On the Cover
After a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, the student-
run philanthropic organization, Gators United for Haiti, held
a candlelight vigil Friday, Jan. 15 at the J. Wayne Reitz
Union amphitheater. Hundreds of students, faculty and
staff lit up the night to grieve for lost family and friends
and to support victims of the earthquake. This month, The
POSTfeatures the stories of students, faculty and staff
from the Health Science Center, Shands HealthCare and
the university community who sprung into service, doing
whatever they could to help the people of Haiti.
Photo by Sarah Kiewel.
Table of Contents
0 Administration: It's Good
* Patient Care: The perfect recipe
0 (Extra)ordinary Person: Anastasia Albanese-O'Neill
9 Patient Care: Researcher makes Hollywood debut
) Research: Shark bites
Cover story: Hope and help for Haiti
I Patient Care: Saving chilly sea turtles
0 Jacksonville: Heart attack alert
Profile: A lifetime of achievements
To Russia, with science
--- wo faculty members from the UF College of Medicine's
department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine
were invited by the National Institutes of Health Office of AIDS
Research to travel to Moscow, Russia last October to take part in the
w United States-Russia Workshop on HIV prevention science. Maureen
Goodenow, Ph.D., and Marco Salemi, Ph.D., attended the meeting,
which was held jointly with the Russian Federal Service for
Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being.
The workshop was aimed at developing recommendations to guide
and strengthen future U.S.-Russia collaborations on HIV/AIDS
prevention research. Goodenow moderated the session on HIV
Enzymes and Viral Replication and presented an overview of the
significant role that antiviral drugs play in reducing mother-to-child
transmission of HIV and in controlling disease in adults. Salemi gave
an oral presentation on landscape phylodynamics, which applies
geospatial, anthropological and phylogenetic analyses to the study of
the HIV emergence in different populations. Czerne M. Reid
Maureen Goodenow, Ph.D., (farthest right) and Marco Salemi Ph.D., (to her left) listen to John P. Holdren, Ph.D., science and technology adviser to
President Obama and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, at a reception hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to
Russia during an NIH-sponsored HIV prevention science workshop in Moscow.
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Gene therapy pioneer William W. Hauswirth, Ph.D., has been named "Florida Newsmaker of the Year" for
science in the January issue of Florida Trend,the statewide magazine for Florida's leaders.
Meanwhile, his findings in the journal Nature that showed how gene therapy could cure squirrel
monkeys of color blindness-the most common genetic disorder in people -was deemed the No. 3
scientific discovery of 2009 by Time magazine.
A professor of ophthalmic molecular genetics and a member of the UF Genetics Institute and the
Powell Gene Therapy Center, Hauswirth was recognized by Florida Trendin part for helping three people
born with an incurable form of blindness regain some of their vision. Those results were detailed this year
in The New England Journal of Medicine.
In addition to Hauswirth, one other person currently associated with UF was recognized by Florida
Trendas a top newsmaker-Tim Tebow for athletics. -John Pastor
u2o, 1o0 13o. I
Ur. David Uuzick (right), senior vice president tor health attairs and president ot the Ul&bhands Health
System, congratulates Dr. Michael Good, ninth dean of the College of Medicine.
By Karen Dooley
Picking up where he left off in 2009, Dr. Michael L. Good
maintained momentum in the new year recruiting
department chairs, developing the College of Medicine's
strategic plan, focusing on program and faculty development, and
traveling to Tallahassee to meet with state lawmakers about medical
education funding. One minor change from the previous year,
however, is the word "interim" has been dropped from his title.
Good, who served as interim dean of the College
of Medicine for 19 months, was named the college's
ninth dean after an exhaustive national search. The
announcement was made to a cheering crowd at the
Shands at UF atrium on Dec. 21 by David S.
Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for
health affairs and president of the UF&Shands
"Mike Good has proven himself to be an
exceptional leader who has gained the confidence of
the medical school's department chairs, faculty and
staff, and the enthusiastic support of hospital and
university leadership," Guzick said. "At this
moment when we are building a team to transform
UF and Shands a unique collection of six
colleges, five major research institutes and centers,
and a major health system comprising seven
hospitals into an academic health center of
national distinction, Mike Good is the right
medical school dean at the right time for Florida."
Good said he is honored to be given the privilege
of leading the UF College of Medicine as its dean.
"Faculty will continue to be the focus of my
work," Good said. "Patients seek care at UF and
Shands because of the unique expertise of our
clinical faculty. The world looks to our scientists
and research faculty for discoveries that cure
disease and optimize health. And the best and
brightest students come to UF for their professional
education because of our talented and dedicated
education faculty. I look forward to working with
our faculty and ensuring that they are fully
supported in their important work."
After receiving his medical degree at the
University of Michigan Medical School in 1984,
Good arrived at UF, where he completed a residency
in anesthesiology before joining the faculty in 1988.
During this period, Good teamed with UF
colleagues to invent the Human Patient Simulator, a
sophisticated computerized teaching tool that is
now used in health-care education programs
throughout the world.
In 1994, Good became chief of anesthesiology at
the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical
Center in Gainesville and two years later was
named chief of staff and system medical director at
the VA. He returned to UF and Shands in 2003 and
was appointed senior associate dean for clinical
affairs in 2005. In January 2009, he was appointed
the Folke H. Peterson Dean's Distinguished
Professor in the College of Medicine.
As interim dean of the College of Medicine since
May 2008, Good set in motion installation of the an
ambulatory electronic medical records system in
UF faculty clinics, worked with the UF
administration to obtain additional state funding
for the medical school, appointed a senior associate
dean for research affairs, and filled open chair
positions in neurology, surgery, neuroscience,
obstetrics and gynecology, and molecular genetics
In a challenging fiscal environment, he fostered
faculty development, including the recruitment of a
nationally recognized radiation oncologist and
researcher to direct the UF Shands Cancer Center,
and one of the nation's leading Alzheimer's disease
researchers to lead a new research center in
Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases.
In addition, Good reshaped and enhanced
College of Medicine support that enabled the
university to receive a $26 million National
Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational
Science Award to transform laboratory discoveries
into patient therapies, oversaw the transition of
patient care from Shands at AGH and the Shands at
UF emergency department to the Shands Cancer
Hospital at UF, and worked to elevate the College
of Medicine's physician assistant program to
As he transitions from interim to permanent
dean, Good will shift his efforts from college
operations to strategic planning and program
Good and his wife, Danette, have five children
- a son who is working in electrical engineering
research, two daughters in college, and a son and
daughter in high school.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the citest news end HSC events
A new home for the Institute on Aging
Marco Pahor, M.D., principal
investigator of the grant and director of
the UF Institute on Aging.
By Czerne M. Reid
he University of Florida's Institute on Aging has
received close to $15 million from the National
Institutes of Health to construct an almost
40,000-square-foot complex for clinical and translational
research. The building will bring together scientists from
a range of scientific disciplines and enhance how aging
research is carried out on the campus.
"This is a unique opportunity to have basic science,
clinical, epidemiology and health services researchers
working under the same roof on a common goal -
improving the health and independence of older adults,"
said Marco Pahor, M.D., principal investigator of the
grant and director of the UF Institute on Aging.
The one-stop facility will make it easier for mobility-
restricted older adults to take part in clinical trials, and
strengthen connections among existing UF research
centers, including the Claude D. Pepper Older
Americans Independence Center, the Clinical and
Translational Science Institute and the newly established
Cognitive Aging and Memory Clinical Translational
More than one-fifth of Florida's population is age 60 or
older, according to 2006-08 data from the U.S. Census
Bureau. Among all states, Florida has the largest
proportion of elderly adults.
The new building is part of UF's commitment to
develop multidisciplinary research programs and
facilities to help address the needs of Florida's aging
population. It will provide a home on the UF Health
Science Center campus for Institute on Aging researchers
who are scattered across 11 locations throughout UF and
around the state some in leased spaces.
With facilities for clinical research recruitment and
assessment, laboratories, training, conferences and
lifestyle intervention including an indoor walking
track, demonstration kitchen and behavioral counseling
suite the building will play a key role in advancing
aging-related research and career development at UF and
around the region.
"Thanks to Dr. Pahor and his team, we now will have
a centerpiece around which we can potentially develop
more broadly an academic home for clinical and
translational science at UF," said David Guzick, M.D.,
Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and
president of the UF&Shands Health System.
