FOCUS TOPICS BREAST CANCER/ONCOLOGY • CLINICAL TRIALS • SENIOR CARE
October 2018 >> $5 ON ROUNDS
Boots on the Ground in War on Cancer Excited about latest advancements in oncology, Gregory Franz, MD, joins KCC Medicine is a calling. For Gregory B. Franz, MD, that calling came out of his experience with a personal illness in college that required surgical treatment. In medical school he was drawn to oncology because he had seen his brother battle the disease. Read the story on page 3.
The Quest for Quality in Clinical Trials GIGO – or ‘garbage in/ garbage out’ – was coined as a computer science term for the flawed output that comes from inputting flawed data. Over the years, the GIGO principle has been broadly applied to other areas of analysis where flawed logic impacts outcomes. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in a poorly designed or improperly executed clinical trial. Read the story on page 5.
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Researchers Target Triple Negative Breast Cancer Progress yields optimism for better treatment options By BETH SIMKANIN
“Traditionally, we’ve defined triple negative breast cancer by Clinical researchers at what it is not, but we are movWest Cancer Center and ing away from that. Now we the University of Tennesare trying to define it by what it see Health Science Center is to find out additional ways we (UTHSC) believe they may be can treat it.” close to a breakthrough in deTriple negative breast cantermining not only the factors cer is diagnosed when breast that increase the risk of a parcancer cells test negative for ticular type of breast cancer, the three most common types but also developing alternative of protein receptors – estrogen, therapies. progesterone and hormone epiWhile the advancements dermal growth factor receptor of clinical research have had 2 (HER-2), which are known to a positive impact on the treatfuel breast cancer growth. ment of breast cancer during Because the tumor isn’t the past 30 years, some types supported by these receptors, remain a stubborn challenge, triple negative breast cancer such as triple negative breast Dr. Greg Vidal speaks at a patient education event. Next to him are doesn’t respond to traditional cancer, a lesser-known, more Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, Wendy Allen and, at the far left, Carrie Anderson. hormonal therapy and specific aggressive kind. targeted cancer therapies. Usu“We are still in the infancy stages of research,” said Lee Schwartzally a patient is given chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, followed by berg, MD, executive director and co-founder of West Cancer Center. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 4)
Joe Shelton Comes Home for Seniors NHC-Somerville administrator returns the love By SUZANNE BOyD
After spending the majority of his professional career on the financial side of tractor companies, Joe Shelton made one heck of a career change to become the administrator of a skilled nursing facility in rural West
Tennessee. But it wasn’t just any facility. It was the one in his hometown and just happens to be right around the corner from where his mother lives. It was coming home that inspired Shelton to shift careers to one that required him to have to learn the business from the ground up. As (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)
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Boots on the Ground in War on Cancer Excited about latest advancements in oncology, Gregory Franz, MD, joins KCC By SUZANNE BOYD
Medicine is a calling. For Gregory B. Franz, MD, that calling came out of his experience with a personal illness in college that required surgical treatment. In medical school he was drawn to oncology because he had seen his brother battle the disease. In April, the oncologist joined the staff of the Kirkland Cancer Center in Jackson and is excited to be a part of such a progressive community cancer program. Franz grew up in the Midwest in the Dayton area of southwest Ohio. While majoring in anthropology at the University of Cincinnati, Franz became ill and required surgery, an event that changed his mind on his choice of career. “My personal experience with that illness and the associated hospitalization and treatment caused me to alter my career path to medicine because I felt it was my calling,” he said. “I augmented my anthropology degree with pre-med classes because I knew there was no other option for me. Medicine was clearly what I was meant to do.” In August of 1996, Franz began his medical training at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York. Franz was drawn to the prestigious private school that is one of the top 30 medical programs in the country due to its smaller class size and its reputation for being a pioneer in the biopsychosocial