South Florida Hospital News
Friday March 22, 2019
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March 2019 - Volume 15 - Issue 9

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FIU professor of biomedical engineering Shuliang Jiao, whose research and technological innovations are helping prevent and cure blindness, has been named to the inaugural class of National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Senior Members.

As principal investigator for FIU’s Eye Imaging Lab, Jiao oversees the optical imaging technologies that are advancing the research and diagnosis of eye diseases that often lead to blindness, such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Currently, he holds seven patents – one of which was licensed to a leading ophthalmic technology development company – as well as three patent applications and several invention disclosures.
 
His research has been funded through major research grants by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including a $2 million dollar grant last year from the NIH to develop new imaging technologies to monitor the treatment of degenerative retinal disorders. Jiao’s work has also received funding from the Department of Defense, the Wallace Coulter Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Kendall Regional Medical Center announced that it has achieved the Healthgrades 2019 America’s 250 Best Hospitals Award™. The distinction places Kendall Regional Medical Center in the top 5 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals assessed nationwide for its superior clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades.
 
“Kendall Regional is proud to have consistently been recognized as a top hospital performer for many years,” said Brandon Haushalter, CEO, Kendall Regional. “This most recent recognition from Healthgrades is a continued validation of the incredible work our team of professionals do for our patients every single day. It is humbling to be the only hospital in Miami-Dade and Broward counties to achieve this Top 250 recognition for 2019.”

The Cleveland Clinic Martin Health Patient Blood Management program is the first hospital system in the nation to receive certification from The Joint Commission and AABB. The certification, awarded for a two-year period, recognizes the health care system’s evidence-based approach to optimizing care for patients who may need a blood transfusion. The certification is based on the AABB Standards for a Patient Blood Management Program to help hospitals establish a comprehensive patient blood management program.

Since the Cleveland Clinic Martin Health Patient Blood Management program was created in August 2014, the transfusion rate within the health care system has dropped 43 percent.

Delray Medical Center achieves the Healthgrades 2019 America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for the 17th straight year, since the inception of the award. The distinction places the hospital in the top 1 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals assessed nationwide for its consistent, year-over-year superior clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades.

Jupiter Medical Center celebrated its 40th anniversary on February 14, in recognition of its historical transition from a small community hospital to an award-winning regional medical center. The celebration officially began on February 5, when the Town of Jupiter presented the hospital with a proclamation in recognition of its four decades of service.

When Jupiter Hospital, as it was known then, opened its doors in 1979, it was a small facility serving a town of less than 5,000 and providing care for approximately 1,800 patients annually. The medical center adopted a new name in 1993, transforming to “Jupiter Medical Center” to better reflect the breadth of the services it provides. Today, the not-for-profit medical center serves a town of approximately 62,000. It also attracts patients from across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, as well as locales across the nation and around the globe, logging more than 180,000 outpatient visits and nearly 40,000 visits to the emergency department each year.
 
While Jupiter Medical Center was founded in 1979, the groundwork began long before, starting in the mid-1950s with the Salhaven retirement community, which occupied land that is now home to Jonathan’s Landing and the Jupiter Medical Center campus. In 1971, a consortium of doctors led by Dr. George Ford purchased the retirement community. They sold 600 acres east of the railroad to Alcoa for Jonathan’s Landing and donated the remaining 30 acres for a medical center.
 
Throughout its history, Jupiter Medical Center has continued to grow and expand—and that has never been more apparent than it is today. Last June the medical center completed an acute recovery unit for cardiac patients and officially launched its new Comprehensive Stroke Program in early January. The James J. Felcyn and Louise Brien Felcyn Observation Unit also opened in January, and the Timothy and Jayne Donahue Cardiac Surgery Program is expected to launch later this year. Meanwhile, construction is well underway on the Anderson Family Cancer Institute; the Mastroianni Family Pediatric Emergency Department; and a new five-story patient tower, which will include the Level II De George Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. All are expected to be completed later this year.
 

Dr. Erik Beyer, a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, specializing in minimally invasive valve surgery and atrial fibrillation surgery on staff at Florida Medical Center, recently presented a case study called Surgical Video Pulmonary Embolectomy with Retrograde Pulmonary Perfusion for Saddle Pulmonary Embolus at the 55th Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting. The conference is an educational event that features interactive learning, thought provoking lectures from faculty and guest as well as hands on sessions. “Presenting this case study that I prepared to share with my peers at the conference was an honor for me,” said Dr. Erik Beyer. Florida Medical Center is always striving to be on the forefront of cardiac medical care. In 1974, Florida Medical Center was the first hospital in Broward County to perform open heart surgery. “Florida Medical Center is offering some of the most advanced technology when it comes to our cardiac program, and I congratulate Dr. Beyer on this latest accomplishment,” said Jeffrey M. Welch, CEO of Florida Medical Center. “We have collectively made it our mission to provide the best care to the patients in our community and to remain on the forefront of the latest minimally invasive techniques and treatments in heart and vascular services.” 

Nearly 80 percent of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported, in part because of a severe shortage of licensed health care specialists known as sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), who help properly secure evidence from survivors of sexual assault, which can lead to higher prosecution rates.
 
In a first-of-its-kind partnership, the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences and the Global Forensic and Justice Center at FIU will collaborate with rural health clinics and hospitals on a university-based program to nearly double Florida’s number of SANE-certified nurses to aid sexual assault survivors in rural and underserved communities.
 
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration awarded a $1.5 million grant to Tami Thomas, associate dean of research for the college, to launch the Advanced Nursing Education-Regionally Underserved Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (RUSANE) program.
 
