DETSR EICN USN P ARM C PU LI HALT AN HALT R FSIN EEIAYM DCN
This month, The POSTbrings you
a collection of stories about some
of the HSC's hardest workers and
about the special people focused on
making the holidays a little brighter
for patients and our troops.
Administration: Forward Together
Education: Mini Medical School
Patient Care: Homeless pets
Patient Care: Genetic testing laws
Year in Photos: The moments we caught
Cover Story: Holidays, HSC style
5 Questions: About pain
Research: Teens and hookah
Research: Cancer drugs
Jacksonville: Egypt goes pink
In Memoriam: Gloria London
Profile: Gayle Wheeler
Speaking from the heart
s someone who ran for student government in
high school and lost, U.S. Rep. Debbie
-r Wasserman Schultz (shown at left with
Margaret Duerson, Ph.D.) knew she had to think of a
Snew way to approach the confusing and dizzying political
process for herself. During her discussion of health care
policy at the Health Science Center Nov. 20, she
encouraged UF professionals to do the same and be
advocates for change in the medical community. After
sharing her own experience battling breast cancer,
Wasserman Schultz said she felt primary care providers
t were often too dismissive of young women who approach
them with a problem. Because of this, she introduced the
Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act
into Congress this year. This legislation directs the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop
and implement a national education campaign about the
threat breast cancer poses to young women and the
particular heightened risks of certain ethnic, cultural and
o racial groups. -Kim Libby
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Looking to shed some pounds in the upcoming year? More importantly, are you looking for
a convenient weight-loss option thatyou'll actually stickto? Fear not: Beginning Jan. 5,
Shands and UF employees will have the option of attending Weight Watchers at Work
sessions atthe Shands Cancer Hospital at UF. The meetings will be held on Tuesdays at
noon, Wednesdays at 8 a.m. or Thursdays at 4:15 p.m. in the hospital's Criser Cancer
Resource Center. The first meeting is free. For participants who want to join the program,
the cost of each 17-week series is $186. For more information, e-mail Danita Gainer at
email@example.com or call 265-0441, ext. 85394.
o ; _7 ht .health.utl.edu
By David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
ow can the Health Science Center and the Shands -
HealthCare system get on the same page? How can we "
make sure that each patient has an exceptional experience
when seen by one of our HSC faculty in an ambulatory setting or "
when admitted to the hospital? Can we visualize the direction of
health care and train the next generation of health professionals in
a manner that enables them to lead this future forward?
Similarly, can we see the direction of science and
train the next generation of investigators to create
the kind of knowledge that will be most useful in
improving health? How can we foster the best
environment for our current faculty to create such
knowledge and to attract talented researchers to
join them in this effort? Can we improve the
population health status of the community
And how can we ensure that Shands and the
HSC colleges generate the resources they need to
sustain themselves and invest in the programs
needed to achieve our collective goals?
One way is to work together on future goals and
strategies. Although many of the operating units of
the HSC and Shands have done individual strategic
planning over the years, there has not been a
comprehensive strategic plan across all academic
and clinical units and campuses. In July, we
launched a Strategic Planning Cabinet with the aim
of developing a strategic plan that encompasses all
the HSC colleges in Gainesville, the regional
campus in Jacksonville and Shands HealthCare.
The cabinet has met several times since then and
has adopted a statement that reflects our vision for
the unique collaboration between UF's six health
colleges and the Shands HealthCare system:
"Together we create unstoppable
momentum toward improving
individual and community health
through discovery, clinical and
translational science and technology,
exceptional education, and patient-
centered, innovative, high-quality
In addition, the Cabinet endorsed core
institutional values, visualized as a pinwheel
around our patients and community: Excellence,
Trust, Accountability, Innovation, Teamwork,
Integrity and Diversity. The Cabinet also endorsed
the following overarching one-year and five-year
goals, within which unit-specific goals will be
developed. The five-year goals include achieving
national leadership in research, becoming national
model for interdisciplinary education and health-
care delivery and diversifying revenue streams in
support of institutional missions. One-year goals
include creating a compelling vision and strategic
plan, defining benchmarks for improvement,
effecting culture change so "we" and "they"
become us, filling key leadership positions and
defining the strategic direction for the Jacksonville
regional campus and other campuses.
By Spring 2010, we should have crystallized an
overall plan, with unit-specific plans completed or
near completion. This will serve as the general
framework to guide decision-making over the next
five years, with modifications on an annual basis.
To all the faculty, students and staff members of
the UF HSC and Shands HealthCare system, let me
know your reaction to this process and how you
think it can be improved. Equally important, when
you receive a request for feedback from your dean,
center director, institute director or hospital CEO,
please don't hesitate to provide your best ideas
through the mechanism that they articulate, the
key things large and small that you may have
felt for some time should be done, but may not have
had the chance to express in this kind of forum.
Let's learn from each other, and move Forward
ur institutional values are Excellence, Trust, Accountability, Innovation,
Teamwork, Integrity and Diversity, visualized with Patient and
Community atthe heart of our pinwheel graphic. But our objectives
aren't purely clinical. A huge part of our institutional mission is, of course,
education and research. And, ultimately, both are fundamentally intertwined
with patients and community. Biomedical research, for example, can include
fundamental research or highly translational work. Regardless, it ultimately is
directed down the same path of improved health for patients, for families, for
the community. Similarly, strong educational programs that train the next
generation of health-care providers are atthe foundation of excelling in taking
care of patients, of families, of the community. All these things together will
propel us forward. -David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
UF holds Mini Medical School for teachers
By April Frawley Birdwell
t's not every day a middle-school science teacher
stands this close to a $400,000 microscope that can
take images of cells inside an animal's body and
make pictures every 30 seconds for 24 hours.
Huddled inside a small room in the UF Academic Research Building, Thomas
Sweeting and a group of other middle- and high-school science teachers listened
intently as UF researcher Jae-Sung Kim detailed the impressive capabilities of the
The path toward science
Giant to help e\pose uI 1al students to science
By April Frawley Birdwell
Researcher Jae-Sung Kim (left) describes the department of surgery's confocal
microscope to a group of teachers visiting UF for Mini Medical School. The
teachers had gone on a tour of the lab with Dr. Kevin Behrns (right).
department of surgery's confocal microscope. It was a lesson Sweeting was already
excited to take back to his students at the Darnell Cookman School for the Medical
Arts in Jacksonville, a magnet school for students interested in science in grades six
"It is amazing how they break down the cell to such an extent that we cannot only
see it but take it apart look at it and decipher different things about it," Sweeting
said. "I'm really excited about that. Events like this really give us a chance to come
back and share the wealth."
The event in question was Mini Medical School, a one-day learning experience
the UF Medical Guild and Center for Precollegiate Education and Training holds
each year for Florida science teachers. The event gives teachers a chance to learn
about the latest research in a particular topic this year's topic was "Exploring
Immunity" visit labs, network with researchers and other science teachers and
take part in panel discussions, said Mary Jo Koroly, Ph.D., director of CPET and a
research associate professor in the College of Medicine.
This year, about 100 teachers from across the state attended the event, which was
held in November.
"Throughout the year I have used the tidbits of information I learned to enhance
my kids' knowledge," said Teresa Nick, a Merritt Island High School science teacher
who was attending Mini Medical School for the second time. "They like to learn
about research from a college they can relate to, because everyone knows the Gators.
They think it's really cool."
UF started its Mini Medical School program in 2001. The event is just one of
several programs CPET organizes each year to give teachers the latest information
to bring back to their classrooms. For more on CPET and the goal of helping students
explore science through teacher continuing education, see below.
RICHARD SNYDER, PH.D.
.. help more high school students from rural
Florida get on the path toward careers in
sciencee and technology, UF researchers are
targeting the adults at the front of the classroom first.
UF researchers have received an $808,000 Science
Education Partnership Award from the National
Institutes of Health's National Center for Research
Resources to fund a program that will help teachers
in rural school districts expose students to the
sciences and better prepare them to pursue education
and careers in the field of biomedical sciences.
"We're trying to show (students) that there are
multiple pathways to science careers so they can
make educated decisions," said Richard Snyder,
Ph.D., a co-principal investigator on the grant and
director of the UF Center of Excellence for
Regenerative Health Biotechnology. "It really begins
with educating the teachers, and with this program
teachers are not just getting up to speed, they will
be able to teach and guide students in the state of
Often, teachers and students don't know about the
variety of careers available in science and technology.
This can limit a student's perspective before he or
she even starts college, said Mary Jo Koroly, Ph.D.,
the principal investigator on the grant and director of
the UF Center for Precollegiate Education and
Training. Because of this lack of knowledge about
science and biotechnology careers, some students
never even consider pursuing these fields, she added.
"We want to show students that science is fun and
exciting and that there is a place for them even if they
don't want to be physicians or Ph.D.s," Koroly said.
"Rural Florida is so underrepresented in Florida's
colleges and universities. We want students to know
there are tremendous opportunities out there, and
they can succeed if they are interested."
UF's program will bring teachers to the university
for a summer institute, where they will learn about
translational research. The teachers, who receive
three graduate credits for their work, will spend time
in labs and will develop action research proposals to
use what they have learned in their own classrooms,
Koroly said. Teachers also will be able to borrow
equipment to use in their classes.
"We wanted to make it so teachers are our partners,
whether they are teaching students who choose career
pathways or the academic ladder," Koroly said.
Do you believe in il C.gC?
UF invention helps clinicians get a closer look inside machines and patient simulators
By Kim Libby
The comic book dream
of X-ray vision has now
become a reality in the
field of medicine. Developed by
UF researchers in the colleges of
Medicine and Engineering, a new
invention dubbed the magic lens
makes certain objects appear
transparent, thanks to infrared
tracking cameras and technology
similar to what TV broadcasters
use to project the virtual "first-
down" line on a football field.
The technology was developed by John Quarles,
Ph.D., as part of a doctoral dissertation supervised by
Benjamin Lok, Ph.D., an assistant professor of
engineering. The magic lens uses transparent reality
visualization techniques already developed by UF
anesthesiology researchers Samsun Lampotang,
Ph.D., and David Lizdas for anesthesia machines.
The magic lens itself is a handheld display that
gives students an inside look at gas flow and moving
parts within anesthesia machines, systems that deliver
anesthetic gas to patients. The magic lens is an
important step toward patient safety because it
enhances a clinician's understanding of how an
anesthesia machine actually works and could help
decrease user errors when operating these machines,
said Lampotang, a professor of anesthesiology and
director of the Center for Simulation, Safety and
Advanced Learning Technology.
"In a study of 72 adverse events related to
anesthesia machines, user error caused three times
more adverse events than mechanical failure,"
Lampotang said. "It's critical our residents
understand how they work and how to use them."
In recent studies published in engineering journals,
subjects using the magic lens to view and understand
the inner functions and processes of anesthesia
machines performed up to six times better than others
using different instructional materials.
So, how does it work? The lens visually opens up
impenetrable "black boxes," such as ATMs and cars,
by augmenting reality with virtual information
superimposed over the real object, a technique
Researchers Isaac Luria (from left), Samsun Lampotang, David
Lizdas and Benjamin Lok worked together to design a device
they dubbed the magic lens, which allows people to see the
inner workings of devices such as anesthesia machines.
generally known as augmented reality. The term
"black box" is basically engineer-speak for objects
where the inputs and outputs are visible but the
internal structure and processes connecting the
inputs and outputs are not evident.
Another example of augmented reality is projecting
a first-down line across a football field. The computer-
based technology continually calculates and
recalculates the object from the changing perspective
of the lens as it moves. Sensors have to continually
track the magic lens as it moves in relation to the
object being viewed.
Now, students can actually observe internal
functions and processes from a variety of angles and
perspectives simply by repositioning the lens and
adjusting the controls and settings on the actual
"The magic lens would help visual learners
interpret all these numbers and amounts of gas on a
real machine without any risk," Lampotang said.
Quarles studied 20 undergraduate psychology
majors to confirm the effectiveness of the magic lens.
The students were split into two groups of 10. The
first group was introduced to an anesthesia machine
with a 2-D simulation while the second used the
magic lens. Both groups studied for an hour and a half
before taking an exam 25 hours later. During the test,
a part of the anesthesia machine, the inspiratory valve
leaflet, was removed to deliberately introduce a fault.
Results showed just one student out of the 2-D group
realized what was wrong, while six who studied using
the magic lens identified the problem correctly.
In collaboration with UF neonatologist Michael
Weiss, M.D., the magic lens has now been applied to a
baby-sized patient simulator to help visualize the
abnormal blood circulation in a baby with hypoplastic
left heart syndrome. When the magic lens is pointed
toward the baby's chest, the abnormal circulatory
system can be observed with blood flowing through
the heart, lungs and body.
If there is a problem with blood oxygen saturation,
the first instinct of a clinician might be to increase the
amount of oxygen, which can actually harm the
infant. The magic lens would provide an unobstructed
view of what's happening in the body, helping the
clinician make the right decisions.
The final hurdle in the device's development is
standardization, Lampotang says. Not every hospital
uses the same type of anesthesia machine or equipment,
and the type of machine the magic lens is viewing has
to be pre-programmed into the device beforehand,
almost like a blueprint of what it's about to read. Once
this is overcome, Lampotang thinks the number of
potential applications will expand drastically.
Veterinary students practice shelter medicine at St. Francis House
Third-year veterinary student Kristine Aviles and Dr. Brian DiGangi tend to one of two kittens Carey
Hall (left) brought to the St. Francis Pet Care Program for a regular checkup.
By Jessica Metzger
Lizzie was a very ill puppy. Brought into the St. Francis
House Pet Care Program in June, she was relinquished
by her owner to the UF College of Veterinary Medicine,
whose students and shelter medicine faculty take care
of animals brought there as part of the St. Francis Pet
It was suspected the puppy had parvovirus, a canine disease characterized by bloody
diarrhea, remembers Melanie Hasson, one of the students who cared for Izzy. After being
placed in isolation and treated with iron supplements and fluids, the puppy began to improve.
Were it not for the St. Francis Pet Care Program, Izzy, who has since been adopted, probably
would have been another statistic, Hasson says. Another homeless dog. Another euthanasia.
Started in 2007, the St. Francis Pet Care Program was founded by UF shelter medicine
veterinarian Natalie Isaza, D.V.M., Gainesville veterinarian Dale Kaplan-Stein, D.V.M., and
Chris Machen, UF President Bernie Machen's wife, to prevent pet owners from giving up their
animals. Kaplan-Stein said the clinic is specifically for people who are too poor to afford
veterinary care for their pets.
"How come your dog gets to sleep in your bed, and another doesn't get fed? We wanted to
reach out to the indigent people, make their quality of life better," Kaplan-Stein said.
The opening day brought only one client, but now the program boasts more than 500
clients, said Isaza. All items, such as vaccinations and heartworm medications, are donated .
The clinic, open every Tuesday at St. Francis from noon to 2 p.m., only performs primary
care and spays and neuters, which are done at the veterinary school. Since 2008, Kaplan-Stein
said the veterinary students have performed more than
200 spays and neuters on cats and dogs.
UF veterinary students work at the clinic as part of
the Merial shelter medicine clerkship, which Isaza
oversees. The course is a two-week rotation that offers
students a chance to improve their surgical skills, said
Isaza, a clinical assistant professor of shelter medicine.
While under the supervision of veterinarians, students
perform spays and neuters, implant microchips,
perform initial exams and vaccinations, and devise
"It's really important for students to learn how to
communicate with the client. A different clientele is a
whole different mindset," Isaza said.
Hasson, who completed the shelter medicine
rotation during the summer, said this rotation helped
her gain confidence in her surgical practice. She also
gained confidence when speaking with clients and
giving helpful recommendations for their pets.
"As senior students, (the veterinarians) let us take
the reins and go with it. We made the diagnosis, chose
the treatments, gave the advice. Of course, if there was
anything we left out, the veterinarian was there to
correct us," Hasson said. "But overall, what we gained
surgically is unmatched. This is the first time we're
given a patient from beginning to end."
