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Parkland earns LEED® Gold award for new hospital
Second Gold award for new construction project

The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction — Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum — that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five sustainable design categories. The U.S. Green Building Council says LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was built to “achieve high performance” in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“We have had a focus on sustainability throughout the planning, design and construction of the hospital,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President of New Parkland Construction. “Throughout design and construction we were tracking a solid LEED Silver. As we neared the end of construction we saw an opportunity where we could make some changes to achieve LEED Gold. This is a huge accomplishment.”

The new 2.1 million-square-foot acute care hospital, which opens on August 20, was designed to promote excellence in clinical care, teaching and research in a technologically-advanced and easily accessible environment.

“The integrated design and construction team approach was critical in the overall sustainability success that was achieved on this project,” said Mark Meaders, Sustainable Design Project Manager, HDR+Corgan.

“The entire hospital was designed with the patient in mind,” Saksen said. “With 10 acres of glass covering the building, natural light radiates throughout the new hospital. Each patient room includes a window, and many treatment areas throughout the hospital also incorporate the use of windows and natural light to assist in the healing process.”

The entire healthcare campus, Saksen said, was sustainably designed. In doing so Parkland can efficiently manage and control solar heat gain, and by using recycled, local building materials it has reduced the carbon footprint.

For more information about new Parkland, visit www.parklandhospital.com
The new Parkland Memorial Hospital has been awarded the LEED® Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which sets voluntary standards for buildings. This is the second LEED Gold Certification Parkland has received. In 2013, it received LEED Gold for its Tower Garage located at the corner of Harry Hines Boulevard and Medical District Drive.
Wayfinding at new Parkland Memorial Hospital made simple
Signs, symbols, technology help patients, visitors navigate easily

“Hospitals can be stressful environments,” said Gena English, AAHID, EDAC, RAS, Senior Program Manager of New Parkland Construction. “One of the important design goals we included from the beginning was ease of navigation. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for patients and their families to find their way, whether it’s to the cafeteria, labor and delivery or to visit a sick loved one.”

From the first step when visitors enter the new hospital, wayfinding clues abound. Five interactive touch-screen computer displays opposite the front doors greet guests as they approach the front desk. The information screens offer assistance in both English and Spanish, the predominant languages spoken by Parkland visitors.

The screens also use symbols and images to guide the user through a menu of options to help them find their way. Programmed like many familiar cell-phone apps, they provide simple verbal and visual directions and maps to the desired destination. Because they are paperless, the lobby screens also eliminate litter.

“The information screens will be intuitive for most people to use and will provide a quick way to find assistance,” said Joseph Longo, Vice President, New Parkland Hospital Information Technology. “If additional help is needed, front desk staff will be there to answer questions.”

Signage throughout the new hospital includes universal symbols based on a program called “Hablamos Juntos,” meaning “we speak together.”  Symbols identify everything from restrooms to Gift Shop, Imaging Services to Pastoral Care. Parkland’s design team developed the majority of the icons used throughout the building to meet the hospital’s unique needs.

“Currently, there are 110 different languages spoken by patients and visitors at Parkland,” said English. “The icons provide a non-verbal, visual ‘alphabet’ to help guide people, regardless of their language.”

Colors are another subtle but important route-finding feature. From the main lobby, visitors have only two choices of elevators to take them to patient floors above – the gold elevators that lead to the Serena Simmons Connelly Tower, home to Women and Infants Specialty Health (WISH) services, or the blue elevators that provide access to the acute care tower housing medical and surgical patients.

“Blue and gold were selected for the walls and signs at the elevators because they are two colors that even color-blind individuals can perceive,” English explained.

In addition, two shapes of leaves embedded in the lobby’s terrazzo flooring provide more wayfinding queues. Oak leaves lead toward the gold elevators, while bald cypress leaves guide guests to the blue elevators.

With 862 private patient rooms, the room-numbering system at the new Parkland also needed to be simple. The first digits represent the floor number, followed by a hyphen and room numbers. For example, 12-402 represents room 402 on the 12th floor. Signs greet visitors as they exit the elevators on each floor, providing additional directions to rooms and services.

A special wayfinding system was incorporated into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In keeping with the mission of ‘bringing the park back to Parkland’ and to enhance the healing aspects of nature found throughout the new hospital, the 96 private patient rooms in the NICU are grouped into “Lake” and “Forest” zones. There are eight “pods” of 12 rooms each in the NICU; hallways and rooms are clustered by fish, frog, dragonfly and duck symbols in the Lake section, and by bear, bird, deer and rabbit symbols in the Forest area.

“Natural materials, colors and natural light reflect the unifying theme of nature throughout the hospital,” English said. “Wherever people look, there are windows, bringing the outdoors in and providing another way that people can orient themselves by seeing a view.”

For more information about the new Parkland, please visit www.parklandhospital.com
There’s no question the new 2.1 million-square-foot Parkland Memorial Hospital is super-sized. Nearly twice as large as the current Parkland, Dallas County’s new public hospital is the largest hospital construction project in the U.S.

Despite its jumbo scale, the new Parkland was designed to make it easy for patients and visitors to find their way. Simple visual clues and user-friendly technology, along with more than 30,000 signs, will help patients and visitors get to their destination.
Texas Health Resources Named One of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials in the U.S.

they experience behaviors that are indicative of a great workplace. When the votes were tallied, Texas Health ranked No. 37 on the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials 2015 list. Texas Health was the only large health care system in Texas to be included on the list.

The honor comes on the heels of Texas Health being named a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® 2015 in March.  Michelle Kirby, Texas Health senior vice president and chief people officer, said this latest recognition is a reflection of Texas Health’s strong culture and a commitment to take care of both patients and each other that is shared by employees, volunteers and physicians on the medical staffs.

“Along with our Fortune 100 recognition, being on this prestigious list further demonstrates how our emphasis on teamwork and collaboration resonates with millennials in the workplace,” Kirby said. “We want them to know they are an essential part of our workforce, and that Texas Health is a place where they can enjoy a long and rewarding career.”

Fortune.com’s millennials recognition is new. The list is designed to showcase workplaces with exceptional culture, and was developed using rankings based on trends, demographics and industries. The employee survey data is also used for producing the Great Place to Work® Reviews.

“A dedicated, engaged and diverse workforce helps make Texas Health a great place for work,” Kirby said.        
The recognized companies were selected based on the evaluations of nearly 90,000 millennial-aged employees who were anonymously surveyed using the Trust Index©, Great Place to Work’s employee assessment survey.          
The list can be found at www.Fortune.com and www.GreatPlacetoWork.com/Reviews. 

About Texas Health Resources: Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley Hospitals, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.
Texas Health Resources’ latest accolade is one for the ages—the younger ages.  Great Place to Work® and Fortune.com recently surveyed nearly 90,000 millennial-aged employees (those younger than 35) about how often
Keeping your hands healthy and pain free this summer
By Angel Biasatti
Director of Community and Public Relations/Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

breaks during repetitive or prolonged activities are a couple of ways to keep your hands healthy.”

Gordon recommends warming up your hands before beginning a task, just as you would before you exercise. “Spread your hands and fingers wide, then ball them up in a fist. Repeat five times,” Gordon describes. “This will keep your hands flexible and decrease the chance of muscle strain.”

The small joints in your hands are especially vulnerable. Protect them by using a shopping cart instead of a basket, and avoid carrying heavy grocery bags by their handles. Instead, hold bags from the bottom and carry them one at a time. “The joints in your hands will thank you for it,” she says.

To avoid straining your hands with everyday tasks, switch to pumps for lotions, toothpaste, shampoos, and conditioners, and use the palm of your hand to pump instead of squeeze containers. Don’t use your hands as a tool to open bags or envelopes. Choose the right tool like a letter opener, scissors, or staple remover. Consider nonslip jar openers, electric can openers, and slip-on foam to enlarge small objects like pens and pencils. If you feel your hands tightening up or straining during the day, perform simple hand and arm stretches to improve flexibility.

“Try doing a prayer stretch by placing your palms together with your fingertips pointing toward the ceiling. Then stretch downward until you feel the stretch on the underside of your forearms,” she says.

Pain or discomfort is one of the ways your body lets you know it’s time to rest. “If you have pain during an activity like writing, gardening, cooking, painting, hammering, or filing, just stop and rest your hands,” she says.

Maintaining proper posture, using the appropriate tools for the job, changing your hand positions regularly, performing hand stretches and taking breaks, can be beneficial to maintain healthy hands this summer.

Treat your hands with love by stretching them regularly and letting them rest. If you are experiencing pain, it might be time to see your physician and a certified hand therapist. Don’t have a physician? Visit MethodistHealthSystem.org/FindAPhysician or call 877-637-4297 today.
Sunny days are great for grilling and outdoor activities, but without proper protection, everyday tasks like gardening, doing repairs around the house, riding your bike, preparing meals, grocery shopping, and using your computer can injure your hands over time. Think vacation, and give your hands a break.

“Maintaining good hand health is a year-round activity,” says Lara Gordon, occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Therapist on the physical medicine staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. “Your hands are constantly on the go. Remembering to stretch and take regular rest
New Parkland’s pneumatic tubes improve safety, efficiency
Patient care benefits from use of high-speed systems

Getting specimens to the lab quickly benefits patients because it means faster diagnosis and treatment for patients. It will take less than 30 seconds to send carriers from new Parkland across the 923-foot pedestrian bridge and into the Microbiology Lab on the ground floor of the current hospital. The system is so speedy that the transfer time from the farthest point at the new Parkland hospital (level 17) to the Microbiology Lab will be less than 2 minutes, and the express station at the lab will allow tubes to be received and sent every 7 seconds.

The new Parkland uses a pneumatic tube system by Swisslog, a system that’s computer-controlled and computer-monitored, to transport clinical material, including pharmaceuticals, lab samples and supplies using the latest in technology. At new Parkland, almost seven miles of tubing runs throughout the entire campus. The system can process as many as 8,800 transactions a day.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology automatically tracks carriers that are in the system and gives users real-time verification that critical transactions arrive on time. Another feature of the pneumatic tube system is card-access security to control who is authorized to send and receive secure transactions.

“The card-access security feature is a wonderful addition. This allows pneumatic tubes to be placed closer to patients for increased efficiency and patient care,” said Kristina Jones, MBA, MPM, Senior Program Manager for New Parkland Construction. “The new system even automates empty carrier counts and ‘knows’ how to redistribute them to units that may need them.”

An express system made up of six lines is currently being installed in the ceiling of the pedestrian bridge that will connect the current hospital to the new one. This system allows multiple carriers to function at one time in the send and receiving lines of the system. The express system will connect onto the level 3 elevator transfer stations in the existing Parkland and also into the Microbiology Lab that will remain on the ground floor of current facility until the summer of 2016. The lab also will have express stations when it moves to the new logistics building in summer 2016.

“What this all means is that the system and its integrated technology will greatly improve efficiency, speed, capacity and accuracy, and these result in increased safety, comfort and care for our patients,” Jones said.

But medicines, lab samples and other clinical material aren’t the only items speeding through pneumatic tubes at new Parkland. A separate TransVac system will be used to remove soiled linen and trash from the facility. TransVac is the name of the company that provides automated trash, recycling and soiled linen collection and transport systems. TransVac tubes will transport trash and soiled linen from the new hospital to the logistics building just west of the new acute care facility. The soiled linen will then be taken to the current laundry department in the existing hospital.

