WVU Medicine Cabinet News Stories

Former WVU wrestler to speak about the dangers of alcohol abuse

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A former member of the West Virginia University wrestling team will return to campus on Feb. 17 to talk about the dangers of alcohol abuse and appreciating the little things in life – lessons he unfortunately had to learn the hard way. Mike Wojcik, a 2007 graduate of WVU with a degree in physical education and health, was preparing to start his career as a middle school teacher when he was involved in an ATV accident. He was the passenger on the ATV, and both he and the driver had been drinking. Neither was wearing an appropriate helmet when the ATV crashed into a tree. Wojcik suffered severe head trauma and internal injuries. After months of physical therapy and rehabilitation, he was able to regain some functioning. He is still unable to eat or speak without assistance and has limited use of his left hand. Since his accident, Wojcik has become committed to telling his story through the use of technology and multimedia in the hopes that others will not make similar mistakes. In addition to speaking on college campuses, he maintains an internet blog (www.messagefrommike.webs.com) and is working on a book about his struggles. “We hope that Mike’s moving story will emphasize the importance of safety and responsibility when making the decision to drink alcohol,” Ruth Kershner, Ed.D., professor in the WVU Department of Community Medicine and alcohol educator for the WVU School of Medicine, said. Wojcik’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballroom. The event is sponsored by the WVU Department of Community Medicine, the WVU College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, the WVU Office of Student Affairs, WVU Greek Life, WELL WVU and the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program.   [...]

WVU to host nation’s first Gold Humanism Week

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Although the culture of healthcare is one centered on learning, researching and applying science, the true practice is an art form. In hopes of stimulating discussion about humanism in healthcare, the West Virginia University Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society will host the nation’s first ever Gold Humanism Week Feb. 14-18. “As the only Gold Humanism Honor Society in the state of West Virginia, we have taken our charge to promote humanistic qualities in healthcare professionals quite seriously,” Norman D. Ferrari III, M.D., senior associate dean for student services at the WVU School of Medicine said. “By setting aside a week with multiple activities we also hope to promote a greater inter-professional dialogue with our colleagues in the other Health Sciences programs. There should be an activity of interest for everyone during the week.” Dr. Ferrari is also a founding member of the WVU Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will officially sign a proclamation declaring Feb. 14-18 as Gold Humanism Week on Feb. 11. The week will feature a lecture series, the HeART of Gold art contest, Cans for Caritas food drive and the launch of the Golden Student Star Program. “Humanism should be present in all aspects of healthcare but is something that we are not always formally taught in training. Gold Humanism Week is designed to give students and all members of the HSC family an opportunity to learn more about humanism and celebrate the great things we already do at WVU,” Lisa Costello, president of the WVU chapter and member of the School of Medicine Class of 2011, said. The lecture series will kick off at noon on Feb. 14 when Jame Abraham, M.D., section chief of Hematology and Oncology at WVU, presents “Medicine: A Silent Art in the iPhone Age!” in the Health Sciences Center’s Fukushima Auditorium (Room 1901). Mark Wicclair, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at WVU and bioethicist at the University of Pittsburgh, will present “House, M.D. and Paternalism” from 5 to 6 p.m. on Feb. 15 in Room 1905 in the WVU Health Sciences Center. A screening of the short documentary “Rolling” by Gretchen Berland, M.D., filmmaker and assistant professor at the Yale University School of Medicine, will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16 in the Fukushima Auditorium. Pizza will be served. Josh Dower, M.D., assistant professor and palliative care physician at WVU, will present “Nurturing Humanism Through the Healing Arts of Palliative Care,” from noon to 12:50 p.m. on Feb. 17 in Room 1905 in the Health Sciences Center. The final lecture and highlight of the series will be held at noon on Feb. 18 in the Fukushima Auditorium. Arthur Ross III, M.D., dean of the WVU School of Medicine, will host a panel discussion called “Humanism in Healthcare.” Panel members include Shelia Price, D.D.S., associate dean for admissions, recruitment and access at the WVU School of Dentistry; Clark Ridgway, R.Ph., assistant dean of student services at the WVU School of Pharmacy; Elisabeth “Betty” Shelton, Ph.D., associate dean for undergraduate academic affairs at the WVU School of Nursing; and Dr. Ferrari. The inaugural HeART of Gold art contest will be held to provide a means to express art in healthcare. Submissions in the form of drawings, photography, painting, essay, poetry, sculpture or other form of art that expresses humanism in healthcare will be accepted from any members of the WVU Health Sciences community. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 11. Submissions can be sent to wvuheartofgold@gmail.com. First prize is a $100 Barnes and Noble gift card; the runner up will receive a $50 gift card. The Golden Student Star Program is designed to recognize Health Sciences students who go out of their way to help others. The program allows members of the HSC and WVU Healthcare communities to nominate students who display humanism in their daily actions. Each month, a selection committee will choose a Golden Student Star. That person will be recognized with a golden star lapel pin and an announcement on the School of Medicine’s website. The winner and runner up of the art contest and the first recipient of the Golden Student Star will be announced at the Feb. 18 lecture in the Fukushima Auditorium. A Cans for Caritas service drive will be going on for the entire week. Cans and toiletry items can be dropped off at the School of Medicine Office of Student Services and at the entrance of each lecture. Caritas House, located in Morgantown, is an AIDS service organization. “We hope that the HSC family and the rest of WVU community will join us for this celebration of humanism in healthcare,” Allison Lastinger, vice president of the WVU chapter and member of the School of Medicine Class of 2011, said. “This is a unique opportunity for us to join together and recognize a part of healthcare that is sometimes forgotten – the care of the patient as a human being.” The mission of the Gold Humanism Honor Society is “to promote humanism and professionalism throughout the continuum of physician education from the first day in medical school until retirement from medical practice.” The WVU Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society was established in 2008. WVU’s Gold Humanism Week is made possible by a grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and support from the WVU School of Medicine. For more information on Gold Humanism Week see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/Students/GHHS/Gold-Humanism-Week/Default.aspx.   [...]