Jonathan Block, a senior veterinary medicine
student, said he thinks more people should take an
hour each week to volunteer for programs such as the
one at St. Francis.
"It's commonly misunderstood that homeless and
low-income people are bad pet owners. They might not
have the financial needs, but they are compassionate
pet owners. It's unfortunate that just because someone
doesn't have the means, that they should have to
crunch their budget and give up their pet," Block said.
Kaplan-Stein said her dream is for someone to
donate a building on the Eastside of Gainesville where
she can set up a more permanent shelter veterinary
clinic. She wants more community involvement, too,
especially from local government.
"I think we're doing a lot of good, reaching out to a
lot of people," Kaplan-Stein said. "I'm flabbergasted
that no city or county commissioners have come down
to see it.
"I would like to see the homeless we service back to
work," she added. "When I first went to St. Francis, I
was a little concerned when they came out to my car
and took my (medicines) that they would run. But they
just want to help carry things. They want to work.
Like pay it forward. What I've learned is if I do
something nice, then they end up doing something
By Laura Mize
A after her third diagnosis
of colon cancer, she
knew she couldn't
wait any longer. She needed
A survivor of cervical cancer once and colon
cancer twice before, she had delayed genetic
testing for years. Doctors recommended testing
for Lynch syndrome, a mutation that greatly
increases a person's risk of multiple kinds of
cancer. "Mary," whose name was changed to
protect her privacy, wanted answers for herself
and for her offspring. Were her children or her
niece and nephew prone to cancer, too?
But the risks attached to knowing were
harrowing: She feared positive test results
would cost her grown children their health
In 2008, a solution arose. After a decade of
attempts by advocates of genetic testing,
then-President Bush signed GINA, the Genetic
Information Nondiscrimination Act.
GINA has been implemented in two phases:
In May of this year, health insurers were
officially banned from discriminating against
individuals based on results of genetic tests or
on family medical history. They can't refuse,
modify or discontinue coverage of these
individuals, or charge them more, because of
On Nov. 21, GINA's second phase was
implemented, prohibiting employers from
making decisions about an employee's job
based on genetic information or family medical
history and from asking employees to undergo
tests for genetic conditions.
Mary learned about the law from her genetic
counselor at the UF Shands Cancer Center,
Lisa Brown, M.S., C.G.C.
"It's definitely affected my views (on genetic
testing)," Mary said of the law. "I had genetic
counseling originally, maybe 12 years ago, and
decided at that time not to have genetic tests
But in March 2009 she finally underwent
testing. She said she knows it was the right
thing to do.
"It was hard to do it, and it was much harder
to hear (that the results were positive)," she
said. "I knew. I was expecting it."
Mary's daughter and niece have been tested
for Lynch syndrome. Both received negative
results. She said her son and nephew also plan
to be tested.
GINA is the first federal law addressing
discrimination based on genetic information.
Numerous states, including Florida, had
similar laws before GINA was passed, but
details varied nationwide.
But even GINA isn't perfect. The law does
not apply to businesses with fewer than 15
employees, or to life insurance or long-term
care insurance. Military personnel are not
protected under the law, though Brown said
advocates are working to change that. And
GINA does not protect those whose genetic
mutations have led to actual diseases. Health
insurance companies are allowed to make
decisions based on the manifestation of a
disease, but not genetic information alone.
Some people, Brown said, are still wary
because the law has not been tested in a court
case. Others just aren't convinced.
"They're afraid that the laws will change,
and that's a possibility," Brown said. "They
think that insurers can get around it or just be
Despite some people's fears, GINA is just
what Brown has been waiting for since she
founded the UF Shands Cancer Center
Hereditary Cancer Program in 2001.
"GINA is a huge accomplishment is the
bottom line," she said. "People don't have to be
as scared about genetic discrimination."
LISA BROWN, M.S., C.G.C.
~~~~fr_ L.^ i cI^
Tips for keeping kids s
e fa o n the e
O Eat: Florida Athletic Association nutritionist Cheryl
Zonkowski says athletes should eat six times each
day. A pre-game meal is essential three to four hours
before a competition. Taking in fluids, carbs and
:. protein 30 minutes after exercise also helps with
muscle growth and repair.
Hydrate: Athletes should drink before, during
and after practice or games, taking in about 90 to 125
ounces of fluid a day, according to the Florida Athletic
Train the right way: Injuries can often
occur when muscles are overused. To prevent this,
experts advise athletes exercise all their muscles and
do aerobic exercises too. Also, athletes should vary
their workouts, scheduling tougher days and easier
days, and make sure to practice the same motions
they perform during games.
O Take concussions seriously:
Student-athletes with symptoms of a concussion
-vomiting, headaches, dizziness, slurred speech,
vision problems -should see a pediatric neurologist
or family physician.
About 144 local teens attended the first UF Sports Medicine Jamboree in August. The UF Sports
Performance Center drew a big crowd at its booth for its vertical jump test.
By April Frawley Birdwell
Week after week, the injuries pile up
in the highlight reels and on the
ticker that scrolls across the bottom
of the screen on ESPN. Questionable: Kurt
Warner (concussion), Michael Turner (ankle
sprain) Out: Fred Taylor (torn ligaments)...
And these are the professionals. So what happens to the kids all
across the country who don't have highly paid trainers, coaches and
nutritionists by their sides? Injuries, of course. Lots and lots of injuries,
which for some promising young athletes could prevent them from ever
even appearing on that ticker list of injured pro athletes.
In August, about 144 local teens took steps toward becoming better
athletes when they participated in the first Sports Medicine Jamboree,
an event held to help student-athletes prepare and avoid life-
threatening and career-ending injuries. More than 100 parents and
coaches also attended the all-day event, which featured nine short talks
as well as presentations by vendors.
Only a few months have passed since the event, held at the Hilton
University of Florida Conference Center, but UF leaders who organized
the jamboree are already planning for the next event in 2010, says John
Ross, M.D., a UF professor emeritus of pediatric neurology who
organized the event with Rob Lawrence, M.D., a UF professor of
pediatrics. They have even secured a donor who plans to contribute
$6,000 to the event this year, which will be held in early August.
"The Sports Medicine Jamboree was a free, educational service
aimed at teaching parents and athletes what they need to know about
everything from nutrition and treatment and prevention of injuries to
skin conditions and problems caused by sun exposure," Ross said.
"There were nine formal talks and the kids got to interact with 19
vendors. The kids liked the vendors and the parents liked the talks."
The professors who teamed with faculty members from five UF
colleges, the Children's Miracle Network, Alachua County Public
Schools and St. Francis Catholic High School to pull off the event -
hope to reach even more students and parents this year. There are more
than 8,600 student-athletes in Alachua County alone.
But with spring sports looming, many parents may be looking for
some tips now before their boys and girls take the field. To help, Ross
has shared some tips gleaned from experts at the jamboree. See box
For more information, visit www.sportsmedicinejamboree.com.
Geoffrey, an 8-month-old giraffe owned
by the Barton G. company of Miami,
nuzzles UF veterinary technician Sarah
Purcell Nov. 5 at UF's Veterinary Medical
Center after a bottle-feeding. Geoffrey was
recuperating from arthroscopic surgery
performed on his right front hock.
Christopher Williams. : i,,n.ed the
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You won't be able to find one of these in Office
Ie p,:,t it's the 3-D printer in the laboratory of
neiiLosurgery professor Frank Bova.The device is
i.-Ase, to develop simpler and less expensive tools
f,:,i image-guided cranial surgery. By using CT
.and IAR scans to calculate a surgical trajectory,
nii n.:al scientists can "print" a faceplate that
niii:luely fits a patient to guide doctors during
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People may not always think
of dental surgeons saving
lives, but that's what College
of Dentistry surgeons
who work at Shands at
UF do every day. Here, Dr.
