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PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID FRANKLIN, TN PERMIT NO.357 ON ROUNDS PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER Overcoming an Abundance of Adversity Popular motivational speaker and psychologist lives the meaning of “Physician, Heal Thyself” HATTIESBURG – When Beverly Smallwood, PhD, was making the rounds discussing her candidly written book and video training program, This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen to Me: 10 Make or Break Choices When Life Steals Your Dreams and Rocks Your World based on many adversities she and others had overcome, she admittedly thought most of her woes were behind her ... 3 Affairs of the Heart Americans & Cardiovascular Health Perhaps it should come as no surprise that there is a major divide between what Americans should do and what is currently being done when it comes adopting healthy cardiovascular lifestyle habits ... 7 February 2015 >> $5 PROUDLY SERVING THE MAGNOLIA STATE Claude Brunson, MD PAGE 2 PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT ONLINE: MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL NEWS.COM MDH Taps African-American Sorority Graduate Chapters to Deliver Key Messages Effort aimed at reducing infant mortality among blacks in Mississippi St. Dominic’s Introduces Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease Will Mississippi heart patients embrace lifestyle-change plan? BY LUCY SCHULTZE Patients who’ve been through heart surgery may say they’ll do anything to avoid the experience again. But are people in the nation’s least heart-healthy state really ready to give up their fried chicken and cheesy casseroles for kale and quinoa? A new program being introduced by Jackson Heart at St. Dominic Hospital stands to test that idea, offering an advanced cardiac rehabilitation regimen that includes nutrition teaching, support groups, fitness training, and stress- reduction techniques like yoga and meditation. Developed by a California-based author and researcher, the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease™ debuted at St. Dominic’s in January. The first cohort of 15 patients was booked before Christmas, as Jackson Heart has been inviting patients who would make good candidates for the program. (CONTINUED ON PAGE 8) BY LUCY SCHULTZE Physicians who’ve struggled to communicate to young African-American mothers the benefits of breast- feeding and the risks of co-sleeping may find those mes- sages carrying more weight soon. The Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) Of- fice of Health Disparity Elimination is partnering with National Pan-Hellenic graduate sorority chapters state- wide to deliver messages aimed at reducing infant mor- tality among African Americans in Mississippi. The effort, called Mississippi Sisters United, le- verages the skills of prominent, college-educated African-American women and the influence they hold in their communities. Equipping them with simple, straightforward messages, the project’s goal is reducing infant mortality – a rate that’s nearly twice as high among Mississippi’s African Americans as it is among whites. “These women have the ears of the young ladies in their communities,” said Tanya Funchess, DHA, MPH, director of Health Disparity Elimination for MDH. “Be- cause they already have that presence in the commu- nity, it’s ideal for us to partner with them to deliver that message and equip them to spread the word for years to come.” According to MDH, Mississippi’s infant mortality rate for African Americans is 12.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, com- (CONTINUED ON PAGE 6) Increase web traffic Powerful branding opportunity Any metro market in the U.S. Preferred, certified brand-safe networks only Retargeting, landing pages, SEM services available [email protected] GUARANTEED CLICK-THROUGHS Get verified results (impressions and/or clicks) for (LOCAL) online advertising. Tanya Funchess

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Page 1: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

PRSRT STDU.S.POSTAGE

PAIDFRANKLIN, TN

PERMIT NO.357

ON ROUNDS

PRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER

Overcoming an Abundance of AdversityPopular motivational speaker and psychologist lives the meaning of “Physician, Heal Thyself”

HATTIESBURG – When Beverly Smallwood, PhD, was making the rounds discussing her candidly written book and video training program, This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen to Me: 10 Make or Break Choices When Life Steals Your Dreams and Rocks Your World based on many adversities she and others had overcome, she admittedly thought most of her woes were behind her ... 3

Affairs of the HeartAmericans & Cardiovascular Health

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that there is a major divide between what Americans should do and what is currently being done when it comes adopting healthy cardiovascular lifestyle habits ... 7

February 2015 >> $5

PROUDLY SERVING THE MAGNOLIA STATE

Claude Brunson, MD

PAGE 2

PHYSICIAN SPOTLIGHT

ONLINE:MISSISSIPPIMEDICALNEWS.COMNEWS.COM

MDH Taps African-American Sorority Graduate Chapters to Deliver Key MessagesEffort aimed at reducing infant mortality among blacks in Mississippi

St. Dominic’s Introduces Ornish Program for Reversing Heart DiseaseWill Mississippi heart patients embrace lifestyle-change plan?

By LUCy SCHULTZE

Patients who’ve been through heart surgery may say they’ll do anything to avoid the experience again. But are people in the nation’s least heart-healthy state really ready to give up their fried chicken and cheesy casseroles for kale and quinoa?

A new program being introduced by Jackson Heart at St. Dominic Hospital stands to test that idea, offering an advanced cardiac rehabilitation regimen that includes nutrition teaching, support groups, fi tness training, and stress-reduction techniques like yoga and meditation.

Developed by a California-based author and researcher, the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease™ debuted at St. Dominic’s in January. The fi rst cohort of 15 patients was booked before Christmas, as Jackson Heart has been inviting patients who would make good candidates for the program.

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 8)

By LUCy SCHULTZE

Physicians who’ve struggled to communicate to young African-American mothers the benefi ts of breast-feeding and the risks of co-sleeping may fi nd those mes-sages carrying more weight soon.

The Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) Of-fi ce of Health Disparity Elimination is partnering with National Pan-Hellenic graduate sorority chapters state-wide to deliver messages aimed at reducing infant mor-tality among African Americans in Mississippi.

The effort, called Mississippi Sisters United, le-verages the skills of prominent, college-educated African-American women and the infl uence they hold in their communities. Equipping

them with simple, straightforward messages, the project’s goal is reducing infant mortality – a rate that’s nearly twice as high among Mississippi’s African Americans as it is among whites.

“These women have the ears of the young ladies in their communities,” said Tanya Funchess, DHA, MPH, director of Health Disparity Elimination for MDH. “Be-cause they already have that presence in the commu-nity, it’s ideal for us to partner with them to deliver that message and equip them to spread the word for years to come.”

According to MDH, Mississippi’s infant mortality rate for African Americans is 12.6 deaths per 1,000 live births, com-

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)

Increase web traffi c Powerful branding opportunity Any metro market in the U.S. Preferred, certifi ed brand-safe networks only Retargeting, landing pages, SEM services available

[email protected]

GUARANTEED CLICK-THROUGHSGet verifi ed results (impressions and/or clicks) for (LOCAL) online advertising.

Tanya Funchess

Page 2: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

2 > FEBRUARY 2015 m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m

By LUCy SCHULTZE

For Claude Brunson, MD, putting the issue of health equity at the forefront during his term as president of the Mississippi State Medi-cal Association (MSMA) is a choice that echoes deep into his past.

