Faculty and Staff News
Dean Hess: Hope as we press on together
In an email message sent earlier this week, IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, encouraged the school community to practice patience and perseverance—with a spirit of hope—as the COVID-19 pandemic continues amid the start of a new academic year.
An excerpt from the dean’s message:
“All of us—students and residents, faculty and staff, and yes, even your dean—have spent the last five months adjusting to a life we couldn’t have imagined a year ago. It hasn’t been easy, and more challenges lie ahead.
Still, I am encouraged because there are reasons for hope. Over 130 vaccine candidates are under development. A number are now being tested in clinical trials—including right here in Indianapolis. The early results are promising. In short, I have no doubt that we will get a vaccine, probably multiple vaccines, that are safe and effective.
That may be six months or a year away, but we will return to a more normal world—one where you can visit and embrace your friends and family without fear, where you can feel safe going out for a meal in a restaurant, and where you can be comfortable working and studying alongside your colleagues and peers.
For now, though, more patience and perseverance are required. That means we must continue to practice the habits that have grown tiresome but are still so important: If you go out in public, wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.”
Read the full message.
Keeping IU Healthy: Physicians discuss university’s plan for a safe restart
As campuses prepare to welcome students this month, three IU School of Medicine physicians participated in a webinar focused on the steps IU is taking to help ensure a safe start to the academic year. Aaron Carroll, MD, Cole Beeler, MD, and Adrian Gardner, MD, discussed IU’s plans for COVID-19 prevention, testing, contact tracing and surveillance and mitigation. View the webinar.
School awarded $3.4 million to study anxiety in low-risk chest pain patients
Chest pain is the second most frequent cause of emergency department visits among adults. However, as many as eight out of 10 of those patients are not experiencing a heart attack or related cardiac event. Anxiety can be an exacerbating and contributing factor of physical symptoms in about half of patients deemed “low-risk chest pain” who are experiencing what may mimic a heart attack.
Paul Musey, MD, an assistant professor with the IU School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine and an IU Health hospital-based physician, is leading a collaborative research project evaluating the most effective way to direct these patients to enhanced care for underlying anxiety.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) awarded IU School of Medicine a three-year, $3,358,251 funding support contract to conduct a clinical trial among qualifying patients who go to the emergency department with chest pain but are not experiencing an emergent cardiovascular event and screen positive for elevated anxiety symptomatology on the GAD-7 generalized anxiety disorder assessment tool.
“This has the opportunity to impact a large population of patients we see in the emergency department,” said Musey. “We want to get patients to where they need to be within the health care system, and that doesn’t need to be the emergency department every time.”
For more on the research, visit the Newsroom.
IU campuses preparing for students’ return
The work of the Indiana University Restart Committee, chaired by IU School of Medicine Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, resulted in a number of measures to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 on all IU campuses. In addition, the Education Restart Committee, spearheaded by Paul M. Wallach, MD, guides efforts for all health professions educational programs at IU School of Medicine.
As the fall semester begins this month, some of the measures being taken on all IU campuses include:
- Cleaning and disinfecting areas to establish a “baseline clean." This will be accompanied by regular basic and intensive surface cleaning either daily or multiple times a day by custodial staff.
- Purchasing cleaning materials available to staff, faculty and students including 4,000 hand sanitizer stations across all of IU’s campuses.
- Installing plexiglass barriers at high-volume point-of-contact spaces, such as cash registers in dining or reception areas.
- Reconfiguring class and office space to accommodate physical distancing
- Providing two IU-branded masks for each staff member, faculty member and student. These will be provided to students through their home campus.
- Providing screening and testing through a partnership with IU Health to all students, faculty and staff.
For IU School of Medicine faculty, staff and students who are on a regional campus that does not overlap with an IU campus, campus-affiliated universities are taking comparable measures.
On the blog: Q&A with Virginia Caine, MD
As director of the Marion County Health Department, IU School of Medicine Bicentennial Professor Virginia Caine, MD, has been a driving force in Indianapolis’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview last month, Caine talked about her approach to COVID-related policy decisions and how her roles as a clinician, professor and public health expert complement each other in serving the community.