approach model of patient care. The biopsychosocial approach was developed at Rochester decades ago by Drs. George Engel and John Romano. While traditional biomedical models of clinical medicine focus on pathophysiology and other biological approaches to disease, the biopsychosocial approach emphasizes the importance of understanding human health and illness in their fullest contexts. This approach systematically considers biological, psychological, and social factors and their complex interactions in understanding health, illness, and healthcare delivery. It also recognizes that relationships are central to providing healthcare. “It was really blind luck that I ended up at the U of R, but I felt drawn to the program,” said Franz. “The importance of learning to treat people like human beings rather than disease is something no one thinks about today because it is so integrated into medical school training, but back 40-50 years ago that was not the case. It is how I have tried to pattern my medial practice because it really centers around empathy and compassion. That there is humanism in medicine and the idea of treating every person with dignity is key. And there is proof that this works because there are plenty of studies to show it translates to better outcomes.” Franz admits he was a bit bias toward oncology as a specialty. While in medical school his 27-year-old brother was diagwesttnmedicalnews
nosed with stage IV Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “I liked many other specialties in medical school, but I really gravitated toward oncology and really adult cancer patients of all types, blood cancers and solid tumors. Even in my internal medicine residency at Kettering Hospital at Wright State University in Ohio, I tended to gravitate toward cancer patients,” he said.” A hematology and oncology fellowship at UT Health Science Center in Memphis brought Franz to West Tennessee. The program’s close affiliation with St. Jude, as well as its designation as a Na-
tional Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) site made it an ideal program for Franz. “The NCCN is an authority on the standard of care in the treatment of cancer patients. And the network is comprised of the top 30 cancer centers in the United States. Tennessee happens to have two, St. Jude/ UT and Vanderbilt,” he said. “It was an adult only fellowship. I was trained in internal medicine so was very much into adult diseases and emotionally I don’t believe I could have handled taking care of sick kids.” After his fellowship, Franz and his family headed to Southern Georgia where he completed a three-and-a-half-year post in a medically underserved area. While his time in Vidalia, Georgia confirmed to Franz that he wanted to be a community oncologist, it also showed him he wanted a bit larger town in which to raise his family. In April 2018, Franz joined the staff of the Kirkland Cancer Center. With October being breast cancer month, Franz was eager to talk about what he considers to be the biggest news to come out in breast cancer in several years that was published in June; the Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx) or TAILORx trial. “In my fellowship, breast cancer was my sub-focus and the Tailorx Trial research was going on. It was a massive study that involved thousands of breast cancer patients. The results were highly validated and greatly impact treatment decisions for many
women with early-stage breast cancer,” he said. “It gives us a better understanding of who will and will not benefit from chemotherapy in certain types of breast cancer. It accurately and specifically allows us to eliminate chemotherapy from patients’ treatment plans who would not benefit from it, which is nice because we can now focus on more viable treatment options for these patients.” Franz feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work at a comprehensive cancer center that has highly trained nurses, social workers, therapists, nutritionists as well as multiple tumor boards and encourages close collaboration with surgeons and other specialties. “All that really sealed the deal for me to come to Jackson,” he said. “My wife, Marisa and I love the size of this town. We have lived in bigger cities but love the quality of life Jackson offers our family. There is plenty of stuff to do here and yet it is small enough to feel like home. This was the type of place we wanted to raise our two children.” The Kirkland Cancer Center is a comprehensive community center. In North America community cancer centers provide roughly 85 percent of care given to cancer patients. “Our group treats a broad array of cancers which allows us to help the greatest number of West Tennesseans as possible,” said Franz. “We carry the burden. We are the boots on the ground fighting the war on cancer.”
