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WVU’s Dr. Hassan Ramadan honored by national group

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) recently presented Hassan Ramadan, M.D., professor and vice chair of the West Virginia University Department of Otolaryngology, with its Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Ramadan received the award in recognition of his exceptional services in the scientific programs, exhibits, continuing education courses and instructional courses of the society. He became a member of the society in the early 1990s. Since that time, he has participated in every annual meeting of the AAO-HNS with a scientific course, poster or presentation. “I like to go to the meetings both to teach and to learn. It’s an opportunity to connect with colleagues in the field and exchange ideas, like new research and techniques, with them,” Ramadan said. “It’s great not only to learn but to share and teach. It’s very rewarding and satisfying.” Ramadan said he ultimately chose to become an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist) because of the specialty’s diversity and refinement. One day, he could be treating a facial fracture with screws and plates and the next day, he could be putting a 1.14 mm tube into a 1-year-old child’s ear. “It’s very interesting to me. There’s diversity not only in the way we treat people but also the types of people we see. We see very young children all the way up to adults who are 100 years old,” he said. Ramadan also likes the fact that he is both medical doctor and surgeon for his patients. “It improves continuity of care,” he said. “We’re it. We see you in the clinic, and if necessary, we perform your surgery.” The AAO-HNS presented Ramadan with the award at its 2010 Annual Meeting and OTO EXPO, which was held Sept. 26-29 in Boston. The meeting is the largest gathering of otolaryngologists in the world with more than 165 scientific research sessions, 200 posters and more than 300 instruction course hours for attendees. For more information on the AAO-HNS see www.entnet.org. For more information on the WVU Department of Otolaryngology see http://wvuhealthcare.com/services/otolaryngology/index.aspx.   [...]

Bonnie’s Bus offers mammograms

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Jefferson, Barbour, Gilmer and Marion counties, offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women. A service of WVU Healthcare, Bonnie’s Bus will be at the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic in Ranson from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 16; at Belington Community Medical Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 17; at Federal Correctional Institute Gilmer in Glenville from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 18.; and at the Marion County Senior Citizens Inc.-North Marion Senior Center in Mannington from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 19. The mammograms are not free, but billing to insurers is provided.  Women who lack insurance may be matched to government or nonprofit charities. A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram. For a Bonnie’s Bus appointment at the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic call 304-724-6091; at Belington Community Medical Center call 304-823-2800; and at Marion County Senior Citizens Inc.- North Marion Senior Center call the Marion County Health Department at 304-366-3360.  The Federal Correctional Institute Gilmer will offer screenings to employees from 8 a.m. to noon and to the public from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Employees should call 304-626-2500, ext.1079 to schedule an appointment.  The public should call 877-287-2272. During its first year on the road in 2009, the 40-foot long Bonnie’s Bus travelled 9,000 miles, visited 20 counties and provided nearly 400 mammography screenings. The goal for 2010 is to make at least 60 site visits throughout West Virginia with a focus on communities that have high breast cancer mortality rates. Bonnie’s Bus represents a statewide partnership of women’s groups, clinicians, public health professionals and other community leaders working to help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer in West Virginia. Made possible by a generous gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler to WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus is operated by WVU Hospitals. The bus is named after Mrs. Statler's late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. For information on Bonnie’s Bus, see www.hsc.wvu.edu/mbrcc/bonnie. Attention reporters and editors: If you are interested in covering Bonnie’s Bus when it visits your area, please call the HSC News Service in Morgantown at 304-293-7087 in advance. Out of respect for patient privacy and HIPAA, please do not show up at the location without scheduling an appropriate time for interviews and/or photos. [...]

