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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.
UT Southwestern researchers find new gene mutations for Wilms Tumor

“While most children with Wilms tumor are thankfully cured, those with more aggressive tumors do poorly, and we are increasingly concerned about the long-term adverse side effects of chemotherapy in Wilms tumor patients. We wanted to know – what are the genetic causes of Wilms tumor in children and what are the opportunities for targeted therapies? To answer these questions, you have to identify genes that are mutated in the cancer,” said Dr. James Amatruda, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Biology, and Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and senior author for the study.

               The new findings appear in Nature Communications. Collaborating with Dr. Amatruda on the study were UT Southwestern faculty members Dr. Dinesh Rakheja, Associate Professor of Pathology and Pediatrics; Dr. Kenneth S. Chen, Assistant Instructor in Pediatrics; and Dr. Joshua T. Mendell, Professor of Molecular Biology. Dr. Jonathan Wickiser, Associate Professor in Pediatrics, and Dr. James Malter, Chair of Pathology, are also co-authors.

Previous research has identified one or two mutant genes in Wilms tumors, but only about one-third of Wilms tumors had these mutations.

“We wanted to know what genes were mutated in the other two-thirds. To accomplish this goal, we sequenced the DNA of 44 tumors and identified several new mutated genes,” said Dr. Amatruda, who holds the Nearburg Family Professorship in Pediatric Oncology Research and is an Attending Physician in the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center. “The new genes had not been identified before. The most common, and in some ways the most biologically interesting, mutations were found in genes called DROSHA and DICER1. We found that these mutations affected the cell’s production of microRNAs, which are tiny RNA molecules that play big roles in controlling the growth of cells, and the primary effect was on a family of microRNAs called let-7.”

“Let-7 is an important microRNA that slows cell growth and in Wilms tumors in which DROSHA or DICER1 were mutated, let-7 RNA is missing, which causes the cells to grow abnormally fast,” Dr. Amatruda said.

These findings have implications for future treatment of Wilms tumor and several other childhood cancers, including neuroblastoma, germ cell tumor, and rhabdomyosarcoma.

“What’s exciting about these results is that we can begin to understand what drives the growth of different types of Wilms tumors. This is a critical first step in trying to treat the cancer based on its true molecular defect, rather than just what a tumor looks like under a microscope,” Dr. Amatruda said. “Most importantly, we begin to think in concrete terms about a therapy, which is an exciting translational goal of our work in the next few years. This study also is a gratifying example of great teamwork. As oncologists, Dr. Chen and I were able to make rapid progress by teaming up with Dr. Rakheja, an expert pathologist, and with Dr. Mendell, a leading expert on microRNA biology.”

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 510 cases of Wilms tumor will be diagnosed among children in 2014. Also called nephroblastoma, Wilms tumor is an embryonal tumor of the kidney that usually occurs in children under age 5, and 92 percent of kidney tumors in this age group are Wilms tumor. Survival rates for Wilms tumor have increased from 75 percent in 1975-1979 to 90 percent in 2003-2009. 

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 and the Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, have made significant progress in defining new genetic causes of Wilms tumor, a type of kidney cancer found only in children.

Wilms tumor is the most common childhood genitourinary tract cancer and the third most common solid tumor of childhood.
New Parkland logistics building nears completion
Support services will be housed in facility

Receiving and Distribution (MRD), Information Technology Support as well as a back-up space for IT equipment, the trash and linen system, Environmental Services, clinical engineering, medical equipment storage and general storage areas.

“The logistics building is where a number of the ‘off-stage’ services begin and end,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President, New Parkland Construction. “For example, all of the supplies that are needed on the units will be delivered to the logistics’ dock and then dispersed to the areas that need them.”

The same is true for the massive amount of linen the 862-bed hospital uses in a day. Sheets, pillow cases, blankets, towels and other linens will be washed, dried and readied in the massive linen department in the basement of the current hospital and delivered to the logistics building for distribution through off-stage elevators of new Parkland.

The on-stage, off-stage design of the new facility is one of the components designed with patients and visitors in mind.

“Gone are the days of sharing elevators and hallways with equipment and supplies,” Saksen said. “It’s the same method made famous by Disney theme parks. If you think about it, you’ve never seen employees coming and going to work, or supplies being wheeled through a park. All of the staff and supplies move through ‘off-stage’ tunnels and elevators. It will be the same at new Parkland. Visitors will no longer have to share the same elevator with carts of supplies or bins full of trash.”

Along with the on-stage, off-stage process, the new Parkland is designed with patients in mind. There is a patient-centered healing environment with more windows and natural light, an evidence-based healing component of contemporary hospital design which combined with a quieter environment will enhance the healing process.

Parkland officials are hoping to obtain LEED Gold certification for the building. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.

The new Parkland hospital received a temporary certificate of occupancy from the city of Dallas in July and is scheduled to open to the public in 2015.

For more information on new Parkland construction, please visit: http://newparkland.parklandhospital.com
Construction of the 231,419 square-foot logistics building located adjacent to the new Parkland hospital is nearing completion.

Construction of the three-story facility, which is connected to the hospital through a tunnel in the basement, began in August 2013 and is scheduled to be completed this month. The building will house the Dallas County Hospital District Police Department, Materials
UT Southwestern launches leading edge Wound Care Clinic

inside UT Southwestern’s Professional Office Building 2, located on the southwest corner of Harry Hines Boulevard and Record Crossing Road. The clinic offers a full range of services, including access to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, new and advanced wound-specific dressings, total contact casting, vascular imaging and surgery focused on restoring blood flow, as well as reconstructive techniques to improve function – all key methods to healing chronic wounds and improving quality of life.

“This clinic offers a unique, multi-disciplinary approach that coordinates the care for patients with all types of wounds,” said Dr. Jean de Leon, Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Medical Director of the Wound Care Clinic. “Through communication, education, and collaboration, our team can design customized and appropriate treatment strategies for our patients that will maximize the rate of wound healing and reduce the rate of complications.”

The clinic also will give patients access to clinical trials and new treatments resulting from UT Southwestern’s advanced wound care research.

           “The evidenced-based therapies we offer patients, combined with our research, sets us apart from other wound care programs,” said Dr. Lawrence Lavery, Professor of Plastic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Director of Research for the Department of Plastic Surgery. “One example is a recent study exploring a three-dimensional matrix applied directly to diabetic foot ulcers. Our data showed a 30 percent improvement in healing times, as well as enhanced long-term results.”

While the clinic treats various types of complex wounds, diabetic foot ulcers are among the most common. Foot ulcers are one of the most frequent causes of hospitalization and amputation among individuals suffering from diabetic complications, which affects approximately 25 percent of all patients with diabetes.

To schedule an appointment with our wound care specialists, call 214-645-8300. For more information on the Wound Care Clinic, visit http://www.utswmedicine.org/conditions-specialties/wound-care/. 

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’s multi-disciplinary wound care efforts have converged in a new, state-of-the-art clinic. The Wound Care Clinic is one of the first clinics in North Texas to offer comprehensive, streamlined wound care. The clinic provides all-encompassing care for patients who suffer from chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, traumatic injury wounds, pressure ulcers, and wounds that occur following cancer treatment.

Patients can see specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation, plastic surgery, podiatry, and vascular surgery for evaluation and treatment in one centralized location –
UT Southwestern expert co-chairs national team to develop first comprehensive guidelines for management of sickle cell disease

“The aim is to improve the care of all people with sickle cell disease, young and old, and to raise awareness among the entire medical profession regarding the need for better care and more research, so that someday everyone with sickle cell disease can receive the best possible care and lead a normal and productive life,” said Dr. George Buchanan, Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

Although currently most patients are diagnosed at birth and survive until adulthood, many sickle cell disease patients die in their 30s and 40s of acute complications or chronic organ damage. Dr. Buchanan and the team of expert panelists want to alter that statistic through improved and comprehensive treatment.

One survivor who beat those numbers is 58-year-old Shirley Miller, who worked at UT Southwestern with Dr. Buchanan from 2002 to 2010 as a program manager, patient advocate, and outreach coordinator.

“I lived my life in fear because I thought age 30 was it. I wasted a lot of time wondering how the end would happen. My parents never told me my life expectancy; I went to the library and looked it up,” said Ms. Miller, who is now helping to launch a comprehensive sickle cell adult program in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Diagnosed at age three, and the only one of five siblings with the disease, she grew up without physical education classes and did not participate in sports. She made friends slowly and was embarrassed when others went through puberty before her. She credits her parents with helping her believe she could make it, and she credits the care she later received as an adult at UT Southwestern.

“Comprehensive care is the key to successful management of sickle cell disease, known as sickle cell disease.  Currently, there are not enough physicians who specialize in the care of adults with sickle cell disease, which means that many are seen by primary care physicians or other specialists,” said Ms. Miller.  “These guidelines will provide physicians with a tool for basic understanding of the disease etiology and possible complications to look for when managing a patient. I attribute my survival to the comprehensive care that I received from this teaching and research university, which is on the cutting edge of so many developments. The knowledge and expertise available here have made all the difference.”

The expert panel for the new guidelines is a 12-member team, all known for their experience in diagnosing and treating people with sickle cell disease. Panel members included two pediatric hematologists, four adult hematologists, an obstetrician, a psychiatrist, an emergency department nurse, two blood transfusion specialists, and one family physician. These experts were supported by a large staff of NHLBI leaders and other personnel, including experts in finding and analyzing the available scientific evidence that could help improve the lives of people with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease is the world’s most common serious condition due to a single gene mutation. An estimated 70,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. have sickle cell disease. Of these, about 1,000 receive care annually at UT Southwestern. Dr. Buchanan has led the institutional pediatric and research sickle cell disease programs for 37 years.

More than 2 million Americans carry the sickle cell trait.

“African-Americans are far more likely than Caucasians to have the sickle cell trait, which is not a disease but a carrier state. One has to receive a copy of the abnormal gene from both parents to have the disease,” said Dr. Buchanan, who holds the Children's Cancer Fund Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Oncology & Hematology.

“Every state now has mandatory newborn screening for the disease,” said Dr. Buchanan, Director of the Barrett Family Center for Pediatric Oncology at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Buchanan was instrumental in ensuring that Texas became the third state to adopt newborn screening in 1983. Approximately 150 infants with sickle cell disease are diagnosed in Texas each year.  Nearly one third of them receive their care at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

When sickle cell disease progresses, it can delay puberty and cause acute and chronic complications, including debilitating pain, life-threatening infections, damage to vital organs, and stroke. Stem cell transplants offer a potential cure; however, the high cost, lack of suitable donors (ideally the donor is a sibling), and the risk of complications make these transplants relatively infrequent. The newly published comprehensive guidelines recommend better pain control; prevention and treatment of acute and chronic complications; general health maintenance; judicious use of blood transfusions; and teaching patients to manage their disease through behavioral changes.

The committee also strongly advocates for prescribing hydroxyurea, an oral medication taken once daily that has become the standard of care. Hydroxyurea reduces the impact of the disease by improving the anemia, and reducing the risk of pain events and acute chest syndrome. It can also decrease the need for transfusions and hospital admissions.

“These national guidelines are directed not just to hematologists but to all medical practitioners who might encounter sickle cell disease patients, to inform them about hydroxyurea and how to best offer general medical care to them,” Dr. Buchanan said. “We have a lot of work to do to educate physicians.”

September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and the guidelines will be discussed and disseminated at professional conferences, as well as being available on the NHLBI website and in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

According to NHLBI, sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease, a serious disorder in which the body makes sickle-shaped red blood cells. “Sickle-shaped” means that the red blood cells are shaped like a crescent. Normal red blood cells are disc-shaped and look like doughnuts without holes in the center, moving easily through blood vessels. Red blood cells contain an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Sickle cells contain abnormal hemoglobin called sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S. They tend to block blood flow in the blood vessels of the limbs and organs, causing pain, organ damage, and increased risk for infection. In the U.S., the disease occurs in about one out of every 500 African-American births and in more than one out of every 36,000 Hispanic-American births. 

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.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has released the first comprehensive, evidence-based guidelines for management of sickle cell disease from birth to end of life, based on recommendations developed by a nationwide team of experts co-chaired by a UT Southwestern Medical Center hematologist.

Appearing today in JAMA, the guidelines are intended for general use by pediatricians, physicians treating adults, hematologists, emergency room personnel, hospitalists, and other health care providers. The new management guidelines consist of more than 500 specific directions for physicians who are caring for patients with sickle cell disease.
Run With Heart Half Marathon, 5K, and One-Mile Walk/Run October 11

lifestyle and survivors of heart disease. It is also a time to  honor those who have lost their battle with heart disease.

Choose from a chip-timed half marathon, 5K, or one-mile family fun run/walk. All events for the second annual Run with Heart begin at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and travel through the city of Mansfield and on the Walnut Creek linear park. While exercising your heart, you can enjoy the quiet solitude of being in a beautiful, scenic, natural setting.

Join us at the event for a heart healthy warm-up provided by Methodist Mansfield’s physical medicine department. After the races, enjoy heart healthy food, fun music, and learn more about living with better heart and joint health from physicians on staff at Methodist Mansfield.

Grab your sneakers and register at MansfieldRunWithHeart.org.

