Front Cover
 Nursing conference on quality health...
 Post it
 Data assistance
 Radio active
 Time capsule
 White Coat Company
 East meets West
 Growth hormone and kids
 Secret life of cells
 Screening for hypertension
 New Medicaid plans
 TMJ study gets $1.9 million
 Dr. Williams goes to D.C.
 Lou Ritz on meditation


The Post
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073869/00006
 Material Information
Title: The Post
Uniform Title: Post (Gainesville, Fla. 2001)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida -- Health Science Center
University of Florida -- Health Science Center. -- Office of Public Information
Publisher: HSC Office of Public Information
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Creation Date: February 2006
Publication Date: 2001-
Frequency: biweekly
Subjects / Keywords: Health occupations schools -- Periodicals -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Statement of Responsibility: The University of Florida Health Science Center.
Dates or Sequential Designation: July 27, 2001-
General Note: Title from caption.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 47826372
lccn - 2001229452
System ID: UF00073869:00006
 Related Items
Preceded by: Friday evening post (1989)


This item has the following downloads:

00001 ( PDF )

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Nursing conference on quality health care
        Page 2
    Post it
        Page 3
    Data assistance
        Page 4
    Radio active
        Page 5
    Time capsule
        Page 6
        Page 7
    White Coat Company
        Page 8
        Page 9
    East meets West
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Growth hormone and kids
        Page 12
    Secret life of cells
        Page 13
    Screening for hypertension
        Page 14
    New Medicaid plans
        Page 15
        Page 16
    TMJ study gets $1.9 million
        Page 17
    Dr. Williams goes to D.C.
        Page 18
    Lou Ritz on meditation
        Page 19
        Page 20
Full Text




UF Health Science
Celebrating 50 Years



Table of Contents
SADMINISTRATION- Data assistance
S50TH ANNIVERSARY Time capsule
EDUCATION- White Coat Company


SCOVER East meets West
SRESEARCH Growth hormone and kids
@ RESEARCH Secret life of cells
SPATIENT CARE Screening for hypertension
SPATIENT CARE New Medicaid plans

SGRANT TMJ study gets $19.1 million
SRESEARCH DR. Williams goes to D.C.
@ PROFILE Lou Ritz on meditation

ON THE.C.V.R:.All............ T c o P m N a Pr

Nursing conference

on quality health care

A recent conference hosted by the University of Florida College of Nursing addressed
a growing concern for many Americans: the quality of health care. The conference
also kicked off the College's 50th anniversary.
"Quality: the Critical Variable in Health Care, The Dorothy M. Smith Nursing
Leadership Conference" took place Jan. 19-20, with national experts and leaders in
nursing and health-care administration discussing issues affecting quality in patient
care, including the nursing shortage and quality patient outcomes. The conference's
keynote speaker was Linda H. Aiken, Ph.D., R.N., a UF College of Nursing alumna
and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University
of Pennsylvania. Aiken spoke on saving lives through investments in nursing and
looked at the history of patient safety and quality in health care.
"Quality has long been a cornerstone of professional nursing. The origins of
contemporary quality can be traced to Florence Nightingale's research describing
variation in outcomes for hospitalized patients in Crimea," Aiken said. "While quality
has become a mantra in health care, there is less understanding of the important role
of nurses in producing high quality care."
Aiken highlighted the problems in patient safety that exist in modern hospitals and
how nurse workloads and environments, burnout and inexperience contribute to latent
errors. However, she warned against trying to fill only the number of available hands
and noted that as the education level of the nursing staff increases, patient mortality
goes down.
"We could improve the level of poor outcomes in our hospital if we could move to
a more educated work force," Aiken said. "This coupled with improving nurse practice
environments and staffing ratios could save hospitals tens of thousands of lives annually."
Senior Vice President Doug Barrett and Dean Kathleen Ann Long officially kicked
off the College of Nursing's 50th anniversary with a special ceremony where the
commemorative anniversary banner was celebrated and the college's heritage was
remembered. For more information on the college's 50th anniversary, visit www.
nursing.ufl.edu/50. Tracy Brown Wright

S. Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.e4

iI 1 i

e' *


Faculty, staff, alumni and distinguished guests celebrated during the
Dorothy M. Smith Nursing Leadership Conference, when the
College of Nursing commemorative banner was unfurled.

du/ for the latest news and HSC events.



Melvin Fried, Ph.D., a University
of Florida professor emeritus of
biochemistry and molecular biology
and one of the College of Medicine's
first faculty members, died in his
Gainesville home Jan. 16.
He was 81.
Fried came to UF as an assistant L
professor of biochemistry when the
fledgling College of Medicine opened
in 1956. He was one of the youngest
faculty members who joined the new
After serving in the U.S. Army *4
during World War II, Fried, a UF
alumnus, earned his doctorate in
biochemistry at Yale University. He
studied with two Nobel Prize-winning
scientists at Cambridge University and
the Washington University School of
Medicine in St. Louis before he was
recruited to UF.
Before retiring in 1993, Fried rose through the ranks to chair the biochemistry
department and serve as an associate dean in the College of Medicine.
As a researcher, Fried received numerous grants and recognition for his studies of
metabolism and lipoproteins. Fried and another researcher were the first to suggest
how high-density lipoproteins, or "good" cholesterol, prevent clogged arteries.


Comedian Tom Green may have been the first to approach testicular cancer from a
humorous perspective when he recorded his surgery for an MTV documentary.
Now, with teasers such as, "One man, one ball, one hour," and "You'll laugh...you'll
cry... you'll want to perform a self-exam," playwright Brian Lobel brings his solo act
"Ball: a Traumedy" to the University of Florida. The performance, about illness, struggle
and survival, starts at 7:30 p.m., March 2 in the Medical Sciences Building Auditorium.
In his performance, Lobel takes an irreverent, honest look at the serious, painful
and sometimes demeaning aspects of fighting a battle against testicular cancer, and
in doing so presents a story of real healing.
Brought by The Chapman Society and the College of Medicine, the program is
free and open to UF Health Science Center and Shands staff, patients, students
and faculty and to the general public. It is sponsored in part by the Arnold P. Gold
Donations to the American Cancer Society Winn-Dixie Hope Lodge of Gainesville will
be accepted at the door.

Still looking for a way to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans? Here's
your chance: A group of UF medical students is traveling to New Orleans during
spring break in mid-March to help victims still living in the hurricane-ravaged city.
They need money and other donations to help. Send checks to the University of
Florida Foundation (memo: Project FRIEND), P.O. Box 100689, Gainesville, FL
32610. For more information contact Nicole Sammons at nsammons@ufl.edu.


Students, faculty and staff are no longer permitted to park in the pay visitor and patient
areas of any Health Science Center garage on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
This change is necessary to accommodate the increased demand for patient
and visitor parking for the Health Science Center and Shands at UF, according to
Violators of this policy will be ticketed or towed.
Transportation and Parking Services thanked the HSC community for its
cooperation as it works to provide patients and visitors with convenient parking
Please contact at 392-8048 if you have any questions.


Pat Jones, secretary for Dr. James Flanegan,
chairman of the department of biochemistry and
molecular biology, has worked for the department
for over 26 years.

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

BBB p S 3

N- I -~l I



COM's new number-crunching

capabilities support research

By Tom Fortner

here's a slogan for a car company that goes
"This is not your father's Oldsmobile." In the
same way, a newly formed data center and
biostatistics consulting service, based in the College of
Medicine, is expected to turn the heads of some Health
Science Center investigators who increasingly rely on
computational tools and techniques in their research.
During the past several months, the college has
aggressively invested in the growth of these high-end
data support capabilities housed in its department of
epidemiology and health policy research.
The services available to HSC clinicians and other
investigators include a research and biostatistics
consulting lab and a center for data coordination.
In the research and biostatistics consulting lab,
departmental faculty members provide guidance on
research design and measurement, statistical analysis
and methodological and statistical review of
manuscripts. These fee-based services are tailored to
meet the needs of clinicians and other investigators
who need limited consultative support.
The research data coordinating center works with
researchers to help effectively plan for the capture,
management and analysis of high-quality data and to
provide high-speed, Web-based data hosting services
designed for easy access by investigators and their
staffs. Also fee-based, these comprehensive services
meet all industry standards.
Department Chair Elizabeth Shenkman, Ph.D.,
who has taken the lead in building the programs, said
having these types of sophisticated analytical services
available to support the research of faculty in a top-
tier academic health center these days is crucial.
"The quantitative requirements of research projects
today are such that you simply must have this level of
professional biostatistical and data management
expertise as well the network capabilities to handle
large amounts of information," said Shenkman. "The
investment required in this expertise and in the
computing infrastructure means that these programs
are best organized as core services."
While the consultative, data management and
hosting services are offered for a fee intended to cover
costs, Shenkman emphasizes that her faculty -
biostatisticians, epidemiologists, health-care
economists and health outcomes researchers are
eager to collaborate on research projects. For that
reason, they don't charge for participating in the
development of grant proposals or pilot studies.
"We're faculty and we want to collaborate with
other faculty," she said.

