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​​​The University of North Carolina (UNC) Medical Center and its partner, Roundtable Analytics, Inc., have recently launched a full-spectrum analytics program to support the flagship emergency department (ED) in Chapel Hill, NC.  As an academic, Level I Trauma Center, UNC’s main ED faces the challenge of seeing nearly 70,000 patients annually all while educating its resident physicians.  But this tremendous operational challenge is now being approached with analytics, from a comprehensive understanding of past and current performance to predictive simulation modeling to routinely support key management decisions such as staffing, treatment area utilization, and much more. Working closely with UNC’s ED leadership team, Roundtable Analytics, Inc., customized its data reporting, visualization and predictive analytics suite to meet UNC’s needs.  Roundtable’s full analytics offering leverages the Epic data UNC already collects and stores each day in Epic’s Clarity database, with no need to integrate into the live electronic medical record (EMR).  To ensure accuracy and consistency, Roundtable Analytics statisticians customize an automatic processing layer that checks, cleans and standardizes the daily data.  Roundtable’s automated data processing is essential for gaining accurate insights from ubiquitous EMR data, and serves as the basis for powerful, on-demand analytics. “It’s fantastic. We have access to data we’ve never seen before, whether it’s yesterday’s performance or last year’s metrics,” said Dr. Jane Brice, chair of UNC Emergency Medicine.  “My entire leadership team can interact with the data one minute and then simulate potential management changes for our emergency department in response to what we see.” Roundtable Analytics, Inc. provides consulting and comprehensive data analytics for emergency departments, including easy-to-use, site-specific simulation models.  Securely leveraging each ED’s unique data resources, Roundtable Analytics delivers its data services via SaaS to ED managers who can quickly assess the state of their ED and simulate the impact of key management changes using Roundtable’s Emergency Department Strategy Lab, or EDSL.  This approach eliminates the risks of suboptimal patient care and financial losses that can occur during costly trial-and-error periods. Funded by a combination of National Science Foundation grants and private equity, the company created research partnerships with two major medical research universities, which led to the development of its analytics services and technology.  Roundtable Analytics launched EDSL commercially in 2016.


News Article | May 5, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Platelets promote immune tolerance to certain cancers by suppressing T cells and adoptive T cell therapy may be enhanced by adding antiplatelet drugs, report researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina in Science Immunology Blood platelets help disguise cancer from the immune system by suppressing T cells, report scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in the May 5, 2017 issue of Science Immunology. In extensive preclinical tests, a promising T cell therapy more successfully boosted immunity against melanoma when common antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin were added. Zihai Li, M.D., Ph.D., senior author on the article, is chair of the MUSC Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the program leader for the Cancer Immunology Research Program at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, and the SmartState® Sally Abney Rose Chair in Stem Cell Biology & Therapy. Li studies how tumors hide themselves from the immune system. Li's team found that platelets release a molecule that suppresses the activity of cancer-fighting T cells. That molecule, unsurprisingly, was TGF-beta, which has been recognized for decades for its role in cancer growth. Yet this study is the first of its kind. Most TGF-beta is inactive. Li and his group found that the surface of platelets has a protein called GARP, a molecular hook that is uniquely able to trap and activate TGF-beta. Platelets, which are small cell fragments that circulate throughout the blood and are normally involved in clotting, become the major source of activated TGF-beta that invading tumor cells use to suppress T cells. In other words, platelets help give tumors their invisibility cloak from the immune system. Scientists have known for several years that certain cancers suppress T cells to avoid the immune system. That is why adoptive T cell therapy is one of the most promising advances in modern cancer treatment. It is a type of immunotherapy that awakens the immune system by retraining a patient's T cells to recognize their cancer. T cells are isolated from a patient's blood and retrained, or "primed," to recognize tumor cells. They are then injected back into the patient's bloodstream where they can now hunt and fight cancer. There was some evidence that platelets might make cancer worse. For example, patients who have excessive clotting related to their cancer almost always have a worse prognosis, according to Li. "Over the years, it has become appreciated that platelets are doing more than just clotting," says Li. The first clue that cancer-fighting T cells might be suppressed by the body's own clotting system came when the researchers gave melanoma to mice with genetically defective platelets. Melanoma tumors grew much more slowly and primed T cells were much more active than in mice with normal platelets. Next, the team isolated platelets and T cells from blood drawn from humans and mice. In both cases, platelets with activated clotting activity suppressed T cell response. It then used mass spectrometry to thoroughly identify the molecules released by activated platelets that most suppressed T cell activity. The molecule with the most T cell suppression was TGF-beta. Li and his team then studied how platelets activate TGF-beta. In genetically modified mice without