Everyone is invited to participate, even if you only want to walk or run at your own pace and do not wish to be timed. Volunteers are also needed. Register on line at MansfieldRunWithHeart.org.

Event proceeds will support cardiology services at the hospital and the Tarrant County American Heart Association. Community leaders supporting the event and serving on the steering committee are city of Mansfield Mayor David Cook; Mansfield city manager Clayton Chandler; Randall Canedy, president of Frost Bank in Mansfield and chairman Methodist Mansfield Community Advisory Board; Sherman Hatch president of Primrose Schools of Walnut Creek, Michael Klein, director of manufacturing Klein Tools; John Phillips, President Methodist Mansfield, Rev. Mike Ramsdell, senior pastor First United Methodist Church in Mansfield and Methodist Mansfield Community Advisory Board; Rob Schulz, president Schulz Wealth, Glenn Smith, president and CEO Mouser Electronics,  Michael Van Amburgh, president Valuation Associates, Inc., and Dr. Jim Vaszauskas, superintendent Mansfield ISD.

Event sponsors include American Carton Company, Cardiology Partners, Kindred Hospital, Mouser Electronics, and Schulz Wealth. Shirt sponsor is MR Development Corporation. The Finish Zone sponsor is First Methodist Mansfield. The volunteer sponsor is Texas Trust Credit Union. Mile sponsors are Frost Bank, John Teixeira ReMax, Healthcare Resources Home Health, and Expedian Urgent Care. Water Stop Sponsor is Primrose School of Walnut Creek. Other sponsorships are still available. The event is facilitated by RunFAR Racing Services, Inc.

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.
Join hundreds of runners from across North Texas for a heart-healthy half marathon, 5K , or one-mile fun run/walk to help raise awareness of heart disease prevention. Run with Heart, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, is a celebration of those living a heart-healthy
Parkland receives platinum award from Cardiology Foundation

The award recognizes Parkland’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that Parkland has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

To receive this award, Parkland consistently followed the treatment guidelines in the ACTION Registry–GWTG Premier for eight consecutive quarters and met a performance standard of 90 percent for specific performance measures. Full participation in the registry engages hospitals in a robust quality improvement process using data to drive improvements in adherence to guideline recommendations and overall quality of care provided to heart attack patients.

“The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association commend Parkland for its success in implementing standards of care and protocols. The full implementation of acute and secondary prevention guideline-recommended therapy is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients,” said James Jollis, MD, FACC, ACTION Registry-GWTG Chair and Professor of Medicine and Radiology at Duke University Hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 700,000 Americans suffer a heart attack each year. Last year, Parkland treated 127 heart attack patients.

A heart attack occurs when a blood clot in a coronary artery partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart muscle. Treatment guidelines include administering aspirin upon arrival and discharge, timely restoration of blood flow to the blocked artery, smoking cessation counseling and cardiac rehabilitation, among others.

“This award from ACTION Registry–GWTG is a proud achievement for Parkland and recognizes the hard work of a multidisciplinary team who care for some of our most seriously ill patients and their families,” said Sandeep R. Das, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, Director of Acute Coronary Care and Associate Chief Quality and Safety Officer at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

“The implementation of these guidelines requires successful coordination of the cardiovascular team and emergency personnel and is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of heart attack patients.”

For more information on cardiac care at Parkland, visit www.parklandhospital.com

ACTION Registry–GWTG is a partnership between the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association with partnering support from the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. ACTION Registry-GWTG empowers health care provider teams to consistently treat heart attack patients according to the most current, science-based guidelines and establishes a national standard for understanding and improving the quality, safety and outcomes of care provided for patients with coronary artery disease, specifically high-risk heart attack patients.
Parkland Health & Hospital System has received the American College of Cardiology Foundation’s NCDR® ACTION Registry®–GWTGTM Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2014 – one of only 256 hospitals nationwide to do so. This is the second consecutive year Parkland has been honored by the Foundation. In 2013, Parkland received a silver award.
Step Out to Improve Your Heart Health
By Angel Biasatti
Director Community Relations and Marketing/Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

Starting this week — and in the weeks that follow — aim for a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking. How you work in 150 minutes a week is up to you. 

“It all adds up, whether you aim for 10,000 steps over the course of the day, briskly walk for 10 minutes three times a day, or enjoy an aerobic activity for 30 minutes at a time,” Dr. Taylor explains. “Moderate exercise increases oxygen and blood flow to muscles, which reduces tension and stress. It helps to lower blood pressure, build strong bones, increase heart and lung capacity, and reduce fluid retention. It also causes the release of endorphins, nature’s mood elevators.”