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Researchers Target Triple Negative Breast Cancer, continued from page 1 surgery to remove it. As a result, the cancer has a higher reoccurrence rate and is more likely to become metastatic. “Currently chemotherapy is the typical treatment option,” Schwartzberg said. “The survival rate of patients with triple negative breast cancer is less because only traditional chemotherapy is used to treat the cancer cells. There aren’t any other successful drug treatment options available for triple negative breast cancer at this time.” According to breastcancer.org, a non-profit organization that provides information about breast cancer online, the five-year survival rate for triple negative breast cancer is 77 percent – a dramatic departure from the norm. According to the American Cancer Society, the current fiveyear relative survival rate for most types of breast cancer is about 93 percent. Based on preliminary research, researchers know that triple negative breast cancer affects primarily African-American women with an inherited breast cancer susceptibility gene mutation. Additionally, it’s more likely to occur in women before age 50. Schwartzberg said while researchers are aware that this type of cancer is more commonly found in African-American women, the reasons why aren’t fully known. According to Athena Starlard-Davenport, PhD, assistant professor of genetics, genomics and informatics at UTHSC, research is being done in the Memphis area to determine what factors increase the cancer risk in African-American women.
“Triple negative breast cancer is one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer, but it’s not seen as often,” Starlard-Davenport said. “It accounts for only 20 percent of the breast cancer found in women. Not much is known about it. Clinical researchers have access to the right demographic to research it in the Memphis area. We are trying to determine if certain biological or environmental factors, or a combination of both, increase the risk of this type of cancer among African-American women.” Starlard-Davenport is conducting a research study to understand molecular and environmental causes of breast cancer disparities in African-American women. She says she focused on the Mid-South because the breast cancer mortality rate among African-American women in Memphis is one of the highest in the nation. A study conducted four years ago by the Avon Foundation for Women found that African-American women are twice as likely to die from breast cancer as white women in Memphis. Starlard-Davenport, in collaboration with West Cancer Center, has collected saliva, blood and tissue samples from African-American women over the age of 18 to determine if there is biological evidence that could increase the risk of cancer. She says the laboratory results will be revealed soon. Additionally, Starlard-Davenport is collaborating with the department of pharmacy at UTHSC to look at how MicroRNA can be targeted to treat triple neg-
ative breast cancer cells, which are resistant to a certain type of chemotherapy – doxorubicin. Clinical researchers at West Cancer Center are conducting several clinical trials looking at possible drug therapy options for triple negative breast cancer. One trial, currently in its third phase, is looking at how patients with relapsed and refractory metastatic triple negative breast cancer respond to sacituzumab govitecan, an investigational antibody drug conjugate, which is designed as a targeted therapy to treat patients with metastatic cancer. Researchers have seen favorable clinical activity in patients, and the drug is under priority review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If approved, sacituzumab govitecan would be the first antibody drug conjugate approved for the treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer. Gregory Vidal, MD, PhD, medical oncologist and hematologist at West Cancer Center and assistant professor of medicine at UTHSC is conducting a clinical trial looking at how patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer without an overexpressed HER-2 protein, but an activated HER-2 pathway, which is termed HER-2 signal positive, may respond to traditional HER-2 targeted medication, neratinib, which is designed to treat a different type of breast cancer. “We are attempting to repurpose a current drug in an area where it wasn’t intended to be used,” Vidal said. “We are
hopeful we will be able to offer more therapy options for patients. Additionally, there are numerous other drugs being studied at the West Cancer Center for triple negative breast cancers, including immune activating drugs already proven effective in numerous other tumor types.” Vidal says that through clinical research, researchers have discovered there are various subtypes of triple negative breast cancer, which open the door for additional therapy options for patients. “We now know through clinical research that there are four or five different subtypes of triple negative breast cancer,” Vidal said. “We are working to identify them to treat these specific subtypes with the hope that we will be able to be more successful in treating all types of triple negative breast cancer and have better outcomes. Currently, there aren’t any FDA-approved drugs to treat triple negative breast cancer, but I believe at this time next year, physicians will have two available to use.” All three experts agree that because of the research taking place in the Mid-South, researchers are getting closer to giving physicians more treatment options for patients. “Our ultimate goal is to cure all types of breast cancer in women, and we have made tremendous strides in the last 25 years,” Schwartzberg said. “The mortality rate has decreased 41 percent since 1991, but we still have a long way to go to identify therapies, especially in the area of triple negative breast cancer.”
