Double Listing: A Promising Option for Certain Patients

We recently participated in Mediaplanet USA’s “Hepatitis & Liver” campaign where industry professionals and associations came together to draw attention to the importance of liver health, while highlighting hepatitis awareness, testing education, and treatment to erase the stigma and judgments attached to the disease.

Dr. Rolf Barth, director of Liver Transplantation, was featured in an article about the types of patients who typically see results from double listing. He mentions patients with less threatening illnesses, who do not require immediate transplantation, can stand to gain more from a double listing, whereas the sickest patients are already at the top of the list, and do not necessarily benefit.

The campaign was distributed within the centerfold of USA Today and is published on a Mediaplanet original site. You can read the full article here: http://umm.gd/1NON6hs

Governor Larry Hogan Visits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

“Heading to my fifth round of five-day, 24-hour chemo this morning at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore. As always thank you to everyone for your prayers and support during this journey!

Before my treatment I took some time to visit the brand-new, world-class Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UMMS which officially opened on Tuesday. There I met families with children being treated at the NICU and listened to the stories of Baby Rebecca, Baby Ilyanna, and Baby Javion who are on the road to recovery following bouts with a range of health challenges such as infections, cardiac abnormalities, and abdominal complications. They are carefully cared for, with a balance of compassion and unparalleled clinical excellence!

The work these incredible doctors and nurses at the NICU do is amazing and they are saving lives every day! Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers!”

-Governor Larry Hogan

Gov. Hogan NICU 1Gov. Hogan NICU 2Gov. Hogan NICU 3Gov. Hogan NICU 5Gov. Hogan NICU 6

 

The ‘Seeker’ Gives Through a Living Kidney Donation

Matthew Taylor writes about “living an authentic life in a world of artifice” in his blog, “The Seeker.” This week, he posted a frank and engaging piece about donating one of his kidneys to his wife, who suffered from polycystic kidney disease.  Here’s an excerpt:

“After some soul searching, I decided to give her one of mine. It was not an easy decision to make since there were many factors to consider, but I am at peace with it now. In fact, I’ve come to appreciate some things about a kidney transplant that I never would have thought of before.”

Taylor, a writer who lives in Rockville, Md., gave the University of Maryland Medical Center, where his donation and his wife’s transplant were performed, permission to direct readers to his post,  “25 Ways to Appreciate a Kidney Transplant.”

The University of Maryland Medical Center is home to the second-largest kidney transplant program in the country. The surgeons involved in Taylor’s donation and his wife’s transplant were Michael Phelan, MD; David Leeser, MD; and Stephen Bartlett, MD.

Occupational Therapist Shares Joy of Watching Lives Change

Lila Nappi, OTR/L, an occupational therapist in the Department of Psychiatry at University of Maryland Medical Center, wrote a moving letter to her colleagues after the culmination of a project they had worked on for more than three years. Last November, 14 adults became the first graduating class of the Academy of Independent Living, a unique program developed by the Division of Community Psychiatry. To read more about the event, see the previous post, Life Lessons for Independent Living Within a Community.

Dear All,

I just wanted to take a moment to share a few thoughts I have had since the graduation.

This has been quite a pilgrimage we have been on and, given the season, I just wanted to thank each of you for the privilege.  It is days like 10/10/12 and 11/14/12  that make it possible for me to be very proud to work for an organization that supports programs that transform people’s lives, members, family and staff alike.

Consistently, I heard from members and staff that they took the risk of getting outside their comfort zone in one way or another and were all the better for it.  I am struck by how we have learned to lead by example from the top down.

One example of this is Jill pushing us all to dream big. And then having the audacity to set the example and invite Kay Jamison. (Editor’s note: refers to academy founder Jill RachBeisel, MD, and keynote speaker Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD) I hear through the grapevine she is sending the graduates an autographed signed copy of her book — simply a class act.

Not to mention her inspiration, which was palpable on Wednesday. I kept looking at our graduates wondering what they were thinking and feeling and so hoping this is a turning point in their lives. Again we all made the seemingly impossible, possible. I hope as a result you see the world a little differently. We did not let fear, obstacle or negativity stand in the way of our goals and as a result we met them with meaning and purpose for all of us.

I have worked very hard during my 25-year career to create joy at work but I have never known joy like this. And for that, I thank you. It is role fulfillment I could not have imagined.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Fondly,

Lila Nappi

Free Holiday Concerts at UMMC

Three different groups will be performing holiday music at the University of Maryland Medical Center the week of December 17, most members of which are University of Maryland doctors or medical students.

