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Putting the ‘park’ back in Parkland
New Parkland landscape links patients, staff to nature’s healing hand

“One of the key goals for the new hospital was to put the ‘park’ back in Parkland,” explained Lou Saksen, senior vice president of New Parkland Construction. “The first Parkland campus, built 120 years ago, was located on city park land. We wanted to make nature a part of the healing experience again.”

When the hospital moved to its present site in 1954, it was also bounded by a leafy park, but over the years much of the open space made way for expansions.

“When we sat down to plan the new hospital for Dallas County in 2008, we envisioned a restorative, nature-centered campus that would offer patients, visitors and staff direct access to a tranquil, park-like setting,” Saksen said. “It’s one of the many healing concepts incorporated into the overall hospital design.”

Led by landscape architect Paul Freeland of Studio Outside, a Dallas-based firm, in collaboration with Christy Ten Eyck of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects based in Austin, the landscape design team created a plan focused on two major elements. The first is a large centrally located Wellness Park adjoining the front entry. The tree-shaded park features a courtyard with large elliptical-shaped fountain, outdoor seating and walking paths. The adjoining chapel garden, created with a donation made by Dr. Kevin Johnson, offers a more private outdoor room for reflection and special ceremonies.

Six multi-trunk live oaks in the Wellness Park, each at least 25 years old and purchased several years ago for the project, reflect the emblematic tree of life etched in glass on the massive glass wall overlooking the park. Here, the names of all employees at Parkland in 2009 when building began, along with thousands of donors who contributed to the construction of new Parkland, form leaves of a symbolic oak spreading its branches in welcome.

A total of 10 large specimen trees, 340 canopy trees and 312 ornamental trees have been planted, with varieties including live oaks, burr and red oaks, bald cypress, cedar elm, Texas ash, redbud, Mexican plum, holly and wax myrtle. More than 30 varieties of shrubs and groundcover were used, ranging from Asian jasmine to Virginia creeper, American beautybush to Mexican sage.

Standing like a sentry at the hospital’s main entrance will be a magnificent 50-year-old multi-trunk live oak that will serve as the “legacy tree” for the project.

The 30-foot tall specimen, crowned by a 36-foot spreading canopy, has found its way back home to the medical district where it first sprouted as a sapling decades ago. Freeland discovered the giant live oak a few weeks ago at Tree Source tree farm in Prosper while scouting for replacements for a pair of smaller live oaks planted by the front entry that didn’t survive.

“It’s an iconic tree, and it seemed destined for this place,” Freeland said. “We were told by the tree farm it had been removed three years ago from UT Southwestern on Inwood Road, less than a mile from the new Parkland hospital. It was the last remaining tree from that effort and it was a perfect addition to complete the story of what we are trying to achieve here on this campus.”

It took three days to prepare the mammoth tree for its move to Parkland on August 6. An18-wheeler will transport it and a giant crane will gently hoist it into the 4-foot deep hole prepared for its 160-inch diameter root ball.

Another major landscape design feature is a long linear park that links the perimeter parking lots, DART station and main entrances of the hospital and forms the backbone of the campus. “Bands of bald cypress trees and native plants create a sense of drama but also soften the strong architectural lines of the buildings,” Freeland said.

Site hardscape materials include native Texas materials like Lueders limestone and Cordova cream shellstone with fossil imprints, integral colored concrete and a warm color palette of concrete pavers. Plants were selected for year-round interest with attention to texture, color and pattern, but were also chosen for drought-tolerance, minimum maintenance requirements and cost. Irrigation and water use strategies were rigorously planned for conservation and use of turf was limited due to its high water demand.

Contemplating the completed campus, Freeland stated, “We’ve tried to create a place of hope for patients, staff and visitors who need inspiration or solace. Our hope is this connection to the natural environment will give them comfort and help them heal, both physically and spiritually.”
As the massive new Parkland hospital construction project nears completion, a small forest of trees and more than 16,000 shrubs and 120,000 groundcover plants have sprouted on the grounds, anchoring the state-of-the-art medical campus in a sea of restful greenery. Although the effect is lush, the use of budget-friendly native and adaptive plants selected for drought tolerance and low maintenance makes sense for the long-term.
QuestCare Clinic Leverages T-System Documentation Solution for Charitable Urgent Care
Clinic cites T-System’s ease-of-use and efficiency ideal for clinical team

With limited staff and funds, QuestCare wanted a system that would be intuitive and efficient for interchanging volunteers. The clinic—located in one of the highest poverty areas of North Dallas—relies solely on volunteers to care for an average of 20 patients a day.

“T Sheets are extraordinarily well-designed and intuitive, which make them easy to use and learn for our clinical team,” said Matt Bush, M.D., president of QuestCare Clinic. “They contribute to efficiency in an urgent care setting and allow us to devote more time to patient care.”

Bush, who also practices for Medical City Hospital in Dallas, was familiar with T-System solutions and sought to bring them to QuestCare. The volunteer nurses and physicians at Questcare found that T Sheets® decreased training time, increased patient throughput and helped improve the quality of care.

“As a company focused on making a positive impact on unscheduled care, we were pleased our solutions’ value could extend to QuestCare,” said Roger Davis, T-System president and chief executive officer. “Covering more than 80 chief complaints, our ICD-10-ready documentation solution has helped and will continue to help hundreds of urgent care clinics across the country achieve better clinical and financial results.”

Through the donation of T Sheets® to QuestCare Clinic, T-System joins Medical City Hospital, Watermark Church, the Cooper Clinic and others in its support of the clinic’s goal to serve the community though charitable care services.

About QuestCare: Questcare Clinic, a Watermark Community Church Partnership is a nonprofit urgent care facility relying solely on volunteer contribution. The clinic serves the acute and urgent healthcare needs of those uninsured and underinsured of the North Dallas community. For more information, visit www.questcareclinic.org or connect via social media @QuestcareClinic on Twitter or on Facebook.

About T-System: T-System Inc. advances the practice of emergency medicine with solutions proven to solve clinical, financial, operational and regulatory challenges for hospitals and urgent care clinics. About 40 percent of the nation’s EDs use T-System solutions to provide an unmatched patient experience. Through gold-standard documentation, coding and performance-enhancing solutions, T-System optimizes care delivery from the front door through discharge and beyond. Today, more than 1,900 facilities across all 50 states rely on T-System solutions. For more information, visit www.tsystem.com. Follow @TSystem on Twitter and LinkedIn, or become a T-System fan on Facebook.
T-System Inc. today announced QuestCare Clinic, a nonprofit urgent care clinic, will use T Sheets® to help deliver efficient and high-quality care to the under and uninsured patients of the Northern Dallas region.
Parkland hosts fair to promote breastfeeding benefits to mothers, babies
Aug. 7 event part of World Breastfeeding Month observance

The health fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday Aug. 7 in the MacGregor W. Day Auditorium, located on the first floor at Parkland Memorial Hospital, 5201 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas 75235. The event, which is open to patients, their families, visitors and Parkland staff, is offered at no cost. It will include information from various Parkland departments, as well as community organizations.

