT Southwestern researchers on the team include Dr. Joachim Herz, Professor of Molecular Genetics, Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, and Neuroscience, and also holds the Thomas O. and Cinda Hicks Family Distinguished Chair in Alzheimer's Disease Research; Dr. Robert Gerard, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology; Dr. Eunjeong Jung, postdoctoral fellow; Ivan S. Yuhanna, senior research associate; Mohamed Ahmed, research assistant; and Dr. Chieko Mineo, Associate Professor of Pediatrics.

The study was supported by the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. Additional support was provided by the Crystal Charity Ball Center for Research in Pediatric Critical Care and the Associates First Capital Corporation Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics, as well as the Lupe Murchison Foundation, the BrightFocus Foundation, and the Ted Nash Long Life Foundation.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. Numbering more than 2,700, the faculty is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to nearly 91,000 hospitalized patients and oversee more than 2 million outpatient visits a year.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that the most common variant of the circulating protein apolipoprotein E, called apoE3, helps repair the lining of blood vessels. Individuals with another variant, called apoE4, do not get the benefit of this repair, putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

“We believe that we have identified one mechanism by which apoE3 promotes a healthy cardiovascular system and why a genetic variant, apoE4, is detrimental,” said Dr. Philip Shaul, Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern.