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Preparing medical labs to assess bioterrorism agents topic of Nov. 17 workshop

The University of Toledo Department of Biological Sciences will host a workshop titled “Agents of Bioterrorism: Sentinel Training for Clinical Laboratories” Friday, Nov. 17, in Bowman-Oddy Laboratories.

The workshop will provide an overview of the sentinel clinical laboratory’s role in the identification of primary agents of bioterrorism and will emphasize how to safely handle suspect organisms in clinical specimens and cultures.

Participants will include microbiologists in the northwest Ohio region, including practitioners at UT Medical Center, Mercy Health System and ProMedica Health Systems.

“Currently, very few labs in northwest Ohio are qualified to handle samples contaminated with bioterrorism agents,” said Dr. Bruce Bamber, associate professor and chair of the UT Department of Biological Sciences. “Protocols must be in place for the rapid and safe collection, handling, analysis, transport and storage of samples. Increasing the number of qualified medical testing laboratories increases the speed and effectiveness of our response to potential bioterrorism attacks in the northwest Ohio region.”

The Ohio Department of Health is hosting this workshop at various locations throughout the state to train practitioners of medical laboratory testing to respond safely and effectively to potential bioterrorism attacks.

“There is a clear need for expertise in the area of how to handle requests, handle specimens, identify potential bioterrorism agents, and report back to response agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Homeland Security, the Ohio Department of Health, and the patient’s physician,” Bamber said. “This expertise is needed to maintain a high state of general preparedness in case a bioterrorism attack takes place.”

The event is co-sponsored by the National Laboratory Training Network and the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory.

UT participating in Great American Smokeout Nov. 16

In an effort to end smoking and raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, The University of Toledo is joining the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout Thursday, Nov. 16.

Sponsored by the UT Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Program and UT Pharmacy Services, the University events will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union on Main Campus and in the UT Medical Center Medical Pavilion near the UTMC Pharmacy on Health Science Campus.

The goal of the events is to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of smoking, as well as provide students, staff and faculty with information on how to quit.

“We want students, faculty and staff to know that the University cares about their well-being. There are many groups and resources on campus that can support those looking to quit smoking, this event helps bring that information to those interested,” said Jocelyn Szymanski, wellness administrator.

On Main Campus, pharmacy staff will be on hand to give carbon monoxide tests to smokers so they can measure their lung capacity and also show the amount of carcinogens that enter their body when they smoke.

Both locations will have tobacco cessation information and other educational materials and handouts.

Another goal of the events for the Great American Smokeout is to remind students, employees, and community members that The University of Toledo is tobacco-free on all campuses.

For more information about the Great American Smokeout, contact Szymanski at jocelyn.szymanski@utoledo.edu.

Satellites’ overnight sale slated for Nov. 13-14

The Satellites Auxiliary’s Carline Leathers sale will start at 7:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13, and run continuously through 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, in UT Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

Fashion outerwear, footwear, handbags, accessories and more from Kenneth Cole, Pelle Pelle, Sean John, Steve Madden, Nine West and Anne Klein will be for sale.

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

A portion of the proceeds will patient programs.

The Satellites Auxiliary is a volunteer group designed to promote education, research and service programs; provide support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conduct fundraising events; and provide services.

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

Dana Cancer Center to host lymphedema program Nov. 13

The Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center is hosting “Lymphedema: From Head to Toe,” an evening of education and answers about lymphedema, Monday, Nov. 13.

“Many might not be aware lymphedema can affect those recovering from other types of cancers, venous leg ulcers and chronic wounds, not just breast cancer,” said Renee Schick, manager of Renee’s Survivor Shop in the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. “Lymphedema can also be congenital; this is referred to as primary lymphedema. This program aims to educate and provide answers to those living with this chronic condition.”

Registration will begin at 5 p.m. with the free program starting at 6 p.m.

Guenter Klose, founder of Klose Training & Consulting LLC in Lafayette, Colo., will be the featured speaker. Klose is an internationally known expert on lymphedema therapy. Certified in manual lymph drainage and complete decongestive therapy at the renowned Foeldi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany, Klose was instrumental in establishing the field of lymphedema therapy and training in the United States.

In addition, local therapists and lymphedema-product manufacturers will be on hand to share information.

Valet parking is available, and refreshments will be provided.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to eleanorndanacancercenter@utoledo.edu or Renee’s Survivor Shop at 419.383.5243.

UTMC completes Joint Commission accreditation survey

The Joint Commission visited The University of Toledo Medical Center and outpatient facilities and while official results aren’t expected for another week, preliminary findings have been positive.