WVU physical therapist wins award for article

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Anne Swisher, P.T., Ph.D., of the Department of Physical Therapy at West Virginia University, will be honored by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) with the 2011 Oncology Section Stephen Gudas Award for Outstanding Publication for her article on arm and shoulder problems commonly reported by breast cancer survivors.  The article represents the first collaborative research effort of the Department of Physical Therapy with the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at WVU.  As a physical therapist, Swisher has spent her career working with people with all kinds of medical problems. Breast cancer is a new area of her research. “I know that a lot of women who’ve undergone treatment for breast cancer have problems with their arms and shoulders, and I know physical therapy can play a role in helping alleviate those problems.” Two years ago, Swisher and her research team began working with the Cancer Center to identify the problems associated with breast cancer treatment. They surveyed breast cancer survivors using questionnaires placed in the waiting area of the Cancer Center clinic. Participants were asked if they had any problem with their arms during treatment, how severe it was, and what they did about the problem. Nearly 80 women responded to the questionnaire over a nine month period, and 75 to 80 percent of them reported they had arm, shoulder and hand problems during their treatment.  Only one-third said they had received any rehabilitation. “That showed us that there are common problems among breast cancer survivors and that they aren’t being dealt with,” Swisher said. A subsequent study headed by Swisher involved surveying physical therapists throughout West Virginia to see if they felt prepared and comfortable treating breast cancer patients. “Most of them said they had the skills and were comfortable with that, but added that they seldom see those kinds of patients.” That study is pending publication. Swisher is working with Jame Abraham, M.D., head of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program, and Hannah Hazard, M.D., a breast cancer surgeon at WVU, to see breast cancer patients who’ve had mastectomies and who could benefit from physical therapy. She tailors exercise plans for them, and if they need extended therapy, she refers them to a physical therapist in their community. “As soon as a patient is diagnosed with cancer they are a survivor," Swisher said. "We want to help them have the best quality of life during and after treatment, and the rehabilitation aspect fits in with that.” The idea to have the Department of Physical Therapy collaborate with the WVU Cancer Center in research originated with Scot Remick, M.D., director of the Center. “I thank Scot for his vision in seeing the potential involved with collaborations and the whole issue of survivorship,” MaryBeth Mandich, P.T., Ph.D., chair the Department of Physical Therapy at WVU, said. “By maximizing our strengths, we have received a nationally recognized award and created an opportunity to really better serve individuals who are treated at the Center.” “I congratulate Anne on her achievement and look forward to building on our collaborations with the Department of Physical Therapy,” Remick said. “It is one of many disciplines at WVU that we hope to engage in collaborative research initiatives with the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.” The article, “Frequency and Severity of Self-Reported Upper Extremity Impairments, Activity Limitations and Participation Restrictions Following Breast Cancer Treatment,” appeared in “Rehabilitation Oncology” – the APTA’s official journal that focuses on the rehabilitation of cancer patients. Mia Erickson, P.T., Ed.D., also from WVU’s Department of Physical Therapy, is co-author.   [...]

