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April 26, 2013
Table of contents
UW School of Medicine scholarship recipients meet donors who support them
Each year, we hold a scholarship dinner at which exceptional students who receive scholarship support are able to meet and talk with the donors who make this assistance possible. Like the dinners in past years, this year’s dinner, held April 10 at the new Husky Student Union Ballroom, was a wonderful, inspiring occasion.
Scholarships are vital to our students’ well-being. Currently, UW medical students graduate with a mean of nearly $139,000 in educational debt. While this is lower than the national average for public medical schools, it places a large burden on our students as they make career choices and consider future practice locations. The annual scholarship dinner recognizes the powerful influence that scholarship donors have on the futures of our students.
At the dinner, students sat side-by-side with donors, described their medical school experience and personally thanked the donors for their vital role. We were again privileged this year to have members of the Huckabay family in attendance. This remarkable family has had an important role in supporting our students for many years. Last year, the family made a million-dollar challenge gift to support scholarship. I was very pleased to announce to those attending this year that we met that challenge. I extend my thanks to the Huckabay family for their generosity and to the many individuals, including faculty and staff, who joined them in making donations to achieve the challenge goal. I also thank the members of our scholarship committee — including Dixie Wilson, the evening’s emcee — who make important contributions to our work.
Our students were just as eloquent. I have included the remarks made by the two student speakers, fourth-year student Estell Williams and second-year student Mark Wefel. These moving statements demonstrate the profound impact that scholarships have.
I extend my thanks to the many members of our UW Medicine community who make it possible for students like Estell and Mark to undertake careers in medicine and to meet the healthcare needs of future generations.
Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation (MOPHSF) and the UW Medicine Division of Pain Medicine are joining forces to assist veterans with treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and acute and chronic pain.
MOPHSF, a membership organization comprised of combat-wounded veterans and recipients of the Purple Heart, has awarded the Division of Pain Medicine a five-year $500,000 grant to develop leading-edge technologies that will help improve care for our veterans suffering from chronic pain, post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. The funding will also support provider education and training, clinical care guidelines and outcomes-based research. Together, these will equip healthcare providers with the tools necessary to reduce the risk of veteran suicides and deaths, caused in part by accidental overdoses of opioids.
Jim Blaylock, MOPHSF president, said UW Medicine is a natural partner to advance the foundation’s mission to provide aid and assistance to American veterans and their families.
“I am proud that we can extend our efforts to helping those veterans with post- traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury,” said Blaylock. “Our association with the UW Medicine, which is on the cutting edge of research and the forefront of teaching medical personnel how to recognize and treat our veterans, will allow the foundation to assist those who have given so much for this country. We are encouraged by UW Medicine’s efforts and endorse and support their good work.”
David Tauben (photo, above, right), clinical associate professor of medicine and acting chief of the Division of Pain Medicine, said home-based pain monitoring tools will help patients and providers better understand the complexities and impact of pain and post-traumatic stress on daily lives. Tauben is also the medical director of the UW Center for Pain Relief, Anesthesia & Pain Medicine.
“In order for providers and patients to effectively manage pain, we need to know more about how pain and pain treatments are woven into a patient’s daily life,” Tauben said. “We need to address questions such as: How often do symptoms occur? How long do they last? What level of intensity do patients experience? What triggers pain? How well does the patient respond to treatment? And, how does the pain interfere with mood, stress, quality of life and activities of daily living?”
Researchers at UW Medicine’s Division of Pain Medicine are creating innovative web-based assessment tools and mobile applications that can measure a person’s activity throughout the day. These tools, when applied to pain management, will allow patients to use smartphones and PDAs to record information about their daily activities, including how much pain they experience hour-by-hour throughout the day, how physically active they are, and how they respond to different treatments. Data collected from these daily patient diaries can be used by providers to understand a person’s pain experience on a daily basis, as well as his or her response to treatment over time. This technology will help educate and engage veterans in their own recovery by giving them feedback as they set personalized functional goals and track their progress over time. Tauben noted that the project is not only timely, but also forward-thinking.