As a child, he witnessed the way his grandmother filled the access gap as a tradi-tional healer for her commu-nity in Auburn, Ala., during the 1960s. Seeing the impact she made helped to shape his desire to become a physician.

“You didn’t have access to physicians much in that day – and if you were poor and African-American, you had even less,” said Brunson, today the senior advisor to the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a professor of anesthesiology.

“My grandmother became like the local non-physician doctor, and I saw her taking care of people all the time, mix-ing up things to help people get well,” he recalled. “That was when the seed was planted for me.”

Half a century later, helping to break down the barriers that still exist between people with few resources and the health-care services they need remains a key inter-est for Brunson.

“At some point in time, we have to stop talking about how bad Mississippi’s health grades are and we have to do some-thing about it,” he said.

“When we look across the state, there are a number of different organizations working on the topic of health equity, and none of them are talking to each other. We get a lot of policies and blueprints that sit on the shelf.

“But it’s my belief that if we get the MSMA with its nearly 5,000 members to lead this effort, we can go from theories to implementing strategies that will help im-prove healthcare for all Mississippians.”

Brunson has earned the opportunity to help shape the course of Mississippi’s healthcare system through a range of roles he plays today.

For the vice chancellor’s office, he works with key stakeholders including the

Mississippi Department of Health and the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery VA Medical Center, establishing part-nerships and programs con-nected to UMMC’s mission. He also interacts with govern-ment offices at the local, state and national level to repre-sent UMMC’s position on a range of issues.

As a member of the Mis-sissippi State Board of Medi-cal Licensure, he helps ensure that physicians and other pro-viders practicing in the state meet appropriate standards. Brunson also serves as the ap-pointed physician member of the Mississippi Board of Nurs-ing.

As president of the MSMA, Brunson is focused on three main priorities: The association’s continued push for a smoke-free Mississippi;

an initiative to improve the state’s mental health system; and efforts to address health-equity issues among Mississippi’s popula-tions.

Through the campaign “Physicians for a Smoke-Free Mississippi,” the MSMA has been pushing the state Legislature to enact a statewide ban on indoor smoking in all workplaces, including bars, restaurants and casinos. While surveys of residents and business owners show a majority of Missis-sippians support the ban, the effort has not been able to convince the Legislature to pass the measure.

The current effort is asking legislators to simply put the question on a ballot and let Mississippi citizens make the decision for

themselves.Regarding the state’s mental health

system, Brunson said the MSMA is work-ing with the Mississippi Psychiatric Associa-tion to explore improvements to the system.

“One in four Americans during any year will have some issue with a mental-health disorder, whether it’s mild depres-sion or a more serious condition requiring inpatient care,” Brunson said. “Our system hasn’t evolved to be able to take care of Mississippians with mental-health disorders in a modern-day format.”

On the issue of health disparities, Brunson has established a commission on health equity to identify current needs.

“This will include everything from how we educate our children about healthy behavior to how well people have access to healthcare providers,” Brunson said.

For the MSMA, Brunson has previ-ously served as chairman of the Board of Trustees and as a delegate to the American Medical Association. He was sworn in as president of the association in August 2014 for a one-year term, and is the first African American to hold that position.

“It’s a real honor to be chosen by your colleagues to be the public face that rep-resents their practices before the state and the nation,” he said. “I feel a little bit awe-struck by my colleagues electing me. It’s been a humbling experience and it’s a role I don’t take lightly.”

A member of the UMMC School of Medicine faculty since 1991, Brunson holds an undergraduate degree from the Univer-sity of Alabama and a medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Before finishing college, he served four years as a military medic in the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps, which sealed his desire to pursue medical school.

Brunson completed his internship in internal medicine at Baptist Medical Cen-ters in Birmingham. He came to UMMC for anesthesiology training in 1988.

Since taking a position on the faculty, Brunson has served as UMMC’s chief of staff and as hospital administrator for peri-operative services, as well as chairing the Department of Anesthesiology. He joined the vice chancellor’s office in 2010.

“I’ve seen tremendous change dur-ing my time here,” he said. “We’ve almost completely rebuilt this complex from what it used to be — a little T-shaped grouping of three buildings. Now you can barely see that original structure, unless you’re look-ing at it from the air. But the development of this complex has enabled us to continue to grow and serve our mission.”

Outside of work, Brunson enjoys lis-tening to music; he’s especially embraced the blues since coming to Mississippi.

He is a father to three daughters: Christin, an attorney in health law; Chel-sea, who is pursuing a nursing degree at Belhaven University; and Claudia, a soph-omore in sports journalism at Millsaps Col-lege.

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Page 3: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m FEBRUARY 2015 > 3

By JULIE PARKER

HATTIESBURG – When Beverly Smallwood, PhD, was making the rounds discussing her candidly written book and video training program, This Wasn’t Sup-posed to Happen to Me: 10 Make or Break Choices When Life Steals Your Dreams and Rocks Your World, based on many adver-sities she and others had overcome, she admittedly thought most of her woes were behind her.

However, life stopped Smallwood in her tracks on Aug. 25, 2014, a typical Monday packed with clinical client ap-pointments.

“I’d received a call from the jail of a neighboring county, asking if I could come and evaluate an inmate that was causing all kinds of problems by behav-iors as extreme as smearing feces on the wall,” recalled Smallwood, a psychologist specializing in counseling trauma survi-vors. “As you might imagine, they were quite eager to get him transferred to a hospital for mental treatment. I agreed to help.”

Around 5:45 pm, Smallwood was in the midst of the 30-minute journey on a state high-way, traveling 55 mph in the right lane.

“Suddenly, there was a loud crash, the sound of breaking glass, and chaos as the car was tossed this way and that,” she recalled. “Then the vehicle came to a stop, smoke coming into the car. The airbags were all deployed, and my seatbelt was still in-tact.”

Smallwood’s Nissan Murano was totaled; the Jaws of Life were needed to pry her from the twisted metal. Her left hip was broken in two places, along with other painful injuries that would keep her in the hospital for fi ve weeks.

Smallwood later learned a woman driver with only minimal liability insur-ance had sped across two lanes from the opposite side, never slowed down in the median, and plowed directly into her SUV.

“That was the beginning, but not the end of the ordeal,” recalled Smallwood, who endured surgery and had begun the lengthy rehabilitation process when another family tragedy occurred. “Ten days after my accident, the unthinkable and unimaginable happened. My beloved oldest grandchild, Joseph, committed sui-cide. It was a total shock. Joseph was a wonderful Christian boy who’d never given his parents a minute’s trouble.”

In addition to the unspeakable grief of losing her grandson, Smallwood felt the additional pain of being unable to be there to comfort her daughter, Amy,

son-in-law and Joseph’s two brothers.

“The shock, grief, and every emotion in the human psyche have been almost unbearable,” she said. “But I knew that I had purpose and that I still had work to do. So I hung on.”

Then, just be-fore Christmas, Smallwood’s fam-ily suffered another devastating loss when news broke that her former brother-in-law had been found dead, apparently from foul play. At press time, the case remains under investigation.