Marcio Guelmann operates
on a child at the Shands
Children's Surgical Center.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the latest news and HSC events
f/ eal// care aMd research don 't s3top for tlMe ho/idas, Wile somW e of us are
roasktiy chestaItms, watc/ihmy footha// orperhaps "I/t's a Wohderf!/ Life" for
tPle 5, 000tl tuime, tlere are mwafq fo/s across campus who spi// work or
vo/1lteer tAfeir Pimwe Io matter whatf dal/ of tlfe itear it is, Tflis molfti, witf HalkkalXaf
Cl nrtmas, hl, /(walzaa, New /ear's Da&f aild other cele/ratliols #pol us, 7 e PO' T
is s5fifWlg a /gi/t o0 a few of P fe people whlo 5staa hard at work regardless of t fe dat a~id
whfo ofltei dol n't get a lot of attelf-tiol/ for what tfqei do ke it #clogygigg loilets or
mak/ifg lfe season a little Arigfterforpatiellts alld our troops,
Volunteer Christi'e Mart/i helps patient Zamar/a Shavers, 4, create
a pelfg#l door hanger in the pediatrics #nit playroom at Shaids at i/F
he a kid
very Dec. 24, a special visitor leaves his reindeer by the curb and
rides the elevator up to the fourth floor of Shands at UF. Clad in
his traditional red garb with Mrs. Claus by his side, Santa Claus
ho-ho-hos his way through the pediatrics unit, visiting every child who
would like to greet him.
Just like a traditional visit with Santa, the event is photographed, and for
many families, that small, instant print-out is a precious memento, says
Naomi Martinez, a Shands Child Life specialist.
"Parents will cry because it may be their child's first Christmas or it may
be their child's last," Martinez said. "And that's the part that really gets
you, when you see the families."
Kids don't stop being kids just because they're in the hospital. That's
why Shands and UF staff members who work with children band together
to make every holiday special on the pediatrics floor, be it Halloween or
Hanukkah. Shands Guest Services, Child Life, Arts in Medicine and the
clinical staff are just a few of the groups that make the holidays a little
brighter for children.
"We really want to show parents that we care about their child, more
than just as a sick child who we are going to take excellent care of their
medical needs," said Marie Kasprow, M.S.N., a pediatrics nursing
manager. "But we understand their child is a child and we don't want them
to miss out on things."
Each year, during the winter holiday season, the pediatrics nursing staff
picks a theme for the floor and buys decorations often using their own
money. This year for "Winter Wonderland," intricate snowflakes dangle
from the ceiling of the playroom and glittery snowmen lurk around every
corner. Activities in the playroom often match the theme, too. In early
December, a group of UF students gathered to help children make penguin
and snowmen door hangers for their rooms.
Every child who stays in the hospital during Christmas also receives a
special surprise when they wake up Dec. 25 presents the nurses deliver
while children are sleeping.
"We try to make this a happy experience for kids," Kasprow said.
To donate presents for pediatrics patients, you can purchase presents
directly from the Shands Children's Hospital wish list at www.amazon.
com/gp/registry/CWU7FPAU07Z6. If donations cannot be made prior to
Christmas, toys can still be used for pediatrics patients throughout the
year. -April Frawley Birdwell
cdog oa ho/days, too
V ivian Young, a senior custodian supervisor, won't forget
the Christmas Day she was called at home about a
building emergency. A security guard had discovered a
faucet left running in a lab in the Basic Science Building and
the flooding spanned two floors. Young came in to oversee the
cleanup and called in other custodial staff to help on that wet
There may be a lot fewer Health Science Center employees
working in labs and offices during the holiday break, but there
are still emergencies, trash that needs collecting and toilets
that need to be unstopped. A skeleton crew of six custodial staff
W al eo who volunteer to work the weekdays between Christmas and
u. New Year's Day is here to take care of those needs.
"Research doesn't cut off during the break. Some people
need to be here every day or every other day to monitor
research, and people also use the time to catch up on their
work," said Young, adding that the fifth floor of the McKnight
Brain Institute, the basement labs in the Communicore
Building and the Human Development Center are among the
busiest areas during holiday break.
Directed by one of the custodial services supervisors (they take turns every year), the six-member crew spreads out
to cover an area that, on a normal workday, would be cleaned by 60 custodial staff.
It's a lot of work, but it does have its perks, says Clifford Gordon who, before transferring recently to the Academic
Research Building, worked for several years at the College of Veterinary Medicine and was the sole custodial staff
member to clean the college's academic buildings and hospitals in the last week of December.
"I was authorized to visit parts of the buildings I didn't normally see," Gordon said. "During my work breaks I
could peek through the windows of the operating rooms of the Large Animal Hospital and see surgeons operating on
horses and a cow. It was very, very interesting."
Working amid quiet hallways and shuttered classrooms can get lonely, but it's also a good opportunity for those who
are here to bond, said HPNP Complex custodial staff membcl lIl ii V i nk,!
"We all enjoy working together and getting to know each .i h ." \\i n k, "I I'm I...'kir. v. a! J i,. ,. k i n %'.! h
the group again this year. I'm pretty sure each one of us mac. a l->i ILL, I I.Iak a ia\ Ih.'m lirn Ii, i., '..i k
voluntarily this season." --Jill Pease
A llison Kleinfeldt knows sickness knows no
As one of five patient schedulers for the
department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
who will be around the office during the holiday
break, she remains willing and eager to carry on
business as usual. Kleinfeldt and the other schedulers
serve as the first point of contact for patients who wish
to schedule surgeries or appointments and they
reschedule appointments when unexpected heart
transplants or surgeries make changing the schedule a
life-saving necessity. She also books clinics, fields
questions and retrieves proper scans and documents.
"Allie is a saint," said Tomas Martin, M.D., who has
worked with Kleinfeldt for more than 10 years. "I
always tell everyone there are three women in my life
- my wife, my daughter and my secretary and I
just do whatever they tell me to."
Martin said even though Kleinfeldt is not trained in
medicine, she has learned a lot about the field and
serves as the department's "executive coordinator."
She often even has to work as a counselor, apologizing
when things don't go perfectly or easing patient fears and concerns about surgery,
"Her duties extend way beyond her job description," Martin said. "If she and
others like her weren't here during the holidays, our patients would not know where
to go or how to get there." Kim Libby
To wit T
College of Veterl#arf Med/c/le staff members
keen# collect -1 hliday goodies to sead to efmploy
S talH/ef o s,
Cavaenawi ahd CdHi caine partner, A ta, work to
areas are bomb-free before other troops arrive.
SI a#d are two of five
schledalers who work throl'hoft tlHe *0hohdays to Make
s#re Iheart sfrgerf patients get the care thef e eed.
thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for Linda Stanley's family. So, three days before
the annual turkey fest, it was hard for her to talk about who wouldn't be at her
table this year her son, Sean.
Of course, it's hard for Stanley to talk about Sean's absence most days. Stanley's son,
U.S. Army Spc. Sean Cavanaugh, has been serving in Iraq since Aug. 24. Cavanaugh is
part of a canine unit and he and his dog, Ata, are responsible for checking for bombs in
places where the troops are headed. Like any mother, Stanley worries. A lot.
"I am so proud of him, but by the same token I know he is in harm's way and that's
hard," said Stanley, a client services representative for the UF College of Veterinary
Medicine. "It is miserable to know your child is out there and you can't do anything."
Wanting to do something to help her son and his unit and their canine companions
Stanley and her colleague Linda Howard began collecting items to ship to Iraq a few
months ago. The box started out small, but as word spread about Stanley's son and the
canine unit, the boxes began to multiply, filled with everything from doggie goggles for
keeping the dogs' eyes safe from sand to snacks for the soldiers, human and canine alike.
The first shipment was 50 pounds. The second, sent for Thanksgiving, weighed more
laVe than 140.
During the past few weeks, the women have been collecting items to send the soldiers
# L4Hdda for the holidays, too. Although they have again been flooded with donations, Howard
/ I/ Iraq, ajJrrii, ih,\ ..uIJ ,ill u. lur. i.- h-lp pa\ I'..i -..il\ shippingg
efHsare I h. ,,ul p,,u! i -r .1I Lupp.'! I m. J r ..i i,, \. 'i' jni h,,. ha, i.. keep back tears when
pc..pk lh J.., )ni kn.'. -..mrn in l..jJ, J i. l h hj ,I 1 ,i ull I.. ,nJ to her son.