Read the Q&A blog post.
Foroud begins new position by engaging in listening tour
This week, Tatiana Foroud, PhD, begins her new role as executive associate dean for research affairs. Her first priority as the research leader for all of IU School of Medicine, including the IU Precision Health Initiative, is to listen and learn. While Foroud has been a faculty member at IU School of Medicine since 1994, in her new role, she said she is on a listening tour.
"I want to learn more about individual departments and institutes and their research programs,” said Foroud.
She succeeds Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, who retired from IU at the end of June as IU Distinguished Professor Emeritus.
“Dr. Shekhar left us in a strong position,” said Foroud. “We have had several years of unprecedented growth of research funding. My job is to ensure we continue on our upward trajectory and advance our research programs as we navigate the COVID era.”
For more, visit Precision Health.
Moe assumes role previously known as associate dean of clinical research
In June, IU School of Medicine and the Indiana Clinical and Translational (CTSI) Sciences Institute announced a historic leadership change. Sharon M. Moe, MD, and Sarah E. Wiehe, MD, MPH, were named co-leaders of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI).
In addition, Moe assumed responsibilities for the role previously known as associate dean of clinical research, held by Naga Chalasani, MD, under the new title of associate dean for clinical and translational research. The previous role was vacated when Chalasani was appointed interim chair of the Department of Medicine.
Moe was a natural fit, as she started the clinical trials program in the Department of Medicine at IU School of Medicine many years ago. Oversight for clinical research is now a combined effort of IU Health, IU School of Medicine and the Indiana CTSI.
The associate dean role involves overseeing IU’s Office of Clinical Research, which is specifically focused on industry-funded clinical trials involving human subjects. Five key areas of responsibility make up the Office of Clinical Research:
- Contracts and Coverage Analysis – These roles negotiate confidentiality agreements and subsequent contracts between IU School of Medicine and industry. Coverage analysts must ensure the budget for a particular clinical trial reflects the work being performed and clearly delineates between standard of care and study-specific procedures, which is imperative for Medicare compliance.
- OnCore – The OnCore team uses this clinical trial management system to help set up individual clinical trials, including billing. All studies that go through the school’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be set up in OnCore. Additionally, the OnCore team provides calendars that track participant visits during clinical trials.
- Indiana CTSIResearch Network and Enterprise Clinical Research Operations handle recruitment for clinical trials, serve as inpatient study coordinators at IU Health and enable statewide studies to be conducted through the IU Health system of hospitals.
- Analytics – The analytics team tracks data across all clinical trials.
- ResLab – This tracks infrastructure use such as lab space, animal use and participation of the Indiana Center for Biomedical Innovation’s startup companies in clinical trials.
The more than 50-person office of clinical research offers a one-stop shop for clinical trials.
“The Office of Clinical Research is a very important organization, which continually grows in effectiveness. Right now, we have the opportunity to dramatically increase the number of clinical trials available through statewide protocols by setting up each IU Health hospital location throughout Indiana for clinical trials. Doing so means we have the appropriate staff and infrastructure, including space and freezers able to store samples such as blood from clinical trials,” said Moe. “This approach allows us to involve more patients across our partner health system and make IU Health the destination for the latest therapies, which require rigorous study through clinical trials. Additionally, we need a streamlined infrastructure for our physician investigators and scientists to participate in clinical trials, create startup companies and develop therapies.”
School leading national study to treat diabetic foot wounds, decrease amputation rates
IU School of Medicine is leading the first study of the national Diabetic Foot Consortium sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The goal of the study is to prevent reopening of closed wounds by identifying a biomarker that would predict such recurrence during the process of standard wound care. Such an advanced approach to manage diabetic foot ulcers is likely to decrease amputation rates across the country.
The Newsroom includes more details on the study.