“These TransVac tubes will remove clutter from the hospital in areas normally processed by manual resources for waste removal, including people and trash carts. Doing that immediately improves facility aesthetics and patient safety,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President of New Parkland Construction.

Trash and soiled linen loading stations have been installed throughout the hospital to enhance operational efficiency and support the hospital's infection prevention initiatives.

For more information about new Parkland hospital, visit www.parklandhospital.com.
The current Parkland Memorial Hospital and the new Parkland are connected by more than a pedestrian bridge. Tens of thousands of feet of high-tech pneumatic tubing will soon zip vital materials – from lab samples to medications – throughout the new hospital campus as well as to the current facility at lightning speed ­­­­– as fast as 60 miles per hour.
Eleven U.S. Schools Each Receive HeartSine AED Package as Winners of SCA Poster Contest

SCA, gave all U.S. elementary, middle, and high schools the opportunity to receive a defibrillator package, which could be placed on school grounds or school buses, or be available during sporting events.

In order to qualify, students had to create one poster from each school that addressed one or more of these SCA topics: symptoms of SCA, surviving SCA, and preparing for SCA. Posters were judged on school teamwork, design originality, visual appeal, and SCA awareness message clarity. Each poster was required to be created entirely by the students attending the school, without any adult assistance.

“School is the ideal place to build awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest, which is the leading cause of death on school property in the U.S.,” says Rene’ Williams, HeartSine’s Director of Global Marketing. “By educating our young, soon we’ll have an entire generation of people prepared and willing to come to the aid of a SCA victims. Groups like Project ADAM are making great strides in educating the public about SCA and the need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and AEDs.”

The response to the contest was tremendously encouraging. Students and faculty members across the
country created innovative posters that truly recognized the importance of an AED, as many of the
posters stressed the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest and the significance of housing AEDs on school
property and at sporting events.

“Project ADAM is committed to raising awareness of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and the importance of AEDs
and emergency action plans in schools,” says Allison Thompson, Project ADAM Administrator. “We are
grateful to have partnered with HeartSine Technologies on this campaign, as it is crucial to give our
youth and schools the tools and knowledge required to save a life.”

HeartSine and Project ADAM awarded 11 complete CPR/AED packages that include a HeartSine
samaritan PAD 350P AED with carrying case and Pad-Pak™, a wall case, and CPR and AED training for up
to 12 people at each school.

HeartSine and Project ADAM congratulate the following 11 schools that were selected to receive a
HeartSine AED package:

 Castleberry High School – Fort Worth, TX
 Huntland School – Huntland, TN
 Inderkum High School – Natomas, CA
 James Lowell Elementary School – Philadelphia, PA
 Mountainside Middle School – Colbert, WA
 Oliver Springs Middle School – Oliver Springs, TN
 Riverside Elementary – Battle Creek, MI
 South Hall Middle School – Flowery Branch, GA
 Warren G. Harding Middle School – Philadelphia, PA
 Woodlands School East Elementary School – Milwaukee, WI
 Woodlands School West Middle School – Milwaukee, WI
The 11 winning photos can be seen at http://heartsine.com/postercontest/

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA): Sudden Cardiac Arrest happens to people of all ages, including children. It is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating, causing blood to stop flowing to the brain and other Eleven U.S. Schools Each Receive HeartSine AED Package as Winners of SCA Poster Contest
vital organs. SCA usually causes death if it's not treated within minutes. CPR alone will not restart the
heart, so the American Heart Association and ERC recommend CPR combined with early defibrillation
(within three to five minutes) for the best outcome.

SCA claims more than seven million lives annually. It occurs abruptly and without warning, with 84 percent of SCA events occurring outside of the healthcare setting.

About HeartSine Technologies: HeartSine Technologies, a world leader in personal and public access defibrillators, advances the deployment of life-saving defibrillation therapy for the treatment of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in nontraditional areas of care.

Designed for use in public areas, the company’s entire line of Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
products leverages its proprietary, clinically advanced SCOPE technology to optimize the administration
of life-saving treatment.

The company’s flagship product line, the HeartSine samaritan PAD (Public Access Defibrillator), is IP56
rated for durability and exceptional reliability to meet the unique environmental demands of public use.
Its industry-leading warranty and innovative battery/electrode Pad-Pak combine to give the samaritan
PAD defibrillators the lowest total cost of ownership. HeartSine is active in over 70 countries worldwide
in a wide range of environments, including commercial aircraft, military and shipping facilities,
manufacturing plants, offices, schools and sports clubs.

HeartSine is based in Newtown, Pennsylvania and Belfast, Northern Ireland. To learn how a HeartSine
AED can save lives, please visit www.heartsine.com and follow HeartSine on Facebook and Twitter.
About Project ADAM

Project ADAM began in 1999 after a series of sudden deaths among high school athletes in southeastern
Wisconsin. Many of these deaths appear due to ventricular fibrillation, a condition in which the
ventricles cannot pump blood into the body.

After Adam Lemel, a 17-year-old Whitefish Bay, WI, high school student collapsed and died while playing
basketball, Adam's parents — Patty Lemel and Joe Lemel — along with David Ellis, a childhood friend of
Adam's, collaborated with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to create this program in Adam's memory.
The project helps schools in Wisconsin and across the nation implement programs to make automated
external defibrillators (AEDs) available. Our programs also aim to support schools in being prepared for a
cardiac emergency through staff CPR and AED training, student CPR education, fundraising ideas and
support and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) awareness education for students, staff and families. An AED is
a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the potentially life threatening cardiac

Visit http://projectadam.com to learn more
Eleven schools across the United States each have been awarded a HeartSine Automated External Defibrillator (AED) package as winners of a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) poster contest sponsored by Project ADAM and HeartSine Technologies. 

The poster contest, which was part of an important initiative to raise awareness of
Delayed Cord Clamping Benefits Preemies, Says Large-Scale Research

The research, to be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that waiting 45 seconds before clamping the umbilical cord reduces a preemie’s risk of bleeding in the brain. Cord blood, packed with vital stem cells and immunoglobulins, pumped seconds after birth can help the child’s body repair itself naturally, the research found. 

Effects of Waiting Were Clear
Throughout history, our ancestors understood the nutrient-rich nature of the umbilical cord and of leaving babies attached to the placenta minutes beyond birth. Some mammals, such as chimpanzees, leave the cord attached for days after delivery, while other animals slowly chew it off. Baylor’s research links modern medicine to those animal instincts.

In the large-scale study, investigators reviewed 148 very preterm infants (less than 32 weeks’ gestation), which were a mix of historic and current cases at Baylor. When comparing infants who were immediately removed from the placenta and had the cord cut with those who had the 45-second delay, the effects of waiting were evident.

“We were impressed by the overall results, especially the significant reduction in intraventricular hemorrhage [bleeding in the brain] by almost 50 percent,” said Arpitha Chiruvolu, MD, FAAP, the principal investigator for the study. “There were no adverse effects, and significantly fewer babies who got delayed cord clamping were intubated in the delivery room.”

In addition to reducing cranial bleeding, which is a leading cause of premature infant death, delayed cord clamping also reduced early red blood cell transfusions, a technique used for blood loss, iron deficiency and anemia. In non-control babies, physicians followed strict protocol for delayed clamping.

“There Should Be No Hesitation”
Delayed cord clamping has become more popular in full-term infants, but its application to premature babies was previously unclear, mostly because doctors weren’t sure if leaving preemies in the placenta could make things worse. This was despite the fact that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorsed 30- to 60-second delays for all babies in 2012.

“When we were reviewing literature on delayed cord clamping, we found that it might be associated with good outcomes in preterm [infants], but a large number of hospitals do not have a consistent policy,” said Dr. Chiruvolu, a neonatologist on staff at Baylor University Medical Center and quality director for Baylor’s NICU. “Still, delayed cord clamping is not widely practiced due to the concern of delaying resuscitation in this vulnerable population.”

Previous studies mostly involved fewer participants. Given the large size of Baylor’s study, the results could give delayed clamping the evidence-based support it needs to become more mainstream.

“This study shows that by coordination between departments of obstetrics and neonatology, strict protocol can be rolled out and consistent performance of delayed cord clamping can lead to good outcomes in preterm [infants] without adverse effects,” Dr. Chiruvolu said.

Delaying clamping isn’t recommended in all cases, however. Delays longer than a minute have been linked with neonatal jaundice—which requires onsite phototherapy—and some infants born with breathing problems need immediate cord cutting and resuscitation.

Barring such special circumstances, though, delayed cord cutting is a viable option.

“There should be no hesitation in performing delayed cord clamping in very preterm [infants],” Dr. Chiruvolu said.

About Baylor Research Institute: Established in 1984 in Dallas, Texas, Baylor Research Institute (BRI) promotes and supports research to bring innovative treatments from the laboratory workbench to the patient bedside. To achieve this bench-to-bedside concept, BRI focuses on basic science, clinical trials, health care effectiveness and quality of care research. Today, BRI is conducting more than 900 active research protocols with 350 research investigators, spanning more than 20 medical specialties, and has research and development projects in areas ranging from human immunology and orphan metabolic diseases to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other unmet medical needs. Its precision medicine arm offers a unique platform for identifying micro-array-based fingerprint signatures. The Baylor Health Care System offers to its research affiliate unique access to one of the largest patient bases potentially available for research in the US within a single institution. BRI has received full accreditation from AAHRPP.

About Baylor Scott & White Health: Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas.  With total assets of $8.6 billion* and serving a geographic area larger than the state of Maine, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 36,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For More Information visit: www.BaylorScottandWhite.com
Allowing mom and baby to stay physically attached for just a few seconds longer could save that newborn’s life, says new research from Baylor University Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Joint Venture Opens Texas Rehabilitation Hospital in Arlington
Partnership to Help Improve Patients Quality of life and Function

The $15.8 million, 46,449 square-foot facility is located at 900 W. Arbrook near Matlock Road and Interstate 20. The Texas Rehabilitation hospital is focused on improving a patient’s mobility, self-care, communication and social skills. Rehabilitation programs at this hospital provide care and help patients cope with disabilities by addressing the patient’s physical, psychological, and environmental needs. Commonly treated conditions include stroke, brain, and spinal cord injury, amputations, orthopedic injuries and other neurological and musculoskeletal conditions.

“We are happy to have this new innovative rehab facility close to our hospital and the communities we serve,” said John Phillips, FACHE, president of Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. “We have the privilege and opportunity to make a positive change in a patient’s life after they have gone through a drastic adverse event and help patient’s recover.”

Earl Swensson Associates Inc. designed the rehab hospital, and TS Bryne was the general contractor.

“This collaborative effort will allow us to provide quality, inpatient rehabilitation services to more patients in Arlington and the surrounding communities,” said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, CEO, Texas Health Resources. “By working cohesively and pooling together valuable health resources, we can build an even stronger health network to care for North Texans for many years to come. We want individuals to complete their rehab knowing they have the necessary tools to manage their own wellbeing.”

To be designated as an acute rehabilitation hospital, a facility must meet Medicare guidelines of providing at least three hours of therapy, five days a week. Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington will offer that, and more.

Russ Bailey, TRF chief executive officer, said the facility expects to treat hundreds of patients in 2015.

The rehab hospital offers many options for patient rehabilitation. There is an apartment where patients can practice daily living skills before they return home. There is also an outdoor healing garden and walking trail where patients encounter different walking surfaces like grass and gravel to assist in rehabilitation.

Strategically located between Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, the new facility will employ approximately 150 people.

Visit texasrehabarlington.com to learn more about Texas Rehabilitation Hospital of Arlington.

About Methodist Health System: Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated health care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Four hospitals and 27 Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are among the facilities served by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the fastest-growing health systems in America, Methodist continues to add facilities and services to enhance patient care along the entire continuum. Additional information is available at MethodistHealthSystem.org. Connect through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at MethodistHealthSystem.org/SocialMedia.

About Texas Health Resources: Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley Hospitals, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.
For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.texashealth.org.
About Kindred Healthcare: Kindred Healthcare, Inc., a top-85 private employer in the United States, is a FORTUNE 500 healthcare services company based in Louisville, Kentucky with annual revenues of approximately $7.2 billion(1). At March 31, 2015, Kindred through its subsidiaries had approximately 102,600 employees providing healthcare services in 2,787 locations in 47 states, including 97 transitional care hospitals, 16 inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, 90 nursing centers, 21 sub-acute units, 664 Kindred at Home home health, hospice and non-medical home care sites of service, 100 inpatient rehabilitation units (hospital-based) and a contract rehabilitation services business, RehabCare, which served 1,799 non-affiliated sites of service. Ranked as one of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Healthcare Companies for six years, Kindred’s mission is to promote healing, provide hope, preserve dignity and produce value for each patient, resident, family member, customer, employee and shareholder we serve. For more information, go to www.kindredhealthcare.com. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Officials from Texas Health Resources, Methodist Health System and Kindred joined together to open a 40-bed freestanding inpatient rehabilitation hospital today in Arlington.  The long-term rehabilitation hospital will help improve function and quality of life for many patients close to home in Tarrant County.
Parkland burn expert emphasizes fireworks safety as July 4th approaches
Keep Independence Day celebration from turning tragic

and July 22, an average of more than 240 people injured daily. Children less than 15 years of age made up 30 percent of those hurt. The risk for fireworks injury was highest for young people 15-24, followed by children younger than 10.

Sparklers and bottle rockets – items that some people may not think of as hazardous – actually accounted for 25 percent of emergency room fireworks visits.

Sue Vanek, RN, Burn Program Manager at Parkland Memorial Hospital, noted that while the number of patients injured by fireworks around July 4th and admitted to the Parkland Burn Center is not high, their injuries usually are severe enough to require surgery or skin grafts.

“We continue to see people come in each year around the Fourth of July with serious injuries, particularly to their hands, fingers or faces,” Vanek said. “That’s because fireworks and sparklers produce a lot of heat; the tip of a sparkler burns at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to produce third-degree burns. That’s 300 degrees hotter than the temperature at which glass melts.”

Experts stress their primary message: leave the fireworks to professionals.

But if you or someone around you is using them, following a few safety tips can keep your Fourth of July celebration from turning tragic.
Observe all local laws related to the use of fireworks
Closely supervise teens who are using fireworks
Never let small children near fireworks
Do not wear loose clothing
Do not light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
Do not immediately pick up an exploded firework; leave it for at least 20 minutes and then douse with water
Always have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby
If someone is burned by fireworks, they should seek immediate medical attention. Burn centers like the one at Parkland are uniquely prepared to deal with severe burns.

“Many people don’t know we have a burn center at Parkland, but our Regional Burn Center serves a geographic area of more than 100,000 square miles, including north and east Texas and southern Oklahoma,” Vanek said. More than 800 pediatric and adult burn patients were admitted to the hospital in 2014 for inpatient care and the center had more than 3,500 outpatient visits.

Established in 1962, Parkland’s Burn Center is the second largest civilian burn center in the country. The center houses a Burn Intensive Care Unit, a Burn Acute Care Unit and a Burn Care Outpatient Center. For more information about the Burn Center, visit www.parklandhospital.com/burnunit
With Independence Day just around the corner, experts want to make sure you and your family stay safe if fireworks are part of your celebration.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2013 eight people died and 11,400 were hurt seriously enough to require medical attention because of fireworks-related injuries. About 7,400 of those injuries occurred during the one-month period between June 22
Introducing the New Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving
Irving hospital takes new name, renews commitment to the community

“Today marks a new chapter for the patients of our community,” said Cindy Schamp, president of Baylor Scott & White - Irving. “We have had the opportunity to serve this community since 1964 first as Irving Community Hospital and as Baylor Medical Center at Irving since 1995. We can now draw on the expanded resources, advanced technologies and expertise of the Baylor Scott & White Health system – the result of the combination of two preeminent health organizations, both with outstanding reputations.”

Baylor Scott & White – Irving is a 296-bed hospital located at MacArthur and State Highway 183.  The hospital celebrated 50 years of service to the community in 2014.The new name also comes with a new look. The hospital recently invested more than $37 million to expand and enhance the campus.

“We at Baylor Scott & White Health are proud to have deep roots here in Texas, with facilities like Irving that are cornerstones of the communities they have served for decades,” said Joel Allison, CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health. “But we are equally excited about the future. Every Baylor Scott & White sign that goes up, including this one, takes us one step closer to our goal of creating a new, exemplary health system to serve as a model for others around the country to follow.”

The not-for-profit health system, today the largest in Texas, plans to rename all of its 49 hospitals over time in a fiscally responsible way.

About Baylor Scott & White Health: Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas. With total assets of $9 billion* and serving a population larger than the state of Virginia, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 49 hospitals, more than 800 access points, more than 5,800 active physicians, 35,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan.
Baylor Scott & White Health announces the first name change of an existing hospital in its North Texas division.  Baylor Medical Center at Irving is now Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Irving.  The hospital’s external signage changed in late May.
100 Year-old Patient Receives New Aortic Heart Valve Without Incision
One of handful of centenarians nationwide to undergo procedure

Now medical science has given Edens a medical treatment undreamed of in 1914.

On Wednesday, May 27, Edens underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR), an advanced cardiac technology that allows physicians to replace the aortic heart valve without making any incisions. To date, she is the oldest patient to receive this procedure at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano and is one of a handful of centenarians in the country to have a TAVR procedure.

“The operative word is transcatheter,” explains David Brown, MD, interventional cardiologist on the medical staff and president of the medical staff, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano. “This is the first time you can replace the aortic heart valve with no incision.  The valve is inserted through a needle stick in the femoral artery. The entire procedure can be completed with no incisions on the chest, no incisions anywhere.”

As some people age, their aortic valve narrows. The valve opening, where blood is pumped through, goes from the size of a silver dollar to the size of a pencil. This condition, known as aortic stenosis, affects up to 7 percent of the U.S. population over age 65.

“When the valve narrows, blood flow to the body’s organs decreases,” explains Dr. Brown. “So the body is not getting adequate blood or oxygenation. Patients get fatigued. Eventually they become short of breath and have no exercise capacity.” They can develop chest pain or pass out. Patients may progress to congestive heart failure.

Until age 97, Edens managed her home in Tulsa, Okla., drove to the grocery store, played bridge and maintained an active life. Now living with her children, she still stays busy. “I work puzzles and things like that,” Helen said. “I like to walk out and around the block. I used to be pretty athletic. I belonged to the local YMCA and liked basketball.” She played forward on the YMCA adult women’s team in Tulsa. Older patients, such as Edens, benefit from TAVR technology, which typically means shorter time in the operating room, less anesthesia and less time in the hospital post-procedure.

About TAVR: This minimally invasive surgical procedure repairs the valve without removing the old, damaged valve. Instead, it wedges a replacement valve into the aortic valve’s place. The surgery is called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The first percutaneous aortic valve replacement was performed at The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano in the Edwards US Pivotal Aortic Stent Valve PARTNER Trial. The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano and Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital continue to pursue research into new cardiac procedures through Baylor Research Institute. Learn more at www.baylorhealth.edu/research

About The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano: The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, joint ownership with physicians, is a free-standing, full service hospital in North Texas dedicated solely to heart and vascular health care. The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano opened its doors to the Plano, Texas community in January 2007 and, since then, has risen to the top of the cardiovascular surgical arena, now ranking in the Top 10 in the nation for its cardiac surgery program. For more information about The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano, visit: www.thehearthospitalbaylor.com

About Baylor Scott & White Health: Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas. With total assets of $9 billion* and serving a population larger than the state of Virginia, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 49 hospitals, more than 800 access points, more than 5,800 active physicians, 35,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For more information visit: BaylorScottandWhite.com
At age 100, Helen Edens has seen the world change. Born Aug. 22, 1914, Edens recalls childhood memories of horse-drawn carts bringing ice blocks to her family’s home refrigerator and her father starting the hand-cranked car.
Peer navigators aid Parkland mental health patients on road to recovery
Life experiences help former patients build bridges, inspire hope

mental health issues at Parkland Health & Hospital System.

Launched in May 2014, the Peer Recovery Navigators Program at Parkland now employs five full-time Peer Recovery Specialists, also known as peer navigators, who are in recovery from their own struggles with substance use or mental health problems, to assist patients diagnosed with these conditions. To date, four have completed state certification. The Parkland program also includes a clinical pharmacist and a social worker.

In Parkland’s main and psychiatric emergency departments, the peer navigators meet with patients who have been identified with possible mental health or substance use problems while they are waiting to be seen by a clinician. In addition to helping patients feel more at ease by offering support and sharing their stories of recovery, the navigators provide information about the Peer Recovery Navigation Program at Parkland.

Once patients enroll in the program and are discharged from the hospital, the navigators call them weekly, providing recovery support, referrals to the pharmacist for medication needs or to the social worker for housing and transportation challenges or other social issues, and information about other available community resources. The peer navigators also co-lead recovery support groups on Parkland’s psychiatric inpatient unit twice weekly. So far in FY 2015, Parkland has enrolled more than 1,200 patients in the program, with a goal of reaching 1,800 patients by Sept. 30.

“Peer navigation programs are a new concept in the healthcare industry. We were convinced that peer navigators would be invaluable in helping our patients receive the care they deserve,” said LaShan Davis, RN, Director of Care Management at Parkland.

Medical research supports the fact that individuals are more open and comfortable talking to someone who has had like experiences. Medicaid programs began to embrace peer support for people living with mental illness about 10 years ago. Parkland is eligible to receive funding for the Peer Recovery Program through the 1115 Waiver as long as milestones continue to be met.

“It’s so much easier to listen to someone who has been in your shoes and can understand what you are experiencing,” said Celeste Johnson, DNP, APRN, PMH CNS, Director of Nursing, Psychiatric Services at Parkland. “Peer navigators have experienced depression, anxiety, substance use or other mental health issues, so they know the challenges. Patients trust them because they’ve ‘been there, done that’.”

Designated as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, July is a time for building trust within diverse communities about mental health needs of minority groups.

The majority of Parkland’s mental health patients are members of ethnic minorities, groups who traditionally face barriers in getting the help they need. Parkland’s peer navigators also are members of minority groups – four are African-American and one is Hispanic, enabling them to bridge some of the cultural barriers that are known to hinder minority groups from obtaining mental health services they may require.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “Ethnic minorities tend to be disenfranchised in the field of mental health. Even more, they also tend to avoid mental health services for fear of being racially profiled against, misunderstood, diagnosed incorrectly, ignored, treated indifferently, or due to trust issues.”

