Faculty and Staff News
Adams nominated for U.S. Surgeon General
President Donald Trump recently nominated IU School of Medicine faculty member and alumnus Jerome Adams, MD, for U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Adams, assistant professor of clinical anesthesia, currently serves as Indiana State Health Commissioner. During his time as commissioner, he has strongly supported the fight against opioid addiction and has worked to address the HIV outbreak in Indiana.
For more, read this Q&A with Dr. Adams, which originally appeared in a 2016 issue of IU Medicine.
Chang and Obergfell to lead Fort Wayne health sciences campus development
Two highly respected health sciences professionals with longstanding ties to Fort Wayne have been selected to lead the development of IU's new health sciences campus in the city and help map out a strategy that ensures residents in northeast Indiana have access to high-quality health care providers close to home.
Fen-Lei Chang, director of IU School of Medicine-Fort Wayne, will chair the newly formed IU Fort Wayne Executive Committee. Ann M. Obergfell, a professor and dean at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne College of Health and Human Services, will assume the additional title of associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and operations at IU Fort Wayne. Both appointments were effective July 1.
The IU Board of Trustees and the Purdue Board of Trustees recently agreed to realign the IPFW campus. Under the new structure, IU will operate and manage the health sciences programs--medicine, nursing, dentistry, medical imaging and social work--on the Fort Wayne campus.
For more, visit News at IU.
New law on opioid prescribing takes effect this month
In response to the national opioid addiction crisis, a new Indiana law on opioid prescribing and dispensing took effect on July 1. The law restricts the threshold for longer-term opiate prescribing to help ensure patients in need of chronic pain therapy are carefully followed, monitored and assessed by established providers. It also helps limit the amount of unused pills that are at risk of being diverted by unintended individuals.
For full details on the new regulations, view Senate Enrolled Act 226.
IU School of Medicine to collaborate on health informatics training
IU School of Medicine will collaborate with the Regenstrief Institute, internationally recognized for its research and training programs in clinical informatics, on a new offering to train researchers in the increasingly important fields of public and population health informatics. The new program, which also includes collaboration with IU's Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, is supported by a five-year, $2.5 million award from the National Library of Medicine, an institute of the National Institutes of Health.
The Indiana Training Program in Public and Population Health Informatics, beginning this month, will prepare graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to work in a broad spectrum of entities in the health care industry and academia, as well as for local, state and federal public health departments. These trainees will fill a need--forecasted to grow over the next decade and beyond--for informaticians who can design, validate and implement solutions key to the maintenance and improvement of human health.
For more, visit the IU School of Medicine Newsroom.
Research provides first look at atomic structures found in Alzheimer’s disease
New research by scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United Kingdom and IU School of Medicine gives the most detailed view yet of tau protein structures found in Alzheimer's disease.
The team of the MRC scientists--led by Michel Goedert, MD, PhD, and Sjors Scheres, PhD--along with IU Distinguished Professor Bernardino Ghetti, MD, and assistant research professor Holly Garringer, PhD, of the IU School of Medicine Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, are the first to present high-resolution images of structures of tau filaments from the brain of a patient with a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Ghetti said their findings, published online July 5 in Nature, represent one of the major discoveries of the past 25 years in the field of Alzheimer’s disease research.
"This is a tremendous step forward," Dr. Ghetti said. "It's clear that tau is extremely important to the progression of Alzheimer's disease and certain forms of dementia. In terms of designing therapeutic agents, the possibilities are now enormous."
For more information on the discovery, check the IU School of Medicine Newsroom.
Study: Early home health worker visit lowers risk of hospital readmission
A visit by a home health worker within a week of an older adult's discharge from a skilled nursing facility (SNF) appears to lower the risk of hospital readmission within 30 days by nearly half according to a new Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute study.
Appointments with physicians, physician assistants or a nurse practitioner at the clinician's office--more expensive and a greater burden to the patient as well as the caregiver--did not have as strong an association with reduced risk of 30-day hospital readmission.
SNFs are intended for short-term stay (under 100 days) following hospital discharge to provide the medical, rehabilitation and other support that family and caregivers are not trained or equipped to provide. Beginning in 2018 Medicare will penalize SNFs as well as the hospital that treated the patient if re-hospitalization occurs within 30 days of discharge from the hospital.
"Transitions From Skilled Nursing Facility to Home: The Relationship of Early Outpatient Care to Hospital Readmission" is published online ahead of print in JAMDA. The study looks at over 1,500 community-dwelling older adults who were discharged to a SNF prior to returning home.
