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Hospital leader named UTMC CEO

Dan Barbee has been named chief executive officer of The University of Toledo Medical Center after serving in the role on an interim basis since June 1, 2016.

Barbee, who has nearly 25 years of combined clinical and health-care management experience, is responsible for the operational and strategic activities of UT’s medical center and clinics that average each year more than 12,000 admissions, 36,000 emergency department visits and 250,000 ambulatory care visits.

Barbee

“We are very happy that Dan will continue to lead UTMC in the future,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “He has proven himself to be a passionate, flexible and effective leader. Together with his team, I am confident Dan will continue to guide the hospital successfully in the changing health-care environment.”

Prior to serving as CEO, Barbee was UTMC’s chief operating officer and vice president of clinical service. He joined the medical center in 2011 as chief nursing officer and associate executive director.

“I am honored for the opportunity to continue to lead our dedicated team of more than 2,300 employees and physicians who are committed to providing high-quality care in our community,” Barbee said.

Barbee received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Illinois State University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Phoenix.

He serves as a trustee for the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio and on the boards of The University of Toledo Medical Assurance Co. and Toledo/Lucas County CareNet. Barbee also is a member of the UT College of Nursing’s advisory board and Mercy College of Ohio’s nursing program advisory committee.

Poetry, paint night set for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

Spoken word poet and HIV/AIDS advocate Mary Bowman will headline the Black AIDS Awareness Poetry and Paint Session Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at Club Evolution, 519 N. Reynolds Road.

“Mary is known to be fearless as she shares her story with audiences around the Washington metropolitan area,” Kennyetta White, minority outreach coordinator for the UT Ryan White Program, said.

black-aids-awareness-flyerAt 6 months old, Bowman was diagnosed with HIV. She found out about that diagnosis in fourth grade and began writing poetry to express herself in high school.

Bowman’s collection of poems, “Lotus,” was named the National Underground Spoken Word Poetry Awards’ Book of the Year in 2011. The book includes the poem titled “Dandelions,” which is about her mother who died of AIDS-related causes in 1992. Watch her perform the poem here.

“‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ is a quote that Mary lives by, organizing community events to raise money for HIV/AIDS awareness, facilitating support groups for HIV-positive youth, and sharing her personal experiences being born HIV-positive through the art of spoken word,” Richard W. Meeker, manager of fundraising and special projects for the Ryan White Program, said.

In addition to performing and writing poetry, Bowman has established an organization called POET (People Over Entertainment), which uses visual and performing arts to bring awareness and education about HIV/AIDS.

Bowman appeared at the University in 2015.

Local poets Huntor Prey, Lonnie Hamilton, Jordan Shawnee, Lorraine Cipriano and Shawonna Wynn also will take the stage. Elevated Thinkin and Kay Renee will be the hosts for the evening.

On-site HIV testing will be available during the event, which is sponsored by the UT Ryan White Program, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, MPressive Sound and Club Evolution. Those who are tested will receive a $5 gift card when they receive their results.

Tickets for the event are $5 and can be purchased at the door.

“Poetry is a great way to combine entertainment and education to raise awareness and nurture conscious and non-conscious thought,” Moni Featchurs of MPressive Sound said.

“We added the paint element to engage the audience,” White said. “Not everyone can express themselves effectively through words, so paint gives them another form of expression,” White said.

“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events bring people together in a safe environment to promote change and encourage learning,” Meeker said.

As of June 30, 2015, there were 968 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Lucas County, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Of those, 47 percent were white, 46 percent were African-American, 4 percent were Hispanic, and 1 percent Asian/Pacific Islander.

“HIV infection is still a major concern among communities of color due to fear, stigma and shame,” White said.

Since 2000, the UT Ryan White Program has provided comprehensive care for individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. The program offers adult primary care, mental health counseling, case management, advocacy, and HIV testing in Lucas County and the surrounding area.

For more information, contact White at kennyetta.white@utoledo.edu or 419.383.3683.

Physician’s research earns Sigma Xi award

Dr. Blair Grubb, director of UT Medical Center’s Cardiac Electrophysiology Program, has been named the 2015-2016 winner of the Dion D. Raftopoulos/Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding Research, an honor given by the University’s Sigma Xi chapter.

Dr. Steven Federman, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and president of UT Sigma Xi, presented a plaque and cash award of $1,500 to Grubb Jan. 25 during a ceremony on Health Science Campus.

Dr. Steven Federman, right, shook hands with Dr. Blair Grubb after presenting him with the 2015-2016 Dion D. Raftopoulos/Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding Research.

Dr. Steven Federman, right, shook hands with Dr. Blair Grubb after presenting him with the 2015-2016 Dion D. Raftopoulos/Sigma Xi Award for Outstanding Research.

Grubb, who also is Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and director of the Syncope and Autonomic Disorders Clinic, said he and a team of international researchers have studied the field of autonomics for more than 30 years. The Baltimore native is one of the world’s authorities in the treatment of illnesses that include syncope (abrupt, brief loss of consciousness) and other disorders of the autonomic nervous system.

“This award is presented to faculty who have made significant contributions in their fields of research,” Federman said. “Dr. Grubb’s accomplishments in the study of autonomic disorders while a professor at UT are truly impressive, and UT Sigma Xi is pleased to honor him.”

Internationally recognized as a pioneering researcher, Grubb identifies autonomics as a new field. His work has had a significant impact on the practice of medicine across the globe, and has improved the lives of hundreds of patients suffering from these disorders.

Grubb, who called his study of autonomic disorders his “life’s work,” discussed his research in a lecture titled “Autonomics: The Birth of a New Science” during the ceremony.

“When I began in this field,” Grubb said, “we knew virtually nothing about these disorders, and patients were often disabled and without hope. Over the last three decades, we have carefully characterized and classified these illnesses and established diagnostic criteria for them. Recently, we have embarked on an ambitious program to identify the molecular, genetic and immunologic causes of these disorders. In addition, we have used this information to discover a series of new and innovative therapies that can return close to 80 percent of these patients to near-normal lives.”

His patients, he added, routinely come to UTMC from around the world for treatment.

He added that he is humbled by the Sigma Xi award, noting that Sigma Xi’s national office has honored a number of Nobel laureates, including Albert Einstein and Al Gore. It is the most recent recognition for Grubb’s dedication to medical research and patient care. In 2016, he was the recipient of UT’s Career Achievement Award. The year before, he was named Dysautonomia International’s Physician of the Year, as well as the British Heart Rhythm Society and Arrhythmia Alliance’s Medical Professional of the Decade — one of the only non-British citizens to be so honored.

He has authored more than 240 scientific papers, five books and 35 book chapters during his career in medicine.

Also known for a creative prowess, Grubb has published more than 50 essays and poems, including a book titled “The Calling.”

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, is a national organization that recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of scientific research and knowledge. A voiceover on the Sigma Xi website stated, “The honor of members is that we are a society of integrity… that we have been chosen and selected to represent science, that we are members of a society with Nobel laureates, and we carry a tradition more than 100 years old.”

The organization has 60,000 members worldwide. Chapters usually are found in universities, industrial facilities and government laboratories, as well as other locations where scientific research is conducted.

Grubb succeeds Dr. Yanfa Yan, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the 2014-2015 Sigma Xi awardee.

Satellites to hold 45-hour shoe sale

Who doesn’t love a great new pair of shoes? Stop by the 45-hour shoe sale!

The Satellites Auxiliary in conjunction with Outside the Box Shoes will hold the sale from Monday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. to Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. in the Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

bearpaw bootBrand names will include Skechers, Merrell, Spira, Dansko, Alegria, Klogs, New Balance, Bearpaw and more.

Cash, check, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Profits will benefit the auxiliary’s campus scholarships.

The Satellites Auxiliary promotes education, research and service programs; provides support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conducts fundraising events; and offers volunteer services.

For more information on the shoe sale, contact Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

UTMC sets path forward to serve health-care needs of community

After a thorough review during the past year, The University of Toledo leadership has determined that the UT Medical Center will continue to operate as a teaching hospital, serving the community in South Toledo.

utmc-still-copyIn addition to reviewing UTMC operations, service lines, efficiencies and its customer base, UT leaders studied the rapidly evolving health-care market to determine the most viable path forward for the medical center. They also took into account the change going on at the University, in the industry and in local communities.

“In a rapidly changing industry such as health care, it was imperative that we take the time to thoroughly review our operations, the community we serve, and the dynamics of the health-care market. We needed to be sure we could successfully adapt to the changing environment we live in and continue to serve our 80,000 neighbors effectively,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “We have confidence in our team, and we appreciate the patience everyone exhibited while we worked toward determining this path forward.”

A letter sent to the UT community Jan. 24 from Gaber and Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs Christopher Cooper noted the hospital’s financial strength and stated UTMC was operating at full or near-full capacity, and together with its clinics served nearly 300,000 people last year.

“The financial health of UTMC played a key role in our analysis, and we want it to be clear that the hospital remains viable only if it continues to enhance its productivity and efficiencies going forward,” the letter stated.

UTMC will continue to be a teaching hospital for UT’s colleges of Medicine and Life Sciences; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Nursing; and Health and Human Services.

In addition, the path forward will include gradually adding more primary care and behavioral health options at UTMC to meet the evolving health-care needs of the community and to strengthen the University’s training programs.

“We are committed to evolving in a way that keeps our hospital strong, and as we do so, to communicating with you ahead of any changes,” the letter stated.