Shalonda Hill, 44, one of Parkland’s Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists, struggled with depression as a teen, using alcohol to cope with the difficulties in her life. At age 17, she learned she was pregnant and had to leave high school to go to work to provide for her son. Her cycle of alcohol dependence continued until her early twenties, when she turned to her church for help. There she found support to make her own recovery and to “stay alcohol and depression free,” she said.

She completed her high school degree, then earned an associate degree as a substance abuse counselor and certified medical assistant before becoming a Certified Peer Support Specialist.

“I’ve dedicated my life to helping others find and maintain recovery,” she said.

Another Parkland Peer Specialist, Daniel Melendez, 57, spent 20 years in high-functioning jobs, successfully hiding his meth addiction.

“There was no alcohol or drugs in my family growing up. But addiction doesn’t discriminate,” he said. “In my teens I experimented with drugs and quickly got hooked. Addiction ruled my life. I finally got help and was able to shake it at age 38. I’ve been clean and sober for almost 20 years.”

“I can’t wait to come to work at Parkland each morning,” Melendez said. “What an awesome privilege it is to be able to lead others into recovery.”

“Helping others has always been my passion and I will always be grateful to the ones that took a chance to help me find my way,” Hill said.

“All of our peer navigators came through it and are in recovery,” said Davis. “Patients think, ‘if they can do it, maybe I can, too.’ They’re a living symbol of hope and possibility. They open doors in our patient’s hearts.”

For more information about Parkland services, please visit www.parklandhospital.com
As a volunteer tending injured soldiers during the Civil War in a Washington, D.C. hospital, poet Walt Whitman wrote, “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”

That kind of powerful empathy is what inspires a new program helping patients with addiction or
Methodist Mansfield and EMS Honored With Mission: Lifeline Achievement Awards
Cedar Hill, Mansfield and Midlothian EMS a valuable partner in coordinated care of STEMI patients

improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks.

     Each year in the United States, approximately 250,000 people have a STEMI, or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to immediately restore blood flow, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.

           The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call and continuing through hospital treatment.

        “Methodist Mansfield is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our patients who suffer a heart attack, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that goal through nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said John Phillips. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in cardiac care, and I am very proud of our strong partnerships and coordinated care with emergency medical service professionals that help us provide the best patient outcomes.”    
     “We commend Methodist Mansfield, and the EMS professionals in the cities of Cedar Hill, Mansfield and Midlothian for this achievement award, which reflects a significant institutional commitment to the highest quality of care for their heart attack patients,” said James G. Jollis, MD, Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Advisory Working Group and President of the North Carolina Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. “Achieving this award means the hospital has met specific reporting and achievement measures for the treatment of their patients who suffer heart attacks and we applaud them for their commitment to quality and timely care.”

     Methodist Mansfield, Cedar Hill, Mansfield, and Midlothian earned the award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for the quick and appropriate treatment of STEMI patients by providing emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed. Eligible hospitals must adhere to these measures at a set level for a designated period to receive the awards.
About Methodist Health System:  Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated health care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Four hospitals and 27 Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are among the facilities served by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the fastest-growing health systems in America, Methodist continues to add facilities and services to enhance patient care along the entire continuum. Additional information is available at MethodistHealthSystem.org. Connect through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at MethodistHealthSystem.org/SocialMedia.
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and the Cedar Hill Fire Department have received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Receiving Quality Achievement Award and the Mansfield and Midlothian Fire Departments received the Bronze Receiving Quality Achievement Awards for implementing specific quality
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center Offers Mansfield ISD Athletes UIL Athletic Physicals and Echocardiograms

The hospital will also offer free optional echocardiogram screenings at Methodist Mansfield, located at 2700 E. Broad Street in Mansfield. An echocardiogram is a test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart to help detect abnormalities and/or other cardiovascular conditions that may affect student athletes.

The sports physicals and echocardiogram screenings will be performed by volunteer nurses, allied health professionals, and independently practicing physicians from Methodist Mansfield.  Sports echos will be led by Alan Taylor, MD, cardiologist on the medial staff at Methodist Mansfield. Dr. Darin Charles, MD, and Jeff McDaniel, MD, will lead the team of physicians in performing the sports physicals.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our student athletes to have a quality physical exam,” said Mansfield ISD Athletic Director Debbie Weems. “The generous donations of time and equipment mean many of our students will have access to comprehensive tests.”

“Our goal is to provide a quality UIL physical exam to ensure all of our athletes can compete safely,” said MISD Athletic Trainer Eric White.

Parents of middle school and high school student athletes in Mansfield ISD who wish to participate in the echocardiogram screening must complete a medical history questionnaire and sign medical releases prior to the screening. The forms are available from MISD athletic directors or on the website www.mansfieldisd.org. Echocardiogram screenings will be offered on a first come/first served basis and will be conducted by appointment only by calling 682-622-2016. Parents must accompany their teens during this painless non-invasive test.

The sports physical is not intended to replace a student’s regular physical exam with their primary care physician, but it will meet UIL requirements to medically clear students before they can participate in any organized sports activity. The echocardiogram procedure is a screening exam and does not rule out all heart-related causes of illness.

About Methodist Health System: Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated health care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Four hospitals and 27 Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are among the facilities served by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the fastest-growing health systems in America, Methodist continues to add facilities and services to enhance patient care along the entire continuum. Additional information is available at MethodistHealthSystem.org. Connect through Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter at MethodistHealthSystem.org/SocialMedia.
Mansfield Independent School District Athletic Department is partnering with Methodist Mansfield Medical Center to offer $20 sports physicals to some 4,000 middle and high school student athletes.  Physicals will take place Saturday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon at Mansfield High School, 3001 E. Broad Street in Mansfield.
Protect yourself from harsh Texas heat this summer
Parkland provides tips to avoid heat exhaustion, heat stroke

From 1999 to 2010, 7,415 deaths in the United States, an average of 618 per year, were associated with exposure
to excessive natural heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since 2010, Parkland Memorial Hospital has treated more than 170 patients with heat-related diagnoses in its emergency department.

“Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses,” said Alexander Eastman, MD, MPH, Parkland’s Trauma Medical Director and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “It’s important to use common sense – if you think you are overheated, you probably already are.”

Heat exhaustion occurs when people are exposed to high temperatures and when the body loses fluids and becomes dehydrated. When heat exhaustion elevates it may result in heat stroke, a life-threatening medical condition occurring when the body’s cooling system, which is controlled by the brain, stops working. The resulting high body temperature causes damage to internal organs, including the brain, and could result in death.

“Elderly people, aged 65 years and older, infants, children and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat stress,” Dr. Eastman said. “Therefore it’s important for family or neighbors to visit an adult at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.”

Symptoms of heat stroke include thirst; red, warm and dry skin; body temperature over 104 degrees Fahrenheit; fast breathing and heart rate; vomiting; muscle cramps; confusion or disorientation and coma.

“If you see any of the warning signs of heat stroke, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency,” Dr. Eastman cautioned. “Have someone call 911 for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim.”

Dr. Eastman offered the following tips to help a heat stroke victim before medical assistance arrives:

Get the victim to a shady area
Cool the victim rapidly but avoid an ice bath using whatever methods you can. For example, place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with  cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously
Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit
Do not give the victim fluids to drink
If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side

For additional information, visit www.parklandhospital.com.
Extreme Texas heat plagues Dallas during the summer months with temperatures often soaring in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. That combined with strenuous physical activity and high humidity can be a recipe for danger, according to Parkland Health & Hospital System physicians.
T-System Promotes 20-Year Healthcare Tech Veteran to Chief Technology Officer
to Strengthen Clinically-Driven Solutions for Episodic Care Environment
Hank Hikspoors’ technical and strategic expertise will further drive the company’s innovative documentation and coding solutions.

Hikspoors, formerly the director of product development for T-System’s emergency department information system, EV™, will lead the alignment of technology across the company’s entire solution portfolio.

As CTO, Hikspoors will drive the technological development for T-System’s documentation and coding solutions for episodic care settings, including emergency departments, freestanding emergency centers and urgent care centers. He will also leverage T-System’s core competencies in clinical and workflow expertise to help the company continually deliver innovative solutions that meet clinical and financial challenges within the episodic care environment.

“Hank has deep technological knowledge paired with years of healthcare IT experience that are instrumental in bringing clinically-driven innovations to the market that solve key industry challenges,” said Roger Davis, T-System chief executive officer. “This role is a natural evolution for Hank based on his track record of success at T-System. Through his leadership, we’ve been able to evolve our EHR product and quickly develop a new documentation product specifically for the growing urgent care market.”

Hikspoors is a veteran engineering executive with more than 20 years of experience in solution development, solution management and software architecture and has held a variety of leadership roles in the healthcare and telecommunications industries. Most recently, he led the technical delivery and deployment of T-System’s new digital documentation technology for urgent care centers, T-Sheets® Digital. Hikspoors currently holds a U.S. patent for a method, system and computer-readable medium for resource-based route selection and has a patent pending for T-System’s ICD-10 documentation feedback schema.

"Our company has had a tremendous impact on the delivery of care for physicians and patients, and it’s rewarding to see how we make a meaningful difference in the delivery of episodic care,” said Hikspoors. “As CTO, we’ll continue to focus on products that help clinicians do their jobs better and more efficiently, while not losing sight of the patient and the role technology plays in the experience and outcome of each episode of care."

About T-System: T-System is a healthcare IT company that advances care delivery and financial outcomes for episodic care. Specializing in emergency department documentation since 1996, T-System has since expanded its focus to include the development of innovative solutions for the rapidly expanding episode-based care market, including hospital-based emergency departments (EDs), freestanding emergency centers and urgent care centers. Through clinically-driven services and documentation solutions as well as charge capture and coding solutions, T-System solves clinical, financial and operational challenges for our clients. About 40 percent of the nation’s hospital-based EDs, freestanding emergency centers and urgent care centers use T-System to improve the clinical encounter, including the documentation of the patient visit as well as the downstream outcomes related to that event. For additional information about T-System, please visit www.tsystem.com.
T-System, Inc., a healthcare IT company focused on optimizing emergency medicine and urgent care, today announced the promotion of Hank Hikspoors as the company’s chief technology officer (CTO), effective immediately.
NIH National Cancer Institute awards top-tier comprehensive status to UT Southwestern’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

“NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers are among the most advanced in the world,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “These centers conduct research that leads to new drugs and treatments aimed at improving patient care and, ultimately, saving lives. We are pleased to be among this distinguished group of cancer centers, and to have at UT Southwestern remarkable physicians and scientists who, each day, are working to conquer cancer.”

The success of the Simmons Cancer Center – initially established through the extraordinary contributions of Dallas philanthropists Harold C. and Annette Simmons and the Simmons family – has been achieved in large part because of strong and ongoing support from the community, added Dr. Podolsky, who holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science. Mr. Simmons and his family have given and pledged more than $100 million to enhance cancer programs at UT Southwestern.

“The initial vision and continuing generosity of the Simmons family have been transformative in ensuring that cancer patients in North Texas and surrounding regions have access to the highest quality of care available anywhere in the country,” Dr. Podolsky said. “We also are extremely grateful to those in our community who have supported the research, technology, and infrastructure that serve as the backbone for this achievement.”