Chris Barnes (left), network administrator, and Deepa Ranka, database administrator, lead the
technical team supporting the department of health policy research's new Research Data
Coordinating Center.

Although Shenkman's department has always had
strong computing and analytical capabilities, College
of Medicine Dean C. Craig Tisher, M.D., last year
decided to create a bona fide biostatistics consulting
service and data center under her leadership. The
incremental investment was sizable, adding four staff
members in data management and network
administration, for a total of 10, and four biostatistics
faculty members, including a divisional director. In
addition, the department spent more than a half-
million dollars on new equipment and infrastructure
upgrades, including enhanced broadband connections.
The ultimate aim, Shenkman said, is to provide
support with a customer service mentality and
tailored to meet the needs of clinician researchers
and any other health science investigators, whether
their needs are large or small. Making the whole
process transparent and educational will be key.
"It won't be us taking people's data into a black
box and then they never see it again," said
Shenkman. "We're really trying to approach this
through the eyes of the clinical investigator and say,
'What do they need to make it as user-friendly for
them as possible?' "

One often overlooked benefit of organizing services
in this way is that it assures concordance with all
industry standards, best practices and data integrity
requirements of sponsors of clinical trials and other
research. The department also undergoes an annual
external audit to ensure its procedures are state-of-
the-art. Including those kinds of assurances in a
grant proposal can be value-added, said Shenkman.
"I think the more investigators can demonstrate
that they have that level of expertise behind them,"
said Shenkman, "the stronger their proposal is going
to be." 0

To learn more about these
services, visit www.ehpr.ufl.

To schedule an appointment,
call Cherrie Hadsock at
265-0111, ext. 86331

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.



Are you radio active?

UF's amateur radio club looks to build membership from ranks of HSC health professionals

By Lindy McCollum-Brounley

As Gulf Coast residents from Naples to Galveston know, hurricane winds
can render modern communications technologies into silent artifacts of a
destroyed landscape. Hurricanes lash power and communications
infrastructures until they fail, and they are often down for days, weeks, sometimes
even months before service can be restored.
During these times of disaster, a little-known group of self-sufficient, amateur (ham)
radio operators have helped bridge the communications gap, networking with police,
aid organizations and each other to speed rescue and relief efforts. Their knowledge,
technical skills and personal ham radio equipment can quickly open communications
in disaster areas, sending and receiving voice and electronic information such as
e-mails, photographs and Morse code over ham radio airwaves.
"We have not just one mode of communication, but many," said Jay Garlitz, a
1982 graduate of the College of Dentistry. Garlitz serves as the faculty adviser for
the Gator Amateur Radio Club and trustee of W4DFU, UF's amateur radio station,
which has been in continuous operation since it was founded in 1934.
Ham operators can talk around the world using "radio-skip," where the radio
signal is bounced off the atmosphere to another location on the globe using ham-
designated satellites placed in orbit by U.S. and Russian spacecraft. They can even
use Internet Protocol as an interface, the same technology used to place phone calls
over the Internet, but completely wireless.
The country's more than 730,000 amateur radio operators bring technical skills
and a willingness to think outside the box that enables them to mobilize
communications in a pinch. It is this technological versatility that makes ham
operators so valuable during times of crisis.
At UF, the Gator Amateur Radio Club office is located on the llth floor of the
Health Science Center's Dental Sciences Building, and many of W4DFU's antennas
and weather sensors are mounted on the roof of the College of Dentistry. Others
are mounted to the roof of Beaty Towers. The club, which is funded through
Student Government, even owns a crank-up, portable tower on a trailer.
Club membership currently includes about 20 licensed undergraduate students
and about 30 licensed faculty and staff. Amateur radio operators must be licensed

"Amateur radio is a versatile hobby, and

one that dentists, physicians and other

health professionals should take well to. It

involves technical aspects and working with

people, both of which health professionals

do very well."

- Jay Garlitz

through the Federal Communications Commission. In its 72 years of existence, the
club has been recognized with several national awards and has communicated with
operators in more than 200 countries.
W4DFU is a backup emergency communications station for the Alachua County
Office of Emergency Management. It plays a wider role through accessing a

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ f

Jay Garlitz, D.M.D., the Gator Amateur Radio Club faculty advisor
and FCC trustee for the W4DFU station, stands on the roof of the
Dental Sciences Building.

nationwide and Caribbean hurricane network; operators tune-in to monitor
designated frequencies during hurricane emergencies, sending and receiving
reports to and from each other, the state's emergency management office, the
National Hurricane Center and other public service organizations.
"The club represents UF every day and has always been dedicated to service,"
Garlitz said. "We helped during recent hurricanes and it's important to be prepared
to serve during emergency situations, particularly since we are located within a
major medical complex."
"CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ" is the invitation ham operators broadcast when seeking
conversations with others. Garlitz is sending his own "CQ" to Health Science
Center physicians, dentists, nurses and other health professionals, inviting them to
join the Gator Amateur Radio Club in helping Florida's residents during times of
emergency. He is a member of the Medical Amateur Radio Council, and said other
health professionals would benefit from participating.
"The purpose of the MARCO network is to promote fellowship among amateur
radio operators who are professionals in the healing arts," Garlitz said. "But it's
also a weekly on-the-air network established for the purpose of exchanging medical
and technical information that can be of public service during medical
emergencies.... If you speak on a regular basis, then you know each other and are
prepared during an emergency to help each other.
"Amateur radio is a versatile hobby, and one that dentists, physicians and other
health professionals should take well to," Garlitz said. "It involves technical aspects
and working with people, both of which health professionals do very well."
For more information about the Gator Amateur Radio Club, e-mail jgarlitz@ufl.
edu or visit http://www.gatorradio.org. O

or the latest news and HSC events. M

" '''--



ZUNI' l-

........... .... r ..*.L"~E~

Contents of the original HSC time capsule, which are displayed in the lobby of the Medical Sciences Building.

H E Unearthing history:

YEARS Time capsule captures HSC in 1955
UNIVERSNew time capsule to be planted next month
vWNon-aion wnw New time capsule to be planted next month

By April Frawley Birdwell

Camera bulbs flashed as Florida's then-Secretary of State R.A. Gray placed the
time capsule inside the unsealed cornerstone.
It was March 26, 1955, and inside the capsule were papers and reports
documenting plans for the new J. Hillis Miller Health Center to explain to future
generations the importance of the work that would take place inside the walls of the
yet-to-be-built building. A small radioactive "time capsule" of carbon-14 was included
so the contents could one day be dated.
The bricks were sealed. Onlookers and dignitaries left. And 50 years of progress
sprang up around the cornerstone and the time capsule inside. The HSC grew.
Students graduated. New buildings were constructed, one of them covering the

6 Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.E

cornerstone and turning it into just another piece of wall in an emergency generator
room on the ground floor of the Academic Research Building.
The time capsule could have been forgotten, like dozens of others throughout
history, misplaced or lost under new construction. But it wasn't.
Last year, Health Science Center physical plant workers quietly exhumed the
capsule from the cornerstone to commemorate the center's 50th anniversary. The
items are on display in the lobby of the Medical Sciences Building, including the
radioactive C-14 capsule from the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.
"They really were planning for the future," said Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig, the
HSC's archivist. "The planners probably thought some engineer 10,000 years from
now would find (the time capsule)."
Although the term "time capsule" wasn't coined until 1937, people have been trying

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In a March 26, 1955 ceremony, the HSC time capsule was bricked
in and sealed with a dated cornerstone.

HSC physical plant employees unearthed the pill-shaped capsule
last year.

Inside the vacuum-packed metal cylinder, all
in asbestos.

items were wrapped

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edt


Inside the new, larger capsule will be gear

from each of the HSC colleges, letters from

current deans to future deans and

memorabilia that sums up life in 2006.

