Grand Rounds August


Baptist Hires Lean Leaders

Baptist Health System (BHS) has hired Sally Vann and Lyndsi Keel to serve as Lean leaders of the System. Lean, a process improvement methodology, is designed to help drive productivity within BHS through employee empowerment.


Vann holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Alabama and a bachelor's degree in biomedical sciences from Auburn University. Keel holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Alabama and a bachelor's degree in organizational communication from Murray State University.


While completing their master's degrees at the University of Alabama, Vann and Keel were employed with the Alabama Productivity Center as Lean health care consultants.  Over the past two years, they have organized and conducted more than 30 Kaizen events and process change initiatives for clients throughout the Southeast.


Doleys Clinic Adds Team Members

The Doleys Clinic has added three new members to their staff of chronic pain management clinicians.


Christopher Hill, MD, is a board certified anesthesiologist who completed his degree at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the Doleys Clinic, Hill practiced obstetric anesthesiology in Placentia, California.


William J. Lupinacci, MD, M.Div, CMRO, is a Master in Occupational and Environmental Medicine who completed medical training at the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry. He has practiced ccupational medicine with Concentra, the Dr. Kirven Ulmer Clinic, and Industrial Health Network.


Anne Childers, RN-C, MSN, CCM holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Birmingham-Southern College and two Masters of Science in Nursing degrees from UAB with majors in Adult Health Nursing and Advanced Practice Nursing – Primary Care. She has 20 years of clinical experience.


UAB Earns $1.47 Million Grant to Study Red Blood Cell Transfusion Storage Times

Researchers in the UAB departments of Pathology, Microbiology and Surgery have received a $1.47 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to study red blood cell lesion, a term given to the potentially harmful changes in red blood cells that have been stored for longer times after collection.


The study will focus on the mechanisms by which red blood cell storage time affects blood flow through capillaries, and whether the storage age impacts the interaction between banked red cells and nitric oxide produced in the body.


"We want to know all that we can about the possible negative effects of administering older stored red blood cells, and we hope this information can be used to design therapies to prevent transfusion-related toxicities," says Rakesh Patel, PhD, associate professor of molecular and cellular pathology.


Blood processing and storage are known to cause several changes in red blood cell units, including lowering concentrations of molecules that regulate how oxygen is delivered to tissues once transfused. Currently, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations allow facilities to store red blood cells for up to 42 days before being transfused. The average age of transfused red blood cells in the United States is estimated to be a little more than 16 days.


UAB researchers will study injured patients in an intensive care unit who need transfusion with one unit of blood. They plan to match the storage age of the blood to several key measurements in recovering trauma patients.


Current data on red blood cell storage times and patient outcomes yield conflicting results. Some studies suggest longer-stored blood units are less effective and more likely to be associated with transfusion-related toxicity caused by red blood cell storage lesion. Other investigators have found no differences in clinical outcomes using red cells stored short-term or long-term.


Trinity Nursing Awards

Trinity Medical Center recently named its Nursing Award winners for 2010.


The winner of the Patient Choice Award is chosen from a list of candidates nominated by patients and families. This year's Patient Choice winner is Jane Chandler, RN, who has been a member of the Trinity staff since 1996.


The Ida V. Moffett Nursing Excellence Award, which is given to a nurse who embodies the spirit of the nursing profession, was presented to Dana Tekulve, RN, who has been with Trinity since 1999.


Aldridge Joins AQAF Board

Kenneth Aldridge, MD, FACS, has been named to the board of directors of AQAF, the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization for the state of Alabama.


Aldridge has been with West Alabama Urology Associates in Tuscaloosa since 1986. He is certified by the American Board of Urology. He received his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine, where he graduated cum laude in 1981. He completed an internship and residency in general UAB.


Aldridge has served as the chairman of surgery at both DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center.


Urology Centers Provides Prostate Screenings

For the past four years, Urology Centers of Alabama has worked with the Alabama High School Athletic Association to provide prostate cancer screenings for coaches and athletic directors. On July 15th, Urology Centers screened 180 men free of charge in Huntsville where athletic directors were having their summer workshops.


MediSYS to Launch Physician Information Network

MediSYS plans to release the MediSYS Physician Information Network in the first quarter of 2011. This network will allow providers treating mutual patients to share health information electronically. Providers will be able to share a wealth of information, including lab and diagnostic information, office notes, hospital documents, and patient demographics.