Commenting on the NCI recognition, Mrs. Simmons said, “There is no better reinforcement of an investment in the cure for cancer than this very exclusive designation from the NCI. Our hope has always been that we could make a sustainable difference in the fight against this cruel disease, and the comprehensive designation paves the way for even greater advances in the treatment and cure of cancer. We are very proud of the dedicated members of the UT Southwestern team who have made this honor possible.”

Simmons Cancer Center was designated an NCI cancer center in 2010, which recognizes cancer centers that meet rigorous criteria for state-of-the-art programs in cancer research. In less than five years, the Simmons Cancer Center has risen to the top tier among these centers, as evidenced by the comprehensive designation.
To achieve NCI comprehensive status, a cancer center must:

·           Demonstrate depth and breadth in laboratory research, clinical research, and population-based research,
·           Demonstrate strength in transdisciplinary research that bridges scientific fields,
·           Serve not only their regional area, but the broader population through cancer research, and
·           Integrate training and education of biomedical researchers and health care professionals.

“The differentiating benefit of comprehensive cancer centers is that they combine quality care with research and technology that advance the treatment and prevention of cancer,” said Dr. James K.V. Willson, Professor and Director of the Simmons Cancer Center, and Associate Dean of Oncology Programs at UT Southwestern. “The NCI designation underscores our dedication to not only improving results in how we manage disease, but also to making an impact on the community in terms of early detection and management of cancer at its most curable stages.”

Partnerships with Parkland Health & Hospital System, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, the UT School of Public Health Dallas Regional Campus, and UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth played an important role in achieving the comprehensive designation, said Dr. Willson, holder of The Lisa K. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Comprehensive Oncology.

“Partnerships that we have established with affiliated health care providers are an exciting aspect of our cancer center. Parkland is part of our commitment to bring cutting-edge advances in care and prevention to the most vulnerable and underserved in our population. This effort reduces not only cancer mortality, but also the cost of cancer care to the community,” he said. “Children’s Medical Center Dallas is crucial to our commitment to pediatric patients. We are all integrated as part of our comprehensive cancer center.”

In addition, all the elements of NCI comprehensive cancer centers − the utilization of treatment teams, the commitment of institutional facilities, and access to the most advanced research and technology – are used cohesively so that the sum is greater than the individual parts.

“Integration is what a comprehensive cancer center achieves,” said Dr. Willson, who has led the center since 2004. He noted that the number of people living beyond a cancer diagnosis has increased over the past decade to approximately 70 percent, and the quality of life after treatment is important in determining where a patient should seek care.

“An NCI-designated cancer center is where you want your cancer care to begin and end,” Dr. Willson said. “One of the differentiating features is having cancer care providers in the same environment as researchers who are developing advanced treatments and technologies.”

UT Southwestern’s Simmons Cancer Center includes more than 200 members from over 30 departments and centers campuswide, and offers more than a dozen major cancer care programs focused on treating the whole patient with innovative treatments. In addition to serving Texas, UT Southwestern provides care to patients living across the central U.S.

Along with the most recent NCI recognition, the Simmons Cancer Center also is among only 30 U.S. cancer research centers to be named a National Clinical Trials Network Lead Academic Site. It is the only cancer center in North Texas to be so designated. The designation and associated funding bolster clinical cancer research, providing patients with access to cancer research trials sponsored by the NCI, where promising new drugs often are tested.

UT Southwestern currently receives more than $100 million annually for cancer research from the NCI and other NIH and peer-reviewed funding agencies, including the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The NCI is the world’s largest organization solely dedicated to cancer research, and is part of the National Institutes of Health, the primary federal agency responsible for conducting and supporting medical research.

“Our efforts to eradicate cancer are at a pivotal point,” Dr. Podolsky said. “We are making important strides in understanding the underlying biology of how cancer evolves and spreads, so we can develop new ways to prevent or halt this devastating disease. We also have made solid inroads in identifying the most effective therapies and treatments. NCI support is crucial to these efforts, as well as supporting the next generation of investigators, who will sustain the momentum of progress and American pre-eminence in cancer research.”

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center its highest designation, making it one of only 45 cancer centers nationally to receive this distinction over the past 44 years.

Simmons Cancer Center is the first and only facility in North Texas to receive the NCI’s comprehensive designation, and the second in the University of Texas System, joining MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The designation includes an $8.1 million grant for cancer center support.
Parkland dietitian offers tips for cool and healthy summer snacks
Simple ingredients, imagination create delicious options

fresh fruits and vegetables, a dietitian from Parkland Health & Hospital System explains, you can include nutritious snacks to your efforts to keep cool.

“Summer is a great time for picnics and barbecues and just hanging out by the pool or lake,” said Sharon Cox, RD, a registered dietitian at Parkland. “And while summer fare can be heavy and filling, it doesn’t have to be, especially when it comes to snacks.”

Kids are always interested in treats that are fun and tasty, and it’s easy to turn a few ingredients into something they’ll love, Cox said.

”Fresh fruit is affordable, nutritious and refreshing during the heat-filled days of July and August,” she stated. “Fruit can be mixed with Greek yogurt and frozen as a healthy replacement to ice cream. Fruit also can be used with cheese to make fruit ‘kabobs.’ Or you can whip up a fruit and yogurt parfait or make 100 percent fruit popsicles using fruit juice and diced fruit.”

Pudding spread over a single graham cracker square, topped by another square and then frozen makes a delicious treat; or you can make a vanilla wafer fruit pizza using cream cheese and diced fruit.

And, you are not limited to fruit, Cox added. You can make a tasty carrot and hummus snack in an ice cream cone or have salsa with baked tortilla chips. There are more great ideas such as hollowing out a zucchini or cucumber and stuffing it with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese, as well as a vegetable taco with cheese or wrap a slice of turkey in a lettuce leaf spread with cream cheese.

Other cool summer treats include:
Banana-peanut butter wrap in a tortilla or wheat bread
Fruit pizza on a graham cracker crust with cream cheese and sliced fruit
Frozen watermelon, grape or peach pops on a stick
Frozen yogurt sandwich with yogurt and diced fruit spread between two graham crackers
Use a cookie cutter, or different shaped containers for frozen fruit pops and top with fresh mint

“As you can see, there are all kinds of fun and delicious combinations you can create with your family, and ones they will enjoy during the summer for years to come. And, the most important thing is that they are healthier alternatives to other snacks that are usually loaded with sugar, salt or fat,” Cox said.

You can find recipes for these tasty and healthy summer snacks at www.parklandhospital.com/Recipes. For more information about the services provided at Parkland, visit www.parklandhospital.com.
As the summer heat begins to crank up and with 100-degree days just around the corner, everyone is looking for ways to cool down.

One way to chill is to create cool snacks for you and your children during the heat of summer. Ice cream isn’t the only refreshing option. By using a little imagination and plentiful seasonal
Texas Health Your Health Centers to provide convenient, personalized
primary health care for medically underserved senior population
First location to open July 15 in Burleson, followed by others in Plano, Arlington

Texas. A staff of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) — referred to as nurse practitioners — will be supervised by a THPG physician medical director in clinics located in areas of high primary care demand for Medicare-covered patients. These nurse practitioners are certified by their national accreditation organizations.

               The first Texas Health Your Health Center will open July 15 on the Texas Health Burleson campus with John Hoffman, M.D., serving as medical director. The next Texas Health Your Health Center will open in Plano at the end of August with Paul Anthony, M.D., serving as medical director. A third location is scheduled to open in Arlington later this year; its medical director has not yet been named.

               “Developing new access points and models of care is a part of our patient-centered, consumer-driven focus,” said Dan Varga, M.D., chief clinical officer and senior executive vice president of Texas Health. “By focusing on certain geographies without adequate Medicare coverage by existing THPG clinics, Texas Health helps close the primary care gap for a growing demographic in a cost-effective care model.”  
               After extensive consumer research, a set of patient- and family-centered clinic standards was developed to specifically address the needs of patients over age 65. Texas Health Your Health Center locations will feature larger exam rooms to accommodate walkers, wheelchairs and accompanying family members, and will have wheel-chair accessible weight scales. Hallways will have hand railings and initial visit patient forms will be printed in large-sized font. Features will vary by location.

               Texas Health Your Health Centers are one example of how Texas Health is using innovative access models to alleviate the strains of a stretched physician workforce caring for an increasing number of people. Leveraging nurse practitioners and physician assistants extends a physician’s influence of care and helps establish a more robust, well-coordinated network of primary care providers and specialists.

               These clinics realize the value nurse practitioners can add to the quality and timeliness of the care patients receive. These providers are uniquely skilled to collaborate with each center’s supervising physician to blend the best of their considerable medical and nursing preparation to provide preventive, non-emergency acute and chronic health care services, along with patient education. They do so to meet the exclusive and unique health care needs of adults and seniors. For this reason, patients often report a high level of satisfaction with the individualized care they receive from nurse practitioners.

               Texas Health Your Health Center nurse practitioners provide timely and improved access to care, with more opportunities for longer consultations than one might encounter with a physician. The scheduling processes allow for visits where the staff has more time to get to know patients, their medical history and their goals for good health and wellness. Nurse practitioners are qualified to manage day-to-day health care ¾ from sick visits, annual exams and diagnostic testing to chronic illness management, medication administration and counseling ¾ independent from a physician.   
               “Texas Health Your Health Centers support our commitment to making health care more affordable and highly reliable,” Varga said. “We believe these clinics better position Texas Health to serve the medically underserved and to improve the health and well-being of people across North Texas.”

About Texas Health Physicians Group: Texas Health Physicians Group (THPG) is Texas Health Resources’ not-for-profit physician organization based in Arlington. The group includes more than 830 physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and medical professionals dedicated to providing safe, quality care for its patients. THPG’s primary care and specialist network represents 57 medical specialties, in addition to offering sleep lab services, infusion services and diagnostic imaging. Its 250-plus locations cover 6,429 square miles in 11 North Texas counties. For more information about THPG, or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-916-8080 or visit THPG.org. Providers employed by Texas Health Physicians Group practice independently and are not employees of the hospital or Texas Health Resources.

About Texas Health Resources: Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley Hospitals, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.
Texas Health Resources and Texas Health Physicians Group (THPG) are launching a new clinic model called Texas Health Your Health Center that addresses the growing, medically underserved senior population in North
UT Southwestern’s technological integration places academic medical center among the “Most Wired” for fifth consecutive year

“Our technology seamlessly integrates into every mission at UT Southwestern,” said Dr. Bruce Meyer, Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs. “It is fundamental to continually improve patient care, to remain at the forefront of innovative research, and to ensure the next generation of physicians is well-prepared for the challenges awaiting them. Receiving this honor for the fifth consecutive year reflects that commitment on all fronts.”

To promote technology integration, UT Southwestern recently announced the establishment of the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics, which is using technology to bridge research and clinical care. The new department is dedicated to developing UT Southwestern’s capability in bioinformatics, a discipline that provides tools for managing and analyzing the extremely large data sets that are increasingly key to addressing the most important scientific and medical challenges. Finding the patterns in these data sets has become an essential component of biomedical discovery and is crucial to developing new therapeutic strategies and to understanding the foundations of life and the defects that cause disease. Created with an exceptional $25 million gift from Dallas businesswoman and philanthropist Lyda Hill, this support is strengthening investment in modern computing infrastructure that is vital to the work of the Medical Center.

