November Grand Rounds

UAMS Receives Funding to Benefit Underserved, Uninsured

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has received $121,000 from the Arkansas Minority Health Commission that will directly benefit targeted areas of the state's underserved and uninsured residents.
The money is being distributed in five roughly equal amounts through UAMS:
  • The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute's Cancer Control Breast Cancer Education and Navigation Program will receive $24,000 for breast cancer education and personalized, professional assistance for women in underserved areas who need screenings and follow-up care.

  • The UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute's Cancer Control Prostate Cancer Patient Education, Screening and Navigation Program has received $24,999 to recruit and screen 320 men in Jefferson and Phillips counties. Patients who need follow-up care will receive professional assistance supported by the funding. To learn more about participating in the program, contact Dale Gray at 800-259-8794.

  • The UAMS Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Northeast in Jonesboro has received $24,999 to help guide more minority students toward medical careers. The workshops also are designed to increase students' knowledge of minority health issues. To learn more about enrolling in the program, contact Sandra Lusby at 870-219-7083.

  • The UAMS AHEC Southwest in Texarkana has received a six-month $22,265 contract to enhance its DeQueen-based Minority Health Clinic and establish a Chronic Care Model to address diabetes, hypertension and obesity in a primarily Hispanic community.

  • The UAMS Regional Programs Community-Based Medical Interpreter Training Partnership program has received $24,850 to increase the number of medical interpreters in Calhoun, Union, Bradley, Ouachita, Hot Spring, Lafayette, Hempstead and Desha counties.

Baptist Health Announces Management Agreement For Stuttgart Regional Medical Center

LITTLE ROCK — Baptist Health announced that it began management of Stuttgart Regional Medical Center on October 1. Formal plans are for this management agreement to become a long-term lease beginning January 1, 2009. At that time the name would become Baptist Health Medical Center-Stuttgart.
"A management agreement is necessary short-term until the final long-term lease agreement can be formalized," said Russell D. Harrington Jr., president and CEO of Baptist Health. "Baptist Health is eager to be in Stuttgart providing the residents of this area with the full resources that our healthcare system has to offer."

NIH Awards ACHRI Researcher Grant to ID Heart Defects Genes

LITTLE ROCK — The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $648,000 grant to an Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) investigator to identify common genetic variants that are associated with specific congenital heart defects.
Sadia Malik, MD, MPH, will use the five-year grant to investigate underlying genetic risks associated with septal heart defects. Malik, a cardiologist at ACH and an associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine, has been studying the connection between a mother's smoking habit and her baby's risk of heart defects for several years.
Her latest study, funded by NIH, will look at how specific genetic variants, called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), increase the risk for a woman to have a baby with a heart defect. The study will be performed by faculty within the Birth Defects Research Section of the UAMS Department of Pediatrics, and the Hobbs Birth Defects Genomics Laboratory at ACHRI and the Arkansas Center for Birth Defects. Genetic profiles that are identified will be used in future projects to establish a birth defects prevention program that potential parents could follow before they conceive.
Malik's past research, recently published in the journal Pediatrics, has shown that a mother's history of smoking during pregnancy significantly increases her baby's risk of atrial and ventricular septal heart defects, which account for nearly 50 percent of all congenital heart defects in infants. Congenital heart defects are the most serious and frequent of all recognized birth defects, occurring in eight to 10 of every 1,000 live U.S. births.
Malik will employ new genomic tools provided by the Human Genome Project and the International HapMap Project. She also will examine data on infants with heart defects identified by the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS). The NBDPS is one of the largest case-control studies ever done on the causes of birth defects.
The study will be supported, in part, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, the major research component of the Tobacco Settlement Proceeds Act of 2000.

St. Vincent Executive Elected Secretary/Treasurer

Alan Winkler, Vice President Clinic Operations, St. Vincent Health System has been elected Secretary/Treasurer of the American College of Medical Practice Executives, an organization of over 6,000 members and the certification arm of the national Medical Group Management Association, which has a membership of 21,000.

UAMS Ranked by Information Week for Use of Technology

LITTLE ROCK – Business technology magazine Information Week has recognized the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in its annual InformationWeek 500 ranking of the most innovative users of technology in the nation.
The 2008 InformationWeek 500 companies were revealed on Sept. 15 at an awards ceremony held during the InformationWeek 500 Conference at the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif. The publication recognized how UAMS manages its information technology resources.
UAMS has developed and implemented business solutions to automate workflow and improve access to information, including an employee self-service portal, a Web portal for internal clinicians and referring physicians, and implemented an enterprise-wide electronic medical records system as well as an electronic patient folder system eliminating the majority of paper records.
UAMS implemented wireless networks with patient/guest access and faculty/staff access, with more than 200 wireless computers. The wireless maneuverability allows caregivers to utilize them where needed, such as physicians' morning patient rounds where they review results, update records and create new orders. UAMS has also used technology to stay on the cutting edge of research, creating systems to manage the workload and eliminate paper.