People can also lower their risk of heart disease with simple lifestyle changes. Dr. Taylor recommends scrutinizing labels. “Unhealthy fats and cholesterol can clog arteries, salt can raise blood pressure, and sugar can pack on pounds,” he explains. “To avoid these risks, read nutrition labels while you’re grocery shopping. Look for foods with unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and low percentages of sodium and sugar.”

Choose plenty of foods without nutrition labels — fresh fruits and vegetables. Naturally low in fat and sodium and high in fiber, they give your diet a nutritional boost, help to fill you up, and help to prevent high blood cholesterol.          
If you are at an increased risk of heart disease because of family history or other genetic factors, early detection is especially important. You may choose to be screened for heart disease sooner or more often than people who are at an average risk. Dr. Taylor recommends discussing your risk factors with your personal physician. 

“Know your numbers. If you don’t know your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, make an appointment this week with your doctor to have them checked. Having high blood pressure or too much LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) in your blood can put you at risk for heart disease,” he says. 

Being overweight can make heart disease more likely. “Your physician can advise you on lifestyle changes or medicines to help you achieve heart-healthy cholesterol and blood pressure numbers,” he adds.  

If you smoke, vow to quit. Smoking harms the heart as well as the lungs, and it also hurts your family and friends because of exposure to secondhand smoke. “Quitting smoking is an act of love not only for your heart — but also for all the hearts that surround you,” Dr. Taylor says.

It’s also heart-smart to know the symptoms of a heart attack. “Not all heart attacks are sudden and intense. Some start slowly with only mild pain or discomfort,” Dr. Taylor explains. Chest discomfort; shortness of breath; back, neck, or jaw pain; discomfort in one or both arms; nausea or vomiting; light-headedness or dizziness; or unusual fatigue are all symptoms and warning signs of a heart attack, according to the American Heart Association. 

Listen to your body, and if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. “Don’t wait or drive yourself — 911 is the fastest way to receive lifesaving treatment,” Dr. Taylor says.

Pledge yourself to better heart health today, and share your heart-healthy habit with a loved one by inviting him or her to join you on a walk. An upcoming community event — Run with Heart — offers a fun opportunity to improve your heart health while raising awareness of heart disease prevention, helping those suffering from heart disease, and remembering those who have died from the disease. 

Run with Heart is Saturday, October 11, and is sponsored by Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, the city of Mansfield, and Mansfield ISD. Participants choose from a chip-timed half marathon, 5K, or one-mile fun run or walk. Proceeds benefit the Tarrant County American Heart Association and cardiology services at the hospital.

“The run and walk through the city of Mansfield embodies the spirit of giving and determination to improve your health,” says Dr. Taylor. 

Log on to MansfieldRunWithHeart.org, and step out for better heart health today.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System. 

Should you need additional information, please telephone me at 682-622-2063
Anyone can be at risk for heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women in Mansfield, as well as in the United States. It’s also a disease that we can actually help to prevent and control, explains Alan Taylor, MD, independently practicing cardiologist on the medical staff of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. “Making time in your life for your health is the single most important thing you can do for yourself,” he says. “Even in a short month’s time, we can do a lot to take better care of our heart. One of the easiest things you can do is to get moving.”
Longtime Parkland CEO Ron J. Anderson, MD, remembered as champion for medically underserved
National spokesperson for public health issues, he led Parkland for 29 years

two years as Medical Director of Parkland’s Emergency Room and Outpatient Clinic and Head of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Division of Internal Medicine. He retired in 2011. In his final years at Parkland he led the successful bond campaign that secured public financing for the new $1.3 billion Parkland hospital due to open in mid-2015.

On Sept. 10, the Parkland Board of Managers unanimously endorsed a plan led by Parkland Foundation to place a commemorative statue in the new hospital and to name Parkland’s new medical/surgical outpatient clinic after Dr. Anderson. In the 1980s, Dr. Anderson suggested setting up health clinics in Dallas’ poorest neighborhoods, convincing skeptical Board members and local officials of the need. Parkland now operates a dozen Community Oriented Primary Care clinics throughout the county, making primary and preventive health care more accessible.

“Dr. Anderson epitomized the ideal of the servant leader,” said Debbie D. Branson, Chair of Parkland’s Board of Managers. “His passionate dedication to improve health care for the poor and underserved inspired a generation of caregivers. He successfully advocated on the local, state and national levels to expand services and helped to ensure the viability of Parkland and all public safety-net hospitals in the U.S.”

