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February 1, 2016 issue
IN THIS ISSUE:
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A biweekly newsletter focused on issues related to
Fond farewell to Johnese Spisso: Her imprint on UW Medicine is permanent
Johnese Spisso has been a valued leader and colleague at UW Medicine for the past 22 years. On February 4, we will say goodbye to Johnese as she moves to UCLA on February 8 to serve as president of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System, and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences. This is a remarkable opportunity and Johnese is very well-qualified for this role.
It is impossible to describe in a brief message Johnese’ s many accomplishments at UW Medicine. She began at Harborview Medical Center in 1994 as assistant administrator for Patient Care Services, quickly rising to chief nursing officer and associate administrator for Patient Care Services and then, from 2000-2007, chief operating officer of Harborview. She also served twice as acting executive director of Harborview. In her work, Johnese demonstrated her characteristic passion for ensuring the best possible care for all patients combined with a remarkable ability to advance the operations of Harborview through process improvements and a focus on effective, efficient and high-value care.
While based at Harborview, Johnese played a key leadership role in establishing and implementing the Washington State Trauma System. This involved working with 75 regional hospitals, the Washington State Legislature, the Department of Health and many other agencies, organizations and individuals. The result is an outstanding state trauma program that is an exemplar for the nation and world.
In 2007, I asked Johnese to serve as chief health system officer for UW Medicine and vice president for medical affairs. In that capacity, she assumed leadership for UW Medicine’s hospitals and clinics. Her leadership in that role resulted in multiple major accomplishments, including playing a central role in the following:
Johnese has been widely recognized for her accomplishments; most recently, she received the King County Healthcare Coalition Excellent in Leadership Award in 2013 and the Outstanding Healthcare Executive Award from Seattle Business Magazine in 2014.
While it is difficult to say goodbye to Johnese, her imprint on UW Medicine is permanent. Please join me in thanking Johnese and wishing her the very best in her new leadership role!
Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
The Center for Mendelian Genomics at UW Medicine will receive four more years of federal funding – up to $12 million – to systematically identify the genomic causes of rare, inherited disorders that tend to be caused by mutations in a single gene. The center, run in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, was founded in 2011 with funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute. The principal investigators are Deborah Nickerson, UW professor of genome sciences, Michael Bamshad, UW professor of pediatrics, and Suzanne Leal, Baylor professor of molecular and human genetics.
UW Medicine research, featured recently in The New York Times, suggests that a blood test using cell-free DNA might be able to test for cancer in the future rather than the need to use invasive biopsies. In a study published in the journal Cell, Jay Shendure, UW professor of genome sciences, and his colleagues took some important steps toward identifying the origins of free-floating DNA, which could allow doctors to know where in the body the DNA originated. See coverage in The New York Times, HS NewsBeat.
More research stories involving UW Medicine:
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force continues to recommend screening all adults for depression. Its latest recommendations released Jan. 26, specifically mention the importance of depression screening for prenatal and postpartum women. They also say screening should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up. William Phillips, UW endowed professor of family medicine, and David Grossman, Group Health Permanent physician and UW professor of health services, were two of the 16 members on the Task Force. The report, including recommendations, evidence, patient information, and an editorial, were published in JAMA. Related news coverage: NPR, New York Times, TIME.
Heather Evans, UW associate professor of surgery, led development of a web application that enables patients to share photos, symptoms and concerns about post-operative infections directly with healthcare providers over a mobile phone or computer. The application, mPOWEr, stands for Mobile Post-Operative Wound Evaluator. With the app, providers can securely monitor patients’ wounds and communicate directly. See coverage on HSNewsBeat.
Douglas Green, a UW Medicine radiologist, died recently in an avalanche while skiing in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. He was 49. Green co-directed the body CT team at UW Medical Center. Norm Beauchamp, UW chair of radiology said there is not a more caring person in the world. "His genuiness, selflessness, and unmatched devotion to teaching and patients serves as an inspiration to all." Our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. For more information, see article in HSNewsBeat, which links to first-person story of a friend's final ski outing with Dr. Green.