“At Parkland we strive to provide moms with breastfeeding support and education throughout the perinatal period and rely on all of our community partners to continue supporting moms’ long-term breastfeeding goals,” said Erin Contreras, lactation consultant at Parkland and chair of the Breastfeeding Fair committee.

Studies have shown that infants who breastfeed benefit from easy digestion, are protected from illness and have lower risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). For mothers, breastfeeding has been shown to lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression.

That’s why breastfeeding is recommended by entities such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Surgeon General and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American College of Nurse-Midwives.

“We really want to bring the benefits of breastfeeding to the forefront,” said Valencia Moore, lactation consultant supervisor at Parkland. “We want breastfeeding to become the norm instead of formula feeding.”

In addition to the breastfeeding fair, Parkland also took part in the Global Big Latch-On on Aug.1, a worldwide effort to set a breastfeeding record for nursing babies. Parkland’s efforts on mother/baby bonding and infant feeding are steps in the hospital’s journey to achieve Baby Friendly designation through a worldwide initiative of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The Aug. 7 fair is just part of the effort at Parkland to provide a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers. Parkland also conducts breastfeeding classes in both English and Spanish on the first Saturday of every month. For more information about these classes and to register, call 214.590.2323.
Health experts continue to tout the benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and babies, and Parkland Health & Hospital System is doing its part to help raise awareness of those benefits. In recognition of August’s World Breastfeeding Month, Parkland is hosting a Breastfeeding Health Fair designed not only to educate but also support moms and their families. The fair’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life!”
CRI Scientists Pinpoint Gene Likely to Promote Childhood Cancers

“We and others have found that Lin28b – a gene that is normally turned on in fetal but not adult tissues – is expressed in several childhood cancers, including neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor and hepatoblastoma, a type of cancer that accounts for nearly 80 percent of all liver tumors in children,” said Dr. Hao Zhu, a principal investigator at CRI, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “In our study, we found that overproduction of Lin28b specifically causes hepatoblastoma, while blocking Lin28b impairs the cancer’s growth. This opens up the possibility that pediatric liver cancer patients could one day be treated without resorting to chemotherapy.”

Lin28b is an attractive therapeutic target in cancer because it is ordinarily only expressed in embryos, so blocking it in children should specifically hinder cancer growth without introducing many side effects.

Each year in the United States, 700 children are newly diagnosed with neuroblastoma, 500 with Wilms’ tumor and 100 with hepatoblastoma. At Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, more than 100 children have been treated for those three types of cancers over the last two years.

Previous studies found that Lin28b is a critical factor in stem cell and fetal tissue development, leading Dr. Zhu and his team to hypothesize that the same gene would play a significant role in the development of certain cancers.
“We looked at Lin28b in a multitude of ways in mice to study its effects on cancer, from increasing it significantly to deleting it,” said Dr. Zhu, co-senior author of the paper. “From this and earlier studies, it appears that Lin28b activates the metabolic pathways that provide the building blocks of growth for certain cancers.”

The next step for the Zhu lab is to establish whether genes related to Lin28b have similar effects on the development of cancer, and to determine if those genes might be more effective targets for potential therapies.

Dr. George Daley, Professor of Hematology at Children’s Hospital Boston, is co-senior author of the paper. The work in the Zhu lab was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and donors to the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

About CRI: Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is a joint venture established in
2011 to build upon the comprehensive clinical expertise of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and the internationally recognized scientific excellence of UT Southwestern Medical Center. CRI’s mission is to perform transformative biomedical research to better understand the biological basis of disease, seeking breakthroughs that can change scientific fields and yield new strategies for treating disease. Located in Dallas, Texas, CRI is creating interdisciplinary groups of exceptional scientists and physicians to pursue research at the interface of regenerative medicine, cancer biology and metabolism, fields that hold uncommon potential for advancing science and medicine. More information about CRI is available on its website: cri.utsw.edu.
Researchers at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) have identified a gene that contributes to the development of several childhood cancers, in a study conducted with mice designed to model the cancers. If the findings prove to be applicable to humans, the research could lead to new strategies for targeting certain childhood cancers at a molecular level. The study was published today in the journal Cancer Cell.
Virtual connections aimed to ease stress, anxiety at Children’s Medical Center Dallas

Children’s BalloonTime, using Apple’s FaceTime, is a video-calling technology which allows compatible devices a live audio and video connection with family and friends to help alleviate anxiety and stress during an extended hospital stay. BalloonTime is initially targeted for patients in Children’s Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Studies have shown patients have benefitted from being more relaxed by staying virtually connected with extended family and friends. Children’s Child Life Department, who will oversee the program, will also ask parents to answer brief questions regarding the perceived stress levels of their child prior to, and following the BalloonTime sessions.
The iPads being used in the program were acquired partially by funds donated by Texas Rangers pitcher, Derek Holland. Other donations could help increase the number of iPads available to the program.

Although many families may already have smartphones and other devices capable of performing FaceTime, the Child Life Department hopes the BalloonTime program will reinforce the benefits of patients staying connected to loved ones and friends during an extended stay. Patients are not required to use the hospital’s devices to make the virtual connections.

“Our hope is that with further community support, we will eventually be able to offer this program hospital wide,” says Doug Hock, President and Chief Operations Officer at Children’s.

“At Children’s, we understand time spent in the hospital can be stressful,” Hock says. “We strive to be at the forefront of the best practices in pediatric medicine.  BalloonTime is in line with what current research would recommend.”

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Pediatrics, June 20, 2014 issue) evaluated over 367
children and the use of video conferencing during extended hospitalization. The conclusion of the study was that the use of video conferencing by some hospitalized children and families to conduct virtual visits with family and friends outside of the hospital was associated with a greater reduction in stress during hospitalization than those who did not use video conferencing, noted Laura Swaney, Senior Director for Hospital Outreach Services at Children's.

The program is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is monitored by a child life assistant.
Cell phones and Internet access may also help children keep in touch with friends while recovering, helping to ease the transition back to daily life and a return to the classroom, according to the American Cancer Society.

About Children’s Medical Center: Founded in 1913, the not-for-profit Children's Medical Center is the seventh-largest pediatric health care provider in the country, receiving more than 760,000 patient visits annually at its two full-service campuses in Dallas and Plano, and multiple specialty clinics and 16 primary care MyChildren’s locations. Children’s was the state’s first pediatric hospital to achieve Level 1 Trauma status and is the primary pediatric facility affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center. For more than 100 years, Children’s has been dedicated to making life better for children. For more information, please visit www.childrens.com.
The prescription for helping alleviate stress and anxiety in hospitalized children may not be one which is filled in the pharmacy. Instead, the preferred recommendation may just need a few taps on a tablet.
A new program promoting video interaction with family, friends and schoolmates by hospitalized children is being launched at Children's Medical Center Dallas, and research has shown the virtual connections can be advantageous.
New Behavioral Health Facility opens on campus of Texas Health Arlington Memorial
Facility to address health needs of adolescents and adults

soon have an option for behavioral care at Texas Health Behavioral Health Facility Arlington.