Ih. ,luJ ni,. ih. \ ji h pji \ r!n I- ..! h,,,, jnJ p!..hjhl\ hjI\ !n ir hard enough time as it
i,. anJ Ih \ Ji m irn in ,. !lh hj ..I lull I.. I hi Jd..- !.,." II.,'.ard said. "It's so
hi. !i %% J! r i, "
S ,i m -,i. inlI rnji irn. .-rnjil I. inJj I i.w. Ji ji h,'. jiJI'. \ i nmed.ufl.edu.
.-.I. d FI.:-',. B dJ: ', II
he cafeteria may be closed on the holidays, but it
doesn't mean Shands at UF Food and Nutrition
Services workers aren't busy throughout the
season. Patients still need to be fed, and parties need to '
On Thanksgiving, Shands at UF patients received a
special holiday meal, complete with turkey, dressing,
mashed potatoes, green beans and pie. Thanks to
Parkview Baptist Church, a local congregation, the
families of pediatric patients received the same meal for
free. The parish paid for holiday meals with all the fixings
for patients' families.
Food and Nutrition Services prepared the meals, which ~
church members delivered. Faye Hunter, manager of -
patient nutrition services, said the patients and their H
families don't take the gesture for granted..
"Thanksgiving is all about giving and counting your
blessings," she said. "That's the greatest thing we can do, to provide those families with holiday meals. I think
it's a great thing that we're doing."
Patients also get special meals on Christmas and New Year's Day. This year's Christmas meal will be prime
Other Food and Nutrition Services employees are helping people get in the holiday spirit, too. Lisa Millen,
commercial food services manager, and her employees cater about 50 parties every holiday season, some with
as many as several hundred guests.
And thanks to Lee Raynor, executive chef, the Health Science Center has its very own homemade
gingerbread hospital this year. Laura Mize
chef for Shands at 1F Food
and Nltrition Services,
prepares a gingerbread
hospital for the hol/dais.
Samos Nan qordo
a here are sounds you expect to hear in a tunnel
between two hospitals: the click-clack of busy feet,
the whooshing of carts and wheelchairs rolling
through the corridor, the sound of a 16th century recorder
playing "Greensleeves" .
OK, maybe not the "Greensleeves," but if you happen to
meander through the visitor's tunnel between the Shands at
UF South and North campuses in December, that may just be
what you hear. Led by Arts in Medicine's music program
coordinator Cathy DeWitt, musicians from the Shands AIM
program will be performing every Monday and Friday around
lunchtime in the tunnel. Of course, this is just one of the
many things AIM is doing this year to make the holiday season
a little brighter for patients and staff members.
"Some of our musicians have been known to visit patients on
Christmas Eve or Christmas Day," DeWitt said.
The group also held its annual AIM for the Holidays event
Dec. 11, which featured a daylong concert in the Shands at UF
lobby, performances in the South Campus, dancing, Christmas
carols and Hanukkah stories.
AIM artists volunteer their time throughout the holidays,
and sometimes it's not even their songs or performances that help patients. Paula Patterson, a dramatist in
residence who runs AIM's Playback Theater program, remembers one year when she walked into a patient's
room and found the girl's mother crying. Doctors had told the family the girl could go home for Christmas if
she ate something, but the only thing that seemed appetizing was wonton soup, something the Shands kitchen
could not make. Patterson left the hospital and got the girl her soup.
"Her mother burst into tears and said, 'This is the most wonderful gift I have ever been given,'" remembers
Patterson. "The two were alone together away from the hospital for the first time in four months."
-April Frawley Birdwell
Unique clinic provides relief from
ongoing testicular pain
By Czerne M. Reid
Chronic testicular pain, or chronic orchialgia, is
defined as more than three months of constant or
intermittent pain in the testicles. Although many
men suffer from the condition, some are reluctant
to seek treatment or are unaware that medical
help is available. A new type of robot-assisted
technique developed in the UF College of
Medicine department of urology relieves the pain
by severing certain faulty nerves in the testicles.
The UF clinic, run by Sijo Parekattil, M.D.,
director of male infertility and microsurgery, is the
only center in the world offering the robotic
procedure. Parekattil's clinic is also the first in the
United States dedicated to the treatment of chronic
testicular pain. This month, Parekattil answers our
questions about this type of pain.
About 6 percent of all men after a vasectomy, up to 18 percent after inguinal
hernia surgery, I percent after scrotal surgery, I percent after a pulled-
groin injury or trauma to the scrotum or pelvis and 1 percent of those who
have epididymitis suffer from chronic testicular pain. When you add those
up, about 150,000 to 200,000 men a year in the United States suffer from
the condition. Not all those patients have severe pain, and many don't seek
treatment. Some find it difficult to approach their doctors, while others just
don't know that they can get help.
The two-hit theory is that men with chronic testicular pain have a baseline
hypersensitivity in the nerves that run in the spermatic cord. Trauma or insult
to the area then sets off the pain, and once activated it doesn't turn off.
When you image these patients everything appears to be normal because
the nerves are intact but are just functioning abnormally. It's frustrating for
these patients because doctors might tell them it's psychosomatic and that
nothing is wrong. Many are prescribed antidepressants. By the time many
men come to the UF clinic they've been to seven or eight urologists already
and are at the point where they are even considering removing their testicle
because of the pain.
Robotic neurolysis is a process in which malfunctioning nerves in the
spermatic cord are disconnected surgically. At UF, we developed the robot-
assisted procedure and as of early November 2009, we've done 62 cases.
Just under 90 percent of those patients report a reduction in pain. Seventy
percent reported one month after surgery they no longer had pain that
affected their well-being and everyday functioning. Before surgery, we are
careful to rule out other causes for the pain such as kidney stones, tumors,
herniated discs, pinched nerves or hernias. That is done using ultrasounds,
CT scans and MRIs.
The advantage of the robot is that it gives the surgeon four arms. I use my
fourth arm to hold a Doppler for real-time monitoring of where the testicular
artery is, to reduce the risk of injury. The robot-assisted procedure takes the
surgery to the next level in terms of what we are able to do, and it decreases
the level of reliance on an assistant. From a patient safety perspective, it
means the surgeon has greater control of the surgical area.
It's a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that takes 30 to 40 minutes.
First, the patient is anesthetized and one small incision is made in the
lower groin area. We bring up the spermatic cord then bring the robot in
to microdissect out the faulty nerve fibers and ligate them. There is no loss
of sexual function because we stay away from nerves that go to the penis.
Immediately after surgery, patients have to avoid straining themselves, but in
two to three weeks they are able to get back to normal activities pain-free.
hookah use in teens
By ill Pease
....kh pipe smoking has gained a foothold with Florida teens,
S.."I Jding to a new UF study, which shows 11 percent of high school
lIuJ ni and 4 percent of middle school students have tried it.
The findings were presented Nov. 9 at the American Public Health
Association's annual meeting in Philadelphia and appeared in the
November issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The study was
conducted in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health.
Rooted in Middle Eastern culture, hookah pipes burn charcoal and
tobacco, also known as shisha. Air is drawn through the tobacco and into
the pipe, where it passes through water.
Hookah smokers widely, but mistakenly, believe the pipe is a harmless
alternative to other forms of tobacco use, said lead researcher Tracey
Barnett, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Public Health
and Health Professions' department of behavioral science and community
"Users tend to think smoking with a hookah is safe because they believe
the water in the pipe acts as a filter," Barnett said. "Many actually don't
The sound stealers
How escaped proteins affect hearing loss
By Czerne M. Reid
ge-related hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder among
the elderly. But scientists are still trying to figure out what cellular
processes govern or contribute to the loss.
Now a UF team and researchers from University of Wisconsin and three
other institutions have identified a protein that is central to processes that
cause oxidative damage to cells and lead to age-related hearing loss.
