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VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 9 - Number 1 - Winter 2010

We have email addresses for less than half of our medical school's 10,000 alumni, so to help keep your classmates connected, please forward your SOM eNews!


Alumni News

New School of Medicine Education Building Project Launched
Last month, Gov. Tim Kaine unveiled renderings of the School of Medicine's new education building, signaling the beginning of a project to build a new, state-of-the-art facility that will enable the school to increase class size and transform medical education. "The project, when completed, will influence medicine in the commonwealth and indeed the entire country for the next 100 years," said Medical School Dean Dr. Jerry Strauss. Read more and see the renderings.

House Calls Program Could Be Key to Health Care Reform
Based on 25 years' experience with his successful House Calls program, Dr. Peter Boling has helped craft language for the Independence at Home Act. The LA Times, Associated Press and the NBC Nightly News have taken a look at the medical school's program in light of the health care reform debates. Picked up by nearly 100 news organizations, the AP story reports "Where other proposals have divided lawmakers, the house-calls idea is winning support from Republicans and Democrats alike." Read the LA Times or AP reports, or watch the NBC Nightly News segment.


Student News New Medical Societies Help a Big School Feel Small
There was no Hogwart's sorting hat in evidence. Instead, the first-year medical students were assigned to one of four new medical societies according to their career and specialty interests, learning styles and proficiencies. The 50-student societies are a new initiative designed to maintain the medical school's close-knit camaraderie, even in the face of recent increases in class size. Learn who the medical societies are named for.

Students Reach Out to the Community
The medical students long-time partnership with CrossOver Ministry continues to flourish and a new program promotes health in the Hispanic community with screenings and health education.


Research News ARCTIC Protocol Dramatically Improves Resuscitation & Survival Rates
Doctors are seeing an almost two-fold improvement in the return of spontaneous circulation for cardiac arrest patients when paramedics begin lowering a patient's body temperature in the field during resuscitation. A partnership with the Richmond Ambulance Authority, the initiative is the most comprehensive program of its kind in the U.S. Read more about the team's findings presented at the AHA meeting in November.

Faculty Pen NEJM Editorial
In the Nov. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, an editorial by Drs. Dick Wenzel and Mike Edmond notes that ethnic and racial minorities are at high risk for severe illness due to the H1N1 influenza, as are individuals who are obese. Read the VCU news release or the NEJM editorial.

Cross-Campus Partnership Lands Grant from Gates Foundation
A $100,000 grant will support a research project to genetically engineer bacterial viruses as a tool for blocking transmission of the malaria parasite. Conducted by Dr. Luiz Shozo Ozaki, with VCU Life Sciences' Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, the project also involves Microbiology and Immunology Professor Dr. Gail Christie. Read more about the project that was chosen for its potential to lead to significant advances in global health.


Clinical News Pauley Heart Center Implants 25th Total Artificial Heart
Since performing the first artificial heart implant on the East Coast in 2006, the cardiac surgery team has become one of the most active of the 12 artificial heart implant centers in the U.S. The team has seen an 85-percent survival rate among the 25 patients who have undergone the "bridge-to-transplant" procedure, and a more than 95 percent survival rate among those who are then transplanted with donor hearts. Read more about the 29-year-old carpenter who was the 25th patient to benefit from the life-saving implants.

NEJM Editorial Touts Potential for Minimizing Surgical Site Infections
Almost half of all surgical site infections that occur post-operatively can be prevented, notes Internal Medicine's Dr. Dick Wenzel in an editorial in the Jan. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. He examined two large multi-institutional NEJM studies and analyzed their combined impact for controlling surgical-site infections. Review the NEJM editorial or read coverage of the issue by the NY Times, USA Today or the VCU News Center.


Alumni News If Your Graduation Year Ends in a 5 or a 0
Save the date for Reunion Weekend: April 23-25! Re-visit Campus, reconnect with former classmates, and learn to ballroom dance ... taste some new wines ... tour campus on a Segway ... try out a cooking demo ... earn 6.75 CME credit hours ... Complete Reunion information will be mailed in February, but in the meantime start reconnecting with friends on Reunion-specific Facebook sites!

Click on the Facebook link at right, and find your reunion year in the links on the left side of our Facebook page.


CME Opportunities
For additional information and to register for the courses below, visit www.cmeregistration.som.vcu.edu, or call (804) 828-3640 or (800) 413-2872.

The 14th Annual Virginia Liver Symposium and Update in Gastroenterology Conference
February 20, 2010
Richmond Marriott Hotel

The program is designed for physicians and mid-level medical providers who treat patients with liver and gastrointestinal disorders.

Annual Alumni Update Course
April 24, 2010
MCV Campus' Newly Renovated Larrick Center

The medical school's day-long CME course is designed to update you on a broad variety of fields. It will cover topics as diverse as health-care reform, managing chronic pain and heart attack. Held in conjunction with Reunion Weekend and offering a special discounted registration rate for Reunion attendees, the course is open to all alumni. Check out the course's topics via the online brochure.

38th Annual Hans Berger Symposium
May 24-25, 2010
MCV Campus' Hermes A. Kontos Medical Sciences Building

Distinguished faculty from epilepsy centers and neurophysiology laboratories across the country have been invited to the commemorate Hans Berger's birthday and hear practical information on applying state-of-the-art electrodiagnostic testing in the clinical management of patients with epilepsy and related disorders.

Peds at the Beach Conference
July 23-25, 2010
Virginia Beach

The 32nd Annual Pediatric Primary Care Conference will feature three half-day sessions on topics including emergency medicine, primary care and developmental pediatrics. Small group sessions will provide an opportunity for case analysis and in depth discussion of selected topics. This course is designed for physicians and other health care professionals who deliver primary care to children and adolescents.





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Egyptian Building

Egyptian Building



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Reunion Weekend
April 23-25
Remember that
MCV Alumni Association Members register for free!



TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
The medical school's new education building
is designed by
I. M. Pei's internationally acclaimed architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed. Which of the below projects is NOT designed by his firm?

a) The East Building of the National Gallery
b) The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
c) The New York Times Building
d) The Louvre Pyramid



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Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including conferences .



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