More than 600 IU School of Medicine researchers have returned to campus amid the pandemic
As of last week, more than 600 bench and clinical researchers have returned to the school’s campuses to resume their research. All have approved restart plans outlining how to approach the eventualities that could occur during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When you stop and think about it, it’s actually quite amazing,” said Carmel Egan, PhD, associate dean for research affairs. “We have had to outline what all the restart plans should entail at the same time we are asking folks to get them submitted. Each researcher adapted and got their restart plans together and approved.”
Egan said it will be imperative that every researcher continues to be mindful of the provisions included in the plans as research moves forward in the evolving circumstances of COVID-19.
“I personally want to thank all of the faculty, principal investigators and staff for their efforts and patience in instigating an effective restart,” Egan added.
As a reminder, researchers planning to return to campus must complete a restart plan and submit the plan to their department chair. Once departmental and school-level approval has been received, research can resume. Resources for creating a restart plan are available.
Faculty and Staff News
Wellness resources for uncertain times
In continuing to navigate this tumultuous time, problem-solving, stress management and adaptation strategies remain important. Take a few minutes to support your mental well-being by doing these self-reflection exercises.
When should I seek help?
Seek support if you are experiencing these common warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress. Check out the Mental Health Continuum to determine when it’s time to enlist professional care.
24/7 hotline available to faculty and staff
Are you struggling with increased family and relationship stress, irritability, substance abuse, grief or burnout? IU School of Medicine and IU Health team members and their families can receive rapid access to a full range of confidential services by calling (317) 963-2200 to be connected to the services that are right for you. This includes services through the Department of Psychiatry’s Stress, Trauma and Grief Emotional Supports (STAGES) program and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Know how to help trainees
Are you working with a trainee who may need well-being support during this challenging time? The Department of Mental Health Services (DMHS) offers individual psychotherapy, couples counseling, group counseling and psychiatric services. All services are currently available via telehealth. IU School of Medicine trainees statewide can contact DMHS at 317-278-2383 or email@example.com.
In addition, the DMHS Crisis Line, 317-278-4357 (HELP), is available 24/7. Calls are answered by a licensed mental health clinician who can provide assistance and contact the on-call IU School of Medicine DMHS clinician for urgent situations. Anyone can call the crisis line on behalf of a trainee, and calls can be made anonymously.
Remember to practice self-care
Think about how frequently, and how well, you are performing self-care activities to maintain good health and improve well-being by taking this self-care assessment. The goal is to recognize areas of your life that need more attention.
Additional personal well-being resources are available for IU faculty and staff on the Healthy IU website, which includes campus-specific programs and resources.
IUanyWare user profile reset coming on August 14
University Information Technology Services (UITS) will reset all IUanyWare user profiles on Friday, August 14. This maintenance will improve application performance, printing capabilities and mapping of your IU cloud storage resources.
The first time you log in after the maintenance:
- IUanyWare may take slightly longer to load while it rebuilds your user profile—after that, IUanyWare should load faster than it did before maintenance.
- You'll need to reconfigure personal settings for some of the applications you use.
Physician mentors needed for incoming class; find out more
The Physician Mentor Program connects medical students with a positive role model who supports them through medical school and provides one-on-one mentoring and a social connection to IU School of Medicine. All medical students are assigned a physician mentor during their first year. Students continue to connect with their physician mentor during all four years of medical training.
Medical library reopens physical space
The Ruth Lilly Medical Library has reopened its physical space with careful consideration of the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors. Learn more about in-person services and the COVID-19 protocols in place at the library on the Indianapolis campus.
Check out the Project ECHO programs available now
Project ECHO provides remote, case-based education and mentorship in evidence-based and comprehensive care for a variety of complex, yet common medical conditions. The free, high-impact intervention—available via Zoom—links community-based clinicians with an interdisciplinary team of expert specialists led by Indiana University.
