UTMB NEWSLETTER â&#x20AC;˘ JULY 2018
Responding to the call: Surgery resident at ADC
Lab promotes patient safety through simulation Study: Bladder removal increases survival rate in cancer patients TechTalk focuses on tools and innovations we all use
Dr. David Marshall, chief nursing and patient care services executive, has been named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. He was one of 195 nurse leaders worldwide selected this year as an AAN fellow, one of the highest honors in the nursing profession. Fellow selection criteria include evidence of significant contributions to nursing and health care and sponsorship by two current academy fellows. Applicants are reviewed by a panel of elected and appointed fellows, and selection is based, in part, on the extent the nominee’s nursing career has influenced health policies and the health and well-being of all.
Dr. Thomas Phan, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Dr. Judy Trieu, Department of Internal Medicine; Dr. Mohammad Bilal, Department of Internal Medicine; and Dr. Sean Spector, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, have been selected by the Osler Student Scholars in the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine to receive Thayer Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Each honoree exemplifies sound scientific knowledge, compassion toward patients and dedication to learning and teaching.
Congratulations to Dr. Yolanda Davila, professor in the School of Nursing and holder of the Odelia Brown McCarley Professorship in Nursing, and Dr. Victor Sierpina, professor of Family Medicine and the director of Family Medicine’s medical student education program and faculty develop-
ment program. They have been recognized with the University of Texas System’s top teaching prize, the 2018 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. This marks the 10th year that the UT System Board of Regents has recognized the System’s top faculty members. In 2018, 27 faculty members from 14 academic and health institutions were named recipients of the prize. In the last decade, Regents have honored more than 700 UT educators for delivering the highest quality of instruction in the classroom, lab, field and online.
Dr. Saravnan Thangamani, associate professor in the Department of Pathology and director of UTMB’s Arthropod Containment Laboratories, the Insectary Services Core and the Tick Vector Biology Program, was recently named UTMB’s Pathology Researcher of the Year. In addition to his work running the insectaries in the Galveston National Laboratory/Keiller Building complex, he also teaches courses and serves as a mentor to several students.
The American Association for Clinical Chemistry has appointed Dr. Juan David Garcia, administrative director of UTMB’s Laboratory Services, to serve as a consultant on its Global Lab Quality Initiative Latin American Working Group (LAWG) for a three-year term. The group will develop educational programs to improve the quality of laboratory medicine in Latin America; identify and make recommendations for the translation of educational resources into Spanish; and prepare semi-annual reports for the AACC Board of Directors on the progress and accomplishments of the LAWG.
Craig S. Kovacevich, associate vice president of Waiver Operations and Community Health Plans, has been appointed to America’s Essential Hospitals’ Education Committee. The 12-member group provides strategic direction for annual conference program content and other educational programs. In addition, committee members scan for and provide feedback on speakers for relevant topics.
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From the President Welcome to the latest issue of Impact. This has been a busy summer so far, with great progress being made on the Health Education Center on the Galveston Campus, the opening of the parking garage on the League City Campus and preparations for the opening of the MD Anderson Cancer Center outpatient facility in a few weeks.
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It has also been a challenging time, as we continue our efforts to close the budget gap for this fiscal year while simultaneously working to fundamentally transform how we work in order to advance our mission for the long-term. The factors that helped create this year’s financial crunch will stay with us well into the future, and we must adjust to the new reality of how we are funded for the care and training we provide, and the research we conduct.
On the cutting edge of simulation technology Page 4
To communicate on a regular basis, we are continuing the Pulse video series, including episodes on the work of our consultants (Berkeley Research Group and Huron) and other topics that have been suggested through the web form on the Office of the President website. If you aren’t able to view the video itself, or you don’t have sound on your workstation computer, you can access a written transcript of each segment on the Pulse video web page. We’ve also added Closed Captioning as a default setting, so you can follow the content even if you can’t play the audio. Look for the Pulse videos at www.utmb.edu/president/pulse or on the I Am UTMB Facebook page. The content of each segment is summarized in Weekly Relay Notes as well.