The findings, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences, help point the way toward a new target for antioxidant therapies.
One theory of aging holds that free radicals damage components of
mitochondria, the energy center of cells. Such damage accumulates over
time, leading to a destabilization of the mitochondria, which leads to release
of certain proteins.
"Within the mitochondria these proteins cause life, but when they're out
they're deadly," said Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D., chief of the biology
of aging division at UF's College of Medicine and a member of the Institute
The cell death triggered by the escaped proteins leads to physical effects
we associate with aging, such as hearing loss.
More than 40 percent of people over 65 in the United States suffer from
age-related hearing loss, according to the National Health Survey. It is
estimated that the condition will affect more than 28 million Americans
think that shisha has tobacco, while others feel it's a more pure form of
tobacco that doesn't have as many chemicals, although there's really no
reason to believe this."
In fact, during a typical 20- to 80-minute hookah session, users may
smoke the equivalent of 100 or more cigarettes, according to the World
The findings are based on data from the 2007 Florida Youth Tobacco
Survey, an anonymous annual survey administered by the Florida
Department of Health to a random sample of public middle and high
schools. The 2007 survey, completed by 9,000 students, was the first to
include questions about hookah use.
There are at least 100 hookah lounges in Florida and most have opened in
the past few years, Barnett said. Hookah is typically shared in groups and
smoked with sweetened, flavored tobacco.
"The social nature of hookah smoking appeals to young people," Barnett
said. "An 18-year-old high school senior can't get into clubs where alcohol is
served, but he or she can legally smoke."
S.. CHRISTIAAN LEEUWENBURGH, PI4 W
E XU, PH.D.
Age-related hearing loss involves the death of certain sensory hair, nerve
and membrane cells in the inner ear. Since the hair and nerve cells do not
regenerate in humans, their death leads to permanent hearing loss.
One protein called Bak is known to play a role in the weakening of the
mitochondrial membrane. The more of the protein present, the leakier the
mitochondrial membrane becomes, allowing harmful proteins to travel out
into the rest of the cell.
Bak is typically induced by oxidative stress and its levels increase as
people age. The researchers wanted to see whether its absence would prevent
the age-related hearing loss in the inner ear. Tests showed that Bak-deficient
middle-aged mice were found to have hearing levels comparable to that of
young mice. In addition, fewer of the critical hearing cells died, compared
with mice that did not have the protein deficiency.
S [Small addition],
Small change to therapy helps fight colon cancer
U F researchers have
found a way to
use just a fraction
of the normal dosage of
a highly toxic, debilitating
chemotherapy drug to
achieve even better results
against colon cancer cells.
More research is needed before the therapy
can be tested in patients, but the discovery in
human colon cancer cell lines and mice with
established human tumors suggests that the
addition of a small molecule to the cancer
drug Temozolomide disrupts repair
mechanisms in a type of tumor cells that is
highly resistant to treatment.
The discovery will be featured on the cover
of December's Molecular Cancer Research, a
journal of the American Association for
"This is very important because aside from
aggressive surgery with possibly
chemotherapy, there are no specific
treatments for colon cancer," said Satya
Narayan, Ph.D., a professor of anatomy and
cell biology at the College of Medicine and a
member of the UF Shands Cancer Center.
"The recurrence rate for this type of cancer
after surgery is very high, about 30 to 50
percent, and there is an urgent need to
develop new approaches to manage this
The National Cancer Institute estimates
there will be about 106,000 new cases of colon
cancer in the United States in 2009. It is the
second most common cause of cancer-related
death in both men and women in the Western
hemisphere. The disease forms in the large
intestine and survival rates vary according to
how soon the cancer is diagnosed and the
treatment is started.
Narayan's research team evaluated more
than 140,000 small molecules, finally arriving
at a tiny molecule that precisely blocks the
ability of cancer cells to recognize and repair
the DNA damage inflicted by Temozolomide,
"Our idea was if you induce DNA damage
(with TMZ), and at the same time block cell
repair, you can synergize toxic effects to the
cancer cells," Narayan said. "We hope that
with this combination treatment we can
reduce the tumors drastically and expand the
lifetime of patients much longer than is
TMZ is commonly used against certain
types of brain cancer. It works by damaging
the DNA of the cancer. However, the
challenge of treating patients is that colon
cancer is not a single disease but an array of
disorders with distinct molecular
mechanisms, with one type being quite
proficient at repairing the DNA damage
inflicted by the drug.
By combining TMZ with the small
molecule, Narayan's team was able to disable
the colon cancer's ability to manufacture
The UF researchers effectively used an
amount of TMZ that is about 10 times lower
than recommended in its studies of mice with
human colon cancer tumors.
If only about one-tenth as much TMZ is
needed to kill cancer cells, Narayan said, it
will be possible to use lower doses of a drug
that creates a great deal of adverse side effects,
a partial listing of which includes anxiety,
back pain, breast pain, constipation, cough,
diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry skin, hair
loss, headache, joint pain, loss of appetite,
mouth sores, muscle aches and nausea.
"By using these strategies we can predict
that disruption of DNA repair by small
molecules can bypass drug resistance factors
and dramatically reduce side effects caused by
toxic doses of TMZ," Narayan said.
More study is needed before the
combination can be tested in patients, but
Narayan believes that TMZ can be combined
with the small molecule in a single dose in
pill or capsule form.
Additional members of the UF research
team include Aruna Jaiswal, Ph.D.,
postdoctoral associate Harekrushna Panda
and David Ostrov, Ph.D., of the UF Shands
Cancer Center. The research was supported
by grants from the National Cancer Institute
of the National Institutes of Health.
From bunnies to bone marrow
GRANT MCFADDEN, PH.D.
CHRISTOPHER R. COGLE, M.D.
How a rabbit virus could help improve bone marrow transplants
By Czerne M. Reid
virus that in nature infects only rabbits could become a cancer-fighting tool for humans. Myxoma virus kills
cancerous blood-precursor cells in human bone marrow while sparing normal blood stem cells, a
multidisciplinary team at the UF College of Medicine has found.
The findings were published online in the journal Leukemia.
The discovery could help make more cancer patients eligible for bone marrow self-transplant therapy and reduce
disease relapse rates after transplantation.
"This is a new strategy to remove cancer cells before the transplant," said virologist Grant McFadden, Ph.D., senior
author of the paper and a member of the UF Genetics Institute. "This is the first time anyone has shown in a living
animal that a virus can distinguish normal bone marrow stem cells from cancerous stem cells."
The major therapeutic applications will likely be for blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow
cancers, the researchers say.
In mouse studies, myxoma virus was used to purge cancerous cells from leukemia patient bone marrow samples before
they were infused into the test animals. The technique was effective against an aggressive form of leukemia that is
resistant to conventional chemotherapy.
Patients who have certain types of cancer such as acute myelogenous leukemia are usually treated with high doses of
chemotherapy. But that can destroy the patient's own immune system unless he or she receives a transplant of blood stem
cells, which can be from the patient's own marrow samples or from a donor.
Although reinfusion of a patient's own bone marrow stem cells is generally safer in the short run, those patients are at
high risk of dying from return of disease because of leukemia contaminating the infused bone marrow.
"That's one of the major frustrations, so we're looking for ways to clean these stem cells before putting them back into
patients," said Christopher R. Cogle, M.D., an assistant professor in the division of hematology and oncology, a member
of the UF Shands Cancer Center and a leader of the research team.
By Jennifer Brindise
elvic floor disorders, which affect bowel or bladder function,
are very common. What's not so common is a patient's
willingness to discuss these problems.
Sanda Tan, M.D., Ph.D., a UF colorectal surgeon, said published
findings estimate that by 2010 there will be 150,000 women and
40,000 men in North Central Florida who will have been diagnosed
with pelvic floor disorders.
To address this need, a team of gastroenterology, surgery and
urology physicians at UF have organized a centralized UF Pelvic
Floor Program. The team also works with dietitians and physical
therapists to offer a full range of treatments to patients.