“In all of these experiences, I’ve had to be absolutely in submission to and dependence on God and to put the ‘10 Choices’ to work as never before,” said Smallwood. She still uses a walker and a cane to move around, just returned to the driver’s seat in December, remains unable to sit for more than 45 minutes without signifi cant pain, and refuses or minimizes potentially addictive pain medication.

“I’d experienced tragedy and trauma before in my life, and walked through horrifi c places with thousands of others in my clinical practice at The Hope Center and in my seminar audiences,” she said. “But these experiences, piled on top of each other, were defi nitely dream-stealers and world-rockers. It hasn’t been easy.”

Smallwood took her own advice and turned her worries over to a higher power.

“So many amazing things have happened that can only be attributed to

God’s mercy,” said Smallwood.

“I remember being in the hospital after

hearing the news about Joseph when

the bank called, saying I was in the hole and

needed $4,500 that day to cover overhead expenses.

I wasn’t in a position to work, obviously, so I told

the banker I’d call her back. I put the situation in God’s

hands. That afternoon, my assistant pulled a check from

t h e mail for $5,000 from a forensic case that was considerably past due. The timing! That’s just one example. It’s hap-pened over and over.”

Smallwood’s also learned afresh the power of social media. Her continuous candid and hopeful Facebook updates have received thousands of thumbs up from friends, family, and supporters.

“I’m not sure exactly where all this is taking me, but it’ll continue to center around my life’s mission to help bring out the best in people,” said Smallwood, who acknowledged the physical limitations and rehabilitation process have spurred her to consider work she might not have done otherwise. While she will still do some counseling and coaching of other therapists at The Hope Center, she’s also implementing new ways of helping peo-ple. For instance, she’ll soon co-launch an online leadership training program, Lead-ing in Good Faith, with fellow leadership ex-pert Barry Banther. Additionally, she and her daughter Amy, Joseph’s mother, will unite as consultants and team developers

with Rodan & Fields, an anti-aging skin care program developed by two world-renowned dermatologists.

“Even when you experience losses that rob you of physical abilities or impor-tant relationships, you don’t quit,” Small-wood said. “As long as you’re breathing, you have purpose. Sometimes, it just re-quires a little adjustment to fi gure out how you fulfi ll your purpose in a changed life situation.”

In the last six months, Smallwood has reached a deeper realization that every-thing in life can shift and change in an in-stant, often through no fault of one’s own.

“I can remember lying fl at of my back in that hospital bed, unable to move or get up on my own, and humbly depen-dent on healthcare workers for the most embarrassing and intimate of personal care,” she said. “I’ve found that every source of security other than God can be taken away. In my case, I lost my health, my ability to work, my independence, and even the ability to live out the strong value of family support. But I didn’t lose my faith. What you learn in the valley far surpasses what you typically learn on the mountaintop.”

Overcoming an Abundance of AdversityPopular motivational speaker and psychologist lives the meaning of “Physician, Heal Thyself”

Dr. Beverly Smallwood

son-in-law and Joseph’s two

“The shock, grief, and every emotion in the human psyche have been almost unbearable,” she said. “But I knew that I had purpose and that I

devastating loss when news broke that her former brother-in-law

“I remember being in the hospital after

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needed $4,500 cover overhead expenses.

I wasn’t in a position to work, obviously, so I told

the banker I’d call her back. I put the situation in God’s

hands. That afternoon, my assistant pulled a check from

Psychologist Beverly Smallwood, PhD, established The Hope Center in 1984 for counseling and evaluation services, and Magnetic Workplaces ™ for corporate leadership and teambuilding programs. A frequent motivational speaker, her audiences are worldwide.

Page 4: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

4 > FEBRUARY 2015 m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m

By CINDy SANDERS

After a record-setting year of mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector for 2014, a recent survey by U.S. audit, tax and advi-sory fi rm KPMG LLP indicates 2015 will offer more of the same.

A number of considerations rang-ing from cash-rich balance sheets to changing business models driven by the Affordable Care Act to easier access to capital are expected to fuel the continued feeding frenzy for those looking to enlarge their corporate footprint. Conversely, for those facing increasingly tight margins and regulatory oversight, the timing could be right to take the money and run.

“We are seeing a convergence of fac-tors facing providers, health plans, and drug and device makers that are forc-ing them to make tough decisions about strategy,” noted Bill Baker, the national partner in charge of transaction services for KPMG’s Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice. He added those hard decisions sometimes include selling their business or practice.

Texas-based Baker, continued, “Technology, regulation, consumerism and pushback from employers and gov-ernment payers are reshaping all facets of healthcare, forcing companies to review all of their options. The capital markets – low interest rates and strong valuations – are creating favorable conditions for those considering selling or divesting assets.”

The Year That WasThe Associated Press recently re-

ported 2014 was one of the most active years for healthcare M&A activity in the last decade. KPMG noted that through the fi rst three quarters of 2014, deal value

across all industry sectors reached nearly $1 trillion, returning the United States to pre-recession levels.

Irving Levin Associates, a leading healthcare market intelligence fi rm based in Connecticut, seconded the sentiment with data showing similar transaction in-creases specifi c to the healthcare industry. In nine of 13 healthcare industry sectors, there were an increased number of deals for 2014 in comparison to 2013. Through Dec. 19, 2014, Levin’s The Health Care M&A Information Source had captured 1,208 deals across healthcare, which was an increase of 17 percent over 2013. Spending also was up signifi cantly for deals in 2014 v. 2013 at $386 billion com-pared to $163 billion.

Leading the way in transactions was eHealth (up 65 percent in 2014) and bio-technology (up 50 percent). Long-term care, managed care, pharmaceuticals, rehabilitation and other services also had double digit increases in deal activity for 2014 over 2013.

Behavioral health and medical de-vices had more modest gains at 6 percent and 4 percent, respectively. However, transactions are anticipated to be strong in the coming year. Nashville-based Aca-dia Healthcare led the way in the behav-

ioral health market with a fourth quarter announcement the company would

purchase CRC Health Group out of Cupertino, Calif., which has more than 140 programs treating 44,000

patients daily. The transaction, es-timated to be valued at nearly $1.2 billion, is expected to close in the fi rst

quarter of 2015.

2015 M&A Outlook SurveyLooking ahead, KPMG, in collabora-

tion with SourceMedia’s Research Practice Group (publisher of Mergers & Acquisi-tions), surveyed 738 M&A professionals in the United States last fall about anticipated activity across a broad spectrum of indus-tries. Survey participants work in senior management at companies advising an array of industries including healthcare, energy, financial services, technology, manufacturing, and consumer products.

Of those surveyed, a full 82 percent said they were planning at least one ac-quisition in 2015 and 10 percent said they expected to do 11 or more deals this com-ing year. Perhaps not surprisingly, deals touching the healthcare industry, which is in the midst of transformative change, were predicted to lead the way with 84 percent of the experts saying they expected heavy healthcare activity.