           Located on the campus of Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, the 35-bed facility will open on Aug. 18, and address depression, stress, anxiety, addiction and other behavioral health issues affecting individuals 12 years and older.

           “Research shows us that behavioral health disorders are affecting our neighbors, friends and loved ones – far more than we’d care to imagine. We need to be prepared to deliver the type of high-quality behavioral health care this community needs and deserves,” said Kirk King, Texas Health Arlington Memorial president. “Our new facility offers access to high-quality behavioral health services, which is an essential tool to fulfilling our commitment of helping Arlington residents remain healthy.”

           Looking at recent statistics reported by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the numbers reflect the seriousness of the issue. In the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, an estimated 400,000 people 12 years and older suffered from some type of drug/alcohol addiction.

Focusing on behavioral health and well-being, the NSDUH report determined about 258,000 Metroplex residents 18 years and older had experienced a serious depressive episode in the past year. Although the numbers are alarming, national statistics demonstrate the problem is far from surprising. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.

“On average, people who are suffering from a behavioral health disorder often wait too long to  receive treatment after symptoms first appear,” said Ramona Osburn, FACHE, senior vice president of behavioral health for Texas Health Resources. “We want to curtail that trend by addressing the emotional,  behavioral and physical aspects of patients’ lives. Helping North Texans achieve total well-being is crucial. It’s a major reason behind Texas Health Behavioral Health Arlington being designed to meet the specific behavioral health needs of adults and adolescents in the Arlington area.”

The behavioral health facility will accept individuals with a behavioral health diagnosis for any of the center’s inpatient and outpatient programs. To schedule a complimentary behavioral health assessment at Texas Health Behavioral Health Center Arlington, please call the 24-hour Texas health Behavioral Health Help Line at 682-236-6023. Visit www.TexasHealth.org/behavioral-health to learn more about the program.        

About Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital: Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital is a 369-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Arlington and the surrounding communities since 1958. The hospital’s services include comprehensive cardiac care, women’s services, orthopedics, an advanced imaging center and emergency services. Texas Health Arlington Memorial is an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/Arlington.

About Texas Health Behavioral Health: Texas Health Behavioral Health has 15 locations throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Texas Health Behavioral Health provides services that are high quality, cost effective and uniformly accessible over a broad geographic area. Accessing treatment is convenient and easy for patients and their families. For more information please call our Behavioral health Help Line at 682-236-6023.  
More often than not, each of us has witnessed alcohol, drugs or depression negatively affect a friend or family member. In the United States alone, close to seven percent of the population experiences a serious bout of depression every year. Residents in the Arlington area, however, will
HIMSS Analytics honors Parkland with Stage 6 recognition
Parkland in top 13 percent of hospitals in U.S. for EHR adoption

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical records systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

“HIMSS Analytics congratulates Parkland for leading the way toward health IT adoption,” said John Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS Analytics. “Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that only 728 U.S. hospitals have reached to date.”

“We are honored to be part of an elite group of leading U.S. hospitals that have attained the prestigious HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 recognition,” said Fernando Martinez, PhD, Parkland’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. “Parkland has dedicated extensive resources to utilizing information technology to the fullest to assure the best clinical outcomes and the safest possible environment of care for our patients. We are committed to continuous improvement and advances in IT capabilities at Parkland to efficiently and effectively provide vital healthcare services to the community.”

According to HIMSS, Stage 6 hospitals:

Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.
Appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.
Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.
Are either starting to evaluate their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.
Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EHR.
Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment.
Are well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.
Stage 6 hospitals have also achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance and government quality reporting programs.

“This designation comes as we near completion on the new Parkland hospital and the digital environment that will be evident in the new facility,” Dr. Martinez said. “Parkland is committed to providing a high quality, safe environment for our patients and through information technology we can further enhance those efforts.”
HIMSS Analytics announced that Parkland Health & Hospital System has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption Model SM (EMRAM). Parkland’s early adoption and significant strides in adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology place it among the top group of U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics. As of the first quarter of 2014, just 13.3 percent of the more than 5,400 hospitals had reached Stage 6.
Methodist Charlton Employee named to Who's Who in Infection Prevention and international certification board

Mary Fulton, RN, BSN, CIC, infection preventionist at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, has been named to Who’s Who in Infection Prevention by Infection Control Today magazine.

Fulton was also recently appointed to the International Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC) Practice Analysis Committee. In this role, she will assist the CBIC in assuring that the certification exam for professionals in the infection prevention field reflects the true practice of today’s infection preventionist.
Designed to heal, new Parkland Hospital creates safer patient environment
Evidence-based features will help prevent spread of infection

“Patient safety is our most important priority,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President, New Parkland Construction. “We planned everything from door handles to laundry chutes with the patient’s well-being in mind. Twenty-first century hospital design incorporates amazing technology, but low-tech, evidence-based solutions also play a vital role in healing and in preventing transmission of infections.”

One of the key safety features of the new hospital is private patient rooms. Not only does this afford greater dignity and privacy to patients and families, it’s an important deterrent to the spread of infection. All rooms have a private bath, as well.

“Community showers can facilitate the spread of Clostridium difficile (C.diff), a type of gastrointestinal bacteria that is a common problem in hospitals,” said Sylvia Trevino, Interim Director of Infection Prevention at Parkland. “Private bath facilities for each patient will help prevent C.diff transmission.”

Standardized room layout is another safety design feature. Every patient room in the new hospital is identical, with sink on the right and patient bed on the left. Doctors and nurses will know exactly where equipment and fixtures are located, helping them convert best practices into every-day habits. Trevino noted that the first line of defense in preventing spread of germs is one of the simplest – hand hygiene. “Standardized sink location will help hard-wire hand-washing into everyone’s routine,” she said.

Parkland also developed a unique on-stage, off-stage floor plan that Saksen said has not been incorporated in hospital design before. Areas used by patients and families are separated as much as possible from areas used by staff. This provides a quieter experience for the patient and family, contributing to a more peaceful healing environment. It also enhances patient safety because items such as soiled linens and used equipment will be off-stage, segregated from patient areas.

With more than 14,000 doors in the new facility, door handles could be an inviting place for germs to linger. But the new hospital’s no-touch door handles open hands-free to improve sanitation and reduce the spread of infection.

Other infection-prevention features in the new hospital:
Ability to easily find and access pipes and bundles of wires located in the ceilings will substantially minimize air contamination from dust and germs when removing ceiling tiles to work on electrical and plumbing infrastructure
A pull-down hose bib located in the ceiling of each trauma room facilitates rapid and thorough cleaning
Terrazzo floors and plastic coating on trauma room walls can be easily cleaned and sanitized between patients
Sealed pneumatic tubes transport trash and recyclables rapidly from collection sites throughout the building to dumpsters at the loading dock, enhancing sanitation

“The new Parkland incorporates the very latest research-based design features to ensure patient safety and the best possible outcomes for our patients. We think it will also provide the best possible experience for patients and their families,” Saksen said.