Visit the IU School of Medicine Newsroom to learn more.
Faculty and Staff News
New Employee Welcome sessions begin this month
Beginning this month, new IU School of Medicine staff members located in Indianapolis will be invited to the school's New Employee Welcome session. Named after polling the school community via INScope earlier this year, the New Employee Welcome session is one part of a three-step staff orientation process that also includes the established university benefits, safety and compliance trainings offered on the IUPUI campus and position- and department-specific orientation provided by the employee's department. This three-pronged approach is a dedicated effort to help new staff members navigate their initial weeks.
The New Employee Welcome will be offered monthly and session topics include the school's mission, vision, values, priorities, history, structure and employment essentials. Guest speakers and interactive activities are included to welcome new staff members to the IU School of Medicine community in an engaging way, and help connect new staff to resources early on in their careers with the school.
How will new staff be informed? When new staff members are hired, human resources representatives from across the school will inform new staff and/or their supervisors of the next available New Employee Welcome session date and encourage them to register online.
The first New Employee Welcome event will be held Thursday, July 20, from 8:30-11:30 am in Walther Hall, rooms C303/C305.
Chalasani named associate dean for clinical research
IU School of Medicine will enhance research that explores whether medical treatments or therapies are effective in humans with the appointment of a new associate dean for clinical research, Naga Chalasani, MD, an international leader in gastroenterology and hepatology research with extensive experience in patient-oriented research, clinical trials and drug development.
As the associate dean for clinical research, Dr. Chalasani will help IU School of Medicine grow the number of researchers engaged in clinical trials, encourage faculty participation and leadership in industry-sponsored clinical trials, promote the clinical trials resources of the IU Clinical Trials Office (CTO) and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI), liaise with hospital partners and pharmaceutical companies, and implement best practices to improve clinical research across the school.
The new position will be an addition to Dr. Chalasani's current roles as David W. Crabb Professor of Medicine at IU School of Medicine, division chief of gastroenterology and hepatology in the Department of Medicine and adjunct professor of cellular and integrative physiology. He joined IU School of Medicine in 1997 and became division chief in 2007.
Visit the IU School of Medicine Newsroom for more information on Dr. Chalasani’s appointment.
Liu named interim director of computational biology, bioinformatics center
Yunlong Liu, PhD, will promote advanced computation and informatics approaches to research seeking to prevent and treat diseases as the interim director of IU School of Medicine Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CCBB). The position is in addition to Dr. Liu's current roles as professor of medical and molecular genetics, adjunct professor of biostatistics and director of the Center for Medical Genomics, as well as adjunct professor of biohealth informatics at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.
Dr. Liu, who began his new duties July 1, leads a group of 19 multidisciplinary faculty members focused on using technology and data to increase understanding of normal and disease-associated biological processes, drug development and therapeutic responses.
For more details, check the IU School of Medicine Newsroom.
Vanichakarn launches game-changing educational app
Pantila Vanichakarn, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine, recently launched an app to enhance cardiology education among physicians and medical students. Hearing concern from residents about the desire to enhance their learning, Dr. Vanichakarn initially considered writing a handbook. That idea quickly transitioned to packaging the information for easy access via a mobile device.
"I realized that using a phone is easier than carrying around a book, especially in this digital age," said Dr. Vanichakarn, of designing the Krannert Cardiology Handbook app.
The app launched in June with help from Abhishek Khemka, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine; Richard J. Kovacs, MD, QE and Sally Russell Professor of Cardiology; Peng-Shen Chen, MD, director of the Krannert Institute of Cardiology and the Division of Cardiology; and others.
While the app currently includes basic content, Dr. Vanichakarn plans to supplement with additional topics, such as sports cardiology, and update content as she receives ideas and suggestions from users.
"I’m very proud of the app," Dr. Vanichakarn said. "It puts an emphasis on education and helps clinicians learn from one another. It couldn’t have been possible without all the cardiology faculty members who contributed to this tool."
Since launching last month, the app has been downloaded more than 250 times. To download, visit the app store and search "cardiology handbook." Currently, the app is available for Apple users and will soon be available on Android and Google platforms.
Faculty appointed editors of PLOS Science Communication Blog
With the goal of connecting and engaging the public with science, free of jargon and full of insight, the Public Library of Science (PLOS) Science Communication Blog (#SciCommPLOS) has named three IU School of Medicine faculty as the new editors. Drs. Krista Hoffmann-Longtin, Jason Organ and Bill Sullivan assumed this role last month.