UTMC leaders are meeting with employees throughout the week to provide more information and answer questions. The schedule for information meetings is:

Tuesday, Jan. 24
• UTMC employee meeting at noon in Health Education Building Room 100

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences faculty meeting at 5 p.m. in Health Education Room 100

• UTMC employee meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105
• UTMC employee meeting at 7:45 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 105


Wednesday, Jan. 25

• UTMC employee meeting at 7:45 a.m. in the Pinnacle Lounge

• College of Medicine and Life Sciences students and residents meeting at noon in Health Education Building Room 100

Thursday, Jan. 26
• UT Physicians employees meeting at 11 a.m. at Glendale Medical Center

Additional information is available online on the myUT portal under the new UTMC tab.

To submit questions or comments, email UTMCquestions@utoledo.edu or call 419.383.6814.

Physician warns cuddling while sleeping can get on your nerves

With winter here and the mercury dropping, you may be tempted to snuggle a little closer to your partner overnight. But one University of Toledo Medical Center physician warns your warm and snuggly sleep position could cause nerve problems.

Dr. Nabil Ebraheim, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, said a condition called radial nerve palsy could develop when the radial nerve is compressed near the elbow.

cuddlingThe radial nerve runs along the underside of the arm and controls the movement of the triceps muscle and is responsible for enabling extension of the wrist and fingers. It also controls sensation in part of the hand.

“Radial nerve palsy is often referred to as honeymoon palsy, due to the closer sleeping habits of newlyweds,” he said. “When your partner falls asleep while laying on your arm, the radial nerve and surrounding muscles are compressed, which can cause numbness and prolonged tingling in the fingers or even restrict movement in the hand or wrist.”

Wrist drop is a rare, but a disabling condition that causes paralysis of the muscles that normally raise the hand at the wrist and can make it difficult to move the hand or fingers.

Radial nerve palsy is treated by supporting the wrist with a brace or splint and through physical therapy that helps to maintain muscle strength and reduce contracture. The nerve usually recovers within a few weeks, but in some cases it could take four to six months. Extreme cases, including wrist drop, could require surgery.

Ebraheim said the best way to avoid developing these conditions is to re-evaluate the way you sleep.

“People should be mindful of their sleep position to reduce the risk of nerve injury,” Ebraheim said. “It’s best to avoid positions that place pressure on the upper arm either from snuggling up with a loved one or sleeping with your arm curled under your head.”

Pancreatic cancer survivor credits aggressive, unconventional treatment at UT in successful fight

Gerri Musser of Oregon, Ohio, didn’t think she would be around to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with her family.

“I am very lucky to be alive,” Musser, 62, said. “The odds were overwhelmingly against me.”

Dr. Changhu Chen and Gerri Musser posed for a photo in the Edge Radiosurgery Suite in UT Medical Center’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. Under Chen’s care, Musser received a 10-day, high-dose, targeted radiation treatment for a tumor in her pancreas, liver, stomach and bile duct.

Dr. Changhu Chen and Gerri Musser posed for a photo in the Edge Radiosurgery Suite in UT Medical Center’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. Under Chen’s care, Musser received a 10-day, high-dose, targeted radiation treatment for a tumor in her pancreas, liver, stomach and bile duct.

The day-care worker and great-grandmother of seven believed she was delivered a death sentence when doctors diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer in August 2015.

“You hear awful stories about how it’s too late when symptoms of pancreatic cancer surface — people died within weeks,” Musser said. “I was at stage IV when they found it. The shocking diagnosis sounded like instantaneous death. They gave me six months to live.”

Musser said her cancer journey started when she couldn’t keep any food down and lost 23 pounds in six weeks. She went to her family physician to find out why she was so sick.

“The ultrasound discovered a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in my pancreas,” Musser said. “I was immediately referred to the Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo to see a specialist.”

Surgical oncologists took her into surgery, but couldn’t remove the tumor because they discovered it also had spread to her liver, stomach and bile duct.

Dr. Changhu Chen, radiation oncologist at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center and professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said Musser had a less than 5 percent chance of survival.

“After the surgery, I told them three times, ‘I want to live, I want to live, I want to live,’” Musser said. “I will do whatever I have to do.”

The primary tumor in Musser’s pancreas continued to grow despite chemotherapy, so Chen and staff at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center guided Musser through what Chen calls “unconventional treatment.”

“This is an exceptional case,” Chen said. “She responded so well, you could call it a miracle.”

Musser underwent a 10-day, high-dose, targeted radiation treatment.

“We offered Gerri a 10-day course of high-dose, intensity-modulated radiation therapy using a technology called stereotactic radiosurgery,” Chen said. “Instead of the traditional treatment of low doses on a region of the body for 25 to 30 days, we focused specifically on Gerri’s tumor for 10 minutes a day for 10 days with more than double the dosage using our Edge Radiosurgery Suite. We have had this machine for more than two years and have extensive experience with this fast and safe treatment.”