For more information about the new Parkland hospital, visit www.parklandhospital.com
Hospitals are the last place where bacteria, viruses and fungi should feel welcome. Preventing infections from spreading among patients, visitors and staff is a challenge in any healthcare setting. And it’s been a major focus in the design and construction of the new 862-bed Parkland hospital scheduled to open in 2015.
Methodist Health System Welcomes New AVP of Cardiology Services

“Patrick Nummy will be involved in analyzing market opportunities and identifying top priorities for the development of a service line strategic plan allowing us to continue to promote Methodist’s mission to improve and save lives in the communities we serve,” says Methodist Health System Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Pamela Stoyanoff.

Nummy is a seasoned healthcare executive with over 25 years experience in hospital/healthcare management. His experience includes extensive cardiology business development in the Tampa, Florida, market for eight years and with MedCath Heart hospitals across the country for 15 years.

About Methodist Health System: Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas.   Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.methodisthealthsystem.org. Connect with them through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at www.methodisthealthsystem.org/socialmedia.
Methodist Health System welcomes Patrick Nummy as Assistant Vice President of Methodist cardiovascular service line. In this role Nummy will work closely with the medical staff and leadership to set the evolving direction for cardiovascular services across Methodist.
New gene editing method shows promising results for correcting muscular dystrophy – a common, debilitating muscle disease


can permanently correct the “defect” in a gene rather than just transiently adding a “functional” one, said Dr. Eric Olson, Director of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine at UT Southwestern and Chairman of Molecular Biology.            

           Using CRISPR/Cas9, the Hamon Center team was able to correct the genetic defect in the mouse model of DMD and prevent the development of features of the disease in boys, which causes progressive muscle weakness and degeneration, often along with breathing and heart complications.

           “Our findings show that CRISPR/Cas9 can correct the genetic mutation that leads to DMD, at least in mice,” said Dr. Olson, holder of the Pogue Distinguished Chair in Research on Cardiac Birth Defects, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Science, and the Annie and Willie Nelson Professorship in Stem Cell Research. “Even in mice with only a subset of corrected cells, we saw widespread and progressive improvement of the condition over time, likely reflecting an advantage of the corrected cells and their contribution to regenerating muscle.”

He also pointed out “this is very important for possible clinical application of this approach in the future. Skeletal muscle is the largest tissue in the human body and current gene therapy methods are only able to affect a portion of the muscle. If the corrected tissue can replace the diseased muscle, patients may get greater clinical benefit.”

           Although the genetic cause of DMD has been known for nearly 30 years, there are no treatments that can cure the condition. Duchenne muscular dystrophy breaks down muscle fibers and replaces them with fibrous and/or fatty tissue causing the muscle to gradually weaken.

DMD affects an estimated 1 in 3,600–6,000 male births in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Left untreated, those with DMD eventually require use of a wheelchair between age 8 and 11, and have a life expectancy of 25 years. Initial symptoms include difficulty running and jumping, and delays in speech development. DMD can be detected through high levels of a protein called creatine kinase as it leaks into the blood stream, and is confirmed by genetic testing.

Genome editing through the CRISPR/Cas9 system is not currently feasible in humans. However, it may be possible, through advancements in technology, to use this technique to develop therapies for DMD in the future, Dr. Olson said.

“At the moment, we still need to overcome technical challenges, in particular to find better ways to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 to the target tissue and to scale up,” Dr. Olson said. “But in the future we might be able to use this technique therapeutically, for example to directly target and correct the mutation in muscle stem cells and muscle fibers.” 

Added Chengzu Long, a graduate student in the Olson lab: “We are working on a more clinically feasible method to correct mutations in adult tissues, and have already made some progress.”

The research, published online in the journal Science, is the inaugural paper from UT Southwestern’s newly established Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, made possible earlier this year by a $10 million endowment gift from the Hamon Charitable Foundation. The Center’s goal is to understand the basic mechanisms for tissue and organ formation, and then to use that knowledge to regenerate, repair, and replace tissues damaged by aging and injury.

Degenerative diseases of the heart, brain, and other tissues represent the largest cause of death and disability in the world, affecting virtually everyone over the age of 40 and accounting for the lion’s share of health care costs. Regenerative medicine represents a new frontier in science, which seeks to understand the mechanistic basis of tissue aging, repair, and regeneration and to leverage this knowledge to improve human health.

Other researchers involved in the Science study include Chengzu Long, graduate student, first author; John McAnally, senior research associate, co-first author; John Shelton, senior research scientist; Alex Mireault, research associate; and Dr. Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Professor of Molecular Biology.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Robert A. Welch 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.
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers successfully used a new gene editing method to correct the mutation that leads to Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in a mouse model of the condition.

Researchers used a technique called CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, which can precisely remove a mutation in DNA, allowing the body’s DNA repair mechanisms to replace it with a normal copy of the gene. The benefit of this over other gene therapy techniques is that it
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Awarded Re-accreditation

“This accreditation represents our team’s ability to meet the highest standards of both image quality and patient safety.” says Lisa Smith, director of radiology at Methodist Mansfield. “ACR accreditation is another example of our  commitment to providing our patients with high quality care.”

The ACR gold seal of accreditation is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures, and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report they can use for continuous practice improvement.

Methodist Mansfield’s diagnostic imaging center provides a full array of services with convenient hours, including x-ray, PET/CT and CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and interventional radiology. Methodist Mansfield is also a women’s center, dedicated to the specialized health needs of women, including Saturday Spa mammography, breast MRI, bone density, ultrasound, and stereotactic biopsy. For information about imaging services at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, call 682-622-7210.

About Methodist Health System: Guided by the founding principles of life, learning and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.methodisthealthsystem.org. Connect with them through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at www.methodisthealthsystem.org/socialmedia.
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center has again been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in computed tomography (CT) as the result of a recent review from the American College of Radiology (ACR). CT scanning — sometimes called CAT scanning — is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and tailor treatments for various medical conditions.
School bullying can cause anxiety in children, families
Parkland expert offers tips on preventing, detecting problems

experienced by both those who are bullied and those who bully.

Nubia Morales, LMSW, social worker at Parkland’s East Dallas Health Center, described bullying as a “form of youth violence and a serious public health problem.”

“It’s widespread in the U.S., and Dallas is no exception,” Morales said.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, almost 30 percent of students report being bullied during the school year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nearly 20 percent of high school students reported being bullied, and just under 15 percent said they were bullied online. And, 67 percent of students who were bullied did not report it.

The top three reasons for the bullying were looks, body shape and race.

Morales said it is important for parents to talk to their children and help them learn to speak up by talking to teachers, counselors or the school principal.