Funded under the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009, the project will create or
retain an estimated 376 jobs, three quarters of which will
be construction-related. The others include 30 faculty
positions as well as graduate assistants and support and
The four-story building to be located at the
northeast corner of Gale Lemerand Drive and Mowry
Road is designed according to the LEED Platinum
certification standards of the U.S. Green Building
UF appoints founding chair of environmental, global health department
By Jill Pease
he College of Public Health and Health Professions has
appointed Gregory C. Gray, M.D., M.P.H., founding chair
of the college's new department of environmental and
Gray comes to UF from the University of Iowa, where he
established and directed the Center for Emerging Infectious
"We are thrilled to have an internationally renowned
researcher like Dr. Gray as chair of our new environmental and
global health department," said Michael G. Perri, Ph.D., dean of
the College of Public Health and Health Professions. "Dr. Gray's
expertise in emerging infectious diseases will be a major asset
toward advancing our research and teaching efforts in global and
Gray's research interests include the epidemiology of animal-
to-human and human-to-animal disease transmission, often in
rural geographical areas. He leads research projects in Cambodia,
Mongolia, Nigeria, Romania and Thailand and has frequently
trained international professionals in emerging infectious
At UF, Gray will direct the newly established department of
environmental and global health, where faculty members
educate public health students and conduct research in areas
such as toxicology, chemical and exposure risk assessment, air
pollution, veterinary public health, water biology and molecular
biology. Gray plans to establish a Ph.D. program in environmental
and global health, and will work closely with the UF Emerging
Pathogens Institute to develop a virology research program.
In 2009, Gray received Mongolia's highest honor for a non-
citizen, the Peace Medal, for his research collaborations in
"In an era of increasing globalization and threat of zoonotic
diseases, such as swine flu and avian flu, Dr. Gray's research and
leadership contributions will be vital to UF's efforts to prevent
and control infectious disease outbreaks," said David S. Guzick,
M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF's
Health Science Center and president of the UF&Shands Health
Visit us onlie @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for t1e test ews d HSC events U IA 5
Nursing student's skills cor
in handy for special deliver
UF nursing student Emily Hunt holds Miracle Cromwell,
daughter of Chris, left, and Loretta Cromwell, of
Gainesville. Hunt aided the Cromwells when they were
forced to make an emergency roadside delivery of their
little baby "Miracle."
* By Tracy Wright
A t almost 4 weeks old, Miracle Cromwell coos
and cries like any newborn baby. However,
r her entrance into the world was anything but
ordinary, thanks in part to a quick-thinking UF College
of Nursing student.
P It was a typical fall evening Nov. 19 near the UF campus: heavy traffic, dusk
settling and the Gator Marching Band practicing at Norman Field for that
n e weekend's home game. Senior nursing student Emily Hunt was on her way to work
and sitting in traffic on Southwest 13th Street when she noticed the commotion
ry ahead of her.
Hunt was told that a woman was having a baby in a van ahead of her. She hopped
off her scooter and ran forward. What she saw was out of a film or TV show.
Hunt found Loretta Cromwell crouched over the front seat of the van, struggling
with pain. She had labored all day and was sent home from her doctor's office
because she wasn't dilated enough. But by 4 p.m., her water broke, and the family of
six headed to Shands at UF. They wouldn't get there soon enough. As Hunt
approached, Mrs. Cromwell's husband was delivering the baby.
"The father was literally 'catching' the baby as it came out," said Hunt, who had
already attended several births as part of her clinical rotation in obstetric/maternal
nursing. "I quickly came to the van, and started evaluating the baby, assessing her
breathing and pulse. She wasn't crying much, which worried me. I knew I had to do
something immediately so that the baby would not lose any more warmth."
Hunt asked the driver of the truck behind them for a towel. She started massaging
the baby's face and nose to remove any secretions or blockages to promote breathing.
"It was amazing having Emily there," said Chris Cromwell, Miracle's father. "For
her to come up and announce who she was and take control of the situation. I tell
you what, that made me feel real good. I felt like she couldn't have been in a better
place after that. Everyone was trying to help and I was holding onto the baby and
when she came, it relieved a lot of worry."
Coincidentally, Sandra Citty, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., a College of Nursing clinical
assistant professor, was next to the car when one of the family's older children yelled
for help. Citty, an adult nurse practitioner, called 9-1-1 and assisted the delivery,
though her only recent labor experiences were the births of her own children. She
coached the father on what to do, but Emily's presence made a huge difference.
"It is so strangely miraculous that this dedicated and mature nursing student, who
happened to be in her OB clinical rotation that semester, would be driving by at that
moment and could help this family," Citty said.
When Mrs. Cromwell was safely on the stretcher, Hunt placed the baby, swaddled
in the towel, onto the mother's chest. Mrs. Cromwell lit up, snuggled and kissed the
After Hunt finished her shift as a hostess at Carrabba's that night, she went to
Shands to visit the Cromwell family.
"It was a blessing to me to have her there and it was a blessing for my family to
have those two women (Hunt and Citty) there," Mrs. Cromwell said. "I thank God
Hunt credits her obstetrics clinical instructor, Michele Brimeyer, C.N.M.,
A.R.N.P. Brimeyer, after hearing the tale from Hunt's classmates, sent a proud and
congratulatory e-mail to Hunt that night.
"It seems like it was fate that she was there that day and could help this family
and their baby," Citty said. "But more than that, it is a testament to our college
preparing nurses to not simply pass tests but to critically and practically apply the
knowledge, theory and skills of nursing practice."
Even after the baby was born, Hunt stayed in touch with the Cromwells, who plan
to attend her graduation in May, too.
"I will always be grateful for her," Mrs. Cromwell said. "I think she is going to be
very successful in all that she does. She is my baby's angel. "
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A little love and cornstarch
With the help of some friendly voices, UF aids Afghan boy
By Priscilla Santos
David Weinstein, M.D., was alarmed the
first time he encountered the 4-year-
old boy from Afghanistan.
"He seemed lifeless, unresponsive and much worse than I expected,"
said the director of UF's Glycogen Storage Disease Program.
After U.S. Army officials found Sayed IIham Munawari in
Afghanistan and diagnosed him as having glycogen storage disease,
Munawari was placed on a 15-hour flight to Gainesville for treatment
through the UF's Glycogen Storage Disease Program, the largest of its
type in the world.
"It was a miracle that he even survived the flight," Weinstein says.
In children with the disease, the liver stores sugar from ingested food
but can't process it properly, resulting in dangerously low blood sugar
levels. For many people suffering from this disease, a box of cornstarch
is what makes the difference between life and death.
Although Weinstein had plenty of cornstarch, there was one problem.
Sayed and his father Sayed Naseer Munawari, did not speak a word of
English. They spoke Dari, the local dialect spoken in Afghanistan.
Immediately, Weinstein and his staff contacted the UF International
Center to see if they knew any students, staff or faculty who spoke Dari.
The International Center connected them with UF professors from
Afghanistan and students from the Persian Student Society at UF.
Weinstein knew that translation and communication would be cru-
cial to Sayed's care. Breaking down the language barrier was essential.
"It was amazing to see how the community of UF contacted us about
helping translate," Weinstein explains. "We were able to have volun-
teers alternate translating for the whole time Sayed was in our care."
Weinstein thought he would get a little help, but not nearly the
amount he did.
Building construction graduate student Amin Terouhid, one of the
translators, says that he was grateful for the opportunity to help. It was
his first experience translating for someone from a different country.
"I was happy I can be of some help because most of their problem was
communication," Terouhid says. "Plus, now I can say I have new friends
from the team, and I'm happy about that."
According to UF professor of engineering Fazil Najafi, also part of
the translating team, it was an experience of a lifetime to watch Sayed's
David Weinstein, the director of the UF's Glycogen Storage Disease
Program, along with others from the UF community helped save the
life of Sayed IIham Munawari, a 4-year-old boy from Afghanistan who
arrived at Shands at UF in critical condition.
transformation, thanks to Weinstein.
"It's marvelous what UF contributed to the helpless child and his
family," Najafi says.
Two days after being admitted to Shands at UF, he felt better
Weinstein credits team of translators that made it possible for him to
communicate with Sayed and his father for Sayed's speedy recovery
"We really couldn't have done it without every single one of the trans-
lators," Weinstein says. "UF should be proud of the quality of people
they have and impressed that so many people were willing to help."
Six days after arriving in Florida nearly dead, Sayed returned home
with suitcases filled with 130 pounds of cornstarch, a healthy new body
and new friends at UF who will never forget him.
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By Kim Libby
A nastasia Albanese-O'Neill has always aimed
to go "above and beyond" the expectations
of others. She excelled as one of the
highest-ranking executives at Southwest Airlines in
Southern California, fostered a successful career
in marketing and continues to manage a happy
family. But it wasn't until her daughter, Cassidy, now
9, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that her true
strength was tested.
"Her whole life, we've always told her that we all need to do more than just
hope to find a cure for diabetes," she said. "Then one day she looked at me and
asked, 'well, Mommy, what are you doing to help?' and I realized I had to get
Albanese-O'Neill moved to Gainesville with her husband, Dan, a UF political
science professor, in the summer of 2004. They soon had their son, Jackson, now
5. After bringing Cassidy to the UF Shands medical center for continued
checkups and treatment, she decided to go back to school to become a registered
nurse, specializing in pediatric diabetes treatment and education.