WVU Healthcare to host Ornish open house Nov. 18

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU Healthcare will host an open house for the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease from 5 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 18 near the cafeteria on the fourth floor of Ruby Memorial Hospital. Free health screenings including blood pressure, glucose and body composition to determine ideal body weight will be offered prior to the open house at 4 p.m. Ornish friendly appetizers will be served.  The program has enabled thousands of people to lower their risk of heart attack and avoid the need for procedures like angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery. Those who attend will learn more about how this unique program encompassing nutrition, stress management, moderate aerobic exercise and group support can help them and their loved ones.  “This lifestyle modification program enables participants to slow, stop and reverse many of the symptoms of coronary artery disease,” Dave Harshbarger, program director, said. “Many people are able to avoid invasive procedures, such as bypass surgery and angioplasty, and stave off first or repeat heart attacks or strokes.” The Ornish Program combines a low-fat vegetarian diet, moderate aerobic exercise, stress management and social support to reduce chest pain (angina), blockages in coronary arteries and serum cholesterol levels. The program’s components help improve blood flow through the heart muscle, exercise capacity and the sense of well-being and satisfaction with life. “The Ornish Program is a change in diet, attitude and lifestyle. People learn how to eat properly and adopt healthy behaviors to stop sabotaging themselves. They get back in control and start doing activities that many of them thought were lost forever,” Harshbarger said. “But the best news is that even for people with documented heart disease, it’s not too late.” Candidates for the program include: •    People who are contemplating bypass surgery or angioplasty, but seeking an alternative that may reduce the need for these procedures. •    People who have previously experienced one or more heart procedures and want to minimize the chances of repeating them. •    People diagnosed with coronary artery disease (angina or past heart attacks). •    People with significant risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol levels and a strong family history. “All of our participants have lost weight and dropped overall body fat,” Harshbarger said. “Their cholesterol levels have declined and their perceived stress has decreased dramatically.” For more information and to RSVP for the open house, call 304-293-2520. Those insured by PEIA and Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans may qualify for coverage. For more information on the Dean Ornish program at WVU see www.hsc.wvu.edu/wellness/ornish.   [...]

Radiothon to benefit WVU Children’s Hospital

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 12th Annual Q for Kids Radiothon benefiting West Virginia University Children’s Hospital will hit the airwaves live beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 16. WVU Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network and three radio stations will host the radiothon in the cafeteria of Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. The stations are 101.9 FM WVAQ, 93.5 WBTQ and 94.1 FM WQZK. Broadcasts will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and 17. Radio personalities will tell stories about children who have benefited from services provided by WVU Children's Hospital. Patients from Morgantown and the surrounding region are also scheduled to visit the radiothon to share their stories on air. Last year’s radiothon raised more than $120,000 in support of WVU Children’s Hospital. As part of the festivities, Cold Stone Creamery ice cream will be on sale Tuesday (Nov. 16) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “People who haven’t needed our services may know that we’re here, but they may be unaware of the miracles that happen every day at WVU Children’s Hospital,” Cheryl Jones, R.N., director of WVU Children’s Hospital, said. “The radiothon helps those people learn about what we do so that if they do ever need us, they’ll know they’re in good hands.” The toll free number for donations during the radiothon is 877-719-KIDS (5437). 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. For information on WVU Children's Hospital, see www.wvukids.com.  The Children's Miracle Network is a fundraising program to benefit hospitals providing healthcare for children. Created by the Osmond Foundation in 1983, the 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.   [...]

Friends of WVUH wins awards for Festival of Trees

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Friends of West Virginia University Hospitals recently won two awards at the annual luncheon of the Auxiliary of the West Virginia Hospital Association (AWVHA), which was held in October at The Greenbrier. Friends won the Project Award for hospitals in the 320- to 540-bed category and the Overall Project Award for the Festival of Trees event. The overall winner is selected from all entries submitted from the hospital auxiliaries in West Virginia. The 2009 Festival of Trees featured custom-decorated holiday trees, wreaths and decorations. WVU interior design students worked with local designers, tree sponsors and Friends’ board members on the event. Guests were able to purchase tree decorations or even buy an entire tree with all of the trimmings. Friends President Shera Lorenze and President-Elect Jane Clark attended the conference. “We were thrilled to win both of these awards for the first year of our Festival of Trees event,” Lorenze said. “Most importantly, we made more than $14,000, which was used to improve patient services at WVU Hospitals.” This year, the festival evolves into a multi-day event featuring live entertainment, gourmet cuisine, a tree auction and a decoration shop. The festival kicks off on Nov. 18 with a holiday shopping and tree tour from 5 to 9 p.m. K.C. and The Sunshine Band will perform at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. The festival wraps up with breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. on Nov. 20. All three events will be held at the Morgantown Event Center at Waterfront Place. “Attending the Festival of Trees is a great way to get into the holiday spirit, and all of the proceeds go to a great cause,” Lorenze said. Tickets to the 2010 Festival of Trees are available at www.morgantowneventcenter.com. For more information on the WVU Hospitals, visit www.health.wvu.edu.    [...]