Almost half of respondents (47 per-cent) expect technology companies, including those tied to the healthcare in-dustry, to be the most active individual in-dustry sector for mergers and acquisitions. Coming in second, nearly one-third of the professionals anticipate pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to be the most active M&A sector in 2015. Expiring patents for a number of leading drugs plus the need to hone product portfolios to build ‘fran-chises in key treatment categories’ are two

factors behind the anticipated jump in ac-tivity for the pharma/biotech industry.

Additionally, 27 percent of the experts think healthcare providers are ripe for con-solidation and cited forces tied to the ACA as being the primary driver of such moves. However, regulatory factors are expected to play an increasingly prominent role in decision-making on the front end consider-ing the Federal Trade Commission’s scru-tiny of several large deals last year.

Among those being surveyed, some due diligence issues were seen as a big-ger factor within the healthcare industry than in other sectors. In addition to how a merger or acquisition might impact the competitive landscape, healthcare pro-viders also are perceived as being more concerned about cultural shifts when join-ing forces. The experts cited the cultural assessment as being a larger factor for healthcare companies in comparison to all industries (32 percent v. 28 percent).

“Mergers and acquisitions are never easy for everyone involved,” Baker pointed out. He added that negotiating a favor-able and mutually acceptable transaction is just the fi rst step. “Managing the vari-ous stakeholders of ownership, employees, customers and vendors during an integra-tion process can be daunting … and, if not executed properly, can destroy the very benefi ts the transaction was modeled on generating,” Baker said.

Another due diligence issue expected to factor prominently in healthcare transac-tions is volatility of future revenue streams, which was cited as a key issue among re-spondents for healthcare companies at a rate of 58 percent as opposed to ‘all indus-tries’ at 51 percent. Interestingly, ‘quality of earnings,’ while still a key due diligence factor for the healthcare sector, trailed in-dustry averages at 29 percent for health-care companies compared to an average of 42 percent for all industries.

Experts Predict Another Year of Robust Healthcare M&A

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Page 5: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

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YOU HAVEA PARTNERON YOURJOURNEY

By JULIE PARKER

ST. LOUIS – When Francine Kaufman, MD, was completing an endo-crinology and metabolism fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, part of the University of Southern Cali-fornia (USC) School of Medicine, she be-came intrigued with finding a clinically proven way to control blood sugar for six to nine hours for patients who have trou-ble managing blood glucose.

“During my fellowship in the late 1970s, I watched my patients with diabetes convert from having a tremendous amount of high glucose all the time to experiencing sig-nificant hypoglycemia,” said Kaufman, a world-renowned pediatric endocrinologist and for-mer president of the American Diabetes Association. “Back then, we didn’t have evidence that showed how controlling glu-

cose even mattered. It wasn’t scientifically validated until 1993.”

Also in the early 1990s, scientists were beginning to use uncooked cornstarch to treat glycogen storage disease, a very rare ailment in which glucose values cannot be controlled because the liver blocks stored glucose from being released.

“Children with glycogen storage dis-ease are profoundly hypoglycemic all the time,” she said. “We were feeding them grams and grams of cornstarch four to six times a day. So I began thinking there must be some way to use a little bit of very complex starch to be slowly released in combination with protein.”

In the late 1990s, when final evidence validating the importance of controlling glucose was published, Kaufman began experimenting in her own kitchen to come up with a complex carbohydrate formula in food form for diabetes and weight man-agement.

“I thought many of my patients didn’t have adequate meat or dairy pro-tein, so I embraced an alternate form,”

said Kaufman, an early advocate of soy protein.

The first food product she developed, adding protein to the sugar-free pudding concept, was something her children jok-ingly called a “vanilla pudding brick.” The key ingredient was uncooked corn starch, a low-glycemic carbohydrate that metabolizes slowly and helps to control blood sugar for longer than anything else on the market.

“The cornstarch made it quite thick,” she said, with a good-natured laugh. “At that point, I wasn’t concerned much about taste. To me, it was just a big sci-ence project. A bonus was that my family learned I could cook, which nobody really believed!”

That “vanilla pudding brick” served as an “a-ha” moment for Kaufman, who recognized that using a more mature and scientifically validated formula could translate to mass production.

Kaufman received assistance through USC’s commercialization program on securing patents and worked on scien-

tifically validating the product. Kaufman also teamed up with a former Eli Lilly as-sociate, who saw the potential for launch-ing the product nationwide, even though the marketplace was quickly becoming flooded with “nutrition bars.” Together, they established Extend Nutrition and collaborated with food scientists to final-ize the formula, find the correct level of heat to cook the cornstarch, and prepare the products for mass production.

One problem lingered: how to im-prove the taste.

“Stevia was a great idea for us, as well as adding some vitamins to the gluten-free product,” said Kaufman.

Today, Extend Nutrition features four product categories: bars, crisps, drizzles and shakes. Last November, the company rolled out two new products in tandem with National Diabetes Month:

Blood Sugar Control: From Kitchen Experiment to Commercial SuccessWorld-renowned endocrinologist and former ADA president finds mainstream success with St. Louis-based Extend Nutrition

Dr. Francine Kaufman

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 6)

Page 6: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

6 > FEBRUARY 2015 m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m

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pared to 7.3 per 1,000 births for whites. Premature and underweight births are also disproportionate problems among African Americans.

Through the current project, MDH is giving the graduate sorority chapters train-ing and guidance as they implement work plans for hosting engaging, educational events in their community. The message they’re to deliver is distilled into four key areas: Folic acid intake, safe sleep habits, breastfeeding, and healthy weight manage-ment before, during and after pregnancy.

The MDH kicked off the project in October, hosting chapter leaders from across the state at the Hilton Hotel in Jack-son. There, the project was presented and the groups were invited to take part. Funch-ess said the women embraced the effort.

“Some of the information was new, and some of it was not new,” she said. “You might know someone who lost a baby, but you didn’t appreciate the magnitude of how infant mortality impacts the African-American community in our state. They were glad to be on board.”

During the first quarter of 2015, MDH is providing training to chapters across the state. Its first priority is the three state health districts with the highest rates of infant mortality: IV, in northeast Missis-sippi; VII, in southwest Mississippi; and IX, on the Gulf Coast.

The program in those districts is being covered through a $25,000 grant from the March of Dimes. Leveraging other grant funds, training sessions for groups in the remaining districts are being scheduled through March.

The concept of Mississippi Sisters United is borrowed from Arkansas, where a similar program has had success.

“The beauty of public health is that sometimes you can just replicate things that have worked well in other states,” Funchess

said. The effort applies the public-health

concept of social diffusion, she said.“If people are well-respected in their

community, they’re the best people to give information to,” she said. “If they’re looked up to, they will be better able to deliver that information, as opposed to healthcare pro-viders or the state having a conference. In this case, these women are used to giving educational information in their commu-nities, and the younger women look up to them.”

