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There's more to Facebook and Twitter POST-it
then meets the eye for patients looking
for solutions and inspiration. More and Administration: New leaders
more, Web sites are fostering relationships Education: Positive thinking
among people who are facing enormous Education: Infectious teaching
healh chllenes.Education: Infectious teaching
Research: Alcohol and energy drinks
Research: Studying dolphins
Cover story: A healthy medium
,l ~Patient Care: Helping children
Jacksonville: Aiding Haiti
Research: Golde's standard
(Extra)ordinary Person: Switzerland bound
Teaching with Tech
HSC faculty forum March 8-12
weeklong series of events focusing on effective
uses of technology to improve learning outcomes
is being offered to UF faculty March 8 to March
12 while students are away for spring break. The
4 Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology
is a collaborative effort led by the Center for Excellence in
Teaching and Learning. In keeping with the mission to
"learn together, work together and succeed together," the
symposium allows colleges to foster interdisciplinary
.collaborations on future projects.
"This as an opportunity to recognize innovative faculty
and provide a forum for professors to share their work
with other disciplines within the Health Science Center,"
said Scott Blades, M.Ed., a coordinator of instructional
design in the College of Pharmacy.
The series features presenters from Health Science
Center colleges and departments. Learn more at
2 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
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Exercise one hour once a week and get the same benefits as traditional strength
training. UlFs Strength Science Lab is now open to faculty, staff, students and others
who want to get a higher-intensity workout with NeGator, a training system
developed by UF orthopaedics and sports medicine specialists. NeGator is based on
eccentric or negative training, in which machines help you to lower weights too heavy
for you to lift. To arrange a free session or find out about setting up a regular training
schedule, call fitness director Trevor Barone at 352-672-5554. Czerne M. Reid
Jean Michelson, a 53-year-old dietitian, works out on the NeGator
S6 .system under the guidance of fitness director Trevor Barone.
Shands HealthCare System Information Services leaders wrapped up a recent round of workflow
validation sessions concerning the Epic electronic medical records system. With the new system, which
will be introduced and tested extensively before it goes live in 2011, patients visiting any Shands
HealthCare facility will be able to build a single medical record. The system will be in sync with a
number of clinics led by UF Physicians that have already switched to the Epic system.
MARY ANN KIELY
HSC Staff Report
ji \ nn Kiely has been appointed associate
!tl p! resident for development for the UF
I lili h Science Center, effective March 1.
Kiely will work with Vice President Paul Robell, the
deans of the colleges, the directors of the research
centers and institutes, and the HSC development team
to foster broad-based fundraising and constituency
building at the UF Health Science Center, across
Gainesville and Jacksonville, in support of its missions
of patient care, education and research.
"As you know, we have been working to enhance the
close collaboration between the University of Florida
Health Science Center and Shands HealthCare," said
David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for
health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health
System. "Toward this end, Mary Ann has also been
appointed vice president for development at Shands
HealthCare. Her goal is to strengthen development
activities at the Health Science Center by coordinating
with parallel efforts at Shands HealthCare."
Kiely has 20 years of fundraising experience, the last
10 with the University of Rochester School of Medicine
and Dentistry, where she achieved tremendous success
in directing the medical school's alumni relations and
development program. During her tenure, she
substantially strengthened relations with alumni,
grateful patients and community supporters,
successfully completed a medical student scholarship
campaign, and established a new, successful volunteer
organization in support of Rochester's medical school.
"We are pleased to welcome Mary Ann to this new
role within our health system," said Shands HealthCare
CEO Tim Goldfarb said. "She will collaborate closely
with Susan Barcus (Shands HealthCare chief
development officer) and the Shands team as well as our
HSC colleagues to continue to strengthen our
development efforts to support our patient care,
research and education programs and further the
growth of our organization."
New IT chief to build health-system, academic efficiencies
i i Cassel has been appointed chief information officer for the UF Health
Science Center. She will begin March 22.
Cassel will work with Jan J. van der Aa, Ph.D., assistant vice president
of health affairs for Information Technology, the deans of the colleges, the
directors of the research centers and institutes, and the HSC information
technology team to enhance academic computing at the Health Science Center.
Cassel has also been appointed senior vice president and chief information
officer of Shands HealthCare. In that role, she will lead Information Services
and direct the team responsible for implementing the systemwide Epic initiative.
She will work with Marvin Dewar, M.D., vice president for affiliations and
medical affairs for Shands HealthCare and associate dean of continuing medical
education, and his electronic medical records team to ensure seamless KARl CASSEL
integration of the Epic electronic medical record across the faculty practice and
"Kari will make important contributions to our aspirations at the Health Science Center regarding patient
care quality and safety, biomedical and clinical research, and inter-professional education across the HSC
colleges," said David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs and president of the
UF&Shands Health System. "She has a track record of building successful teams with an emphasis on
creativity, customer service, collaboration, communication and delivering results."
Shands HealthCare CEO Tim Goldfarb said, "This is an exciting new appointment for our health system as
we establish a more integrated approach. We look forward to working with Kari to build stronger relationships
and efficiencies within the UF and Shands health system. Having such a strong IT leader working on behalf of
the entire system will support our goals of outstanding, quality patient care and service."
Cassel has more than 25 years of experience in academic health care information technology. Since 1997, she
has served as chief information officer at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. At UAMS, her
accomplishments included successful implementation of advanced clinical systems and collaborative efforts to
more effectively leverage IT resources to advance the organization's missions of health care, education,
research and outreach. She created a research development group that has made extensive use of open-source
software combined with internal development, winning awards for "Delivering Results" from the National
Cancer Institute/caBIG and being listed as No. 23 on InformationWeek's list of 500 most innovative companies.
Before joining UAMS, Cassel was employed as a consultant for National Healthtech Corp., specializing in
interim management, strategic planning and organizational assessment. Prior to that, she directed all
programming activities associated with clinical mainframe systems at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Cassel currently serves on the CIO Council for the University Health Systems Consortium and on the
steering committee for the AAMC Group on Information Resources as immediate past chair. She holds a
bachelor of arts degree in management science from California State University, San Bernardino and an
M.B.A. from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.
14 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
Return of a hero
Admirers show their appreciation to a College of Medicine legend
Dr. John Jernigan, a former student whose life has been shaped by Willie
Joel Sanders, speaks of his memories and interactions with Sanders during a
ceremony honoring the former anatomy professor Feb. 27 at the UF Medical
Science Building auditorium.
Former College of Medicine student, Dr. Patrick O'Leary, M.D., brought a
smile to Willie Joel Sanders. O'Leary is the executive associate dean of
clinical affairs at Florida International University.
By Priscilla Santos
It is not often that people
get an opportunity to
thank their heroes.
But on a chilly afternoon in February, a
former faculty member and mentor who
influenced thousands of students at the UF
College of Medicine came home to a hero's
More than 200 families, friends, former
students and current Health Science Center
leaders gathered to honor Willie Joel
Sanders, a legendary teacher and agent for
His influence was even acknowledged by
Grammy award-winning recording artist
"When I spoke to Lionel Richie about
Willie Sanders, he (Richie) was moved to
send him a gift and dedicate one of his songs
to him," said Dr. John Jernigan, a former
student and current professor at the
University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Jernigan continued by reading the lyrics
of "Hero," and by handing Sanders a framed,
autographed photograph of Richie.
Sanders, one of the first six black students
to be accepted into UF as an undergraduate
student, first began working at the Health
Science Center in 1957 as an anatomy lab
technician, 13 years before the first two
African-American physicians graduated
from the College of Medicine.
Because of his love for the study of
anatomy, he advanced from the role of
preparing the cadavers used to instruct
medical students to faculty ranks, becoming
an associate professor of gross anatomy. He
later became the director of the Office of
The ceremony honoring Sanders began
with opening remarks by Donna M. Parker,
M.D., assistant dean of the Office of
Minority of Affairs. It progressed with
musical dedications, a photo slide show of
his life and thousands of words of
encouragement, as former students and
friends spoke about how he changed their
"Based on the attendance in this room,
you've left a legacy in each of our lives," said
Alice Rhoton, M.D., a former student who
shared memories of Sanders helping her in
"A lot of sermons are
preached, but Will is a
living sermon. Even if it
was midnight, he was
there for us."