Fred Cerise, MD, MPH, who succeeded Dr. Anderson as CEO of Parkland Health & Hospital System in March of this year, stated, “Standing in the shoes of Dr. Ron Anderson is a humbling experience. Dr. Anderson’s focus was always on the patient, and he used his talents tirelessly to advance medical care and expand access for the indigent. The people of Dallas County and indeed, the entire nation, benefited from his vision and innovations.”

To his colleagues and friends, Dr. Anderson was not only an outstanding doctor and administrator, but a man of the highest integrity and honor.

“I don’t know of anyone for whom I have greater respect than Ron Anderson,” said the late Charles C. Sprague, MD, who was president of UT Southwestern when Dr. Anderson was appointed to the top Parkland post. “He epitomized what a professional and committed citizen can do for his community and country. Our community is tremendously indebted to him.”

In the mid-1980s Dr. Anderson was thrust into the national spotlight when he spoke out against “patient dumping” — the practice of transferring medically unstable patients from private to public hospitals because of the patients’ inability to pay. Dr. Anderson’s championship of the cause led to the passage of landmark legislation concerning indigent care in Texas, and to passage of federal legislation in 1986 banning the practice.

Throughout his life he advocated for making health care a right for everyone, universally available to every U.S. citizen.

His vision of health care for all, regardless of ability to pay, paved the way for Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC), a network of neighborhood-based health centers that provide a “medical home” to primarily low-income communities.

Health care administrators and physicians came from as far away as Thailand to study Parkland’s system of health centers. The system became a national model for other communities across the country and won numerous awards for its ability to involve the community in clinic activities.

Under his guidance, the system grew to include 12 local health care clinics, 12 school-based clinics and the Homeless Outreach Medical Services that provides medical care in more than 20 homeless shelters around Dallas County.

In the mid-1990s he was once again thrust into the role of a national spokesperson because of his concern for the confidentiality of the physician-patient relationship when welfare reform measures threatened to require physicians and other health care providers to report undocumented immigrants to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

He received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma and his pharmacology degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, where he was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1987. He said he found his niche at Parkland, where he could teach, do research and take care of patients under mentors like W. Donald Seldin, MD, who built UT Southwestern’s internal medicine department and, Dr. Anderson said, helped bring Parkland to world-class status.

When Dr. Anderson was approached by Parkland board chairman Ralph Rogers in 1982 to assume the chief administrator’s position, he initially refused the offer. He recalled that Rogers, a respected community leader who rarely took “no” for an answer, persuaded him to accept the job by convincing Dr. Anderson that rather than take care of one person, he could take care of hundreds of people a day, and influence the health care of hundreds of thousands of others every year as CEO of Parkland.

Dr. Anderson promised Rogers five years. His tenure extended far beyond that.

During his years at Parkland, Dr. Anderson was courted by other hospitals and institutions across the country, but he never lost his zeal for the Dallas hospital. He often said that people at Parkland, himself included, had a missionary mentality and a passion for their work that transcended the lure of other institutions.

“Work at Parkland isn’t a job,” he said. “It is what you do — who you are. It is your life. There are very few places where you can get that.”

Dr. Anderson’s zest for life extended beyond the walls of the hospital. He was an avid reader, devouring everything from current medical literature and popular fiction and nonfiction to ancient classics. He was a writer, as well, and authored hundreds of medical and scholarly articles, monoliths and other essays.

His Oklahoma upbringing gave him a love and appreciation of American Indian culture — and the Indian name of Medicine Bear, a name he said was not associated with his profession. He was an avid hiker who often included Indian reservations and ancient Indian relics as part of his walking vacations. His interest in Indian lore became almost an obsession, judging by the walls of his office, which were covered in Indian artifacts and relics.

He was a devout Baptist who disliked religious labels but who believed in living the life of an involved activist. “All of the people I have admired are people who are activists,” he said. “Here (at Parkland) you can take care of the least of our brethren.”

Dr. Anderson once told a UT Southwestern graduating class, “It is not enough just to try ‘to do good’ and try ‘to avoid evil,’ although these are the ethical keystones of the physician/patient relationship. We cannot be paternalistic toward patients and must accept their cultural, religious, ethnic and social differences. We must respect our patients’ autonomy and desire for wholeness, which should stimulate us to address the social justice issues affecting our patients’ lives.”