Check out the free ECHO tracks that are now available. The drop-in events are held weekly via Zoom on the following days and times:
- Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Prevention: Thursday, 9:30-11 am
- Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Care: First and third Thursdays, noon-1:30 pm
- COVID-19: Second and fourth Wednesdays, 8-9 am
- Hepatitis C: First and third Thursdays, 12:30-2 pm
- HIV: Second Thursday, 8:30-10 am and fourth Thursday, 12:30-2 pm
- Integrated Pain Management: First and third Friday, 8-9:30 am
- LGBTQ+: Second and fourth Wednesdays, 2:30-4 pm
- Opioid Use Disorders: Wednesday, noon-1:30 pm
- Opioid Use Disorders Pregnancy Track: Thursday, noon-1:30 pm
- Teen Vaping: Monday, 8-9:30 am
“Women Rock Science” authors to host workshop this week
Women Rock Science co-authors Rachel Katzenellenbogen, MD, and Megan Moreno, MD, will lead a discussion on understanding your socioecological model to make the most of a career in clinical academic research. The session will take place virtually at the University of Wisconsin-Madison 31 Days of Women in Leadership Learning workshops and will be available from Saturday, August 8, through Tuesday, August 11.
Published in 2019, Women Rock Science provides key strategies and skills around a central conceptual model of the socioecological model (SEM)—emphasizing the importance of building a community with other scientists. Outcomes for the session include the importance of creating a mission statement to guide your academic and scholarly work, and how to update it over time; creating a socioecological model framework to visualize your network of mentors and colleagues; and determining strategies to use your mission and SEM to plan next steps in your career decisions and networking.
Katzenellenbogen is an associate professor of pediatrics and the Chuck and Tina Pagano Scholar at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Moreno is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Learn more about the session or register for free on the 31 Days of Women in Leadership Learning event page.
August 19 on Zoom: COVID-19 impact on the Navajo nation
IU School of Medicine and the IU Center for Global Health will present “COVID-19 Impact on the Navajo Nation and Beyond” at 8 pm on Wednesday, August 19. Featured presenter is Sophina Manheimer Calderon, MD, family medicine physician and deputy chief of staff at the Tuba City Regional Health Center in Arizona. As a physician and member of the Navajo nation, Calderon will provide key insight on how to serve underserved communities. Register to receive the Zoom link for the event.
Pilot funding available for research use of core facilities
The Indiana CTSI Pilot Funding program promotes the use of technologies and expertise afforded by the Indiana CTSI core facilities available at all partner institutions. Successful proposals will demonstrate outstanding scientific merit that can be linked to generating extramural funding or novel intellectual property. Funding is for a maximum requested amount of $10,000; projects are typically two years in duration. Funds are for utilization of designated Indiana CTSI core facilities only. More information and application details are available. Deadline to apply is Monday, September 28.
IU Health academic health center project reaches major planning milestone
IU Health has filed a rezoning request with the city of Indianapolis for a 40-acre medical campus expansion that spans four blocks from 16th Street south to 14th Street and from Capitol Avenue west to I-65. The new hospital will be located on the southwest corner of Capitol Avenue and 16th Street, with its main entrance facing Senate Avenue.
The multi-tower design can flex to hold up to 576 new private patient beds and expansive outpatient care areas. Elements of IU Health Methodist Hospital will also be renovated to provide additional bed and clinical space, providing the flexibility to meet current patient demand.
Read the full press release.
U.S. News rankings: IU Health Medical Center among top hospitals for 23rd consecutive year
U.S. News & World Report has released its 2020-2021 “ rankings that name Indiana University Health Medical Center among the nation’s top adult hospitals for the 23rd consecutive year. According to the U.S. News rankings, IU Health Medical Center (Methodist, University and Saxony hospitals) is the No. 1 ranked hospital in Indiana and Indianapolis and the only nationally ranked adult hospital in the state.
IU Health Medical Center was rated as high performing nationally in five specialties, with another three specialties achieving top 50 national rankings:
Ear, Nose & Throat – ranked 40th in the nation
Gastroenterology – high performing
Geriatrics – ranked 42nd in the nation
Gynecology – ranked 49th in the nation
Nephrology – high performing
Neurology & Neurosurgery – high performing
Orthopedics – high performing
Pulmonology – high performing
To create the rankings U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 26 specialties, procedures and conditions.