WVU Medicine Cabinet News Stories

WVU Neurosurgeon to appear on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown"

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Julian Bailes, M.D., chair of the West Virginia University Department of Neurosurgery, is scheduled to appear in a feature on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” this weekend to talk about head injuries and football.  [...]

School of Nursing celebrates homecoming

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – This weekend, the West Virginia University School of Nursing will welcome past graduates to join in the celebration of its 50th anniversary with an exciting series of Alumni Weekend events. Friday’s festivities kick off with a reception hosted by School of Nursing Dean Georgia Narsavage, Ph.D. The reception will be immediately followed by the school’s annual alumni banquet and reunions for graduates of nine past School of Nursing classes. This year’s banquet will include the recognition of 50 Golden Graduate award recipients. These alumni have been selected from more than 5,000 graduates spanning the school’s 50 year history and exemplify outstanding achievement in nursing practice, teaching, research or service. Homecoming continues Saturday as the WVU Alumni Association invites returning graduates to attend a Game Day Experience prior to the Syracuse vs. WVU football game. A limited number of game tickets have been reserved for School of Nursing alumni and are available for purchase. WVU School of Nursing clothing will also be available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting the WVU School of Nursing Student Nurses Association. Times, locations, and ticket information for all School of Nursing Alumni Weekend events are as listed below: Friday, October 22 5:30 p.m. Dr. Georgia Narsavage, Dean of the School of Nursing, will host a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the new Erickson Alumni Center. Dean Narsavage extends an invitation to alumni and friends of the school to be her guests at the reception. 6:30 p.m. This year’s alumni banquet and class reunions will also be held at the Erickson Alumni Center. 50 Golden Graduates will be honored in recognition of the School of Nursing’s 50th anniversary. Classes celebrating reunions this year are 1965, 1970, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005. Banquet tickets are $50.00, pre-registration is requested. Saturday, October 23 9:30 a.m. The WVU Alumni Association will host a Game Day Experience in the Mountaineer Courtyard of the Erickson Alumni Center. The event starts 2 1/2 hours prior to the kickoff of the Syracuse vs. WVU football game. Registration for this event is closed. 12 p.m. The School of Nursing has reserved a very limited number of Syracuse vs. WVU football tickets for those attending Alumni Weekend. Tickets will not be mailed, but will be available for pick-up Friday evening at the alumni banquet registration table. Tickets to the football game are $50.00. To purchase tickets for homecoming events, please contact the School of Nursing’s Office of Development at 304-293-3980 or 1-877-766-4438 or the School of Nursing Office of Alumni Affairs at 304-293-1593.   [...]

WVU research finds sense of taste may be related to risk of tooth decay

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Tooth decay and the sense of taste may be related, according to new research by Richard J. Crout, D.M.D., Ph.D., of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Dr. Crout and WVU colleague Daniel McNeil, Ph.D., found a genetic link between taste pathway genes and the risk of decay. “Identification of this relationship between genetics and tooth decay could help us reduce the poor oral health of so many people in this state.  The identification of these key genes may explain why some people are more prone to tooth decay,” Crout said. “In addition, it will help us in our efforts to encourage the public to seek treatment. We can also use this information in our efforts to educate the public about proper dental hygiene.” In this study, families were recruited by the Center for Oral Health Research in Appalachia (COHRA) for collection of biological samples, demographic data and clinical assessment of oral health including tooth decay (also known as caries) scores. Caries occurrence and progression are known to be influenced by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, with numerous contributing factors, such as bacteria, diet, fluoride exposure, oral hygiene, salivary flow, salivary composition, and tooth structure. Previous reports have characterized the influence of the genetic variation on taste preferences and dietary habits. “Prior research from our group has revealed that tooth decay in baby teeth could easily be passed from parent to child, with genes accounting for 39 percent to 66 percent of variation. In permanent teeth, it may be as high as 50 percent,” Crout said. Lead researcher is Steven Wendell, and other researchers are Melissa Brown, Margaret Cooper, Rebecca DeSensi, Mary Marazita, Xiaojing Wang and Robert Weyant, all of the University of Pittsburgh. The complete research study is the featured article in the current Journal of Dental Research (JDR.)  For more information about the WVU School of Dentistry, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/sod.   [...]