“Rethinking our approach to pain management could not have come at a better time as the health-care reform efforts focus our attention on creating innovative and technologically advanced approaches to more patient-centered, cost-effective care,” Tauben said. “In addition, the epidemic of accidental deaths from opioids and the return of servicemen and servicewomen from war make this the ideal time for an investment in this ambitious, forward-thinking venture. Our goal is to develop innovative tools that — along with our clinical care, education, and research programs — can help to end pain as a cause of human suffering.”
Tumor necrosis factor — normally an infection-fighting substance produced by the body — can actually heighten susceptibility to tuberculosis if its levels are too high.
University of Washington TB researchers unravel this conundrum in a report, “Tumor necrosis factor dually mediates resistance and susceptibility to mycobacteria through induction of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species,” in Cell.
Their study shows how excess production of this disease-cell destroyer at first acts as a TB germ killer. But later the opposite occurs: too much tumor necrosis factor encourages TB pathogens to multiply in the body.
The scientists also learned that certain combinations of drugs already available for other conditions can curtail the shift from anti-TB to pro-TB.
The drug combination revealed in this study, the authors noted, “has the potential to revert some cases of hypersusceptibility to hyperresistance.”
The scientists were Francisco Jose Roca Soler, of the UW Department of Microbiology, and Lalita Ramakrishnan (photo, above, left), UW professor of microbiology, medicine and immunology. A recipient of the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, Ramakrishnan is recognized for her work on how the TB pathogen and its hosts’ cells interact to cause disease.
These studies are conducted in zebrafish, an animal model for tuberculosis. The fish’s embryos and small fry are transparent. Researchers can see through their skin to observe their organs, tissues and cells and the internal appearance of some infections, for example, the bacterial cording of TB.
Roca and Ramakrishnan explained that TB had traditionally been thought of as a disease of failed immunity. However, more recent studies from their lab and other labs, both in zebrafish and in humans, have suggested that it also can result from too strong of a defensive inflammatory response.
“While tumor necrosis factor is a critical host defense against tuberculosis,” Roca and Ramakrishnan noted, “an excess of this factor is also implicated in the development of the disease in zebrafish and in humans.”
Read more in UW Today.
In an overview of antiretroviral therapy (ART), two studies showed how the therapy benefits the general population benefits the general population in South Africa. The overview, written by Grace John-Stewart, UW professor of Global Health, was published in Nature March 28. In both studies, antiretroviral therapy (ART) proved important in increasing life expectancy of people with HIV/AIDS and in decreasing the amount of new incidences of HIV infection.
Antiretroviral therapy involves combining three or more different drugs that suppress HIV. Widespread use of this kind of therapy has existed since 2004, although it has been known since the 1990s to provide AIDS patients with greater chances for survival.
Over a span of 11 years, both studies surveyed more than 101,000 people in a rural South African community. One of the studies, by Bor et al., showed that life expectancy increased by approximately 11 years due to expansion of antiretroviral therapy programs in the area. The other study, by Tanser et al., showed that antiretroviral use in a community significantly decreased the chances for an uninfected individual to contract HIV.
In 2012, the incidence of new cases of HIV infection decreased by more than 50 percent throughout 25 different countries. While this decrease can be attributed to many factors, antiretroviral therapy played an important role.
“Having witnessed the tragedy of HIV without ART and the transformation that resulted following ART in Africa, it is hard to overstate its impact and significance,” John-Stewart said. “The ultimate aim with ART is a cure, but in the meantime, simple regimens, low toxicity, ease of use, and multiple affordable options will be important.”
Beginning May 1, Airlift Northwest will station a Turbo Commander aircraft in Juneau to allow the medical transport service to reach more people living in outlying rural communities in Southeast Alaska.
Airlift has served Southeast Alaska for over 30 years transporting critically ill or injured patients to specialty care in Anchorage or Seattle, and will continue this service. Airlift currently operates a Learjet, which has limitations landing in smaller communities due to shorter airport runways.
The Turbo Commander is better suited to land on shorter runways allowing improved access to the smaller community airports based in Gustavas, Haines, Hoonah, Kake, Prince of Wales Island and Skagway.
“Airlift Northwest is dedicated to saving lives by providing pre-hospital emergency treatment on the ground and in the air,” said Chris Martin, executive director. “In response to requests for improved access to medical transport from providers in Southeast Alaska, we are pleased to offer this new service.”
“The turboprop will allow us to access patients who, in the past, have had to make their way to an area where we could get them in the Learjet. Now we won’t see that delay,” said Dr. Richard Utarnachitt, medical director for Airlift.