Newspapers, magazines, photographs and

even a cellular phone will be included.

to preserve the history of their time for thousands of years, according to the
International Time Capsule Society.
The society, which tracks time capsule activity across the world, is housed
at Oglethorpe University, where one of the largest and most well-known time
capsules was assembled in 1940. The Crypt of Civilization holds thousands
of pages of microfilm, newsreels, toys, newspapers, audio recordings, books,
games, motion pictures and even something to teach English in case the
language is not spoken. The crypt is not supposed to be opened until 8113.
Time capsules were particularly popular in the 1950s and often placed in
the cornerstones of new buildings, Stoyan-Rosenzweig said. This was
illustrated in a 1955 Looney Tunes cartoon in which a construction worker
unearths a capsule containing Michigan J. Frog in one cornerstone and then
later replants the singing amphibian in another cornerstone.
"It shows how common in that period it was to place a time capsule in a
cornerstone," said Stoyan-Rosenzweig, who has a copy of the cartoon in her
HSC leaders didn't have a singing frog to worry about when the time
capsule was opened last spring, but they did have to take precautions. No one
knew if the outer surface of the C-14 vial would be radioactive, so a Geiger
counter was in place to monitor radiation levels, Stoyan-Rosenzweig said.
Radiation didn't pose a problem, but workers found another surprise when
the vacuum-packed metal cylinder was unsealed all the items were wrapped
in asbestos. The mineral was widely used as insulation before its cancer-
causing properties were known. The materials inside were not returned to
the archives until they were asbestos-free, Stoyan-Rosenzweig said.
Aside from the C-14, the capsule also included a five-volume series of books
that explain why a health center was needed in Florida; a photograph of J.
Hillis Miller, the UF president who pushed for the creation of a health center
in Gainesville and died before it was completed; and other documents.
Now, Stoyan-Rosenzweig is collecting items for a new time capsule that
will be planted on March 31 near the Academic Research Building and
opened on the HSC's 100th birthday in 2056.
Inside the new, larger capsule will be gear from each of the HSC colleges,
letters from current deans to future deans and memorabilia that sums up life
in 2006. Newspapers, magazines, photographs and even a cellular phone will
be included.
No radiation or asbestos will be included this time, but Stoyan-Rosenzweig
laughed and said, "You never know in 50 years what will be considered
poisonous or dangerous." O

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-- ~ -


Medical students find solace on stage

By April Frawley Birdwell

R ebecca Gomez tilted the champagne bottle
back, just enough to let the bubbly slide down
her throat.
Luckily for the second-year medical student, no
professors were there to watch as she staggered
across the floor, bottle in hand, and babbled about
her mental state to a roomful of senior citizens at
The Manor, a Gainesville nursing home, one
December night.
And luckily for the seniors, the bottle was empty
and Gomez's ramblings were just a scene from the '
play "Proof," one of several skits Gomez and other I
UF College of Medicine students performed for the
group before the holidays.
Since coming together last year, members of the
White Coat Company a band of medically minded .
thespians who try to squeeze in a little Shakespeare
between anatomy labs and lectures have kept most
of their performances to themselves.
But now the group is trying to expand past the
closed doors of their occasional lunchtime
improvisational sessions, said Gomez, who formed

"I am convinced that

involvement in the arts and

humanities can help each

person better know

themselves, which is a key to

being able to better

understand patients and


- Robert Watson, M,D,, senior
associate dean

the low-key troupe. The seniors at The Manor served
as their first real audience, and plans are under way
for a bigger production this spring.
"We're all busy so there's not a lot of time for extra
stuff, but I'm hoping that doing this will lay the
groundwork for future events," she said.
Gomez, who's been acting for three years and has
been involved behind the scenes of theater
productions for seven, formed the White Coat

Members of the White Coat Company, a medical
songs for seniors at The Manor in Gainesville.

Company to provide another outlet for busy medical
"Acting is a really good way to exercise your brain
and relax," she said.
Elvy Mercado joined the group to do just that- relax.
"We get bogged down in our classes, so being a
part of the company gives me an opportunity to step
away from that and just have fun," said Mercado, a
second-year medical student who has dabbled in
improve acting. "Even if you have exams coming up,
you know for that hour (with the group) you can
Chad Mackman, a first-year medical student who
minored in theater when he was an undergraduate,
agreed, adding, "It's nice to step out of your head and
into a character who isn't worried about next week's
anatomy test or what's going to be on that day's lab."
But involvement in the arts and humanities could
do more than relieve students' tension. It could also
help them be better doctors, said Robert Watson,
senior associate dean of educational affairs for the

student acting troop, performed skits and sang

College of Medicine.
"I am convinced that involvement in the arts and
humanities can help each person better know
themselves, which is a key to being able to better
understand patients and families," he said.
The college opened the Thomas H. Maren Medical
Student Reading Room to give students a space to
express their interests in the arts, and programs like
narrative medicine help students strengthen
communication skills, he said.
While their medical studies don't give White Coat
Company members too much free time for acting,
they are preparing at least one more performance
this semester. In April they plan to present "The
Wizard of Oz" on the pediatrics floor of Shands at
UF. They have already recruited a cast of 19 for the
production, Gomez said.
"It's really important in medical school to not just
study all the time," she said. "You have to find
hobbies that you enjoy doing and make time for
them." 0

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

C- I- I


Gift aids universities in addressing nursing shortage

By Tracy Brown Wright

The nursing shortage in Florida, currently estimated
at 34,000 and projected to hit 61,000 by the year 2020,
has a negative impact on the quality and availability
of health care. In an effort to help relieve that, Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of Florida donated $600,000
each to the University of North Florida and the
University of Florida in an effort to address crucial
issues in nursing education. The State of Florida will
match each gift at $420,000. UNF and UF were also
awarded a $1.2 million SUCCEED grant from the
state to increase the number of nurses who enter
Florida's workforce.
In 2004, Northeast Florida hospitals reported that
8.1 percent of nursing positions remained vacant, the
same as the statewide average for registered nurse
vacancies, according to the Florida Hospital
Hospital studies show that patient care declines
and health-care costs increase when there is a nurse
shortage. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
gift, combined with matching dollars from the state
Legislature, will be applied to expanding the
education system, generating more nurses to meet the
increasing demand.
"We deeply appreciate the profound generosity of
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida," said UNF

President John A. Delaney. "This meaningful gift
enables the School of Nursing to sustain the
SUCCEED grant and will help to increase student
enrollment in our nursing program."
UNF will use the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
Florida gift to hire a professor to work with a
database, which is the first of its kind in Jacksonville,
allowing the School of Nursing to more efficiently
schedule clinical rotations for all schools and health-
care organizations in the Jacksonville area. The
professor also will staff a patient simulation lab at
Shands Jacksonville for clinical education of UNF and
UF nursing students as well as Shands staff. This will
allow UNF to increase enrollment of baccalaureate
nursing students, upgrade technology and optimize
the placement of students at clinical sites.
Ultimately, all nursing programs in the North
Florida area will benefit from the ability to more
adeptly schedule clinical rotations for their students.
"The University of Florida is grateful for the
generosity of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
and their dedication to improving nursing
education," said UF President Bernard Machen.
Blue Cross Blue Shield's gift to UF will help
expand and enhance the North Florida Ph.D.
Consortium, which links UF's Ph.D. in Nursing
Science Program to students at sites located at UNF,
Florida A&M University, Florida State University

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College of Nursing Dean Kathleen Ann Long,
UF President Bernie Machen and Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Florida Vice President of Public
Affairs Catherine Kelly.

and the University of West Florida through a
cooperative degree approach.
"We recognize how important collaboration is to
achieve meaningful progress in easing the nursing
shortage," said Robert I. Lufrano, M.D., chairman
and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Florida. "Through our Generation RN
program, we are able to support nurse education plus
address a critical workforce and health-care need in
Florida." 0