“It was aggressive treatment, and I’m happy to say it worked,” Musser said. “Dr. Chen dropped an atomic bomb on that big tumor in my pancreas, and the tumor has resolved. I had no side effects. I’m in a remission state and check in with my doctors every other month to make sure it doesn’t come back.”

Chen said Musser’s tumor is the largest for which he has had success using this treatment for pancreatic cancer. This technique is normally used for tumors less than 2 inches in size.

“Pancreatic cancer is a very deadly disease,” Chen said. “There has been no big breakthrough in treatment, no discovery of a method for early detection. I am glad we had good results from a devastating diagnosis in Gerri’s case.”

Chen said the Dana Cancer Center has had many successful treatments for patients with cancers other than pancreatic cancer using expertise and technology in radiation therapy at UT.

Musser, whose hair is growing back, savored every minute celebrating Christmas with her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“I had great doctors, and I’m feeling good about making a fresh start for the New Year,” Musser said. “It’s a long road. I’m not done yet. It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. However, I am prepared to fight again because I’d like to see my great-grandchildren grow up.”

UT Medical Center earns national safety recognition

An increased focus on patient safety has earned The University of Toledo Medical Center a place on a ranking by Consumer Reports of the country’s safest teaching hospitals.

UTMC was named one of America’s 32 best teaching hospitals at preventing central-line infections in intensive care units. The study used federal data from 2011 to 2015.

UT Medical Center

UT Medical Center

Central-line infections involve IV tubes and are particularly dangerous because they allow germs to directly enter a patient’s bloodstream. Up to a quarter of all central-line infections are deadly.

“Patient safety is our top priority at UTMC, and this report reflects the hard work that our doctors, nurses and entire staff have put in to reduce the number of these infections,” said Dan Barbee, UTMC interim CEO.

Experts believe central-line infections are highly preventable, and Barbee said, “As a teaching hospital, we feel it’s vital to focus on safety as we prepare the next generation of physicians to serve northwest Ohio.”

This honor comes on the heels of recent patient satisfaction surveys that give UTMC high marks in outpatient surgery. Barbee added, “It’s great to see our staff’s efforts to improve the patient experience being recognized, and we continue to focus on ways to provide high-quality life-saving care to the patients we serve.”

UTMC’s Ryan White Program receives grant to support memorial fund

The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Ryan White Program was selected to receive a $25,000 grant from the Stranahan Supporting Organization of the Toledo Community Foundation for the Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care.

Locher opened the first grant-funded, free and anonymous HIV testing site in northwest Ohio in 1985 and was one of the key organizers of the Ryan White Program. The Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund was created in her honor upon her death in 2010.

“This generous gift will help us to carry on Ann’s mission,” said Richard Meeker, manager of fundraising and special projects for the Ryan White Program. “She was passionate about providing support to those affected by HIV and AIDS. Through this fund, we are able to provide emergency services for our clients.”

Toledo Community Foundation Inc. is a public charitable organization created by citizens to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in the area. For more information, visit toledocf.org.

The Ryan White Program offers high-quality comprehensive care for individuals and families affected by HIV/AIDS. The program offers adult primary care, mental health counseling, case management, advocacy and HIV testing in Lucas County and the surrounding area.

World AIDS Day forum to be held on UT’s Main Campus

The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Ryan White Program will host a forum discussing the many challenges of HIV and AIDS.

The free event will take place on World AIDS Day, Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium on UT’s Main Campus. Light refreshments will be served at a reception from 5 to 5:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion.

World AIDS Day flyer version 6.pub (Read-Only)“The goal of the Ryan White Program and World AIDS Day is to reduce the stigma surrounding the HIV epidemic and to open a dialogue to educate the public about the myths and facts associated with HIV,” said Kennyetta White, minority outreach coordinator. “We need to work together to change public perceptions. While HIV infection rates are down, we still need to talk about risk factors and preventative measures.”

Panel members will include individuals living with or affected by HIV, as well as community health-care and service providers. The panelists will offer insight into the world of HIV and field questions from audience members.

World AIDS Day has been recognized every year since 1988 to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and recognize those who have lost their lives to the disease.

“This forum is open to students, faculty, the HIV community and anyone else interested in learning more about HIV,” said Te’Anne Townsend, senior public health major and intern with the Ryan White Program. “This is an opportunity to separate fact from fiction, educate the public, and work to end stigma.”

UTMC’s Ryan White Program offers high-quality comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services. The program uses a multidisciplinary model that incorporates health care, mental health services and case management for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Lucas County and the surrounding counties in northwest Ohio.

“We encourage UT students and young adults in the community to attend,” said Megan Cooper, master of public health student and intern with the Ryan White Program. “It’s important for young people to understand risks of contracting HIV and the effects it has on a community to make a difference for future generations.”