Wearing blue for diabetes awareness

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – When can one small blue circle make a difference to the health of people across the globe? When it is the symbol of diabetes. West Virginia University School of Pharmacy students are holding a World Diabetes Day observance on Monday, Nov. 15. The observance will be in front of the WVU Health Sciences Center at 6:30 p.m. “The symbol for World Diabetes Day is a blue circle,” Holly Kirk, third-year pharmacy student, said. “Many people may know someone who has diabetes, or may even have diabetes themselves. By coming together and wearing blue, we are showing our support for our friends and loved ones and are also showing we are a unified voice in diabetes awareness.” The theme of World Diabetes Day is Diabetes Education and Prevention. Kirk is a member of the WVU chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). She and fellow student pharmacist Micah Plants are the student chapter’s Operation Diabetes Campaign co-chairs. “The ASP chapter is very active in providing and promoting health care and information to our community members,” Kirk said. “Our chapter participates in health fairs where we offer free health screenings like blood glucose testing for those who want to check their health or monitor an existing disease state.” “Diabetes is a growing concern not only in our community, but across the globe,” Kirk added. “As student pharmacists, we know we can make a difference in the lives of our patients by providing them with the information they need to make healthier choices and to also speak with them about their diabetes medications. And even though we can help them through these ways, we can also help by shining a light for awareness.”   [...]

WVU students help collect money for Rosenbaum Family House

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Members of the West Virginia University chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, an international honor society of professional counseling for master’s level students, were looking for a way to give back to the Morgantown community when they came across the Rosenbaum Family House’s Expansion of Hope campaign. “We were interested in expanding our efforts this academic year so that future generations of our honorary have well-established philanthropic opportunities in and around Morgantown,” President Jennifer Randall said. Randall, a native of Buckhannon, said she was touched when a family friend shared her story about staying at Rosenbaum Family House, which provides lodging and support services to out-of-town adult patients and their families while the patients are receiving medical treatment at WVU Healthcare. The house is adjacent to Ruby Memorial Hospital. “I know this family’s struggle was lessened by the efforts of the staff and volunteers at Family House,” Randall said. To assist with the Expansion of Hope campaign, which is aimed at not only expanding Family House but also enhancing the current facility, Chi Sigma Iota members are collecting change at area businesses from the Houses of Hope boxes on display. The boxes were donated by Scott Radman, of Meyer, Ford, Glasser and Radman PLLC, who is a member of the Family House advisory board. The boxes are currently located at 12 businesses throughout the Morgantown area: Archie’s Restaurant and Pub; Black Bear Burritos; Buck’s Corner Pub; Chic-n-Bones Rhythm Café; Crockett’s Lodge; Daniel’s Men’s Clothing; Friends Gift Shop at WVU Hospitals; Howard Hanna Real Estate; Kegler’s Sports Bar and Lounge; Miller Orthopedics; Slight Indulgence; and the UPS Store on Patteson Drive. To date approximately $500 in change has been collected from the boxes. Boxes will be placed at additional locations in the near future. In addition to collecting change every two weeks, Chi Sigma Iota members also hosted a dinner for Family House patients and guests from 5 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 4. “We are very grateful that the members of Chi Sigma Iota are donating their time to help our guests both in collecting change and preparing this meal,” Jena Prokopchuk, director of Rosenbaum Family House, said. “Our guests are far from home and truly appreciate a home-cooked meal. These meals provide a taste of home and opportunity for fellowship.” For more information on the Expansion of Hope campaign and other ways to assist Rosenbaum Family House see http://wvuhealthcare.com/rosenbaum/help.aspx or contact Suzanne Likins, Family House development specialist, at 304-598-6094 ext. 4 or likinssu@wvuh.com. For more information on Rosenbaum Family House see http://wvuhealthcare.com/rosenbaum/index.aspx.   [...]