College of Medicine lands eminent speakers for commencement, research events

By Tom Fortner

In fishing parlance, the College of Medicine has reeled in a couple of big ones for
two annual events this spring.
Tom Brokaw, the former anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News,
will be the featured speaker at the college's commencement ceremony May 20.
And Peter Agre, M.D., an oncologist and molecular biologist who won the 2003
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will keynote COM Research Day activities slated for
April 10 11.
The recruitment of such luminaries is in keeping with the overarching occasion -
the 50th anniversary of the college. Indeed, it was Brokaw's interest in history -
he's the author of two books that focused on the World War II generation that
prompted Dean C. Craig Tisher to think the newsman might be enticed to appear.
It didn't hurt that Tisher and Brokaw have something in common: Both were
raised in Yankton, SD. And although they've never met, a number of common
threads run through their lives.
Tisher wrote Brokaw with the request and got a letter of acceptance a few weeks
later. "I thought it was a long shot so when we got it I was excited," he said.
Brokaw stepped down as anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News in
December 2004 after a 21-year run. He continues to do special reports and to
appear during major breaking news events.
The recipient of numerous awards recognizing his journalism and a best-selling
author, Brokaw began his journalism career in 1962 in Omaha, Neb. He rapidly
climbed the career ladder in television news, with stops in Atlanta and Los
Angeles before joining the network news team in 1966. He is a graduate of the
University of South Dakota.
Peter Agre, a longtime faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School

reter Agre

lonm Irokaw

of Medicine who recently relocated to Duke University Medical Center, won the
Nobel Prize for his laboratory's discovery of the proteins that regulate and
facilitate water molecule transport through cell membranes, a process essential to
all living organisms.
No longer working in the lab, Agre joined Duke last summer as vice chancellor
for science and technology. He also has a "Tisher connection," with family roots
in South Dakota and a personal friendship with the dean over many years.
Agre was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in 2000
and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. O

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BBH- jrc 9






By Melanie Fridl Ross

Bob Frank eyed the fish, and the fish eyed him.
It was a split-second showdown with a fortuitous ending... though maybe
not for the fish.
Moments before, Frank's Chinese hosts academicians from Zhengzhou
University, situated 450 miles south of Beijing on more than 1,000 acres near the
Yellow River reached to the center of the table, and with a carefully orchestrated
flourish, spun the serving platter where it sat, still steaming.
That's when Frank, dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions,
began to worry. He watched as it revolved, slowing until it stopped and pointed
directly at him.
"I thought I was going to have to eat the fish head!" he recalled a couple weeks
after returning from his December visit.
But the fish wasn't just dinner. A Chinese symbol of good luck, it was part of a
longstanding tradition, one that to his relief did not include feasting on parts of the
fish anatomy most Americans are accustomed to sliding down the disposal. The
ritual merely meant that as guest of honor he was to immediately toast everyone at
the table, a fitting start to a trip that heralded the beginning of something UF
officials say holds incredible promise the creation of educational initiatives and
research collaborations with a country long known for prizing scholarly endeavors.
Of course, it will take more than just good fortune to forge these new
relationships. But the hard work necessary to put such programs together is well
under way. Health Science Center officials in particular are keen on the possibilities.
So when the Chinese New Year kicked off Jan. 29 and more than a billion citizens
who make up one of the world's oldest living civilizations began celebrating the Year
of the Dog, UF administrators begged to differ.
For them, it was as if China were ushering in the Year of the Gator.

Lately it seems all eyes are on China. As it gears up to host the 2008 Summer
Olympics and the 2010 World Expo, its government is pouring billions into
educational reforms and tourism. In the past 25 years, it has evolved from a system
largely closed to international trade to one that is market-oriented with a rapidly
growing private sector, thrusting China onto the global economic stage. Last year
China's economy ranked second-largest in the world, trailing only the United States.
In Gainesville, China's new-found cachet has not gone unnoticed.
That's in part thanks to Sherman Bai, Ph.D., a UF engineering professor whose
hometown is 300 miles to the south of Beijing. Bai encouraged William Riffee, Ph.D.,
dean of the College of Pharmacy and associate provost for distance, continuing and
executive education, to set his sights on the Far East.

SVisit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.E

Bai now oversees UF's International Center in Beijing, which opened last June in
a high-rise commercial building on the campus of China Agricultural University,
adjacent to 11 other universities. All told, nearly 50 universities can be found in
Beijing, Bai said, with a student population teetering close to the 1 million mark.
"In the last five years, China's put a big emphasis on improving the educational
system," Bai said. "One major change was to open up the education market to allow
foreign institutions to come to China. Although still there are some regulations on
what kind of things institutions can do in China, compared to five or 10 years ago it's
a much more relaxed environment.
"Economic development in China is going very fast; the living standards for
common people have been improving quite a bit," he added. "Traditionally the
Chinese are very interested in education. Because now people have more money,
education is at the top of the list of every family."
The colleges of Pharmacy, Nursing and Public Health and Health Professions are
seizing the moment. The International Center is largely focusing on health and
medical programs, and all three colleges have sent emissaries to China to scout
opportunities and, conversely, to let the Chinese know what's available back in
"There's been a sense at the University of Florida that we need to have larger
global outreach, that without it we are not going to be the kind of university we
aspire to be," Frank said. "Most of our efforts have been in that vein, to try to
develop effective global partners around a research or education agenda."
The interest goes hand in hand with the complexity of the public health problems
facing Asia.
"After the SARS epidemic, China did an internal assessment of its public health
infrastructure and realized it needs to make changes," he said. "The advantage of
their centralized government is they created a model that requires their public
health officials to get more knowledge. There's more internal spending on public
health than there's been previously and that affects both hospital administrators and
traditional public health administration."
Bai and three staff members act as liaisons between UF faculty and their
counterparts at Chinese schools, making crucial contacts and working to win the
attention of government officials who approve such collaborations. They also help
UF faculty navigate the cultural nuances of negotiating business deals in China and
provide language interpretation.
"With the aegis of this center we're able to engage in conversations that are more
practical and continuous and directed than I have with any other country," Frank said.
Bai called the size of the booming educational market in China "mind-boggling."
"It's important to have UF's presence in China because it helps UF get a better
reputation there," he said. "It also provides opportunities for our students and faculty
to go to China for research conferences and other programs like summer courses.
"The second area is to promote UF, to attract good students to come to UF to
study," he said. "People are starting to notice us."

?du/ for the latest news and HSC events.


College of Nursing Dean Kathleen Ann Long (left) and Dr. Carol Reed
Ash stop to enjoy a garden while visiting several Chinese universities to
discuss future collaborations.

UF officials are in discussions with a half-dozen Chinese universities. They include
Tsinghua University, Capital University of Medical Sciences and Zhengzhou.
Faculty are flying to China. Chinese delegations are arriving in Gainesville.
"What the Chinese are investing in education is stunning," said Frank, who has
visited China twice in the past six months. "They've made enormous strides in a
very short time."
Ian Tebbett, associate dean for distance education and a College of Pharmacy
professor, recently signed an agreement with Capital to launch online master's-level
forensic science programs focused on drug chemistry and toxicology this fall. In
addition, this spring a new certificate program in death investigation will begin.
Most international students interested in UF are working professionals who are
seeking new skills to expand their job opportunities, Riffee said.

"We're looking to use that model to expand other distance educational offerings
in China," Tebbett said. "We can attract students or involve students in the
University of Florida, which spreads the name of the university part of the whole
'Gator Nation' idea. Some of these students will eventually come to UF as graduate
students. A lot of good things come out of that."
Two years ago College of Nursing Dean Kathleen Long, Ph.D., R.N., and Carol
Reed Ash, Ed.D., R.N., a recently retired professor who still heads the college's
international affairs committee, traveled to a town outside Shanghai on a fact-
finding mission. They are now exchanging information with Chinese officials about
UF's master's and doctoral programs and are considering a request to bring Chinese
nurses to UF for additional study.
"I think it's a two-way street what do they need and what do we have that will
help serve the mission of the college overall," Ash said. "We're waking up to the fact
that it's a big world out there. We're teaching across the globe. That's the key we
learn from them and they learn from us."

It's not just China. Korea, Thailand, India, Jordan, Japan, Poland, the Yucatan-
UF's interests abroad are spreading across the world map.
Attracting foreign students to UF can be difficult because of the expense, despite
the weakening dollar, Frank said. Visas also are increasingly hard to come by. So
exporting an educational program to a foreign country is desirable, albeit a
formidable proposition. There are costs incurred, language barriers to navigate,
quality control to consider.
UF officials originally thought they could bring UF degrees to other countries
fairly easily, Frank said. But consider an extremely well-paid Chinese citizen
typically makes $12,000 to $14,000 a year. Running a program in China with
American faculty on UF's standard cost base would be difficult.
"We're forced into a learning approach that might or might not work depending
on the topic," Frank said. "Even e-learning on our cost base becomes difficult."
Language barriers also pose problems, so UF launched an online intensive
English course in December aimed at international students. In China, UF may
elect to hire Chinese instructors who were educated at prestigious American
institutions and are comfortable speaking English.
Frank is confident UF will find the right fit. He's seeking to partner with the
Chinese to offer course content at the master's level in public health and health
services administration. UF will likely train Chinese instructors to teach about three
courses in China. The students would then travel to Florida to finish their degree.
"The opportunities in China are abundant and important in my view," Bai said.
"The Beijing office is a good starting point. Most people don't know about UF; they
know about Florida because of Disney World. We want to promote UF in China so
that three or four years down the line when people think about U.S. education they
also think about UF." 0

JuneCl-ll Beijing, China 2006 Beijing Forum
Sn e i C- ina -U.SS dudaoa C ollaboration

Benr Macen stt unvrst prvot and kent speke Jac M. Wisn-hDpeietoheUiestfMsahsts
Visit www5doce-conferences~uflOe.u/beiiing fo mor information.