Patient care will be provided by two critical care nurses with current certifications in advanced skills for cardiac life support, pediatric life support, neonatal resuscitation and trauma care.
Airlift Northwest, an entity of UW Medicine, provides medical transport to critically ill and injured adults and children throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. It operates six bases in Washington and Alaska.
Airlift also announced recently that it will permanently base a Turbo Commander aircraft in Yakima to provide communities in Central Washington with improved access to urgent medical transport. Communities served by the Yakima-based crew include Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Omak, Moses Lake, the Tri-Cities, Sunnyside, Toppenish and other Central Washington locations.
Read more in UW Today.
UW Medicine Strategic Marketing & Communications offers a rich new visual resource for work-related presentations, web pages, patient education materials, publications and other administrative, marketing and communication projects. It’s a digital photo library with approximately 3,000 images photographed by approved staff and vendor photographers. The library has a strong emphasis on patient care activities across all entities, and also hosts research and education images, faculty and staff portraits and architectural photos.
All library photos meet legal and brand standards for release and visual consistency. Images can be searched using keywords (such as “compassionate care” or “cardiology”), or searched using filters such as date created, entity, inpatient/outpatient, key program, patient age group, and more.
Images can be downloaded in a range of file sizes from the library or stored for future reference by creating a lightbox. For team collaborations, each user can print contact sheets from his or her lightbox, or can send an email link to a colleague for online viewing.
Contact the photo library administrator Clare McLean at email@example.com for more information.
On April 13, UW School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education (GME) hosted the 1st Annual UW Medicine GME Research Day titled Transition to Academic Practice: Partnering for a Successful Research Career. The goals of the half-day session were to celebrate UW resident/fellow research and to allow trainees to identify projects that might lead to cross-specialty collaboration.
The 2013 GME Research Day offered awards to the top three presenters for scientific merit and quality of the presentation. An additional honor, the Dean’s Award, recognized outstanding potential for research collaboration. Over 90 people attended, including several clinical chairs and program directors who came in support of their trainees and to take part in the days’ activities.
The call for abstracts was met with an overwhelming response; over 170 submissions were submitted by residents and fellows from more than 45 programs. The UW GME Scientific Review Committee selected the top 10 abstracts. The authors of these abstracts were invited to give oral presentations and were considered finalists for the top three awards. In addition, to allow each entrant the opportunity to display his/her work and become eligible for the Dean’s Award, several platforms were incorporated for each submission for display in a rolling electronic or standard poster format.
The conference, organized by Samuel Browd, UW assistant professor of neurological surgery, was designed to give residents and fellows an opportunity to showcase their research, network with colleagues and learn more about the path to a successful research career while practicing medicine.
The keynote speaker, Bonnie Ramsey (photo, above, right), professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Clinical and Translational Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, opened the day with an insightful review of her own successful journey in research at UW. She emphacized points at which young researchers might have challenges and reminded trainees not to lose sight of their goals. An interactive panel of research experts offered practical advice about challenges in balancing a clinical practice with a career in academic research.
Faculty in the health sciences professions are invited to apply to the 2013-2014 Teaching Scholars. The Program, offered by the UW Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, prepares faculty to become leaders in all aspects of health professional education. Since 1995, the Teaching Scholars Program has developed a cadre of highly skilled academic leaders, many of whom have received local and national teaching awards and leadership responsibilities.
Teaching Scholars is a 10-month, part-time, certificate program consisting of integrative seminars, scholarly projects, and a professional peer group. Faculty members accepted to the Teaching Scholars Program devote one morning a week for 10 months to scholarly discussion of and reflection on topics related to the education and training of health professionals and career development. Participants must be able to schedule Tuesday mornings for this program.
To be considered to participate in the 2013-2014 program, applicants must be nominated by their department chair and complete the application by June 28. Department chairs must provide a commitment of support, Tuesday morning release time, approval for a full-day teambuilding session, a program fee of $4,000, and travel funds for one national meeting.
Apply to the Program online; click “Register Now” for Teaching Scholars 2013-2014. Complete the survey and submit electronically.
For consideration, applicants must mail their curriculum vitae and a letter of support from their department chair to Lynne Robins, PhD, Teaching Scholars Program Director, Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, H205 HSC, Box 357240.