- Dr. John Jernigan
the anatomy lab. "He's passed on who he is
to the next generation."
Sanders husband to his wife of 48 years,
Pauletta, and father of five children -
listened quietly on the stage to his admirers.
"A lot of sermons are preached, but Will is
a living sermon," said Jernigan. "Even if it
was midnight, he was there for us."
And on this sunny Saturday, Sanders a
legend who broke racial barriers for the
College of Medicine showed that he never
left, gifting UF medical students with a
legacy that will never fade.
The latest word
Researchers to study word-finding
problems caused by Alzheimer's disease
"The long-term goal of
our study is to develop a
model of brain activity
that explains the
different patterns of
Bruce Crosson, Ph.D.
By Jill Pease
I II IP researchers have received a $384,000 grant from the National
Ini itutes of Health to study word-finding problems in people with
.\I/ heimer's disease.
"Almost all patients with Alzheimer's disease will develop problems
recalling words or names," said lead researcher Bruce Crosson, Ph.D., a
professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the College
of Public Health and Health Professions.
Difficulty remembering words is one of the 10 early warning signs of
Alzheimer's disease, a disease that affects more than 5 million Americans,
according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Word-finding problems can result from two kinds of cognitive deficits.
Some patients with Alzheimer's disease have trouble remembering the
meaning of particular words, while other patients cannot retrieve correct
words from memory.
"The long-term goal of our study is to develop a model of brain activity
that explains the different patterns of impairment," Crosson said.
In the UF study, subjects with Alzheimer's disease with either type of
word-finding impairment will be shown a series of pictures of everyday
objects and asked to name the items. At the same time, functional magnetic
resonance imaging scans will measure participants' brain activity in the
regions that control language. The results will be compared with findings
from a control group of participants who do not have Alzheimer's disease.
"Once these patterns of deficit are understood, interventions for each
pattern can be developed to help maintain communication abilities further
into the disease, improving quality of life for patients and families and
prolonging patients' independence," Crosson said.
To participate in the picture-naming study, participants must be 65 or
older, right-handed, native English speakers, diagnosed with probable
Alzheimer's disease and able to undergo an MRI scan. For more
information, please call 352-273-5249.
Pain and ethnicity
Dentistry researcher to examine ethnic
differences in pain
By Karen Rhodenizer
Sin affects people differently. For example, studies have shown that
.\ I rican-American and Hispanic people tend to have stronger
i .,ponses to pain than white people. The question is why?
With funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009, UF College of Dentistry researcher Roger Fillingim, Ph.D., has
received a $713,000 revision to a $3.6 million grant he received earlier in
2009 to study whether whites and African-Americans differ in their
response to arthritis pain. The stimulus-funded addition will allow
Fillingim, a professor of community dentistry and behavioral science, to
find out how his study participants' perception of pain differs from
healthy individuals, too.
"Many people do not know there are these disparities in pain,"
Fillingim said. "If we want to correct these disparities, we have to
understand where they come from."
Aside from showing how African-Americans and whites perceive
arthritis pain differently, Fillingim's team also hopes to identify
biomarkers to predict pain severity. The researchers will also be looking
at social and psychological factors that could be contributing to
differences in pain perception.
The stimulus funding will allow the researchers to take the study a step
further, too. Instead of just comparing people with arthritis to each other,
."Many people do not know
there are these disparities in
,"' pain. If we want to correct
these disparities, we have to
understand where they
Roger Fillingim, Ph.D.
they will now be able to compare people with arthritis to healthy people of
the same age and race. For example, researchers theorize that people with
arthritis may be more sensitive to pain throughout their bodies. UF
researchers would be able to explore that question through this study.
But primarily, Fillingim says his team's goal is to improve how pain is
treated in all individuals. To do that, doctors must first understand how
the pain system functions in different groups people, and whether there
are genetic or other factors that are responsible for these variations.
"It's very complex, but we are just trying to look at several aspects
associated with race that might give us some ideas for how to tailor
treatment," Fillingim said.
16 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
The Power of the mind
Dr. Ben Carson shares his keys to success
By Kim Libby
Ben Carson, M.D., remembers his days
as a medical assistant. He often liked
to sit outside the emergency room and
gaze up at the public address system, which
screeched commands to doctors from its tiny
speaker. It sounded so important, he said, it
was his goal to have the speaker one day call
Thanks to modern technology and the use of beepers, he never got to
hear it, but that hasn't stopped Carson from holding more than 50
honorary doctorate degrees or successfully separating conjoined twins for
the first time in 1987. The director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns
Hopkins Hospital spoke to a crowd of about 250 people in UF's Rion
Ballroom on Jan. 26, as part of an ACCENT Speakers Bureau event.
His childhood dream was to become a doctor, and Carson stressed how
he learned the value of hard and efficient work. He noted the importance
of sticking to a task and seeing it through, and to only worry about what
you can control, which is how he got through his younger years. His visit
also marked a celebration of February as Black History Month.
"Young black males are an endangered species. There are more of them
in prison than there are in college," he said. "If you don't think they're
your problem, they are one less person you have to worry about and one
less person you have to be afraid of. We can't afford to throw anyone
Carson also told the story of Chang and Eng Bunker, the original
"Siamese" twins who managed to become successful farmers in 1811,
despite being conjoined at the chest.
"Nowadays, people hurt their pinky finger and want worker's
compensation for the rest of their lives," he said. "Those men cooperated
enough to run a business when smelling each other's breath 24/7, and they
even had 21 children between the two of them."
Another downfall in modern society, the neurosurgeon said, is the shift
of priorities away from academia and a "loss of moral compass." He said
he asked a crowd to name five NBA players, five rap stars and five NFL
players all of which were rattled off with ease. However, when he said to
name 10 Nobel Prize winners or explain a microprocessor, his audience
"The U.S. is not the first pinnacle nation in the world Great Britain,
Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome all came before us but where are they
now?" he questioned the group. "We can learn from our mistakes in the
information age if we care about other nations and be the kind of people
we wish to see."
He showed the power of intellect by posing the simple question, "what
Dr. Ben Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins
Hospital, stresses the value of sticking to a task and seeing it through.
did you do on your last birthday?" and then proceeded to give an
immensely detailed account of what processes the brain and body had to
do to remember the day, which took about five minutes of reciting run-on
For Nadia Palma, a UF premedical student studying surgical oncology,
this display, and his speech as a whole, truly hit home.
"Everything he says is so profound, but he seems like such a nice, down-
to-earth, real guy," she said. "I watched his video and read his biography;
his success is extremely inspirational."
Carson said attributes his success to his "THINK BIG" theorem, which
includes honesty, insight, kindness, talent, hope, knowledge, books,
in-depth learning skills and his love for God.
He urged his audience to "live in the now," focusing on an efficient
work method and avoiding procrastination. He said young people often
continue to plan for their future, when in reality, the younger years are the
best time to get things done.
"Use what you have now to get what you want," he said. "Once someone
stops accepting your excuses, you stop looking for them and start looking
By Czerne M. Reid
Approaches that rely on PowerPoint
lectures and notes followed up with
multiple choice tests are not the best
way to teach medical microbiology and
infectious diseases to medical students, say a
group of experts led by a UF professor. Such
strategies are ineffectual because they set
low expectations and encourage rote learning
at the expense real understanding and long-
term memorization of the subject among
students, they say.
"These methods also fail to stimulate active participation,
collaborative learning and two-way communication with the professor,
and they do not respect the students' diverse talents and ways of
learning," said Frederick Southwick, M.D., professor and chief of
infectious diseases at UF's College of Medicine, and four other
professors in a commentary recently published in the journal Academic
The authors from UF, University of California, Los Angeles,
University of Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth University and Albert
Einstein School of Medicine are all members of the Preclinical
Curriculum Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
The committee proposes a new five-pronged teaching approach that
emphasizes active learning and understanding.