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Growth hormone, obesity can

trigger sleep apnea in some kids

By April Frawley Birdwell

Growth hormone helps hundreds of children
with a rare disorder that causes them to
gorge on food, but for some, starting
treatment can worsen a dangerous nighttime
breathing problem, UF researchers have found.
Growth hormone has shown to be one of the most
effective ways to treat children and adults with
Prader-Willi syndrome, a disease that compels those

obstructive sleep apnea, such as loud snoring or
abnormal daytime sleepiness. Sleep studies are
recommended for all obese children, not just those
with Prader-Willi, Miller added.
Prader-Willi syndrome is caused by a rare
chromosomal defect and occurs in only one of every
12,000 to 15,000 people, according to the Prader-
Willi Syndrome Association. Children and adults
with the disease have mental impairment, poor
muscle tone and appetites so insatiable their parents

"Prader-Willi syndrome highlights the major problem of

obesity it's more than just overeating. There are genes that

control it and other physiological factors that impair health."

- Bryan E, Hainline, M,D,, Ph.D., Indiana University associate professor
of pediatrics

afflicted with it to eat nonstop. But UF researchers
found that starting treatments can worsen or trigger
sleep apnea in obese children exposed to colds,
potentially leading to death, according to findings
published online recently in the Journal of Clinical
Endocrinology and Metabolism. Sleep apnea disrupts
breathing during sleep and is common among
morbidly obese children, including those with
Prader-Willi syndrome.
Researchers say that uncovering how to treat
obesity and related problems in children genetically
wired to be overweight could help them better battle
childhood obesity in general.
"Every kid we studied had abnormal sleep at the
beginning, before growth hormone," said Jennifer
Miller, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and
the study's lead author. "On growth hormone, most
of them got better but not all of them. The ones that
got worse tended to be school age. Some of them
were just entering school and then they were coming
home with upper-respiratory infections.
"The combination of starting growth hormone,
still having weak muscle tone, having an illness and/
or being obese tends to put you at risk for having
really bad obstructive sleep apnea."
The researchers urge doctors to monitor patients'
sleep before and during treatment for signs of

often have to lock up food. Many patients become
morbidly obese.
Overall, about 9 million children in the United
States are overweight or obese. That's about three
times as many as in 1980, and the causes vary,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and
"Prader-Willi syndrome highlights the major
problem of obesity it's more than just overeating,"
said Bryan E. Hainline, M.D., Ph.D., an Indiana
University associate professor of pediatrics who
specializes in pediatric metabolism and genetics.
"There are genes that control it and other
physiological factors that impair health."
Obesity also can lead to severe respiratory problems
as fat accumulates in the upper body and throat, and
these effects cause the most problems for obese
patients, including those with Prader-Willi, Hainline
said. The UF study highlights this, he added.
Growth hormone was approved in the United
States to treat Prader-Willi in 2000, but several
children with the disease died after beginning the
treatments. All died in their sleep and had been
battling infections. To understand the problem, UF
researchers decided to study how growth hormone
affected sleep, monitoring patients on the therapy
closely and performing sleep studies before and

Jennifer Miller, M.D., an assistant professor of
pediatrics and the study's lead author.

during treatment, Miller said.
The researchers studied 25 children and adults
with Prader-Willi syndrome, a large sample for such
a rare disorder. Four school-age children had
increased difficulty breathing at night shortly after
the treatment began. All began having problems
after they were exposed to upper respiratory
infections in school, the findings show.
The children's muscles were so weak at the
beginning of the treatment they couldn't breathe
with a stuffed-up nose, Miller said. Growth hormone
worsened the problem, causing the tonsils to swell
and exacerbating their sleep apnea.
To keep patients safe, the researchers suggest
doctors perform sleep studies on children before and
during treatment. Some children may also need to
have their tonsils removed if necessary.
"That is why this study should be done, because
we don't know who will be vulnerable to having
problems during sleep," Miller said. O

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Cells can live without molecules once considered essential

By Lindy McCollum-Brounley

Leave it to the bacteria that cause tooth decay to be
able to live without something all cells were thought
to require.
Scientists have long believed a certain
biochemical pathway involved in the folding and
delivery of proteins to cell membranes is essential
for survival. Now University of Florida researchers
have discovered that Streptococcus mutans, the
decay-causing organism that thrives in many a
mouth, can do just fine without it.
The findings, reported in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, have rocked the
cellular biology scientific community, which has
long considered the pathway to be crucial. The
report may also explain why strains of the bacteria
can survive in the harsh acidic environment they
create in the mouth.
"We were met with skepticism ... because the
dogma was that this biochemical pathway is key for
all living cells," said study investigator Jeannine
Brady, Ph.D., an associate professor of oral biology
at the College of Dentistry. "As far as we know, this
is the first example of any bacteria that can cope
without this pathway; all of the existing literature
indicated it is vital."
The signal recognition particle, or SRP, pathway

is a primary mechanism by which proteins are
chaperoned from the cellular assembly lines where
they are made to the protective outer surface of the
cells where they are inserted.
In an effort to understand how best to combat the
tooth-decaying properties of S. mutans, Brady and
her team set out to learn how the organism was able
to survive its own acid. To find out, the researchers
tinkered with systematically turning off several
genes, individually and in combination, to see how
the bacteria responded.
"We found S. mutans can survive, with normal
growth, without the SRP pathway," said Adnan
Hasona, Ph.D., a research assistant professor of oral
biology and the study's lead author.
The bacteria altered to lack SRP components
were able to adapt and survive gradual increases in
acid resulting from their own metabolism,
suggesting a backup pathway was in place.
But, like goldfish dropped in new water, the
altered bacteria could not contend with sudden
environmental change. When artificially shocked
with acid to a pH below that where tooth
demineralization begins, the altered bacteria
became sick and unable to grow. Shocking the
bacteria with other environmental stressors, such as
high salt levels or the presence of hydrogen
peroxide, also caused them to weaken, Hasona said.

Study investigator Jeannine Brady is an
associate professor of oral biology at the
College of Dentistry.

"So, at least in this organism, we learned the SRP
pathway seems to enable it to respond rapidly to
environmental stress, but it was not at all necessary
for the organism's viability during non-stress
conditions," Brady said. O

Black baby girls more likely to
live when born very premature
Black baby girls born weighing 2.2 pounds or less are more than
twice as likely to survive as white baby boys born at the same
weight, when many preemies are still too tiny to make it on their
own, UF researchers have found.
Analyzing data from more than 5,000 premature births, UF
researchers pinpointed a link between gender and race and the
survival rates of babies born at extremely low weights, according
to findings released in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics.
It's the first scientific evidence of a phenomenon doctors have
observed for years, said Steven B. Morse, M.D., M.P.H., a UF
assistant professor of pediatrics and the article's lead author.
UF researchers studied vital statistics from 5,076 babies born
in Florida between 1996 and 2000 and weighing less than
1,000 grams. The influence of gender and race on babies'
survival rates was more noticeable the smaller the infants were,
the research shows. The higher the weights and developmental
ages were at birth, the more survival rates increased for all
For Morse, the next big question isn't why these babies survive
but what happens to them when they do. He now plans to study
what happens to extremely low-birth weight children, who are
more prone to health problems, as they age.
"Survival is not everything," he said. "It's a first step. Probably
a bigger question to answer is quality of life. That's the next step."
April Frawley Birdwell

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ f

Diabetes complications rooted in faulty cell repair
UF researchers say primitive cells that act like molecular maintenance men
traveling throughout the body to repair damaged blood vessels become
too rigid to move in patients with diabetes, fueling the disease's vascular
But they have found a way to restore the cells' flexibility, at least in the
laboratory, according to findings published in the January issue of the journal
Having diabetes markedly raises the risk of developing a host of other ailments,
many of which arise after blood vessels suffer damage, spurring the accumulation
of fatty deposits in the arteries.
"We're interested in what happens in the body at the molecular level to cause
these life-threatening problems," said Mark S. Segal, Ph.D., an assistant professor
of nephrology, hypertension and transplantation at UF's College of Medicine.
"Our work is focused on understanding why diabetic patients are at increased risk
for these other diseases."
The problem is rooted in the body's response to vascular injury. The bone
marrow churns out cells crucial to repairing the damaged lining of blood vessels.
But sometimes they fail to report for duty.
"Part of the defect we think is occurring in diabetic patients is these cells do not
carry out appropriate repair, and therefore these patients are at higher risk for
cardiovascular disease and other complications," Segal said.
In the future, patients with diabetes and atherosclerosis who require angioplasty
might receive injections of their own repair cells. The cells would be removed,
incubated with nitric oxide to improve their function and then returned. They
would theoretically help blood vessels heal more quickly, and perhaps keep new
fatty deposits from forming, Segal speculated. M-elanie Fridl Ross

or the latest news and HSC events.