Pelvic floor disorders include constipation, fecal incontinence,
overactive bladder, urinary incontinence, painful bladder syndrome,
and rectal or vaginal prolapse. Treatments and therapies range from
dietary changes to physical therapy to medication to surgical
procedures. While these conditions require the treatment of different
physicians, the UF program offers a centralized place for patient
calls and care.
"We understand how socially debilitating loss of bowel or bladder
control can be," Tan said. "A lot of times people are embarrassed to
talk about the issue to begin with, and if you have to go to different
physicians and repeat the same thing over and over, people can
become discouraged. So, in this way we have formed a centralized
to talk about)
UF pelvic floor program focused on
improving patients' quality of life
phone call area so we can arrange for all of these issues to be handled
in an efficient and timely manner for the comfort of the patient." She
added that the team meets regularly to discuss patient care so
patients' treatments and therapies are coordinated.
Louis Moy, M.D., a UF assistant professor of urology, said these
conditions can affect people of all ages, races and gender, but
typically they occur more in women than men and with higher
frequency as people age.
To learn more, visit www.pelvicfloor.health.ufl.edu.
light on breast cancer
By Lorrie DeFrank
s the great pyramids of Giza glowed in a
flood of pink lights nearby, Shahla
Masood, M.D., represented the UF
College of Medicine-Jacksonville at an
international event that demonstrated that breast
cancer has no boundaries, no limits.
Masood, a professor and chair of the
department of pathology and laboratory
medicine, spoke at UF's 15th annual
Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease
and the First International Breast Health
The weeklong event
in late October was
organized by Susan
G. Komen for the
Cure and the Breast
of Egypt under the
auspices of Egypt's
first lady Suzanne "
gathered at the SHAHLA MASOOD, M.D.
pyramids for the
Egypt Race for the Cure, the first Komen race
in the Middle East.
"I believe the symposium at Cairo was a
reflection of our commitment to excellence in
global breast health education for the public
and the physician," said Masood, who founded
the symposium. "This symposium brought a
significant amount of visibility to the
University of Florida."
Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen
for the Cure and the symposium's keynote
A year without mok
By Erin VanWey
..v. 20 marked one year of being smoke-free at the UF Health Science Center-
[Icksonville. Last year, the HSC-Jacksonville, Shands Jacksonville and UF
Jacksonville Healthcare Inc. clinics banned the use of tobacco products on
flordayi J0 "atS&da tba 64.r Scsa0Aj S'.tja
For several employees, the anniversary of this policy change coincides with their 10 11 12" 13 14'
own decisions to stub out cigarettes for good.
For Sherri Brown, a purchasing agent at Shands Jacksonville and the mother of a 16 1 1 9 l 19 0 2'
7-year-old daughter, the announcement of the hospital going smoke-free gave her the --
push she needed to quit. 3 23 Z 26 2? Z8
"I knew smoking was slowly killing me," she said. "When the hospital decided to
prohibit smoking on campus, I did not look at it as a restriction on my rights. I looked .
at it as a much-needed tool to help me quit."
Brown joined the hospital's free tobacco cessation program. The six-week program
consists of a weekly one-hour class in which participants learn ways to manage cravings by establishing healthy habits and participating in a
support group. The program was recently expanded to include employees' spouses.
"I carried a picture of my daughter with me to every meeting and whenever I thought I couldn't do it, I would look at her picture," Brown said.
"I do believe you have to be ready, but the support you receive from the stop-smoking program is wonderful."
With the help of the hospital's smoking cessation program, UF employee Tracy Hancock celebrated her first anniversary of being smoke-free
"This was my third attempt to quit. I believe the class was a big part in helping me," Hancock said. "Learning different things to do when I got
the urge to smoke and having a support group really helped. I believe I gained my health as well as my life back when I made the choice to quit."
Jacksonville employees who want to quit smoking can call 904-244-4095 for more information. Employees at UF or Shands in Gainesville,
where a tobacco-free policy was initiated Nov. 1, can visit www.tobaccofree.health.ufl.edu for resources.
speaker, thanked Masood for initiating the
global collaboration and for raising
awareness of breast cancer education in the
Middle East and North Africa.
Participants with titles as varied as
princess, professor and president -
represented cancer institutes, universities,
medical centers and agencies around the
world, including the American Cancer
Society and the National Institutes of Health.
More than 400 people attended the
symposium's public forum with simultaneous
Arabic and English translations in Cairo's
Grand Hyatt Hotel. Breast cancer advocates
from 10 countries in the Middle East also
received training during the week.
Nearly half a million women worldwide die
from breast cancer each year. Brinker said
illuminating the pyramids pink sent a clear
message that breast cancer knows no
boundaries and that worldwide collaboration
can make great strides against the disease.
GE Healthcare, which introduced digital
mammography 10 years ago, supported the
lighting of the pyramids.
Clinical and Translational Science
Institute names fellows
F's Clinical and Translational Science Institute has named 12 new fellows for the 2009-10 academic year.
Six junior faculty and six predoctoral trainee fellowships were awarded to individuals conducting research
on a range of topics. By providing research funding and formal training in areas such as biostatistics,
manuscript-writing for human and clinical studies, clinical research practice and ethical conduct of research, the
fellowships give awardees practical training on how to turn basic-science laboratory discoveries into clinical
applications. "We think that these programs will provide fellows with a background that they otherwise don't have
in conducting clinical research," said Marian Limacher, M.D., director of the CTSI's training and professional
development program. "We are hoping that this level of training will prepare the workforce to design and
accomplish the research that will improve health over the next decades." Czerne M. Reid
JUNIOR FACULTY SCHOLARS
of the College of Medicine
department of aging, studies
age-related changes in
skeletal muscle perfusion and
M.S., an assistant professor
of medicine in the College of
Medicine, studies regulatory
immunologic mechanisms in
M.S., an assistant professor
of small animal clinical
sciences in the College of
Veterinary Medicine and
service chief of zoological
medicine, studies the risks
of working with tuberculosis-
an assistant professor of
medicine in the College of
Medicine, is conducting a
study of the efficacy of the
drug mesalamine in treating
irritable bowel syndrome. She
previously received a CTSI
pilot grant to study the use of
azithromycin for treatment of
Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow
in the College of Dentistry,
studies the influence of
genetics, hormones and
on gender differences
in the occurrence of
Ph.D., A.R.N.P., an assistant
professor in the College
of Nursing, studies the
use of technology to help
patients who cannot speak
communicate with hospital
College of Medicine,
studies the genetics of
type 1 diabetes using
targeted immune system
D.P.T., College of Public
Health and Health
advancement of walking
recovery after incomplete
spinal cord injury.
Pharm.D., College of
Pharmacy, studies the use
of genetic sampling of
tissues from large-scale
clinical trials to formulate a
induced type 2 diabetes.
M.S., College of Medicine,
studies pro-angiogenic and
vascular protective effects
of insulin-like growth factor
College of Medicine,
of siRNAs that reduce
tafazzin expression and
lead to muscle and cardiac
phenotypes similar to those
in Barth syndrome patients.
College of Medicine,
studies the link between
olfactory dysfunction and
To learn more about CTSI
training and development
www.ctsi.ufl.edu and click on
"Education" or e-mail Marian
Limacher at limacmc@
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
R.D.H., M.S., M.Ed., an
associate in the department
of operative dentistry,
her dissertation in higher
faculty perceptions of the
academic work environment that best predicted
career satisfaction at the college.
M.S.D., an assistant
professor of prosthodontics,
was elevated to full fellow
status within the American
Academy of Maxillofacial
Prosthetics in November
during the group's annual
meeting in San Diego.