"I'm honored to be able to work here. The staff is engaged in the field and is
really focusing on important discoveries," she said. "It's a gift to me to be able to
contribute in some way."
Albanese-O'Neill spends the majority of her day working for the Network for
Diabetes becomes family matter
for one determined mother
I'jr n ji li i gan Donors with Diabetes, known as nPOD, as a project director.
I hi n l'P ) p! oject supports collaboration between more than 35 type 1 diabetes
11 jh i ,- i ..m around the world, including countries such as England, Finland
JnJ jjpjn M..st of the research so far has been done solely on mice, she said,
bK ju,. I pancreas is difficult to study in live humans.
I\ p. 1 J !jhtes is an autoimmune disorder that mainly affects young people
jnJ i, inriJjing in incidence by 3 percent to 5 percent each year. With this
J i, j i i mmune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells
in i h pjin!is. This requires patients to measure their blood sugar and pump or
in l.I i rnulih n multiple times each day. At this time, there is no cure.
13 p 1 Jdil k rs from the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body
becomes resistant to insulin even though the pancreas is producing it. For
patients with type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet and regular exercise is often enough
to reverse the disease process.
"We've come a long way through big, multicenter studies where we've been able
to collect a great deal of data," she said. "We know that for type 1 patients, there is
a genetic predisposition to the disease, but not everyone with those genes gets
type 1. That means there must be an environmental trigger and that's what we
need to figure out."
Her other duties also include working with UF's diabetes Web site at www.
diabetes.ufl.edu and working as a registered nurse in clinic with patients who
return for visits every three to four months. Modern medicine allows for so many
other options besides multiple daily injections of insulin, she said. Cassidy, for
instance, uses an insulin pump.
Many factors must be considered when matching the insulin dose to the body's
needs, including carbohydrate intake, exercise, illness and even stress and growth
"You have all these variables, so every three hours or so you have to do
something," she said. "Cassidy has to reconstruct her day to check her blood
sugar, but we try not to make that a focus in our family."
Cassidy, who was diagnosed at age 1, has been able to keep her disease in the
background, Albanese-O'Neill said. It hasn't stopped her from being on the swim
team and dancing in jazz and ballet classes.
"A few women asked her when she was younger, 'how do you deal with your
disease?'" Albanese-O'Neill said. "She just responded, 'what disease? I don't have
a disease!' She is unstoppable."
Albanese-O'Neill was honored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
last October at the "Miracle in the Moonlight Gala" for her efforts to raise more
than $10,000 for diabetes research.
"Even though it's unfortunate that Cassidy has this disease, our family has
learned a lot and met interesting and wonderful people along the way," she said.
"Sometimes, life is funny that way."
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for te latest news and HSC events I
ri o2ei o i
UF doctor plays a part in Pompe therapy, film
By Karen Dooley
As scientists work to find new treatments for
Pompe disease the devastating genetic
"villain" that drives the efforts of the main
characters in the new film "Extraordinary Measures"
- UF researchers are hopeful that gene therapy will
help patients in the late stages of the disease breathe
on their own.
Pediatric cardiologist Barry Byrne, M.D., director
of the Powell Gene Therapy Center and a member of
the UF Genetics Institute, will lead clinical trials of
a gene therapy for Pompe-related breathing problems
in six infants as soon as this spring.
He has a firsthand perspective on "Extraordinary
Measures," not only as a physician with expertise in
the disease, but also through actual participation in
some of the historical events of the film. Not to
mention a tiny role as a walk-on.
The movie depicts the true story of how John
Crowley, played by Brendan Fraser, battled to find a
cure to save his two youngest children, who were
diagnosed with Pompe.
Harrison Ford plays scientist Robert Stonehill, a
character based on a collection of researchers
associated with the disease, including Byrne.
"The movie focuses on the struggle of John and
the scientists he worked with to develop a treatment,"
said Byrne, a member of the UF College of Medicine
who provided technical expertise for the movie. "The
filmmakers strived to create a story the audience will
understand. I think it will resonate with people to
see how much a parent will go through and do
anything for his kids."
rry Byrne (left) and movie producer Michael
oerg on the set of "Extraordinary Measures."
Cathryn Mah, Ph.D., a UF assistant professor of
pediatrics, has worked with Byrne on gene therapy
research and trials for Pompe disease. She attended
the Hollywood premiere.
"It was a very interesting experience," Mah said.
"It was also a little surreal to watch a movie about the
research we've done and the people we've worked
with. Never in a million years could I have guessed
that a movie would be made out of it."
Last year Byrne and his son, Tyler, 17, were on the
set in Portland, Ore., where they met Ford, Fraser
and producer Michael Shamberg, who placed Byrne
in a couple scenes.
Look for the UF physician-scientist during the
opening credits, standing next to Fraser on a bus
platform, wearing a bright blue sweater.
Naples dental clinic receives high marks for eco-friendly design
The new 'green' dental building was
built on Edison College's Collier County
By Kim Libby
UF is going green and earning gold, as proved by the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,
or LEED, certification of the Naples Children &
Education Foundation Pediatric Dental Clinic.
The clinic was one of two projects constructed by UF's
team and was built on Edison College's Collier County
campus property. It was aided by construction management
company W.G. Mills, which is based out of Sarasota.
The project was spearheaded by a group of individuals
from various departments, such as UF's Facilities Planning
and Construction associate director Miles Albertson,
assistant director and project manager Bahar Armaghani,
project manager Scott Whiddon and Robert Bates, D.D.S.,
M.S., the project's coordinator for the College of Dentistry.
"This accomplishment shows that UF will take its
knowledge and sense of responsibility toward sustainability
along wherever it goes," Armaghani said. The university
did not charge Edison College for any of its planning
efforts, she adds.
The dental building yielded impressive statistics simply
in its construction. For instance, the building uses 42
percent less than traditional buildings. Ninety-one percent
of waste was reverted to recycling. There was a natural view
from 94 percent of the building, and 76 percent of the
building was lit by natural daylight. Additionally, all of the
materials used in the building, down to the glue, carpet,
paint, ceilings and furniture, do not emit harmful
Another area of concern for the certification was not to
disturb the ground and natural area the building was
constructed on. This ensured monitoring the population of
endangered species, including the indigo snake and gopher
"Ten or 15 years ago, you might as well have said this
type of building was from a different planet it was much
too hard to build," he said. "But we hope to show people
that this is not a foreign goal, and that it's actually well
worth the effort to accomplish it."
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Ashley Lentz, M.D., a plastic and
reconstructive surgery fellow at the UF
College of Medicine.
By ennifer Brindise
These words can send waves of
fear through the public and often
guarantee prominent coverage
in the news media even if the bite
is little more than a scratch. To better
communicate the actual severity of the
bite, UF researchers have created a grading
scale, similar to how burn severity is ranked
by degrees. The new scale is detailed in this
month's The American Surgeon.
UF researchers reviewed 96 cases containing complete medical
records from more than 4,000 entries in the International Shark
Attack File, a record maintained by UF's Florida Museum of
Natural History. Assigning scores to clinical findings such as blood
pressure, location and depth of injury, damage to organs, and death,
the team created a scoring system called the Shark-Induced Trauma
Scale, or SIT Scale.
Lead researcher Ashley Lentz, M.D., a plastic and reconstructive
surgery fellow at the UF College of Medicine, said compiling the
total score using the SIT assessment indicates the level of bite
severity as outlined in the newly created five-level grading system.
"If it's just an extremity and it's an abrasion, it's just a Level I
injury," Lentz said."If a shark comes up and takes a big bite out of a
thigh and takes out the femoral artery, then that's a life-ending bite
- pretty quickly and you are talking about a Level V injury."
The new shark bite severity scoring system creates a standardized
way for medical personnel to assess patient risk and for researchers
to evaluate trends, as well as offers a consistent method for media
and officials to communicate the impact to the public.
Findings showed 41.7 percent of attacks were Level I, 16.7 percent
were Level II, 18.8 percent were Level III, 14.6 percent were Level
IV and 8.3 percent were Level V.
In the article, UF researchers cite a Level III injury example of a
man who had been swimming approximately 30 yards offshore. The
shark bit into the muscles of his calf and foot. He was hospitalized
for a couple of months because of an infection and underwent three
Although public perception may be that most shark attacks are
deadly, most are minor. Those resulting in small lacerations account
for more than 90 percent of injuries in Florida, according to
co-investigator George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for
Shark Research and curator of the International Shark Attack File.
Analysis shows that worldwide there was a per-year average of 63.1
attacks resulting in 3.8 deaths between 2002 and 2007.