Among African-American sororities, members stay involved more deeply after college graduation than their counterparts from white sororities. The sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta and Sigma Gamma Rho main-tain active graduate chapters which spon-sor events in their communities.

“These sororities have the capability to come together and really have one voice penetrating their communities with these four messages,” Funchess said. “Women stay active in their sororities, even at 40, 50 or 60 years old. This project is a natural fit, because many of the graduate chapters already have a health committee and put on community events.”

As part of the resources they’re being given, each chapter will receive a video produced by MDH which features female African-American physicians giving de-tailed information about the four message areas, such as what folic acid is and why it’s a critical supplement for pregnant women.

After MDH representatives complete the training sessions around the state, the chapters will work to implement their plans over the course of the year.

“Their activities may include commu-nity baby showers or other engaging events where they can deliver this information,” Funchess said.

Packaging important messages in a way that’s culturally sensitive and easy to understand is critical to their being heard, she said. For many physicians, the culture gap between their experience and that of patients can keep important messages from getting through.

“Everybody can’t go out and buy a crib, but the most important thing is that the baby is not sleeping with them,” Funch-ess said. “You can talk through other op-tions like bringing a bassinet by their bed.”

Established in 2003, the MDH Office of Health Disparity Elimination focuses on health education, health screenings, and reducing health communication barriers in public health service areas.

MDH Taps African-American Sorority Graduate, continued from page 1

To connect African-American patients in your area with a Mississippi Sisters United event happening nearby, contact the MDH Office of Health Disparity Elimination at 601-206-1540. You can also request a copy of the educational video, or view and share it at healthyms.com/pregnancy.

all-natural protein bars- chocolate and caramel, and cookies and cream flavors. The bars contain 130-140 calories, 22 carbs, and 10 grams of protein.

“Our new formula is better than any-thing we’ve ever done,” she noted.

As a result of six clinical studies and 17 international patents, Extend Nutrition products have been verified and proven to be effective in helping to control blood sugar and limit hunger. The products are now available through Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Publix, CVS Pharmacy and other national chains. The products are also on-line at online at Amazon.com and directly from www.ExtendBar.com.

Medical and healthcare professionals can contact the company at 1-800-887-2919 or email [email protected] to receive samples.

“We’re always in discovery,” said Kaufman, who’s been very pleased with the results. “A good company never runs on their laurels.”

Blood Sugar, continued from page 5

H E R S O U T H . C O M

L O V E ?N E E D A G I F T S H E W I L L

Page 7: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m FEBRUARY 2015 > 7

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MS SW130271 MS Med News.indd 1 3/11/13 2:50 PM

By CINDy SANDERS

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that there is a major divide between what Americans should do and what is currently being done when it comes adopting healthy cardiovascular lifestyle habits.

Based on data from the Framingham Heart Study – the landmark research project founded in 1948 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – a re-cent multi-institutional study found few in the United States hit the mark … or even come close … in terms of scoring well on the American Heart Association Cardio-vascular Health score (CVH score).

“Ideal Cardiovascular Health: Asso-ciations with Biomarkers and Subclinical Disease and Impact on Incidence of Cardiovascular Dis-ease in the Framingham Offspring Study,” which initially published online in Circulation late last fall, investigated the correla-tion between the seven lifestyle factors used to calculate the CVH score and cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence. Multiple past epidemiological studies have shown the correlation be-tween the risk factors and cardiovascular

events.The seven factors used collectively

to calculate the CVH score are: 1) non-smoking status, 2) body mass index, 3) physical activity, 4) diet, and a favorable profile of 5) serum cholesterol, 6) blood pressure, and 7) blood glucose.

“The better your score, the lower your cardiovascular risk as evidenced by less subclinical atherosclerosis and a lower risk of future cardiovascular events,” noted Thomas J. Wang, MD, director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and physician-in-chief for the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute in Nashville and a co-author of the study.

“We know a lot of the health prac-tices that are associated with better car-diovascular outcomes, but there seems to be a disconnect,” added the professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medi-cal Center.

Of the main findings, Wang contin-ued, “The number of individuals who had ideal cardiovascular health scores was low meaning the number of individuals who adhered to five or more of these healthy lifestyle practices was low.”

In fact, he added, only 1 percent of the Framingham participants included in the data (mean age 58 years; 55 percent women, no overt signs of CVD) had opti-

mal marks for all seven. “Fortunately, hav-ing zero healthy lifestyle practices was also uncommon at about 1 percent of people. Most people did at least one thing asso-ciated with good cardiovascular health,” Wang said.

However, more than 8 percent did fail to meet the ideal CVH score for at least six of the seven lifestyle factors. “The vast majority of people were at four and below … 18 percent fell between five and seven,” he continued of scoring well on the seven benchmarks.

“The fact that such a small number of people actually meet all of the cardio-vascular health criteria highlights that there is still a big gap with current lifestyle practices,” he stated.

The group studied originated with the Framingham Offspring cohort par-ticipants attending the sixth examination cycle (1995-1998) when a routine assess-ment of subclinical disease was performed along with assays of multiple biomarkers. From the original group of 3,532 potential participants, more than 850 were excluded for a variety of reasons ranging from prev-alent CVD to unavailable concentrations of biomarkers. While Wang said none of the final sample of 2,680 participants had overt heart disease at the beginning of the study, during the 15 years the cohort was

followed after the baseline examination, a significant number of them developed car-diovascular events. He noted those who developed a CVD event tended to have lower CVH scores at baseline.

“I think people feel as if we’re mak-ing a lot of progress with cardiovascular disease, which is true … but it’s still the number one cause of death in America,” Wang stressed.

“Physicians could probably do a better job of encouraging their patients to adhere to these healthy practices and give them strategies for adherence, and patients need to do a better job of adher-ing to them. I think, as with all things in medicine, it is a joint effort,” Wang said.

While the study findings might seem intuitive to some extent, Wang pointed out, “It is important to continually remind physicians about the fundamental impor-tance of healthy lifestyle factors in lower-ing the risk of cardiovascular events.” He added, “It also serves as motivation for the scientific community to better understand the biological mechanisms linking lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise to lower cardiovascular risk.”

Wang recognized medical interac-tions occur in very tight timeframes these days, which makes it difficult for provid-

Affairs of the HeartAmericans & Cardiovascular Health

Dr. Thomas J. Wang

(CONTINUED ON PAGE 8)

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8 > FEBRUARY 2015 m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m

How We Stack Up on the Seven CVH Score Factors

According to recent American Heart Association statistics, there is a great deal of work to do to improve ‘Life’s Simple 7’ … the seven key health factors and behaviors that increase risk for heart disease and stroke. Below is a sample of key fi ndings from the latest statistical update.

SmokingWorldwide, tobacco smoking and secondhand smoke was one of the top

three leading risk factors for disease and contributed to an estimated 6.2 million deaths in 2010.

