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Date: Monday, November 29, 2004

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UH JCAHO Site Visit Goes Well

The recent visit to University Hospital (UH) by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) went well. JCAHO surveyors visited every area of the hospital, completed 50 patient tracers and conducted 10 group sessions and many individual interviews. They came away impressed with UH's services, departments and systems, and commented that several were the best they had ever seen. JCAHO surveyors also praised UH's caring, committed and knowledgeable staff. This was the last scheduled JCAHO survey for UH. All future surveys will be unannounced. Congratulations to everyone for their preparations, extra efforts and outstanding performance during the week.


Student Organization Spotlight: The Student Wellness Committee

The COM's Student Wellness Committee (SWC) was established this spring to help students who might feel uncomfortable taking their problems directly to administration. A diverse group of medical students help their peers with issues ranging from the academic to the personal in a relaxed, nonthreatening setting. The SWC has already established a Student Wellness beeper, so students can reach them 24/7, and held an ice cream social. Other events are being planned. The group consists of students who are not only respected by their peers, but also demonstrate the ability to listen and give thoughtful advice during times of personal need. 


Medical Center Part of Statewide Organ Exchange Program

UC Medical Center is part of the new Living Donor Kidney Exchange Program, the first statewide organ exchange program of its kind in the U.S. The Web-based computer system used to match donors and recipients was created by Jonathan Kopke of UC's Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research. Other transplant centers have occasionally performed living donor kidney exchanges when they happened to notice two compatible pairs among their own patients. The new system, however, will be the first to arrange a kidney exchange by systematically searching for compatible pairs among the patients of multiple transplant centers. The system will increase the number of available organs and decrease waiting time by matching an individual who is willing to donate to a friend or family member, but is not a blood or immunology match, to a another potential recipient who is compatible.


Thomas Lectures This Friday

George Thomas, PhD, newly recruited deputy director of the Genome Research Institute, will give the fourth seminar in the UC Cancer Center Seminar Series at 11 a.m.  Friday in Rieveschl Auditorium at the Vontz Center. He will speak on  "The Role of Tumor Suppressors and Proto-Oncogenes in mTOR Signaling." Dr. Thomas is in the process of moving to Cincinnati after 20 years in Switzerland. CME credit is available, and a reception will follow the seminar.


Workshops Address Cultural Care Issues

Two upcoming workshops will address cultural competency education and racial and ethnic disparities in health care. On Dec. 6, Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH, director of Multicultural Affairs at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, will present a dinner/workshop on "Cross-Cultural Education: Key Concepts and Strategies for Teaching," at the Kingsgate Conference Center.  On Dec. 7, Dr. Betancourt will deliver a grand rounds presentation on "The Institute of Medicine Report: Unequal Treatment, Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care." For more information, call 558-4898.


Pathak Wins Best Poster Award at National Competition

Anand Pathak, an MD/PhD student in pharmacology and cell biophysics, won the Best Poster award in basic science at the scientific session of the American Heart Association (AHA) meeting earlier this month. Pathak, recipient of a predoctoral AHA fellowship, is working under the direction of Evangelia Kranias, PhD.


RoselleReceives DHS Bioterrorism Funding

Gary Roselle, MD, medical director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, has received funding for a national bioterrorism surveillance initiative from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Dr. Roselle, a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, will work in collaboration with the CDC, DHS and other government departments. The initiative is a national, computer-based bioterrorism early-alert system that has additional "full-use" capabilities for early detection of other, nonintentional illness clusters that might otherwise go undetected.


COM Staff Serving on UC|21 Implementation Teams

The COM is well represented on UC|21 Implementation Teams, which are developing plans for university-wide initiatives related to UC|21's six goals: Place Students at the Center, Grow Our Research Excellence, Achieve Academic Excellence, Forge Key Relationships and Partnerships, Establish a Sense of Place and Create Opportunity. A complete list of representatives is located here.


Queen City 101

Cincinnati was the first city in the nation to establish a Jewish hospital (1850) and a Jewish theological college (Hebrew Union College in 1875).


Question of the Week

Q: With all the construction at Cincinnati Children's and the MSB, why isn't there a well marked crosswalk from Holmes to MSB? One would think that safety for students and employees would be a priority for UC.


A: Safety for our students and employees, as well as our patients, visitors and vendors, is always of paramount importance to UC. Sabin Way, which is the street in question between Holmes and the MSB, is a city street and therefore under the jurisdiction of the city.  We have been working aggressively with the city, which has been reviewing the situation and formulating the solution. We hope to have the situation resolved soon.

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