"Just in time" teaching that requires students to email
answers to two general questions and areas of
misunderstanding to the instructor several hours before
* Peer instruction or large-group sessions consisting of
four-member student teams who electronically answer a
conceptual question before each major lecture section
* Teaching from edited textbooks and Internet sources
* Small-group discussions that focus on how diseases
originate and develop, and on differential diagnosis -
the process by which physicians diagnose a condition by
eliminating other possibilities based on a patient's
* Essay questions that encourage and test understanding
in addition to recognition
The committee also proposes the development of a national syllabus
in order to reduce information overload and lessen the need for
In addition to helping students approach their studies more
effectively, the authors said, the new methods could help rekindle
interest in the field of infectious diseases and encourage future medical
students to bring a richer understanding of clinical and basic science to
18 1http: news.health.utl.edu
r E\perts 'school' instructors
on best way to teach about
add up to higher
Energy drinks, favored among
young people for the beverages'
caffeine jolt, also play a lead role
in several popular alcoholic drinks,
such as Red Bull and vodka. But
combining alcohol and energy drinks
may create a dangerous mix, according
to UF research.
In a study of college-aged adults exiting bars, patrons who
consumed energy drinks mixed with alcohol had a threefold
increased risk of leaving a bar highly intoxicated and were
four times more likely to intend to drive after drinking than
bar patrons who drank alcohol only.
The study appears in the April issue of the journal
"Previous laboratory research suggests that when caffeine
is mixed with alcohol it overcomes the sedating effects of
alcohol and people may perceive that they are less
intoxicated than they really are," said the study's lead
researcher Dennis Thombs, Ph.D., an associate professor in
the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions'
department of behavioral science and community health.
"This may lead people to drink more or make uninformed
judgments about whether they are safe to drive."
Experts believe that among college drinkers, as many as
28 percent consume alcohol mixed with energy drinks in a
The UF study is the first of its kind to evaluate the effects
of alcohol mixed with energy drinks in an actual drinking
environment, that is, at night outside bars. Research on
college student alcohol use in campus communities has
traditionally relied on self-report questionnaires
administered to sober students in daytime settings,
Data for the UF study were collected in 2008 from more
than 800 randomly selected patrons exiting establishments
in a college bar district between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3
a.m. Researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with
participants to gather demographic information and details
on participants' energy drink consumption and drinking
behavior. Participants also completed self-administered
questionnaires that asked about their drinking history and
intention to drive that night. Next, researchers tested
participants' breath alcohol concentration levels.
Participants received feedback on their intoxication levels
and advice about driving risk.
Bar patrons who reported drinking alcohol mixed with
energy drinks 6.5 percent of study participants were
three times more likely to be intoxicated than drinkers who
consumed alcohol only. The average breath-alcohol
concentration reading for those who mixed alcohol and
energy drinks was 0.109, well above the legal driving limit of
0.08. Consumers of energy drink cocktails also left bars later
at night, drank for longer periods of time, ingested more
grams of ethanol and were four times more likely to express
an intention to drive within the hour than patrons who
drank alcohol only.
Consumers of alcohol mixed with energy drinks may
drink more and misjudge their capabilities because caffeine
diminishes the sleepy feeling most people experience as they
become intoxicated. It's a condition commonly described as
"wide awake and drunk," said study co-author Bruce
Goldberger, Ph.D., a professor and director of toxicology in
the UF College of Medicine.
"There's a very common misconception that if you drink
caffeine with an alcoholic beverage the stimulant effect of
the caffeine counteracts the depressant effect of the alcohol,
and that is not true," Goldberger said. "We know that
caffeine aggravates the degree of intoxication, which can
lead to risky behaviors."
The study, funded by the UF Office of the President,
raises a lot of questions and suggests topics for future
research, Thombs said.
"This study demonstrates that there definitely is reason
for concern and more research is needed," he said. "We don't
know what self-administered caffeine levels bar patrons are
reaching, what are safe and unsafe levels of caffeine and what
regulations or policies should be implemented to better
protect bar patrons or consumers in general."
Dolphins could be ideal
model to study human
By Sarah Carey
After testing dozens of
samples from marine
mammals, UF aquatic
animal health experts say they
have found the ideal model for
the study of cervical cancer
"We discovered that dolphins get multiple
infections of papillomaviruses, which are known
to be linked with cervical cancer in women," said
Hendrik Nollens, D.V.M., Ph.D., a marine
mammal biologist and clinical assistant professor
at UF's College of Veterinary Medicine on Feb. 18
at the annual meeting of the American Academy
for the Advancement of Science. "Dolphins are the
only species besides humans that we know of that
can harbor coinfections, or infections of multiple
papillomavirus types, in the genital mucosa."
There are approximately 100 types of human
papillomaviruses, and multiple infections of up to
eight HPV types have been reported in humans,
"Even more surprisingly, some virus groups
have shown the ability to cross the marine-
terrestrial ecosystem boundary from sea to
land," Nollens said. "We have demonstrated at
least one case of genetic recombination between
viruses of human and marine mammals. So while
it's exciting that dolphins can provide a unique
window into the role of coinfection in human
cervical cancer, we can't rule out that the next
high-risk virus, such as SARS, or West Nile, might
actually come from the marine environment."
The presence of coinfections is believed to be
one of the biggest risk factors for the development
of cervical cancer in humans, Nollens said,
although he added that there is no evidence that
dolphins develop the disease.
"Why do people develop the disease, but
dolphins don't? If we can figure out why, the
human medical community might be very
interested in how that information might be
applied to human strategies for preventing the
disease," he said.
Of all creatures that inhabit the ocean, dolphins
and other marine mammals are the closest
relatives of humans. But researchers say scientific
knowledge of infectious diseases, particularly viral
diseases, affecting these animals is limited.
In hopes of shedding more light on the nature,
prevalence and potential of such diseases to be
passed to humans, Nollens and his colleagues at
UF's Marine Animal Disease Laboratory have
embarked on a large-scale collaborative research
project to catalogue previously unrecognized and
emerging viruses of marine mammals, both in
collections and in the wild.
Over a four-year period, some 1,500 blood,
tissue and fecal samples taken from dolphins have
been analyzed at different laboratories across the
United States, Nollens said. No animals were
harmed during collection of cell and tissue
samples, although some were obtained from
animals that had died of natural causes in
"Some 90 percent of what we do in the
laboratory is molecular analyses," Nollens said.
"Because of advances in molecular medicine since
January 2006, we've found more than 40 new
viruses in dolphins alone. When the last textbook
came out in 2003, only 19 were noted."
All viruses found in the laboratory and
suspected of having pathogenic potential are
further evaluated to assess the impact each could
have on the health of individual dolphins, he
added. The information is then used to generate
guidelines for disease outbreak management and
The discovery of new infectious diseases and
viruses in marine mammals is important for
conservation as well as for a better scientific
understanding of the connections between oceans
and people, according to Teri Rowles, D.V.M.,
Ph.D., director of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration's Marine Mammal
Health and Stranding Response Program.
"This work highlights the importance of
partnerships in this type of interdisciplinary 'One
Health' science to allow us to be better stewards of
healthy oceans and coasts, healthy marine
mammal populations and healthy people," Rowles
11 I http: news.health.utl.edu
Because of advances in molecular medicine since January
2006, we've found more than 40 new viruses in dolphins
alone. When the last textbook came out in 2003, only 19
were noted." Hendrik Nollens, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Pediatricians say colleagues are cautious
about treating chronic pain in patients
By Laura Mize
jnv pediatricians don't think it's their
I ponsibility to treat severe, chronic pain
in iheir patients, according to a new study
co-authored by several UF College of Medicine
researchers and an investigator from Molloy College.
