WVU Medicine Cabinet News Stories

Hodder named director of West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sally Hodder, M.D., professor of Medicine at Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School, has been named director and principal investigator (PI) of the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI). “Dr. Sally Hodder is exactly the right person to lead West Virginia’s largest research collaborative,” said Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., chancellor for West Virginia University Health Sciences and president and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System. “She’s an accomplished physician who has shown that she can improve the lives of patients through the integration of research and healthcare. We expect her to put that experience to work for people and communities across West Virginia.” Both the University and the System have committed millions of dollars to support WVCTSI. Dr. Hodder currently serves as the director for HIV Programs in the Department of Medicine and director of the Clinical Research Unit at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.  Hodder was selected following a national search and is expected to begin her new role in September. An interdisciplinary search committee made up of representatives from across the WVCTSI partner institutes (WVU, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and WVU-Charleston/Charleston Area Medical Center Institute), led by WVCTSI Interim Director Glenn H. Dillon, Ph.D., chose Hodder to fill the post. “Dr. Hodder will build upon the existing foundation at WVCTSI. Under her leadership, the Institute will continue to address the health disparities in West Virginia in innovative and collaborative ways. The search committee and those who met with Dr. Hodder were impressed with her work and her energy, and we are pleased that she will be leading the effort,” Dr. Dillon, who also serves as the vice president for research and graduate education at WVU Health Sciences, said. “I am honored to be chosen as director of the CTSI and feel privileged to serve the people of West Virginia. The mission of the CTSI is quite extraordinary, and I am looking forward to working with investigators, research groups, and the superb senior leadership teams that exist at WVU and our partner institutions,” said Hodder. In addition to her position with WVCTSI, Hodder will also be a professor in the WVU School of Medicine Section of Infectious Diseases. Hodder received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine. After completing a medicine internship at the University of California, San Francisco, she completed her internal medicine residency at University Hospitals of Cleveland, subsequently serving as chief medical resident. After completing specialty training in infectious diseases at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals, she joined the CWRU School of Medicine faculty and subsequently received a National Institutes of Health career development award (K award) in the area of tuberculosis.   From 2002 until 2005, Hodder served as vice president of virology medical affairs at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In that position, she was responsible for more than 100 domestic and international clinical trials relating to HIV and hepatitis. She left Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2005 to return to academia and established an adult HIV clinical research program addressing HIV treatment as well as prevention for persons in Newark, N.J. She currently serves on the board of directors for the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Disease Society of America. Hodder has served and continues to serve on numerous national committees, including the AIDS Clinical Trials Group Executive Committee and the HIV Prevention Trials Network HIV Prevention in Women Science Committee. She has authored many scientific papers and book chapters in the areas of infectious diseases and women’s health. She has received grant support from a variety of sources, including the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of HIV, STD, and TB Services; the National Institutes of Health; and the Health Resources and Services Administration, among several others. WVCTSI Background In August 2012, the WVCTSI was awarded a $19.6 million IDeA Clinical and Translational grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences titled “West Virginia IDeA CTR” [Institutional Development Award for Clinical and Translational Research, 1U54RR033567-02; Dillon (Principal Investigator)] to support WVCTSI’s mission of building clinical and translational research infrastructure and capacity to impact health disparities in West Virginia. This grant was matched by a $33.5 million commitment from several West Virginia entities to create a total funding of $53.1 million to recruit 24 clinician scientists and provide infrastructure core support in biostatistics, bioinformatics, community engagement and outreach, clinical research education and mentoring, ethical and regulatory knowledge support, and pilot grants to grow clinical and translational research in the state. [...]

WVU dental student spends two weeks at the “Top of the World”

WVU dental student spends two weeks at the "Top of the World" [...]

Dr. William Hazzard to give Hardesty Lecture

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – William R. Hazzard, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, will present the 2014 David and Susan Hardesty Lecture on June 4 at the [...]

WVU School of Pharmacy celebrates centennial

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — What started out as a small department in the state’s leading university has become a school recognized as No. 26 in the Best Health Schools-Pharmacy category of the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” [...]

WVU: Rx drugs an increased role in traffic deaths

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As states across the country explore the relaxation of marijuana laws, the changes have sparked widespread debate about the actions’ impact on public safety. According to a [...]