In addition, data warehousing – compiling large databases – helps medical researchers identify and investigate trends, determine which new technologies are most effective, and identify populations that are most at risk. Investing in data warehouse development supports UT Southwestern’s distinctive mission as an academic medical center.

UT Southwestern’s latest technological advancements in support of patient care have focused on expanding technology to enable more interaction between caregivers and patients beyond the walls of the Medical Center.

“We are applying technology to improve the overall health and well-being of the patients we serve, not just when they are in the hospital here in Dallas,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, Associate Vice President and Chief of Operations for Health System Affairs. “For example, within UT Southwestern University Hospitals, we are using videoconferencing to help caregivers communicate with patients, but we are also using this technology to connect patients with their families in other locations.”

UT Southwestern has also further expanded telemedicine capabilities in its clinics, launching a “video visits” pilot program in which select clinics use telemedicine to benefit patients. In areas such as heart care, stroke, and transplant medicine, videoconferencing allows UT Southwestern physicians to connect with patients and physicians outside the immediate area to provide the benefit of UT Southwestern’s expertise. Referring physicians have been significant benefactors of this type of technological outreach. With appropriate patient consent, more than 150 community physicians and several area hospitals are able to electronically connect and send medical information to UT Southwestern’s information systems.

“Secure information technologies connect UT Southwestern physicians with referring physicians in the community so that patients can have the best medical experience when visiting the Medical Center,” Mr. Gunasekaran said.

Technology and data also are being used to help identify at-risk patients and gaps in care, so that programs can be tailored to better assist patients. By applying data warehousing and advanced analytics technologies, analysts and physicians are able to identify patients that are most at-risk for illness, or patients who are missing routine preventative care. Automated systems perform real-time analysis to ensure that these care gaps are both identified and addressed. The aim is to get a more complete view of the patient, integrating patient information into electronic health records by making the MyChart tool more easily accessible through smartphone applications.

MyChart allows patients to make and track appointments, see test results, communicate with physicians and nurses, and carry medical records easily in their pocket through phone apps. In addition, an increasing number of people are using the apps to help manage health care needs for elderly parents and children.

“We are using these technologies to make a difference in patient’s lives even when they are not on our campus,” Mr. Gunasekaran added.

Videoconferencing also is playing a greater role and has been fundamentally integrated into UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospitaland Zale Lipshy University Hospital. Through videoconferencing technology at the hospitals, patients are able to connect with loved ones as well as physicians, whether at UT Southwestern or in their hometowns. Physicians on campus are able to connect with UT Southwestern doctors at other locations, with pathologists to discuss lab results, and with colleagues around the world.

In keeping with UT Southwestern’s mission to educate current and future generations of physicians, UT Southwestern faculty can use the videoconferencing technology to improve learning opportunities for medical students. For example, SMART Board technology is integrated throughout the two hospitals, which allows medical records, x-rays, and other images to be accessed for medical conferences and case discussions among multidisciplinary teams, while allowing students instant access to the notations being made. That keeps UT Southwestern at the forefront of medical education and ensures graduates are nationally competitive and prepared for the next steps in their education.

Testing new technologies prior to large rollouts, as well as ensuring data remains secure, are critical elements of UT Southwestern’s technology strategy. The Medical Center’s information technology development was driven by a 2002 gift from an anonymous donor who challenged the university to develop an IT infrastructure that would augment the quality of care provided to patients. Additional donations ensured that this infrastructure was used to drive patient-centric innovation and improvement.

“The steadfast backing we continue to receive from the philanthropic community and its visionary leaders helps UT Southwestern to maintain its leading edge in the technology that advances patient care and the research that is essential to providing the highest quality of care,” said Dr. Meyer, who holds the T.C. Lupton Family Professorship in Patient Care, in Honor of Dr. John Dowling McConnell and Dr. David Andrew Pistenmaa.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.
UT Southwestern Medical Center is on the national “Most Wired” hospitals list for a fifth consecutive year, thanks to its use of such technologies as databases to help physicians better identify high-risk patients and tools that keep physicians, nurses, and patients communicating effectively.

The “Most Wired” list is distributed annually by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association. The magazine evaluates hospitals on information technology in four areas: infrastructure, business/administrative management, clinical quality/safety, and clinical integration.
Mike A. Myers Sky Bridge at Parkland connects two generations of hospitals
Elevated walkway provides safe, secure way to cross busy boulevard

Viewed from outside, images of trees etched in glass above the street on the 923-foot long Mike A. Myers Sky Bridge mirror those on the new hospital. From the inside, the tree branches and leaves are formed by names of more than 10,700 individuals, paid for by 4,732 donors to the I Stand for Parkland campaign. A kiosk will help individuals find their names on the bridge.

One of the design goals for the new hospital was “to put the ‘park’ back in Parkland.”

“The shape of the columns that hold up the bridge are designed to resemble the forked tree trunks,” said Lou Saksen, Senior Vice President of New Parkland Construction. “All of the trees and landscape that had to be removed as part of the bridge construction were surveyed. Our plans are to put them back in their original place or another location on the new Parkland campus.”

The sky bridge begins on the second floor of the new Parkland and ends at the third floor connector between the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Sprague Building and the current hospital. The bridge is 14 feet wide at both ends and widens to 16 feet over Harry Hines. It is climate controlled, lit with energy-saving dimmable LED lighting, has fire, smoke and water sprinkler controls and is technologically integrated with Parkland’s communications services.

Above the sky bridge ceiling is a 6-tube pneumatic system that connects the new and current Parkland campuses. Parkland received a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the sky bridge on June 23. The sky bridge will be in use when the new Parkland opens Aug. 20.

“Regardless of the time of day, the sky bridge will provide a safe and secure way to travel from one side of the campus to the other,” Saksen added.

For more information about the new Parkland hospital, please visit www.parklandhospital.com.
Rising 30 feet above Harry Hines Boulevard in Dallas’ medical district is a glass-enclosed sky bridge connecting the current hospital to the new state-of-the-art Parkland Memorial Hospital. The sky bridge will serve as the primary pedestrian walk way between the new hospital and those services remaining in their current location.
Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital earns top score for Patient Satisfaction in First National Ratings 

The scores on the Hospital Compare website of the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rate patient perspectives on hospital care from one star (poor) to five stars (excellent). Five Texas Health Resources hospitals ranked among the 336 hospitals nationwide (nine percent of hospitals reviewed) that received five stars, including Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital.

“Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital is unyielding in its quest to provide a positive and memorable patient experience,” said Dr. William Nesbitt, hospital president and cardiac electrophysiologist on the medical staff at Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital. “Our hospital’s rating serves as a testimony on how each and every employee, no matter the job title, is committed to giving each person that walks through our doors the respect and care he or she deserves.”

           The patient experience ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures that are included in Hospital Compare. Go to www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare to see hospitals’ ratings.

           “Our goal is always to achieve excellence in safety, clinical outcomes and service,” said Daniel Varga, M.D., senior executive vice president and chief clinical officer of Texas Health. “This means exceeding the expectations of patients, who have told us what they want—to help them heal, keep them safe and be kind to them.”

A national advocate for transparency and accountability in health care safety and quality, Texas Health last year published its “Quality and Safety Report to the Community:  A Transparent Report Card from Texas Health Resources.” Texas Health was the first health system in Texas, and one of only a few in the U.S., that is publicly posting quality, safety and patient satisfaction data, including HCAHPS scores. The Texas Health scorecards are based on independent, nationally recognized clinical indicators. Go to www.TexasHealth.org/Quality-Reports to view the report.

About Texas Health Heart and Vascular Hospital Arlington: Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital Arlington is a 48-bed facility located on the campus of Texas Health Arlington Memorial. The hospital’s services include diagnostic and interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiovascular surgery, thoracic surgery and vascular surgery. Our state-of-the-art facilities include the only Hansen robotic catheter ablationsystem in the Metroplex for treating abnormal heart rhythms. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealthHeartandVascular.org.

Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital Arlington is a joint venture, physician investor-owned hospital.
Texas Health Heart & Vascular Hospital Arlington received the maximum grade of five stars in a rating of patients’ experience of care of more than 3,500 hospitals that is posted on a federal government website.
William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital garners national quality and safety award for academic medical centers

“We are pleased to be recognized from among more than 300 academic medical center hospitals for our ongoing efforts and commitment to quality and safety at Clements University Hospital,” said Dr. Bruce Meyer, Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs. “This recognition underscores our dedication to achieve the highest levels of safety and quality care for our patients,” added Dr. Meyer, who holds the T.C. Lupton Family Professorship in Patient Care, in Honor of Dr. John Dowling McConnell and Dr. David Andrew Pistenmaa.

The UHC Quality and Accountability Study was designed to help academic medical centers identify structures and practicesthat are associated with high performance in quality and safety. The study analyzes organizational performance in the National Academy of Medicine’s domains of care: mortality, effectiveness, safety, equity, patient centeredness, and efficiency.

UT Southwestern received the award during the UHC annual conference held Oct. 1-2 in Orlando, Fla., the largest such event focused exclusively on academic medical centers, according to the UHC, an alliance of the nation's leading nonprofit academic medical centers that fosters collaboration with and among its 117 academic medical center and 310 affiliated hospital members.

UT Southwestern’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, which opened last December, was always envisioned as abuilding that would support and facilitate the delivery of higher quality care for patients and families. The design process was collaborative, including nurses, physicians, support staff, and patients and their family members, all offering perspective and ideas about quality, safety, efficiency, and the patient experience. The result is a 12-floor, 460-bed facility in which every detail contributes to enhanced patient care. For example, the building’s distinctive W-shape reduces the distances caregivers must travel to reach patients, provides better adjacencies for members of care teams, and reduces hallway traffic, contributing to an unusually quiet, peaceful environment for healing.

“This focus on quality, safety, and efficiency was front of mind when we designed our new Clements University Hospital,”said Dr. John Warner, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of UT Southwestern University Hospitals. “Receiving this award in our first year of operation reflects not only the success of the design, but more importantly the commitment of our faculty and staff to thequality, safety and experience of the care they deliver,” added Dr. Warner, Professor of Internal Medicine and holder of the Jim and Norma Smith Distinguished Chair for Interventional Cardiology, and the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Chair in Cardiovascular Research.

The hospital, located at 6201 Harry Hines Blvd. in Dallas, is named for former Texas Governor William P. Clements Jr., who in 2009 made an unprecedented $100 million gift to benefit UT Southwestern, the largest single contribution in the institution’s history. The gift was unrestricted in its use, with only one stipulation – that the funds be used for a transformational purpose. Governor Clements’ gift, along with the combined generosity of the Dallas philanthropic community, was instrumental in making the Building the Future of Medicine campaign a success, raising more than $200 million for the hospital.

Clements University Hospital fully integrates the university Medical Center’s three-part mission: excellence in patient care, the education and training of current and future caregivers, and research that improves the care and health of people everywhere.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinicalcare and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 millionoutpatient visits a year.
UT Southwestern Medical Center’s William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital has received a national Rising Star Quality Leadership award from the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) for its quality and safety efforts.

The award recognizes significant improvements in ranking in the UHC's annual Quality and Accountability Study, which identifies exemplary performance in patient safety, mortality, clinical effectiveness, and equity of care among academic medical centers. UT Southwestern now ranks within in the top 20.
Parkland pediatrician says risk of sleep-related infant deaths can be reduced
Educating parents about medical, environmental causes is crucial

About 4,000 infants die suddenly and unexpectedly in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These deaths are called sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID). The most frequently reported causes of SUID are Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed; and unknown causes.