UF Trauma Medical Director Lawrence Lottenberg, M.D., who
contributed to the research, said the scale provides physicians with a
common language. He added that the UF team wants to get the
word out about the grading scale to coastal emergency providers
such as lifeguards, EMTs, emergency medicine physicians and
"A scoring system that can accurately describe the severity of a
shark incident will help educate the public to understand that most
bites are mistaken identity and that people are not on sharks'
menu," said Volusia County (Fla.) Beach Patrol Capt. Scott
Petersohn, who did not participate in the research. "The idea of
being attacked in the ocean by an unseen predator stirs a very deep
emotional response from most people."
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the citest news end HSC events
No added risk
Prescribed erectile dysfunction drugs
don't lead to risky sexual behavior
Despite studies suggesting that erectile dysfunction drugs
promote irresponsible sexual behavior, men who receive
prescriptions for them are no more likely to engage in risky
sex acts than men who do not receive prescriptions for the medications,
according to a University of Florida study.
"For this study we took the perspective of a doctor who may worry
that prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs to patients could
contribute to the spread of HIV," said lead researcher Dr. Robert
Cook, an associate professor in the department of epidemiology and
biostatistics in UF's College of Public Health and Health Professions.
"The findings from this study should provide some reassurance to
health-care providers that erectile dysfunction drugs appear to be
prescribed responsibly and used responsibly."
The study appears in the February issue of the Journal of General
"Previous studies have linked erectile dysfunction drugs to risky
sexual behavior, but nearly all of those studies have evaluated the
behavior of men who obtained erectile dysfunction drugs without a
prescription or were already known to be at high risk, such as men
who have sex with men, or men who have substance abuse problems,"
said Cook, "In this study we looked at erectile dysfunction drugs and
sexual behavior in the context of routine health care for a group of
men who are more representative of the general population."
The researchers defined risky sexual behavior as having unprotected
sex with a partner who has a different or unknown HIV status.
The UF study findings set the stage for doctors to make more
informed decisions when prescribing erectile dysfunction drugs,
"I think we answered the question of whether or not doctors can
prescribe erectile dysfunction drugs without too much concern about
causing risky sexual behavior, at least in the VA Health Care System,
but doctors should continue to counsel patients on safe behavior,"
From crickets to whales, animal calls
have something in common
S scientists who compare insect chirps
with ape calls may look like they are
mixing aphids and orangutans, but
researchers have found common
denominators in the calls of hundreds of
and Oklahoma State University have found r; &
the calls of crickets, whales and a host of JAMES GILLOOLY, PH.D.
other creatures are ultimately controlled by
their metabolic rates in other words, their uptake and use of energy.
"Very few people have compared cricket chirps to codfish sounds to
the sounds made by whales and monkeys to see if there were
commonalities in the key features of acoustic signals, including the
frequency, power and duration of signals," said James Gillooly, Ph.D.,
an assistant professor in the department of biology at UF's College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences and a member of the UF Genetics Institute.
"Our results indicate that, for all species, basic features of acoustic
communication are primarily controlled by individual metabolism,
which in turn varies predictably with body size and temperature. So,
when the calls are adjusted for an animal's size and temperature, they
even sound alike."
The finding, reported in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, will help
scientists understand how acoustic communication evolved across
species, uniting a field of study that has long focused on the calls of
particular groups of animals, such as birds.
"These findings say if you give me information about an animal of a
certain body size and the mechanisms it uses to make sounds, I can
give you a rough idea of what it sounds like," said Jeffrey Podos, Ph.D.,
an associate professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts
Amherst, who did not participate in the study. "It allows us to imagine
where the evolution of acoustic signals might go, and where it might
have come from."
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Faculty, students mourn Haiti losses, surge forward to help'
is roughly 1,000 miles away from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck
Haiti on Jan. 12. But in those first few days following the disaster, the distance
seemed more like a million miles. With every incoming phone call, people who
had friends and loved ones in the earthquake zone braced themselves, praying to see the
familiar 501 area code that would signal news from Haiti. In no time, students and faculty
with the Health Science Center, Shands HealthCare and the university community sprung into
service, doing whatever they could to help.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for te latest news and HSC events I
I~W am, E.
A\ urIn .m J.rn '.ho had moved to the United States.
S;A \ l't,,r I IJ ii i.h Kn she was 14 stood before the
m!' r-phrI..n i ihn Lir nJkii quiet of the Reitz Union
'.1mpihjil i. crowd of more than 400 pf-pll hjrn irii on
.1,i rI m.,ihi jnJ two of her sisters lived in the United'
i' IL, The i 'i of her fjmil \ li\dJ in Haiti, she said.
"We just found out th i ii hi of them have already,
passed away," she said. "The others are in P. i i u Prince
arid we J ri 'know where they are, we h J\ ,.L nrI .
whatsoever. My mom, I'm trying to be i i-r-n I.I hli hiiu
she is going ... I don't know what.'
h. ipLJ >'.j\ m.L t i .i- I'l'
"I work so hard to go ji.. unJ -rripu. jrnJ mil jnJ j,1d
lik. Li\ihirig is OK, because i ui J..ri' ,'.jni i.. fall
jpj!i I" ,hL. jiJ "I've been going i.. ih L..unrj,l center,
but it'is so hard to talk to somebody who doesn't
understand what you are feeling or what you are going
Then she broke j'. \ fi. .m the microphone. Others took
M.i. ii.A, l.'i i" d pi j\i flowed. It was Friday,
Jan 15 [ u i Ihc i J earlier, a 70 magnitude earthquake
hit Ijii !, leaving h u..jnJ,. .f people dead and even more
injured and homeless. Within 24 hours, the student group
Gators United for Haiti was born. It had organized the
candle-lighting L LL Tmrn i\
UF President Bernie Machen said that he had just found
out that a team of faculty and staff from the Health Science
Center was going to be airlifted the next im. n iin, to Haiti.
"The Gators are already in action and beginning to
move forward," Machen said. -John Pastor
'Are you sure?'
When the pilot who flew Mark Atkinson, Ph.D., and his team
of health-care professionals saw the devastation on the
ground in Haiti, he offered to turn the plane around.
"'Are you sure you want to stay? I will take you back,' he told us,"
Atkison recounted. "There was just chaos everywhere."
Atkinson is co-director of UF's Diabetes Center of Excellence
and an eminent scholar for diabetes research. He has traveled to
Haiti since the 1990s, providing medical, dental and educational
assistance and had returned from the country less than one week
before the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed a reported 200,000 people
and left tens of thousands more injured. The professor in the
department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine at
the College of Medicine quickly organized a group of health-care
workers familiar with disaster relief and delivering care in
After a few days at the airport in Port-au-Prince, the group was
able to make its way to a hospital in Saint Marc, about 35 miles
north of the capital city. Organized from Gainesville and
spearheaded by Atkinson under the auspices of Mission Possible,
Dr. David Risch, left, nurse practitioner Sally Bethart and Dr. '.I:.. t 1.1 '1, repack
medical supplies at the GC-v,.=i : i,1I- Regional Airport C- -. il ri ,. i ', facility as
they prepare to fly to Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti on Saturday, Jan. 16. Because of
logistical problems that delayed their travel, the -, '. .... .1 up leaving on
Monday and arrived in Haiti Jan. 20.
the team included Atkinson's wife Carol, daughter Heather, as well
as Sherry Meurer, Sylvia Campbell, Sandy Frost, Jeanne Gres,
David Hopper, Rod Ingram and Howard Kessler.
"The medical director of a hospital in Saint Marc put out a plea,"
Atkinson said. "They had no doctors, no supplies and they expected
thousands of refugees looking for food, water and medical care."
After nine days of very little sleep and nonstop work, Atkinson
and his group were ready to come home to "regroup," he said.
"It is a very daunting task when you walk through the rooms of
individuals and try to determine who is going to make it and who
isn't," he said from his Health Science Center office. "The sights,
sounds and smells of Haiti are pretty disturbing."
Atkinson continues to work long hours in his fight to help the
people of Haiti. From Gainesville he organizes the shipment of
supplies, and he prepares to return.
"I commend all the people who are going down there to provide
medical care, donating clothes and food," he said. "They need so
much, but their greatest need is hope. And I hope that's what we're
doing. Providing hope." Karen Dooley
CONTINUED ON PAGE 14
Visit us onlie @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for t1e test ews d HSC events 1 13
A medical team of surgeons from The Orthopaedic Institute in
Gainesville, (from left) Steve Waters, M.D. '75; Dale McDilda, S.T.;
Amanda Maxey, M.D. '93; and Jason Rosenberg, M.D. '95, boarded
a plane at the Gainesville Regional Airport headed to Port-au-Prince,
Haiti on Jan. 19.
pull together for Haiti
When a team of Gainesville surgeons returned
from Haiti on Jan. 27, they were treated to a
red-carpet homecoming at the airport. Plastic
surgeons Jason Rosenberg and Greg Gaines, and
,rth.-,pcdic urcc.-,ns Amanda Maxcv nd Stcphcn
\\V A11 Jll ual I rn..m h. lI ( ..Iki ..I
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Hearts in Haiti
W hhen news about the earthquake reached Gainesville, it was
S a shocking blow for eight UF medical students who come
from the island country and have family there.
