Grand Rounds June

UAB Trial for Monthly Bipolar Medication

Investigators at UAB are studying a monthly, injectable dose of a drug used to treat bipolar I disorder in an effort to determine if  a once-a-month approach will prove more effective than taking daily medication.

“Patients with bipolar disorder often alternate between periods of manic or depressive episodes followed by symptom-free periods,” said Richard Shelton, MD, professor and vice chair for research in the UAB Department of Psychiatry. “Patients can become non-compliant in taking daily medications during the symptom-free periods, which can often trigger a relapse.”

Shelton and colleagues are studying a long-acting injectable formulation of aripiprazole, a partial dopamine agonist approved for use in bipolar disorder in the United States in 2002.

Shelton is currently enrolling patients with bipolar I disorder to participate in the ATLAS studies. Contact 205-934-2484 for information.


UAB Studies Parkinson’s

A reduced sense of smell, or hyposmia, might be a risk factor for developing Parkinson’s disease, and UAB is participating in a study of hyposmia and two other potential risk factors. The study, sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, is a new arm of the long-running Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), which looks to attract as many as 20,000 people worldwide to participate in an online survey about the sense of smell.

The study is looking for people older than 60 who do not have Parkinson’s disease to take the survey. Most respondents will then be mailed a scratch and sniff smell test and a brief questionnaire, to be completed at home. Some individuals may also be asked to undergo more extensive testing.

 The study will also enroll individuals who have rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD) or a mutation in the LRRK2 gene, which is the single greatest known genetic contributor to Parkinson’s disease.

 “Understanding risk factors for Parkinson’s disease could help to identify therapies that may prevent the onset of motor symptoms in future generations of PD patients,” said David Standaert, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at UAB.

UAB has been part of the PPMI study since it was launched in 2010. The $55 million landmark observational study was established to look for one biomarker of PD or more.

For information about enrolling in PPMI, contact Stephanie Guthrie, CRNP, at [email protected]


UAB Bariatric Surgery Reaccredited as Level One

The UAB Hospital Bariatric Surgery program has been reaccredited as a Level One facility under the Bariatric Surgery Center Network (BSCN) Accreditation Program of the American College of Surgeons. This is the highest level designation that any hospital offering bariatric surgery can receive. 

To earn the accreditation, the UAB Hospital Bariatric Surgery Program met criteria that ensure its ability to support a bariatric surgical care program and the performance requirements outlined by the BSCN Accreditation Standards. Accredited bariatric surgery centers provide both the hospital resources necessary for optimal care of morbidly obese patients and the support necessary to address the entire spectrum of care of bariatric patients.


Princeton Baptist Receives American Heart Association Award

Princeton Baptist Medical Center has received the Get With The Guidelines – Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The recognition signifies that Princeton has reached a goal of treating heart failure patients according to the guidelines of care recommended by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology.

This marks the second year that Princeton has been recognized with a quality achievement award for heart failure.

Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure provides hospitals with a web-based patient management tool, best practice discharge protocols and standing orders, along with a robust registry and real-time benchmarking capabilities to track performance.

Following Get With The Guidelines–Heart Failure treatment guidelines, heart failure patients are started on aggressive risk-reduction therapies if needed. Before discharge, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health. Hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period of time to be eligible for the achievement awards.


Nutripilot Among Winner of Launchpad Competition

Founded in 2005, the Alabama Launchpad competition gives early stage companies a chance to gain funding with winners of the competition earning a share of $100,000 distributed by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama.

This year, Nutripilot, a company started by registered dietician Melanie Rubery, won $38,000.  Nutripilot directs people suffering from certain medical conditions to the proper foods. Nutripilot has just launched a smartphone and tablet app and has had a beta website up for a year.

Rubery believes that winning the competition will help push Nutripilot forward. “This is going to help me get connections and get to the market and open up doors,” she said.


McEntire Named Chief Nursing Officer at Citizens Baptist

Citizens Baptist Medical Center has named Ann McEntire, BS, RN, MSN as the hospital’s chief nursing officer (CNO).

“Ann comes to us from our sister hospital, Princeton Baptist Medical Center, where she began her career as an ICU staff nurse in 1975,” said Citizens Administrator Joel Taylor. “Her years of experience, her passion for her patients, and her record of leadership are attributes that will be an asset to Citizens Baptist.”

During her tenure at Princeton, McEntire served as charge nurse in the medical intensive care unit, a nurse manager, house supervisor and, most recently, as executive director of medical, cardiovascular and emergency nursing. She is active in several professional organizations and was the recipient of Baptist Health System’s Mission Value Award in 2000.


Buckley Joins Alabama Women’s Specialists

Wayne G. Buckley has joinred Alabama Women’s Specialists, PC as Administrator  for operations, finance, and planning.

Alabama Women’s Specialists, a leading OB/GYN practice located in the Women’s Medical Plaza at Brookwood Hospital, was founded by Charles Robinett, MD and William Huggins, MD in 1981, with Greg Banks, MD and Samuel Gray, MD joining in 1991, and Ashley Tamucci, MD in 2010.

Buckley joins this group with 30 years of experience in health care management, 24 of those in clinical physician practice management. His focus will be on business development, operational systems and processes, and the expansion of current and new patient services.

He holds a BS in Health Care Management from the University of Alabama, and a MBA from Auburn University.


David Cleveland, MD Joins Children’s

Children’s of Alabama recently announced the affiliation of David Cleveland, MD, MBA joining the team of cardiothoracic surgeons at the state’s only freestanding pediatric medical facility. Cleveland practices in the new Bruno Pediatric Heart Center at Children’s.