SANE-certified nurses conduct forensic medical examinations, as well as provide survivors with physical and mental health care to help deal with the trauma. Reflecting on her experience in collection of forensic evidence from child survivors of sexual abuse and assault, Thomas conveyed the significance of having properly trained nurses in this field.
 
“SANE nurses are on the frontline to treat survivors compassionately with the physical and emotional support they need, while assisting the legal system in their efforts to bring the criminal perpetrators to justice,” she said.
 
Over the next three years, the FIU RUSANE program will recruit, train and deploy upwards of 30 eligible licensed registered nurses and certified advanced practice registered nurses at clinics in Hendry and Glades counties, the city of Belle Glade in Palm Beach County, and the city of Sweetwater in Miami-Dade County.
 
FIU Nursing will partner with local health care clinics in the four regions to provide culturally appropriate didactic and clinical training to prepare the nurses for SANE certification and serve at the clinics. Additionally, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner faculty and counselors will be available to support sexual assault survivors, as well as SANE-certified nurses as they cope with the challenges of the job.
 
The FIU Global Forensic and Justice Center will extend the impact of the program through continuing education courses that will keep SANE nurses informed on the latest forensic science and technological advancements to ensure efficacy of forensic exams, evidence collection, and to improve retention of SANE-certified nurses in the health care system.

The Florida Blue Foundation has awarded Palm Health Foundation a $238,218 four-year grant to implement Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in Palm Beach County’s underserved communities. The grant will fund MHFA training for 2,000 residents and create long-term, self-sustaining impact by certifying trainers in each community to provide ongoing multi-lingual mental health education. MHFA is a national program that teaches skills to respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use.

Palm Health Foundation will facilitate partnerships with Alpert Jewish Family Services, Palm Beach County’s MHFA coordinator, and the foundation’s Healthier Together communities in West Palm Beach/Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Belle Glade. The Palm Health-funded communities are a trusted network of health professionals and community members working together to solve complex health issues. They will provide an established platform for launching MHFA.
 
The funding will target communities where the need is high, but the number of residents seeking help is low because of stigma and access to services. According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population, yet the majority don’t seek professional help. Research has found that many African Americans rely on faith, family and social communities for emotional support rather than turning to health care professionals, even though medical or therapeutic treatment may be necessary. Among Latinos, a 2001 Surgeon General’s report found that only 20 percent of Latinos with symptoms of a psychological disorder talk to a doctor about their concerns.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States and advanced colorectal polyps are a major risk factor. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that aspirin reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 40 percent as well as recurrence of advanced polyps. Their guidelines suggest that, without a specific contraindication, health care providers should routinely prescribe aspirin to all patients with advanced colorectal polyps.
 
To explore whether patients are adhering to these USPSTF recommendations and guidelines, researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine analyzed data from structured interviews on 84 patients, ages 40 to 91 years old, with biopsy proven advanced colorectal polyps between July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017. The data, which were published in the American Journal of Medicine, showed that only 36 (42.9 percent) of the 84 patients with advanced colorectal polyps reported taking aspirin.
 
“These data indicate underutilization of aspirin to prevent colorectal cancer as well as recurrent polyps in these high risk patients,” said Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., senior author, the first Sir Richard Doll Professor, and senior academic advisor in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.
 
Co-authors include the first author, Benjamin Fiedler, a senior at Cornell University who has been accepted as a first-year medical student at the Schmidt College of Medicine; Lawrence Fiedler, M.D., a gastroenterologist and affiliate associate professor; Michael DeDonno, Ph.D., assistant professor; Kosi Anago, M.D., a former internal medicine resident; Leonie de la Cruz, a former medical student; and George R. Luck, M.D., associate professor, all in FAU’s Schmidt College of Medicine.
 
“These data pose major challenges that require multifactorial approaches by clinicians and their patients,” said Benjamin Fiedler. “These approaches should include therapeutic lifestyle changes, adjunctive drug therapies as well as screening.”
 
Therapeutic lifestyle changes of proven benefit include avoiding and treating overweight and obesity as well as regular physical activity and adjunctive drug therapies including aspirin.
 
“By utilizing these multifactorial approaches, we believe that these efforts should achieve the most good for the most patients concerning the prevention as well as screening and early diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancers,” said Hennekens, who has done ground-breaking research on the benefits of statins, aspirin, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) as well as beta adrenergic blockers — all of which play major roles in decreasing premature deaths from heart attacks and strokes.

Broward Health has completed the acquisition of five robotic da Vinci Surgical Systems. This $7.2 million investment in late 2018 was part of numerous capital improvement projects across the health system, including the completion of the $65 million Broward Health Coral Spring tower, which now offers robotic surgery.

“Surgeons recognize the value of robotic technology for patient outcomes,” said Andrew Ta, M.D., chief medical officer, Broward Health. “It is Broward Health’s privilege to offer patients the highest standard of care possible. We accomplish this by providing our physicians with the most advanced cutting-edge tools and technology, such as the da Vinci Xi.”
 
The most recent addition to Broward Health’s robotics portfolio includes leasing four of the latest da Vinci Xi models, two of which were installed at Broward Health Coral Springs and one each at Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health Imperial Point. Broward Health North bought back a lease for an additional da Vinci.
 
Broward Health was one of the early adopters of robotic surgery, first unveiling da Vinci Surgical Systems at Broward Health Medical Center more than a decade ago. Since that time, research has highlighted the possible benefits of robotic surgery, including fewer complications, less pain, less noticeable scars and faster recoveries. Now, due to Broward Health’s further expansion into the latest robotic options, patients in Broward County will have access to more precise surgical interventions.
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