“We are leaving here today [Oct. 20] with a very thin report – one of the most minimal looking reports we have seen this year,” said Katherine Chamberlain, Joint Commission nurse surveyor and team leader, during the exit interview. “We are exceptionally proud of the good work you have done here. Congrats. It’s a job well done.”

UT Medical Center

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies 21,000 health-care organizations and programs in the United States. The Joint Commission accreditation and certification is a voluntary process that is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

“I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone for the enormous amount of work and dedication that contributed to these positive results,” said Dan Barbee, CEO of UTMC. “I am very proud of the efforts of the entire UTMC team.”

UTMC joins Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network

To better serve the people in the Toledo region who suffer from addiction, The University of Toledo Medical Center has joined the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network.

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit treatment provider and its Patient Care Network is the first of its kind in the addiction treatment industry working to address the needs of patients beginning their recovery journey.

“We saw the need and felt the obligation to join the fight against substance misuse that is so prevalent in the Toledo community, the state of Ohio and our nation,” said Dan Barbee, CEO of UT Medical Center. “As a member of the Hazelden Betty Ford Patient Care Network, we will have access to resources, best practices and most-effective treatment approaches that will be invaluable additions to our current care provided in the UTMC Adult Detoxification Inpatient Unit to aid our patients as they work toward a successful, long-term recovery.”

In April, UTMC opened a 10-bed inpatient, acute detox unit for adults ages 18 and older. The unit has treated about 320 patients with a nearly 94 percent program completion rate.

“The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s experience, knowledge and expertise uniquely position us as a ‘center of excellence’ to share our clinical best practices and tools with other leading-edge health-care providers through our innovative Patient Care Network,” said Bob Poznanovich, executive director of business development for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. “We are committed to sharing our multifaceted, evidence-based approach to confronting the opioid crisis with states like Ohio, and our own system benefits mightily from collaborating with other leading-edge health-care providers like The University of Toledo Medical Center.”

As a member of the Patient Care Network, UTMC will gain access to tools, resources and collaborative consultation for its leadership, staff, patients, families and communities. This is especially timely as the opioid crisis places added pressures on hospital systems, substance use disorder treatment providers, primary acute mental health providers, and other specialty providers across the country.

To learn more, visit hazeldenbettyford.org/professionals/patient-care-network.

UTMC focuses on hand hygiene for infection prevention

In recognition of International Infection Prevention Week, The University of Toledo Medical Center is going back to the basics of infection prevention by focusing on proper hand hygiene.

UTMC’s “Wash in-Wash out” hand hygiene policy states employees should perform hand hygiene with traditional soap or water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or waterless antimicrobial hand gel, spray, wipes or foam before and after they enter a patient room or environment. By doing this, the risk of hospital-inquired infections is significantly reduced.

“Practicing proper hand hygiene is not only the most effective method of preventing the spread of germs, but is the least expensive method to assist with infection prevention efforts,” said Ann Keegan, director of infection prevention and control for UTMC.

The hospital’s current compliance rate is 79 percent, which exceeds the goal of 75 percent.

“If everyone holds themselves and their colleagues accountable for proper hand hygiene, we can increase our observed compliance and decrease transmission of infections,” Keegan said.

The World Health Organization recommends these five moments to perform hand hygiene:

• Before touching a patient;

• Before clean/aseptic procedures;

• After body fluid exposure/risk;

• After touching a patient; and

• After touching patient surroundings.

“Keeping patients safe from infection is everyone’s responsibility,” Keegan said. “By continuing to practice proper hand hygiene, we promote a safe environment and are decreasing the possibility of spreading infections throughout our facility.”

UTMC sponsors Walk to End Alzheimer’s Oct. 14 on Main Campus

The University of Toledo Medical Center is sponsoring the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday, Oct. 14, on Main Campus.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m., and the ceremony and walk will begin at 10 a.m. on Centennial Mall.

Two teams will represent UT and UTMC: the Lab Rats, led by Dr. Isaac T. Schiefer, UT assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and associate director of the Shimadzu Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Research Excellence, and Senior Behavioral Health, led by Kim Kross, community education manager for Senior Behavioral Health at UT Medical Center.

Schiefer is the 2017 walk chairman. He is the recipient of the Alzheimer’s Association’s $100,000 New Investigator Research Grant to support his work to develop an Alzheimer’s drug.

“I am very grateful to be chair of this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” Schiefer said. “My research is focused on exploring ways to improve memory and maybe find a cure for this debilitating disease.”

Schiefer, a synthetic organic chemist, has developed a prototype molecule that improves memory in mice. He is studying the drug characteristics of the prototype molecule, which was designed to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor, also known as BDNF. It is the first step toward a drug that could be given to Alzheimer’s patients.

To join one of the University’s teams, visit the Alzheimer Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s Toledo region web page here.

Participate in UT Day of Giving activities Oct. 12

Rockets around the world are coming together for The University of Toledo’s first Day of Giving, Rocket Forward: You Launch Lives, on Thursday, Oct. 12.

UT students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and volunteers can get involved by participating in a number of on-campus activities to celebrate UT’s history and support its future.

Activities kick off Wednesday, Oct. 11, with special group exercise classes at the Student Recreation Center. Popular local Beachbody instructors and master trainers Angie Green and Laurie Vass will lead classes at 4 and 5:30 p.m. for $5 donations to the Day of Giving fundraiser.

Donation tables also will be available starting at 3 p.m. at both the Rec Center and the Morse Fitness Center on Health Science Campus. All in-person donations will receive a donor recognition sign for a $1 gift, a blender bottle for $5 and a T-shirt for $10, while supplies last.

On Founder’s Day Oct. 12, Centennial Mall will host a number of activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to celebrate the day and raise awareness of the opportunity to give. There will be a dog-petting station and photo booth available for donations of $1, and blender bottles for donations of $5. Students also can participate in raffles for the chance to win a Rocket football jersey signed by Coach Jason Candle for a donation of $10, a view of campus from the rooftop of Parks Tower for a $25 gift, and a tour of the clock tower in University Hall for a donation of $50.

The on-campus giving stations will accept credit and debit cards, checks and Rocket dollars. Locations to accept in-person donations include, on Main Campus, Centennial Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thompson Student Union and Rocket Hall all day, and on Health Science Campus, in the Collier Building and Wolfe Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Four Seasons Bistro in UT Medical Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Orthopaedic Center from 4 to 6 p.m. Giving stations on Health Science Campus will accept debit and credit cards and checks.

Online donations are accepted at rocketforward.utoledo.edu. All Rockets also are asked to share their stories and encourage others to give on social media using #rocketforward.

Rocket Forward: You Launch Lives begins at midnight Thursday, Oct. 12, and continues through noon Friday, Oct. 13. The goal for this inaugural Day of Giving is to encourage as many people as possible to support the University.

UT to honor three for contributions to emergency medicine

The University of Toledo will recognize three local individuals for their work and dedication to the field of emergency medicine at the seventh annual Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor Induction Ceremony.

A reception will be held Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 11:30 a.m. in the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center on Health Science Campus. The program will start at noon with a welcome from UT President Sharon L. Gaber followed by remarks from Dr. Christopher Cooper, executive vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and Dr. Kristopher Brickman, professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

“This ceremony celebrates individuals who have demonstrated a passion for the field and epitomize what emergency medicine is all about,” Brickman said. “Through their leadership and commitment, each has helped advance the field to the next level.”

The Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor, made possible through funding from IPI Insta-Plak Inc. and The Blade, was established in 2011 to celebrate the achievements of those who committed to service within the emergency medicine community.

Each year, nominations are submitted by a committee of community stakeholders and reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee.

This year’s honorees are:

• Dr. Todd Brookens, emergency medicine physician. Considered a favorite among hospital staff at ProMedica Toledo Hospital for his approachability, enthusiasm to teach and outgoing nature, Brookens earned his doctorate of medicine at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed his internship and residency in emergency medicine at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. The emergency department physician also is the associate medical director of the ProMedica Transportation Network and medical director for many EMS agencies in the northwest Ohio region.

• Marja Soikkeli-Dooner, registered nurse. Soikkeli-Dooner developed extensive experience in nursing and administration throughout her career at Mercy St. Vincent and ProMedica Toledo hospitals, where she was director of emergency services. Prior to her retirement, Soikkeli-Dooner served as the vice president and chief nursing officer at ProMedica Wildwood Orthopaedic and Spine Hospital. She earned her associate’s degree in nursing from Pen Valley Community College in Kansas City, Mo., followed by a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s in liberal studies at UT. She is regarded as an exceptional mentor who has helped mold many of the great leaders in emergency medicine.

• Heidi Hess, emergency medical technician. Hess served 22 years in the Springfield Township Fire Department, before retiring as captain of the EMS department in 2014. She began her career in 1978 as an EMT-basic, and by 1981 had earned her paramedic certificate licensure. Hess played an integral role in EMS education by providing training to thousands of firefighters, EMTs, nurses and physicians throughout her career.