High blood pressure's heritage

UF researchers screening patients to find the culprit

When it comes to medical conditions, not
all people are created equal. Blacks, for
example, are at extremely high risk for
developing high blood pressure and its
complications such as stroke, heart attack and
kidney failure.
Physicians at the UF's College of Medicine are
working to address that discrepancy. In cooperation
with community outreach programs, the doctors are
conducting free blood pressure screenings at various
community locations this spring.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, can start at
a young age and is often difficult to control in blacks.

"Because African-Americans

are three times more likely

develop kidney failure as a

result of hypertension than

Caucasians, regular

screenings become more


- Titte Srinivas, M,D,

Dr. Srinivas checks Milli Smith's blood pressure at a hypertension screening booth set up at the
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Multi-Purpose Center in east Gainesville.

Early hypertension is referred to as the "silent killer"
because patients with the condition often do not feel
any discomfort or report any symptoms until there is
advanced organ damage or failure.
Fortunately, it is easy to diagnose high blood
pressure by measuring it with a simple blood
pressure cuff, said Titte Srinivas, M.D., an assistant
professor in the college's division of nephrology,
hypertension and transplantation. If detected early,
hypertension can be treated effectively with
medication. Even those who have had complications
from elevated blood pressure benefit greatly from
lowering it, he added.
"Because African-Americans are three times more
likely develop kidney failure as a result of
hypertension than Caucasians, regular screenings
become more important," said Srinivas, who is part
of a team conducting research into new methods to
improve blood pressure control in blacks. Sponsored
by the National Institutes of Health, the project's
leader is Richard J. Johnson, M.D., the J. Robert

Cade professor of nephrology and division chief.
Johnson first discovered the mechanisms underlying
hypertension and its relationship to elevated uric
acid levels in previous research.
Johnson and his research team, including
Srinivas, and Mark Segal, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant
professor, are continuing research into the causes
and effects of hypertension in African-Americans. It
has long been known that gout, a disease that causes
painful inflamed joints in those with high uric acid,
is more prevalent in blacks. While gout's association
with elevated blood pressure has been known for
many years, it is only recently that doctors have
begun to understand its relationship to elevated
blood pressure, Srinivas said.
In this current NIH study, the UF team will
investigate basic mechanisms underlying the
development of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis
and the health of the inner lining of the arteries, or

endothelium. They will then study methods of
improving blood pressure control using a medication
called chlorthalidone, along with measuring uric
acid levels in the blood.
The UF nephrology division's blood pressure
screening program in the Gainesville area will
continue throughout the spring and is free and
available to everyone. This program was created in
close cooperation with Alachua County Commissioner
Cynthia Chestnut in her role as director of the UF
Shands Eastside Community Practice Education and
Community Outreach program.
"The screenings Dr. Srinivas and his team are
doing provide an extremely important early warning
that could save lives," Chestnut said.
Srinivas and his team will conduct screenings in
Gainesville and surrounding communities. For more
information on upcoming screenings, visit www.
shands.org/eastsideeducation, or call 265-7136. 0

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UF investigators to study effects of Florida's sweeping Medicaid reform

By Jill Pease

UF researchers have received a $2.5 million
contract to evaluate the outcome of Florida's new
high-profile plan to reform Medicaid.
During the five-year study, UF investigators will
conduct an organizational analysis of the reform,
determine its fiscal impact and measure the
satisfaction, quality of care and outcomes
experienced by enrollees and health-care providers
as the reform is implemented.
Considered one of the most aggressive state
Medicaid reform initiatives, Florida's plan will
attempt to address challenges associated with the
rapidly growing program, which currently provides
medical coverage for more than 2 million of the
state's low-income families, elderly and people with
disabilities, at a cost of $15 billion a year.
"The proposed Medicaid reform program is very
interesting," said R. Paul Duncan, Ph.D., the
study's principal investigator and chair of the
department of health services research,
management and policy in the College of Public
Health and Health Professions. "Medicaid is a
huge, expensive and important program, and every
state struggles to manage it effectively. Florida's
reform plan is very ambitious. What happens in

Florida will be watched by 49 other states."
Florida's Medicaid reform is modeled on private
sector managed care plans. Lawmakers hope that
under the new program, Medicaid participants will
have more flexibility in choosing their health-care
providers. In addition, the reform program is
intended to foster competition among providers,
who will bid on contracts to offer services and be
accountable for the enrollees' care, saving the state
money without compromising the quality of care.
The UF research team, which also includes
department faculty members Allyson Hall, Ph.D.,
Christy Lemak, Ph.D., and Niccie McKay, Ph.D.,
will provide six-month progress reports on the
research to the state's Agency for Health Care
They will begin work in Broward and Duval
counties, where the reform program will first be
implemented. Research will extend to Baker, Clay,
Nassau and possibly other counties as the reform
demonstration expands.
"Broward and Duval are urban counties while the
counties in the second wave are more sparsely
populated," Duncan said. "One of the questions
we'll need to answer is whether this program works
differently in urban and rural settings." 0


i1--- --
b, 3 ,


UF veterinary college dean accepts new post at Tennessee

By Sarah Carey

Joseph A. DiPietro, D.V.M., M.S., who has led the
University of Florida College of Veterinary
Medicine as dean for the past nine years, has
accepted a job as vice president of agriculture at the
University of Tennessee.
He will leave the college for his new post on Feb. 20.
"I am saddened at the thought of leaving my many
friends, supporters and colleagues at the college and
university," DiPietro said. "I have had a wonderful
and rewarding time here and have appreciated the
strong broad-based support I have received in both
times of success and those of disappointment. UF
and the College of Veterinary Medicine will remain
in a very special place in my heart."
Vice President for Health Affairs Doug Barrett
and Vice President of the Institute of Food and
Agricultural Sciences Jimmy Cheek announced that
a search committee had been formed for a new dean
and paid tribute to DiPietro for his many
"During his tenure here, Joe has earned the
respect of faculty, staff, and students, the college's
research budget has steadily increased, and many
innovative educational, clinical and research

Dr. Joseph DiPietro will step down as dean
of the College of Veterinary Medicine after
nine years to take a position at the
University of Tennessee.

initiatives have been
implemented," Barrett
and Cheek said in a joint
The college's research
grants increased from
$5.5 million to $12.5
million. And annual Thompson
fundraising totals
increased from $1.9 million to $7.4 million during
Dean DiPietro's tenure.
Chairing the search committee will be Teresa
Dolan, dean of the UF College of Dentistry.
James P. Thompson, D.V.M., Ph.D., has been
named interim dean of the University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine effective Feb. 20.
Thompson, who received both his D.V.M. and Ph.D.
degrees from UF and joined the faculty in 1986,
currently serves as the college's associate dean of
students and instruction.
Board-certified in the specialties of internal
medicine, immunology, virology, microbiology and
oncology, Thompson has won numerous awards
both for his teaching and for his research and has
served as academic adviser for dozens of veterinary
students, residents and interns over the years. O

pfl j r jY15

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D.M.D., Ph.D., a professor
of oral and maxillofacial
surgery and director of
hospital dentistry for Shands
at UF, in 1980 submitted an
article with four collaborators
to the American Journal of
Roentgenology. The article, Dolwick
titled "Arthrotomography
of the Temporomandibular Joint," has since
become one of the top 100 articles cited over
the journal's 100-year history of scientific
reporting on medical imaging swinging in
at no. 78 with a total of 178 citations. The
achievement was celebrated last month in
the centennial issue of AJR, the journal of the
American Roentgen Ray Society.