Writing in the February issue of the Journal of *
Palliative Medicine, researchers said only 32.3 percent
of pediatricians from Florida and California surveyed i'
said treatment of chronic pain was their responsibility. I
Physicians don't have as much knowledge of pain I/
treatment as they should, and many pediatricians LINDSAY A. THOMPSON, M.D.
probably are afraid to manage that part of their patients' treatment, said principal
investigator Lindsay A. Thompson, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at UF.
"The side effects for pain medications can be pretty severe," she said. "The opioid
medicines are the gold standard for pain treatment, but they have side effects that can
decrease your breathing. When you're not in the hospital setting, that's dangerous and
primary care providers may worry about the side effects more than the pain."
The researchers received 303 fully completed responses from mail and online
questionnaires sent to 800 pediatricians about treatment of severe, chronic pain.
Questions also asked about demographics, clinical experience and components related
to palliative care.
Pediatricians were allowed to select more than one option when asked who should
treat their patients' chronic pain, and most respondents said they thought other
providers should oversee pediatric pain treatment.
Pain specialists were the most popular choice, with 58.1 percent of respondents
selecting them as the preferred providers for pediatric pain treatment. Other
specialists and hospice providers were the second and third most popular options
selected, with 39.6 percent and 26.1 percent of respondents selecting them,
But Thompson emphasized that these aren't realistic ideas, given a lack of pain
specialists in the United States, especially ones working in pediatrics.
In the responses, 84.2 percent of pediatricians say they "often" or "always" use
patient reports to evaluate pain, and 87.1 percent use parental reports. About 67
percent always or often watch for nonverbal cues, and about 50 percent ask patients to
keep "pain diaries."
When it comes to the most commonly used treatments for pain, acetaminophen and
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, topped the list: 61.7 percent of
pediatricians said they often or always use acetaminophen, while 66.9 percent often or
always use NSAIDS.
face of research
New HSC researcher recognized for work
in health-care disparities for black men
By Linda Homewood o
..I k. rn Odedina, Ph.D., began the
rne \hJr with career accomplishments
appointments and national recognition for
leadership in reducing health-care
A professor of pharmaceutical outcomes
and policy, Odedina began her dual
appointment in January in UF's College of
Pharmacy and in the College of Medicine's
department of urology. FOLAKEMI ODEDINA, PH.D.
Only weeks before coming to UF, Odedina
received the inaugural ABHP-ASHP Leadership Award for her global efforts
in prostate cancer prevention in black men. The Association of Black
Health-System Pharmacists and the American Society of Health-System
Pharmacists teamed up to establish the new award, which recognizes
individuals who are exemplary in their efforts to reduce racial and ethnic
disparities in health care.
In her acceptance speech in December at the 44th ASHP Midyear Clinical
Meeting, ABHP Luncheon, Odedina who had just returned from weeks of
work in Africa described her passion for reaching underserved
populations of black men at risk for prostate cancer.
"I am restless because of what I see," Odedina said. "Behind every statistic
is the tears, the agony and the problems that are going on with the individual
and their families."
Odedina emphasized the importance of finding out the community needs
first, before a researcher begins seeking grants, funding or publication. She
challenged her colleagues to "change the face" of their efforts to improve
health-care disparities by making the community an equal partner in
In her capacity as the director of community outreach at the newly
established interdisciplinary research and educational center for the
development and delivery of advanced treatment methods for the prostate
diseases the Prostate Disease Center in the Department of Urology she
continues her commitment to eliminating health disparities between black
men and their white counterparts through collecting data and disseminating
important health information about prostate cancer throughout the state of
Florida. With a firm belief in working from within the community rather
than from the outside, Odedina looks to the support of black businesses such
as barber shops and community pharmacies to reach black men in their own
"Community pharmacies have long hours with easy access for patients.
Pharmacists should be leaders in patient education, and should be
dialoguing with other health professions," Odedina said.
As a 2006-07 Fulbright Scholar, Odedina conducted Nigeria's first
national research assessing how Nigerians report cancer data. She received a
B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Ife in Nigeria, and in 1994 she
earned a Ph.D. from UF's College of Pharmacy.
The art of balancing social
media and health care
By Laura Mize
When Karen Thurston Chavez learned her 1-year-old son, William, had a heart
defect, she envisioned a worst-case scenario.
"My immediate thought was, 'I'm going to lose him,' she says.
Her first online searches for information about William's heart condition didn't help; they turned up horror stories of other children
who had lungs removed.
Then Thurston Chavez, who lives in Tallahassee and runs a business called Sixth Generation Communications, found a Georgia
mom whose online stories and pictures of her young son's battle with the same condition and successful treatment gave her hope.
"Here was Kara with Quinn and they were living a regular life."
Now, William is an active but shy kindergartner who will celebrate his sixth birthday this month. After undergoing surgery at UF's
Congenital Heart Center at age 2, he has been free from the exhaustion and illness that plagued his earliest years. He returns to the
center for annual visits.
Thurston Chavez says her friendship with Kara was a vital source of support.
"That Kara in Georgia took the time to e-mail me back and share the pictures of her son after surgery and share her experience just
made a huge, huge difference," Thurston Chavez says.
Today, Thurston Chavez helps spread hope to other families by managing numerous Web sites and a Twitter account focused on
congenital heart disease. She runs a home page for Broken Hearts of the Big Bend, a support organization she co-founded for families
Pharmacy student Sara Neissari
frequently checks Twitter updates
from "Neal Beal" a fictional
patient who helps bring pharmacy
classes to life. She says frequent
messages from "Neal" were a good
approximation of what it's like to
work with actual patients.
and individuals dealing with congenital heart disease, plus Yahoo and Facebook pages
dedicated to the group.
She also started a Facebook "Fan Page" in honor of Mark Bleiweis, M.D., an
assistant professor of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at UF and director of the
Congenital Heart Center. Bleiweis is the man who operated on William's heart. Since
then, Bleiweis has created his own Facebook page, where he connects with many of his
Thurston Chavez says Web sites like the ones she manages are important because
they foster relationships between and provide information for people whose lives are
affected by congenital heart disease. Because most of the families involved in Broken
Hearts of the Big Bend bring their children to Shands at UF for treatment, for example,
they can provide valuable insight on the quality of their experiences to parents with
newly diagnosed children.
"A lot of people think 'Oh, I've got to go to Boston, or I've got to go to Philadelphia
... for care,"' she says, "and they don't realize that Shands is just a couple hours away.
"They like being able to see that other families have had success with this
D A ney"
W W hurston Chavez is not alone in using social media to help others navigate the
I complex world of health and health care. A Web site called PatientsLikeMe allows
people with certain medical conditions to post personal and health information online
then connect with others who have the same condition. Caring Bridge is a site that
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Social media do's and don't:
Don't post information about
patients, even if you think you've
Do select your privacy settings
Don't post anything you don't want the
general public including your boss,
future employers and family members
to know. Privacy settings are not
Do monitor pictures and other content
featuring you that others post. Ask
friends to remove pictures or other
materials if you don't want them to
Do make sure official UF Facebook
pages feature policy statements about
terms and conditions, intended
audience and purpose.
Karen Thurston Chavez found encouragement
and support on the Internet from a Georgia
family that faced the same cardiac challenges
their son William was confronting several years
ago. Today, William is an active kindergartner
about to turn 6 and Thurston Chavez manages
Web sites and a Twitter account focused on
congenital heart disease.
"Our main goal is to try to present our information, our science, our
interventions to the populations we're serving in the most user-centered way
we can. So we want our health information to be presented to people where,
when and how they want it."
David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF's senior vice president for health affairs
and president of the UF&Shands Health System, says social media has the
potential to improve care for patients.
"We've long known that medicine is not only a science but an art. Part of
that art consists of knowing how to encourage effective communication
between doctor and patient," he said. "Done properly, that communication is
a two-way dialogue. Social media in its many forms provides new
opportunities for fostering that dialogue, which ultimately can lead to
improved health outcomes.
"Social media has benefits in other realms as well. Researchers may share
new ideas with each other that inspire innovative approaches to health care.
And students may access or exchange information that helps them learn
B ui I hurston Chavez cautions that the Internet can be a dangerous place
Sm Itloi people seeking information about complicated health conditions,
such as congenital heart disease.