Despite improvements in smoking rates and education, 16 percent of students grades 9-12 report being current smokers. Among adults, 20 percent of men and 16 percent of women are current smokers.

Physical ActivityAlmost one-third of adults in the United States, 31 percent, report

participating in no leisure time physical activity.Among students 9-12, only about 27 percent meet the AHA

recommendation of 60 minutes of exercise every day.

Healthy DietLess than 1 percent of American adults meet the AHA’s defi nition of ‘ideal

healthy diet’ and essentially no children met the defi nition. Increasing whole grains and reducing sodium remain two of the biggest challenges.

Research between 1971 and 2004 showed American women consumed an average of 22 percent more calories and men an average of 10 percent more by the end of that time frame.

Overweight & ObesityMore than 159 million U.S. adults … 69 percent … are overweight or obese.Additionally, nearly one-third of American children … 32 percent … are

overweight or obese with about 24 million being classifi ed as overweight and 13 million as clinically obese.

CholesterolAbout 43 percent of Americans have total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or

higher, and about 13 percent of Americans have total cholesterol over 240 mg/dL.

About 33 percent of Americans have high levels of LDL and around 20 percent have low levels of HDL.

High Blood PressureAbout 80 million U.S. adults, or 33 percent, have high blood pressure. Of

those, about 77 percent are using antihypertensive medication(s) but only about 54 percent have their condition controlled.

Hypertension is projected to increase by about 8 percent by 2030.Rates of high blood pressure in African-Americans are among the highest of

any population in the world. In the United States, 46 percent of African-American women and 45 percent of African-American men have high blood pressure.

Blood Sugar/DiabetesAbout 21 million Americans … or nearly 9 percent of the adult population …

have diagnosed diabetes. Another 35 percent of Americans have pre-diabetes.

“I’m very optimis-tic about how Missis-sippians will receive this program,” said Richard Guynes, MD, an inter-ventional cardiologist with Jackson Heart and chief of staff at St. Domi-nic’s.

“The patients I’ve been talking to are very intrigued,” Guynes said. “We’re still a rural state, and very much tied to our Southern traditions. But this program has been implemented as far south as West Virginia, and no state has failed yet.

“We may be trying to do healthier things with grits than they are in Oregon or Vermont, but our patients will be learn-ing about broccoli and kale as well.”

The program is being offered through Nashville, Tenn.-based Healthways Inc., which partnered with Ornish to implement the program in medical centers around the country.

The program offers a substitute for traditional cardiac rehabilitation, which typically provides some exercise sessions over 30 to 90 days with minimal counsel-ing and little structure, Guynes said.

In contrast, patients in the Ornish pro-gram take part in a structured nine-week program that involves two four-hour ses-sions each week. Each session includes ex-ercise, a plant-based meal, a group support meeting and a stress-reduction class.

The program cites outstanding results in both participant engagement and clini-cal outcomes. In one study involving more than 3,500 patients at 24 sites, the severity of angina improved in 96.5 percent of par-ticipants after one year. In addition, 85 to

90 percent of patients were still adhering to the program a year later.

In another study, there was reversal in coronary artery disease after one year and even more reversal after fi ve years. Overall, 99 percent of patients stopped or reversed the progression of their heart disease, and there was a 300 percent overall improvement in blood fl ow to the heart.

According to Ornish, studies show that patients’ results correlate directly to how much they adjust their lifestyle, even in older patients and those with advanced heart disease.

“Most docs believe that their patients will take a statin but will never change their lifestyle; it’s too hard,” Ornish told The Washington Post in June. “And so much of that becomes self-fulfi lling.... But if you ac-tually go through the evidence with them, say here are the risks, benefi ts, costs, side effects, of these different approaches, many people will make these changes.”

In Jackson, Guynes and colleague David Jones, MD, had been following the development of the Ornish program since 2010, when it was approved for coverage by Medicare under a new coverage cat-egory called intensive cardiac rehabilita-tion (ICR). That move – and the hope that more commercial insurances will follow suit – made programs like Ornish’s real-istic for a cardiology practice like Jackson Heart.

“Even as a big clinic, we haven’t had the resources to have a dietician on staff, because there’s no reimbursement for that,” Guynes said. “Meanwhile, the doc-tors and nurse practitioners are just getting busier. When you have 10 to 15 minutes per patient, you don’t have the time to ef-fect this change and do what needs to be done.”

The program is covered for the same Medicare patients who would receive cov-erage for traditional cardiac rehabilitation: Those who have been hospitalized for a heart attack, angioplasty, bypass surgery or cardiac valve surgery, or who have stable angina (chest pain).

As reimbursement opened the door for Ornish and Healthways to begin taking the program nationwide, Guynes contacted the program repeatedly to express interest. His persistence paid off when St. Dominic’s

was selected in mid-2014 among a handful of the fi rst institutions to become certifi ed through the program.

Since then, the implementation pro-cess has included both hiring new staff — program director Sean Maily along with a dietician and certifi ed yoga instructor — as well as training sessions for existing staff at Ornish’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif. The program’s staff includes Guynes as medical director and Jones as group therapist, along with the clinic’s existing exercise physiologist, RN and food service personnel.

Patients at St. Dominic’s can choose between traditional and advanced cardiac

rehabilitation programs. The only group being automatically excluded from the advanced Ornish program are those who fl atly refuse to quit smoking.

Guynes is hopeful that Blue Cross Blue Shield and other commercial insurers in Mississippi will follow Medicare’s lead in covering the program, and that hospital ad-ministrators around the state will also note what a lifestyle program can save them in terms of readmissions.

“It’s good for Mississippians and will cut our costs quickly and sustainably,” he said. “It’s really a game-changer in that we’re fi nally able to teach and help patients address the root of the problem.”

St. Dominic’s Introduces Ornish Program for, continued from page 1

ers to cover the full spectrum of useful information with patients. However, he noted, there are a number of organiza-tions at the national level – including the American Heart Association and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – that offer excellent tools and resources that can be printed or accessed online to help patients better understand the importance of healthy lifestyle strategies.

“It’s clear that a better lifestyle would not just be associated with better cardio-vascular outcomes but also with less death from cancer and other diseases, as well,” Wang concluded of the critical need to change American habits.

Affairs, continued from page 7

Dr. Richard Guynes

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AHA Releases Updated Worldwide, U.S. Heart & Stroke Statistics

Last December, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association released updated heart and stroke statistics in the United States … and, for the fi rst time in the 50 years such information has been provided, added a global perspective with health data compiled from nearly 200 countries.

Key fi ndings from “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2015 Update” include:

Heart disease remains the No. 1 global cause of death with 17.3 million deaths annually. The annual death toll is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to the report.

Stroke, which has fallen to the No. 4 cause of death in the United States, remains the No. 2 cause of death in the world. Although the number of deaths per 100,000 declined worldwide between 1990 and 2010, the number of people having a fi rst or recurrent stroke increased each year, reaching 33 million in 2010.