New campaign initiated to keep Bonnie’s Bus on the road

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center’s mobile mammography unit, is making a significant impact on the health of women in West Virginia, but the financial challenges of keeping the 40-foot long vehicle on the road 10 months out of the year are great. A new campaign called Sponsor A Day on Bonnie’s Bus is designed to cover those expenses, while raising awareness about the breast cancer screenings it provides. Since the program began in 2009, Bonnie’s Bus has provided more than 6,300 breast cancer screening mammograms in 43 of the state’s 55 counties. Of the counties where these services were provided, 11 did not have a mammography facility, emphasizing the need for a mobile unit to visit rural communities. To date, 20 women who were initially screened on the Bus were later diagnosed with breast cancer. The Bus serves women who have private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and uninsured women who are participants in the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Mammograms are provided for women without coverage with funding from grants and donations, so that no woman over the age of 40 is ever turned away. Women whose mammograms suggest a need for further diagnosis and treatment are referred back to local providers for their care. The limited revenues Bonnie’s Bus receives from billing fall short of the $250,000 needed annually to advance the mission of the Bus. After revenues are received, the net average cost of a screening day is about $2,000. Expenses include mammography equipment maintenance, bus and generator maintenance, medical supplies, and travel expenses. A tank of diesel fuel costs around $500; the Bus gets about 3.4 miles per gallon. Through the Sponsor A Day campaign, friends and supporters of the mobile program can help defray some of these expenses by sponsoring all or part of a Bonnie’s Bus visit. A 15-minute sponsorship of $62.50 would cover the time associated with performing one mammogram on the Bus. “We appreciate sponsorship at any level that our friends and supporters choose to donate,” Sara Jane Gainor, director of the program, said. “Every penny will be put toward the continuation of lifesaving breast screening services in our state.” Made possible by a generous gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler to the Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus is operated in partnership with WVU Hospitals. The bus is named after Jo Statler’s late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. To learn more about Sponsor A Day on Bonnie's Bus, visit www.wvucancer.org/bonnie/sponsoraday.   To see all the communities the Bus is traveling to this year, visit www.wvucancer.org/bonnie. [...]

WVU Healthcare telemedicine reduces travel expenses for patients

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Healthcare telemedicine is making it easier for families to receive quality care in their hometowns without travel expenses to Morgantown and missed time from work or school. Amy Chewning, of Elkins, W.Va., and her son Albert are among those to benefit from telemedicine – a medical appointment conducted remotely through a computer, web camera, and secure server between a WVU physician and a partnering medical clinic. Since the age of two, Albert Chewning has received care from WVU pediatric cardiologist John Phillips, M.D., for a heart condition that causes a rapid rhythm called SVT or supraventricular tachycardia. Chewning, now 10 years old, underwent a procedure last year called cardiac ablation to correct his heart rhythm problem. Two of Chewning’s post-operation appointments with Dr. Phillips took place through telemedicine. “I thought it was a great way for us to receive the same kind of care we receive in person because it saved us on time and gas money. Normally, I have to take Albert out of school for a whole day to get to an appointment in Morgantown, and I have to miss a day of work. Now, he can return to school after his appointment here, and I can get back to work,” said Amy Chewning, a nurse at Arbor Community Health in Elkins. Chewning also assists patients at Arbor Community Health during WVU Healthcare cardiology, neurology, and neurosurgery telemedicine appointments. “A lot of people in our area can’t afford to travel to Morgantown to see a doctor, and telemedicine is a wonderful way for them to receive the care they need.” WVU physicians have been consulting by video with patients and their primary care doctors across the state since the 1990s. The original Mountaineer Doctor Television (MDTV) network was established by WVU School of Medicine faculty members James E. Brick, M.D., (now chair of the WVU Department of Medicine) and John F. Brick, M.D., (now chair of the WVU Department of Neurology). The twin brothers, both of whom are graduates of the School, won several federal grants to construct telemedicine links among WVU’s health campuses in Morgantown, Charleston, and in rural hospitals and community health centers across the state. “Telemedicine is a key tool in meeting our mission of reducing health disparities that affect West Virginians,” Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., WVU chancellor for health sciences and president and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System, said. “By making WVU Healthcare specialists available to patients at other locations across the state more than 5,000 times last year, the MDTV program has helped rural physicians and hospitals deliver the highest possible quality of care to their communities.” The total number of provided telemedicine appointments in 2013 was 5,377, an increase of 1,633 consultations over the previous year. Other WVU Healthcare telemedicine specialties include pediatrics, student health psychiatry, psychiatry, and stroke. Sixteen counties are currently being served: Barbour, Clay, Grant, Greenbrier, Jackson, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Pocahontas, Randolph, Roane, Tucker, Upshur, and Wood. [...]

WVU Cancer Center, WVU Healthcare to offer free skin cancer screening

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As warmer weather begins to make its way into the area, people are starting to spend more time outside in the sun. Experts at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University and WVU Healthcare encourage you to protect your skin and will offer free skin cancer screenings from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13 at the Cancer Center. Participants will be asked to complete a form describing their medical and sun exposure history and will be examined by a physician. If anything suspicious is found during the five-minute exam, the patient will be referred for a dermatology appointment. Advance registration is required by May 9. Call 304-598-4500 to make an appointment. “Unlike some cancers, skin cancer can be detected at an early stage when it is curable,” Rodney Kovach, M.D., chief of the WVU Section of Dermatology, said. “Even melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, has a high cure rate if detected early. That is why it is so important to schedule an annual skin cancer screening by a physician.”   Dr. Kovach recommends a monthly skin self-exam in addition to seeing a physician annually. “You should check for things like changes in moles, dry and scaly rough patches, and slowly growing bumps,” he said. “Get to know your skin and what is and isn’t normal.” Kovach added that two of the most important pieces of advice he can offer to prevent skin cancer is to avoid spending a lot of time in the sun and avoid tanning beds and sun lamps because both natural and manmade ultraviolet exposure are the primary causes of all skin cancers. His other skin-cancer prevention tips include: •    Avoiding the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense •    Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 daily •    Wearing sunglasses that block the most harmful rays •    Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and a hat with a wide brim when outside The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, and one person dies from melanoma every hour. “Our annual skin cancer screening is an opportunity to continue raising awareness about skin cancer,” Kovach said, “and to remind and encourage people to follow advice on how to protect their skin.”  [...]