Fortunately, family members of all eight students survived the
earthquake and have been contacted, said Donna M. Parker,
M.D., assistant dean of the Office of Minority of Affairs at the
College of Medicine.
"The first couple of days after the earthquake hit were very
worrisome because I knew my Haitian students have family
down there," she explains. "It was an enormous relief when we
learned all the families were safe."
However, Parker still fears for the future of her students'
"I know that they are running out of food, water and shelter,"
she says. "We are very concerned."
Ricardy Rimpel, a second-year medical student, said it has
been difficult to think of anything other than Haiti since he saw
the Presidential Palace in Port-au-Prince in ruins.
"I haven't been able to do any schoolwork because the only
thing I can think about is Haiti," says Rimpel, one of this year's
leaders for Project Haiti, an international medical outreach
program organized by UF medical students.
Rimpel says he was finally able to reach his family three days
after the earthquake, and although he is grateful they were not,
killed or injured, he knows his family rn rmb, h, are filled
M; lrrikI was not h.pL ful at all," he explains. "'There is no
I j I ,' they told nme."-
Ashl\ Piaiii -.n. j|- mi L rrn h, i i he UF medical class of
S2012, lj. d. jin IjmiI\ rrn rri hI ii InL in Haiti and is wnrkine
*, n ij iin lund. II I i ih I L LII.'I i hul shewould ratL.i h ,
I ii j ll n i,, iJ i ii ., ,l 1p providL rn J ILJI J I, IJrILL
I love m\ L ..urli\ ji n my p ..pkl. nJrid I jrni i.. be down
there," she says with 4 .n..1c LuI L\ jn rJ II ui i i..i "It's
driving mrn LJ/\ I'm i1 i\F in J.. 'I d IJ ..kinr: ii al ll i rI .'n jdnJ
I\ i ini to iuN IuJ\ I..i M LIJ .L hL .LjuL1: Lh.'..I rin.. I ..In to slow
Jd...n /i Ih hi. "
llI h IjiiL .rIn jnJ kR mpr l LujLil\ ''. ji II [hI PI-I.IL I liJll
Ii ip pljorIdJ I ,piin I! bhIJk. M\IJa h I.- -y Pi illa S iIt'
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
-, M P
from the front liner
'Public health' team encounters devastation,
Michael Perri, Ph.D., of the College of Public Health and Health Professions, led a team that
days providing emergency medical relief to Haitian people from a small facility near Port-au
him were Sally Bethart, M.S.N.,A.R.N.P, from the College of Nursing; Slande Celeste, M.P.H.
David Meurer, M.D., from the College of Medicine; Cindy Nelly, R.N., from Shands at UF; Eds
M.S., of IFAS; and community physicians John Gaines, M.D., Robert DeLaTorre, M.D., Roberi
and David Risch, M.D. Here is an abridged version of Dr. Perri's summary following eight dal
A after 24 hours of waiting in a hangar at the San Isidro Air Base in
the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Southern Command flew us via
Blackhawk helicopters to the Double Harvest Compound in Croix
des Bouquets, Haiti (about 7 miles east of Port-au-Prince). Double
Harvest was selected because it had operating rooms that were under-utilized.
We divided our group into two subteams: a "medical/surgical" group (Drs.
Meurer, Risch, DeLaTorre, Melosh and Nelly; and a "public health" group
(Gaines, Sally Bethart, ARNP, Celeste, Redden and myself).
Our "medical/surgical" folks began immediately working with the Partners-
in-Health medical team that had recently arrived at Double Harvest. The group
began triaging patients and operating on those who needed surgery. For several
days, the team worked with very few breaks treating lots of trauma cases,
including many that required amputations. As the news spread about the
availability of medical care at Double Harvest, the numbers of patients brought
to the "Hospital" swelled. The types of cases changed over time as the number of
people with traumatic injuries decreased, and people needing other kinds of
medical care increased.
Our "public health" team left Double Harvest on Wednesday morning to try
to make our way to Christianville (which is located near Gressier about 15 miles
west of P-A-P). We drove through P-A-P and witnessed the massive devastation,
including the destruction around the Palace. In many places, the smell of death
was unmistakable. We drove through P-A-P to Carrefour, the epicenter of the
quake. We stopped there to search for Slande Celeste's mother (who had not been
heard from since the quake). Her home was destroyed, but she was alive and well.
It was a joyous moment!
We continued onto Christianville in search of Obinson Joseph, the principal
of one the local schools. Another great moment! He was alive, having survived
the total collapse of the school, which housed his second-floor apartment. He
was grateful to see us and immediately took us into the community to assist
people injured in the quake. Slande served as interpreter as Sally and John began
treating the injured.
By nightfall, we made it into Christianville and found that the medical clinic,
eye clinic, high school and virtually all buildings in the compound had collapsed
or had been damaged beyond repair. For that night and several others, we slept
beneath the stars. Each night we experienced aftershocks. Following each shock,
we invariably heard the crying and wailing of people in the community.
Each day our team set up an outdoor clinic in the courtyard of Obinson's
collapsed school. As the word spread that help was available, the stream of
people with injuries and medical problems grew. Our team treated more than 50
individuals each day. In some cases, we needed to transport people to other
facilities that could provide more extensive care. For example, we took a man
with a gangrenous foot back to Double Harvest for a partial amputation.
A group of children from Obinson's school in Christianville hold a clock
that stopped at the time the quake struck. "The picture is all the more
poignant when you learn that the parents of some of the kids in the photo
are still 'missing,'" according to Michael Perri, dean of the College of
Public Health and Health Professions.
Dean Perri and multidisciplinary team members make
preparations before leaving for Haiti. The mission required
a strong "base camp" to underpin the relief effort.
Our other activities included meeting with community leaders to discuss
immediate and long-term needs and to begin planning for the rebuilding of the
schools. We also began the first of a series of trips to the Dominican Republic to
purchase food supplies. On our first run, we secured two tons of rice and
successfully managed to keep it well covered (i.e., out of plain sight) as we worked
our way on our five-hour journey from the Dominican Republic through P-A-P
As the week progressed, we observed an increasing presence on the streets of
Haitian police and troops from the United Nations, the United States, and other
countries. We did not witness any untoward incidents other than arguments
at gridlocked intersections. We saw large crowds standing in long lines waiting
for food and water in P-A-P, but the people appeared to be waiting very patiently
in the hot sun. Throughout the town and countryside, tent cities seemed to be
springing up, and most people seemed to be hard at work in clean-up efforts.
By Sunday, members of our team began to return to the States. We learned
that Hendrick Motor Sports in conjunction with a group called Missionary
Flights International was providing free flights from P-A-P to Fort Pierce,
Florida. Most of our group took advantage of the opportunity on Monday and
Tuesday. Edsel Redden and Bob Melosh decided to stay behind. Edsel plans to
return on Saturday after making a few more food runs to the D.R. Dr. Melosh,
who is retired, plans to stay as long as he can be of help at Double Harvest.
As a group, we are very grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of the
relief effort. We are thankful to all who provided us with assistance and support.
The resilience of the people of Haiti impressed us immensely. We are all
determined to make this effort the start of a continued collaboration to improve
the lives of our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
,. : - _.7 "
I . -" . -. .. .
_. -- -\ a -- - - -" -- ^ ..-7- *-" **^ -
D. r D Clugston I.-ht, ..,.I Dr. M ichael M oser transport c, i:...,r.-,t I .
S' .t .- H6pital Sacr6 Coeur in Milot, near the north coast of Haiti.
Crossing into Haiti
E ver since he was a graduate student in the College of Dentistry in the late
1980s, pediatric dentist Tim Garvey, D.M.D., has returned annually to
provide health care to the people in and around Las Matas de Farfan.
The town, about 82 miles from Port-au Prince, is located deep in the
interior of the continent, just east of the Haiti border in the Dominican
Republic. After the earthquake, because of his contacts in the region, Garvey
was able to arrange entry to the Dominican Republic for a group of physicians
wanting to assist in the relief efforts.
Garvey, along with two oral surgeons and five physicians from Daytona
Beach, planned on assisting local physicians in the Dominican Republic who
were treating Haitians. Instead they ended up crossing into Haiti and
traveling to Port-au-Prince, where they worked in a makeshift hospital set up
at the city's airport.
"It was an amazing experience. There were people there from all over the
world helping the patients. I was so happy to be able to go; it was such a
humbling experience," Garvey said.
Teresa Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H., dean of the College of Dentistry, said, "Our
hearts go out to the countless people who are suffering because of this natural
disaster. I am proud of Tim's ongoing commitment to service in that region.