Who’s INCHARGE in 2019? A POWERFUL ECONOMIC DRIVER, West Tennessee’s diverse healthcare offerings impact the industry on a local, regional and national basis. Knowing who is ‘in charge’ is important to fostering relationships and partnerships to keep this vital industry moving forward. Each December, West Tennessee Medical News provides a definitive list of leaders in the annual InCharge Healthcare issue, which is formatted as a glossy, four-color magazine.
InCharge showcases a wide range of difference-makers, including:
Hospital, health system and large practice leaders
Top researchers and academic leaders
Go-to healthcare advisors including the top healthcare attorneys, bankers, accountants and consultants
Key healthcare investors and entrepreneurs
And other leaders … including some working behind the scenes … who continue to grow West Tennessee’s multi-billion dollar industry.
Want to nominate a West Tennessee healthcare leader for a listing? Interested in advertising in the next InCharge? Talk to the publisher: Pamela Harris 501.247.9189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming in December!
The Quest for Quality in Clinical Trials By CINDY SANDERS
GIGO – or ‘garbage in/garbage out’ – was coined as a computer science term for the flawed output that comes from inputting flawed data. Over the years, the GIGO principle has been broadly applied to other areas of analysis where flawed logic impacts outcomes. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in a poorly designed or improperly executed clinical trial. Earlier this year, Jody Black, deputy director of the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health, introduced the acronym ‘SCT’ at the annual meeting for the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Although the NIH has supported their fair share of ‘small, crappy trials’ over the years, the national funding source has spent the last decade enhancing oversight, monitoring, reporting and transparency to improve the quality of trials, which in turn improves the quality and credibility of research findings. While some poorly designed, executed or reported trials are simply a waste of dollars, others have deadly consequences. Faulty ‘research’ published in 1998 linking vaccines to autism is still widely disseminated online. To this day, there are a significant number of fearful parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, which has led to the reemergence of several serious infectious diseases.
Jim Kremidas, executive director of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) said the not-forprofit organization works to enhance and improve the grassroots implementation of clinical research by supporting the individuals involved. “A poorly designed trial has a negative impact Jim Kremidas … but so does a poorly executed trial,” noted Kremidas. He added writing a protocol might seem simple, when in reality the wording has the potential to taint the entire process. “It’s so critical that you ask the question correctly so that you get an answer that actually means something,” he stressed. “We don’t want spin in science.” Operational concerns and execution can also derail a clinical trial. “You could have a brilliant, scientifically designed study, but operationally you couldn’t do it,” he pointed out. Kremidas said he has seen trials with such narrow inclusion criteria that it becomes difficult, to the point of nearly impossible, to find patients to enroll. Even with a trial that is well designed, he continued, “If the people executing the trial aren’t doing it correctly, you won’t get the data needed.” westtnmedicalnews
Kremidas added, “I think the key to getting rid of those SCTs is we have to have the right experience and expertise in the people designing and implementing these studies.”