During October, which is designated as SIDS, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, pediatricians emphasize that as many as 80 to 90 percent of sudden unexpected infant deaths are the result of unsafe sleep practices such as bed sharing, use of soft bedding and stomach sleep position.

“It’s vital for parents and care­givers to know the lifesaving steps they can take to protect their baby from SUID, including suffocation and accidents during sleep,” said Donna Persaud, MD, Parkland’s Chief of Pediatrics, “because the majority of these deaths are preventable.”

There has been a major decline in the incidence of SIDS in the past two decades, thanks in large part to recommendations issued by the AAP in 1992 that infants be placed for sleep in a “non-prone” position.

“But the decline has plateaued in recent years,” said Dr. Persaud, “and other causes of sleep-related deaths in infants have increased. Pediatricians are focusing attention on educating parents about ways to create a safe sleep environment that can reduce the risk of all sleep-related infant deaths.”

AAP recommendations include supine positioning, use of a firm sleep surface, breastfeeding, room-sharing without bed-sharing, routine immunizations, consideration of using a pacifier, and avoidance of soft bedding, overheating, and exposure to tobacco smoke, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Following these recommendations, Dr. Persaud said, can help ensure your baby awakes safely:

Back to sleep for every sleep – To reduce the risk of SIDS, infants should be placed for sleep in the supine position (on their back) for every sleep by every caregiver until 1 year of age. Sleeping on their back does not increase the risk of choking and aspiration in infants, even those with gastro-esophageal reflux.
Use a firm sleep surface like a crib mattress covered by a fitted sheet to reduce the risk of SIDS and suffocation. A crib, bassinet or portable crib/play yard that meets the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International is recommended.
Do not place babies to sleep on soft surfaces such as adult beds, waterbeds, sofas, chairs, quilts and sheepskins and do not use devices like wedges, positioners or special mattresses because of the risk of entrapment and suffocation.
Room-sharing without bed-sharing is recommended. This arrangement decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent and also is most likely to prevent suffocation, strangulation and entrapment that might occur when the infant is sleeping in an adult bed.
The infant’s crib, portable crib, play yard or bassinet should be placed in the parents’ bedroom close to the parents’ bed to facilitate feeding, comforting and monitoring of the infant.
Infants may be brought into the bed for feeding or comforting but should be returned to their own crib or bassinet when the parent is ready to return to sleep. The AAP does not recommend any bed-sharing situation as safe and it should be avoided at all times.
Keep soft objects, bumper pads, toys, pillows and loose bedding out of the crib to reduce risk of SIDS, suffocation, entrapment and strangulation.
Do not smoke while you are pregnant and do not expose babies to second-hand smoke after they are born. New research also warns of the dangers of third-hand smoke, the chemicals left behind on clothing, in homes and in cars. Smoke in the infant’s environment is a major risk factor for SIDS.
Do not use loose blankets in a baby’s crib. Avoid overheating. Infants should be dressed with at most only one layer of additional clothing than an adult would wear to be comfortable in that environment.
Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime. Do not hang the pacifier around the infant’s neck or attach to the infant’s clothing due to risk of suffocation.
Educate everyone you know who cares for babies about these important safety tips.

For more information on Parkland services, please visit www.parklandhospital.org
Whether caused by natural or accidental factors, the death of an infant is a devastating tragedy. The loss can be even more heartbreaking when the death could have been prevented. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the majority of sleep-related infant deaths are preventable by better educating parents and caregivers about safe sleep practices.
UT Southwestern researchers develop classification model for cancers caused by most frequently mutated cancer gene

           “This work further supports the idea that not all oncogenic KRAS mutations function in the same way to cause cancer. The model we developed  may help in subclassifying KRAS-mutant cancers so they can be treated more effectively, using therapies that are tailored to each mutation,” said Dr. Kenneth Westover, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology and Biochemistry. “Furthermore, this study gives new fundamental understanding to why certain KRAS-mutant cancers, for example those containing the KRAS G13D mutation, behave as they do.”

           The findings are available in Molecular Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

           KRAS is one of the main members of the RAS family. About a third of all human cancers, including a high percentage of pancreatic, lung, and colorectal cancers, are driven by mutations in RAS genes, which also make cells resistant to some available cancer therapies, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Specific KRAS mutations dominate in particular cancer types, giving rise to the notion that certain KRAS mutations may have distinct biological activities. Laboratory and clinical data support this hypothesis.

           In this study, the researchers evaluated eight of the most common KRAS mutants for key biochemical properties including nucleotide exchange rates, enzymatic activity, and binding activity related to a key signaling protein, RAF kinase. The researchers observed significant differences between the mutants, including about a tenfold increase in the rate of nucleotide exchange for the specific mutant KRAS G13D, highly variable KRAS enzymatic activities, and variability in affinity for RAF. They also determined high-resolution, three-dimensional X-ray crystal structures for several of the most common mutants, which led to a better understanding of some of the biochemical activities observed.

           “We attempted to use the observed structural changes to explain these differences in biochemical behavior.  By integrating our data, we have proposed a biochemical classification scheme to predict the propensity of different KRAS mutants to signal through RAF kinase. If validated, our model could have value for selecting targeted therapies for cancer patients with specific KRAS mutations,” said Dr. Westover.

           Members of the Westover lab plan to continue this line of work by testing their models in more complex experimental systems, such as genetically engineered cancer cell lines. 

Dr. Westover works as both a clinician as a member of the Radiation Oncology team at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and as a researcher in the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Biochemistry. The Westover laboratory investigates the molecular basis of cancer with a focus on developing tailored cancer therapies.

           This research is supported by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, The Welch Foundation, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Additional contributing UT Southwestern researchers, all from Radiation Oncology, included lead author Dr. John C. Hunter, Dr. Martin A. Carrasco, and Dr. Deepak Gurbani, all current or former postdoctoral researchers; Anuj Manandhar, research technician; and Dr. Sudershan Gondi, staff scientist.

           UT Southwestern’s  Simmons Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in North Texas and one of just 45 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center includes 13 major cancer care programs with a focus on treating the whole patient with innovative treatments, while fostering groundbreaking basic research that has the potential to improve patient care and prevention of cancer worldwide. In addition, the Center’s education and training programs support and develop the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians.

           The Simmons Cancer Center is among only 30 U.S. cancer research centers to be named a National Clinical Trials Network Lead Academic Participating Site, a prestigious new designation by the NCI, and the only cancer center in North Texas to be so designated. The designation and associated funding is designed to bolster the cancer center’s clinical cancer research for adults and to provide patients access to cancer research trials sponsored by the NCI, where promising new drugs often are tested.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have developed a classification for cancers caused by KRAS, the most frequently mutated gene in cancer, that could eventually help oncologists choose more effective, customized cancer therapies.

           That new strategy is based on models that researchers developed to classify cancers caused by KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) mutations, which cause cells to grow uncontrollably. Although KRAS-driven cancer mutations have long been a focus of cancer research, effective targeted therapies are not available.
Parkland’s clinical staff assists patients with health literacy
Health outcomes may be affected by how well a person understands

short sentences and define technical terms.

“We don’t all learn the same way. Some of us prefer hearing the information, others want a written document, and for those who don’t read well, or can’t read at all, it’s important to have photos or drawings,” said Shirin Pestonjee, RN, Clinical Education Manager at Parkland. “In addition, we make sure our education material is written to eliminate medical jargon and consistently incorporate language and formatting designed to make the material as accessible as possible to patients with low health literacy.”

Low health literacy is more prevalent among older adults, minority populations, those who have a low socioeconomic status and the medically-underserved population, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Those patients typically have difficulty locating providers and services, filling out complex health forms, sharing their medical history with providers or knowing the connection between risky behaviors and health.

Health literacy also includes numeracy skills. For example, calculating cholesterol and blood sugar levels, measuring medications and understanding nutrition labels all require math skills. Choosing between health plans or comparing drug coverage requires calculating premiums, copays and deductibles.

“People with limited health literacy often lack health knowledge or have misinformation about the body as well as the nature and causes of disease,” Pestonjee said. “Without this knowledge, they may not understand the relationship between lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise and various health outcomes.”

Health information can overwhelm even persons with advanced literacy skills, she noted. Medical science progresses rapidly. What people may have learned about health or biology during their school years often becomes outdated or forgotten, or it is incomplete. Moreover, health information provided in a stressful or unfamiliar situation is unlikely to be retained.

“We seek to provide high quality care for every patient in our system. It’s important that they play an active role in their healthcare,” Pestonjee added, “so if that means taking extra time to ensure they know what they need to do to get on the path to good health, we’re going to do it.”

For more information about services at Parkland, please visit www.parklandhospital.com
Understanding complex medical terms and what they mean can be difficult at best, but when there are language and education barriers, making informed healthcare decisions can be virtually impossible.

That’s why clinical staff at Parkland Health & Hospital System work to ensure healthcare materials such as hospital discharge papers or care instructions include simple language,
Study shows antioxidant use may promote spread of cancer

Metastasis, the process by which cancer cells disseminate from their primary site to other parts of the body, leads to the death of most cancer patients. The CRI team found that when antioxidants were administered to the mice, the cancer spread more quickly than in mice that did not get antioxidants. The study was published online today in Nature.

It has long been known that the spread of cancer cells from one part of the body to another is an inefficient process in which the vast majority of cancer cells that enter the blood fail to survive.

“We discovered that metastasizing melanoma cells experience very high levels of oxidative stress, which leads to the death of most metastasizing cells,” said Dr. Sean Morrison, CRI Director and Mary McDermott Cook Chair in Pediatric Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Administration of antioxidants to the mice allowed more of the metastasizing melanoma cells to survive, increasing metastatic disease burden.”

“The idea that antioxidants are good for you has been so strong that there have been clinical trials done in which cancer patients were administered antioxidants,” added Dr. Morrison, who is also a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. “Some of those trials had to be stopped because the patients getting the antioxidants were dying faster. Our data suggest the reason for this: cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells do.”

Healthy people who do not have cancer may very well benefit from antioxidants that can help reduce damage from highly reactive oxidative molecules generated by normal metabolism. While the study’s results have not yet been tested in people, they raise the possibility that cancer should be treated with pro-oxidants and that cancer patients should not supplement their diet with large doses of antioxidants.

“This finding also opens up the possibility that when treating cancer, we should test whether increasing oxidative stress through the use of pro-oxidants would prevent metastasis,” said Dr. Morrison. “One potential approach is to target the folate pathway that melanoma cells use to survive oxidative stress, which would increase the level of oxidative stress in the cancer cells.”

