The dynamic duo of Drs. Dave Niesel and Norbert Herzog keep burning up the radiowaves; their radio show, Medical Discovery News, recently celebrated two milestones: 100 radio stations are now carrying their show, and they recently recorded their 100th program. The weekly radio show provides insights into a broad range of biomedical science topics; it’s always interesting, sometimes quirky, and meant to get people thinking about how biomedical science impacts all of us.
Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category
One of the toughest things I’ve done was travel around campus in the past year and listen to a common refrain: folks said they didn’t get enough of the good news about UTMB; that we were never in the media; that they never read/saw anything but bad stories. I had the benefit of seeing daily media clips in our office, so I knew there was lots of good news. There was a disconnect, however, and an important question: how best to widely share the good news and media highlights?
For several years we’ve been offering a subscription-based service. About 1200 people had signed up to get the daily UTMB news clips electronically, sent to them via mail. That was working OK, for the few people who knew about it. We knew we had to do something else with a broader reach. We started talking about a weekly summary, and ended up with what you saw yesterday and today: UTMB in the News, delivered daily via email.
I went into this with mixed feelings, concerned about burdening people with yet another daily email. I joked with my colleagues about their “spam.” But one of the newest members of the Public Affairs team, Mike Cooper, came up with a great, low impact design (and he’s also working hard on our new web home pages). The media relations folks keep plugging away, pitching great stories and people. A process was worked out. Information Services provided their usual great support, and the message was born. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and I think I learned something: people want to feel good about where they work, what they do, why we matter. So, at the end of the day, the option of being “plugged in” to good UTMB news is worth the few extra keystrokes it takes to delete a message.
If you have a question or comment about UTMB in the News, please send it to email@example.com.
The last time I was in Florida visiting family, my brother, cousins and other relatives with young kids were talking to me about new after-hour pediatric practices that had opened up in Tampa, and what a great job they were doing meeting the health care needs of their families. Face it…when do kids get sick or hurt? At 8 pm on Friday night, not when it’d be more convenient for us as parents or for clinicians with standard offiice hours.
The good news: Next month, UTMB Pediatrics will start offering after-hour pediatric urgent care out of a clinic near South Shore Blvd. The League City-based care center will be open evenings, weekends and holidays, always have a pediatrician on site, and offer on-site labs and X-rays. As a parent and a health care consumer, I applaud and welcome this effort. Get details.
Amazing things take place at UTMB, and even the most engaged of us usually only find out about a fraction of it. My friends in media relations send out a weekly recap that can help, and work is under way on a plan to systematically share this sort of information more widely. Here’s a look at a few days in April:
· Saturday, April 26, 6:30 a.m., KUHF — Tune in to Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly (a PBS program that airs on more than 250 stations nationwide) for a scheduled story about the ethical decisions surrounding cancer treatment for uninsured patients at UTMB.
· Saturday, April 19, 10 a.m., Medical Discovery News airs on KUHF Houston Public Radio immediately after Car Talk.
· Karen Sexton will be featured in the May-June issue of Texas Hospitals magazine for winning the AHA Grassroots Award.
· Dr. Katrina Parker was interviewed by Toddler magazine on growth charts and child development.
· Dr. Xavier Villa spoke with Pediatric News regarding GERD in toddlers.
· Dr. Luca Cicalese has written an op-ed on organ transplantation for Donor Awareness Month.
· Galveston News reporter Ian White is writing an article on UTMB ophthalmology’s new eye imaging instrument.
· Antonella Casola was interviewed by Advance for Respiratory Care Practitioners regarding RSV advances.
Week’s Top Stories
· New kind of killer virus discovered in Bolivia, News Scientists, April 18. A team of disease hunters has announced the discovery of a deadly new virus, found in a remote village in South America. Experts say the virus, called Chapare, is probably limited to a small swathe of Bolivia, but urbanization and climate change could expand its range. UTMB’s Charles Fulhorst, says it’s the tip of the iceberg. “Many new species of virus lurk in South America – and perhaps North America. Just when you think you know what’s out there, another one pops out.”