Jan Brandeburg, New Service Line Administrator

Jan Brandeburg, RN, BSN, MNEd, is the new Service Line Administrator for Cardiac Services at St. Vincent Health System. Her responsibilities include oversight of cardiac care in collaboration with physicians and partners at St. Vincent, and continuing to foster excellence in quality and service. Jan most recently held the position of Administrative Director for Critical Care at The Toledo Hospital, Toledo, Ohio. Brandeburg, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing Education.

Researcher Receives Grant to Study Brain Activity of Addicts

LITTLE ROCK — For 25 years, Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D., director of the Center for Addiction Research at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), has studied the intricate brain functions of individuals addicted to various substances, including cocaine, tobacco and alcohol.
In an effort to expand his studies, Bickel recently received his fourth concurrent grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Drug Abuse. About 2 percent of the NIH's grant recipients ever receive four or more concurrent awards. This grant provides Bickel and his team $2.7 million dollars over a five-year period with the goal to determine whether the effects of addiction on executive function can be reversed or rehabilitated. Executive function refers to the ability to value, plan and commit to future actions and goals.
All addicts value their particular addictive substance over virtually all other needs, whether it's financial or emotional, Bickel said. To find out why they place such a strong emphasis on their addiction, Bickel and his research team plan to use neuro-cognitive techniques that have proven successful in treating others with difficulty using executive function, such as individuals with schizophrenia and traumatic brain injuries.
The goal, said Bickel, who is collaborating on the project with David Redish, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota's Department of Neuroscience, is to provide evidence of improved executive function in study participants, leading to new and innovative approaches into the research and treatment of addictions.

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock Named One Of Nation's Top Hospitals 13th Year in Row

LITTLE ROCK — The National Research Corporation has recognized the nation's top hospitals as 2008-2009 Consumer Choice Award winners. Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock (BHMC-LR) is honored to be a part of this distinct group of top facilities for the past 13 years.
The award identifies hospitals which healthcare consumers have chosen as having the highest quality and image in over 250 markets throughout the U.S.
Gwynn Martin, President of NRC's Healthcare Market Guide Division, said winners are determined by consumers perceptions on multiple quality and image ratings collected in the company's Healthcare study. During this study over 200,000 households were surveyed representing over 400,000 consumers in the continuous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

State-of-the-art Robotic Surgery Conway Regional Now Offering da Vinci®

CONWAY — Conway Regional Health System has acquired the highly-acclaimed da Vinci® S HD Surgical System. "This is the latest enhancement to our minimally invasive surgery program. It is part of our ongoing effort to bring the most advanced tools and technology for physicians and patients," said Jim Lambert, President and CEO of Conway Regional Health System.
The main advantage of the $1.8 million system for patients is that it enables their surgeons to perform certain procedures, such as hysterectomies, prostate operations and some heart procedures, using robotic extensions to operate by creating much smaller incisions rather than the traditional, larger incisions. Operating through smaller incisions is generally believed to reduce complications, hospital stays and recovery time for patients.
While the da Vinci® System can be applied to a number of surgical disciplines, Conway Regional will begin with cardiovascular, urological and gynecological surgery. Surgeons will begin training on use of the system this week and a select support team is being formed from the Conway Regional surgical services staff. The first case is expected to be performed by the end of October.

NIH Selects Benton County, Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, UAMS Researchers to Participate in National Study

LOWELL — Benton County has been selected as a study center for the largest-ever investigation of child health, The National Children's Study. The National Institutes of Health announced today that it has awarded a $14.4 million contract to the Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) to facilitate the county's involvement.
The National Children's Study will follow a representative national sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21. The study will investigate factors influencing the development of such conditions as autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, birth defects, diabetes, asthma and obesity.
The study in Benton County will be led by Dr. Charlotte Hobbs, MD, PhD, director of the Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention at ACHRI.
ACHRI will recruit participants from Benton County, collecting genetic, biological and environmental samples, and compiling statistical information for study analyses investigating how genetic and environmental factors influence health and disease.
The study center will hire between 40 and 50 new personnel from the local Benton County labor force. The study center also will involve as many as 10 existing ACHRI staff members who will be based at the Little Rock facility. The ACHRI personnel who will be hired in Benton County will work from the Centers for Children in Lowell and from additional office space leased for the project.

Arkansas Hospice Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director

David Daniel has been selected as executive director of the Arkansas Hospice Foundation. Daniel will manage and oversee all aspects of major and planned gifts, financial management, all donor relations, special events, endowments, grants and capital campaigns. He will supervise a staff of 11 and will coordinate all AHF Board activities in union with and under the guidance of the Board Chair, the Board Executive Committee and other Board committees. Daniel comes to the Arkansas Hospice Foundation with more than a decade of experience in the development field.

Arkansas Children's Hospital and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Announce Affiliation Agreement In Pediatric Urology

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) have finalized an affiliation agreement that will offer both hospitals the opportunity to share experience across clinical, research, education and quality improvement areas. The first collaboration in this affiliation involves pediatric urology. Beginning in October, physicians from Cincinnati Children's will commute to ACH one day each month to perform complex urological surgical procedures on ACH patients. Members of the medical staff at Arkansas Children's Hospital, and supporting staff, will assist the visiting medical team and be responsible for follow-up patient care. Physicians who practice at ACH are employed by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine. Arkansas Children's Hospital is the pediatric training facility for the university.
The surgical team from Cincinnati will train ACH physicians who will assist in these complex procedures. A group of key patient-care providers from ACH has already begun observing the complex procedures taking place at Cincinnati Children's to learn how to provide the best care for these patients.
Urologic surgeons from Cincinnati Children's include Curtis Sheldon, MD, director of urologic surgery, Pramod Reddy, MD, and Eugene Minevich, MD. The Cincinnati Children's team of urological specialists is nationally recognized for its comprehensive medical and surgical management of complex genitourinary problems often requiring complex reconstructive surgery and/or renal transplantation.

Physician Starting New Practice In Pleasant Grove Area

SPRINGDALE — Martin A. Hannon, M.D., a Family Medicine physician, has joined the medical staff of Northwest Health System and is establishing a new practice (Northwest Family Medicine – Tuscany Square) in the Pleasant Grove area of Rogers.
In practice since 2003, Dr. Hannon comes to Northwest from Hot Springs, where he has been in group practice for the past five years.
Dr. Hannon received his medical education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock. He then completed a Family Medicine residency with the UAMS Area Health Education Center (AHEC) – Fort Smith.
Dr. Hannon is a member of the American Association of Family Physicians and has co-authored several scholarly works.

AMMC Recognized With 7 Awards By Arkansas Hospital Association

PARAGOULD — Arkansas Methodist Medical Center (AMMC) was recently honored by the Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA) with two Diamond Awards, two Certificates of Excellence and three Judges' Merit Awards for outstanding hospital advertising, marketing and public relations.
AMMC took the top Diamond Awards for the medical center's 2007 annual report "Report to the Community" and its television ad, "Generations of Women."
Along with the Diamond Awards, AMMC was awarded two Certificates of Excellence for its "Generations of Women" overall advertising campaign, and for a "Leading Doctors" print ad.
In addition, AMMC received three Judges' Merit Awards for its "Generations of Women" billboard and print ads for AMMC's Men's Health Fair and for the Greene County Fair.
The awards were presented at an awards dinner on Thursday evening, October 9th at The Peabody Hotel in Little Rock in conjunction with the AHA's 78th Annual Meeting and Trade Show.

AMMC's Davis Honored With 2008 Regent's Award

PARAGOULD — Barry Davis, Vice President of Operations for Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould, has been honored by the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) with the 2008 Arkansas Regent's Award for a senior level healthcare executive.
The award was presented to Davis at the ACHE/Arkansas Health Executives Forum Breakfast on October 9th, held in conjunction with the Arkansas Hospital Association's Annual Meeting at The Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.
The award recognizes exceptional traits and skills including leadership ability, innovative and creative management, executive capabilities in fostering growth and promoting a healthcare organization, contributions to the development of others in the healthcare profession, participation in civic and community activities and achievement of the goals of ACHE.
Arkansas Methodist President and CEO Ron Rooney said, "It's more than fitting that Barry be honored with the ACHE's 2008 Arkansas Regent's Award. His unique brand of hands-on, community-focused leadership has been invaluable to the growth of Arkansas Methodist, and in maintaining our commitment to meeting the healthcare needs of the people of our region."
Barry has been employed by Arkansas Methodist since 1981 and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lyon College and a Master of Public Administration from Arkansas State University. He is board certified in healthcare management by the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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