Other CRI researchers involved in the research were first author, Dr. Elena Piskounova;

Dr. Michalis Agathocleous; Dr. Malea M. Murphy; and Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and in the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development at UT Southwestern, who also holds the Joel B. Steinberg, M.D. Chair in Pediatrics and is a Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research. The work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Cancer and Prevention Research Institute of Texas, and donors to the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

About CRI: Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is a joint venture established in 2011 to build upon the comprehensive clinical expertise of Children’s Health System of Texas and the internationally recognized scientific excellence of UT Southwestern Medical Center. CRI’s mission is to perform transformative biomedical research to better understand the biological basis of disease, seeking breakthroughs that can change scientific fields and yield new strategies for treating disease. Located in Dallas, Texas, CRI is creating interdisciplinary groups of exceptional scientists and physicians to pursue research at the interface of regenerative medicine, cancer biology and metabolism, fields that hold uncommon potential for advancing science and medicine. More information about CRI is available on its website: cri.utsw.edu/.
A team of scientists at the Children’s Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has made a discovery that suggests cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells, raising concerns about the use of dietary antioxidants by patients with cancer. The studies were conducted in specialized mice that had been transplanted with melanoma cells from patients. Prior studies had shown that the metastasis of human melanoma cells in these mice is predictive of their metastasis in patients.
Diet, exercise, weight control crucial in fight against breast cancer
Parkland physicians, patients incorporate lifestyle changes in treatment plan

The study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine in September is part of a steadily-growing body of research showing that a diet rich in fish, plant foods, nuts and extra virgin olive oil may protect against an array of dreaded health conditions, including heart disease, memory loss and now, breast cancer.

According to Nisha Unni, MD, oncologist at Parkland Health & Hospital System and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the study provides another clue that the Mediterranean diet may offer significant protection from breast cancer.

“I tell my breast cancer patients that lifestyle choices are very important,” Dr. Unni said. “We know that maintaining a healthy weight through good nutrition and regular exercise are protective against many diseases, including breast cancer.”

Diet is one of many lifestyle changes that Dallas resident Zahra Mazlaghani, 48, one of Dr. Unni’s patients at Parkland, made after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Since completing chemotherapy and radiation, she has been doing well with treatment.

“I used to eat lots of red meat and beef, sweets and soda,” Mazlaghani said. “After I got cancer, I changed my diet totally. I went to a class to learn more about nutrition and how it impacts health. Now I have a very healthy diet.”

Mazlaghani eats organic fruits and vegetables, almost no sweets, and allows herself a small amount of organic lamb or beef once or twice a month. Instead of coffee and sodas, she drinks black or green tea, lots of water with fresh lemon and vegetable juices she blends using green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, along with fruits like green apples.

In addition, Mazlaghani exercises at least four times a week on a treadmill or bike, takes natural vitamin supplements including Vitamin D and calcium and uses both grape oil and olive oil in her cooking. With no family history of breast cancer, she believes that making good lifestyle choices is helping her stay healthy

“It’s not hard to eat a healthy diet once you get used to it,” Mazlaghani said. “It just becomes a habit. I tell people it’s easy, just don’t be lazy about making good food choices. Now, I never eat fast food, junk food or fried food.”

As for expense, she said purchasing organic fruits and vegetables, eggs and meat is worth it. “I focus on the quality of food, rather than quantity,” she said.

Dr. Unni is pleased that Mazlaghani is doing well with her new exercise and eating habits. “I am amazed at how fit she has become,” she said.  “We know that staying away from sugar and saturated fats is crucial. Maintaining a healthy weight through good nutrition and regular exercise can help prevent many diseases, including breast cancer.”

Dr. Unni said studies show that alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer, so women should have no more than 1-1/2 drinks of alcohol daily and she recommends avoiding hormones and pesticides in foods as much as possible. Exercise is extremely important, as well.

“I tell my patients to get at least 2-1/2 hours of moderate-paced walking per week plus weight-bearing exercise for muscle tone and bone health.”

Including extra virgin olive oil every day in one’s diet, consuming 30 grams daily of nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds, and decreasing the amount of dietary fat are additional recommendations she makes to her patients.

“Adding olive oil to the diet is one of the least expensive things we could ask patients to do in their cooking,” she said. “Many studies show the health benefits.”

Dr. Unni said she became a medical oncologist because she enjoys developing a lifelong bond with her patients, and she specialized in breast cancer because she knew it was a way she could make a difference in women’s lives.

“I want to give them the tools to fight as hard as they can and live a long life,” she says.

Dr. Unni sees each patient as an individual who needs a personalized treatment plan, not as a textbook case. To create that plan, she gets to know all aspects of her patient’s life, beyond just the details about her disease.

Parkland will host a “Come Together for the Cure” breast cancer awareness luncheon in conjunction with Susan G. Komen Dallas County from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24 at Light of the World Church of Christ, 7408 S. Hampton Rd., Dallas 75232. The event includes breast cancer screenings, workshops and speakers. For more information, call 214.266.4398.

Parkland provides screening mammograms, breast cancer education, and case management services to medically underserved women in Dallas County. Parkland’s mobile mammography unit visits its Community Oriented Primary Care health centers regularly. For more information on the mobile mammography unit screening schedule, visit www.parklandhospital.com/mobile_mammography or call 214.266.3300. To learn more about Parkland’s Comprehensive Breast Center, visit www.parklandhospital.com/breast_cente
What if a diet of fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and a big splash of extra virgin olive oil every day could reduce your risk of breast cancer by almost 70 percent?

It’s a question doctors and patients all over the world are discussing this October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thanks to a recently published study showing the potentially dramatic impact of the so-called “Mediterranean diet” on breast cancer rates.
UT Southwestern researchers determine structure of an enzyme complex that plays a vital role in cancer development

tumors and other diseases, including Weaver syndrome, a rare congenital disorder associated with rapid growth, skeletal abnormalities, and delayed development.

           “Our findings bring us one step closer to understanding the chemistry of how PRC2 functions in normal cells and how mutations in the gene cause disease,” said senior author Dr. Xin Liu, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and of Biophysics at UT Southwestern.

           The findings were published online Oct. 16 by the journal Science.

           “Producing either too much or too little PRC2 enzyme can unexpectedly silence or activate genes, which is not good for the cell. This study revealed how a ‘normal’ level of PRC2 enzyme activity is kept and regulated in cells,” explained Dr. Liu, also a member of the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center for Reproductive Biology Sciences and the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research.

           Dr. Liu said the findings identify the various ways that PRC2 acts, which in turn is helpful in understanding the chemical basis of related diseases and should aid in the development of new treatments for those diseases.
           “Indeed, several clinical trials are currently ongoing to target PRC2, and we believe our work will shed light on these and other studies in drug development by offering insights into how PRC2 works at the atomic level,” he said.

           In particular, Dr. Liu indicated that small-molecule drugs are being developed to inhibit PRC2 enzyme activity for treatment of some types of lymphoma. These drugs may prove beneficial, he said, since PRC2 has been found to be overly active in promoting further development of these cancer types.

           The findings lay the groundwork for further investigation of PRC2 function and regulation in both normal and diseased cells. Among next steps, the research team led by Dr. Liu is now elucidating how PRC2 is regulated during interactions with chromatin and how the complex interacts with other cellular proteins on and off chromatin. This work may offer a deeper and more thorough understanding of PRC2 function and its dysregulation in human disease.

           From a science perspective, this finding is groundbreaking. The 4-year-long investigation – for the first time – revealed the 3-D atomic structure of PRC2, in this case from a fungus and at high resolution. Some molecules known to regulate the enzyme activity of PRC2 in both normal and cancer cells were captured in action in the structure as well. This work not only solved some long-standing mysteries about the molecular mechanisms of PRC2 enzyme catalysis and regulation, but also provided a structural framework for the development of future cancer therapies.

           “The widely used analytic technique of X-ray crystallography was utilized to deduce the protein structures based on X-ray diffraction patterns of PRC2 crystals generated at synchrotron particle accelerators,” said Dr. Lianying Jiao, a postdoctoral researcher in the Liu lab and first author of the study.

The research was supported by grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the Welch Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Liu also received support as a W.W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research at UT Southwestern, and from the Cecil H. and Ida Green Center Training Program in Reproductive Biology Sciences.

The study used resources of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory and of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, both supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

The Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in North Texas and one of just 45 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation. The Simmons Cancer Center includes 13 major cancer care programs with a focus on treating the whole patient with innovative treatments, while fostering groundbreaking basic research that has the potential to improve patient care and prevention of cancer worldwide. In addition, the Center’s education and training programs support and develop the next generation of cancer researchers and clinicians.

The Simmons Cancer Center is among only 30 U.S. cancer research centers to be named a National Clinical Trials Network Lead Academic Participating Site, a prestigious new designation by the NCI, and the only cancer center in North Texas to be so designated. The designation and associated funding is designed to bolster the cancer center’s clinical cancer research for adults and to provide patients access to cancer research trials sponsored by the NCI, where promising new drugs often are tested.

About UT Southwestern Medical Center: UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty includes many distinguished members, including six who have been awarded Nobel Prizes since 1985. The faculty of more than 2,700 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide medical care in 40 specialties to about 92,000 hospitalized patients and oversee approximately 2.1 million outpatient visits a year.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have deciphered the long-sought atomic structure of PRC2, an enzyme complex that plays a key role in the development of several types of cancer, in particular blood cancer.
           PRC2, or polycomb repressive complex 2, is a key regulator of human development and controls gene expression patterns by altering the structure of chromatin, a complex formed by protein and DNA. As an enzyme complex, PRC2 modifies a protein in chromatin, resulting in key changes in chromatin structure that silence certain genes. Abnormal regulation of PRC2 function, often caused by mutations in the PRC2 gene, has been linked to cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia, brain
Parkland experts encourage early vaccination as flu season begins
Vaccine provides high level of protection

Anyone can get the flu regardless of age, and it can have serious consequences. Anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population is affected by the flu virus every season and about 36,000 people die. It is especially important for women who are pregnant to get vaccinated since they are at a higher risk for complications from the flu.

“The bottom line is vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu,” said Donna Persaud, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at Parkland Health & Hospital System. “It boosts immunity and also reduces the severity of complications if someone does contract the flu.”

Dr. Persaud said studies have shown that children who are vaccinated have a 74 percent decreased risk of getting admitted to a pediatric ICU with flu-related illnesses and similar risk reductions were seen in adults and the elderly.

It’s important to get the vaccine early since it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection.

That’s why Parkland’s Community Oriented Primary Care health centers are offering flu vaccines as part of the Walk-In Wednesday’s campaign. Dallas County residents can get flu vaccines without having to make an appointment from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. every Wednesday during fall and winter months. If they prefer, people can call 214.266.4000 to schedule an appointment.

Parkland accepts insurance, including Medicaid/Chip and Medicare. All children will be assessed to determine if they are eligible for the Texas Vaccines for Children's immunization program. Patients who are enrolled in the Parkland Financial Assistance (PFA) program can get their vaccines covered at no or low cost. PFA members will be responsible for their payment dependent on the PFA level. For persons without health insurance, Parkland can provide financial screening.

“Pregnant women with the flu have a greater chance for serious problems for their fetuses, including premature birth,” Patricia Chenault-Salisbury, MS, APRN, Clinic Manager at Parkland’s E. Carlyle Smith Jr. Health Center in Grand Prairie. Most major organizations such as the CDC, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated against the flu.

“Some women fear that the vaccine will adversely affect their babies, but research has shown that there are health benefits for the unborn babies, and those benefits continue for up to six months,” Chenault-Salisbury said. “Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to the mothers or their unborn children.”

To find the Parkland COPC health center nearest you, visit www.parklandhospital.com/locations
Fall not only brings cooler weather and football, it also marks the beginning of flu season that usually starts in October and can last through March or later.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stress that this year’s flu vaccine is a good match for influenza strains expected this season.