WVU Pharmacy professor receives national award

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Betsy Elswick, Pharm.D., is passionate about educating student pharmacists to become leaders in the profession, and she in turn leads by example. Dr. Elswick, clinical associate professor in the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Department of Clinical Pharmacy, has been recognized by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) for her work in educating important stakeholders in the state about the role of pharmacists and the profession of pharmacy with the APhA Good Government Pharmacist-of-the-Year award. The award honors pharmacists who are actively involved in professional advocacy and leadership efforts in order to better their community. “I am humbled to be recognized by my peers and colleagues with this distinguished award.  However, the award represents the work of many, including my student pharmacists, who strive to improve our profession and ultimately the lives of our patients every day,” Elswick said.  Elswick served as a member of an ad-hoc committee to the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy that was dedicated to finalizing the rules allowing pharmacists to provide immunizations in the state of West Virginia. Elswick inspired her students to get involved in the legislative process and educate legislators about the importance of pharmacists being able to provide these services to the community. Because of these efforts, in March 2008, West Virginia became the 48th state to allow pharmacists to provide certain types of vaccinations. Elswick is currently working with important stakeholders in the state including the West Virginia Boards of Pharmacy and Medicine to provide feedback on revisions to West Virginia’s Pharmacy Practice Act, a document that outlines rules and regulations for practicing the profession of pharmacy in the state.  Elswick serves as director of the WVU-Rite Aid Community Pharmacy Practice Residency, the co-chair for the WVU School of Pharmacy Wigner Institute for Advanced Pharmacy Practice, Education and Research and as the president of the West Virginia Pharmacists Association (WVPA). In 2010, she also received the Bowl of Hygeia award for outstanding community service and the National Community Pharmacists Association Leadership award. She currently serves as program faculty for the APhA Immunization Certification, a program in which she has trained approximately 300 pharmacists in the state of West Virginia to provide adult immunizations. Elswick will be presented with the Good Government Pharmacist-of-the-Year award during the APhA 2011 Annual Meeting and Exposition in March in Seattle, Wash. As part of the award, she will receive an American flag that has been flown over the U.S. Capitol.   [...]

Healthy fun for the young

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It's clear that American children aren't participating in the same healthy activities in their everyday lives as they used to. Playing video games and munching fast food have taken over riding bikes and eating healthy food. To help kids learn to make healthier choices, second-year students at the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy hope to educate members of Big Brothers Big Sisters on how being active and healthy can also be fun. The WVU student pharmacists will be hosting a kid’s health fair at the WVU Student Recreation Center on Saturday, Feb. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. The “Be Active, Eat Right, Have Fun!” event will offer information on topics promoting different aspects of healthy living, such as tobacco awareness and nutrition. Children will also have the opportunity to participate in physical fitness activities such as climbing the rock wall and playing Wii fitness games. “Being in a healthcare field, we understand how important it is to lead a healthy lifestyle,” second-year student pharmacist Mary Ann Kuykendall said. “We hope this event will teach the kids in Big Brothers Big Sisters how important, yet fun, it is to be and get healthy.” The student pharmacists chose this activity to focus on several specific objectives of the Healthy People 2020 initiative: tobacco, fitness and nutrition. “Our goal is to provide the members of Big Brothers Big Sisters with the tools they need to make better, healthier choices,” Kuykendall said. All Big Brothers Big Sisters participants will receive educational handouts to remind them of what they learned at the health fair and goody bags that contain healthy snacks, fitness toys and T-shirts made for the event that were generously donated by Gabriel Brothers. The student pharmacists were partnered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement as part of their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) courses. The students received funding for the activity through the Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition and UnitedHealth HEROES Youth Service of America grants. For more information about the WVU School of Pharmacy, visit www.hsc.wvu.edu/sop.   [...]

The Wellness Program at WVU Health Sciences offers Dr. Dean Ornish’s ‘The Spectrum’

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Chronic diseases — such as heart disease and diabetes — are among the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, accounting for seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year. To impact this trend, The Wellness Program of the West Virginia University Health Sciences Campus is offering “The Spectrum,” a six-week educational program based on the best-selling book and research of Dr. Dean Ornish. The program was designed for individuals who want to prevent disease, reduce the risks for developing a chronic condition or learn to adopt lifestyle changes that can help manage diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. It provides a personalized approach to customize a way of eating, managing stress and exercise that is based on each individual’s desires, needs and genetic predispositions. Spectrum helps people identify where they are on the health continuum, offering them a full range of optimum lifestyle choices. “This serves as a powerful change tool for individuals who may or may not have heart disease or other chronic conditions but want to take a proactive approach to their health to turn back the clock on metabolic changes that may predispose them to disease,” Dave Harshbarger, director of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, said. Classes begin Tuesday, Feb. 15 and meet for six consecutive Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the John E. Jones Conference Center at the WVU Health Sciences Center. For more information, call The Wellness Program at 304-293-2520.   [...]

WVU School of Dentistry receives support for faculty retreats

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Thanks to retired faculty member Don Morrison, D.D.S., and his wife Mary, this winter’s West Virginia University School of Dentistry faculty retreat was a little more fulfilling. The Morrisons created the Dr. Don and Mary Morrison School of Dentistry Faculty Enhancement Fund to provide support for meal and facility fees at faculty retreats. After teaching and practicing periodontics at WVU from 1968 until his retirement in 1997, Dr. Morrison felt that faculty should be able to have the kinds of enriching, interactive experiences that WVU provides to students. “Retreats provide an opportunity for everyone to hear the same information at the same time. This creates better coordination of clinical and educational management within the school. Plus, retreats allow interaction between faculty that is not possible in busy clinics and classrooms,” Morrison said. “Hopefully retired faculty and others will help enlarge the fund.” Louise Veselicky, D.D.S., interim dean of the School of Dentistry, said, “This gift will allow for critical faculty gatherings through which consensus, educational opportunities, team building and communication can be enhanced – ultimately increasing the quality of all of our programs at the School of Dentistry and beyond.” The Morrisons still reside in Morgantown where they are active supporters of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the local Red Cross and Mon-Preston Literacy Volunteers. Don Morrison is a graduate of Drake University, the University of Iowa and Ohio State University. Mary Morrison is a graduate of Drake University and teaches cello and piano through the WVU Community Music Program. She is also on the music staff at Suncrest United Methodist Church and directs the handbell choir. This gift was made through the WVU Foundation, a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University. Image Caption: Mary Morrison and Don Morrison, D.D.S., pose for a photo with Louise Veselicky, D.D.S., interim dean of the WVU School of Dentistry, in the foyer of the WVU Erickson Alumni Center.   [...]

Bob Evans in Mason to host fundraiser for WVU Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – If you’re headed out to dinner in the Mason area on Feb. 15, stop into the Bob Evans on Mallard Lane for the Community Fun Night benefiting West Virginia University Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network. During the event, from 4 to 8 p.m., Bob Evans will donate 15 percent of sales to Children’s Miracle Network when patrons present a Community Fun Night flier. WVU Children’s Hospital is the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in West Virginia. Each year, WVU Children’s Hospital provides care to more than 7,000 newborns and children, who come from every county in West Virginia and also from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio. On average, 1,600 babies are born annually at WVU Children’s Hospital. Almost three-quarters of the deliveries are high-risk. WVU Children’s Hospital physicians provide care for children at the hospital in Morgantown and at clinics throughout the state. “In order to treat all the children who come through our doors we need people in the community to come out and support fundraising events like this one,” Cheryl Jones, R.N., director of WVU Children’s Hospital, said. “In 2009, we treated more than 30 kids from Mason County, and we’ll be here for all those who need us in the future.” To obtain a flier, contact the Mason Bob Evans at 304-773-6112 or Lora Edgell, Children’s Miracle Network director for WVU Children’s Hospital, at 304-598-4346 ext. 2 or edgelll@wvuhealthcare.com. Fliers must be obtained in advance of the event. For more information on WVU Children’s Hospital, see www.wvukids.com.   [...]

New York trip to benefit WVU Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – An upcoming bus trip to New York City will raise money for West Virginia University Children’s Hospital and Children’s Miracle Network. The trip is sponsored by Results Radio and Froggy 99 in Parkersburg. “We are honored to work with such a worthwhile charity. We look forward to taking a fun bunch of folks along to enjoy springtime in the city, while we help those whose children are in great medical need,” Stephanie Sams, organizer of the fundraiser from Results Radio, said. On Thursday, May 12, two luxury tour buses will depart Parkersburg at midnight for a “Super Red-Eye.” This souped-up tour, created by Arts and Culture Tours in Parkersburg and Belpre, Ohio, includes an overnight stay at the New York Marriott Marquis in the center of Times Square. Each passenger will be contributing $15 of his or her fare to the cause, and the group hopes to raise $1,500. The tour bus will arrive in Times Square at approximately 9 a.m. The group will have all day to sightsee and shop. The next morning, travelers will have the whole day on their own before meeting back at the hotel to depart at 4 p.m. The bus will arrive back in Parkersburg about 2 a.m. on Sunday. The bus will make a stop for pickups on Interstate-79 for those from Clarksburg, Fairmont and Morgantown. Exact pickup locations will be determined once passenger locations are confirmed. Prices are $304 per person with two in a room, $255 per person with three in a room and $225 for four, although the hotel only allows four in a room if one is a minor child. A deposit of $100 is required to reserve a seat. Only 100 seats are available.  Registration forms and more details are available online at www.tripswithlisa.shutterfly.com and at www.froggy99.net. Information can also be obtained by calling 304-483-1355 or sending an e-mail to lisacollins@suddenlink.net. WVU Children's Hospital provides maternal, infant and pediatric care for West Virginia and the surrounding region, giving care to high-risk mothers, premature infants and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescence to adulthood. It is the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in the state. For information on WVU Children's Hospital, see www.wvukids.com.   Children's Miracle Network is a fundraising program to benefit hospitals providing healthcare for children. Created by the Osmond Foundation in 1983, Children’s Miracle Network includes 170 hospitals throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. For information on Children's Miracle Network, see www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org.   [...]