Wong joined the college FongWoi
Book highlights rare but
Drugs designed to prevent the immune system
from attacking a newly transplanted organ
can save lives. They can also lead to a rare but
dangerous complication: cancer. Because these
medicines suppress the immune system, patients who
receive them are more at risk for infection. The drugs
can also stop the immune system from searching
for and weeding out malignant cells. Allowed to
proliferate, these malignant cells can lead to a type
of cancer called post-transplant lymphoproliferative
disorder, says UF pediatric nephrologistVikas
Dharnidharka, M.D., M.P.H, who has edited the
first book ever published on the disorder. Published in
October, Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorders
features chapters written by leading experts in the
field and the latest information on this rare but deadly
Alzheimer's expert to lead new center
Todd Golde, M.D., Ph.D., formerly the chair of the department of neuroscience at the
Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, will create and direct the UF College of Medicine's new
Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease. He will lead an effort
to develop treatments and diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease, dementias, Parkinson's
disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, said Michael Good, interim dean of the
college. "Dementia impacts our lives with such devastation, and it is estimated that it will
touch nearly a half a million patients and their families in Florida alone in the coming year,
Good said. "Dr. Golde's recruitment to UF strengthens our team with one of the brightest
minds working in this field. He and we are determined to beat this foe."
been named chief of head and
neck surgery, a new section in the
division of oral and maxillofacial
surgery. Fernandes joined the UF
faculty in 2005. He also serves as
program director of the oral and
maxillofacial residency program
and director of the microvascular
COLLEGE OF NURSING
Ph.D., R.N., an
associate professor of nursing,
executive associate dean and
associate dean for clinical affairs
within the college, was honored for
excellence in community nursing by
the Florida Nurses Association as a
part of their Centennial Great 100
Nurses. The Great 100 Nurses
were nominated by their peers and
selected as representing excellence
in diverse areas of nursing practice.
Rui P Fernandes
Rui P. Fernandes
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
student in the health services
research Ph.D. program, received
a dissertation grant from the
National Institutes of Health
National Center on Minority
Health and Health Disparities.
Her research will assess potential
causes of racial disparities in Latarsha Chisholm
nursing home care. She is also
studying the association of market and organizational
characteristics with nursing home segregation.
clinical professor in the department
of communicative disorders,
recently assumed duties as chair
of the Board of Governors of the
American Board of Audiology. The
American Board of Audiology is
dedicated to enhancing audiologic
services to the public by promoting
universally recognized standards JamesW. Hall III
in professional practice. In his one-
year tenure as chair, Hall will oversee the development
of specialty certification in pediatric audiology and a
national examination for audiologists.
employee of the year
D anielle Sevier has been named
the College of Public Health and
Health Professions' 2009 Employee
of the Year. She was recognized at the
college's annual employee recognition
dinner in October. Sevier, the
coordinator of administrative services
in the department of physical therapy,
was honored for her efficiency,
organizational skills, professionalism
and leadership. She is known in the
department for her creative problem
solving and calm demeanor in stressful
situations. "Danielle is always quick
on her feet with sensible reactions in
all the circumstances I've seen her,"
said one nominator. Sevier was also
recognized for her positive attitude
and the depth of her knowledge and
experience. "Danielle always has a
smile and is an excellent ambassador
for the department," a nominator said.
"She is a key player in making our staff
the best in the university."
A friend in the library
By Kim Libby
he staff of the HSC Library is missing its spark, as staff and students mourn the loss of Gloria Mae London, 56.
London, a senior librarian technical assistant at the library for 17 years, passed away Oct. 29. She was in charge
of billing patrons for fines and working with customers and is remembered as always being happy and cheerful.
She also managed half of the fiscal department for access services, along with technical assistant Kathleen Spinks.
"She was just a wonderful person, she could light up anyone's day," Spinks said.
Spinks and London became close friends after sharing a small office, which they lovingly dubbed "the closet,"
for 13 years.
"She was always showing me something new, saying, 'Hey, Kath, look at this or that.'"
London was considered the motherly figure around the office, said Wallace Barrett, director of circulation. She was
close with students and others who visited the library. One student burst into tears in the cafeteria upon hearing of her
passing, senior secretary Lori Eubanks said.
"She had a great sense of humor," Spinks said. "It didn't matter who you were, she could always joke around with you."
A former minister, London also was known for her strong belief in God and held services at her house on Sundays for family and friends. Last
year, she unveiled her hidden talent of singing, belting out a gospel song at the library's holiday party. She had planned on singing a George
Benson song this year, Barrett said.
London will be missed for her loving encouragement and uplifting spirit, her colleagues say. According to Spinks, she never had a bad word to
say about anyone and had great respect for others.
"She was a true believer in God, and she showed it in every way possible," Spinks said. "I think she's where she wants to be now."
Third career's a charm
By Kim Libby
When Gayle Wheeler was a
young girl, someone told
her the most interesting
people never held the same job their
whole lives. Now at age 56, she has
set out to be anything but boring.
With her enrollment in UF's accelerated B.S.N. program,
Wheeler is now working on career No. 3. The program
currently enrolls a class of about 55 students who earn five
semester's worth of classes in a one-year period.
Long before she ever decided to enter nursing school,
Wheeler received undergraduate degrees in German and
Russian and taught language at the secondary level for four
years, even teaching abroad for a year in Germany. But
when her husband, Bruce, who is now a UF professor of
biomedical engineering, made a career switch to the
Midwest, teaching jobs in Russian and German were not
easy to find.
"People only wanted to hire French and Spanish teachers
in that area; Russian and German aren't so common," she
said. "I wasn't about to sit around and wait for a job
opening. That's not me."
She went back to school, earned her M.B.A. and spent the
next 23 years in business administration, serving as vice
president of finance for an Illinois company that publishes
books and information on sports health and fitness. Although
she was intrigued by what the company produced, her job on
the business side of the group kept her curiosity at bay.
However, she still maintained an active lifestyle, joining an
adult co-ed soccer league as opposed to picking up the
knitting needles. It wasn't until a broken foot slowed her
down that she had the time to delve into reading the
company's books thoroughly.
"The next thing I knew I was enrolled in a few evening
nutrition classes here and there," she said. "Then, I realized I
wanted to get back to helping and working with people, and
we moved to Florida where I transitioned to nursing."
Although she still has rotations in labor and delivery and
pediatrics to complete in the spring, Wheeler is most excited
for her rotation in community health. She said she wants to
focus her career on educating people about preventive
lifestyles so that illnesses such as heart disease, obesity and
diabetes can be avoided.
Considering her family's accomplishments, Wheeler's new
career choice seems fitting. Her daughter, Julie, 25, is a
second-year veterinary medicine student at the University of
Tennessee, while her other daughter, Jean, 27 is a graduate of
the University of Illinois in material sciences and
engineering. Even though it hasn't been easy to switch from
one course a night to a full-blown semester of classes, she
credits her family's support for her motivation.
She also said she serves as the "mother hen" to most of her
"Everyone knows I usually have cash instead of just plastic,
especially when it comes to paying for mailbox rentals," she
said. "I'm a lot older than everyone else, people definitely
know my name."
Wheeler said she encourages her classmates to learn by
doing, rather than looking at their first job out of college as
what they'll be doing forever. People need to examine
themselves and what they want out of a job, as well as pursue
passions and think of life as a journey, she said.
For now, Wheeler is enjoying her studies, hard work and
classes. She even got excited when hearing about the College
of Nursing formal dance.
"It's like the high school prom, so I'll definitely be
dragging my husband along," she joked prior to the event,
which was held Nov. 20. "But, I'm behind; I haven't even
decided what to wear yet."
T.L. Thomas, a
cook for Shands at
UF Food and
carves turkey to
serve to hospital
College of Medicine staff member Jim Mullins helps
decorate a Christmas tree near the Founder's Gallery.
Staff members from the Office of the Senior Vice
President for Health Affairs put up the tree each year.
Sarah Kiewel, the photo editor for The POST, recently took a trip to Iraqi Kurdistan to
conduct a workshop for Kurdish journalists.
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President,
Health Affairs; President,
UF&Shands Health System
David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, News &
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Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
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Brindise, Tracy Brown Wright, Sarah
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Mize, John Pastor, Jill Pease, Betty
Poole, Czerne M. Reid, Karen
Rhodenizer, Melanie Fridl Ross,
Priscilla Santos, Christine Velasquez
Cassandra Mack, Beth Powers,
The POST is the monthly internal
newsletter for the University of
Florida Health Science Center, the
most comprehensive academic
health center in the Southeast,
with campuses in Gainesville
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