While there have been a number of advances in technology and processes to improve the quality of trials, Kremidas said the people on the frontlines are often overlooked. Outside of major academic centers, those doing the heavy lifting on
clinical research often aren’t specifically trained in the exacting tasks that come with being a principal investigator or study coordinator. “There hasn’t been historically any standards set for who can be a clinical researcher,” he explained. “Study coordinators … most of them just fell into the job. It’s been totally serendipity how people came into the field.” He continued, “About half of the doctors who do a clinical trial only do it once. Clinical practice is not the same as clinical
research.” To drive the organization’s mission of research excellence, Kremidas said much of the ACRP’s focus has been on education and development. “We’re trying to grow the workforce, and we’re also trying to help individuals keep up with changes in the industry,” he explained. “If you’re going to be a principal investigator, you need to be trained appropriately … you need to have certain competencies,” Kremidas pointed out. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)
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Joe Shelton, continued from page 1 administrator of National Healthcare Corporation (NHC)- Somerville, Shelton takes the responsibility of caring for his hometown folk very seriously. Shelton graduated from UTK with a degree in economics and also earned a master certificate from the LSU Graduate School of Banking. The bulk of his career was spent working in the finance departments of Kubota and Caterpillar Tractor companies. When his father began to decline from Alzheimer’s, Shelton came home to Somerville to help care for him. “I wanted the time with him, to care for him and help him leave with dignity. It was one of the dirtiest, toughest, most fulfilling jobs I have ever had,” said Shelton. “It had such an effect on me. When the chance came up for me to get into this industry, I knew I wanted to take it. The fact that it meant I would get to do it in my hometown, meant even more.” While home caring for his father, Shelton had lunch with the administrator of the NHC facility, Warren Adams, who was retiring. “I thought it would be an interesting job to take care of that segment of society,” said Shelton. “He thought I would be perfect and while I had no background in it, he said they could train me. A few weeks later he called me, and I took the job.” Shelton trained in other NHC facilities and learned the business from the ground up. “I scrubbed toilets, changed beds, cooked in the kitchen and even became a certified nursing assistant,” he
said. “They run the training program so that you understand how everyone works together. When I finished the program, time up I came home to NHC - Somerville and that is where I will stay.” National Healthcare Corporation was started by Dr. Carl Adams in the 1970s. Based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, the company started with thirteen nursing home facilities in Middle Tennessee. Today the company is one of the largest in the industry with more than 10,000 beds across its facilities in Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri and the Northeast. “In the past, it seemed that every time a patient went in a nursing home, they never came out. NHC thought there had to be a better way and in doing so revolutionized the industry,” said Shelton. “Our job is to get them in and get them back home because no one wants to spend time there, not to say we don’t have long term patients, but we know most folks don’t want that, so our facilities offer more therapies to help get patients stronger and back home.” NHC-Somerville is a 78-bed skilled nursing facility with an average occupancy rate of 97 percent, one of the best in the region. It offers in-house physical, occupational and speech therapies. There are 110 partners, the term used for employees, at the facility and all have to ability to buy into the company if they wish. Shelton says that this industry is totally different from anything he was used
to in the financial sector but that he loves it. “I get to deal with people from the greatest generation ever,” he said. “And they are just good people. Going back home has meant so much to me because I am caring for some of the men and women who helped raise me. That is just how it is in a small town. We have several residents who were big influences on me growing up, so it’s like taking care of my extended family.” Not having a medical background is an asset for Shelton. “I look at things differently. In a business environment things have to flow a certain way, but here, it can be about the process,” he said. “Also, I bring a passion and love for people that takes precedence over any process or idea I have. These are my people and that is what drives me and what makes me successful here. I have a history with them and a desire to serve them. I have an added attachment to this town and these people, which gives me a greater emphasis on them.” As with many in the healthcare industry, personnel can pose the biggest challenge. “In this industry, turnover is staggering and getting and keeping skilled workers can be a challenge for anyone,” said Shelton. “We have tremendous partners here and have the lowest turnover in my region at NHC. That is because our partners are family, and we work to promote that feeling and support them. For instance, we know that at the end of the
The Quest for Quality in Clinical Trials, continued from page 5 To that end, the organization has created a competency framework. “We think it will help people transition into better clinical researchers if they know what they’re getting into,” he said. Kremidas continued, “We also do certification of clinical researchers. We’re now offering subspecialty designations. We just
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launched one this year for project management and had more than 200 sign up for the exam already.” Available certifications include ACRP-CP (certified professional), CCRC (certified clinical research coordinator), CCRA (certified clinical research associate), and CPI (certified principal investigator).