· Fighting inflammation in diabetes complications, Forefront, April 2008. His mission is to eradicate diabetes and the newest issue of Forefront magazine profiles UTMB Professor Ronald G. Tilton and his research. New funding will allow him time to explore why inflammation is integral to diabetic complications.
· UTMB School of Nursing to graduate 293 today, Galveston County Daily News, April 18. UTMB School of Nursing will have its 121st commencement at 3 p.m.
· Telemedicine connects remote areas with care, American College of Physicians Internist, April 2008. Dr. Oscar Boultinghouse and Alexander Vo are quoted at length in this article about telemedicine. Boultinghouse is associate director and chief medical officer of UTMB’s Electronic Health Network and Vo is executive director of UTMB’s AT&T Center for Telehealth Research and Policy. UTMB has one of the nation’s leading telemedicine programs.
· Do you have multiple personality disorder? Houston Press, April 17. UTMB’s Jean Goodwin is quoted in this article about dissociative identity disorder.
· UTMB patient designs more modest hospital gown, Galveston County Daily News, April 13. Encouraged by UTMB gastroenterologist Gottumukkala Raju, UTMB patient Dorothy Heske has designed a new hospital gown with fasteners that preserves a patient’s dignity without interfering with the demands of medicine.
· Research to explore the effects pain has on decision-making, Galveston County Daily News, April 13. UTMB’s Volker Neugebauer is interviewed about his research on pain and how it affects the ability to think clearly and make decisions.
· The pain that endured, Houston Chronicle, April 13. Burn survivor, Divonne Emmitt, made excellent progress at UTMB’s Blocker Adult Burn Unit with intensive care by a medical team but did not survive the pain of losing a husband Columns and Commentaries
· Galveston County Daily News, April 15; In his weekly Medicine and Health column, UTMB’s Dr. Howard Brody talks about interactions between patients and their physicians. It may not seem important whether being greeted with a handshake, by the first name or last, but studies show that patients have preferences about greetings that can have bearing on medical outcomes.
· Galveston County Daily News, April 15; UTMB Drs. Sally Robinson and Keith Bly write about the dangers faced by children who wear “roller sneakers.” In their Keeping Kids Healthy column, they outline the problems associated with these shoes and suggest that children who use them “practice, practice, practice” before taking them out in public.
· Cancer Nutrition Network helps patients avoid malnourishment, Galveston County Daily News, April 17. Professor Billy U. Philips, associate director of the Prevention and Control/Community Outreach Office at UTMB, writes about the importance of nutrition for cancer patients. More than half of cancer patients suffer from malnutrition.
· UTMB Cancer Center enhances patient services, Galveston County Daily News, April 17, Dr. Avi B. Markowitz, chief of the division of hematology/oncology and associate clinical director of the Cancer Center at UTMB, writes about cancer care at UTMB, the oncology clinical trials office and new chemotherapy facilities
· April 17: UTMB School of nursing to graduate 293 Friday · April 18: UTMB inventions win commercialization awards
· April 18: April proclaimed ‘Organ Donor Awareness Month’ in Galveston
· April 18: UTMB Nurses’ ‘SANE’ Forensic Evidence Collection Program
According to West Coast papers this morning, UT System Chancellor Mark Yudof is a shoe-in for the top post at the University of California system. I first heard this on the LA Times yesterday; the San Francisco Chronicle reported again this morning:
University of Texas Chancellor Mark Yudof, virtually assured of becoming the next president of the prestigious University of California system, is no stranger to the rough-and-tumble world of education politics he’s likely to experience there. As head of the largest public university system in Texas, and before that in Minnesota, he’s sparred with the likes of Jesse Ventura over budgets, has struggled to increase ethnic diversity and has been a champion of accountability.