In the United States, nearly 787,000 people died from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in 2011. Nearly 2,150 Americans die daily from cardiovascular diseases … or one person every 40 seconds … accounting for approximately 1 in every 3 deaths in this country.

Additionally, about 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

The AHA estimates direct and indirect costs of CVD and stroke in this country to be more than $320 billion.

Breaking heart disease out separately from stroke in America, heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States with more than 375,000 dying annually … or about one person every 90 seconds.

Nearly half of all African-Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and more than 39,000 died from heart disease in 2011.

On the plus side, the death rate from heart disease fell about 39 percent between 2001 and 2011. The physical and cost burden, however, remain incredibly high. About 735,000 people in America have heart attacks each year (accounting for approximately 120,000 deaths), and cardiovascular procedures and operations increased around 28 percent between 2000 to 2010.

By JULIE PARKER

Five years ago, the 400-bed Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Florida faced a crush of Medicare audits and penalties. The 47-year-old, not-for-profi t hospital made a signifi cant change resulting in a complete turnaround by employing an en-tity with which many healthcare providers remain unfamiliar: the health information handler (HIH).

“According to hospital offi cials there, the previous process had been cum-bersome, and meant printing, sorting, packaging and mailing documents to Medicare to support claims and to adjudicate their bills,” said Lindy Benton, CEO of Norcross, Ga.-based Medical Electronic At-t a c h m e n t / N a t i o n a l Electronic Attachment (MEA/NEA), a certi-fi ed HIH that has electronically deliv-ered and tracked patient medical records for healthcare providers nationwide via CONNECT, an open source health in-formation exchange software that serves as the National Health Information Net-work’s (NwHIN) transmission mode for esMD (electronic submission of medical documentation). “Since one patient re-cord can fi ll a box or more, hospitals are left paying for all materials, labor and shipping involved … enormous fi nancial considerations for every organization.”

Because the Boca Raton hospital is now able to submit documents electroni-cally via an HIH, the Medicare audit process has dramatically improved and denials related to untimely submission of records have disappeared entirely, Benton noted.

Benton explains: “For example, Medicare allows 45 days from the date of request for hospitals to respond, but Medi-care still sends documentation requests by paper. Typically, by the time the request arrives at the proper hospital department, more than 10 days has elapsed. Manag-ing the entire process requires a very strict time requirement and hospitals often fail to return records to Medicare on time, which blocks hospitals from making ap-peals. By automating the process and se-curely depositing electronic attachments to Medicare’s offi cial information portal, Boca Raton Regional Hospital has pre-vented the loss of at least $350,000.”

What exactly is a health information handler?

The Centers for Medicare & Medic-aid Services (CMS), which manages the HIH program, defi nes an HIH as “any organization that handles health informa-

tion on behalf of a provider.” HIHs are often referenced as claim clearinghouses, release of information vendors, and health information exchanges (HIEs), and most also provide esMD gateway services.

“esMD is still a work in progress, an ongoing experiment, spearheaded by CMS to support electronic exchange of information between health systems and Medicare audit contractors,” explained Benton. “Prior to esMD, providers had just two ways in which to respond to docu-mentation requests from Medicare review audit contractors – mail or fax. esMD fi xed that problem.”

The esMD gateway isn’t set up like a typical website, Benton pointed out.

“Not everyone wanting to submit information via the gateway can simply jump on, upload fi les and press the ‘send’ button,” she noted. “To interact with CMS through esMD, organizations need access to the portal. The gateways are costly to develop and maintain so hospitals and providers turn to HIHs to facilitate the exchange process. HIHs build and service an esMD gateway for multiple provider participants and submit electronic docu-mentation on a provider’s behalf. As more providers use HIHs to simplify their audit processes, electronic health information exchange also will increase in usability.”

Slated improvements are poised to further streamline this process. The HIH program has been effective for more than three years – phase 1 went into effect on Sept. 15, 2011 – and phase 2 will allow providers the ability to receive electronic documentation requests when their claims are selected for review … when CMS launches it.

“From a business and enterprise per-spective, the move by CMS to launch the program has meant the growth of a num-ber of HIH fi rms like ours that offer a vari-ety of services and skill sets,” said Benton. “In addition to providing exchange capa-bilities, some allow for capture of informa-tion, scanning, storage and transmission in a secure manner. The HIHs also track data sent, and acknowledge and verify that it’s been received by auditors through the gateway … are considered business asso-ciates of the organizations they serve, and are required by CMS to follow HIPAA rules.”

Challenges remain, emphasized Ben-ton.

“There are hurdles to widespread im-plementation as hospitals resist using the solutions because they’re overwhelmed with current technology,” she said. “They’re already so invested in other proj-ects that many are unable to see the bene-fi ts of bringing on additional solutions and being able to exchange information with

CMS. A prevailing thought is that those managing hospital IT departments simply are overwhelmed and growing ever more nonchalant about the idea that technology is going to save them or their employers any more than already has been promised.

“In fact, recent reports have begun to surface claiming that CIOs at struggling health systems have little faith that new technologies, on top of recently imple-mented systems like EHRs, will do much good for them since these other solutions – the EHRs – had such little positive effect on their organizations’ bottom lines. Sim-ply put, they’re sensing a bit of personal doom and growing tired of all the hype. It’s unfortunate.”

Also, for payers, despite the obvious benefi ts of encouraging HIH relationships with physicians, esMD and electronic ex-change aren’t top priority, considering all the issues being managed, including the current federal insurance overhaul.

“Perhaps time will change this, but for the foreseeable future, esMD isn’t likely to gain the traction it needs to become an industry standard,” observed Benton. “What’s fortunate is that service providers like HIHs are having a positive impact on the healthcare environment and are bring-ing down some pretty mighty horses, while also helping bring about better workfl ows, improved effi ciencies and increased profi t-ability. Despite the lack of awareness sur-rounding these healthcare partners and their impact across the sector, many are still unaware of HIHs’ purpose and the very term by which they’re defi ned.”

Benefi tting from ‘Health Information Handlers’The not-so-new role is gaining traction, as time and money savings highlight submissions process

Lindy Benton

Page 10: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

10 > FEBRUARY 2015 m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m

Dr. W. Darrell Burnham Memorial Scholarship Fund

In memory of W. Darrell Burnham, MD, a memorial scholarship has been es-tablished through the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation. The purpose of the Darrell Burnham Memorial Scholar-ship is to provide an annual scholarship to a deserving graduate from Forrest, Jones or Lamar County who will be majoring in math or engineering. First preference will be given to students going to Missis-sippi State University or The University of Southern Mississippi.

The recipient will be an individu-al graduating with a sound record of achievement in his or her studies and of outstanding school citizenship. This an-nual award will also recognize leadership ability by selecting a graduate who has taken initiative in school activities and/or organizations that contribute to an im-proved quality of life for the greater com-munity. This scholarship will be awarded in May of each year.

