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November 2008

SPOTLIGHT ON Raymond G. Slavin, M.D., received the Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor given by the St. Louis Business Journal, at its Health Care Heroes Recognition Ceremony in October. Dr. Slavin is world renown for his research on allergies and asthma. In a Business Journal interview, he describes his job, which balances research, treating patients and teaching, as the “best of all possible worlds.” An endowed professorship in allergy and immunology was named in his honor marking what Dr. Slavin calls “probably one of the greatest single honors that has been paid to me.” Dr. Slavin was one of four members of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine family, and among 20 area medical professionals, who were recognized for their outstanding professional accomplishments. He is joined by SLU colleagues Richard Bucholz, M.D., director of neurosurgery and winner in the innovation category; William Keenan, M.D., pediatrics professor and pioneer in the field of neonatal resuscitation and physician finalist; and Akwi Asombang, M.D., chief resident in internal medicine and public policy finalist, in receiving recognitions from the Business Journal. Akwi Asombang, M.D., who, in addition to completing her residency, is pursuing a master’s degree in public health at Saint Louis University, was recognized as a hero for her work in helping Africans – in St. Louis and across the globe.

Born in Cameroon, Dr. Asombang is president of Aftrican Refugees and Immigrant Services (ARIS), a non-profit that helps African refugees make the transition to life in St. Louis. “Once I got involved, I realized the barriers they face,” she told the Business Journal. “These are people who come here not of their own choosing, but because of a war that broke out that they have nothing to do with.” Dr. Asombang also has started the Pan-African Organization for Health, Education & Research (POHER), which is building a community center. She recently was honored by the Association of American Medical Colleges for her volunteer work. AWARDS Suzanne Mahon, R.N., D.N.Sc., AOCN®, APNG, received a grant from the Saint Louis Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to provide community outreach and professional education about hereditary cancer syndromes. The grant will allow Dr. Mahon to provide presentations in the community at churches, support groups, and other community agencies to increase awareness of hereditary breast cancer and the availability of hereditary cancer education, counseling and testing which is available at Saint Louis University through the Division of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Mahon will also be providing educational programs to physicians and other healthcare providers to increase awareness of when to refer patients for a hereditary cancer syndrome evaluation and



November 2008

possibly testing as well as the availability of this service at Saint Louis University. The Hereditary Cancer Program at Saint Louis University is a unique program that has served over 650 families since 2002. All of these families have received comprehensive education and recommendations for cancer prevention and early detection, as well as psychosocial support; many continue to access the program on a continuing basis. These services have been provided without cost to the family and have served an ethnically, economically, and geographically diverse population. Funding is available for those who cannot afford genetic testing. Dr. Mahon is available to provide educational programs by calling 314-577-8854.

Team members will be available in the physicians’

lounge beginning the week of November 17 to help physicians log onto Tenet Physician Portal to assure they can access the HPF prior to it going live. Watch for more information as SLUH gets closer to implementing HPF. RESIDENCY PROGRAM UPDATE The Internal Medicine and Medicine Pediatric PGY-I residents participated in a retreat that was funded through a competitive grant from the SLU VOICES project which aims at “promoting a sense of calling, an integration of values and ethics, spirituality and reflection with the work that we do.” Chief resident, Dr. Akwi Asombang, championed the project with direct support from Dr. Julie Gammack and Dr. Louay Omran.

ANNOUNCEMENTS Paul G. Schmitz, M.D., has been elected to serve on the Faculty Senate. The term of office is two years with eligibility for two full consecutive terms. Horizon Patient Folder – Saint Louis University Hospital is excited to announce the implementation of a new electronic medical record viewing system in early 2009 called Horizon Patient Folder (HPF). Upon implementation of HPF, patient medical records will be electronically scanned. Caregivers will then be able to remotely view patient records in HPF. Physicians will complete and sign medical records electronically in HPF upon implementation of this new system. They will also be able to view patient records after discharge. To assure a smooth transition, SLUH is asking all attending physicians and residents to confirm their access to Tenet Physician Portal.

The retreat was held at the Manresa Center on October 31 and November 1st, and included an overnight stay to allow bonding time among interns. The two-day retreat included lectures and discussions that covered important issues such as stress and time management, understanding the underserved community in Saint Louis, cultural competency, and ethical and spiritual challenges related to the physician’s encounters with death and the dying.