Yudof, 63, was the unanimous choice Thursday of a committee charged with recommending who the next president of the 10-campus system should be. Yudof is expected to be officially appointed by the UC Board of Regents on March 27…
I met Chancellor Yudof a few times as part of my service on the UT System Employee Advisory Council; he impressed me as a good guy, a straight shooter and someone genuinely interested in the employees of our UT universities. California’s gain will be our loss, but there are many other good leaders in the ranks, and the UT System Board of Regents (who will be charged with finding Yudof’s replacement) are an impressive and extremely capable collection of people. We’re in good hands.
If you were on campus this Friday, you probably saw a message about a malfunctioning door in the Shope BSL4, the biosafety lab that’s been running for almost four years at UTMB. Because the facility worked as it’s supposed to work, the issue was a non-issue—and the university fulfilled its pledged to keep the community and media informed about events in our biocontainment facilities.
I keep a stack of National Geographics near my bed and flip through them in those few quiet minutes of settling in before sleep. A few nights ago, I came across an article that puts the big picture in perspective for me (and turned out to be so very timely); it hammers home the importance of this lab and the work some very bright and dedicated men and women do in it. The article “Deadly Contact,” was written by David Quammen and ran in October 2007. Here’s an excerpt from it:
Predators are relatively big beasts that eat their prey from outside. Pathogens (disease-causing agents, such as viruses) are relatively small beasts that eat their prey from within. Although infectious disease can seem grisly and dreadful, under ordinary conditions it’s every bit as natural as what lions do to wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles. But conditions aren’t always ordinary. Just as predators have their accustomed prey species, their favored targets, so do pathogens. And just as a lion might occasionally depart from its normal behavior—to kill a cow instead of a wildebeest, a human instead of a zebra—so can a pathogen shift to a new target. Accidents happen. Aberrations occur. Circumstances change and, with them, opportunities and exigencies also change. When a pathogen leaps from some nonhuman animal into a person, and succeeds there in making trouble, the result is what’s known as a zoonosis.
It’s a good article. Life and nature are amazing and complex. The work we’re doing to understand nature and protect people is vital. Read the full text online at National Geographic Magazine.
I used to post these with some frequency. I think they talk to the tremendous scope of work at UTMB, the accomplishments of our UTMB colleagues, and some of the issues we face. It’s a snapshot of one week in the life of UTMB (My thanks to my colleague Marsha Canright and her team for assembling. As for me, I’m off to build a pinewood derby racer with my son.): (more…)
Although I like to think I have a pretty good handle on issues that are important to campus, I missed a big one recently with the closing of Schutte’s Corner. I read about it in Laura Elder’s Biz Buzz. I was a regular during the restaurant’s heyday; the convenience couldn’t be beat, the “poor and hungry” offered a good value and some well-executed variety, and you couldn’t throw a piece of fried okra without hitting three people you knew (Not sure this was a good thing…)
While more recently there might have been some issues with consistency, overall it was still a good place to grab a bite and I’m sorry to see it go. While there’s no shortage of lunch choices these days (unless you want Indian or Thai food on the island), Schutte’s was still a special place—a place of comfort, friends, familiarity and a wicked chicken & dumplings—for many of us at UTMB.
You may have heard or read something these past few days about a pending policy decision related to cancer care for illegal immigrants. Locally, The Daily News and Houston Chronicle ran with stories that have been picked up nationally and put UTMB at the center of a long-simmering debate about immigrant rights and more specifically, care to the uninsured in the U.S. I have a feeling this issue and discussion will be with us for a while, so I promise to come back and share my perspective. But in case you missed this other story in the long shadow cast by immigrant cancer care, USA Today ran a story on MRSA (the drug-resistant superbugs) and highlights efforts at UTMB, where we are pretty aggressive in our efforts to combat the nasty critters. Read the USA Today story.
Liliana Ortiz, a team leader at Rosenberg Elementary School in Galveston, commended UTMB’s Dr. Lauree Thomas, associate dean of students in the SOM, for her excellent presentation to Rosenberg’s gradeschool students. “Not only did she provide an immediate response to my request, she came with a caring attitude and interest to speak to our children,” Ortiz wrote in a letter to the editor last week in The Galveston County Daily News. Dr. Thomas, you’re a good lady.