Throughout his life, Dr. Ron Anderson fought long and hard for that reform.
Ron J. Anderson, MD, a national spokesperson for public health issues and a champion for the poor and medically underserved, died Sept. 11, 2014 of cancer. He was 68 years old. Services are pending.

A native of Chickasha, OK, Dr. Anderson was President and CEO of Parkland Health & Hospital System for 29 years, a job he assumed in 1982 at the age of 35 after serving for
Methodist Health System Becomes Newest Member of Mayo Clinic Care Network

Mayo Clinic and Methodist share a common philosophy and commitment to improve the delivery of health care through high-quality, collaborative medical care.

“Methodist is home to some of the most accomplished and preeminent physicians in the Southwest,” says Stephen Mansfield, Ph.D., FACHE, president and CEO, Methodist Health System. “Working with Mayo Clinic through the Mayo Clinic Care Network will be accretive for Methodist physicians and will afford access to world class Mayo Clinic specialization for patients treated at Methodist Health System.”

The Mayo Clinic Care Network extends Mayo Clinic’s knowledge to physicians and providers interested in working together in the best interest of their patients. Methodist physicians will now be able to collaborate with Mayo Clinic on patient care, community health and innovative health care delivery. Using digital technology to consult and share knowledge, these physicians will have access to the latest evidence-based medical information and will connect with Mayo specialists on questions related to complex medical cases.

“The Mayo Clinic Care Network is about strengthening existing relationships with high-quality, like-minded health care institutions for the benefit of our patients,” says David Hayes, M.D., medical director, Mayo Clinic Care Network. “Our colleagues at Methodist are well-known for their excellent patient care in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We are proud to welcome them to the network and look forward to continued collaboration.”

Mayo Clinic Care Network members have a close working relationship with Mayo Clinic and access to tools and services that promote collaboration and serve to complement provider expertise, including:

eConsults to allow network physicians to connect electronically with Mayo Clinic specialists when they want additional input regarding a patient’s care.
AskMayoExpert to provide point-of-care information compiled by Mayo physicians on disease management, care guidelines, treatment recommendations and reference materials for a wide variety of medical conditions.
eTumor Board Conferences to allow physicians to present and discuss management of complex cancer cases with a Mayo Clinic multidisciplinary panel and other members of the network.
In addition to health care provider-focused tools, Methodist will also have access to Mayo Clinic Health Care Consulting, a service that allows members to learn how Mayo operates and how its clinical care and practice are designed and implemented.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Methodist to collaborate with Mayo Clinic to enhance patient care,” says Sam Bagchi, M.D., vice president, chief medical informatics officer and chief quality officer, Methodist Health System. “The addition of Mayo Clinic Care Network resources provides a unique opportunity to align our core values of innovation and quality so that Methodist patients gain the benefits of Mayo Clinic expertise while they continue to receive their care as close to home as possible.”

The Mayo Clinic Care Network represents no ownership relationships between Mayo Clinic and network members. The network, which began in 2011, now has 31 members that extend to 18 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Mexico.

About Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, please visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about/ and www.mayoclinic.org/news.

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.
Mayo Clinic and Methodist Health System (Methodist) officials announced today that Methodist has joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network. Methodist, one of North Texas’ oldest nonprofit health systems, was selected following a comprehensive evaluation that ranged from its clinical and business practices to quality, safety and service efforts and patient satisfaction.
Parkland physician warns of dangers of traumatic brain injury
Car crashes, falls are major contributor to injuries

A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head, however, result in a TBI. The severity may range from mild – a brief change in mental status or consciousness to severe – an extended period of unconsciousness or memory loss after the injury. Most TBIs that occur each year are mild and are commonly referred to as concussions. With youth and professional football in full swing, local teams as well as those across the nation are putting a renewed emphasis on the dangers of concussions and TBIs.

In 2013, 814 patients were diagnosed with some form of TBI in the Trauma Center at Parkland. Although motor vehicle crashes were the primary cause, injuries also occurred from falls (22 percent) , assaults (12 percent) and motorcycle crashes (9 percent).

“It’s easy to understand how a person may suffer a brain injury from a car crash,” said Alexander Eastman, MD, Parkland’s Interim Trauma Medical Director. “But a serious injury can occur from a fall or in a football game so it’s critically important that a person go to the nearest emergency department if they’ve sustained a blow to the head.”

In 2010, there were about 2.5 million emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations or deaths associated with TBI, either alone or in combination with other injuries in the U.S. Those injuries, according to the CDC, contributed to the deaths of more than 50,000 people. Over the past decade, while rates of TBI-related ED visits increased by 70 percent, hospitalization rates only increased by 11 percent and death rates decreased by 7 percent.

Among TBI-related deaths from 2006-2010, the CDC reports that men were nearly three times as likely to die as women. Rates were highest for persons 65 years and older, with falls being the leading cause of death for persons in that age category. Among the non-fatal TBI-related injuries for the same time period, men had higher rates of hospitalizations and ED visits than women. The leading cause of TBI-related hospitalizations varied by age: falls were the leading cause among children 0-14 and adults 45 years and older. Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and young adults ages 15 to 44 years.

“One key to preventing a traumatic brain injury is to take steps that will help prevent or reduce the severity of the injury,” Dr. Eastman said. “Wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle or bike will protect the head in case of a crash or fall. Even making sure area rugs don’t ‘slide’ will lessen the chances of someone slipping and hitting their head or breaking a bone.”

Dr. Eastman added that early intervention is key to ensuring that a person doesn’t sustain any long-term consequences from a TBI, regardless of the severity. “It’s better to get checked out at your nearest emergency department than risk what could be a potentially life-threatening injury.”

For more information about the Trauma Center at Parkland, visit http://www.parklandhospital.com/phhs/emergency-care.aspx
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the U.S., contributing to about 30 percent of all fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At Parkland Memorial Hospital, 37 percent of patients diagnosed with TBI are the result of a motor vehicle crash.
UT Southwestern one of two institutions to offer innovative four-flap microsurgery approach to breast reconstruction

“It reaches a new height in breast reconstructive surgery, using your own tissue,” said Dr. Sumeet Teotia, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery, who performs the procedure along with Dr. Nicholas Haddock, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery.

Success with the new four-site technique gives more options to women, especially those who are thinner and have less body fat for surgeons to use in reconstruction, Dr. Haddock said.

“The aesthetic benefits are pretty dramatic. You get all the volume at once,” Dr. Haddock said. “It allows us, as surgeons, to use the same blood vessels in the chest instead of having to use blood vessels in the back.”

The microsurgery techniques are part of UT Southwestern’s Breast Reconstruction Program, directed by Dr. Teotia, in association with UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center. UT Southwestern’s breast reconstruction specialists work with breast cancer specialists to help women make the best decision for reconstruction after breast cancer, based on health, anticipated cancer treatments, projected recovery time, body shape, and other factors. Dr. Haddock is a pioneer in the surgery from back of the thigh, and his expertise, combined by Dr. Teotia’s pioneering work in multiple flaps from the abdomen, continues to improve the aesthetic outcomes for patients seeking a high level of breast reconstructive care.

Kim Starr, a 45-year-old mother of two from Frisco, sought breast reconstruction options after a 2013 double mastectomy. One of the patients to have the four-flap breast reconstruction surgery at UT Southwestern, she said she found the benefits appealing. In addition to reconstructing her breasts, the surgery brought added benefits of a “tummy tuck” and sculpting to the back of her legs.

           “Dr. Haddock said you’ve got some room on the back of your legs that I could take off, and I was like, ‘OK, that’s kind of a no brainer,’ ” Ms. Starr said. “This was almost like a mommy makeover. It was one heck of a way to get it, but my stomach is flat, and the back of my legs look great.”

           About 90,000 breast reconstructive surgeries are conducted every year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgery. More than two thirds of them are implants.

           Dr. Haddock said use of the patient’s own fat and skin is often more attractive to patients.

           “The advantage of using your own tissue is once it’s up there and living it’s hers. It’s hers forever; it will be there 30 years from now,” he said. “Implants don’t feel the same as your own skin or fat would.”

           Dr. Teotia said surgery like this can only be done with highly competent surgical teams because the surgery involves an 8-hour to 10-hour operation that includes diligent and precise surgical work to link veins and arteries under a microscope.

           “It’s a combination of engineering microsurgery and art, so we concentrate on the fact that our product ultimately has to have a beautiful result,” Dr. Teotia said. “If we don’t have that, none of the things we talk about will be worthwhile for the patient.”

The Harold C. Simmons Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in North Texas and one of just 66 cancer centers in the nation designated by the National Cancer Institute. The center brings innovative cancer care to the region, while fostering groundbreaking basic research that has the potential to improve patient care and prevention of cancer worldwide.

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 is one of only two places in the world that offers a new, innovative and highly successful approach to breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

The technique, known as a four-flap breast reconstruction, uses fat and skin from the back of each leg and from two spots on the stomach to reconstruct natural breast materials.