Because of his longstanding relationships in the area, he was able to quickly
make arrangements for the relief trip." -Karen Rhodenizer
Miles to go
I n I l,,i dJ ilI ( Ilk~.x Il i nd n ,hJ iJ, ih.J rn, h, h hb.J.n ,.n i.jnJh\
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,.ni.i .rn [Jn 3- 'hjrJn J j-hih( Jii. ,,1Ih iJ, hJi\,. jA %.... k., J '. iih i h. ,I ji.
jnJ J,,r i>lJ mrr J id l J upp[!!,. h.,-pii ll Lqu!prrn!rni. uLI1-' inLiJ i urr nir inJ
other rmnji -rijI, 'hnirdJalso purchased and d.rnii.J dhi ..tJ-,p.ii um nribhi..lics
-for frk 'Jidjl i .lif efforts.
"In the weeks, months and years to come,, therewill n.. Jduhi h m. rin\
opportunities to help," said David S.:iu/ik,\l 1M ), Ph 1), r,ni'r vi> p.,J.rni
for health affairs and presidentof the l l'hajrJ> HI alih \ ,i.m. "In ih.,,
times of extreme hardship and ti JidJ\ for ourni; hbi n HI ii ii iis extremely
heartening to see the UF Health Science Cenite: inJ 'hianJ lajlihCjic -, ..,n
together as they have."''
The full magnitude of the Haiti I .JJd\' is still coming into focus.
"The work definitely is not done," said Michael Moser, M.D. "The vsytcm is
..rrnplo.ii ,'.i .hl .d The issue is many of the patients are very 0.I. !.I
injured, with open fractures or crushed body parts thirn:, that just don't go
away. F' rn here, in the best health-care environment, treatment can go on for
six to 12 months. Down there, if there Jii, not people intervening onwa continual
basis, the people will not have a good chance. There needs to be a sustained
Moser, an assistant professor at the UF Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
Institute and UF team physician, led a UF group that included physician
assistant Matt Walser, registered nurse Terri Hodgson, and medical doctors
Michael Mac Millan, Mark Rice, Tim Morey, Ben Miller and Jay Clugston.
They worked from The H6pital Sacr6 Coeur in Milot, near the north coast of
Haiti, about 80 miles from Port-au-Prince. The hospital was receiving
earthquake victims by car, helicopter and foot, and the team helped with
approximately 200 surgical procedures. The hospital swelled from its normal 60
beds to 400 by the time the team left.
"We were the second team there," Moser said. "Each team that arrives brings
more equipment. The hospital took over a local school in order to accommodate
the influx of patients. But in a mass casualty and trauma situation, the resources
simply aren't there to care for patients. The team that follows us will have real
instrument sterilizers and anesthesia machines."
Moser said the work is never-ending.
"It is emotionally draining to see that many people with so many severe
injuries," Moser said. "These are good people who are just devastated, and they
really appreciate an outside influence coming in to take care of people. The eight
of us are pretty much unanimous in our decision that we want to go back."
Faculty, staff and students interested in UF's official policies with regard to participating
in Haiti relief efforts should go to www.aa.ufl.edu/haiti/resources.htm.
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ri o2ei o i
New therapy is 6AsX to sNAlloN
By ill Pease
B y the time he began an experimental swal-
lowing therapy at UF last September, Ben
Shuckburgh, 42, of West Sussex, England,
had been relying exclusively on tube feeding for
In 2008, surgeons removed a fist-sized tumor from Shuckburgh's throat.
and used tissue from his left forearm to build a new throat during a 23-hour
surgery. After weeks of radiation and chemotherapy he lost the ability to
swallow food. Last summer his local therapist told him about a new swal-
lowing treatment she'd heard described by UF researchers during a lecture 1
at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Shuckburgh decided to travel to Gainesville.
"Here was an opportunity that I had to accept," said Shuckburgh, an in-
vestment manager and personal development trainer. "I knew that I may be
tube fed for the rest of my life. I thought 'I'll try it and if it doesn't work at
least I know I've done all that I can to get well and improve my quality of
life with my family.'" '
The McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program, named in honor of the first Ben Shuckburgh (right) eagerly begins a meal under the watchful eye of
person to receive it, is the brainchild of College of Public Health and Health Giselle Mann, an associate professor in the department of behavioral
Professions researchers Michael Crary, Ph.D., a professor in the depart- science and community health. Shuckburgh relied on feeding tubes
ment of communicative disorders, and Giselle Mann, Ph.D., M.P.H., an as- before he received an experimental treatment through the College of
sociate professor in the department of behavioral science and community Public Health and Health Professions to help him swallow.
The new therapy strengthens muscles involved in swallowing through
frequent and intense exercise, and it could give people with swallowing dis-
orders a common side effect of head and neck cancer treatment or stroke
- hope of restoring lost function.
"Traditionally, swallowing treatment has taken a very conservative,
hands-off approach. Therapists modified food or used compensatory mea-
sures so it was safer for patients to swallow. Consequently, the muscles in-
volved in swallowing were never progressively strengthened, and people
would plateau in their rehab. We were protecting the airway but not allow-
ing muscle change," said Mann, a speech-language pathologist.
The concept behind the McNeill Dysphagia Therapy Program mirrors
sports training or physical therapy.
"We started to look at swallowing therapy from an exercise-based per-
spective, whereby the principles of exercise could be applied to muscular
change in eating and swallowing," Mann said.
So far Crary and Mann have tested the treatment in nearly 30 patients,
most of whom had no ability to eat food before treatment. During the three-
week program patients start with food they can manage safely, such as pud-
ding and bananas, and move on to more challenging foods like meat and
vegetables. The training is intense working on a progressive maximum
interval system, patients swallow 80 to 90 times a session compared 20 to 30
times in traditional treatments sessions. Researchers closely monitor the
patients' eating and train participants to keep their airways clear.
"The treatment forces patients into challenging situations with someone
there ready to catch them if they fall," Mann said. "The program has a lot
of checks and balances. In the first two sessions patients often progress
slowly because they are nervous. Once they learn the techniques they ad-
By the end of Shuckburgh's first week of therapy, he could eat chicken
alfredo and went on to experience several American classics, including
Easy Mac, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and what Shuckburgh calls
"the pinnacle of the American culinary arts," the Twinkie.
Throughout his treatment Shuckburgh posted video diaries of his experi-
ences on YouTube so his friends and family, including wife Emma and chil-
dren Sam, 14, and Rose, 12, could follow his progress from England.
"After the first week, I have a feeling of real optimism," said Shuckburgh
in a YouTube post. "I'm astonished by the progress I've made. I'm actually
eating substantial amounts of food. For the first time I've allowed myself to
actually believe that I'm going to eat relatively normally, and it's an amaz-
Like Shuckburgh, the other patients in the pilot study have made impres-
sive gains in their swallowing abilities and maintained their improvements
in the weeks following the treatment's end, Mann said. The researchers are
currently conducting an NIH-funded randomized, controlled trial to test
the therapy in a larger group of patients.
By the end of the third week of treatment, Shuckburgh no longer re-
quired supplemental tube feedings. Back home in England, he reports that
he is eating normally and has had his feeding tube removed. He success-
fully met his pre-treatment goal of eating a Sunday dinner of lamb and
roasted potatoes with his family.
"Going through this experience the emotional aspects of eating have be-
come very clear to me," he said. "We eat to celebrate, commiserate, comfort
and refresh. We create food, give it and share it. Stepping outside of that
world has been the hardest part. That's why Sunday dinner with my family
is so special to me."
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UF veterinarians provide warmth for cold sea turtles
Story by Sarah Carey
An initial influx of about 25 green sea turtles turned into more than 80 who
received care and support from UF veterinarians in mid-January following
record cold temperatures throughout the state. The unprecedented cold
snap of below-freezing temperatures for several days posed a severe health threat
to thousands of the green turtles, already an endangered species.
Some 5,000 "cold-stunned" sea turtles were collected from the sea at various locations and transported to rescue facilities
throughout the state over a 10-day period. About 20 percent of those turtles died. The remainder have been released back into the
wild or are being cared for by various rehabilitation facilities.
"Initially, we didn't have a clear idea how large it was going to get," said Dr. Brian Stacy, a clinical assistant professor in UF's
Aquatic Animal Health program and a contract veterinarian with the National Marine Fisheries Service. "The role we played
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ri o2ei o i
was to house as many fibropapilloma turtles as we could so that i
other rehab centers that don't keep those kinds of turtles would .
not have to deal with the biosecurity that the condition .
Fibropapillomatosis is associated with a virus and manifests as
wart growths. It is most worrisome when tumors are large and
numerous or when the growths appear in or around the eyes,
threatening the animals' vision and their ability to find food.