WVU Eye Institute receives donation from Martha Parlin Trust

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Martha Parlin Trust helped children in the Wheeling area today with the funding of a special clinic for children affected by eye problems who need more than just a pair of eye glasses. The West Virginia University Eye Institute’s Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program (CVRP) delivered its one-day clinic at the Seeing Hand Association Offices in Wheeling.  The $15,000 grant from the Martha Parlin Trust allowed the CVRP to provide thorough visual assessments, medical diagnosis and rehabilitation/education plans for each patient.   “We are so thankful for the Martha Parlin Trust’s generous support of our outreach clinic,” said CVRP Program Director Becky Coakley. “For a long while, we have had many children in the Wheeling region that needed our services, and the Parlin Trust is allowing us to serve them.”  The Martha Parlin Trust is managed by WesBanco Trust and Investment Services and supports programs in the Wheeling and Ohio County region. More than a dozen children were seen in the clinic today. “WesBanco is honored to be in a position to fulfill Mrs. Parlin’s wishes by supporting programs like the CVRP that provide needed services to local children,” Harold Migias, Martha Parlin Trust representative and vice president of WesBanco Trust and Investment Services, said. The WVU Eye Institute delivers specialized patient care, outreach, research and education. On an annual basis, the WVU Eye Institute cares for more than 34,000 patients from all West Virginia counties and many neighboring states.  For more information about the Eye Institute see www.wvueye.com.   [...]

Health Research Center partners to fight obesity

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As partner in an initiative to combat obesity in six West Virginia counties, the West Virginia University Health Research Center (HRC) has assisted in securing $5.5 million in federal grant awards. In collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, the partnership will implement changes in the nutrition and physical activity policies of West Virginia’s mid-Ohio valley region. The targeted area includes Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood counties. In addition to conducting the evaluation of grant activities, WVU Health Research Center co-directors Carole Harris, Ph.D., and Drew Bradlyn, Ph.D., serve as members of the state management team overseeing the grant, part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past four years, HRC has worked with state agencies to conduct evaluations of the state’s childhood obesity legislation and policies. According to Drs. Bradlyn and Harris, the work funded by the CPPW grant is a natural outgrowth of these efforts. “We are excited to be a partner in this exceptional opportunity,“ Harris said. “Our evaluations of the strong state school policies identified a need for greater involvement of the communities in preventing obesity. This grant provides a wealth of resources in the Mid-Ohio Valley region, and will link West Virginia to efforts nationwide.” Initially awarded $4.5 million, the West Virginia partnership recently received an additional $986,000 to support an expansion of the evaluation, including measures of community parks and trails and biometric measurements of youth and adults.  The WVU Health Research Center will direct these efforts. Bill Reger-Nash, Ed.D., WVU Community Medicine, provides expertise on marketing and training for grant activities. Dr. Reger-Nash demonstrated significant policy and environmental changes in his “Wheeling Walks” and “1percent or Less” low-fat milk campaigns, and believes these initiatives will help the region effect meaningful physical activity and nutrition changes. “No matter where one lives today, it is within an environment that encourages obesity,” said Reger-Nash. “This is true for West Virginia, but it is also true for most of the United States and elsewhere.  For example, it is much easier to find an orange pop than it is to find an orange.  This has to be changed.”  The CPPW funding is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which directed $650 million to carry out evidence-based clinical and community-based prevention and wellness strategies authorized by the Public Health Service Act.  The goal of the CPPW program is to reduce risk factors and prevent/delay chronic disease and promote wellness in both children and adults.   [...]

Women on Wellness retreat Oct. 22 in Lewisburg

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Ali Vincent, the first female winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” will address the Women on Wellness (WOW) retreat on Friday, Oct. 22 at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg. Women from Greenbrier County and the surrounding area are invited to attend. The WOW retreat is a partnership between the West Virginia University National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Greenbrier Valley Medical Center and the community. A day for and about women, WOW retreats provide a holistic, pro-health message of personal empowerment. “We are delighted to be offering this day for women in the Lewisburg area,” Betty Critch, executive director of the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, said. “Not only will women have the refreshing experience of balancing mind, body and soul, but also the information they receive will help them to lead their families to a healthy lifestyle.” During the day, women will try different movement activities, learn about issues regarding their health and well-being and receive healthcare screenings and holistic services, such as massage. Several sessions are being led by Greenbrier Valley Medical Center providers, including sessions on breast health and mammography and long-term care considerations for families and patients. The retreats also link women to local resources. WOW retreats don’t promote specific brands of diet or exercise but promote principles that help guide women to make healthful choices, Critch said. The retreats feature opportunities to try different ways to become more active; healthy and energizing lunch and snacks; informational and educational health sessions addressing holistic, preventive, and chronic care issues; and health screenings. The $50 cost to attend the retreat includes program materials, lunch and snack breaks. Scholarships are available. No woman will be turned away due to lack of funds, but spaces are limited. For more information and to register, go online to www.wowicandoit.com, e-mail krobinson@hsc.wvu.edu or call 304-293-0946. The WVU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health is one of 20 nationally designated academic institutions in the country. This designation is awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Women’s Health. For information on the Centers of Excellence in Women’s Health see www.wvhealthywomen.org.   [...]

WVU Health Sciences tightens conflict-of-interest rules

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s four health professions schools have adopted a new set of rules governing relations with vendors and industry that substantially strengthens safeguards against potential conflicts of interest. The new Code of Conduct forbids faculty, staff and students at the HSC from accepting gifts or meals from drug or medical device industry representatives, or from vendors who may do business with the University or its affiliated healthcare organizations.  “We are committed to an uncompromising adherence to our public trust, and to transparency and accountability in our actions as educators, scientists and clinicians,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., WVU Chancellor for Health Sciences.  “The Code of Conduct is intended to establish best practices on how to deal with potential and real conflicts of interests with industry representatives.  It applies across the HSC, including external campuses and offices.”  The Code also strictly limits the use of pharmaceutical and medical device samples, and establishes limits and reporting requirements for consulting relationships and other contacts between individuals and industry. All industry gifts—even those of nominal value—are prohibited. The familiar pens and mugs with drug company logos are going to disappear from Health Sciences Center offices and events. The deans of the schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy each serve on the committee that unanimously approved the Code, and each voted in favor of its adoption. It was drafted by a faculty committee led by Alvin H. Moss, M.D., director of WVU’s Center for Health Ethics and Law. Dr. Moss said the new Code is intended to strengthen trust among healthcare professionals, educators, students, and patients. “The HSC is holding to high standards our patient care, training of students, and relationships with industry,” he said. “This is an opportunity to emphasize that patients are our first priority and that the HSC values accountability, transparency, objectivity, and integrity.” Dr. Colenda noted that the new Code is not intended to prevent active collaboration with industry representatives or programs. “Those who develop and maintain close relationships with professionals outside academia strengthen our work,” he said. “It’s critical that faculty members remain aware of developments in industry or elsewhere that may have an impact on their research, the care we deliver to patients, and our educational activities. Many faculty are also involved in professional organizations that also include colleagues working in industry. “This new Code of Conduct is not meant to prevent those relationships – only to set some ground rules. The basic principle is that you are free to establish and maintain productive relationships with industry, but should refrain from taking any action that benefits you financially or might be perceived to influence your decisions.” The Code of Conduct was adopted in late September and became effective Oct. 1. It is available online at: http://bit.ly/9MTTpY   [...]

Walk to benefit Betty Puskar Breast Care Center

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Pro Performance Rx, an indoor athletic training and rehabilitation facility in Morgantown, is sponsoring a walk for its members to benefit the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center at West Virginia University. Participants in the Betty Puskar Walk for Breast Cancer are being challenged to walk 77 miles by the end of October - the distance to Canaan Valley - for a chance to win various prizes, including a weekend getaway to the Canaan Valley Resort. They may also do alternate forms of exercise with 30 minutes as the equivalent of one mile walked.  “Since October is national walking month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to do something that would encourage exercise while supporting a local facility that provides women with important breast care services,” Brittany Taylor, a trainer at Pro Performance, said.  “Research has shown that being overweight or obese increases the risk for breast cancer. But physical activity decreases that risk. The ultimate goal of the Betty Puskar Walk for Breast Cancer is to promote a healthy lifestyle.” The money generated through the event will come from sponsorships and donations obtained by participating members. In addition, Pro Performance is selling breast cancer awareness T-shirts for $15 and donating all of those proceeds to the Breast Care Center. Anyone interested in joining Pro Performance as a new member this month can do so for a special monthly rate of $30. For information on Pro Performance Rx see www.properformancerx.com/about_us.cfm. For information on the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center see www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/bpbcc.   [...]

Fashion show to benefit WVU breast care center

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 2010 Betty Puskar Breast Cancer Fashion Show featuring breast cancer survivors and local women as models will be held on Monday, Oct. 25 at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown. The event honors breast cancer survivors, raises awareness about breast cancer and serves as a fundraiser for the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center at West Virginia University. “What makes the fashion show such a special occasion is knowing that it’s all about the survivors,” Judith Schreiman, M.D., radiologist at the Breast Care Center, said. “Seeing their reassuring smiles as they sashay up the runway is so inspiring. They may be fashion models for a day, but more importantly they are role models every day to women who may be battling breast cancer.” [...]