"We hope to build bridges between scientists and the general public by explaining why science is important and meaningful in everyday life," said Dr. Organ, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology. "Our goals for #SciCommPLOS are to highlight interesting and impactful science for the public in accessible ways, and to teach scientists about the art of storytelling as an effective means to communicate their science."
The opportunity to lead #SciCommPLOS emerged from ongoing collaboration among Hoffmann-Longtin, Organ and Sullivan, who actively engage students and faculty to improve science and health communication through courses and workshops at IU School of Medicine and IUPUI, and the public through science outreach blogging.
"The internet and social media provide powerful tools to communicate science, yet many scientists have avoided engaging the public online," said Sullivan, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology. "Consequently, some fields like healthcare, climate science and evolutionary biology have been overrun with misinformation, alternative facts and conspiracy theories. Because scientific fields continue to increase in complexity, the American public--whose tax dollars fund federal research grants--is left behind. The goal of the #SciCommPLOS blog is to connect and engage the public with science."
For more, visit the IU School of Medicine Newsroom.
Brown receives local medical scholarship
IU School of Medicine-Muncie student Daniel Brown has received the Ron Roberts Memorial Medical Scholarship, awarded each year to support medical students who demonstrate both academic potential and financial need. The scholarship is named for Ronald D. Roberts, MD, a Columbus, Indiana, physician who passed away in 1991.
Brown, a Butler University graduate and former teacher and coach, decided to change careers and is starting his fourth year of medical school, specializing in internal medicine.
Applications for medical device support due July 31The Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovation (ICBI), in partnership with Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, supports the development of nascent medical device technologies invented by IU School of Medicine staff (clinical and non-clinical) and Indiana CTSI-affiliated engineers by providing advice and assistance through the Medical Device Development Assistance (MDDA) program. Awardees will receive mentorship support through the ICBI Advisory Council and SPARK-Stanford partnership. Application deadline is Monday, July 31.
IUPUI Staff Council blood drive is July 19Indiana is suffering from a shortage of donated blood. The IUPUI Staff Council is hosting a blood drive from 9 am-2 pm, Wednesday, July 19, at the bloodmobile in Taylor Courtyard. Sign up online.
Upcoming workshop to focus on grant proposal writing
Plan to attend an intensive two-day grant proposal workshop to master the techniques of preparing and writing winning proposals to various funding agencies. The workshop, sponsored by the Grant Training Center, will be held from 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Thursday and Friday, July 27-28, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend. Workshop fee is $595. Registration is limited. For more information or with questions, call 866-704-7268.
Carlos named chief of internal medicine at Eskenazi Health
W. Graham Carlos, MD, has been named chief of internal medicine at Eskenazi Health and the Joseph J. Mamlin Scholar in Medicine. Dr. Carlos will have oversight responsibility for internal medicine specialty services at Eskenazi Health, including the outpatient clinics, medical ICU service, and inpatient consultative services and procedural laboratories.
As section chief for pulmonary and critical care medicine at Eskenazi Health, Dr. Carlos implemented the "wake up and breathe" ventilator weaning protocol, the ICU rounding checklist, and multi-disciplinary ICU rounds, which are credited with the dramatic reduction in hospital-acquired infections in the ICUs achieved during the past two years.
Riley once again ranks in all 10 U.S. News pediatric categories
Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health has once again been singled out for distinction by U.S. News & World Report, ranking in 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties as part of the 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals issue. In rankings released in late June, only 81 of the 187 surveyed U.S. children’s hospitals were ranked in at least one of the 10 pediatric specialties evaluated by U.S. News. Riley is one of only 24 children’s hospitals to rank in all 10.
The specialties include:
Cardiology and Heart Surgery
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
Neurology & Neurosurgery
Notably, Urology earned a top-five ranking, and both the Pulmonology and Diabetes & Endocrinology programs ranked among the top 20 by U.S. News. View ranking details online and in the Best Hospitals 2017 guidebook available in August.
Johnson named Eskenazi Health COO
Eskenazi Health announces that after a nationwide search, Neil Johnson has been named the organization’s chief operating officer (COO). This is Johnson’s second tenure with Eskenazi Health. He first joined as an intensive care and emergency department nurse in 1995, ultimately serving as the administrative director of the Michael & Susan Smith Emergency Department at Eskenazi Health from 2001 to 2003. From there he moved to Kalamazoo, Mich., where he served in leadership roles of increasing responsibility for Bronson Healthcare Group, recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.