GARP, the molecular hook on the surface of platelets, adoptive T cell therapy was more successful at controlling melanoma. This meant that platelets without the ability to grab and activate TGF-beta were not able to suppress cancer-fighting T cells. Similar experiments confirmed this result in mice with colon carcinoma. Finally, mice with normal platelets that were given melanoma and then adoptive T cell therapy survived longer and relapsed less when aspirin and clopidogrel, two antiplatelet drugs, were added. The researchers noted that antiplatelet drugs by themselves were not successful in combating melanoma in their experiments. This study could inform future treatment of melanoma and other cancers and offers a sound reason to test antiplatelet drugs in clinical trials of adoptive T cell therapy. In patients with melanoma or other cancers, adoptive T cell therapy may be successful if highly available platelet-blocking drugs such as aspirin are added to the treatment. However, the current standard of care for melanoma is not adoptive T cell therapy, but so-called checkpoint inhibitors. Li and his group want to know if combination therapy with antiplatelet drugs could improve existing cancer treatment. They are waiting for approval to begin a clinical trial that will test certain checkpoint inhibitors in combination with aspirin and clopidogrel for the treatment of patients with advanced cancers. Li's trial will complement clinical trials that are already testing adoptive T cell therapy as a single treatment for cancer. "I'm very excited about this," says Li. "We can test simple, over-the-counter antiplatelet agents to really improve immunity and make a difference in how to treat people with cancer." Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized children's hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state's only transplant center. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.


Receive press releases from The Medical Center of Aurora: By Email The Medical Center of Aurora & Project Angel Heart Use Food as Medicine Aurora, CO, May 03, 2017 --( Patients who are released from the hospital typically have a discharge plan of care to ensure that they receive ongoing health care maintenance. This plan may include medications, follow-up doctor visits, and guidance for recovery. In this pilot program, Project Angel Heart will provide home-delivered, medically tailored food as part of the prescribed health care plan. TMCA patients who have recently undergone bypass surgery, experienced a heart attack, or who are diagnosed with COPD will be screened by the hospital’s registered dietitians to determine medical need for meals. Once the patient is identified and discharged from the hospital, they will immediately begin receiving medically tailored meals from Project Angel Heart. Project Angel Heart’s chefs prepare meals from scratch and an on-staff registered dietitian ensures they meet the dietary standards for heart and COPD patients, and the meals are delivered directly to the patient’s home once a week. “The partnership between The Medical Center of Aurora and Project Angel Heart is an exciting opportunity for two Colorado organizations to address the health of these patients by using food as medicine,” says Leslie Scotland-Stewart, Director of Business Development at Project Angel Heart. Initial results from a similar pilot at HealthONE’s North Suburban Medical Center revealed that meals greatly impacted hospital readmission rates, with zero pilot patients being readmitted within 30 days. Eighty-three percent of these patients also reported improvements in their health and energy levels. “We want to ensure that our patients are getting everything they need to help with their recovery after they’ve left the hospital,” said Brandon Mencini, TMCA’s Vice President of Business Development. “By connecting them with Project Angel Heart, we know they will be in good hands and will get the nutrition they need as they continue their recovery.” About The Medical Center of Aurora The Medical Center of Aurora, the first community hospital in the Denver Metro area to receive two-time Magnet designation for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), is a 346-bed acute care hospital located in Aurora, Colorado. The Medical Center of Aurora is comprised of six campuses in Aurora and Centennial, Colo., including the Main Campus, located at Interstate 225 and Mississippi, the North Campus Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, Centennial Medical Plaza, Saddle Rock ER, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital and a medical office building at Green Valley Ranch. The Main Campus facility is a Level II Trauma Center with Primary Stroke Certification and Chest Pain Center accreditation, serving the eastern metro area and I-70 corridor. The Medical Center of Aurora received ‘A’ grades from The Leapfrog Group (Fall 2015, Fall 2016), was named Colorado’s only 2016 Leapfrog Top General Hospital, was recognized as the #4 hospital in the Denver metro area and the #4 hospital in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015), and was one of only nine hospitals in the country to receive the Lantern Award for Excellence in Emergency Room Care by the Emergency Nurses Association (2013). About Project Angel Heart Project Angel Heart is a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals, free of charge, to men, women, and children living with cancer, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses. This year, the organization will provide meals for more than 2,900 people in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs. Aurora, CO, May 03, 2017 --( PR.com )-- The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA) announced today that they are partnering with Project Angel Heart in a groundbreaking pilot program whereby TMCA dietitians will help discharged patients connect with Project Angel Heart, who will then provide healthy meals to those patients for 30 days following their hospital stay.Patients who are released from the