A veteran cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, Cleveland served as the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, the Medical Director for the Pediatric Heart Program at the North Texas Hospital for Children in Dallas, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo and most recently as the Chief Medical Officer at Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster.

While in Phoenix, Cleveland founded the Eller Congenital Heart Center and served as its Executive Director until his departure in 2011. His special interests include early repair of complex congenital heart disease, fetal intervention and outcomes measurement for continuous performance improvement.

Cleveland received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University and his medical degree from UAB, and he completed his Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.  In addition, Cleveland holds a master’s of business administration degree from Auburn and is certified as a physician executive from the American College of Physician Executives.


Cooper Joins Princeton BMC and Simon Williamson Clinic

Jesanna Cooper, MD has joined the medical staff of Princeton Baptist Medical Center.

Cooper has practiced obstetrics and gynecology in Birmingham for more than ten years. She recieved her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and her medical degree from UAB. She completed her residency at Beth Israel Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


Cullman Regional Physicians Named Best Doctors

Two physicians from Cullman Regional Medical Center have been named to the Best Doctors in America® for 2013. CRM Chairman of Radiology, Jeffrey K. Nicholson, MD has made the list for a second time and CRM Interventional Cardiologist, Silvio Papapietro, MD has been named to the list for the seventh time.

The Best Doctors in America® List, assembled by Best Doctors, Inc. and audited and certified by Gallup®, results from polling of over 45,000 physicians in the United States. In a confidential review, current physician listees answer the question, “If you or a loved one needed a doctor in your specialty, to whom would you refer?”

 The Best Doctors methodology is rigorously impartial and strictly independent. Only those doctors recognized as the top 5% of their specialty earn the honor of being named one of the Best Doctors in America.


Birmingham Physician Inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Radiology

Ruth Darr Snow, MD has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Radiology (ACR).

Snow is a clinical associate professor of neuroradiology at UAB. She is a member of the ACR and the Alabama Academy of Radiology where she serves as chair of the Radiologists in Training Advisory Committee. Snow is former president of the Southeastern Neuroradiological Society and the Southern Radiological Conference. She received her medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

One of the highest honors the ACR can bestow on a radiologist is recognition as a fellow of the American College of Radiology. ACR Fellows demonstrate a history of service to the College, organized radiology, teaching or research. Approximately 10 percent of ACR members achieve this distinction.


Cockrell Receives NCQA Certification

Jordan C. Cockrell, MPH PCMH-CCE, with Cockrell and Associates Healthcare Management Services, LLC (CAAHMS),recently graduated from UAB with her Master’s in Public Health and is one of the over 100 health care professionals from 29 states who are the first to earn the designation of National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Certified Content Experts™. The newly certified experts include physicians, nurses, allied health care providers, social workers, psychologists, medical technicians, hospital administrators and independent consultants.

The Certified Content Experts completed two PCMH education seminars and passed a comprehensive exam validating their knowledge of NCQA Recognition standards, application procedures, survey processes and documentation requirements. Cockrell will work with CAAHMS to assist organizations evaluate the opportunities associated with the PCMH program, implementation of any needed policies required for that designation and assist in the application for and ongoing requirements to obtain and maintain PCMH status.


Trinity Selects Contractors for 280 Hospital

With Trinity Medical Center free to complete construction on the Highway 280 hospital after the Supreme Court of Alabama declined to hear arguments against the relocation, Trinity has selected Brasfield & Gorrie, in strategic partnership with A. G. Gaston, to serve as construction managers for completion of the 12-story hospital.

Brasfield & Gorrie served as general contractor on the hospital’s original construction 10 years ago and has partnered with A. G. Gaston on several Birmingham-area projects, including construction of the UAB North Pavilion Hospital and expansion of Princeton Baptist Medical Center.

“These two Birmingham companies are both high-quality operators” said Trinity Medical Center President Keith Granger.

“The facility on 280 is a spectacular hospital building. Considerations like patient transport, infection control and specialized mechanical and electrical distribution systems were built into the original design,” said Brasfield & Gorrie Regional President Jack Darnall.

Prior owners of the hospital invested approximately $215 million in the structure before discontinuing construction in 2003. Trinity will invest $280 million to complete the hospital. Daniel Corporation, which owns most of the 103-acre Cahaba Center at Grandview, plans to construct a 200,000-square-foot medical office building adjacent to the hospital.

Site preparation begins in June, and completion of the 372-bed facility is expected to take 18 to 24 months.


UAB Cancer Center Director Honored

Edward E. Partridge, MD, director of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the recipient of the American Cancer Society’s 2013 national Humanitarian Award. 

 Partridge, a gynecological oncologist, is recognized for his work to reduce racial health disparities.

Partridge’s efforts helped gain Alabama participation in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which allows women diagnosed with an abnormal mammogram to receive treatment regardless of financial means. He has led the Alabama Black Belt Cancer Linkage Initiative, which assures that men and women diagnosed with cancer in Alabama’s Black Belt would get state-of-the-art care, and he is a co-founder of the Alabama Partnership for Cancer Control in the Underserved.

As a principal investigator for the Deep South Network for Cancer Control, Partridge has been instrumental in creating a community of cancer caregivers in Alabama to reduce racial health disparities. He is also involved with a federally supported partnership among the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Morehouse School of Medicine and Tuskegee University that pairs research at UAB with investigators at historically black colleges to enhance cancer disparity research.

Partridge has spent his entire career at UAB, rising instructor to hold the endowed Margaret Cameron Spain Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology and served for many years as director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. 






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