“Parents can help their children prepare for situations when they are faced with a bully by role-playing with them,” Morales said. “Parents should also let the child know that bullying is not their fault; they are being targeted. Help children have a positive outlook and build their self-confidence.”

Symptoms that your child may be the target of bullying include not wanting to go to school, sadness or depression, withdrawing from activities or friends, harming himself or herself, as well as a variety of other issues such as stomach aches, headaches, nightmares or lower than expected grades at school.

On the opposite end, Morales said that if your child suddenly has unexplained money or other items, or is having behavior problems at school those could be signs that your child could be a bully.

“Kids who are bullies tend to be more aggressive and have difficulty controlling their anger,” Morales said.

She emphasized that bullying is a learned behavior. Children who experience physical punishment, witness abuse, or are victims of abuse tend to be bullies. Parents should talk to a counselor, therapist or social worker and learn as much as possible about bullying.

Parents who need assistance can speak with a social worker at one of Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care health centers or talk with officials at your child’s school.

Additional information also is available by visiting  http://www.stopbullying.gov/index.html or http://espanol.stopbullying.gov/
August and the start of school can bring anxiety rather than excitement for some children, particularly those who face daily bullying throughout the school year.

Parkland Health & Hospital System experts note that bullying is a serious issue for many children and one that can lead to a number of problems, including substance abuse, suicide and both psychological and physical health issues. And, the effects can be 
Applying new cholesterol guidelines to a patient population reduces heart attacks, strokes, study finds

In this subset of patients, the study predicted that 3.6 to 4.9 cardiovascular events would have been prevented for every 1,000 people screened and treated according to the new guidelines rather than the old guidelines (using a risk-reduction factor of 30 percent to 45 percent, depending on the statin dosage). The Dallas Heart Study is a multiethnic, population-based study of thousands of Dallas County adults whose cardiovascular health has been followed for 10 years.

Projecting these findings onto the larger Dallas County population, about 4,500 serious heart problems would have been prevented in individuals 30 to 65 years of age over a 10-year period by following the new cholesterol guidelines.

When the new guidelines were introduced – replacing previous guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program/Third Adult Treatment Panel – they provoked heated debate over the sizeable increase in statin eligibility. However, the UT Southwestern study supports the merit of the new cholesterol guidelines, as well as increased statin use.

“This is one of the first studies to carefully predict the implications of the new guidelines in the general population beyond just the amount of increase in statin use,” said Dr. Amit Khera, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of the Preventive Cardiology Program at UT Southwestern. “Does it look like these new guidelines will prevent heart attacks and strokes? The answer is, ‘yes,’” he said.

Dr. Khera is senior author of the recently published study, which appeared in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The 2013 ACC/AHA Cholesterol Guidelines recommend statins for patients with existing atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and very high levels of LDL cholesterol, as well as for patients with a high 10-year risk for heart disease.

The previous guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program/Third Adult Treatment Panel were based on a different formula that involved targeting specific cholesterol levels. Some patients fall out of statin eligibility under the new guidelines, but some 12.8 million more are newly eligible.

Among Dallas Heart Study participants who actually experienced a cardiovascular event, 37.1 percent more of those patients would have been placed on statins if the new guidelines had been in place. Among participants who did not experience a cardiovascular event, only 3.9 percent more patients would have been prescribed statins.

“There has been a lot of emphasis on the increased use of statins and a lot of emphasis on the risk calculator,” said Dr. Khera, who holds the Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Hypertension and Heart Disease. “Yes, there is some additional statin use, but according to our results, this use seems appropriate, at least in this age group.”

The Dallas Heart Study was funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and is partially supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in this study are first author Dr. Andre Paixao, a former UT Southwestern Cardiology Fellow and current Interventional Cardiology Fellow at Emory University; Colby Ayers, Faculty Associate in the Department of Clinical Science; Dr. Jarett Berry, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Science; and Dr. James de Lemos, Professor of Internal Medicine, Associate Program Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program, and holder of the Sweetheart Ball‐Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiology.

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.
A study from UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found that recently introduced cholesterol guidelines would significantly reduce new cardiovascular events, when compared to treatment based on previous cholesterol guidelines.

The research identified Dallas Heart Study participants in the 30 to 65 age range who would have newly qualified for statin use under the new cholesterol guidelines introduced in 2013 by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA).
UT Southwestern researchers obtain key insights into how the internal body clock is tuned

           “Although we know that long non-coding RNAs are abundant in many organisms, what they do in the body, and how they do it, has not been clear so far,” said Dr. Yi Liu, Professor of Physiology. “Our work establishes a role for long non-coding RNAs in ‘tuning’ the circadian clock, but also shows how they control gene expression.”

           Determining how circadian clocks work is crucial to understanding several human diseases, including sleep disorders and depression in which the clock malfunctions. The influence of a functional clock is evident in the reduced performance of shift workers and the jet lag felt by long-distance travellers.

           Dr. Liu and his team were able to learn more about the circadian rhythms by studying model systems involving the bread mold, Neurospora crassa. The researchers found that the expression of a clock gene named frequency (frq) is controlled by a long non-coding RNA named qrf (frq backwards) − an RNA molecule that is complementary, or antisense, to frq. Unlike normal RNA molecules, qrf does not encode a protein, but it can control whether and how much frq protein is produced.

Specifically, qrf RNA is produced in response to light, and can then interfere with the production of the frq protein. In this way, qrf can “re-set” the circadian clock in a light-dependent way. This regulation works both ways: frq can also block the production of qrf. This mutual inhibition ensures that the frq and qrf RNA molecules are present in opposite “phases” of the clock and allows each RNA to oscillate robustly. Without qrf, normal circadian rhythms are not sustained, indicating that the long non-coding RNA is required for clock functions.

The findings are published online in the journal Nature.

           “We anticipate a similar mode of action may operate in other organisms because similar RNAs have been found for clock genes in mice. In addition, such RNAs may also function in other biological processes because of their wide presence in genomes,” said Dr. Liu, who is the Louise W. Kahn Scholar in Biomedical Research.

           UT Southwestern investigators are leaders in unraveling the gene networks underlying circadian clocks and have shown that most body organs, such as the pancreas and liver, have their own internal clocks, and that virtually every cell in the human body contains a clock. It now appears that the clocks and clock-related genes – some 20 such genes have been identified – affect virtually all of the cells’ metabolic pathways, from blood sugar regulation to cholesterol production.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the latest findings include Dr. Zhihong Xue, Qiaohong Ye, Dr. Juchen Yang and Dr. Guanghua Xiao. Support for this research included grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Welch Foundation, the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

“This study adds to an important body of work that has shown the ubiquity of a circadian clock across species, including humans, and its role in metabolic regulation in cells, organs, and organisms,” said Dr. Michael Sesma, Program Director in the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology at the of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which partially funded the research. “These new results from Dr. Liu and his colleagues also extend beyond understanding the function of an anti-sense RNA in the fine tuning of a cell’s daily rhythm; they provide an example of the means by which anti-sense transcription likely regulates other key molecular and physiological processes in cells and organisms.”

