“Ten Surprising Tips for Managing Stress,” a free interactive presentation, open to the public, by Ann Pardo, stress management expert and director of life management at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, will be held Wednesday, July 3, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, Chase Bank Auditorium (Room 8403), 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. Light refreshments are provided.
Pardo will guide participants through an interactive lecture on controlling stress in daily life. She will discuss the effects that stress can have on our bodies, how to control and manage the stresses that many of us encounter, and the role of stress management when dealing with pain and disease.
(Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus visitor/patient parking garage. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the UA Zone 1 permit and metered parking lot No. 2030 just south of the parking garage at East Mabel Street and Martin Avenue.)
About Ann Pardo
Ann Pardo, MA, LPC, ACS, NCGS, is director of life management at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson. She holds a master’s degree in counseling from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in dance therapy from Columbia College of Chicago. She is certified by the American Counseling Association and specializes in the effects of stress on the body and stress management in dealing with pain and disease.
About the ‘Living Healthy with Arthritis’ lecture series
“Living Healthy with Arthritis” lectures are held the first Wednesday of each month, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Upcoming lectures include:
·Aug. 7,“Matters of the Heart – Cardiovascular Issues and Arthritis,” Lori Mackstaller, MD, clinical associate professor and The Bertram Z. and Hazel S. Brodie and Edwin J. Brach Foundation Endowed Lectureship for Heart Disease in Women, University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center.
·Sept. 4, “Solving Problems of the Foot and Ankle,” L. Daniel Latt, MD, PhD, assistant professor, orthopaedic surgery, UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
Hendrikus L. Granzier, PhD, professor of physiology and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to study the role of titin, the largest known protein, in diastolic heart function and disease.
Dr. Granzier and members of his lab will study titin to gain understanding in why women are more prone to diastolic heart disease than men. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and the leading cause of disability among women.
Dr. Granzier is the Allan and Alfie Norville Endowed Chair. The chair was established at the UA Sarver Heart Center by the Norville’s matching a challenge gift by an anonymous donor and provide for a comprehensive research focus on the underlying molecular mechanisms relating to gender differences in cardiovascular diseases.
The Granzier team will study the role of titin during the diastolic or filling of the heart during infant development and in adults. Titin works like a molecular sized spring that recoils and causes the cardiac muscle to relax.
In Diastolic heart disease, the heart is stiffer than normal, which interferes with the heart’s ability to provide enough blood to the organs. “This often is the cause of heart failure in women. In cases of an abnormally stiff heart muscle, the heart contracts as it should, but is too stiff to relax normally and requires a higher amount of pressure to fill the major pumping chamber. This higher pressure backs up into the lungs, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, especially with exertion,” said Lori Mackstaller, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the UA College of Medicine and the Edwin J. Brach Foundation/Hazel and Bertram Brodie Endowed Lecturer at the UA Sarver Heart Center.
The team’s research will examine the isoform switching and post-translational modification (chemical modifications to regulate cellular activity) of titin, relative to the change in the stiffness of the extracellular matrix which influences tissue function in both the left and right ventricles of the heart.
They will also study the role of titin in the Frank-Starling mechanism - the ability of the heart to change its force of contraction and stroke volume (the volume of blood pumped from the ventricle with each beat) in response to changes in blood flow return. They also will measure hypertrophy or thickening of the muscular wall within heart's pumping chambers. This work will contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms that give rise to diastolic dysfunction and reduced pump function in heart failure.
Dr. Granzier is a member of the UA Sarver Heart Center and the BIO5 Institute.
Dr. James Dalen Receives Honorary Degree from University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester
James Eugene Dalen, MD, MPH, dean emeritus and professor emeritus of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester on June 2 for his pivotal role in the early history of the university.
Dr. Dalen, a renowned cardiologist and respected leader in academic medicine, has spent his career in university hospitals. From 1975 to 1988, he was a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts where he served as chairman of cardiovascular medicine (1975-1977) and then chairman of medicine (1977-88); from 1986 to 1987 he served as interim chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Worcester.
He was editor of the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine for many years and continues to be an outspoken advocate for health-care reform. In 2012, Dr. Dalen received the Herbert K. Abrams, MD, Award from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Family and Community Medicine for his demonstration of “a lifetime commitment to public health and social justice.” He now serves as executive director of the Weil Foundation, which supports research and education in integrative medicine, a field Dr. Dalen developed with Andrew Weil, MD. He currently also serves as professor emeritus, teaching in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
Dr. Ana Maria López Named One of 25 Most Influential Hispanic Business Leaders in Arizona
From clinical research with molecular targets to health services research Dr. López’ work focuses on optimizing the health of individuals and communities. She is the principal investigator of several breast and ovarian cancer clinical trials focused on quality of life care and innovative treatments. She also is a leader in health disparities and diversity in the health professions.
Dr. López received her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowships in general internal medicine and medical oncology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. She also holds a master’s degree in public health from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
Arizona Health Sciences Library, Tucson Campus, Receives Team Award for Excellence
The Exhibits Committee of the Arizona Health Sciences Library, Tucson Campus has received the University of Arizona 2013 Team Award for Excellence. The team has worked to bring to the UA campus a variety of exhibits that have highlighted history, art, diversity, ethics and scientific progress and other topics.
Exhibits including “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” “Opening Doors: Contemporary African-American Academic Surgeons,” “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating Women Physicians” and “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race” have been viewed by the campus community as well as by many appreciative members of the community-at-large, including middle and high school students.
This month, 28 students from across Arizona began participating in the six-week Med-Start Tucson early outreach health career program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. The academic residential program on the UA campus runs from June 2 through July 13.
Arizona high school seniors are selected for Med-Start during a competitive selection process that this year received more than 400 applications.
Here’s what some Med-Start alumni had to say about their experience:
“Med-Start gave me a place to belong.” Gwen Gallegos, RN, 1969
“Med-Start gave me insight.” David Lee, pharmacist, 1974
“Med-Start gave me self-confidence.” Carlos Gonzales, MD, 1972
Med-Start has two goals: to address the critical shortage of a diverse health-care workforce and to provide students the opportunities to explore health careers and college in order to successfully reach their academic and career goals.
In 1969, UA College of Medicine founding Dean Merlin K. “Monte” DuVal, MD, lent his support to a group of idealistic and innovative minority medical students who championed the Med-Start cause. Since then, more than 1,000 students have enrolled in the program, and surveys of past participants show 80 percent are attending a university or community college and working toward their health-career goal.
After his death in December 2006, Dr. DuVal’s family established the Merlin K. “Monte” DuVal Memorial Med-Start Endowment, to generate funds to make it easier for more deserving young students to learn about the career opportunities that await them.
"Med-Start is a unique program built upon educational and community partnerships. This early outreach health career exploration program addresses the critical need for physicians and other health providers in Arizona and demonstrates the value of diverse partnerships in meeting workforce needs,” said Francisco Moreno, MD, deputy dean for diversity and inclusion at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
Med-Start Tucson students experience college life by earning three units of college credit through UA. They learn about college success strategies in structured College 101 workshops and tour the UA, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University campuses. Students reside in a UA residence hall and have access to all UA student amenities.
In addition to exploring health careers, students participate in interactive presentations throughout the Arizona Health Sciences Center, learning skills needed in health professions, such as responding to a trauma situation, dissection skills, compounding ingredients into sunscreen, making hand sanitizer and visiting the cadaver lab.
Med-Start alumni participate in weekly career chats, meeting in an informal setting with students and providing encouraging words and guidance to help students achieve their goals.
Participants in the 2013 Med-Start Tucson summer program by location of high school include:
From Bisbee, Ariz., Itzel Mares, Bisbee High School; David Silva, Bisbee High School;
From Douglas, Ariz., Maritza Garcia-Nunez, Douglas High School; KriselMoreno, Douglas High School; Karina Palomares, Douglas High School; Yazmin Vasquez, Douglas High School;
From Ft. Defiance, Ariz., Caleigh Curley, Window Rock High School;
From Kayenta, Ariz., Joslynn Singer, Monument Valley High School;
From Keams Canyon, Ariz, Kira Beaudette, Hopi Junior-Senior High School;
From Nogales, Ariz., Gabriela Chavez, Nogales High School; Alma Garcia, Nogales High School;
From Rio Rico, Ariz., Jose Iribe, Rio Rico High School;
From San Carlos, Ariz., Dana Dosela, San Carlos Secondary School;
From San Luis, Ariz., Andrea Rodriguez, San Luis High School;
From Tucson, AZ., Alonso Dorame, San Miguel High School; Jasmine Duarte, Sunnyside High School; Courtney Edwards, Marana High School; Matthew Flores, Amerischools College Preparatory Academy; Abraham Foulkes, San Miguel High School; Francisco Montijo, Sunnyside High School; Connie Tran, Tucson Magnet High School, Kenny Tran, University High School;
From Winslow, Ariz., Chance Curley, Winslow High School; Tannon Tom, Winslow High School;
From Yuma, Ariz., Elidia Gerardo, Kofa High School; Margarita Lopez, Kofa High School; BeatrizRodriguez, Kofa High School, Melissa Vanegas, Cibola High School.
For more information about the Merlin K. “Monte” DuVal Memorial Med-Start Endowment, or to contribute to this important effort, contact the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Development Office: Clint McCall, senior director of development, 520-626-2827, email email@example.com.
The Arizona Elks Clinic for Children and Young Adults received an unprecedented 96 percent compliance rating from their Vaccines for Children (VFC) program audit, conducted by the Arizona Immunization Program Office (AIPO).
VFC is a federally-funded program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program provides vaccines to children at no cost, who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. Bridgett Favors, LPN, is the VFC coordinator for the Elks Clinic, and assisted in organizing the audit.
The audit consisted of a four-hour review of vaccine administration records, review of medical records, staff knowledge of vaccine storage, and administration and program guidelines.
The current average score for participating clinical locations across the state of Arizona is 64 percent, and nationally it is 73 percent. “Our 96 percent score is indicative of our commitment to providing immunizations to our patients, and we are thrilled with this accomplishment,” said Tracy Goggin, assistant administrator, clinical operations, UA Department of Pediatrics.
“Congratulations to the Arizona Elks Clinic for Children and Young Adults for its outstanding vaccination efforts,” said Patty Gast, program manager with the Arizona Department of Health Services Immunization. “The clinic, staff and patients are leading the way in statewide efforts to prevent outbreaks of serious diseases that we still see in our state, such as whooping cough and measles. We are proud to have them as our partners in the Arizona Vaccines for Children Program.”
"I am very proud of our staff and faculty for their commitment to providing quality health care including vaccines to the children in our community," said Kimberly Gerhart, MD, medical director of the Elks Clinic, assistant professor and section chief of General Pediatrics, UA Department of Pediatrics.
The 14th annual PANDA “Children Helping Children”Fashion Show and Luncheon held at the Phoenician in May in Scottsdale raised approximately $475,000 for the UASteele Children’s Research Center.
The event is organized annually by PANDA(People Acting Now Discover Answers)—the Phoenix Women’s Board of the Steele Center. The mission of the board is to support discovery processes that lead to improved treatments and cures for devastating childhood diseases.
The proceeds will fund the PANDA Children’s Autoimmune Disorders Project at the Steele Center, enabling the researchers to expand basic science research in autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease, to name a few.
“Prevalence and incidence of autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes and Crohn’s disease are on the rise, and the mechanism underlying this increase is not well known,” said Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, director of the Steele Center, and an internationally-renowned expert in autoimmune diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract. “We suspect that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the cause of autoimmune diseases. With PANDA’s support, we hope to make new discoveries that will lead to the development of novel therapies for these perplexing disorders.”
“As president, it was an honor to work with the dedicated PANDA board members in creating our own ‘circus,’” said Emily Calihan, PANDA president. “Our event was a huge success with more than 900 guests and 64 young models that shined on the runway—all to support the Steele Center and the PANDA Autoimmune Disorders Project.”
Marylyn Morris McEwen, PhD, PHCNS-BC, FAAN, associate professor, has been appointed the Gladys E. Sorensen Endowed Professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing.
A scholar focused on decreasing health disparities, especially evident in people living along the rural U.S.-Mexico border, she is renowned for her community-centric program of research for managing adult type 2 diabetes, interprofessional workforce development model for building community capacity, and culturally competent community-based interventions to promote health.
“Dr. McEwen is an exceptional nurse-scientist whose program of research on rural border health exemplifies her strong passion for improving community and public health. Dr. McEwen superbly integrates the scholarship of discovery with the scholarship of teaching and clinical practice. The result is a dynamic, binational collaboration of academic and community-at-large colleagues, who teach health professions students, design and conduct community-relevant research and apply and evaluate health improvement initiatives for border residents.” says UA College of Nursing Dean Joan Shaver, PhD, RN, FAAN.
Since earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, Dr. McEwen’s leadership has yielded collaborations with colleagues, binational community organizations, multiple universities and rural/underserved minority communities along the US-Mexico border and with the Navajo Nation. She provides positive influential leadership within professional organizations, including the Global Nursing and Health and Women's Health Expert Panels of the American Academy of Nursing and the American Public Health Association Public Health Nursing Section. Locally, she is active with the Arizona Diabetes Association, Arizona Nurses Association, Border Health Nurses Chapter, US-Mexico Border Health Association, the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence and border health special-interest groups.
The Gladys E. Sorensen Endowed Professorship is named in honor of Gladys E. Sorensen, EdD, RN, FAAN, who was dean of the UA College of Nursing from 1967 to 1987.
Faculty at the University of Arizona College of Nursing envision, engage and innovate in education, research and practiceto help people of all ages optimize health in the context of major life transitions, illnesses, injuries, symptoms and disabilities. Established in 1957, the college ranks among the top nursing programs in the United States. For more information about the college, please visit its website, www.nursing.arizona.edu
The prestigious Glaser awards were established by the AOA Medical Honor Society in 1988 to encourage greater recognition of the significant contributions to medical education made by gifted teachers. They are based on a national competition conducted through the offices of the deans of U.S. and Canadian medical schools. Only one nominee is permitted per school and only four nominees are selected nationally for these awards, so simply being nominated is a high honor.
Recipients of the Glaser Awards are selected by a committee appointed jointly by AOA and the Association of American Medical Colleges. The 2013 awards will be presented at the AAMC annual meeting in Philadelphia in November.
A specialist in pediatric infectious diseases who cares for hospitalized children at The University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s and its affiliated outpatient clinics throughout Tucson, Dr. Elliott is an outstanding and innovative clinical educator, a curricular leader and a thoughtful scholar. He joined the UA faculty in 2000 as assistant professor of pediatrics and serves in a variety of leadership roles including chairman and medical director of infection prevention; pediatrics residency program director; co-program director of the pediatric emergency medicine residency program; and co-program director and associate chair for resident education in the UA Department of Pediatrics.
He earned the Outstanding New Faculty Award in 2001 and, in just six years following his first faculty appointment, his interactive clinical style was recognized by third- and fourth-year medical students who named him Clinical Sciences Educator of the Year. He earned the award three years in a row, gaining him the Educator of the Year Lifetime Award in 2009. He is a three-time Dean’s List for Excellence in Teaching in the Clinical Sciences awardee. He has earned induction into the UA College of Medicine AOA and was recognized with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 2013.
As block director of the Prologue Block in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s ArizonaMed curriculum, he has been recognized for the quality of his contributions in graduate medical education and is in wide demand in continuing medical education activities.
He is a founding member of the Academy of Medical Education Scholars at the UA and as its chair he oversaw the creation of a new teaching workshop program, as well as the Teaching Scholars Program. He was instrumental in the development of an Educational Portfolio, now a routine part of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s promotion and tenure process.
He serves on many education-related committees, including the Department of Pediatrics Education Committee, which he has chaired since 2004, and is a member of the College of Medicine promotion and tenure committee. He also is on the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Healthcare-Associated Infection Advisory Committee and has oversight of all infection prevention activities within The University of Arizona Health Network. Since 2010, he has been listed as one of the Best Doctors in America.
Frank I. Marcus, MD, professor emeritus at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, was honored by the Pima County Medical Foundation “in recognition of lifetime achievement in the furtherance of medical education.”
Dr. Marcus expressed his gratitude for this unexpected honor and urged the Pima County Medical Society to consider making a major effort in spearheading preventative cardiology.
“Specifically, I encouraged the Society to perform research and implement efforts to decrease the epidemic of obesity that has led to a marked increase in diabetes, hypertension, hyper-lipidemia and the subsequent increase in coronary disease. This will eventually wipe out the gains we have made in both medical and surgical treatment of coronary disease and increase in life span. In addition, the costs of the complications of obesity are unaffordable by our society,” said Dr. Marcus.
The founding chief of the Section of Cardiology at the UA College of Medicine, Dr. Marcus is an internationally recognized expert in electrophysiology and cardiac arrhythmias. In 1984, he pioneered the development of radiofrequency catheter ablation. In 1986, he and his colleagues published the first paper that systematically explored the use of radiofrequency energy for catheter ablation of arrhythmias. Today, this procedure is used all around the world.
Besides Dr. Marcus, Richard Dale, MD; James Dunn, MD; and John Wilson, MD, also were recognized by the Pima County Medical Foundation for exemplary lifetime achievements in the furtherance of medical education.
Gulshan Sethi, MD, professor of surgery and medical director of the Circulatory Sciences Program at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, is the Pima County Medical Society Physician of the Year for 2012. The award is given annually to a physician who has made a significant contribution to the practice of medicine in Pima County.
“Nominations come from the medical community, are vetted by the PCMS Executive Committee and voted on by the Board of Directors. In 2012, we received several excellent candidates. Dr. Sethi was unanimously selected,” said Steve Nash, recently-retired executive director of the Pima County Medical Society.
"It is most gratifying to be recognized by your own peers,” said Dr. Sethi while accepting the award. He thanked his colleagues for giving him the opportunity to provide care for their patients and the patients who trusted him with their lives.
Dr. Sethi joined the UA College of Medicine in 1988. His primary specialties were in adult cardiac surgery and heart transplantation. He performed the first single-lung transplant in Arizona in 1989. That same year, he established the Circulatory Sciences Program, which is one of the original master-level programs in pharmacology and perfusion technology. In 2007, Dr. Sethi completed the UA’s two-year fellowship in integrative medicine.
Dr. Sethi’s research has focused on heart, heart-lung and single-lung transplantation; artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices; mechanical valves; coronary artery disease; congenital heart operations; coagulation/anti-coagulation; and myocardial preservation/reperfusion injury.
Lorraine Mackstaller, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and holder of the Sarver Heart Center’s Bertram Z. and Hazel S. Brodie and the Edwin J. Brach Foundation Endowed Lectureship for Heart Disease in Women, received the inaugural “Community Impact Award” from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Tucson Alumnae Chapter. The award recognizes “a woman whose selfless work positively reflects the sorority’s public service program.”
“During the past three years, Dr. Mackstaller has worked tirelessly to educate women and minorities on heart disease and how to prevent it,” said Wanda F. Moore, Arizona state coordinator for the Deltas Farwest Region, chair of the Tucson Alumnae Chapter’s Physical and Mental Health Committee and chair of the UA Sarver Heart Center’s Community Coalition for Heart Health Education for Women of Color.
“Her leadership and commitment to heart health education takes her to the pulpits of churches, school classrooms, minority women conferences, neighborhood centers and community meetings throughout Southern Arizona. Her work to reduce heart disease in women of color and help them lead healthy lives makes her an exemplary recipient of the first Community Impact Award,” added Mrs. Moore.
The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center in Tucson, Ariz., emphasizes a highly interdisciplinary research environment fostering innovative translational or “bench-to-bedside” research. Working toward a future free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the center’s more than 170 scientist and physician members collaborate with the goal of applying new findings from the basic sciences to the clinical arena as quickly as possible.
A study conducted by University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson student Lucy Han evaluated pulse oximetry readings of newborns at The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus and found low false-positive results at Tucson’s elevation—establishing that implementing recommended pulse oximetry screening guidelines is feasible.
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive, painless and inexpensive test conducted on newborns after 24 hours of life to measure the percentage of oxygen saturation in the blood; low saturation levels indicate a possible congenital heart problem, which may result in congestive heart failure or even death.
Babies born with CCHD may not have signs of a heart problem until after they leave the hospital, typically within the first four weeks of life. This is why pulse oximetry is considered such an important and necessary screening: if detected early, CCHD can be diagnosed and treated, improving outcomes.
In 2011, recommendations for newborn pulse oximetry screening of CCHD were made by the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (SACHDNC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association. The recommendations were based on research findings that had been conducted in regions at or just above sea level, causing concern that the established protocols – if followed in areas of higher elevation – might result in high rates of false-positives, causing unnecessary stress on the health-care system from additional tests required to verify CCHD in newborns.
“Arizona is one of 13 states that have not yet adopted this screening as a mandate, with elevation and the potential of false positives being two of many issues the state needs to consider,” said Scott Klewer, MD, professor, UA Department of Pediatrics, and researcher with the Steele Children’s Research Center.
“The oxygen concentration in the air is lower at higher elevations,” explained Dr. Klewer. “This has led to concerns that the recommended ‘cut-off’ levels for a positive pulse oximetry screen (<95 percent) might include too many normal babies born at higher elevations in the mountain states that would require unnecessary additional testing for CCHD.”
To address the elevation and false-positive issues, UA medical student Lucy Han, working with her mentor, pediatric cardiologist Brent Barber, MD, associate professor, UA Department of Pediatrics, conducted a research study to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the U.S. SACHDNC recommended pulse oximetry screening protocol in Tucson, with its elevation at 2,643 feet. Han’s study was funded by the Medical Student Research Program(MSRP) at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. Han and Dr. Barber worked with the staff at UAMC’s newborn nursery, evaluating the pulse oximetry readings of 1,069 newborns in 2012.
“This is significant,” said Dr. Barber, “because now we have evidence that the protocol works at our elevation, and we can confidently continue pulse oximetry screenings using the existing recommendations without the fear of false-positive readings based on our elevation.
“It was a pleasure to work with Lucy on this research,” said Dr. Barber. “She took an active role in this project and saw it to its completion. Lucy gave an outstanding and well-received presentation of our research at a national meeting, the Western Society of Pediatric Research in January, and was the lead author for the manuscript recently published in Pediatric Cardiology. Lucy is a highly motivated and bright student-scientist.”
“I was amazed at how supportive both the hospital staff and parents were in implementing the pulse oximetry protocol, and I think it will be a great addition to the current newborn screening process,” said Han.
Pulse oximetry screening has been standard procedure in the newborn nursery at UAMC since 2006. The hospital was the first in Tucson to adopt pulse oximetry screening, based on research by then pediatric resident Michael Seckeler, MD. Dr. Seckeler conducted a pilot study funded by the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center and overseen by his mentor, Dr. Klewer. The results of the study provided evidence to the efficacy of employing pulse oximetry as a universal screening test to detect CCHD.
Indeed, a routine pulse oximetry test recently revealed a potentially life-threatening CCHD in a newborn boy. Gabriel Blair, born April 22, was scheduled to be discharged from the newborn nursery at UAMC – when the test showed he had very low oxygen saturation of 70-80 percent (normal range is greater than 95 percent).
A subsequent echocardiogram conducted by Dr. Klewer revealed that Gabriel had a type of CCHD known as total anomalous pulmonary venus return (TAPVR), in which the four veins that transport blood from the lungs to the heart are not connected normally to the left atrium. Instead, they are re-directed to the right atrium. This prevents oxygen-rich (red) blood from passing from the left atrium to the left ventricle and on to the body as it should. Instead, oxygen-rich (red) blood returns to the right side of the heart rather than the left atrium, mixing with blue blood in the right atrium. TAPVR requires surgery to correct.
“Gabriel looked healthy, was breathing fine, eating well and we were about to go home,” said his mom, Emily Stiffe. “Thankfully, the pulse oximetry test detected an issue, which led to the early diagnosis of TAPVR.”
Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Michael Teodori, MD, professor, UA Department of Surgery, repaired Gabriel’s heart defect with open-heart surgery on April 26. He was discharged from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s on May 3 and received a follow-up exam at the Arizona Elks Clinic for Children and Young Adults at UAMC when he was 18 days old. “He is doing very well,” said Emily.