Growing the Workforce
Another area of emphasis for the ACRP is on workforce growth. As science explodes, so does the need for qualified researchers to oversee clinical trials. “We just recently announced a new initiative – Partners in Workforce Advancement (PWA),” he said of the effort to raise awareness of clinical research as a career path by reaching out to medical students and nursing students about the importance of field. The PWA motto is: In clinical research, people are everything. The literature associated with the initiative points
out that without an adequate pipeline of qualified, competent professionals, the clinical trial community will fail to both sustain the workforce and improve the efficiency and quality of medical discovery. “Medical technology is advancing so fast,” noted Kremidas. “There’s an exponential growth in clinical trials, but there’s only a linear growth in PIs, CRCs, and CRAs … the people who actually do the trials.” Without a robust workforce, he continued, “That leads to slower introduction of new therapies to the market, and that … in my opinion … is a public health problem.”
Founded in 1976, the ACRP has 13,000 members who work in clinical research in more than 70 countries. For more information on the Washington, D.C.-based organization or any of its programming initiatives, go online to acrpnet. org.
Save the Date for ACRP 2019 The premiere education and networking event for clinical research professionals is coming to the Southeast next spring. ACRP 2019 is scheduled for April 12 to 15 in Nashville. Registration for the 2019 conference opens online on October 15, 2018, at 2019.acrpnet.org/registration.
pay cycle things may be getting tight for our partners, so we provide lunch. It may just be hot dogs and chips, but it helps.” There are two major projects that Shelton hopes to see completed in the next five years. “We hope to expand our therapy gym so that we can double the space we have to perform therapy services,” he said. “And we want to provide more outside activities, which is not as easy as it sounds because it is more than just being able to get people outdoors, it has to be in a safe environment. That can be an issue with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. We are looking into some innovative fencing and doors to keep an area under a big oak tree secure for all.” A fan of small towns, Shelton thinks they offer so many opportunities to be involved in the community. He is active in his church, rotary and chamber. “If you live in a small town, you are going to be involved, or you better be,” he said. “Small towns are really more like families, so it is easy to be involved in things that make it better.”
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GrandRounds West Tennessee Healthcare Welcomes William J. Lancaster, MD
JACKSON - West Tennessee Healthcare recently welcomed William J. Lancaster, M.D., internal medicine physician and chief medical information officer. Lancaster comes from Nashville where he worked as a hospitalist William J. at St. Thomas Hospital Lancaster and completed a clinical informatics fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Mississippi and completed residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition, he completed a Master of Health Science Administration from UAB and a Master of Applied Clinical Informatics from Vanderbilt. Lancaster will work with physicians to improve their experience and efficiency with the electronic health record. He is committed to providing comprehensive care for men and women. In addition to preventive medicine, Dr. Lancaster is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He offers annual exams, sick visits and health screenings. His new medical practice is located at Medical Clinic of Jackson, located at 587 Skyline Drive in Jackson. To schedule an appointment, call (731) 422-7900.
care physician informed and up to date of the patient’s progress.
TMA to Hold Insurance Workshop on October 17
The Tennessee Medical Association, the state’s largest professional organization for physicians, will hold its 38th annual Insurance Workshop in Memphis on Wednesday, October 17, at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 700 Central Ave. The workshop will be open to Physicians, Practice Managers and Medical
Support Staff. TMA’s Insurance Workshop brings the state’s biggest payers directly to Memphis practice managers and medical office staff, and provides updates on claim filing, disputes and appeals, policy changes, prior authorizations and more. Attendees can earn 6 CEUs while hearing from Amerigroup, BCBST, Bureau of TennCare, Cigna/CignaHealthspring, Palmetto GBA and UnitedHealthcare at the workshops this fall. New for 2018: • National Alliance of Medical Audit-
ing Specialists (NAMAS) will present strategies on compliance and reimbursement. • Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Inspector General will be on site with information about TennCare fraud. • Tickets are $179 for TMA members, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) members, or staff of members; each additional attendee is $139. Nonmember tickets are $229 each. Those wanting to register should visit tnmed.org/insurance-workshops.