The network streamlines the referral process by making provider-selected information immediately available to the referred-to physician. In addition, clinical data generated by the referred-to physician may be electronically transmitted back to original referring physician or onto another physician group if needed. This immediate access to information eliminates the need for the clinic to print, fax, scan, and mail the relevant information.


MediSYS has already established a high level of connectivity across the healthcare community in Alabama. With current electronic health record system links to over 300 Alabama providers, it is a logical extension for MediSYS to offer a network among physicians to share health information generated within the clinic.


Albright Joins Birmingham Surgical

Jeffrey Albright, MD has joined Birmingham Surgical. Albright earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine before completing a general surgery residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. He was a Fellow in colon and rectal surgery at the University of Texas-Houston and a Detiger Research Fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Albright joins Birmingham Surgical from Surgical Specialists of San Diego.


Shelby Baptist Names Director of Operations

Chris Price was recently named the director of operations for Shelby Baptist Medical Center. Price served as administrative resident at the hospital prior to accepting the position. As director of operations, Price will oversee and supervise the daily operations of multiple departments, and will also be responsible for the implementation of special projects. He holds a MBA and MS in health administration from UAB and a BA in communication from Auburn University.


Trinity Names Director of Sleep Disorders Center

Brett Berry, LPN RPSGT CCRC, has been named Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Trinity Medical Center. Prior to his appointment, he served as the Technical Director/ Research Supervisor at Sleep Disorders of Alabama.


Berry received his LPN certification from Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.


He is a member of the American Association of Sleep Technologists, the Alabama Association of Sleep Professionals and is also a certified clinical research coordinator for Association of Clinical Research Professionals.


Princeton and Shelby Designated Blue Distinction Centers

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has designated Princeton and Shelby Medical Centers as Blue Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care, an honor received by only seven other Alabama hospitals. Recipients of this designation must demonstrate reliability in delivering cardiac care and better overall outcomes for cardiac patients.


Resuscitation research funding renewed – UAB in national consortium

The Alabama Resuscitation Center, located at UAB, is one of 10 sites involved in the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC), a clinical research network studying early delivery of interventions for trauma and cardiac arrest by emergency medical services (EMS) teams.


The ROC will receive $65 million in funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, as well as from other federal and Canadian agencies over the next six years, following $55 million in funding since the consortium was founded in 2004.


Nutech Moves Into New Headquarters

Nutech Medical, Inc., a Birmingham biotechnology firm with $25 million in annual sales, has expanded its headquarters, moving to a 25,000 square-foot building on six acres off Rocky Ridge Lane. The building will include a cadaver lab, freezer room, and a state-of-art auditorium.


"This building triples our existing space, providing us with superior resources to better serve the needs of our customers as we continue to supply products that can enhance and save lives," said Ken Horton, president of Nutech.


Nutech is the country's leading biologic provider of high quality living and cadaveric human and cellular allograft tissue. In addition to supplying allograft tissue, Nutech Medical is the exclusive provider of NuFix and NuCel. NuFix is an original product developed by Nutech designed to stabilize the spine, reduce pain and minimize hospital stays. Nutech acquired NuCel six months ago and plans future placenta-based tissue products.


UAB's Read to Head AAO Committee

Russell W. Read, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of ophthalmology and pathology at UAB, has been selected to chair the committee that oversees the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Basic and Clinical Science Course on Intraocular Inflammation and Uveitis.


In this role, Read, who is a leader in the treatment of uveitis, a potentially blinding disease, will be responsible for guiding revisions of the course curriculum, reviewing or assigning reviewers for other clinical education materials and coordinating with other chairs and AAO directors to maintain consistency with the BCSC series.


UAB Study Assesses Aspirin's Ability to Prolong Life

While it is well known that aspirin helps prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with heart disease, there is less certainty regarding aspirin's long-term effect on people without a history of cardiovascular disease. To that end, UAB researchers are participating in the Aspirin Reducing Events in the Elderly study, which is designed to assess whether daily consumption of low-dose aspirin can increase the life span for healthy people over age 70 and help them live with less physical impairment.


"Very little scientific information is available about the overall effects of aspirin in older adults, because most trials have focused on middle-aged people," said Cora E. Lewis, M.D., principal investigator of the study at UAB.


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