November 2008

The speaker line up included Ms. Teri McCarthy, Dr. Erin Bakanas, Dr. Darcy Scharff, Sister Paulette Weindel, Mr. Bob Hansman, and Chaplain Dr. Mary Lou Bennett. Additionally, the interns were tutored in how to be good teachers through an interactive and entertaining presentation by Dr. Miguel Paniagua. Because the retreat occurred on Halloween week-end, the interns participated in a “teambuilding” scare fest that they thoroughly enjoyed!

October Winners. Once again, the interns rule! - Nabeel Koro (PGY-I VA floor) - Fahmeedah Jamaluddin (PGY-I H/O) - Hisham Hussan (PGY-I Geriatrics and Kevin Bylund (PGY-I H/O) Dr. Koro was the Quiz Master for the month of October. DATES OF NOTE November 3, 2008 - January 30, 2009 – Internal Medicine Residency Program Interviews. December 5, 2008 – Grand Rounds, Annual International Visiting Professor in Hepatology, Frederico Villamil, M.D., Director of Medico and Professor, Fundacion Favaloro, Unidad De Higado, Buenos Aires, Argentina. December 19, 2008 – Semi-Annual Faculty Meeting. No Grand Rounds.


December 26, 2008 and January 2, 2009 – Christmas Holiday. No Grand Rounds.

Residents’ Excellence Program This year the internal medicine residency program started a competition among residents for “all-around excellence.” Residents can accumulate points based on their attendance of conferences, answering of the daily medical quiz, and completion of discharge summaries.

Suzanne Mahon, Hematology / Oncology, $1,850 from the Komen Foundation for a Small Grant, “Educating Women About Hereditary Risk for Breast Cancer.”

The intern class September Winners. dominated the rankings and achieved a clean sweep.

Bernard R. Chaitman, Cardiology, $241,672 from the University of Washington / NIH for “AIM-HIGH.”

- Hisham Hussan (PGY-I SLU Green Team) - Wes Russell (PGY-I Prelim VA floor) - Nabeel Koro (PGY-I SLU Gold team)

Arthur J. Labovitz, Cardiology, $129,951 from Columbia University / NIH for “Warfarin vs. Aspirin in Reduced Cardiac Ejection Fraction (WARCEF).”




November 2008

Daniela Salvemini, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, $211,750 from NIH/NIDA for 1 R21DA023056-01A2 “Role of ceramide in morphine hyperalgesia and tolerance.” Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, Gastroenterology / Hepatology, $137,744 from NIH / NIDDK for 1 U01DK082871-01 “Midwest Hepatitis B Consortium.” Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, Gastroenterology / Hepatology, $183,750 from NIH / NIAID for 1 R21AI076834-01 “Cell Culture System for Hepatitis C Virus Genotype 1a.” Alex S. Befeler, Gastroenterology / Hepatology, $32,136 from Mayo Clinic / NIH for “Multicentered Randomized Trial of Highdose Urso in PSC.” Susan A. Farr, Geriatrics, $35,000 from SIUE / Institute for the Society of Aging for “Sonastatin Treatment for Cognitive Aging and Dementia.” Marcia L. Sokol-Anderson, Infectious Diseases, $58,917 from City of St. Louis for “Treatment Adherence Counseling Services.” Daniel F. Hoft, Immunobiology, $360,518 from NIH / NIAID for 5 R01AI048391 “Role of gamma/delta T cells in Vaccine Induced Immunity.” Ranjit Ray, Infectious Diseases $321,158 from NIH / NIAID for 5 R01AI068769 “Qualitative Nature of Antibodies to HCV Glycoprotein Subunit Vaccine in Humans.”



FY 08 YTD BILLED AMB ENCs OCTOBER 3,324 232 765 16,705 132 100 47 4,683 1,945 3,195 1,774 32,901


FY 09 YTD BILLED AMB ENCs OCTOBER 2,979 247 951 16,411 0 84 538 5,062 2,318 3,566 2,588 34,744 105.6%

CONDOLENCES To Dr. Raymond Slavin and family, on the loss of his wife, Alberta Cohrt Slavin, October 27, 2008. To the family of Neil I. Gallagher, M.D., Emeritus Faculty, Division of Hematology & Oncology, who passed away October 8, 2008. Dr. Gallagher held the position of Vice Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, from 1970-73 under Chairman, Dr. Frawley, and was appointed Emeritus Professor in 1986. WEBSITE Access the Department of Internal Medicine website at INFORMATION FOR NEXT NEWSLETTER

If you have any news, grants, notices, achievements that you would like to be included in the next newsletter or if you think something important was missed, please let Camille Goff know at . Editor Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, MD, FACP Professor of Internal Medicine Acting Chairman