International human trade activist to speak at Global Health Day

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - According to the United Nations, human trafficking is a burgeoning worldwide black market industry, raking in annual revenues of an estimated $7 billion dollars. It is believed that anywhere from 700,000 to four million women and children are sold into forced prostitution, labor and other forms of exploitation each year. The Global Health Program at West Virginia University will host activist and advocate Diep N. Vuong at its annual Global Health Day event Nov. 15. Diep is co-founder and president of Pacific Links Foundation (PALS), an international organization whose mission is to support the sustainable development of Vietnamese communities and the enrichment of their cultural heritage. A volunteer-based organization, PALS seeks to encourage sustainable development through the exchange of knowledge between professionals in Vietnam and in the developed world, with an emphasis on community building and empowerment through knowledge. Since 2005, PALS has placed focus on women’s empowerment, which has included efforts to fight human trafficking. Diep will deliver her Global Health Day speech, “Health Care Issues Encountered by the Victims of Human Trafficking: Remote Areas of Vietnam,” at noon in Room 1905 of the WVU Health Sciences Center. A cum laude graduate of Harvard University’s economics program, Diep earned her Master’s in Public Administration from San Jose State University. Formerly known as the International Health Program, the Global Health Program was established in 1991 as an interdisciplinary program at the WVU Health Sciences Center. It is a student-centered program composed of faculty, students and staff who work to promote the education of students and healthcare professionals in global health.   [...]

WVU Cancer Center participates in national study on new drug for hard-to-treat breast cancer

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University is participating in a national study on a promising new treatment for advanced triple-negative breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the nearly 200,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. It is an aggressive type of breast cancer that doesn’t respond well to targeted drugs commonly used to treat the majority of breast cancers. But a new class of drugs called PARP inhibitors – the first targeted therapy for triple negative breast cancer – is making inroads in this tough-to-treat breast cancer. The Phase III clinical trial underway at WVU’s Cancer Center involves combining two standard chemotherapy drugs (gemcitabine and carboplatin) with a PARP inhibitor called BSI-201, or iniparib. “Iniparib is the best known PARP inhibitor and is the furthest along in being clinically developed,” said Jame Abraham, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Program at WVU. “Early data on the drug is very exciting. It’s been shown to have excellent antitumor activity in patients with triple negative breast cancer, and those enrolled in the study at WVU are seeing similar results.” Teresa Stevens of Fairmont, who’s 60 years old, was diagnosed with late stage triple-negative breast cancer in 2006. She enrolled in the Phase III clinical study at WVU last year after learning that her cancer had spread to her lung and brain.  “Eight weeks into treatment my tumors began shrinking, and they continue to shrink,” Stevens said. “This drug gives me hope. I feel relief and believe I am going in the right direction.” Beth Ujhelyi of Boothsville, who’s 37, is another hopeful patient. She was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2008 and enrolled in the research study this January after the cancer spread to her lungs.   “I am a firm believer that this is the right treatment for my type of cancer,” Ujhelyi said. “After six weeks, my cancer was 90 percent gone. I was in shock. When Dr. Abraham showed me my scan results, I cried, and the nursing staff cried with me. After an additional six weeks of treatment, there was no sign of metastatic disease. That is miraculous to me.” Dr. Abraham said PARP inhibitors are different from other treatments. “Unlike most targeted therapies for breast cancer, PARP inhibitors do not single out specific hormone receptors or the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2),” Abraham said. “These drugs work by targeting the tumor’s DNA preventing it from repairing itself so it can grow and spread.  PARP inhibitors actually help standard chemotherapy work better.” BSI-201 is being developed by the pharmaceutical company BiPar Sciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanofi Aventis. The company is also studying the new therapy to treat other cancers including lung, ovarian, uterine, brain and pancreatic. For information on the PARP inhibitor trial at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center see http://oncore.hsc.wvu.edu/sip/SIPControlServlet. For information on the clinical development of BSI-201 see www.biparsciences.com/000014.html.      [...]

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