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The Jackson Clinic Announces Addition of New Hospitalist
JACKSON - The Jackson Clinic recently added Dr. Hafsa Zia to their Hospitalist Department. Zia joins Dr. Chelsea Cooper, Dr. Matthew Kollar, Dr. William Lofton, Dr. Natasha Mahajan, Dr. Ryan Nerland, Dr. Osayawe N. Odeh, Dr. Aleruchi OleHafsa Zia ru, Dr. Heather Perry, Dr. Evanna Proctor, Dr. Alan C. Rothrock, Dr. Bryan P. Tygart and Dr. Bradley M. Webb. The Hospitalist Department is located at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Zia received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY and completed her internship at Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Zia received her undergraduate degree at IMCG F-6/2, Islamabad, Pakistan. She is Board Eligible, American Board of Internal Medicine. Hospitalists specialize in the total medical care and experience of hospitalized patients. Hospitalists coordinate nurses, specialists and surgeons for a patient’s care. They also document the hospital stay including diagnoses, medications, and examinations for continual comprehensive treatment of the patient. They keep the patient’s primary westtnmedicalnews
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GrandRounds UTHSC Launches Diversity Business Enterprise Initiative The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has launched a Diversity Business Enterprise Initiative to assist and encourage more small businesses and businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, and those with disabilities to pursue business opportunities with the university. UTHSC hosted workshop last month to acquaint business owners with the initiative and with procurement practices at the university and with the
UT System. Representatives from many area businesses attended. Departments throughout UTHSC will be encouraged to seek out disadvantaged business enterprises for purchases under $10,000, which are not handled through Procurement Services. UTHSC departments will be expected to solicit at least one such business for purchases between $10,000 and $49,999. Formal purchases handled through Procurement Services will identify disadvantaged business enterprises that will be invited to participate in the solicitation.
World Health Organization, St. Jude Collaborate St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has established a five-year collaboration with World Health Organization aimed at transforming cancer care worldwide to cure at least 60 percent of children with six of the most common types of cancer by 2030. This collaboration seeds a global initiative that will bring together stakeholders in childhood cancer from around the world to increase access to care for children with cancer, enhance
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quality of care by developing national centers of excellence and regional satellites, and influence the integration of childhood cancer into national policies to ensure the greatest chance of survival for all affected children. Each year, approximately 300,000 children and adolescents are expected to be diagnosed with cancer. About 8 in 10 of these children live in low- and middle-income countries, where cure rates are often estimated at only 20 percent. This is in stark contrast to higherincome countries, where cure rates exceed 80 percent, largely because of the medical advances and specialized multidisciplinary care for children with cancer established over the past 50 years. This divide in survival rates between higher-income countries and low- and middle-income countries is among the greatest disparities in health outcomes worldwide. Limited access to high-quality, affordable medicines and the risk of financial catastrophe from out-of-pocket payments are hallmarks of the childhood cancer challenge many countries face. Bringing together the strengths of St. Jude and WHO to expand services, capacities and partnerships for tackling childhood cancer, this collaboration provides a platform to support in-country implementation efforts for childhood cancer control. The effort combines St. Jude expert technical support and a designated programmatic investment of US$15 million with WHO authority working with governments and leaders across health systems regionally and globally. Activities will include supporting clinical care for the most vulnerable children, ensuring all children with cancer can access high-quality medicines and technologies, and strengthening training programs by developing centers of excellence. For a sustainable, global initiative, this collaboration hopes to catalyze a broader effort that allows vital inputs from in-country leaders and organizations dedicated to improving outcomes for children with cancer. “St. Jude was founded on the idea that no child should die in the dawn of life,” said James R. Downing, MD, St. Jude president and CEO. “While we have been able to advance this vision for many children with cancer, the bitter reality is that in most places around the world, 4 out of 5 children with cancer are still dying of their disease. We have the ability to change that. This initiative will provide the tools and resources to shape how childhood cancer is addressed globally, encouraging national health systems to make childhood cancer a priority and dramatically improving cure rates for children with cancer.”
West TN Medical News October 2018