"There are lots of blogs with misinformation," she says. "If you stick with
the university sites and you stick with the hospital sites I eventually dug
into PubMed and some of the other medical journal subscription services to
look up journal articles then you can be pretty safe with the information
that you're getting."
She emphasizes that parents should always consult their child's doctor
about information they find online and to remember that stories of other
people's experiences may not match up with their own.
"On Facebook and Twitter our information tends to be more personal, so
it's experience-based," she says of the social-media efforts she spearheads.
"You just have to learn to take that for what it is and you have to learn that
every kid's defect is different, and so (everyone is) going to react differently."
Health-care providers can get in trouble using social media, too. The
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, still
applies in social media formats, as do other laws governing the disclosure of
Susan Blair, UF's chief privacy officer, says health-care providers who refer to
patients in blogs or Facebook posts sometimes think they've sufficiently
"de-personalized" the information. But that's not always true.
"Even if you think you've de-identified, generally we can figure out who it is,"
Blair said during a seminar on social media held at the Levin College of Law in
January. "With a blog for example, it would be date and time (stamped), you
might mention where you work, you might mention the great surgery that you
did that day and the poor outcome for the patient, hopefully not because you've
done something wrong during the surgery."
Presenters at the January social media seminar emphasized that the law lags
behind the use and development of social media. While no one knows for sure
how these kinds of issues would play out in court cases, Lyrissa Lidsky, J.D., a
professor of law at UF's law school, said institutions could potentially be held
liable for an employee's posts revealing protected health information made on
the providers' official sites, even if the employee did so independently.
These potential pitfalls have prompted some organizations, including UF's
College of Medicine, to create policies governing employees' and students' use of
social media outlets. The College of Medicine's policy states that students and
employees could face legal and academic penalties for some things, such as
posting someone else's protected academic or health information online or
pretending to represent UF officially. It also warns them against putting pictures
depicting things like sexual promiscuity or substance abuse online. The other
Health Science Center colleges are considering similar policies.
Last fall, Paul Doering, M.S., a distinguished service professor in the College
of Pharmacy, and Tom Munyer, M.S., a clinical associate professor,
introduced their Pharmacotherapy IV class to "Neal Beal." A fictional senior
citizen developed by Scott Blades, the college's coordinator of instructional
design, Neal is a military veteran who expresses his health woes and complaints
about his health care on Twitter, in video messages and in simulated voicemails
accessible online. Occasionally, he makes surprise class appearances.
Pharmacy students such as Sara Neissari spent the semester frequently
checking Twitter for Neal's updates and preparing oral and written responses to
"It kind of brings the classroom to life," says Neissari, a third-year
She says the variety of communication channels and frequent messages from
Neal were a good approximation of what it's like to work with real patients.
"No patient is the exact same (as another)," Neissari says, "so some people will
communicate by e-mail, some will come in to see you, some will leave a voice
message and some will be communicating through someone else."
The fall 2009 semester was the first time social media tools were used to make
the students' experiences with a simulated patient last throughout the course.
m p Tn addition to preparing tomorrow's health professionals and helping families
Deal with disheartening diagnoses, social media is playing another role in the
Rating sites for health-care providers are sprouting up online. The sites'
formats vary, but the basic idea remains the same: Consumers can share their
impressions of health-care providers online, sometimes without any filtering or
Erik Black, Ph.D., and Lindsay Thompson, M.D., M.S., researchers in UF's
College of Medicine who have studied the phenomenon, say some providers
don't like the idea.
Black, an assistant professor of pediatrics and director of research for the
college's Ped-I-Care program, says open rating of health-care providers online is
"a messy process," but he doesn't think physicians should object to the
"The thing about people not liking to be rated, it's a two-way street. We've all
used Zagat, and we would never, ever think twice about checking online ratings
on a product or even a plumber or a roofer. But for some reason, doctors are
above that same standard? That's not the case."
A study authored by Black, Thompson and others from the colleges of
Medicine and Education, including Heidi Saliba, B.A., a research coordinator
in the Ped-I-Care program; Kara Dawson, Ph.D., an associate professor of
educational technology at the College of Education; and Nicole M. Paradise
Black, M.D., an assistant professor of critical care in the College of Medicine,
examined reviews of health-care providers from four major U.S. cities on the
Web site RateMd.com. The research, published in February in the journal
Informatics in Primary Care, found most of the reviews were positive, not
negative, as the authors had hypothesized.
Though some sites allow users to submit reviews of individual pharmacists,
Neissari, the pharmacy student, says she has not heard of any of these sites, and
the topic of online ratings for health-care providers has not been addressed by
her professors. But she, like Black, says the ratings should be allowed.
"There are times where I've definitely wanted to just post something about
my experience with a company. You have product reviews. It's a pharmacist
review. It's an opinion," she says. "You know, it's not fact and most Web sites
will say that these are just opinions, so hopefully people will understand it's just
Bernhardt, the CDC marketing director, says sharing stories and experiences
is part of being human, and health-care providers should embrace the growing
role of social media in their industry.
"As humans, we've been communicating in our social networks for millennia,
so that's nothing new," Bernhardt says. "Having access to Web sites and blogs
and social networks ... it's only natural that people are going to both want to
share their experiences and also seek out other people who've been through
similar experiences to learn from what they've been through. I think social
media will always play a big role in health care."
Arthur E. Wharton, M.S., a clinical associate professor and director
of continuing education in the UF College of Pharmacy, plays the
fictional patient "Neal Beal" on pharmacy Web sites and sometimes
even makes surprise classroom appearances. The idea for a Web
dramatization of a patient was the idea of Scott Blades, the college's
coordinator of instructional design.
Check us out!
Find the UF Health Science Center Office of News and
Communications on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UFHealth.
See the "Favorite Pages" section on the left for links to
Facebook pages for the colleges of Veterinary Medicine,
Nursing, Dentistry and Public Health and Health Professions,
as well as the alumni offices of the colleges of Medicine
The Health Science Center Office of News and Communications
is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UFHealth. Check out the
"Following" section for links to the College of Nursing and
College of Medicine Twitter profiles.
As of September 2009, UF has 24
official Twitter accounts, more than
any other institution ranked by U.S.
News & World Report as a "Top 100"
college, according to a study by
number continues to grow.
Prader-Willi patients focus
on speech patterns, therapy
By Kim Libby
For some young patients who are treated at
the UF Speech and Hearing Center, a job
well done is never rewarded with a trip to the
ice cream shop.
Jennifer Miller, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics in the College of
Medicine, has worked for nine years with many children who have Prader-
Willi syndrome, a complex genetic disorder that causes a chronic feeling of
hunger. As the No. 1 genetic cause of childhood obesity, the disorder can also
be associated with short stature or cognitive disabilities.
Miller said those affected are born with a low, floppy muscle tone and never
seem to be hungry. However, as these children develop, hormones contribute
to flawed signals in the hypothalamus of the brain, which leaves them feeling
"Our main question now lies in trying to figure out why and how these
signals are caused," she said. "These kinds of signals can lead to other kinds
of behavioral problems such as OCD or tears, temper tantrums and physical
Thanks to a genetic test developed in the 1990s by Daniel Driscoll, M.D.,
Ph.D., a UF professor of pediatric genetics, Prader-Willi can be detected in
patients shortly after they turn 1 month old.
So, what's next for families after diagnosis? The answer is a lot of
"When we diagnose a child at an early age, we can tell the families what is
going to happen," Miller said. "You'll find that Prader-Willi families are some
of the healthiest you'll ever meet, because too much food around the house
could mean the child will eat itself to death."
Other techniques include putting padlocks on refrigerators and cabinets,
using sour spray to interfere with saliva and dispel appetite, and monitoring
children at home and school to make sure they don't get into food that was not
intended for them. Families also watch for development of pica, an eating
disorder in which children can eat substances not normally thought of as food
to satisfy their hunger.