"Some of the turtles were actually responsive between 12 to
24 hours and could be released," Stacy said. "We were
identifying those with buoyancy issues, severe tumors, turtles
with eye problems or that showed other types of trauma. We
were also concerned about turtles that were very thin, since
those would need to be kept longer."
Other members of the Aquatic Animal Health team assisted
in various ways. Dr. Mike Walsh and Dr. Jim Wellehan
managed the clinical treatment of turtles coming into UF, with
help from zoo medicine resident Dr. Natalie Hall, aquatic
animal health resident Dr. Jenny Meegan, aquatic animal
health instructor Dr. Nicole Stacy, veterinary technicians .
Jennifer Muller and Linda Archer, biological scientist Heather
Daniel and many other veterinary student and staff volunteers. 3 .
Biological scientist Mike Sapper, who works in the anatomy
laboratory, helped set up tubs and pools in advance of the '
turtles' arrival. Aquatic Animal Health Program Director Ruth B'S
Francis-Floyd helped with water quality management and
other logistical aspects that were coordinated and put into place
within a day, and with very little notice.
"We were able to get large numbers of turtles back into the
wild in an appropriate manner," he said. "This was an
unprecedented situation. We had twice as many strandings as
we deal with in a given year, and over a period of 10 days."
Clinical pathologist Nicole Stacy, with the
University of Florida's Aquatic Animal Health
program, removes a green sea turtle in January
from a holding tank to mark its shell with an
identifiable number in white nail polish. The
turtle is one of many that arrived at UF's
College of Veterinary Medicine after being
rescued from potentially fatal conditions in the
Indian River Lagoon area on the Atlantic coast.
tWater temperatures dropped to below normal
levels for more than 10 days. Since then, most
of the turtles have been returned to their homes
in the wild.
Visit us onlie @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for te 0test 19
Timing is everything
New heart attack alert system puts
time back on patients' side
Walter Davis with his wife, Amy.
By Kandra C. Albury
It was a typical day at Walt's Automotive in Callahan, Fla. Walter Davis
had been working on cars for most of the morning until around 1 p.m. on
Thursday, July 30, 2009, when he started experiencing severe chest pains
while under the hood of car. He didn't realize that his symptoms were the
onset of a heart attack.
"I got to feeling real bad so I went in the office and sat down and started
sweating a lot," Davis said.
He started having regular chest pains and difficulty sleeping three days
prior. He described the pain as a recurring muscle pull. The night before he
was rushed to Shands Jacksonville, he slept in an upright position at the
dining room table because he could not lay flat in bed due to severe back pain.
The day Davis had the heart attack, his wife, Amy, rushed him to a nearby
fire station where the paramedics examined him.
"When I got in the ambulance, they asked me where I wanted to go and I
told them 'get me to Shands,'" the 42-year-old father and grandfather said.
Lyndon Box, M.D., a UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville assistant professor
of cardiology, performed an emergency heart catheterization on Davis.
The lifesaving procedure
During the procedure, a small tube was inserted into the main artery of
Davis' leg and then directed to the arteries of the heart. Once the catheter
was positioned in the heart, an X-ray was taken to find the blocked artery.
When the blocked artery was located, a tiny wire not much thicker than a
millimeter was inserted through the tube and across the blockage. After that,
a stent (metal mesh) was put in to keep the artery open.
This procedure is done while the patient is awake. The only discomfort is
from the injection of the numbing medication lidocaine and the initial
puncture to get the sheath into the artery. After that, the patient may have
some pain from the removal of the blockage, but the procedure itself does not
require anesthesia or a large incision.
"In Mr. Davis' case, we were able to open the artery very quickly, and it is
likely that he will only have minor damage to his heart," said Box, who
credits the quick turnaround time for saving Davis' life.
It took less than 45 minutes from the time he arrived at the hospital until
the artery was open.
"What's even more impressive was that from the time he was picked up by the
ambulance until the artery was opened was less than 90 minutes, which includes
the time it took the ambulance to arrive from Nassau County," Box said.
On Aug. 1, Box and a team of UF physicians implemented an emergency
response system called ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction Alert, or STEMI-
Alert. The STEMI-Alert system enables paramedics to notify physicians in
the Emergency Department at Shands Jacksonville that a heart attack patient
will be arriving. When the patient arrives, the cardiac catheterization team is
already assembled and ready for the procedure.
"The application of this approach to STEMI patients has been long
overdue, but now we are seeing the direct benefits of it," Box said. "Patients'
chances of survival are directly related to the time it takes to open the artery."
Another UF&Shands Jacksonville milestone
Accreditation makes cancer center only one of its kind in Northeast Florida
By Frin VanWey
S hands Jacksonville has received a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer as part of the
American College of Surgeons Teaching Hospital Cancer Program.
This accreditation makes Shands Jacksonville the only Commission on Cancer-approved teaching hospital
in Northeast Florida. The center received its accreditation in December.
"Eighty percent of the cancer care in the United States is provided by Commission on Cancer-approved
institutions, which constitute 20 percent of all hospitals in this country," said Carmine Volpe, M.D., a University of
Florida associate professor of surgery and director of the UF Shands Jacksonville Cancer Center.
The Commission on Cancer Accreditation Program encourages health-care organizations, treatment centers and
other facilities to improve their quality of patient care through a variety of cancer-related programs. The focus of
these programs is prevention, early diagnosis, pretreatment evaluation, staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation,
surveillance for recurrent disease, support services and terminal care.
For more information about the cancer program at Shands Jacksonville, call 904-244-3294.
CARMINE VOLPE, M.D.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for the iciest news end HSC events
Dental honor society names new officers
In November the local chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, a national dental honor
society, installed a new slate of officers to serve for the 2009-10 year during the fall
business meeting in Gainesville. Arthur Nimmo, D.D.S., a professor of prosthodontics
and director of predoctoral implant dentistry, was named president of the chapter.
Donald Cohen, D.M.D., M.S., a professor of oral and maxillofacial diagnostic
sciences was named president-elect. The new vice president is Matthew Dennis,
D.D.S., a clinical associate professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery. Ronald
Watson, D.D.S., an associate professor of operative dentistry, will continue his role as
secretarv-treasuiirer Ulrich Foerster D D S r clinical associate professor of oral and
N IIIIIII D .,., I-.,-,. .l-'., M u ttllII ,, I iillo, DJ.J.u,., KI- ulj ,'iu to~ l, IJ.IJ..
COLLEGE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
an assistant professor of
cardiology at the UF College
of Veterinary Medicine, is the
Southeast Regional winner
of the nationwide "Thank
Your Vet for a Healthy Pet"
contest. Sponsored by Morris
Animal Foundation, Hills Pet Amara Estrada
Nutrition Inc. and BowTie Inc.,
the essay-based contest allows clients to honor
outstanding veterinarians for their dedication to
helping animals and strengthening the human-
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
Ph.D., an associate professor
of natural products at the
College of Pharmacy and
director for the UF Center
of Food-Drug Interaction
Research and Education,
is one of nine experts, and
the only woman, serving a
five-year appointment to the Veronika Butterweck
U.S. Pharmacopeia Botanicals
Expert Committee. The committee provides the
scientific foundation for USP's public health
products and programs. The organization sets
the public standards for all prescription, over-
the-counter medicines, and health-care products
sold in America.
assistant professor of medicinal
chemistry, has received a grant
totaling more than $1.2 million
from the National Cancer
Institute. Under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act
of 2009, Luesch has received
$641,000 in funding over Hendrik Lues,
the next two years to continue his research in
"The Chemistry and Biology of Largazoles." His
research, approved for renewal for a total of four
years, furthers the drug development of a potent
anticancer agent his group discovered from
marine microalgae in the Florida Keys.
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
Ph.D., the Stephany W.
Holloway university chair
in AIDS research and a
professor of pathology,
immunology and laboratory
medicine in the College
of Medicine, was invited
to deliver a lecture at
the Tri-Society Annual Maureen Goodenow
Conference on Cellular and
Cytokine Interactions in Health and Disease in
Lisbon, Portugal. Goodenow presented recent
discoveries from her research group, whose
findings provide insight into disease pathways
and potential targets for new anti-HIV drugs.
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
an assistant clinical
professor and audiologist
in the department of
is the president of the
Florida Academy of
Audiology for 2010. She is
responsible for coordinating
board members' duties, Debra Shimon
responding to member
and outside inquiries and participating in
lobbying efforts. The academy monitors state
licensing and hearing issues that may affect the
profession, advocates for people with hearing
impairment and promotes continuing education
opportunities for audiologists.
Dr. Claudia Senesac (middle), a clinical
assistant professor, was named the College of
Public Health and Health Professions' 2009
Teacher of the Year. She was recognized by Dr.
Stephanie Hanson, executive associate dean
(left), and Dean Dr. Michael Perri at the
college's employee recognition dinner last fall.