Ph.D., a professor of oral
biology, has been appointed
director of translational
research and career
development. The position is
newly instituted to foster the
career development of junior
and transitioning faculty, and
to provide clinical faculty and
residents with greater access to the basic science
research programs in the college.
Lamont's leadership in developing the careers
of dental faculty is considered crucial to the
successful development of a translational
research program within the college that bridges
basic science research and clinical practice,
ultimately leading to improved patient care.

M.D.S., Dr. Odont., a
professor of operative
dentistry and an Academy
100 eminent scholar, has
been tapped to received
the European Federation
of Conservative Dentistry's
prestigious Award of
Excellence during the Mior
federation's February meeting

in Rome. Mjir, an internationally respected dental
educator and researcher, was selected to receive
the award in recognition of his outstanding
contributions to restorative dentistry in Europe.
He is also scheduled to speak on practice-based
dental research during the meeting.
The European Federation of Conservative
Dentistry is made up of national dental
organizations from the countries of France,
Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.


assistant professor of sports
medicine in the department
of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation, is one of three
sports medicine physicians
selected to participate in the
2006 International Traveling
Fellows Program. The
traveling fellowship program Moser
is an annual scientific and
cultural exchange among orthopaedic sports
medicine physicians in North America, Europe,
Latin America and the Pacific Rim. The American
Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and
the European Society of Knee Surgery and
Arthroscopy founded the traveling fellowship
program for sports medicine orthopaedic

professor and associate dean
for program evaluation and
faculty development, was
named president-elect for
the Research in Medical
Education section of the
Association of American
Medical College's Group on Rarey
Education. RIME's mission is
to enhance the quality of research in medical
education and to promote its application
to educational practice. Rarey serves as the
coordinator for the college's institutional self-
study, a part of the accreditation process of the
Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and
teaches first-year clinical anatomy. Rarey also

directs various faculty development activities that
impact faculty, residents and medical students.
He has authored 100 peer-reviewed articles and
successfully directed NIH-funded research.

a second-year oncology
fellow in the department
of orthopaedics and
rehabilitation, has been
awarded the 2005
C. Howard Hatcher
Pathology Fellowship by
the American Orthopaedic
Association. The Hatcher McGarry
Fellowship is designed to
enrich orthopaedic surgeons with postgraduate
experience in musculoskeletal oncology, with
the anticipation of an academic career in
musculoskeletal oncology. McGarry is mentored
by C. Parker Gibbs, Jr., M.D., Associate
Professor in the department of orthopaedics and

a professor of pediatrics
and chief of the pediatrics
cellular and molecular
therapy division, received
$763,367 in subproject
funding from the National
Institute of Diabetes
& Digestive & Kidney
Diseases for his research Srivastava
on liver-directed adeno-associated virus gene
therapy for correction of genetic and metabolic

professor of epidemiology
and health policy research,
has been inducted as
a fellow of the World
Innovation Foundation. The
foundation was formed by
a group of Nobel Laureates
to provide innovative Wagenaar
consultation and advice to government ministers
and others in developing countries on health,
poverty reduction, environmental preservation
and peacemaking.

1Grav n


MARYBETH HORODYSKI, Ed.D., A.T.C., an associate professor of orthopaedics
and rehabilitation, and director of orthopaedic research, with co-investigators
SAMSUN LAMPOTANG, Ph.D., a professor of anesthesiology, and NIKOLAUS
GRAVENSTEIN, M.D., a professor and chair of anesthesiology, have been awarded
a $97,000 research grant from NFL Charities. The award will support their research
project "Intermittent Cold and Dry Air Underneath Football Shoulder Pads as a Method
to Assist in Temperature Homeostasis: Evaluation of Efficacy." The investigation's goal is
to improve injury prevention and treatment as well as athletic performance in the world
of sport. The research may lead to improvements in athletes' health care and may help
address heat-related situations non-atheletes may experience.

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r16 ).g


BALIGH YEHIA, a senior,
was recently selected for
Who's Who in American
Universities. Yehia, who
is one of only 20 students
from UF chosen to receive
this prestigious recognition,
has also been honored
by selection for the Alpha Yehia
Omega Alpha Medical
Honor Society and the Chapman Humanism

a professor of pediatrics
and chief of the pediatrics 1
critical care division in the
college, was recently named
chairman of the American
Heart Association's Pediatric
Resuscitation Committee.
Zaritsky led the group as it Zaritsky
worked on revisions to resuscitation guidelines
for children.


assistant director of Health Science Center
News & Communications, has been named

the American Medical
Writers Association's
annual conference
administrator for 2005-
06. The announcement
was made in September at
the organization's annual
meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The American Medical Fridl Ross
Writers Association, founded
in 1940, is the leading professional organization
for medical communicators. The international
association has more than 5,000 members and
is headquartered in Rockville, Md.


professor in the department
of clinical and health
psychology, has been
named president of the
American Psychological
Association's division of
clinical neuropsychology.
The division provides a Bauer
scientific and professional
forum for psychologists interested in the study
of relationships between the brain and human

assistant professor in public
health programs, received
the annual award to a fellow
or junior investigator for
excellence in a research
article, from the Columbia
University/New York State
Psychiatric Institute HIV Dodge
Center for Clinical and
Behavioral Studies. Dodge's paper, "Sexual
Health Among Male College Students in
the United States and the Netherlands," was
published in American Journal of Health Behavior.

EMILY KUHL, a graduate
student in the department of
clinical and health psychology,
received a graduate research
award from the Council of
Graduate Departments of
Psychology and the American
Psychological Foundation.
She will receive $1,000 Kuhl
to support her cardiac
psychology research.

Kno soen who ha eane a .

ditncin Plas ltusnw


Locking down causes of

temporomandibular jaw disorder

Lindy McCollum-Brounley

he College of Dentistry is participating in a seven-year, $19.1 million, federally funded
study of the causes and treatments of temporomandibular jaw disorder, or TMJ. The
four-center study is based at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the UF
effort, led by Roger Fillingim, Ph.D., an associate professor of community dentistry and
behavioral science, will be based in the college's Parker E. Mahan Facial Pain Center.
The study, called Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment, or
OPPERA, is the first large-scale clinical study of its kind to examine the risk factors that
lead to TMJ. OPPERA will track 3,200 healthy volunteers for three to five years to see how
many will develop the disorder. The expectation is that patterns in genes and other biologic
factors contributing to pain sensitivity, which increase the risk of developing the disorder,
may be identified. It is hoped these findings will lead to improved treatments and methods of
earlier detection.
Other investigative units participating in the OPPERA study include the University of
Buffalo-SUNY and the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
The National Institutes of Health estimate as many as 15 percent of Americans may suffer
from TMJ-related jaw pain and restricted movement. TMJ seems to affect women more than
men, and the cause of the disorder is often unknown. O

Roger Fillingim's research program into
temporomandibular jaw disorder, or TMJ,
received a $19.1 million federal grant.

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.

--- I -0 17~

on Me.U-16_



Doctor aims to

increase HRT


By April Frawley Birdwell
H ormone replacement therapy can ease hot
flashes and other troublesome symptoms of
menopause. But some women who would
benefit from HRT may never try it because they
overestimate the health risks of this treatment, as do
their doctors, UF studies have shown.
It's a misunderstanding R. Stan Williams, M.D.,
and other doctors are trying to change. Williams, the
Harry Prystowsky professor of reproductive medicine
for the UF College of Medicine, traveled to
Washington, D.C., in December to take part in a
Jacobs Institute of Women's Health panel addressing
the confusion surrounding HRT. .
"A significant majority of patients and primary care
physicians grossly overestimate the risks, as well as the
benefits, of hormone replacement therapy," Williams Dr. R. Stan Wlliams
said a few days before traveling to Washington. "We're D.C., recently to hel
just not getting the correct message to patients so they
can make up their own minds."
In 2002, preliminary findings from the large, long-
term Women's Health Initiative study halted one portion of the trial when
researchers discovered that HRT increased the risk of heart disease, breast cancer
and other conditions. But the research and media reports that followed did not

"When we asked patients and doctors what

they thought the annual attributable risk

was of having a heart attack, they said 10 to

30 percent, not .1 percent."

Stan Williams, M,D,

focus on how these risks would actually affect individual women, causing confusion
among patients and doctors.
The reports explained women on HRT had a greater risk for developing certain
conditions compared with women who were not taking it, but did not clearly spell
out how slight the chances were that this would actually happen, Williams said.
For example, the relative risk of having a heart attack while on an estrogen and
progestin treatment was 24 percent, but in regular numbers, or absolute risk, that
translates to just one in 1,000 additional women having a heart attack during
treatment, Williams said.

18Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl

took part in a Jacob's Institute of Women's Health panel in Washington,
p clear up the confusion about hormone replacement therapy.

"When we asked patients and doctors what they thought the annual attributable
risk was of having a heart attack they said 10 to 30 percent, not .1 percent,"
Williams said.
Williams has been addressing the problem since the initial WHI findings were
released in 2002. Shands at UF was one of the many sites for the study and
Williams was a co-investigator. While speaking about the findings after the
results were released he began to sense that people did not fully comprehend what
the research showed.
This spurred Williams and other researchers to conduct two surveys to gain insight
into both patients' and doctors' understanding of the risks and benefits of HRT.
The researchers surveyed 600 primary-care physicians and 1,076 menopausal
women. Of the doctors, 67 percent overestimated risks and benefits of HRT,
according to findings released last year.
In Washington, Williams spoke to journalists, women's health advocates and
congressional staffers and representatives from different government agencies
about the risks of HRT. Kim Walsh-Childers, Ph.D., a UF journalism professor,
also spoke about the media's role in accurately conveying the Women's Health
Initiative findings.
Williams said he hoped by taking part in the panel he could better educate
patients about their actual risks and help journalists and investigators understand
how to explain information related to HRT.
Relative risk is a technical concept commonly used among researchers, but not
one average people usually grasp, Williams said. It's better for patients to explain
results of studies like these using absolute risk, numbers that show them what an
individual's chances are of developing a problem each year, he added.
"That I think patients can understand," he said. O

L.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.



UF professor connects meditation to neuroscience

By April Frawley Birdwell

L ou Ritz thought it was the coolest picture in
all of science.
On one side of the curtain, a man
meditated. On the other side, medical machines
measured how his body was reacting as his mind
delved deep into thought. The black and white
photo, featured in a spread about the physiology of
meditation in a 1971 copy of Scientific American,
stuck with Ritz, who was just a college student then.
For years, the photo could have summed up his

associate professor of religion, Ritz started a new
class for honors undergraduates in the fall called
"Neurotheology," and is slated to give a talk on the
topic later this month in the HPNP Auditorium.
"I actually believe strongly that one thing that
both meditation and neuroscience have in common
is they both use the scientific method," says Ritz
from his office in the McKnight Brain Institute.
"Whether it's meditation, asking the deep personal
questions, or neuroscience, asking questions in a
laboratory, it still comes down to reading, asking
questions, formulating a hypothesis, gathering data


This is your brain on


7 p.m. Feb. 28,
HPNP Auditorium

a~T ftr


Lou Ritz, a UF neuroscience professor, will give a
Gene Thursby, associate professor of religion.

own life, a neuroscientist by day, a contemplative
thinker interested in meditation and its effects on
the body and mind by night, the two sides
connected, yet separate.
It wasn't until the UF Center for Spirituality and
Health opened that Ritz, Ph.D., an associate
professor of neuroscience and associate director of
the center, finally had an arena to explore the
relationship between both his passions. Now, just as
interest in the mind's role in mystical matters is on
the rise, Ritz has become a master of combining
neuroscience with spirituality. With Gene Thursby,

talk on neurotheology later this month with

and either accepting or rejecting your hypothesis."
Ritz has been studying both neuroscience and
meditation, separately, for 35 years.
But while his career revolved around
neuroscience he spent 20 years on spinal cord
injury research meditation was more of a
personal interest. He didn't talk about the two
topics with the same people, he says.
He tried meditation for the first time when he
was a college student. He was interested in Eastern
religions and liked the idea of exploring the most
personal questions of life, like "Who am I?" or

"Why am I here?" Three decades later, Ritz still
meditates every day.
"It's helped me get a better handle, not that I
have solved these questions, but it's given me better
insight," he said. "Meditation is about learning to
slow down the mind."
Having roots in both meditation and
neuroscience makes him the perfect instructor for
a course like neurotheology, said Allen H. Neims,
M.D., Ph.D., a UF professor of pharmacology and
therapeutics and director of the Center for
Spirituality and Health. Balancing the two topics
and encouraging thoughtful discussions would be a
tough task for professors not equally interested in
both, he said.
"I have come to appreciate how deeply in love he
is with the spiritual side of life," Neims said. "It's
not just a superficial thing for him."
Elizabeth Humberstone, a junior neuroscience
major, has taken three of Ritz's classes at UF,
including the inaugural neurotheology class, and
she says the professor's love of neuroscience and
meditation is evident in class. He's the type of
professor who can answer her questions about
medical school one day and talk about the meaning
of consciousness the next, she said.
"You can tell he does this because he enjoys it,"
she said. "It comes out in the way he teaches. He
guides us but doesn't force anything on us. (The
class) is very thought-provoking."
Ritz, whose main duties at UF include running
the medical neuroscience course in the College of
Medicine, acknowledges some people may not see
the same connections he does between neuroscience
and meditation. But more and more people are
getting interested, including students, he says.
"I'm not pushing one position or another," he
said. "I want to explore provocative positions ...
teach them a little about science, a little about
meditation. These are the two most exciting topics
in the world for me meditation and neuroscience.
And I'm able to combine them." 0

Visit us online @ http://news.health.ufl.edu/ for the latest news and HSC events.


"Ire -*,_ w




Leading oncologist takes on new role at proton facility

By April Frawley Birdwell

A nationally known oncologist who
served as a UF department
chairwoman for 13 years has been
named medical director of the university's
new proton therapy institute in
Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., has left her
post as chairwoman of the College of
Medicine's radiation oncology department
in Gainesville to lead medical operations
at the new facility, which will offer a
precise form of radiation that could reduce
the risk of complications and improve cure
rates in cancer patients when it opens later
this year.
Using protons to combat tumors allows
doctors to treat cancer more aggressively
because they can apply a higher dose of
radiation than they would with
conventional therapy. The tightly focused

treatment targets malignancies, yet inflicts
little damage on surrounding tissues. As a
result, many patients experience fewer side
effects. Only three other centers in the
country offer this form of therapy.
"I am so excited about this," Mendenhall
said. "I've always liked every job that I
have had, but I think I am most excited
about this. What we envision is a
maximally efficient clinical and research
operation to investigate the best use of
protons and proton therapy."
Mendenhall, who first suggested the idea
of UF building a proton therapy center in
1998, also will serve as associate
chairwoman of the radiation oncology
department in Jacksonville. Robert J.
Amdur, M.D., has been named interim
chairman of the radiation oncology
department in Gainesville.
"Dr. Mendenhall was the inspiration
behind the development of the proton


Nancy Mendenhall, M.D., has been named medical
director of the university's new proton therapy
institute in Jacksonville.

Published by
UF Health Science Center
Office of News & Communications
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs
Douglas J. Barrett, M.D.
Director, News & Communications
Tom Fortner
Denise Trunk
Senior Editors
Melanie Fridl Ross, John Pastor
Mickey Cuthbertson
Staff Writers
Tracy Brown, Sarah Carey, Tom Fortner,
April Frawley Birdwell, Linda Homewood,
Lindy McCollum-Brounley, Patricia McGhee, John
Pastor, Jill Pease, Melanie Fridl Ross, Denise Trunk
Sarah Kiewel

UF Health Science

Chris Hiatt
Support Staff
Cassandra Jackson, Beth Powers, Kim Smith

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. 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 dtrunk@ufl.edu or deliver
to the Office of News & Communications in the
Communicore Building, Room C3-025.




beam therapy facility on our Jacksonville campus,"
said C. Craig Tisher, M.D., dean of the College of
Medicine. "She has now accepted the challenge to
prepare the facility to begin patient treatments in
mid-2006 in her new role as its medical director."
Mendenhall joined the UF faculty in 1984 as an
assistant professor. She was named chairman of
the radiation oncology department in 1992 and
earned the rank of full professor two years later.
When she was named chairwoman in 1992,
Mendenhall hoped to strengthen clinical research
in the radiation oncology department, build on its
physics program and start a cancer biology
program, goals she accomplished during her tenure.
But Mendenhall particularly relishes the chance
to help establish the proton therapy institute, a
facility she believes will dramatically improve
treatment for cancer patients. After initially
suggesting the idea, she also served on the
facility's steering committee.
"We've accumulated experience over the years,
and technology, to create from the ground level a
product that will be better than anything we have
had in the past," she said. O