The concerts, which are from noon to 1 p.m. through Dec. 21, are on UMMC’s first floor, feature the following groups:

The Not2 Cool Jazz Trio kicked off the week on Dec. 17. The Trio is led by trumpet player Michael Grasso, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and emergency medicine, who plays the trumpet.

On Dec. 18-20, The UMMC Chamber Players return for the 25th year in a row. Founded and directed by cardiologist Elijah Saunders, MD, clinical professor of medicine, the Players feature musicians and vocalists who play and sing a variety of holiday favorites. The group’s music director is Candy Carson, an accomplished musician and wife of Benjamin Carson, MD, a Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon.

Wrapping things up is Otitis Musica, a group of medical students who have performed with the UMMC Chamber Players in the past.


The UM Chamber Players perform various Christmas songs in the hospital lobby near Au Bon Pain on Dec. 18-20th 2012 as an annual tradition.

 

Country concert raises $12,000 for organ donor clinic

living donor clinicFrom Left: Event organizers Marla Blackwell and Lee Adams; Jo Funk, LCSW-C, living donor clinic social worker; Debora Evans, David B. Leeser, MD, chief of kidney and pancreas transplantation, and Janice J. Eisele, senior vice president, UMMS Foundation.

By Caroline Killian

UMMS Foundation

The UMMS Foundation is proud to report that the Fifth Annual Living Donor Country Concert raised a record amount this year – just over $12,000 dollars!  This year’s concert took place on September 11  at the Harmony United Methodist Church in Falling Waters, W.Va., providing an intimate venue for guests to experience a “Night with Nashville.”

Attendees listened to acoustic performances from country stars James Wesley and Dustin Lynch, and were treated to a “meet and greet” with the artists after the show. The show also featured a silent auction with items signed by country superstars, including Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and Taylor Swift.

Dustin Lynch performed his hit single, “Cowboys and Angels”, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart. His self-titled debut album recently entered the Billboard Country Chart at No. 1, making Lynch the first new male artist to debut at that spot this year.

The concert was attended by several UMMC Transplant team members, including David B. Leeser, MD, chief of kidney and pancreas transplantation at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

 “It was an outstanding event in that it was about giving and donation, and they opened up the sanctuary,” Leeser said. “We had a bunch of young people in a church listening to music and learning about transplantation. It was an amazing event.”

Dr. Leeser recalled a powerful moment of the night: “One of the artists sang a song he had written late one night at a time when he was frustrated and he hadn’t broken through and become successful yet. He said ‘This is a song, a prayer I wrote, that I said I’d never sing unless I was in a church.’ So he sang it.”

The money raised from the concert will support UMMC’s Living Donor Follow-Up Clinic, which provides follow-up care for living organ donors who have generously given the gift of life.  After surgery, living donors have four follow-up visits within two years after donating a kidney.  In supporting the post-operative care for our living donors, the Living Donor Country Concert helps to ensure the Clinic’s ability to provide world-class, long-term care for our donors.

To learn more about the Country Concert and to donate to the Living Donor Clinic, please visit: http://www.ummsfoundation.org/concert.

UMMC Mentorship Plants Seeds of Discovery With Local Student

by Lauren Goldschen

As a rising senior at Atholton High School in Howard County in August of 2010, I was excited to start my Intern/Mentor Program provided through my school. This program encourages students within the Gifted and Talented Program to apply for internships/mentorships with professionals who hold careers students admire. I’ve always wanted to become a doctor, and I envisioned my mentor as a local physician who would teach me how to schedule patients and take vital signs.  I did not anticipate that the reality of my internship would actually entail observing transplant surgeries and becoming a published author in the #1 peer-reviewed surgery journal, Annals of Surgery.

Finding a mentor for the program was certainly a struggle as I applied to numerous physicians throughout the area. My high school teacher, Mrs. Natalie Kelly, and I received numerous rejections from local physicians. I stumbled upon the University of Maryland Medical Center’s (UMMC) website, which conveniently listed physicians’ names with contact information and their ongoing research projects. I selected a variety of doctors and sent emails explaining the intern/mentor program and asking if they would serve as my mentor.