Children with Prader-Willi also often have speech development problems
Sara Plager, M.Ed., chief of speech-language pathology at the College of Public Health
and Health Professions, practices a teaching method with children called tactile cuing,
marking syllable patterns with taps on the leg.
because of their poor muscle tone, which is where Sara S. Plager, M.Ed., chief
of speech-language pathology in the College of Public Health and Health
Professions' department of communicative disorders, comes in to save the day
Plager has been working with Miller's patients for almost a decade by
assessing their language skills and developing them. She begins by working
on swallowing and feeding with some of her patients, who are as young as 3 to
4 months old.
"People and even parents often think that just because a child is floppy and
can't hold their head up, they can't understand anything you're saying,"
Plager said. "That couldn't be further from the truth in some cases."
She notes that many children with Prader-Willi often suffer from apraxia,
or trouble with forming precise movements needed to form recognizable
speech. Therefore, children with Prader-Willi often sound garbled and
unintelligible. Plager has implemented a multimodal approach to treating this
motor speech disorder, including visual, tactile, auditory and kinesthetic
feedback. For facilitating language development, she provides parents with a
home language stimulation program, which highlights activities they can be
doing at home with their children to promote development.
"One of my favorite therapeutic methods is called tactile cuing," she said.
"This is when the therapist, parents and hopefully the child himself marks
syllable patterns by tapping on the leg, and it seems to work wonders for their
Plager also helps the children sound less nasal and works on voice
resonance and clarity. These were just a few of the topics discussed at UF's
Consortium for Prader-Willi Syndrome, which occurred in December.
Patients from across the U.S. came to seek the expertise of those like Miller
and Plager, who are often referred to on many support group Web sites.
With the right monitoring of diet and exercise, Miller said the prospects for
the youngsters are looking up. About 90 percent of the patients she sees are
enrolled in regular, mainstream classes, accompanied by an aide to keep them
from getting too close to the chocolate on teacher's desk.
"Many of these kids will grow up to go to community college or live in a
group home where daily tasks are much easier for them," she said. "We have
older residents even in Alachua County who should give hope to everyone
with this disease."
161 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
'My [little] miracle'
Infertility patient shares story, wins contest
The Johnson family's story has many characters,
among them, from left, Jean Melby, R.N., UF
Women's Health at Magnolia Parke surgical nurse
specialist; Alice Rhoton-Vlasak, M.D., UF College of
Medicine OB/GYN clinical assistant professor; Jaret,
Jennifer and Jesselyn Leigh Johnson; R. Stan Williams,
M.D.; Jessica Gutter, R.N., UF Women's Health at
Magnolia Parke nurse specialist; and Kristin
Demming, Ferring Pharmaceuticals representative.
By Katherine Sims
after four years, four cycles of in-vitro
fertilization and more than $40,000 of
uncovered medical expenses, Jennifer and
Jaret Johnson welcomed their healthy baby girl into
the world on May 7, 2009. Jesselyn Leigh Johnson's
arrival concluded a journey most couples experience
in less than a year.
"We would not have our little princess without the
wonderful people at Shands HealthCare, UF
physicians, the hard working team at Ferring
Pharmaceuticals and countless prayers offered on our
behalf," Jaret said.
So he wrote a story to inspire other couples dealing
with infertility issues and entered it into Ferring
Pharmaceuticals' My Little Miracle essay contest. It
was a welcome surprise when the company awarded
the Johnsons a $3,000 contribution to a college fund
for their daughter. The check was presented to the
Johnsons at UF Physicians Women's Health at
Magnolia Parke in December.
"Obviously the monetary award is greatly
appreciated, but our motivation for writing our story
was to encourage couples experiencing difficulty
conceiving to be patient and educate themselves,"
The Johnsons' story is both heartbreaking and
heartwarming because they never gave up trying,
even after they lost their first children. During a
second cycle of in-vitro fertilization, one embryo was
successfully implanted and split into identical twins.
Jennifer went into premature labor at 20 weeks
gestation and delivered two boys at Shands at UF.
Unfortunately, Joshua Lee and Jonathan Cole only
lived for four hours.
"Despite the sorrow of losing our boys, we are
grateful for the sincere concern, respect and
sensitivity offered by all of the UF physicians and
Shands nurses who looked after us that day at Shands
at UF," Jaret said.
After an unsuccessful third cycle, the couple
questioned whether to go forward with a fourth cycle
or consider other options. R. Stan Williams, M.D.,
UF College of Medicine obstetrics and gynecology
chair, helped them feel confident about trying again.
One embryo was transferred. A positive pregnancy
test two weeks later confirmed the fourth IVF cycle
was a success.
Jennifer enjoyed a healthy full-term pregnancy and
felt complete holding Jesselyn in her arms for the
SLuppoIters set out to finish triple negati\ e breast cancel
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her "L" sounds. The name stuck, according to NuNu's
daughter, Michelle Gumz, a UF biomedical
NuNu grew up to be a coordinator of a California
adult literacy program and an active member of her
church's ministry. She was always conscious of
maintaining her health and even scheduled extra
mammograms, knowing her family history of breast
cancer. She was diagnosed in 2007 after postponing
one of these trips to the doctor in favor of waiting for
her annual checkup. Three months later, she found a
lump in her breast.
"None of us had any idea what she was up against,"
Gumz said. "There is no targeted treatment for triple
negative breast cancer. We just prayed that it would be
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clean bill of health, headaches and leg pain soon left
NuNu unable to walk. Doctors found the cancer had
spread to her brain, causing strokelike symptoms. She
passed away a few weeks later.
"She never lost her sense of humor, even on the last
day of her life. She was my best friend," her daughter
said. "She made a lot of people feel that way; she was
one of those people who meant so much to so many."
The NuNu 5K race on Feb. 27 was coordinated by
the Collaborative Scientists for Critical Research in
Biomedicine Inc. Shahla Masood, M.D, medical
director of breast health at Shands Jacksonville,
addressed the crowd and Paul Okunieff, M.D.,
director of the UF Shands Cancer Center, began the
race with a blare of an air horn.
Participants and organizers of the NuNu 5K race are
already looking forward to next year's event.
"Highlighting triple negative breast cancer with
events like this is crucial," Okunieff said. "The
therapies for this category of patients is limited
compared with the arsenal we have for tumors with
hormone receptors or Her2-negative receptors. As we
find out more about triple-negative breast cancer and
how to treat it, our knowledge can be applied to other
All proceeds from the race go toward a research
grant for triple negative breast cancer research.
SEmployees aid Haiti
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ph\ i,!ujrn, an J ,hinJ, ljli hl ji p1.,viders began coordinating a trip to
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http: news. health.ufl.edu
Keeping patients safe
Doctor to thoroughly examine the patient safety movement
By Lorrie DeFrank
ith the goal of making a lasting impact
on health care and policy, a physician
at the UF College of Medicine-
Jacksonville has embarked on an ambitious study
of patient safety.
Robert L. Wears, M.D., a professor and senior
scientist in the department of emergency medicine,
is using a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's
Investigator Award in Health Policy Research to
study "Medicalizing Patient Safety" with Kathleen
M. Sutcliffe, M.S.N., Ph.D., the associate dean for
faculty development and research at the University
of Michigan's Ross School of Business. ROBERT L. WEARS, M.D.
Starting in September, the collaborators will spend two-and-a-half years
reviewing the patient safety movement from the 1970s to the present. According to
Wears, in addition to a series of academic and policy papers, the initiative will
include a book on the history and evolution of the movement, focusing on how it
has been reshaped by its gradual acceptance in health care.
Sutcliffe's expertise in organizational design will be critical to their study,
Wears said. In addition, Sutcliffe said her nursing background helps her grasp his
"That creates a really strong research synergy that enhances what we come up
with," she said. "Bob is an absolute star in my mind with respect to understanding
not only patient safety and medical care but also the organizational implications of
making patients safe."
Wears and Sutcliffe have collaborated on projects since meeting in 1998 at the
2nd Annenberg Conference on Enhancing Patient Safety and Reducing Errors in
Wears believes their proposal is innovative because the few studies of patient
safety as a social movement have focused more narrowly on how health care
resisted, as opposed to embracing the quest for lasting solutions.
If their study is empirically supported, important policy implications would
include building human capital to support safety in health care, a radical
redirection of research and educational efforts, and substantial collaborations
between clinicians and safety scientists.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's investigator award program started 18
years ago. Since then, 202 scholars from a wide range of fields have received grants
of up to $335,000 to study the country's challenging health issues.
"Dr. Wears is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in medical
safety and this award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation attests to his
superb reputation, his innovative approach to analyzing impediments to health
safety and his successful history of obtaining foundation and federal funding,"
said Alan R. Berger, M.D., a professor and chair of the department of neurology
and assistant dean for research at the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville.
Wears praised the college for supporting his research on the frequently
controversial subject of patient safety and his submission of the award proposal.
"I value the academic freedom to explore different areas," he said. "It reflects well
on the organization that it allows people to take risks to see if they can be successful."
He said he cites Robert C. Nuss, M.D., dean of the regional campus, and David
J. Vukich, M.D., a professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine,
for funding his sabbatical in 2004 to study with leading patient safety scientists
and engineers in London.
"That was a transformative learning experience for me," he said. "I came back
with a different set of skills and body of knowledge."
Young history maker in the making
High school student tops TheGrio's 100 list
Tony Hansberry was interviewed by special contributor for NBC's
"Today" show, Jenna Bush Hager.
By Kelly Brockmeier
il i .'.. \ .jr-old Jacksonville high school student Tony Hansberry recently received
r, i.. rjl i tention after being recognized as one of TheGrio's 100 African-American
Il I..I!) Makers in the Making.
Hansberry attends Darnell Cookman's School of the Medical Arts, located across the
street from Shands Jacksonville. UF physicians have partnered with the school to add
special events to the medical education curriculum and serve as guest speakers. It is
believed the program at Darnell Cookman will be the first medical magnet in the country
to develop an integrated medical curriculum for grades 6-12.
Because of the relationship between UF and Darnell Cookman, Hansberry spent a
summer inside UF's Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, known as
CSESaR, at Shands Jacksonville. Director Bruce Nappi took Hansberry under his wing,
allowing him to tinker with the same equipment and high-fidelity mannequins that
physicians and nurses use in training.
Hansberry became interested in minimally invasive surgery during his time at
CSESaR. Over the summer he developed a technique that reduces surgical time for
minimally invasive hysterectomies. Hansberry presented the project at the regional
science fair and came in second place in the senior grade 9-12 division, allowing him to
compete in the state finals. Before gaining national attention by TheGrio, Hansberry's
project caught the attention of UF faculty, who deemed it worthy of being presented
alongside physicians during their medical education week.
The director of the Center
for Translational Research in
Neurodegenerative Diseases at UF
received the MetLife Foundation Award for
Medical Research in Alzheimer's Disease
during a recent scientific briefing and
luncheon in Washington, D.C.
Todd Golde, M.D., a professor of neuroscience in the College of
Medicine, studies amyloid beta protein, a substance believed to
contribute to the accumulation of "brain plaque" in Alzheimer's
Golde helped explain the molecular interplay between amyloid beta
protein and a class of therapeutic agents known as gamma-secretase
modulators, or GSMs, now being tested in patients with Alzheimer's
He was honored in February alongside his frequent collaborator,
Edward H. Koo, M.D., a professor of neuroscience at the University
of California-San Diego, as well as Eva-Maria Mandelkow, Ph.D., and
Eckhard Mandelkow, Ph.D., of the Max Planck Institute for
Structural Molecular Biology in Hamburg, Germany.
Each winner received a $100,000 research grant and a personal
prize of $25,000 to further their work.
"This year's recipients are examples of how differing schools of
thought can come together to solve some of the world's most vexing
problems," according to a statement from the MetLife Foundation.
"Drs. Koo and Golde have together identified the gamma-secretase
modulators that decrease production of the highly toxic 42 amino
acid "long" form of (amyloid beta protein), which holds great promise
for drug therapies to treat or prevent Alzheimer's."
The event's keynote speech will be delivered by photographer
Judith Fox, author of the book "I Still Do: Loving and Living with
The book tells the story of Fox's husband, Dr. Edmund Ackell
- the first dean of UF's College of Dentistry and provost for health
affairs at UF from 1968 to 1973 who was diagnosed with
Alzheimer's three years into their marriage. Photo-Eye Magazine
TODD GOLDE, M.D.
named the book "one of the best of 2009."
C. Robert Henrikson, chairman, president and chief executive
officer of MetLife, said in a statement, "MetLife Foundation has long
recognized the impact Alzheimer's has on families, society and the
economy. We continue our commitment to support the outstanding
scientists who are making strides and developing methods to combat
and, perhaps someday, prevent Alzheimer's disease from impacting
As many as 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's, making it the
seventh leading cause of death. Unless the disease can be effectively
treated, delayed or prevented, the number of people with Alzheimer's
could increase to 7.7 million in 2030, according to MetLife.
"As physician-scientists we're trying to prevent human suffering,"
said Golde, who is associated with UF's McKnight Brain Institute.
"If we can impact this horrible disease so much fewer people get it
- that's our goal."
MetLife Foundation has granted major awards to scientists who
have demonstrated significant contributions to the understanding of
Alzheimer's disease since 1986. The program's goal is to recognize
the importance of basic research, with an emphasis on providing
scientists the opportunity to pursue ideas.
201 1 http: news.health.utl.edu
Nimmo elected to the American Board
Arthur Nimmo, D.D.S., F.A.C.P., a professor of prosthodontics and director of
predoctoral implant dentistry at the UF College of Dentistry, was elected as an examining
member of the American Board of Prosthodontics and will serve a seven-year term.
Nimmo earned his bachelor's degree from SUNY College at Oneonta in 1975.
He earned his D.D.S. from the University of Maryland in 1979 and completed specialty
training in prosthodontics at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences in 1983. He is a
Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics and a Fellow of the American College
COLLEGE OF DENTISTRY
Membership has its
The UF is the latest school to establish a
chapter of Delta Omega, the honorary
society for graduate studies in public
health. UF's chapter joins 60 other chapters
at public health-accredited schools and
Membership offers several opportunities
for schools and individuals, said UF's Delta
Omega chapter president Nabih Asal, Ph.D.,
a professor in the College of Public Health
and Health Professions' department of
epidemiology and biostatistics. The national
office of Delta Omega sponsors faculty
curricula awards, a student poster session at
the annual meeting of the American Public
Health Association, a mentorship network
for students, and access to classic public
health texts that are out of print or not widely
available, including books by Florence
Nightingale and John Snow, the father of
Ph.D., a professor and
chair of the department of
orthodontics, assistant dean
for advanced and graduate
education, and the Academy
100 Eminent Scholar chair,
was elected to a two-year term
as president of the Edward H. Timothy
Angle Society of Orthodontists
during its recent meeting. Wheeler joined the
society in 1996, has served on the board of
directors since 2001.
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
students, placed among the
top 10 finalists in a national
clinical skills competition.
The UF College of Pharmacy
team joined a record 102
college teams competing in the
American Society of Health- s
System Pharmacists' National
Clinical Skills Competition.
Students demonstrated their
skills in areas such as assessing
patient information, identifying
drug therapy problems and
recommending a pharmacist's
care plan. The competition
took place in December at the
ASHP 44th Midyear Clinical Harmony S
meeting in Las Vegas.
associate professor of
translational research, has
been awarded an American
College of Clinical Pharmacy
Research Institute Bioanalytical |
Grant to help support analysis Rhonda Cooper-Del-
of clinical samples derived from
her earlier NIH award on the metabolic effects of
antihypertensive drugs. This award is an in-kind
grant estimated at $50,000 for bioanalytical
services stipend support to cover DeHoff's
expenses for conducting on-site research at a
pharmaceutical product development facility in
Ohio and Virginia.
. THOMA "TOMMY"
SMITH, Pharm.D., J.D., a
clinical assistant professor
of pharmaceutical outcomes
and policy, has received a
one-year award totaling more
than $56,600 from Cephalon
Inc. The award supports
research conducted by Smith W. Thomas Sr
and co-investigator professor
David Brushwood, R.Ph., J.D., titled "Pharmacist
Responsibility for Screening of Opioid Use in
Non-Tolerant Patients." The study aims to locate
and report legal precedents that recognize
pharmacists' responsibility for the screening of
opium-based narcotic prescriptions that contain
warning labels for patients who may suffer
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE
L__ -M.D., chair
of the department of surgery,
is now serving as a governor-
at-large for the American
College of Surgeons. Behrns
was elected to a two-year
term on the organization's
Board of Governors during
this fall's annual member Kevin
business meeting. In this role
he represents the college's fellows in Florida,
serving as a communications link between the
fellows and members of the Board of Regents.
M.D., a clinical assistant
professor of acute care surgery
in the College of Medicine,
recently won first place in a
burn research competition.
Presenting at the 22nd
Annual Southern Regional
Burn Conference, Richards Winston T.
outlined predictions in a lack
of resources for elderly burn patients as Baby
Boomers hit age 65 and older.
M.D., chief of infectious
diseases, has been named
a 2010 Harvard University
Advanced Leadership fellow.
He is one of 22 fellows from
around the world who are
leaders in fields such as
health care and public health, Frederick Southw
and public administration. Each fellow is
charged with helping to make the world a better
place through nonprofit efforts. Southwick's
fellowship project focuses on how to improve the
frontline systems of care for patients.
M.D., chair of the
department of urology, has been selected by
the American Urological Association's board of
directors to chair the AUA Foundation Research
Council's Office of Research. He will assume
this new role in June. "The primary objective of
my tenure as chair will be to develop support
systems to bring urologic
research to the forefront and
increase NIH funding for
researchers engaged in the
urologic sciences," Vieweg
PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS
D.P.T., a student in the
science Ph.D. program
and a physical therapist at
Shands at UF, received one
of four Florence P. Kendall
Doctoral Scholarships from
the Foundation for Physical Meryl Alappattu
Therapy board of trustees
for the 2009 to 2010 academic year. The
$5,000 scholarships are awarded to outstanding
physical therapists entering their first year of
Hugh A. Walters
Highlighting a core value of medicine
humanism -the UF department of surgery
honored third-year resident Tad Kim,
M.D., with the Hugh A. Walters, M.D.,
Humanitarian Award on March 3 during
a special lecture dedicated to the memory
of Dr. Walters. Kim is the second recipient
of the award, which honors a surgical
resident who embodies Dr. Walters'
qualities of compassionate care and
selfless dedication to excellence. Walters
was a talented young surgeon who died
unexpectedly in 2008. Visit the Insider @
news.medinfo.ufl.edu to read the full story.
Department of Surgery Chairman Kevin Behrns, M.D., (from left) gathers with surgical residents Darrell
Hunt, M.D., Ph.D., and Tad Kim, M.D., Dr. Walters' parents Margaretta and Curtis Walters, and Surgical
Residency Program Director George Sarosi, M.D., after this year's award ceremony.
I 2 I http: news.health.utl.edu
Pratik Desai (back row, second from left) went snowshoeing in the town of Davos, Switzerland the headquarters of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft for
Osteosynthesefragen as a team-building activity. Team members Beate Hanson, M.D., M.P.H., (kneeling, second from left) and Laurent Audige,
D.V.M., Ph.D., (back row, sixth from left) are also pictured.
By Kim Libby
Pratik Desai, M.D., knew he wanted to be a surgeon early on
in his medical career, as the hands-on experience made him
feel like he was physically doing something to help others.
Now as an orthopedic resident at Shands Jacksonville Medical
Center, he has been given the opportunity to sharpen his research
skills and give back to his surgical community.
Desai was chosen for a clinical investigation
and documentation research and epidemiology
fellowship in Dubendorf, Switzerland, sponsored
by the AO Foundation. The AO, or
Arbeitsgemeinschaft fitr Osteosynthesefragen,
was started in 1958 by four Swiss surgeons as an
organization that pioneered the study of fracture
healing and fixation in orthopedics.
As the first American resident to be offered
the three-month musculoskeletal trauma
fellowship, Desai is participating in a number of
projects that explore ways to foster and conduct
"You can't just go out and listen to a patient's
symptoms and suddenly get data,'" said Desai.
"There must be a methodology to it. There are
criteria for sound scientific practice, so
physicians don't arrive at false or erroneous
Desai plans to gather and review data, perform
statistical analyses and write papers for medical
journal publication. Delving far beyond the
typical premedical school statistics class, he will
learn from prominent figures in the orthopedic
world, such as Beate Hanson, M.D., M.P.H., and
Laurent Audige, D.V.M., Ph.D.
The 32-year-old Zambian native, who moved
to Jacksonville at age 7, received a bachelor's
degree from the University of Miami in biology
and a master's degree in biomedical sciences
from Barry University. He then earned his
doctoral degree from the University of Miami
School of Medicine.
It was during a fortunate round of golf with an
orthopedic resident at UM when Desai's interest
in the field was sparked. This early mentorship
granted him hands-on experience early in his
education and paved the path to meet his current
mentor, the professional that has influenced his
career the most Michael Suk, M.D., J.D.,
Desai completed a year of research with Suk
before beginning his residency, and attributes
his fellowship achievement to Suk's guidance
and collaborative relationship with the AO.
This was quite the accomplishment, he said, as
fracture education is introduced early to
residents and is founded upon AO principles.
During the second year of residency, candidates
also participate in the AO Basic Course, which
provides them with principles on soft tissue
management, fracture treatment and fixation
that are essential to understanding the craft.
"I learned quickly what a fun and fulfilling
field orthopedics can be," he said. "There is
nothing like being able to give somebody the
ability to walk again, or to give someone a new
joint that has been so painful and limited their
lives for so many years."
Desai participated in a number of projects
with Suk, investigating novel ways to treat and
prevent infection in open fractures, studying
new devices to prevent lung complications after
femur fractures, and publishing a review article,
"Orthopeadic Trauma in Pregnancy." He was
then invited to present his research at local and
national scientific meetings, including the
Florida Orthopedic Society meetings in
Sandestin, Fla., and Key Largo, Fla., the
Southern Orthopaedic Association meeting in
the Bahamas, the Orthopedic Trauma
Association meeting in Boston, and the
American Academic of Orthopedic Surgeons
meeting in Las Vegas, to name a few.
He plans to continue endeavors like this in
Switzerland, while working on project such as
The BiMasquelet technique for Distal Tibia
Reconstruction, and Combined Orthopaedic and
Vascular Injuries in the Lower Extremity:
Sequence of Care and Outcomes.
"To rub shoulders and elbows with the
accomplished professionals of the AO is a
life-changing experience for me that shouldn't be
underestimated," Desai said. "It's a bit
overwhelming and very humbling, and it's a
great achievement for UF."
Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig, director of the
COM's Medical Humanities Program,
presents fourth-year medical student
Monique Dieuvil with a special award for her
work with the Medical Humanities and
Clinical Practice course, for which she
created the standardized patient program.
Erin Lessner and Michael Ortiz talk about their
involvement with the PACE Center for Girls in
Gainesville, which provides education, counseling,
training and advocacy for girls. The Chapman
Society brings PACE participants to the UF Health
Science Center for a day to inspire them to consider
careers in health care.
College of Medicine medical students, residents and faculty were inducted into the
Chapman Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society March 2. Posing with them is
Dr. Robert Watson, former senior associate dean for educational affairs.
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, Czerne
M. Reid, Karen Rhodenizer,
I 1 1,, ,- I-- :, ...:
I I,,, :, li. .' ,, I ,,,-, I.i
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,
,,, 1 I :1 1 1 H11 I 1 h ,
I1 I-, 1 1 1 I 1 :hy : I- 1 -
1. 1 i : l 1I -
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
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