hospital typically have a discharge plan of care to ensure that they receive ongoing health care maintenance. This plan may include medications, follow-up doctor visits, and guidance for recovery. In this pilot program, Project Angel Heart will provide home-delivered, medically tailored food as part of the prescribed health care plan.TMCA patients who have recently undergone bypass surgery, experienced a heart attack, or who are diagnosed with COPD will be screened by the hospital’s registered dietitians to determine medical need for meals. Once the patient is identified and discharged from the hospital, they will immediately begin receiving medically tailored meals from Project Angel Heart. Project Angel Heart’s chefs prepare meals from scratch and an on-staff registered dietitian ensures they meet the dietary standards for heart and COPD patients, and the meals are delivered directly to the patient’s home once a week.“The partnership between The Medical Center of Aurora and Project Angel Heart is an exciting opportunity for two Colorado organizations to address the health of these patients by using food as medicine,” says Leslie Scotland-Stewart, Director of Business Development at Project Angel Heart.Initial results from a similar pilot at HealthONE’s North Suburban Medical Center revealed that meals greatly impacted hospital readmission rates, with zero pilot patients being readmitted within 30 days. Eighty-three percent of these patients also reported improvements in their health and energy levels.“We want to ensure that our patients are getting everything they need to help with their recovery after they’ve left the hospital,” said Brandon Mencini, TMCA’s Vice President of Business Development. “By connecting them with Project Angel Heart, we know they will be in good hands and will get the nutrition they need as they continue their recovery.”About The Medical Center of AuroraThe Medical Center of Aurora, the first community hospital in the Denver Metro area to receive two-time Magnet designation for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), is a 346-bed acute care hospital located in Aurora, Colorado. The Medical Center of Aurora is comprised of six campuses in Aurora and Centennial, Colo., including the Main Campus, located at Interstate 225 and Mississippi, the North Campus Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, Centennial Medical Plaza, Saddle Rock ER, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital and a medical office building at Green Valley Ranch. The Main Campus facility is a Level II Trauma Center with Primary Stroke Certification and Chest Pain Center accreditation, serving the eastern metro area and I-70 corridor. The Medical Center of Aurora received ‘A’ grades from The Leapfrog Group (Fall 2015, Fall 2016), was named Colorado’s only 2016 Leapfrog Top General Hospital, was recognized as the #4 hospital in the Denver metro area and the #4 hospital in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015), and was one of only nine hospitals in the country to receive the Lantern Award for Excellence in Emergency Room Care by the Emergency Nurses Association (2013).About Project Angel HeartProject Angel Heart is a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers medically tailored meals, free of charge, to men, women, and children living with cancer, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, and other life-threatening illnesses. This year, the organization will provide meals for more than 2,900 people in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from The Medical Center of Aurora


"We are grateful our proposal was seen as the most positive path forward for St. Francis," said Bob Page, president and CEO of The University of Kansas Health System. "We are proud to tell the people of Topeka St. Francis Health's doors will remain open. We understand the critical role hospitals like St. Francis play for patients, physicians, employees and the communities they serve. By marrying our resources as an academic medical center and Ardent's operational expertise, we secure the long-term sustainability of St. Francis Health." The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services will share governance with equal representation on the joint venture board of directors, and will establish a local board of trustees for the hospital. St. Francis Health will continue to be led by a local management. As the state's only academic medical center, The University of Kansas Health System offers more options for patients with serious conditions because of its expertise and leadership in medical research and education. Its physicians are researchers and educators expanding the boundaries of medical knowledge. Its major breakthroughs lead to the life changing treatments of the future. Working with The University of Kansas Health System and Ardent Health Services will provide St. Francis Health with the clinical, financial and operational resources needed to take patient care and quality to a new level. Patients will have access to a health system that brings together nationally recognized physicians and healthcare leaders. In addition, The University of Kansas Health System has a successful record of working with other healthcare institutions in a variety of partnership models, including with Hays Medical Center and others. Ardent currently operates 20 hospitals in six states with more than 500 employed physicians and 18,000 employees. The company maintains six joint venture partnerships with leading not-for-profit health systems including institutions such as Seton Healthcare, Hackensack Meridian Health Network, and Sacred Heart Health System, as well as two other hospital joint ventures. "We are honored to partner with the University of Kansas Health System to support the excellent work of St. Francis Health's dedicated physicians, nurses and employees," said David T. Vandewater, president and CEO of Ardent Health Services. "Our successful joint venture model will preserve local leadership while providing St. Francis with the resources, support and investment needed to maintain and grow the hospital." Leaders will begin work with the SCL Health and St. Francis Health teams to complete the transaction, including finalizing agreements and obtaining regulatory approval, with the goal of completing the work within 60 days of signing the letter of intent to acquire the hospital. About The University of Kansas Health System The University of Kansas Health System is the region's premier academic medical center, providing a full range of care. The hospital is affiliated with the University of Kansas Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions, and their various leading-edge research projects. The constantly growing facility contains 747 staffed beds (plus 24 bassinets) and serves more than 37,500 inpatients annually.  Eleven of its medical and surgical specialty areas are ranked nationally by the U.S. News & World Report "Best Hospital" lists, including Cancer (#25), Cardiology & Heart Surgery (#38 tie), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#33), Ear, Nose & Throat (#31), Gastroenterology and GI Surgery (#35), Geriatrics (#13), Gynecology (#38), Neurology & Neurosurgery (#22), Orthopedics (#35), Pulmonology (#28) and Urology (#17).  The cancer program is part of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, one of 69 National Cancer Institute-designated programs in the U.S.  The hospital has received Magnet nursing designation three times in a row, reflecting the quality of care throughout the hospital, an honor awarded three consecutive times to only 3.7 percent of the hospitals nationwide.  The hospital also houses the region's only accredited burn center, the area's only nationally accredited Level I Trauma Center and a leading quality transplant program in liver, pancreas, kidney, heart and bone marrow.  For more information, visit KansasHealthSystem.com. The University of Kansas Hospital receives no state appropriations and is financed through operating revenue, bonding authority and philanthropy. Ardent Health Services invests in people, technology, facilities and communities, producing high-quality care and extraordinary results. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Ardent's subsidiaries own and operate 20 hospitals in six states with 18,000 employees including 500 employed physicians. Ardent facilities exceed national averages in Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating as ranked by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; 87 percent of its hospitals received a three-star rating or above in comparison with 78 percent of all hospitals ranked. Five of the company's hospitals were recognized by Modern Healthcare as "Best Places to Work" in 2016 – more than any other system in the country. Ardent operations are owned by an affiliate of Equity Group Investments (EGI), a Chicago-based private investment firm; Ventas, Inc., a leading real estate investment trust; and members of Ardent's executive management team. For more information, visit www.ardenthealth.com. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/university-of-kansas-health-system-and-ardent-health-services-announce-joint-venture-to-acquire-st-francis-health-300451660.html


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Fibrosis investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina show that a caveolin-1 surrogate peptide, known to be anti-fibrotic in the skin and lung, also reverses cardiac fibrosis in a preclinical model Cardiac fibrosis, an abnormal thickening of the heart wall leading to congestive heart failure, was not only halted but also reversed by a caveolin-1 surrogate peptide (CSD) in a preclinical model, report researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in an article published online on January 23, 2017 by Laboratory Investigation. CSD was able to decrease the fibrotic ventricular wall thickness and improve heart function, all with apparently no toxicity and minimal off-target effects. The MUSC research team included pulmonary fibrosis investigators Stanley Hoffman, Ph.D., and Elena V. Tourkina, Ph.D., who had previously shown caveolin-1's anti-fibrotic properties in the skin and lung. For this project, they joined forces with MUSC congestive heart failure researchers in the laboratory of Dhandapani Kuppuswamy, Ph.D., to show that caveolin-1's anti-fibrotic properties in skin and lung also hold in yet another organ: the heart. More than a decade ago, Hoffman and Tourkina noted that the skin and lung cells producing excess collagen in scleroderma, leading to fibrosis, were deficient in caveolin-1. Supplementing these cells with a caveolin-1 surrogate peptide (CSD; caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide), a truncated version of the original compound, showed a reversal of fibrosis. MUSC has obtained a patent to test CSD on fibrotic diseases across organs which they have licensed to Lung Therapeutics, Inc. The company intends to support research involving CSD and fibrosis in the Hoffman and Kuppuswamy laboratories. Kuppuswamy's laboratory focuses on hypertrophic overgrowth and profibrogenic signaling of the cardiac muscle in pressure overload. Fibrosis that develops under these conditions is detrimental to the heart's pumping efficiency as it causes a stiffer and less compliant cardiac muscle, leading to the progression of congestive heart failure. "Currently, there are no therapeutic options for congestive heart failure that specifically target the causative cardiac fibrosis. Everyone is looking for this," said Kuppuswamy, an associate professor at the Gazes Cardiac Research Institute. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure affects almost six million Americans, and half of those with heart failure die within five years of diagnosis. To mimic the cardiac fibrosis typical of heart failure, Kuppuswamy used a transverse aortic constriction mouse model to create pressure overload hypertrophy that then led to the development of fibrosis. Treatment with CSD not only halted the progression of the cardiac fibrosis but also led to its reversal with improved ventricular function. Although promising, these findings are preliminary -- only reflecting outcomes in mice. The researchers plan to run larger preclinical studies using the same approach to generate more definitive data, and if all goes as expected, to move forward to the large-animal studies necessary to take a compound forward into clinical trial. They also note that they are testing CSD in a different congestive heart failure model, the angiotensin II infusion model, which also affects the kidneys. CSD is showing promising anti-fibrotic effects on both the heart and the kidneys in this model. "Fibrotic diseases are related to each other no matter the affected organ. In our case, we were studying lung and skin fibrosis," explained Hoffman. "We got the opportunity to test the same reagent in heart fibrosis and, lo and behold, it worked even better than in lung and skin fibrosis models. And there are plenty of other diseases with a fibrotic element to them where we think the CSD peptide might be useful." The co-authors thank the MUSC College of Medicine Enhancement of Team Science (COMETS) for helping support this work. Without this support, this work would not have been possible. Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute designated center) Level I Trauma Center, and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina and elsewhere report that myxoma virus, a rabbit virus, reduced tumor burden in preclinical studies, completely eradicating disease in a quarter of animals Treating multiple myeloma (MM) with myxoma virus (MYXV) eliminated a majority of malignant cells in preclinical studies, report investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and elsewhere in an article published online on December 7, 2016 by Molecular Therapy -- Oncolytics. Furthermore, introduction of MYXV elicited a strong immune response that eradicated disease in some animals. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma B cells, a cell type within the body's immune system. MM is the second most common blood cancer and, unfortunately, remains difficult to treat. Even with the introduction of new chemotherapy regimens, most patients still succumb to disease relapse either from reinfusion of cancerous cells during stem cell transplant or expansion of drug-resistant disease after chemotherapy In the recent study, Eric C. Bartee, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Microbiology and Immunology at MUSC, and his colleagues at MUSC and the University of Oslo took a novel approach to treating MM: using viral oncolytics to specifically target and destroy cancer cells. "What I thought was really interesting here was that we could actually get rid of disease and it didn't appear to ever come back," said Bartee. For the past several years, Bartee has been using myxoma virus to treat MM in cell culture. MYXV exclusively infects rabbits and is therefore noninfectious to humans. However, previous work from the Bartee laboratory showed the MYXV was able to kill human MM cells. Currently, stem cell transplants, using a patient's own stem cells, are used as a treatment for MM, but patients often relapse from residual cancer cells within the transplant sample. Bartee showed that treatment with MYXV was successful in eradicating MM cells in patients' stem cell samples prior to re-engraftment, thereby preventing relapse of MM. In the recent study, they took this one step further by assessing whether treatment with MYXV also has a benefit on disease outside the context of transplantation. Using a preclinical mouse model, Bartee showed that systemic treatment with MYXV reduced tumor burden and led to a modest decrease in disease progression in 66% of mice. More impressively, in 25% of mice, there was a complete eradication of disease with no evidence of relapse. Since MYXV does not replicate in MM cells, it was postulated that eradication of disease was caused by the host's immune system. Investigation of the bone marrow, a compartment that helps produce red and white blood cells, showed that it was unaffected by treatment with MYXV. This suggested that the immune system remained functional and could combat the cancer cells. Indeed, treatment with MYXV led to an increase in CD8+ ¬T cells, a type of white blood cell, within the bone marrow compartment, indicating a strong anti-tumor response. While this preclinical work suggests that MYXV has the potential to cure some patients of MM, there are many hurdles that need to be overcome before this option is available in the clinic. One significant barrier is large-scale production of clinical-grade virus. Another considerable hurdle when moving from preclinical studies in mice to clinical trials in humans is demonstrating a high response rate. "I think the major next question is 'How do you get that response rate from 25% to 50% to 80% to 100%?'" said Bartee. "How do you define the patients in which it works?" One unique advantage of treating MM with MYXV is that the response rate observed in this study is not mediated by the virus. It is actually mediated by the patient's own immune system. Combining MYXV treatment with other immunomodulatory therapies that have been shown to boost anti-tumor response could provide a novel treatment regimen that significantly improves patient outcome compared to the current treatment model. Another advantage is that it is extremely difficult for myeloma to develop resistance to killing by MYXV. One of the challenges with standard chemotherapeutic agents is that many tumors often develop resistance through small changes in the cell, leading to relapse of disease. Because MYXV has evolved for thousands of years to override anything the cell can do, there is no real evidence that tumors can develop resistance to oncolytic infections. "I think what our findings, and oncolytics in general, really highlight is that some of these non-traditional therapies can really offer the benefit of complete disease eradication," said Bartee. "You're not just moving the curve to the right a little bit; you're bending the survival curve up. And you're really fundamentally changing how you can look at cancer treatment." Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute designated center) Level I Trauma Center, and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, housed at the Indian Country Child Trauma Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, and Kognito, an innovator in developing evidence-based role-play simulations, have announced the launch of an interactive role-play simulation aimed at building the capacity among law enforcement professionals to lead more effective interactions with tribal youth. The Trauma-Informed Policing With Tribal Youth simulation is available at no cost to participants at: http://www.kognitocampus.com/login using enrollment key “tribalyth”. “Trauma-Informed Policing with Tribal Youth is the first culturally-specific online role-play simulation,” said Dr. Dolores Bigfoot, director of the Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center. “Preliminary research demonstrates that it builds knowledge about the effects of historical and intergenerational trauma and prepares law enforcement officers to take action to reduce the trauma-response of tribal youth when interacting with police. Our goal is to bring that knowledge and skill to scale by offering all law enforcement agencies that work with tribal communities the opportunity to have their officers participate in the training.” The Trauma-Informed Policing with Tribal Youth simulation is one of the services that the Indian Country Child Trauma Center, in its role as the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, provides to tribal grantees and all federally recognized tribes seeking to improve tribal juvenile justice systems. It takes about 30 minutes to complete and awards one hour of continuing education credit from the State of Oklahoma Center for Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). Acquisition of continuing education credits for law enforcement personnel in other states is in progress. Trauma-Informed Policing with Tribal Youth uses a variety of instructional approaches, including an opportunity to take on the role of a tribal law enforcement officer and interact with a virtual 15-year-old tribal youth whose childhood is marked by traumatic experiences. The virtual youth possesses personality, memory and emotions, so he responds as a real person would. In addition, a virtual coach provides education and feedback throughout the simulation. The simulation was adapted from an evidence-based learning model used with educators. It was developed with extensive input from subject matter experts from Indian Country, including youth with histories of involvement with the juvenile justice system, law enforcement and trauma specialists. The online format enables tribal and other law enforcement personnel, even in some of the most rural areas, to access this training and gain skills and experience in trauma-informed policing approaches. “Research shows that our online role-play simulations are effective tools for American Indian and Alaska Native users,” said Dr. Glenn Albright, co-founder and director of research at Kognito. “This culturally-specific simulation has the potential to change the way law enforcement work with youth in Indian Country, where the youth are so disproportionately affected by trauma, substance abuse and suicide.” About the Indian Country Child Trauma Center The Indian Country Child Trauma Center was established to develop trauma-related treatment protocols, outreach materials and service delivery guidelines specifically designed for American Indian and Alaska Native children and their families. The Indian Country Child Trauma Center is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration under the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. It is housed on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus in the OU Children’s Physicians Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. A current program includes Project Making Medicine. To learn more, visit http://www.icctc.org. About Kognito Kognito is a health simulation company that believes in the power of conversation to inspire and inform, impact how people think and act, evoke empathy and change lives. It is an innovator in developing research-proven, role-play simulations that prepare individuals to lead real-life conversations. These simulations build and assess users’ confidence and competency by providing them the ability to practice conversations with a growing family of emotionally-responsive virtual people. Kognito’s innovative approach uses the science of learning, the art of conversation and the power of game technology to measurably improve social, emotional and physical health. Leading health, education, government and nonprofit organizations use its growing portfolio of simulations. Kognito is the only company with health simulations listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. About OJJDP Juveniles in crisis—from those who commit serious and violent offenses to victims of abuse and neglect—pose a challenge to the nation. Charged by Congress to meet this challenge, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, collaborates with professionals from diverse disciplines to improve juvenile justice policies and practices. OJJDP accomplishes its mission by supporting states, local communities, and tribal jurisdictions in their efforts to develop and implement effective programs for juveniles. The Office strives to strengthen the juvenile justice system's efforts to protect public safety, hold justice-involved youth appropriately accountable, and provide services that address the needs of youth and their families. Through its components, OJJDP sponsors research, program, and training initiatives; develops priorities and goals and sets policies to guide federal juvenile justice issues; disseminates information about juvenile justice issues; and awards funds to states to support local programming.


Seventh-largest U.S. hospital system implements Avaya Fabric Connect networking and communications applications to become a top tech healthcare organization SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwired - February 20, 2017) - For Erlanger Health System, the path to achieving their strategic vision of becoming a top technology-enabled healthcare organization meant careful consideration of possibilities, alternatives and risks at every step on the way. Selecting Avaya was one of the first decisions the organization made in order to provide the networking foundation to help make their vision a reality and carry it into the future. With an impending installation of an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, Erlanger needed a network on which it could rely that could meet requirements for speed, bandwidth and security. Since the Chattanooga, TN-based organization uses a number of critical applications and adds devices on a regular basis, the network to needed flexibility and simplicity. The network would also need to enable Erlanger to share its communications system with other sites in the healthcare system. Avaya Fabric Connect networking prepared Erlanger Health System for its EHR implementation and more, providing the flexibility and expandability for the organization to continue moving toward its goal to become one of the Top 100 Most Wired hospitals. The system is easier to maintain than its previous network: certified engineers can make changes at the edge -- such as adding medical devices -- and have them reflected in the core. Erlanger also added Avaya Team and Customer Engagement solutions to provide powerful communications features and conferencing. Configuration and use is much easier; IT staffers with less experience can get the phones up and running quickly when a new one is needed without needing to program a switch. End-users enjoy a number of features, such as receiving their voicemail messages as a file in their email. The organization was able to extend its phone system over the Fabric Connect network to support a new hospital opened at Erlanger East, helping to lower operating cost and provide more efficient communications between locations. "One thing about healthcare is that, between Health Information Management and ensuring we comply with regulations and standards, we have to make sure we're doing the right thing for our patients but also following the rules and guidelines set forth by joint commissions. Avaya did everything they said they'd do and even went above and beyond. The hardware has been spot-on, and we have not had any failures with the network or phone switches. So far, Avaya has been very good for us, and very cost effective -- and in our line of work, those are two things that you need." Eric Hammer, Senior Director of Technical Services, Erlanger Health System Read more about Erlanger Health System and its implementation of Avaya Networking as its foundation for the future here. About Erlanger Health System The Erlanger Health System is a multi-hospital system with five hospitals based in Chattanooga: the Baroness Hospital, Children's Hospital at Erlanger, Erlanger North Hospital, Erlanger East Hospital, and Erlanger Bledsoe Hospital, located in Pikeville, TN. Erlanger is the seventh largest public hospital in the United States and has been recognized as "Chattanooga's number one hospital" by U.S. News and World Report. Erlanger is the tri-state region's only Level I Trauma Center, providing the highest level of trauma care for adults. Erlanger has five LIFE FORCE air ambulances in its fleet, two based in Tennessee, two in North Georgia and one in Winchester, TN. Children's Hospital at Erlanger houses the region's only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as a pediatric trauma team, Emergency Center, and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Erlanger also serves as the region's only academic teaching hospital, affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga Campus. Each year, more than a quarter of a million people are treated by the team of healthcare professionals who are part of Erlanger. About Avaya Avaya enables the mission critical, real-time communication applications of the world's most important operations. As the global leader in delivering superior communications experiences, Avaya provides the most complete portfolio of software and services for contact center and unified communications with integrated, secure networking -- offered on premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid. Today's digital world requires some form of communications enablement, and no other company is better positioned to do this than Avaya. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com. Follow Avaya on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and the Avaya Connected Blog. Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "might," "plan," "potential," "predict," "should" or "will" or other similar terminology. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections are reasonable, such forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. For a list and description of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Avaya's filings with the SEC that are available at www.sec.gov. Avaya disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New Rochelle, NY, February 23, 2017--A new study shows that patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), even without evidence of brain lesions, may exhibit changes in brain connectivity detectable at the time of the injury that can aid in diagnosis and predicting the effects on cognitive and behavioral performance at 6 months. Brain connectivity maps showed differences between patients with mTBI and healthy controls, including different patterns depending on the presence of brain lesions, as reported in an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website until March 23, 2017. The article entitled "Resting-State Functional Connectivity Alterations Associated with Six-Month Outcomes in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury" describes the prospective multicenter TRACK-TBI pilot study. Eva Palacios and coauthors from University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, University of Texas, Austin, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (PA), Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, NY), and Antwerp University Hospital (Edegem, Belgium) concluded that resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to assess brain connectivity and compare spatial maps of resting state brain networks can serve as a sensitive biomarker for early diagnosis of mTBI and later patient performance. "While, as the authors acknowledge, they are not the first group to explore the utility of resting state functional MRI in probing the morbidity associated with mild traumatic brain injury, they do elegantly capitalize on the TRACK-TBI study population to critically evaluate functional connectivity in a patient population that is well characterized and followed by traditional imaging approaches," says John T. Povlishock, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Neurotrauma and Professor, Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. "Their finding of altered patterns of functional connectivity even in that mild TBI patient population, revealing no CT/MRI abnormalities, is an extremely important observation, as is the fact that these same changes in functional connectivity portend the development of a persistent post-concussive syndrome." Journal of Neurotrauma is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published 24 times per year in print and online that focuses on the latest advances in the clinical and laboratory investigation of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Emphasis is on the basic pathobiology of injury to the nervous system, and the papers and reviews evaluate preclinical and clinical trials targeted at improving the early management and long-term care and recovery of patients with traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma is the official journal of the National Neurotrauma Society and the International Neurotrauma Society. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Neurotrauma website. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, Brain Connectivity, and Tissue Engineering. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. and FARMINGTON, N.M., Feb. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- San Juan Regional Medical Center has selected Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, to displace more than 75 health IT applications with an integrated clinical, financial and population health management system. The new electronic health record (EHR) platform is designed to support an individual’s health care journey across the continuum. “This decision will provide our physicians and clinical care teams access to sophisticated information technology and systems designed to improve the quality and safety of patient care while also improving the efficiency of documenting and communicating clinical information throughout San Juan Regional Medical Center and its outlying facilities,” said Jeff Bourgeois, president and CEO at San Juan Regional Medical Center. “Our investment in Cerner’s comprehensive system demonstrates our commitment to making sure we are not just caring for the sick but also focusing on improved health of the Four Corners residents.” San Juan Regional Medical Center will implement HealtheIntentSM, Cerner’s near real-time population health management platform designed to aggregate data from multiple sources. This process will establish a longitudinal record – a comprehensive, unified view of an individual’s health and care experiences across the continuum of health care. San Juan Regional Medical Center’s clinicians will use HealtheEDWSM, Cerner’s enterprise data warehouse solution, to gain insights and analyze population- and enterprise-level data to improve care coordination across their community. The integration of Cerner’s Millennium® EHR and revenue cycle management solutions combines clinical and financial information within a single platform. This results in a Clinically Driven Revenue Cycle™ designed to enable clinicians and staff to update the billing process throughout the patient’s visit, enhance clinical documentation to help improve reimbursement and limit claims errors. Patients will benefit by having a streamlined experience, including visibility into their financial liability from a single source. “Cerner is committed to working with San Juan Regional’s clinicians and staff to improve and extend care beyond the traditional hospital setting,” Cerner President Zane Burke. “Our integrated health IT system supports the delivery of more efficient, complete and effective care for Four Corners residents while providing clinical teams with the right insights to create a healthier community.” About San Juan Regional Medical Center San Juan Regional Medical Center is a non-profit, acute care hospital and Level III Trauma Center with 194 licensed beds. Our mission is to personalize healthcare and create enthusiasm and vitality in healing. As a sole community provider in San Juan County, we deliver a remarkable range of highly personalized and specialized healthcare services to the people of the entire Four Corners region. San Juan Regional Medical Center, a Certified Primary Stroke Center, is accredited by Det Norske Veritas. More information is available at sanjuanregional.com. About Cerner Cerner’s health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 25,000 provider facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients’ clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner’s mission is to contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. Nasdaq: CERN. For more information about Cerner, visit cerner.com, read our blog at blogs.cerner.com, connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/cerner and on Facebook at facebook.com/cerner. Our website, blog, Twitter account and Facebook page contain a significant amount of information about Cerner, including financial and other information for investors.

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