The third annual Montana WWAMI Faculty Development Conference was held April 5–7 in Big Sky, Mont. Fifty UW School of Medicine (UWSOM) and WWAMI physicians and educators gathered at the Big Sky Resort to participate in clinical education faculty development sessions designed to provide tools to build clinical teaching skills. (Photo, l-r): Jay Erickson, Montana WWAMI clinical dean; Tom Norris, chair of the UWSOM Department of Family Medicine; and Kris Juliar, director of the Montana Area Health Education Center participated in the conference.)
On Friday evening, Montana WWAMI students Hans Hurt, Shalina Mirza, Crystal Zomer, and Kale Knudson participated in a panel discussion about effective teaching strategies. The panel was moderated by Tom Greer, UW professor in the Department of Family Medicine. Saturday evening, Ron Loge, UW clinical professor of medicine, of Dillon, Mont., discussed the medical aspects of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
The Saturday and Sunday plenary sessions included: Questioning Skills in Clinical Teaching, Deliberate Practice of Humanistic Medicine, Teaching in Your Office, Using Technology in Clinical Teaching and Medical Decision Making in Clinical Care. Saturday breakout sessions, hosted by UWSOM faculty, were held with clerkship-specific teaching updates in chronic care, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and surgery.
Speakers and moderators from the UWSOM included: Tom Greer, professor and director of medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine and co-director of the TRUST program; Hugh Foy, professor in the Department of Surgery; Tom McNalley, assistant professor and clerkship director for rehabilitation medicine and chronic care in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine; Tom Norris, professor and chair in the Department of Family Medicine and co-chair of the WRITE program; Misbah Keen, assistant professor and clerkship director in the Department of Family Medicine; Chris Knight, associate professor and associate director, internal resident program and associate clerkship director in the Department of Medicine; and Mike Fialkow, assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
This is the third annual conference, hosted by the Montana Area Health Education Center (AHEC), UWSOM, and Montana WWAMI Clinical Office.
Event sponsors of the event included St. Vincent Healthcare of Billings, Benefis Health System in Great Falls, Eastern Montana AHEC and RiverStone Health in Billings, Providence St. Patrick Hospital of Missoula, Montana Medical Association, Montana Academy of Family Physicians, and Monida Healthcare Network in Missoula.
Find more information about the conference program, speaker information and power point presentations online.
The following events may be of interest to the UW Medicine community:
Palliative Care Center of Excellence to host community forums, April 27 & 29
The new UW Palliative Care Center of Excellence is inviting community members to help shape its future programs. The center, which launched in October, will hold its first community forums Saturday, April 27 at 2 p.m., at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, and at 6 p.m., Monday, April 29 at the Dumas Bay Centre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road, in Federal Way. Members of the public will have an opportunity to share their experiences coping with serious illness, and to learn more about the Center. For more information and to RSVP to the community forums, contact the Palliative Care Center of Excellence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.744.5412. Read more about the forums on the Center’s website.
Center for Medical Education Feedback Summit, April 30
Feedback Summit, 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, UW South Campus Center, Room 316. The UW School of Medicine Center for Medical Education will host a half-day faculty development session and celebration of the new center. The Feedback Summit will provide a forum for discussion and dissemination of best practices in providing feedback to students, residents, fellows and peers. Presenters will include Heidi Combs, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Eileen Klein, professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine; Amanda Kost, acting assistant professor of family medicine; Patricia Kritek, associate professor of medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Daniel Lin, professor of urology; Sherilyn Smith, professor of pediatrics; and Linda Vorvick, MEDEX. Register online. For more information, contact Michael Ryan, center director, at email@example.com or Sara Kim, associate director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about the new Center for Medical Education in the Jan. 18 Online News.
Join UW Medicine team for March for Babies, May 4
Annual March of Dimes 'March for Babies, Saturday, May 4, Seattle Center. The 3.1-mile walk begins at 9 a.m. Food and children's activities follow the walk. Funds raised in March for Babies support research and programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. Register individually or join an existing UW Medicine team, such as the UW Medical Center Team or Valley Medical Center's Team Pitter Patter. UW Medicine provides childbirth and neonatal services at the UWMC Maternal and Infant Care Center, Northwest Hospital Childbirth Center and Valley Medical Center Birth Center. Learn more or join the March for Babies - Greater Puget Sound 2013.