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 a new way that internal body clocks are regulated by a type of molecule known as long non-coding RNA.

The internal body clocks, called circadian clocks, regulate the daily “rhythms” of many bodily functions, from waking and sleeping to body temperature and hunger. They are largely “tuned” to a 24-hour cycle that is influenced by external cues such as light and temperature.
Parkland police urge seniors to protect themselves against fraud
Elderly warned to be wary of ‘doing business at the door’

“It may be a week or two before they realize they’ve been taken,” said Sgt. Robert Johnson, Crime Prevention Officer with the Dallas County Hospital District (DCHD) Police Department. “By then the suspect could be long gone and the memory of what took place may have faded.”

But the biggest obstacle in not reporting the incident is fear.

“Elderly parents may not tell their children or grandchildren they’ve been the victim of a scam for fear those relatives may think they are not capable of living on their own,” said Jane Hunley, Parkland’s Director of Geriatric Services. “It’s terrifying to think you may be forced to give up your independence because of a bad decision.”

Yet the age of an individual plays a critical role in whether they become a crime victim.

“Our parents and grandparents grew up as trusting individuals. They saw the good in everyone and never questioned when something didn’t seem right because you just didn’t do that,” Sgt. Johnson said. “Today’s generation is more wary. You have to earn the trust, but once obtained it can last a lifetime. It’s hard, though, to think that someone who ‘seems so nice’ might really be a criminal.”

There are numerous methods seniors can use to protect themselves and ways younger relatives can reinforce the message.

“One thing I always tell my mother is to never do business at the door. Nothing is so urgent that you have to make a decision right then,” Sgt. Johnson said. “Scam artists don’t like to hear ‘let me talk this over with my son or daughter before I make a decision.’ That’s when they start pressuring you because it’s a ‘one-time only’ sale or deal. Bottom line, if it seems too good to be true, it is.”

Hunley concurs, adding that seniors can also fall victim to funeral and cemetery fraud. Never make decisions about your final days with someone who has knocked on the door, she said. “Take a family member or trusted friend with you to a funeral home when you have difficult decisions to make.”

And never, Parkland officials emphasized, let an unsolicited salesman into your home or give out personal information like your date of birth or credit card or Social Security numbers to anyone over the phone.

“If you don’t know who that person is at the door, don’t open it,” Sgt. Johnson said. “And if you don’t know who the person is who is calling, don’t talk to them. It’s not being rude if you’re protecting yourself and your livelihood.”

If you would like Sgt. Johnson to discuss these or other crime prevention topics at your next community meeting, please contact him at 214.590.4688 or via email at Robert.Johnson2@phhs.org . To reach Parkland’s Geriatric Services, please call 214.590.8369.
When it comes to being a victim of scams the elderly are more likely to be targets than most other demographics, according to statistics released by the FBI. Still, according to Dallas County Hospital District Police, getting accurate numbers of how many seniors have actually fallen victim to scam artists is close to impossible.
Gestational diabetes poses risk to 1 in 10 pregnant women
Parkland experts encourage healthy eating, exercise for expectant moms

“Appropriate weight gain during pregnancy is normal and healthy,” said Melissa Amie, RN, Director of Nursing, Women & Infants Specialty Health at Parkland. “But research shows a link between the rise of obesity in the U.S. and steadily increasing rates of gestational diabetes. This is concerning.”

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but develop high levels of blood glucose (sugar) during pregnancy. The mother’s body does not make and use all the insulin needed. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood to high levels.

A study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June 2014 reported that at least 9.2 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. may have gestational diabetes, putting them at risk for obstetric complications including preterm delivery and cesarean delivery. In addition, these women are more than seven times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes five to 10 years after the pregnancy. Parkland’s OB Complications Clinic provides prenatal care for high-risk pregnant patients. Women with gestational diabetes represented 15 percent of the clinic’s total visits during the first six months of 2014.

Untreated, gestational diabetes can be harmful to the developing baby because the mother’s high blood glucose levels travel through the placenta to the fetus. The baby’s pancreas is forced to make extra insulin to deal with the blood glucose. The extra energy in the baby’s body is stored as fat, sometimes leading to a condition called infant macrosomia, or a “fat” baby.

“Gestational diabetes can result in several potentially serious health complications for the infant of a mother with this condition,” said Myra Wyckoff, MD, a neonatologist at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “They may have respiratory distress syndrome or experience hypoglycemia, which can lead to seizures. Because these babies can be very large, they are at increased risk for getting stuck in the birth canal during labor which can lead to poor gas exchange and trauma. Neonatal hypoglycemia (very low blood glucose levels) due to the extra insulin produced by the pancreas can occur and they are also at greater risk for childhood obesity. These children are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as adults.”

“Women who don’t eat a healthy diet and don’t exercise are the ones at greatest risk of developing gestational diabetes,” said Amie. “We encourage women to maintain a healthy weight throughout their life, but especially when they are considering becoming pregnant. Preventing gestational diabetes is a priority for us.”

Treatment of gestational diabetes includes frequent monitoring of the mother’s blood sugar throughout the day, careful attention to a healthy diet and regular exercise to help lower blood sugar levels. As many as 20 percent of women with gestational diabetes require insulin injections to reach their blood sugar goals.

To improve health outcomes for mothers and infants, Parkland offers classes to all new gestational diabetic patients. Classes are held in the clinic following the patient’s prenatal visit and are taught in Spanish and English. The class consists of an overview of gestational diabetes, followed by a registered dietitian providing information on nutrition and meal planning, and ending with instructions on how to use a glucometer for checking glucose levels at home. Meters are provided and patients perform a return demonstration on the proper technique for testing. Patients requiring treatment with insulin are provided an additional two-session insulin class.

“Parkland is committed to helping pregnant women improve their diet and nutrition and learn to make healthy lifestyle choices,” Amie said. “The OB Complications clinic combines patient management and comprehensive patient education to improve pregnancy outcomes for gestational diabetic patients.”

For more information about Parkland’s Women & Infants Specialty Health services, please visit www.parklandhospital.com
Every woman worries about weight gain during pregnancy. But for women who are obese before pregnancy or gain an excessive amount of weight while expecting, serious health risks can result for both mother and baby. According to Parkland Health & Hospital System experts, gestational diabetes is becoming more common.
High insulin levels tied to obesity pathway, new research by UT Southwestern diabetes expert shows

Glucagon spurs the liver’s production of glucose into the bloodstream and thus maintains the fuel supply for the brain. Insulin blocks the secretion of glucagon, opposes glucagon action on the liver, and instructs the body to take up glucose from the blood. Type 2 diabetics cannot respond properly to insulin and have uncontrolled glucagon production, thereby causing their livers to overproduce glucose, contributing to high blood-sugar levels. Insulin is often given to people with type 2 diabetes to try to overcome insulin-resistance and lower the levels of glucose in the bloodstream.