PHHP names teacher
of the year
Claudia Senesac, Ph.D., a clinical assistant
professor in the department of physical therapy,
has been named the College of Public Health and
Health Professions' 2009 Teacher of the Year. She
was recognized at the college's annual employee
recognition dinner in October. "She challenges,
encourages and nurtures in such a way that
students cannot help but be better professionals
by having been taught by Dr. Senesac," said
Stephanie Hanson, Ph.D., executive associate
dean of the college. Senesac teaches anatomy and
pediatrics classes in the Doctor of Physical Therapy
program. The pediatrics course she designed was
selected by the Pediatric Section of the American
Physical Therapy Association as an example of
innovative and creative teaching strategies for a
pediatric curriculum. Senesac, who has served
on the faculty since 2000, is an alumna of UF
three times over, having received her bachelor's,
master's and doctoral degrees here.
Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for t latest nws n SC ntsU 21
inaugurated as the 123rd president
of the Duval County Medical Society
at its 157th Annual Meeting on
Jan. 21. Kilkenny is a professor of
surgery in the division of surgical
oncology at the UF Health Science
Center in Jacksonville. He began
his affiliation with UF as a clinical John Kilkenny
associate and instructor in 1991. Since
1995 he has been a faculty member and
L. M.D., a professor yus
and senior scientist in the department Bri
of emergency Medicine at UF College assi
of Medicine-Jacksonville, received
the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Jos
Foundation's Investigator Award in hep
Health Policy Research to fund a study
on patient safety. The foundation Ind
awards grants of up to $335,000 to at th
study the country's most challenging Robert L. Wears
health issues. Wears will spend two and a half years
reviewing the patient safety movement from the 1970s
to the present.
A fixture in
By Laura Mize
As administrative assistant for the Family Medicine Clerkship
program at UF's College of Medicine, Nancy Stuart saw a new
group of students come and go every year.
But many of them never forgot her. A display on her office wall of
postcards she received from current and former students traveling in
Bali, Hawaii, Spain, Peru, Greece and many other locations bear
testimony to the relationships Nancy fostered with students. She passed
away Dec. 31.
Her colleagues in the department of community health and family
medicine said she always put others first, even when facing her own
"Nancy had an awesome smile about her, no matter what kind of trials
and tribulations she faced," said Sherri Swilley, the department's
coordinator of administrative services. "She had a way of bringing out
the best in others and listened to their problems with such care and
compassion as though there was not another care in the world but the
problem at hand."
Stuart worked for UF for 18 years, the last seven of which she spent
overseeing third-year medical students in their clerkship under Robert
Hatch, M.D., a professor of community health and family medicine. She
helped students with administrative issues related to the clerkship,
UF surgeons admitted into the American College
of Surgeons as fellows
r Ben-David, M.D., an assistant professor who specializes in bariatric surgery,
trointestinal surgery and oncologic and endocrine surgery.
an L. Hoh, M.D., an assistant professor of neurological surgery and joint
stant professor of radiology and of neuroscience.
eph F. Magliocca, M.D., an assistant professor of transplantation/
atobiliary surgery and surgical director of the pancreas transplantation program.
ermeet S. Bhullar, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of surgery
he Jacksonville campus. Special interest in traumatic brain injury.
Nancy Stuart (center) with her son Jonathon, 21, (right) and his friend.
planned the weekly Friday lectures, and even baked homemade goodies
for students and faculty to enjoy.
"She loved the students and they loved her back," Hatch said, "and she
went out of her way to make sure that they felt welcome and felt well
taken care of. She knew what they needed and she provided it for them."
Stuart did the same for her 21-year-old son, Jonathon Stuart. In her
absence, Stuart's co-workers are doing what they can to help Jonathon
know he isn't alone.
Hatch hosts Jonathon at his home for Sunday night dinners, and the
office is collecting donations to help the young man continue his
education. Jonathon is preparing to apply to college. To contribute to
Jonathon's college fund, make checks out to Jonathon Stuart and mail
them to: Community Health & Family Medicine, P.O. Box 100222,
Gainesville, FL 32610-0222.
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He served by
Diverse career leads to
award for Nichols
By Laura Mize
Wilmer Nichols has served his country in the Korean War,
worked as a NASA engineer, earned master's and doctoral
degrees, completed flight school and co-authored one of
the world's leading textbooks on hemodynamics. But there's one
thing he hasn't done: graduated from high school.
The son of sharecroppers, Nichols left home and
a life of farm work in Mississippi at 17 to join the
Navy. He never looked back. Nichols earned a
general equivalency diploma while serving in the
Navy, and has since earned a doctorate in
physiology and biophysics from the University
Director of basic cardiovascular research at UF's
College of Medicine from 1976 to 2002, he now
works as an adjunct professor of medicine.
Nichols pursued his Ph.D. after work at NASA
led him to an interest in hemodynamics, the study
of blood movement in the body. "The first Apollo
spacecrafts had problems with high-frequency
noise, so they were unsafe for astronaut flight,"
Nichols and his colleagues at NASA used a
Fourier series analysis, a mathematical technique,
to try to reduce noise on the rockets. He reasoned
the analysis could be used to study the human
heartbeat as well.
While earning his Ph.D., Nichols studied under
Donald A. McDonald, a pioneer in the field who had
similar ideas about the use of Fourier techniques in
hemodynamics. McDonald is the original author of
"McDonald's Blood Flow in Arteries." Nichols and
Michael O'Rourke, a cardiologist from Australia,
began writing new editions of the book after
McDonald's death in 1973.
The pair also has championed the importance of
radial artery pressure.
"That's the pressure that the heart pumps
against," Nichols explained. "It's not the pressure in
the arm, but it's the pressure right outside the heart."
This measurement is more helpful, he said.
"There have been at least three large clinical
trials that have shown that central aortic pressure is
better than brachial pressure for predicting
cardiovascular risk and also outcome," Nichols
said, adding that he was not directly involved with
Nichols has been involved with two other clinical
trials at UF on radial artery pressure tracing.
O'Rourke developed a system that uses radial
artery tonometric pressure tracings to monitor
central aortic pressure without invading the body.
In September, Nichols' body of work earned him
a lifetime achievement award from ARTERY, the
Association for Research in Arterial Structure and
An ARTERY member for four years, Nichols is
the second recipient of the award, which was
instituted last year. Michel Safar, M.D., a
cardiologist in Paris, received the award in 2008.
Nichols said he did not expect to receive the
award this year.
"I was surprised when I was asked to be the 2009
recipient of the lifetime achievement award," he
said, "because there are so many other well-
qualified people out there to receive the award."
John Cockcroft, M.B., Ch.B., ARTERY's
president and a professor of cardiology at Wales
Heart Research Institute in Cardiff, said Nichols
was given the award because "he has been one of
the leading figures in the world in terms of research
into large arterial function, especially stiffening of
the large arteries.
"Over his lifetime he has made many
contributions that have led to significant changes to
the way that physicians view the cardiovascular
system and in the way that clinicians assess
cardiovascular risk," Cockcroft said.
Visit us onlie @ http://news.health.ufl.edu for t1e latest ews d HSC events U IA 23
UF College of Medicine Dean Michael
Good (left) thanks Florida Sen. Durell
Peaden Jr., M.D., during a presentation
at the McKnight Brain Institute. Peaden
visited the Health Science Center for a
firsthand look at the programs he has
supported over the years in the Senate.
He was recognized as a physician who
understands the needs of physicians,
patients, medical schools and hospitals..
Dr. Ramiro Isaza performs a routine physical examination on
a female Asian elephant. Elephants are one of many species
seen by UF's zoological medicine service and an example of
potential subjects for Isaza's future studies in public health.
Diana Drogan, a first-year College of Veterinary Medicine
student, takes a break between classes during a cold spell
that not only hit the outdoors, but also the inside of the
Communicore Building. Diana bought her first coat when
she moved here from South Florida six years ago, and is
finally able to make good use of it.
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 &
Melanie Fridl Ross
April Frawley Birdwell
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
April Frawley Birdwell, Jennifer
Brindise, Tracy Brown Wright, Sarah
Carey, Elizabeth Connor, Karen
Dooley, Linda Homewood, Laura
Mize, John Pastor, Jill Pease, Betty
Poole, Czerne M. Reid, Karen
Rhodenizer, Melanie Fridl Ross,
Priscilla Santos, Christine Velasquez
Kandra Albury, Kim Libby
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
and Jacksonville and affiliations
throughout Florida. Articles feature
news of interest for and about HSC
faculty, staff and students and
Shands HealthCare employees.
Content may be reprinted with
appropriate credit. Ideas for stories
are welcome. The deadline for
submitting items to be considered
for each month's issue is the 15th
of the previous month. Submit
to the editor at afrawley@ufl.
edu or deliver to the Office of
News & Communications in the
Communicore Building, Room
Health Science Center
UF UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA