On Wellness in WV

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the first time, The Journal of Neuroscience cover on Aug. 7 will feature an image taken from an animated video. The video is hosted on The Journal’s website and was created by a team of researchers from the West Virginia University Center for Neuroscience.

This cover is the first in a series of three that will feature videos from the study “Synaptic Inputs Compete During Rapid Formation of the Calyx of Held: a New Model System for Neural Development,” which was co-authored by researchers from WVU and the University of California – San Diego (UCSD) and led by George A. Spirou, Ph.D., director of the WVU Center for Neuroscience. Paul Holcomb, a neurobiology graduate student in the Spirou lab, is the study’s first author.

The first video shows nanoscale-resolution images from serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBEM) of the developing auditory brainstem during the first few days of mouse development. SBEM is new technology that permits visualizing the wiring of the brain in 3D with resolution of several nanometers, or about the size of a protein molecule. One single image volume can require up to 2 TB of computer storage space; new data sets that will each be at least triple this size are currently being collected by Dr. Spirou’s group using the microscopes at UCSD.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/WVU-neuroscience-research-to-be-featured-on-cover

HUNTINGTON, WV – Cabell Huntington Hospital Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Hoyt J. Burdick, MD, FACHE recently served as one of three panelists at a national forum discussion for healthcare leaders and physician executives from across the country.

Dr. Burdick was selected as a charter member of the newly formed Physician Executive Forum Committee of the American College of Physician Executives. The forum discussion took place earlier in August in New York City and brought together healthcare leaders and physician executives for a high-level educational opportunity. Dr. Burdick served on the panel discussing the effective collaboration between physician and non-clinical leaders to achieve goals for healthcare organizations.

Dr. Burdick is also currently serving as president of the West Virginia State Medical Association. In his role at Cabell Huntington Hospital, Dr. Burdick oversees performance improvement and patient safety, infection prevention, regulatory compliance, medical staff peer review, credentialing, medical informatics, emergency physicians and supervision of physician medical directors.

Cabell Huntington Hospital is a 303-bed academic medical center located in Huntington, West Virginia. Cabell Huntington cares for patients from more than 29 counties throughout West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. Opened in 1956, it is a teaching hospital and is affiliated with Marshall University Schools of Medicine and Nursing.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Little General Stores Inc. along with British Petroleum (BP) has donated $6,000 to the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment at the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. WVU men’s basketball Coach Bob Huggins established the fund in memory of his mother, who died of cancer.

Little General applied for a $12,000 grant from BP’s Fueling Communities Program to benefit two charities – the Huggins Cancer Research Endowment and Toys for Tots. The program provides grants to local organizations that support health, education, youth, food and housing.  This is the second consecutive year that Little General has received a BP grant to split evenly between cancer research and Toys for Tots, pushing the total amount donated thus far for cancer research at WVU to $12,250.

“Little General is proud to be able to support the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment Fund at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. There are many people affected by cancer in the communities across West Virginia. We are committed to the fight against cancer and plan to keep going and do even more good in supporting this cause dear to West Virginians,” Greg Darby, president of Little General Stores Inc., said.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/Little-General-BP-donates-another-$6K-to-cancer-re

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Andrea Armstead, a Ph.D. student in the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences program, is researching ways to protect the health of workers in the mining and drilling industries and recently received a fellowship-award renewal to further her education and research.

Armstead was awarded an American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) 2013 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Science. The AFPE Fellowship is awarded to outstanding pre-doctoral students nationwide, who have completed at least three years of graduate study, to encourage them to continue their pursuit of pharmaceutical sciences.

Armstead first received the fellowship in 2012 to investigate how particles of tungsten carbide cobalt can enter cells and damage them. Her nanoparticle toxicity research over the past year focused on testing the effects of particle size, concentration and lengths of exposure time on lung epithelial cells.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/WVU-Ph-D-student-receives-national-research-fellow

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Jefferson and Hardy counties offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women.

A service of WVU Healthcare and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus will be at:

The African American Heritage Festival in Charles Town. The Bus will be parked beside the Wright-Denny School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 17. For an appointment, call 1-877-287-2272.

E. A. Hawse Health Center in Baker from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 30. For an appointment, call 304-897-5915 ext. 262. 262

The mammograms are billed to private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare if available. Mammograms for women who do not have insurance will be covered by the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (WVBCCSP) or through special grant funds from the West Virginia affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. No woman over 40 is turned away due to lack of funding.  A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/Bonnie%E2%80%99s-Bus-to-offer-mammograms-in-Charles-Town-a

The University of Charleston School of Pharmacy will hold its eighth annual White Coat Ceremony at 2 p.m. today in Geary Auditorium.

The white coat is a symbol of the health care profession, and each year the UC School of Pharmacy places the white lab coat on new pharmacy students as part of their entry into the profession.  This year, 94 members of the pharmacy class of 2017 will participate. Students, faculty, and families will gather to mark this rite of passage.

White Coat Ceremonies originated in the medical profession, and over the past 10 to 15 years have been embraced and adopted by several health professional programs such as dentistry, osteopathy, pharmacy and physical therapy.

This event provides a venue for the public witnessing of their acceptance of the responsibilities and expectations of the profession of pharmacy.

Dr. Craig Kimble, Director of Pharmacy and Clinical Services for Fruth Pharmacy, will be the keynote speaker.

PharmUC, the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy’s Patient Care Clinic, will sponsor a Drug Take Back event on Friday, August 30, 2013 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  PharmUC is located on first floor of the UC School of Pharmacy building.

Non-controlled and over the counter medications will be accepted for safe disposal. PharmUC sponsors free monthly health events, which are open to the public. For more information call 304-357-4362 or email pharmuc@ucwv.edu.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) on the rise, not only in West Virginia but nationwide, the field of respiratory care is needed more than ever.

Chris Trotter, associate professor of respiratory therapy at Marshall University, said respiratory therapists are and will continue to be in high demand due to the many respiratory hazards in this region.

“We live in an area dependent on the special metals and coal industries,” Trotter said. “As great as this is for our economy, it is equally detrimental to the respiratory health of our residents. We understand the urgency of this problem, which is why Marshall University was one of the first to step up and do something about it.”

According to the United Health Foundation, 25 percent of the population over 18 smoke on a regular basis in West Virginia. Smoking is considered the most prominent risk factor for COPD, which has been the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S. since 1991, and the third-leading cause of death in West Virginia for eight of the nine years from 2000 through 2008, as noted by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

With COPD on the rise, licensed respiratory therapists are wanted to evaluate, educate and treat patients with all types of breathing disorders.

Since 2005, the St. Mary’s/Marshall University cooperative school has offered a Bachelor of Science degree in respiratory care. Currently, it is one of two nationally accredited programs in West Virginia, joining Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va.

Keith Terry, associate professor of respiratory therapy at Marshall, said unlike the traditional four years required for most undergraduate programs, the respiratory therapy program takes just three years to complete.

“Our program provides a comprehensive, faced-paced environment which allows for a better understanding of our profession,” Terry said. “Our advanced coursework engages our students, fostering the foundation of knowledge necessary to result in better patient outcomes.”

Housed in the St. Mary’s Center for Education on 29th Street in Huntington, the respiratory care classrooms have state-of-the-art equipment complete with an on-site library and a new high fidelity simulation lab.

Dr. Michael W. Prewitt, dean of the Marshall College of Health Professions, said the partnership between the college and St. Mary’s provides a unique opportunity for those interested in pursuing careers in the health professions.

“Our graduates are able to seek employment in multiple health care settings,” Prewitt said. “An increasing number of respiratory therapists are now working in skilled nursing centers, physicians’ offices, home health agencies, specialty care hospitals and medical equipment supply companies.”

The St. Mary’s/Marshall University cooperative respiratory care program accepts 20 new students each year.  For more information on enrollment, contact Christopher.trotter@st-marys.org or call 304-399-4969 or 304-399- 4970.

Labor Day Water Safety Tips

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The 2013 Labor Day Weekend is upon us and the Huntington District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to remind you of some water safety tips at the traditional close of the summer season.
Knowing some of the facts about drowning may help save your life or the life of someone you love. According to Corps statistics, the majority of people, 89 percent, who drown are male, 39 percent are 18-35 years old, 24 percent are 36-53 years old and 89 percent of the people who die in water-related accidents were not wearing a life jacket. More than 90 percent of the people who die in boating-related accidents had not taken a boating safety course.
TIP: Are You Next? Expect the Unexpected and Wear Your Life Jacket! You could be the next person to drown if you don’t play it safe. Your best defense against the unexpected is a life jacket. Wear your life jacket and encourage those you love to wear one too.
TIP: Learn to swim well and swim with a buddy. It only takes an average of 20 seconds for a child to drown and 60 seconds for an adult. Never let your children swim by themselves. Adult supervision is a must to ensure you don’t lose the ones you love. Swimming ability decreases with age, so even if you are a strong swimmer, wear your life jacket especially in open water conditions.
TIP: Many people who drown never intended to enter the water and they drown within 10-30 feet of safety. Sixty percent of the time people who drown were either witnessed by someone or there were people in the area that could have helped save them.
TIP: Learn to identify the four signs of a person who is drowning. The drowning signs are head back, mouth open, no sound and arms slapping the water in an up and down motion.
TIP: The proper ways to rescue someone in the water that is in distress are to reach, throw, row and don’t go. Reach something out to the person without endangering yourself, throw them something that floats, row your boat close to the person with the motor off. Never attempt an in-water rescue unless you are trained to do so. Instead, go for help or send someone else for help. Oftentimes a double-drowning occurs when someone enters the water to attempt a rescue because a person fighting for their life is extremely strong and in order to stay afloat they will hold the person who is trying to help them underwater.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately 480,000 West Virginians suffer from arthritis, the most common cause of disability in the U.S. New research out of the West Virginia University School of Medicine may eventually lead to new drugs that could help relieve arthritis sufferers’ pain and joint damage.

David Siderovski, Ph.D., the E.J. Van Liere Endowed Professor and Chair of the WVU Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, is the senior author on a National Institutes of Health-funded study published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology titled “G protein-coupled receptor kinase-3 deficient mice exhibit WHIM syndrome features and attenuated inflammatory responses.” WHIM syndrome (Warts, Hypogammaglobulinemia, Infections and Myelokathexis syndrome) is a rare, congenital disease of the immune system.

Dr. Siderovski and his research colleagues found that a mouse strain with similar genetic problems to patients with WHIM syndrome had a built-in protection against arthritis development because a particular gene – GRK3 – was missing. As a result, Siderovski believes that developing a drug to inhibit GRK3 could help decrease arthritis in humans.

For full release: http://wvuhealthcare.com/wvuh/Content/Media/News-Releases/2013/AUG/WVU-research-could-lead-to-new-arthritis-treatment