But insulin also signals the body to produce fat, so when given the high levels of insulin needed to control excess glucose, mice become fat, explained corresponding author Dr. Michael Roth, Professor of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern and a member of the Touchstone Diabetes Center.

“We found that mice lacking the receptor for glucagon cannot get fat unless they are given the high levels of insulin found in mice (and humans) that have type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Roth, who holds the Diane and Hal Brierley Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research. “This result suggests that the high levels of insulin found in those who develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are a contributor to obesity and its complications.”

Dr. Roth cautioned that if this response also happens in humans, then treating patients with type 2 diabetes with higher than normal amounts of insulin could contribute to the development of obesity.

The findings suggest that physicians may need to reconsider use of intensive insulin therapy to control hyperglycemia (high blood-sugar levels) in obese, diabetic patients with hyperinsulinemia (overproduction of insulin). In addition, the findings suggest that suppressing glucagon action could prevent hyperinsulinemia, without causing diabetes. The research team found that suppressing glucagon in obese, insulin-resistant, type 2 diabetic mice reduced blood glucose back to normal levels.

Glucagon and insulin normally counteract each other as part of an ongoing effort to stabilize blood-sugar levels. The glucagon hormone is produced and released by the pancreas in response to low concentrations of insulin and, conversely, glucagon release is suppressed by high levels of insulin in the bloodstream. The balance between the two hormones is disrupted in type 2 diabetics by the insulin that is given to control high glucose levels. This excess insulin, in turn, causes the body to produce excess fat. The new findings lead the authors to suggest that the high insulin levels actually aggravate diabetes. The optimal therapy, they propose, should be diet restriction and reducing glucagon levels.

           According to estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO), 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, 90 percent of whom are affected by type 2 diabetes. Although previously only seen in adults, type 2 diabetes is now occurring in children, and can include complications such as an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, nerve damage, and eye disease.

The work, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, builds upon original research by Nobel laureates and Regental Professors Dr. Michael Brown, Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics, and Dr. Joseph Goldstein, Chairman of Molecular Genetics, who showed that insulin increases lipogenesis, the production of fat, and demonstrated the role of insulin in the activity of SREBP family of transcription factors. Dr. Goldstein holds the Julie and Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine. Dr. Brown holds the W. A. (Monty) Moncrief Distinguished Chair in Cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis Research and the Paul J. Thomas Chair in Medicine.

The current research was supported by grants from Bristol-Myers Squibb, and the Diane and Hal Brierley Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Research, and was partially conducted in laboratories renovated with support from a National Institutes of Health Facilities Grant.

Other researchers involved in the work include senior author Dr. Roger Unger, Professor of Internal Medicine, who holds the Touchstone/West Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research; Dr. Philipp Scherer, Professor of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology, Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center, and holder of the Gifford O. Touchstone, Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research; first author Dr. Young Lee, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. Eric Berglund, Assistant Professor in the Advanced Imaging Research Center, and Pharmacology; Dr. William Holland, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. May-yun Wang, Assistant Professor of  Internal Medicine; Dr. Xinxin Yu, Research Scientist; Dr. Matthew Evans, Postdoctoral Researcher; and Dr. Maureen Charron, Professor of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

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.
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a crucial link between high levels of insulin and pathways that lead to obesity, a finding that may have important implications when treating diabetes.

Researchers with the UT Southwestern’s Touchstone Diabetes Center found that giving mice high levels of insulin, which is typically done to counter the effects of diabetes or insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes, also fosters processes that lead to obesity.

The discovery was made by studying mice engineered to lack receptors for a hormone called glucagon.
All-Pro NFL Player Tim Brown and Wife Host “His & Hers” Health Event at Methodist Charlton
Methodist Charlton President Jonathan Davis, DeSoto Councilmember Curtistene McCowan Join Couples Panel with Spouses

massages, and more. You’ll hear from Tim how he was shaped into the family man he is today, and you’ll learn from experts about the health needs and differences you and your spouse have. Methodist Charlton President Jonathan S. Davis, FACHE, and his wife Janet, as well as DeSoto Councilmember and Methodist Charlton advisory board member Curtistene McCowan and her husband Leon, will participate on the couples panel.

Here’s an event you don’t want to miss, with topics and activities important to you.

Healthy food choices and cooking
Proper exercise and sleep habits
Medical checkups and screenings*
Swing out and line dance lessons
Fun prizes, massages, and gifts

His & Hers will be held in the Methodist Charlton Medical Center Auditorium on Saturday, September 20. Pre-event activities and screenings are from 7 – 11 a..m., followed by the His & Hers event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free parking is available. To register, call 214-947-0000.

*The free prostate cancer screening is a fasting blood test and is available to men ages 40 and older who have not had this screening through the Methodist PSAP program in the last 12 months. For the most accurate results, do not eat or drink after 10 p.m. on Friday, except to take prescribed medication with water only. Water and decaffeinated black coffee (no cream, no sugar) are permitted prior to the test. Breakfast is offered to participants immediately following their health screenings.  The screening mammography is available to women ages 40 and older who have not had a mammogram in the last 12 months. We accept most major health insurance plans. Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify.

About Methodist Health System: Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas.   Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.methodisthealthsystem.org. Connect with them through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at www.methodisthealthsystem.org/socialmedia.
Newly married or not, His & Hers at Methodist Charlton Medical Center is a fun-filled event for couples of any age. Hosted by All-Pro NFL player Tim Brown and his wife, Sherice, His & Hers will feature a fun, informative Newlywed Game-style program, plus dance lessons, cooking demos, chair
New Parkland’s neonatal intensive care unit will be five times larger
Parents, family will have more room when visiting tiny patients

nearly 93,184 square feet in the new state-of-the-art facility. Instead of multiple babies sharing a confined area, each infant will be in a separate room with enough space that mom and dad can spend quality time with their baby apart from other parents and infants.

In fiscal year 2013, there were 971 discharges from Parkland’s NNICU with an average daily census of 54. With an average length of stay of about three weeks, parents spend countless hours talking to and holding their infants, usually during peak evening hours when parents home from work can visit the hospital.

“Since all the rooms in the new Parkland hospital are private, including the NNICU, there will be more space for family and visitors,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President of New Parkland Construction. “The hospital is designed with patients in mind, creating a patient-centered healing environment with more windows and natural light, an evidenced-based healing component of contemporary hospital design.”

Studies have shown that natural light is a key ingredient in the healing process. In her Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not published in the U.S. in 1860, Florence Nightingale wrote, “It is the unqualified result of all my experiences with the sick, that second only to the need of fresh air is their need of light; that, after a close room, what hurts them most is a dark room. Who has not observed the purifying effect of light, and especially of direct sunlight, upon the air of a room?”