More clinical stories involving UW Medicine:
The new UW School of Medicine curriculum hit a major milestone in December with the completion of Term 1. Over three months, 246 UW first-year medical students at regional sites in Seattle, Spokane, Laramie Wyo., Anchorage Alaska, Bozeman Mont., and Moscow, Idaho, completed an intensive multi-week clinical immersion and orientation followed by two blocked courses and a longitudinal course: Molecular and Cellular Basis of Disease, Invaders and Defenders and Foundations of Clinical Medicine.
In a recent debriefing with about 90 faculty involved in developing and teaching the curriculum from across the WWAMI region, the mood was upbeat. One faculty member smiled and declared, “This plane is flying!” For more on the story, click here.
Related education stories:
Monica Cox, a UW medical student talks about why she decided to become a physician and what attracted her to the WWAMI program:
While completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage, I worked full-time as an emergency department scribe at Providence Alaska Medical Center. There, I found inspiration to become a physician and received my first introduction to the healthcare challenges we face in the state of Alaska. Since so many patients were being transferred to our ER from rural communities around the state, I found myself interested in learning more about medical care in access limited areas.
I chose to apply to the WWAMI program because of the small class size, opportunity to learn medicine in my hometown, and the encouragement to return and practice in Alaska – which is my ultimate goal. For the first time last year, the AK WWAMI program allowed applicants to apply to the TRUST (Targeted Rural Underserved Track) program. I found the prospect of rural community involvement in my home state to fit my goals as a future physician, and I was ecstatic to apply.
I was assigned to work in Ketchikan and Craig in southeast Alaska and immediately found comfort in the community. I was impressed by the critical access hospital, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. My preceptors, Dr. Andrew Sanders, Dr. Peter Rice, and Dr. Patrick Ballard, welcomed me into their practice and I quickly found myself learning how to interview patients and help with examinations. This unique opportunity to have a hands on experience even before officially starting medical school has not only improved my confidence, but has helped to develop my clinical skills.
Since starting the TRUST program, I have come to better understand and appreciate the unique challenges Alaskans face when it comes to healthcare access. The opportunity to integrate continuity into my medical education is proving to be an incredible blessing, and I am excited to see what I will learn next.
Ashwin Soni, a UW Medicine resident from the United Kingdom, known for his pocket squares, persistence and surgical skills, talks about why he took the unusual to study in the United States rather than the UK. While all his classmates were getting jobs in medicine, Soni moved back home, volunteered at a hospice and looked for research jobs in the United States. After two year-long stints at other hospitals, he was one of 10 people interviewed for a six-year plastic surgery resident spot at UW.
When he was accepted, Soni said it was one of the best days of his life. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotional, but I had to control myself on the phone. We are quite proper in the UK and I didn’t want my future boss to think he’d hired a lunatic.” Soni said you can’t match the experience at UW, which covers the entire Northwest. See story on HSNewsBeat.
UW is among the top 20 institutions internationally in cited research, according to a report released by ThompsonReuters Jan. 14. The company compiled this year’s most influential researchers by analyzing citation data from 2003-2013. ThompsonReuters also identified “hot researchers,” authors of papers published between 2013 and 2014 that were immediately cited at extraordinarily high levels.
Of the 19 scientists named as the world’s hottest researchers of today, four are from the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME): Christopher J. Murray, director of IHME and UW professor of global health; Alan D. Lopez, UW affiliate associate professor of global health and University of Melbourne, Australia, associate professor; Theo Vos, professor of global health and Mohsen Naghavi, professor of global health. For more on the story and who was selected as leaders in their field, see coverage on HSNewsBeat.
At the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration among UW Health Sciences schools January 13, several people and groups were honored for carrying the ideals of the slain civil rights leader. UW Medicine awardees were the UW chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and Nancy Dolan, a program support advisor for the UW Medical Center.
SACNAS received a Community Volunteer Recognition Award. Founded in 2009 ago with only five initial members, UW’s SACNAS chapter has grown rapidly, winning high-ranking awards, advancing the careers of its members upon graduating, and holding the national SACNAS conference in 2012. (See more about SACNAS in the UW Daily).
Vivian O. Lee, a retired nurse and 1958 graduate of the UW School of Nursing, received the top honor during the celebration, the Distinguished Service Award.
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