Although I anticipated more negative feedback, I was amazed that multiple doctors at UMMC responded and agreed to participate as my mentor. It was even more incredible that the first positive response came from Dr. Stephen Bartlett,  Peter Angelos Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Chair, Department of Surgery at UMMC, and Surgeon-in-Chief and Vice President of the University of Maryland Medical System, who graciously agreed to serve as my mentor.

On my first day with Dr. Bartlett, I watched him perform a kidney transplant. And on my second day, I met Dr. Bartlett’s colleague,  Dr. Rolf Barth, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and transplant surgeon at UMMC, who would become another one of my mentors.

My internship project was to compare patient satisfaction rates of living kidney donors who donated via the novel single-port donor nephrectomy versus living donors who donated via the standard multiple port technique. UMMC’s single-port donor nephrectomy utilizes a single incision in the belly button to remove a kidney from living donors. UMMC was the only the third hospital in the country to adopt this single incision donation technique as the standard of care for all living kidney donors.

The UMMC transplant team believed that this technique, which is more cosmetically appealing and less invasive, could attract more living kidney donors and help decrease the growing kidney transplant wait list. But before the procedure could be promoted, the surgeons first needed to determine if donors preferred this novel single-incision procedure to the standard multiple port procedure.

I began my internship project by writing a survey for living kidney donors that addressed their pain levels after donation and satisfaction rates with the overall donation process. The surveys were distributed to UMMC donors of both the novel single-port and the standard procedure. Read about the survey data that were published in the Annals of Surgery.

My internship was extremely rewarding and memorable, and I’m continuing my internship with the transplant team now as a college student. I enjoy accompanying the doctors on hospital rounds and observing the transplant surgeons interact with their patients. There have been numerous teachable moments, especially in the operating room in which I get to learn about anatomy from a truly unique perspective. I also value the advice that both Dr. Bartlett and Dr. Barth share with me regarding college decisions and future medical career plans.

Although I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, I had never before considered the research aspect of medicine. However, this internship experience has certainly sparked my research curiosity. Currently, I work in a cell biology lab studying the aging process of kidneys, and this summer I am again working at UMMC with Dr. Bartlett and Dr. Barth to investigate the transplant results of different immunosuppressant drugs.

This fall I will be a sophomore Biology Major/Spanish Minor at the University of Pittsburgh. I plan to attend medical school, and due to the wonderful opportunities provided by Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Barth, and the UMMC team, I know that research will always be a fundamental part of my medical career.

Mandatory Pulse Oximetry Screening for Newborns Takes Effect in Maryland

By Carissa M. Baker-Smith, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Pediatric Cardiologist, University of Maryland Children’s Heart Program

A quick, painless and non-invasive test to determine the amount of oxygen in a newborn baby’s blood is a first step in screening infants for congenital heart defects. Beginning September 1, 2012, hospitals in Maryland must administer the test to all newborns.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs in approximately 8 of every 1,000 children.  Infants born with congenital heart disease have structural defects of the heart. Approximately 25% of all CHD cases are critical and require intervention during the infant’s first month of life. Interventions can include the administration of special medications or even surgery. Pulse oximetry may be helpful in improving the detection of critical CHD (CCHD).

On September 1, 2012, hospitals across Maryland begin mandatory pulse oximetry screening for all newborns. The screening must be done by a health professional before the infant is discharged and within 24 to 48 hours after birth. All hospitals in Maryland will be responsible for creating and implementing pulse oximetry screening protocols.

Children who “fail” pulse oximetry screening will undergo further evaluation, and their primary care providers will work closely with pediatric cardiologists to make the correct diagnosis. Failing the pulse oximetry test means oxygen saturation is lower than normal without another explanation, such as infection or lung disease.

What is pulse oximetry?

Pulse oximetry relies on the use of a non-invasive, painless method for detecting the amount of oxygen in the blood.  Probes are applied to the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot. The protocol selected by the State of Maryland for screening  is published in the Journal of Pediatrics (Pediatrics 2011; 128; e1259). Children with oxygen saturation less than 90% automatically test positive and fail screening.  Children with oxygen saturation greater than 95% test negative and pass screening. Children with oxygen saturation between 90% and 95% will undergo repeat testing and evaluation.

What is the potential impact of pulse oximetry screening?

We anticipate that pulse oximetry screening will enhance detection of CCHD. Data indicate that for every 1,000 children born in Maryland, 2.3 have CCHD.  Currently, between 60% and 70% of these infants are diagnosed through prenatal screening, leaving approximately 30% who are not yet diagnosed by the time they are born. Combined with physical examination, pulse oximetry is reported to improve sensitivity for detecting CHD by 20%.

What is the role of the Children’s Heart Program?

The University of Maryland Children’s Heart Program offers a comprehensive panel of services designed to accurately diagnose and effectively manage and treat children with CHD and CCHD.  Pediatric cardiologists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist with the diagnosis of CHD.  Through consultation and telemedicine services, the Children’s Heart Program is ready to assist surrounding providers and families with the evaluation of infants with suspected CCHD.

For more information on pulse oximetry, please contact the Children’s Heart Program at 410-328-4FIT (4348).

Dr. Baker-Smith is a member of the Maryland State Advisory Council’s Committee for CCHD and the Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease multi-institutional group.

A Mission to Ecuador for Pediatric Heart Surgeon

By Meghan Scalea

UMMC Communications Account Leader

Sunjay Kaushal, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor at UM School of Medicine and director of pediatric cardiac surgery at UMMC, recently returned from a medical mission to Ecuador, where he performed life-saving heart surgeries on nearly 20 children who would have died without surgery.

 

Dr. Kaushal, a father of two, is a huge advocate for kids. This medical mission to Guayaquil, Ecuador, was his fifth trip with the International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF), a group dedicated to providing supplies, training and surgical resources to care for underprivileged children with heart disease in dozens of countries around the world.

According to the ICHF, 1% of the world’s population is born with heart disease, only about one-third is diagnosed, and even fewer receive life-saving heart surgery. Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect in the world.

“There is a huge surplus of kids with congenital heart disease,” says Kaushal. “Traveling with this group allows me to provide free health care for children who wouldn’t otherwise be treated.”

Joining him in Ecuadorwas UMMC certified surgical technologist, Nicolette Dupuis, who supports Dr. Kaushal in his pediatric heart surgeries in the OR in Baltimore. This marked Dr. Kaushal and Ms. Dupuis’s third medical mission trip together. During their week inEcuador, they worked with cardiologists and intensivists from hospitals around theU.S. in the sparse operating rooms.

 “Part of our job while we were inEcuadorwas to teach the local medical professionals to do congenital heart surgeries like we do, but on a smaller level,” says Dr. Kaushal. “Our day began at 7:30 am, and we’d operate until 9:00 pm. We staffed the ICU 24/7 during the time we were there to make sure those children had the post-operative care they needed.”

Dr. Kaushal is the only board-certified congenital heart surgeon inMaryland, giving him a unique expertise in performing surgical procedures on babies just a few days old who were born with heart disease, children with congenital and acquired heart disease, and adults living with heart conditions they developed as babies, known as adult congenital heart disease.

Dr. Kaushal performs the most complex pediatric heart surgeries available today, including surgeries for babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Tetralogy of Fallot and ventricular septal defect, and those in need of pulmonary valve replacement. He is also preparing to open a clinical trial that will use a baby’s own stem cells to regenerate the underdeveloped portion of their heart caused by hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

We invite you to learn more about what Dr. Kaushal and the Children’s Heart Program at UMMC are doing for children within the Mid-Atlantic region.

UMMS “Spring Into Good Health” Event Gets Shoppers Dancing in the Center Court at Mondawmin Mall

By Sharon Boston

UMMC Media Relations Manager

Each spring, the University of Medical System (UMMS) hosts “Spring Into Good Health,” a free event attended by hundreds of people who receive medical screenings (such as blood pressure and cholesterol), talk one-on-one with University of Maryland Medical System health professionals and pick up information on men’s and women’s health, child safety, nutrition and more.

This year, the UMMS Community Outreach and Advocacy Committee wanted to put a focus on fitness and hosted a dance party right in the middle of Mondawmin Mall!

Several guests commented that they didn’t realize that fitness could be so fun, and that they plan to try to exercise more and eat better, thanks to the information that they picked up at the UMMS event.

Take a look at the some of the line dancing that got people of all ages up and moving.

 “The dancing was really upbeat and lively, it really got people moving,” said Donna Jacobs, UMMS senior vice president for government relations. “Several people told us that they’d like to see even more fun physical activities next year.”

Five of the 12 hospitals in the University of Maryland Medical System took part in the event — the University of Maryland Medical Center, Maryland General Hospital, Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital, University Specialty Hospital and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital. The event was also sponsored by Maryland Physicians Care, Total Health Care, Coppin State University School of Nursing and Radio One, Baltimore.