That concept is incorporated in 21st-century hospital design research that also validates the healing properties of natural daylight. Every NNICU room has a window that brings daylight indoors to soothe both infant and parents.
“The staff of Parkland’s Level III NNICU provides extraordinary, skilled care to our smallest, most fragile patients. Although our specialists and equipment are among the finest in the country, the current NNICU area is definitely outdated. The experience for families will be much more comfortable and welcoming in the new NNICU, where there will be privacy, quiet and in-room sleeping accommodations for the parents,” said Jennifer Hill, RN, Director of Parkland’s NNICU. “It will be a far more restful, healing environment. Private rooms will also lower the possibility of infection by limiting exposure of the newborns to other babies, staff and visitors,”

Hill added that parents and families of infants in the NNICU are under a lot of stress. “They know that their babies are receiving fantastic care at Parkland. When the new NNICU opens, they can play an even more active role in their baby’s care, because the physical environment will allow them to spend more time with their infants.”

The new hospital will also include a 2,601-square-foot pediatric pharmacy that will serve all babies born at Parkland. With a pharmacy dedicated to pediatrics, the tiniest patients will benefit from custom-made oral and intravenous medication doses, custom-made intravenous nutrition for neonates and the knowledge and skills of pediatric-trained pharmacy staff. Parkland Foundation was awarded $827,858 from the 2010 Crystal Charity Ball for the pediatric pharmacy in the NNICU.

“We are grateful to Crystal Charity for the funding of the pharmacy,” Hill said. “Their funding has enabled the pharmacy to go from a cramped 100 square feet in the current hospital to 2,600 square feet in the new hospital.”

For more information about Parkland’s Women & Infants Specialty Health, visit www.parklandhospital.com
As the new Parkland Hospital nears completion, one of the biggest changes will be for the hospital’s tiniest patients.

Parkland’s neonatal intensive care unit (NNICU), which was the first Level III NNICU in Dallas, will increase five times in size from 17,625 square feet in the current hospital to
Texas Health Physicians Group announces new vice president of operations
Appointment of Jennifer Stephenson completes group’s operational leadership team


Stephenson is responsible for the daily operations within the physician practices, as well as revenue cycle management. She will oversee the identification and implementation of strategic initiatives within practice operations, among other responsibilities.

“I am excited for this opportunity to return to North Texas and join Texas Health Physicians Group and its strong team of clinical and operations experts,” Stephenson said. “I look forward to advancing Texas Health Resources’ mission, vision and strategic plan, which includes transforming from a hospital-centric organization to a patient-centered, fully integrated health system.” 

Stephenson joins Texas Health Physicians Group from Tucson, Arizona, where she served as chief operating officer of a large multi-specialty physicians group, Arizona Community Physicians. Previously, she was an executive director for PrimaCare Medical Centers and a practice administrator for HeartPlace, both in Dallas. Stephenson was also an administrative manager at the Ochsner Clinic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Stephenson earned a bachelor of science in Public Health-Health Administration and a master’s in Health Administration from Indiana University. Stephenson has been a Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives since 2000, and is also a member of the American Medical Group Association and Medical Group Management Association.

About Texas Health Physicians Group: Texas Health Physicians Group is Texas Health Resources’ not-for-profit physician organization based in Arlington. The group includes more than 800 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical professionals dedicated to providing safe, quality care for our patients. In addition to our primary and specialty practices, the organization’s network includes sleep lab services, infusion services, and diagnostic imaging in more than 200 locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Parker and Tarrant counties. Physicians employed by Texas Health Physicians Group practice independently and are not employees of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.

About Texas Health Resources: Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 25 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley Hospitals, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.
Texas Health Physicians Group has selected Jennifer Stephenson, MHA, FACMPE, as vice president of operations, effective Aug. 25. Stephenson will oversee operations of the north zone of the group’s 200-plus physician practices in North Texas, and will report to Jim Parobek, the group’s senior vice president of operations. 

“We are pleased to announce Jennifer as the newest member of our leadership team,” Parobek said. “She has experience and knowledge of all sides of physician practice operations, including local and out-of-state markets. This will enable her to bring a fresh perspective to our operations.”
Advanced Technology Offers Less-Invasive Option for Treating Strokes, Other Brain Disorders

In July, Baylor Plano opened its newly renovated neurointerventional radiology suite. The $2 million renovation added significantly more advanced technology that gives physicians the ability to obtain 3-D images and take multiple views of the brain at the same time. 

“This technology gives doctors more information and the ability to treat a wider spectrum of critical neurological illnesses,” says Justin Whisenant, MD, a neurointerventional radiologist on the medical staff at Baylor Plano.

Neurointerventional radiology can offer a less invasive alternative to traditional surgical therapy for people with brain aneurysms, strokes, some tumors and many other brain and spinal vascular conditions.

The devices and imaging equipment allow neurointerventional radiologists to access the small blood vessels in the brain by passing catheters through the large vessels in the thigh. Imaging and accessing the brain in this way are new treatment options.

“With these expanded treatment methods available, patients will experience faster recovery times and shorter hospital stays, and can expect to resume their usual activities more quickly than with open surgical options,” he says.

Less- invasive devices include stents, balloons and coils that can be used to treat stroke, brain aneurysms and circulatory system defects in the brain. 

For example, stroke patients who don’t respond to the clot-busting medication called tPA can have stents or balloons threaded to the spot in the brain where the clot is causing a blockage. The clot is removed and the stroke symptoms go away. Doctors choose a retrievable stent, a balloon or a suction tube based on each patient’s needs. 

For people with bleeding in the brain, coils can stop the bleeding. The coils are threaded to the site of the bleeding, where they trigger clotting. Having these treatments available at Baylor Plano means patients can be cared for quickly, and in new and innovative ways. 

“This technology is widely available for use in the heart and body, but less common in the brain because the brain is so much smaller and less forgiving,” Dr. Whisenant says.

Some conditions still require traditional surgery, and the Baylor Plano team identifies the best option for each patient.

About Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano: Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, part of Baylor Scott & White health is a 160-bed, fully accredited not-for-profit hospital located in Plano, TX. Committed to serving North Texas residents with personalized care and advanced technology on a beautiful campus with hotel-like amenities and all private rooms, the hospital provides a broad spectrum of medical and health care services which include: treatment for advanced spine deformities at the Baylor Scoliosis Center, orthopedics and sports medicine, medical and radiation oncology, neurointerventional radiology, surgical weight loss, gastroenterology, behavioral health, and more. Led by hospital president, Jerri Garison, Baylor Plano has more than 2,200 employees, medical staff, and volunteers. The hospital has won several quality awards and certifications including being named the top hospital in Collin County by U.S. News and World Report for three consecutive years and being designated a Primary Level II Stroke Center by the State of Texas.

For a full list of all awards and accreditations visit: www.BaylorHealth.com/Plano.

Disclaimer: Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano or Baylor Health Care System.

About Baylor Scott & White Health: Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas.  With total assets of $8.6 billion* and serving a geographic area larger than the state of Maine, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 36,000 employemployees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For More Information visit: www.BaylorScottandWhite.com
When a stroke strikes, time matters. Restoring normal blood flow quickly saves brain cells and brain function. New technology at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano provides patients with faster access to a range of treatment options.