Day in the Life of a surgery resident at the Angleton Danbury Campus Page 6
In the meantime, please enjoy this issue of Impact. Among the many stories highlighting our people and their great work: • A day in the life of Dr. Latricia Stewart, a surgical resident who’s getting great experience in a community hospital setting on our Angleton Danbury Campus • Best Care in Action at our Laboratory for Surgical Training, Assessment and Research
Time-honored tradition at SOM Commencement
• News of a UTMB research study showing that removing the entire bladder increases survival rates in cancer patients
• Information on a new Tech Talk series, a collaboration of Information Services and Marketing and Communications • Numerous accomplishments and kudos in the Working Wonders column and throughout the newsletter Also be sure to check out this month’s Hidden Talent and trivia question. And let the Impact team know if you have ideas for future stories. Thank you!
Hidden Talent: Piece of Cake Page 11
Dr. David L. Callender UTMB President
Impact is for and about the people who fulfill UTMB’s mission to improve health in Texas and around the world. We hope you enjoy reading this issue. Let us know what you think!
Vice President Marketing & Communications Steve Campbell
ON THE COVER:
Editors Stephen Hadley Shannon Porter
Surgical resident Dr. Laticia Stewart at our Angleton Danbury Campus.
Associate Vice President Marketing & Communications Mary Havard
Art Director Mark Navarro
P R I N T E D B Y U T MB G RAPHIC D ESIG N & PRIN TIN G SERVICES
CONTACT US Email: email@example.com Phone: (409) 772-2618 Campus mail route: 0144 U.S. Postal address: UTMB Marketing & Communications 301 University Boulevard Galveston, TX 77555-0144
B E S T C A R E I N AC T IO N
Sealy and Smith Laboratory for Surgical Training, Assessment and Research promotes patient safety through state-of-the-art simulations BY STEPHEN HADLEY
WHILE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT THROUGH LIFELONG LEARNING “Surgery is a high-stakes environment and it takes a team to make each surgery has been a key part of UTMB’s culture for years, this tenet comes to life at the Sealy and Smith Laboratory for Surgical Training, Assessment and Research (LSTAR). In this modern workspace on the sixth floor of the UTMB Health Clinics building on the Galveston Campus, medical students, residents and practicing surgeons use simulations and virtual reality—among other methods—to practice procedures, learn new techniques and experiment with innovative technologies far from the high-stakes environment of the operating room. “This training and this facility are central to UTMB’s mission with our focus on providing Best Care for our patients each and every time,” said Dr. Alexander Perez, surgical director of LSTAR and chief of the Division of Minimally Invasive and Foregut Surgery. Perez said the simulation training is vital because it allows health care professionals to truly master a procedure or a surgical tool before it’s used in the OR, something that was unheard of a few years ago. “In past years, it was see one patient, do one procedure and teach that procedure,” he said. “With simulation and the online learning tools available now, you could theoretically do one procedure a million times to master it before operating on a patient. This technology keeps patients safer and provides optimal learning conditions in a controlled environment for our health care professionals.” The brainchild of Dr. Courtney Townsend Jr., the LSTAR was founded in 2006 and today is a national testing center for Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery and Fundamentals of Endoscopic Surgery, distinctions that mean residents and faculty surgeons from across the U.S. visit, said Cliff Snyder, the lab’s education director.
successful for our patients,” Snyder said. “So, we incorporate a team-based approach into our simulations. Even if we’re just conducting a random post-operative scenario, we’ll create a situation with a more critically ill patient to involve a respiratory therapist, an anesthesiologist, a nurse or a surgeon to name a few. We want IPE to be a part of our entire curriculum.” The LSTAR team itself is a testament to interprofessional education. Dr. Perez and Snyder serve as directors while Shannon Delao, a surgical technologist with more than 10 years of operating room experience, is the lab’s coordinator, and Kristen Kahrig, a former researcher with UTMB’s departments of Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, is the lab’s business coordinator. And each team member is equally excited about the prospects of technology changing the way health care professionals will learn in the future and incorporate Best Care into their practice. Perez said one of the developments that has him particularly enthusiastic is the advent of three-dimensional printing and its applications in simulation. 3-D printing will enable surgeons to create a replica of a patient’s anatomy so they can practice on that likeness as many times as necessary before entering the operating room, he said. LSTAR has developed a collaborative relationship with UTMB’s MakerHealth Space to create innovative training models via 3-D printing technology, such as simulated gall bladders.
But what makes the LSTAR particularly distinctive, Snyder said, is the lab’s emphasis on incorporating interprofessional education (IPE) principles into its simu- From left: Dr. Alexander Perez, Kristen Kahrig, Shannon Delao and Cliff Snyder keep the Sealy & lations. Smith Laboratory for Surgical Training, Assessment and Research (LSTAR) running smoothly.
“Some centers are already doing this type of modeling and simulation for complex surgical cases,” Perez said. “But what we’re talking about is applying this approach to the more common procedures, like a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder through a small incision). “Yes, practice like this makes sense in complex cases, but I believe it will help with everyday procedures too, because it reduces complications and poor outcomes. I believe this modeling approach is going to be the standard of care in the future.” n
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Study shows removing entire bladder in cancer patients increases chance of survival BY DONNA RAMIREZ
A nationwide study led by UTMB researchers has confirmed that for patients with bladder cancer, removing the whole organ increases their chances of survival and is more cost effective than therapies that selectively target and remove cancerous tissue from the bladder. Last year, there were an estimated 79,000 new cases and 17,000 deaths from bladder cancer in the U.S., and the current recommended treatment for the disease is for patients to have their bladder and surrounding lymph nodes removed surgically in addition to undergoing chemotherapy.
“In this study, our analysis of data from 3,200 Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with clinical stage II through IV bladder cancer found that removing the whole bladder at once improved survival rates,” said Dr. Stephen B. Williams, lead author and associate professor in UTMB’s Department of Surgery, Division of Urology. “We also summed up all Medicare health care expenditures from inpatient, outpatient and physician services within 30, 90 and 180 days of both treatment approaches, finding the complete bladder removal to be more cost-effective.” The researchers found that in the U.S, the less-invasive therapy ended up costing $335 million more in one year when compared with complete bladder removal.
This surgery is complex, and because bladder cancer patients are often older, many of them have health issues beyond the cancer. For this reason—in addition to health-related quality of life concerns—both health professionals “These findings provide important insight on how to provide cancer care that is both appropriate and cost-effective treatment for patients who are candidates and patients have sought other treatment strategies. for either treatment,” said Williams. An increasing number of patients opt for a less-invasive treatment strategy Other authors of the study include UTMB’s Dr. Yong Shan, Usama Jazzar, Dr. that doesn’t involve removing the entire bladder. With this approach, a Hemalkumar Mehta, Dr. Jacques Baillargeon, Dr. Anthony Senagore, Dr. Eduardo surgeon takes small samples of bladder tissue to locate cancerous sections Orihuela, Dr. Douglas Tyler and Dr. Todd Swanson, as well as Jinhai Huo from the and removes only the cancerous tissue. These patients also receive University of Florida and Ashish Kamat from The University of Texas MD Anderson chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Cancer Center. n
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A day in the life of a
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Dr. Laticia Stewart’s day begins hours before she ever steps inside the doors of UTMB’s Angleton Danbury Hospital. Mondays are usually a clinic day at the Angleton Danbury Campus for Stewart. But this particular Monday starts before sunrise in Galveston, after she responds to an early-morning call for residents to cover procedures at Hospital Galveston, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility on UTMB’s island campus. “I’m what you would call an aggressive resident,” Stewart says. “I want to get as much time in the OR as I can.” That’s one of the reasons Stewart, a second-year general surgery resident, loves her work at UTMB’s Angleton Danbury Campus so much.
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The general surgery rotation at the campus
was launched in summer 2017 as part of the rural health track program.
UTMB’s rural health care track exists to provide an expanded learning experience focused on needs specific to medically under-served rural communities. The practice of rural medicine requires adaptation to multiple roles, knowledge about resource utilization specific to the rural setting, and an explicit ability to integrate a public health perspective into a rural practice. All UTMB surgical residents work for two months at the Angleton Danbury Campus during their second year, working one-on-one with faculty members doing everything from assisting in orthopedic surgeries to performing colonoscopies, says Dr. John Walker, who has been a rural surgeon for 30 years, the last two at UTMB’s Angleton Danbury Campus. “There’s a lot of opportunity here,” Walker said. “For a lot of residents, this is the closest thing to what they’ll be doing in real life.” After Stewart completes her two cases in Galveston, she makes the nearly hour-long drive to Brazoria County through torrential rains to work alongside Dr. Steven Agle, a general, colorectal and oncology surgeon at UTMB. The rain eases up by the time she arrives in Angleton at 11 a.m., and she’s ready to get to work. As Stewart walks the clinic hallways, she smiles and waves at almost every person she sees. “I love how everyone knows you by name and face,” Stewart says. Since she arrived later than usual on this clinic day, Stewart catches up on some of the cases Agle has already seen. Because there’s only one resident on duty at the Angleton Danbury Campus at a time, Stewart says she is essentially the chief resident, as she logs in to UTMB’s Epic System to check the status of Agle’s patients. During her ADC rotation, Stewart is responsible for all surgical patients and takes a leadership role in providing patient care under the guidance of Agle. In a typical week, Agle sees 20 to 30 patients a day in the clinic and has four to five major surgical cases on Thursdays, in addition to performing four to five colonoscopies, she says. “You really get the chance to see and do all types of procedures here,” Stewart says of her rotation at the campus. “You get to see C-sections and perform everything, including hernia repairs and gallbladder removals. Dr. Doug Tyler, chairman of UTMB’s Department of Surgery, says a community hospital provides a different environment for doctors to care for patients and that’s a valuable resource for educating residents as well.
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“It’s different to do a gallbladder surgery in a community hospital,” Tyler says. “The depth of resources is different, you don’t have the same levels of imaging, and in a smaller hospital you don’t have the depth of on-site consultants or ancillary resources as you would at a larger facility.”
says. “She told me she was going to take care of me and I believed her—and she did.”
Once the appointment wraps up, Stewart completes the required paperwork and smiles. “You have to picture your patients as if they were one of your loved ones,” she says. “I have always had For Stewart, the ADC rotation provides the exact mix of expe- that taught to me.” riences she hoped to gain during her residency as she prepares And Katrina Lambrecht, UTMB’s vice president of Institutional for her next role: military general surgeon. Currently, she’s a Strategic Initiatives and administrator for the campus, says lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and was commissioned at Jennie being able to put such learning into practice is a key benefit of Sealy Hospital last year. Once she finishes her residency in three the residency rotation at ADC. years, she will spend five years in the Navy and serve at least “We have always known how valuable it is to learn in a commuthree tours of duty. nity setting,” Lambrecht says. “Not only do residents get to see “Who knows, I may perform surgeries in Afghanistan at some point,” Stewart says. But on this day in the Angleton Danbury surgery clinic, Stewart begins by removing a cyst from a patient’s neck and shoulder.
a broader variety of procedures and specialties, but they get to develop personal connections.”
In the future, UTMB wants to offer this community hospital training opportunity to more than one resident at a time, Lambrecht says. Already, the Angleton Danbury Campus has started a rotation for physician assistant students as well.
The cyst removal takes a little over an hour. Once done, Stewart has just enough time to grab a quick lunch of Funyuns and a plate of veggies from a pot-luck taking place down the hall. “That commitment to education is part of what made this partBefore she can finish her lunch, her next appointment begins, nership so great,” Lambrecht says. “We’re continuing the legacy this time a post-operative consultation with a patient who came of building health care here and educating and training upcominto the emergency room the previous week complaining of ing leaders in academic surgery.” severe abdominal pain. As for Stewart, she’s hopeful of what the future will bring to The consultation begins with a hug and lots of “thank yous” from her as a surgeon. the patient, who says she was thankful Stewart was her doctor “It’s the unknown and not knowing that I’m very comfortable when she arrived at the emergency room. with,” Stewart said. “I truly feel like I’m prepared to take on “She talks on your level and helps you understand,” the patient whatever life throws my way.” n
“You have to picture your patients as if they were one of your loved ones. I have always had that taught to me.”
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GO O D NE WS
PRESIDENT DAVID CALLENDER launched his “Pulse” video update series in May to keep the UTMB family up-to-date on issues affecting the organization. In June, those videos covered: June 8 A review of the work being conducted with consultants and a discussion about UTMB’s financial picture. June 15 An explanation about why UTMB is facing financial challenges and the process we’re using to address these issues. June 22 How UTMB is producing more revenue and increasing access to care in its clinics and hospitals June 28 A description of the benchmarking process used by Huron and BRG—the two consulting firms helping UTMB identify opportunities to improve our cost structure or improve revenue.
You can also access the transcripts on the Pulse website to read the messages; a transcript accompanies each video. If you are a social media user, the videos (with subtitles) are posted to the UTMB employee Facebook page, I Am UTMB. Facebook will display captions if you mute the sound. n
New series focuses on technology tools and innovations everyone uses at UTMB
TechTalk, a forum for the UTMB community, launched recently to foster learning and conversations about technology, tools and digital life.
“We’ve all seen how quickly things evolve in our increasingly digital lives,” VanDyke said. “The only way to keep up is to commit to lifelong learning. Tech Talk will hopefully make this a little easier for all of us.”
The free sessions are hosted by Information Services and Marketing & Communications the fourth Tuesday of each month, on the UTMB Galveston Campus. The forums are also available via Skype for those who want to participate remotely.
He said most sessions will focus on solutions, tools or themes that are widely useful and highly relevant, focused on topics that most attendees can put to use on an almost daily basis. The first few TechTalk sessions (which are archived online) covered Skype, UTMB Discover and survey tools Poll Everywhere and Select Survey.
“TechTalks are a great way to make people aware of tools or initiatives that can help them work more efficiently and effectively,” said Pep Valdes, UTMB’s director of Digital Communications. “Saving time and money are really important as we’re all challenged to work smarter, to innovate, and to do more with less. But beyond the hands-on exposure and learning of sessions like these, we think there’s also value in getting people together to talk through shared needs and solutions. We learn from each other, and it makes our organization stronger.” Darwin VanDyke, associate director of Information Services, added that the forums have been purposely left open to a wide range of subjects, driven in part by what attendees want to learn.
There are multiple ways to access Dr. Callender’s video updates. In addition to the recap in Weekly Relays, you can watch and listen to the videos from https://www. utmb.edu/president/pulse. Please use a modern web browser for the best experience. If you are at a PC without audio or speakers, closed captioning on the videos can be turned “On” and “Off” by clicking the “CC” symbol in the video player tool bar (the symbol displays once you hit “play,” on the right side of the tool bar). Closed captioning is now on by default.
The upcoming sessions, which begin at noon at the Levin Hall South Auditorium, include: • August 28: Social media • September 25: UTMB IT for students • October 23: Web tools There are plans in the works for sessions on IT security, desktop applications, cloud computing, image editing and more. Organizers are seeking speakers interested in pitching their own ideas and tools, too. For more information about the TechTalk series, visit https://intranet.utmb. edu/techtalk. n
This year’s CMC Summer Conference, held May 11 in Austin, paid tribute to a multitude of employees for their dedication and commitment to providing outstanding patient care.
Above and Beyond Award Gold: Wanda Muldrow, phlebotomist, Telford Facility Silver: Charles Keith Fuller, MHM, Lewis Facility Bronze: Misty Upton, RDH, Evins Facility
Outstanding Patient Care Award Gold: Michael Goldman, RN, Beto Facility Silver: David Geib, DDS, Giddings Facility Bronze: Erick Echavarry, PA, McConnell Facility
2018 Correctional Managed Care Employee Service Awards
Beneficial Innovation Award Gold: Samantha Gregory, RN, Crain Facility Silver: Jennifer Parker, CCA, Polunsky Facility Bronze: Shannon Sandridge, NS, Young Facility
Rising Star Award Gold: Amanda Ross, CCA, Woodman Facility Silver: Carol Ehler, MHC, Telford Facility Bronze: Uriah Yarbrough, RN, McLennan Facility
Excellence in Team Spirit Award Gold: Azucena Tovar, CCA, Hughes Facility Silver: Christina Moore, BM, Skyview Facility Bronze: Kimberly Stevenson, LVN, Luther Facility
Servant Leader Award Gold: Christina Moore, BM, Skyview Facility Silver: Mary Minshew, FNM, Crain Facility Bronze: Keith Fuller, MHM, Lewis Facility
Meritorious Achievement Award Gold: Robert Dickerson, PM, Goodman/Lewis Facility Silver: Mary Belinowski, CCA, C. Moore Facility Bronze: Maria Martinez-Saenz, CCA, Evins Facility
Safety Awareness Award Gold: Angela Avila, LVN, Torres Facility Silver: Frank Hoke, Store Clerk III, HV Central Pharmacy Bronze: Shawna Sutton, CCA, Powledge Facility
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Time-honored tradition School of Medicine commencement includes traditions reaching back to medieval times BY KURT KOOPMANN
hen the 2018 School of Medicine graduates walked in to receive their degrees this year, they followed in the footsteps of generations past being led by the university’s ceremonial mace, a symbol of academia dating back to medieval times. Carried this year by Dr. Michael Boyars, a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, UTMB’s mace is used during official occasions in the life of the university, including commencements where it signifies the power and authority vested in the institution.
One of the prominent symbols is a silver-plated medallion bearing an image of UTMB’s first building, the Ashbel Smith Building, also known as Old Red. Also engraved on the mace are the university’s four schools and the dates they were established—the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Graduate Biomedical Sciences and Health Professions.
Echoing the macebearer’s excitement for the graduates, Dr. Danny O. Jacobs, then executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, said, “I am extremely proud of our class Boyars, a self-professed fan of graduof 2018 graduates. I hope their eduDr. Michael Boyars carries UTMB’s mace during the School of Medicine ations, has attended every graduation cation at UTMB will serve them well Commencement ceremony on June 2. since he came to UTMB in 1982. as they enter the next phase of their “Anything to do with graduation is an honor,” said Boyars. “It is one of the more training. I wish them much success and satisfaction in their careers.” significant events in the life of graduates, like getting married, having children, The ceremony also included time-honored traditions such as the announcegetting a job. Medical school graduation is a significant achievement.” ment of the Gold-Headed Cane Award winner, the highest honor bestowed The mace was originally a hand weapon designed to pierce armor. Over time, upon a graduating medical student. The Gold-Headed Cane was presented its use as a weapon waned and it became a symbol of peaceful leadership used to Transom Vu Nguyen. primarily in legislative bodies, religious ceremonies and at educational institutions. This year’s Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumni Award winners were also announced. They included Dr. George R. Brown, Class of 1962; Dr. Donald Today, the mace is a symbol of authority, dignity and privilege. R. Butts, Class of 1962; Dr. Michael H. Malloy, Class of 1973; Dr. Leonard S. As with most ceremonial maces, UMTB’s mace displays the university seal and Marks, Class of 1969; and Dr. Jack W. McAninch, Class of 1964. n decorations symbolic of significant achievements in the institution’s history.
Name: Leslye Mlcak UTMB Talent: Administrative Manager, Department of Patient Services Hidden Talent: Taking the Cake! Leslye Mlcak found her hidden talent four years ago: She’s a phenom with fondant and a cake baker extraordinaire. Once she realized she enjoyed baking, Mlcak took a continuing education class at Galveston College with a friend and she’s been pursuing her passion ever since. “It’s a hobby that keeps me covered in powdered sugar and kneading fondant,” Mlcak says.
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Five common myths about sun exposure With the dog days of summer now upon us, it’s likely that many will spend days frolicking in the pool or heading to the beach to keep cool and beat the heat. If you and your family are heading for the outof-doors this summer, here are a few myths (followed by the facts) about exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light that you should keep in mind: Myth No. 1: You don’t need to apply sunscreen on an overcast day. Fact: Even on windy, cool and cloudy days, your skin can be damaged by sun exposure. That’s because sun damage is caused by UV radiation, not temperature, so even a cooler, overcast summer day can have UV levels similar to a bright, sunny day. The American Cancer Society recommends applying a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or higher. Myth No. 2: SPF 30 is all the protection you need as anything higher is unnecessary. Fact: According to the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, if you don’t apply enough sunscreen (1 oz. for your body and 1 teaspoon for your face) or you apply your sunscreen incorrectly, it may result in a lower SPF than the labeled protection level. For instance, if you under-apply your SPF 30 sunscreen by half, you may only get the protection level of an SPF 15 or lower. In this case, higher SPF sunscreens can help compensate for the fact that people usually do not apply enough. In addition, higher SPF sunscreens provide additional sunburn protection under extreme UV conditions. When you participate in moderate outdoor activities such as jogging or are outside on a very hot day, the heat from your activity and surroundings can increase the sensitivity of your skin, and higher SPF protection is needed to prevent acute sunburn.
Myth No. 3: People with darker skin tones are naturally protected from sun exposure and don’t need to worry about applying sunscreen. Fact: While it’s true that dark skin does offer more natural protection from the sun’s harmful rays than light skin, no one is immune to damage caused by the sun. This is a common misconception that dermatologists are working hard to clear up. When working or playing outdoors during the peak exposure hours, everyone—regardless of skin color—should use an SPF 30 sunscreen or higher. Myth No. 4: Getting a “base tan” will protect me from a sunburn. Fact: Study after study has shown that soaking up the rays to get a “base tan” won’t protect you against future UV exposure. In fact, the U.S. surgeon general has warned that a “base tan” provides only an SPF of 3 or less, and that getting that “base tan” could put sunbathers at further risk of developing skin cancers. If you’re going to be in the sun, apply sunscreen. Myth No. 5: Sun exposure is a healthy source of Vitamin D so I don’t want to blunt the effects by using sunscreen. Fact: It’s true that we all need Vitamin D. It boosts our immune systems and helps keep our bones healthy and strong. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it manufactures Vitamin D. However, studies have never concluded that sunscreen use leads to deficiencies of this important vitamin. In fact, it is possible to still get enough sun exposure to maintain Vitamin D levels while wearing sunscreen. The price of prolonged sun exposure far outweighs any perceived advantages. And if you prefer to further limit your sun exposure, consume foods high in Vitamin D—such as salmon, mackerel and tuna— while also taking a supplement. n
UTMB TRIVIA A crowd gathers outside and on the balconies of the old John Sealy Hospital (you can see Old Red to the left of the covered walkway) to welcome a passing motorcade on the UTMB campus in May 1937. Who was the dignitary who visited our campus that year? Send your answer to impact. firstname.lastname@example.org and be entered into a drawing to win a UTMB swag bag. Good luck! Answer to the June trivia question: Nicholas Clayton was the famed architect who designed Old Red and it was completed in 1891. Congrats to Monique Rains, a UTMB/CMC certified medication aide at the TDCJ’s Cleveland Facility in Cleveland, Texas, who won the June trivia!