The Brotman and Ragen Awards: Nominations due May 6
The UW Medicine Board is calling for nominations for two awards: the 2013 Brotman Leadership Award and the 2013 Ragen Volunteer Service Award, named after UW Medicine advocates Jeffrey H. Brotman and Brooks G. Ragen. The Brotman Award recognizes visionary philanthropic leadership, while the Ragen Award recognizes outstanding service from volunteers, faculty and staff. Nominations are due Monday, May 6. If you have questions, please contact Lynn Hogan, chief advancement officer at UW Medicine, at 206.543.6865 or email@example.com. (Please note: current UW Medicine Board members are not eligible to receive these awards.)
GME Grand Rounds for Residents and Fellows, May 8
Unconscious Bias in Medicine: What should you know and do about it? 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 8, Health Sciences Building, Turner Conference Room (E-202). Janice Sabin, UW research assistant professor of biomedical informatics and medical education, will discuss the association of implicit bias with providers’ perceptions of adherence, prescribing patterns, patient experiences of the healthcare system, health literacy and workforce diversity. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. Register online. Contact Shawn Banta at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.616.8286 for more information.
22nd Annual Visiting Scholar in Cardiothoracic Surgery Lecture, May 10
A New Paradigm in Transplantation: Personalized Medicine for the Organ, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 10, Health Sciences Building, Room K-069. Shaf Keshavjee, director of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program and surgeon in chief of the University Health Network, University of Toronto, will speak. The lecture is presented by the UW Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Reception follows. Contact Kelsey Hobbs at email@example.com or 206.543.3093 for more information.
20th Annual Buehler Memorial Visiting Professorship in Plastic Surgery Lecture, May 15
Reconstructive Microsurgery at Chang Gung, 6:30 to 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, Health Sciences Building, Room K-069. Fu-Chan Wei, professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Chinese Medical University, Taipei Medical University, and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital & Medical College in Taiwan. Wei will discuss recent developments in reconstructive microsurgery; workhorse flaps for various reconstructions, and the functional results and complications from reconstructive microsurgery. Contact Diane Kennedy at Dianek6@uw.edu or 206.543.3680 for more information.
Annual Science in Medicine Lecture, May 22
The Sleep Gap: Why is it Growing? 1 to 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, Health Sciences Bldg., Turner Auditorium, Room D-209. Charles Czeisler, professor of sleep medicine and director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, will give the lecture. Czeisler’s translational research is on the physiology of the human circadian timing system, its relationship to the sleep-wake cycle and its application to occupational medicine and health policy. The lecture will be televised at several locations. For a listing and more information, visit the Science in Medicine website or contact Heather Hawley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.221.5807.
Neurological Surgery Grand Rounds: The Robert Goodkin, M.D. Endowed Lectureship, May 29
Reflections on 57 Years of Spine Surgery, 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, May 29, Harborview Medical Center, Research and Training Bldg., 1st floor auditorium, 300 Ninth Ave. John Jane, professor of neurological surgery and director of the Neurological Training Program at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, will give the lecture. An icon in the field of neurological surgery, Jane was professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia School of Medicine for more than 30 years. Jane’s clinical interest include cranial and spine surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, with a special interest in craniofacial surgery. He is also the editor of the Journal of Neurosurgery. Contact Mary Gilbert, at email@example.com or 206.744.9356 for more information.
Continuing Medical Education
Visit Continuing Medical Education for information on upcoming classes.
Spring UW Medicine magazine available online
The spring issue of UW Medicine. Read about the new UW Palliative Care Center of Excellence, which is taking care of people at the most vulnerable times in their lives, and ENCODE, the ground-breaking study that is mapping the living genome, and more.
UW Medicine health and wellness initiative on the air and online
UW Medicine’s new multi-media health and wellness initiative provides consumers with health and wellness information and the latest treatments and medical breakthroughs at UW Medicine. Look for a new dedicated website, website, UW Medicine Health, and regular television and radio spots on Fisher Communication’s KOMO News, KOMO News Radio and STAR 101.5. Contact UW Medicine Strategic Marketing & Communications at 206.543.3620.
UW Medicine Brand Resources website (UW NetID required)