Those wishing to contribute to the foundation can submit donation checks to The Greater Pine Belt Community Foun-dation. “Dr. Darrell Burnham Scholarship” should be written in the notes section. The foundation is a 501(c)3. Therefore, all donations will be 100 percent tax-deduct-ible. For more information, contact the foundation at [email protected].

SRHS Continues Its Support Of Health Science Programs

Singing River Health System (SRHS) is once again involved in supporting the Health Science Programs in seven local area high schools. This effort has been ongoing over the last ten years or more. As students begin to think about their future careers, healthcare remains one of the most popular choices.

Health Science classes are designed to explore the health care field, the basic health sciences, and skills in both labora-tory and clinical procedures. Upon suc-cessful completion of the two-year pro-gram, the student will be competent as a general health assistant and better able to make a choice of a health occupation.

Lana Robinson, Manager of Physician Recruitment for SRHS for the last 20 years and new SRHS Coordinator of Health Sci-ence Programs, is excited by the number of young people who are showing an in-terest in medicine.

SRHS is pleased to support the Health Science programs at high schools in St. Martin, Vancleave, Gautier, Pasca-goula, Moss Point, Ocean Springs, and Hurley. At the beginning of each school year, SRHS provides an Orientation Ses-sion at each of the individual schools. Such topics as HIPAA regulations, dress codes, ethics, and sensitivity to patient privacy are covered by professionals from the Human Resources and Compliance Departments at SRHS. The Physician Re-cruitment Department also gives an over-

view on a variety of topics to let students know what an impact they can have on their communities if they follow a career path into medicine.

Following the orientation session, students are given a quiz based on the presentation by hospital personnel. Af-ter meeting other criteria, second-year Health Science students are then allowed to shadow individually in various depart-ments throughout Singing River Hospital or Ocean Springs Hospital to gain a more in-depth knowledge of each area of ex-cellence. First-year students are given department tours in groups by their in-structors and have the opportunity to gain a broader knowledge of career paths in nursing, various therapies, and many oth-er disciplines. The students are allowed to ask questions about career choices, what staff members feel are the rewards of each area, what impact they are having in the recovery of patients, and even what the down side is of each profession. Stu-dents use this information to help guide them in making their choice about “what they want to be when they grow up”.

On February 24, 2015, SRHS will be hosting its 13th Annual Healthcare Career Fair at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Pascagoula. Students from as many as 25 different schools and Career and Techni-cal Centers are invited to participate.

For more information about the Health Care Career Fair, call Lana Robin-son at 228-818-4010.

Baptist Golden Triangle approved For larger operating rooms, pharmacy relocation

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle has received approval from the State Department of Health for an $8.9 million construction/renovation project that includes enlarging one operating room and replacing two small existing rooms with larger ones.

The three larger operating rooms are needed to accommodate equipment such as the

da Vinci SI Robot now being used by more staff physicians and the special ta-ble used for spine surgery, said Assistant Administrator Bill Lancaster.

The project will not change the total number of operating rooms from the cur-rent 10, Lancaster explained.

The project also includes relocating the existing inpatient pharmacy, now ad-jacent to the surgery suites on the second floor to make way for the two replace-ment operating rooms and the enlarged room. The pharmacy will be moved to ex-isting shell space on the first floor of the Patient Tower.

The project will be done in phases, beginning with moving the existing phar-macy in early 2015 and will take 18 to 24 months to complete, Lancaster said.

System Launched to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes

COR Medical Technologies (COR) has introduced CORcare™, a comprehensive instant outcome support system for rapid and accurate diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up management of patients with acute and chronic, common and rare dis-eases involving the cardiovascular system. It was developed by Vincent Friedewald, M.D., F.A.C.C., with the support of an internationally-acclaimed Senior Editorial Board. COR is a vast, one-of-a-kind rela-tional database comprising thousands of signs and symptoms, imaging findings, laboratory abnormalities, electrocardio-graphic results, body area networking (BAN) measures, and genomics, as well as drugs and devices used for treatment.

CORcare is available to healthcare professionals on a variety of technology platforms including mobile devices. Tar-geted users of CORcare include physi-cians, emergency medical technicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, physician groups, hospitals, and academic institutions and their students.

CORcare helps healthcare profes-sionals consider all possible conditions associated with any single or combination of clinical features for rapid assistance in differential diagnosis and narrowing down to the final diagnosis. CORcare is the first system to embed ACCF/AHA Guidelines specific to data points within each condition, providing instant graded opinions of leading authorities. This fea-ture fully supports and uses the “Guide-line Directed Medical Therapy (GDMT)” initiative of the AHA and ACC.

Also based on ACCF/AHA Guidelines, CORcare provides order sets for many of the common conditions, a feature proven to reduce physician ordering time by up to 50 percent. After diagnoses and manage-ment strategies are in place, CORcare pro-vides a secure platform for patient follow-up – called MyCOR™ – which includes tools to improve medication adherence and other telemedicine functions.

Details on membership pack-ages and features is available at www.cormedtec.com/pricing-setup.

Dr. Gail Farrar Returns to Long Beach Clinic

GULFPORT — Memorial Physician Clinics is pleased to announce Dr. Gail Farrar, Internal Medicine, is now seeing patients in Long Beach.

Dr. Farrar earned her MD and completed a resi-dency in internal medicine at the University of Mis-sissippi Medical Center in Jackson. She completed a fellowship in Family Practice and Pathology at the Uni-versity of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock and an Internal Medicine Internship at Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Anto-nio, Texas. Dr. Farrar is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

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Dr. Gail Farrar

GrandRounds

Page 11: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

m i s s i s s i p p i m e d i c a l n e w s . c o m FEBRUARY 2015 > 11

GrandRounds

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CardiovascularMSMedicalNews4.875x13.indd 1 11/21/14 11:21 AM

North Mississippi Patients Play Major Role in Worldwide Drug StudyNorth Mississippi patients are well represented in a worldwide study comparing

cholesterol-lowering drugs, the results of which were shared in a November session hosted by the American Heart Association.

IMPROVE-IT spanned nine years and involved 18,000 participants from approxi-mately 1,500 hospitals around the world. The study compared two drugs, ezetimibe/simvastatin combination (sold as Vytorin®) and simvastatin (sold as Zocor®) to see how well each can lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Cardiology Associates of North Mississippi was the top enroller in the United States with 102 participants in the study, which was approved and monitored by North Mis-sissippi Medical Center’s Institutional Review Board. The group was the second largest worldwide behind only Denmark, where 138 patients were enrolled.

The study confirms that a lower LDL—or bad—cholesterol level makes it less likely that people with coronary artery disease will develop unstable angina and heart attacks, and that combining a non-statin drug—ezetimibe—with a statin can enhance these ben-efits without increasing complications, says said Barry Bertolet, M.D., an interventional cardiologist who served as principal investigator for the local study.

According to research coordinator Marsha Jones, RN, IMPROVE-IT was the longest trial and had the largest local enrollment of any since Cardiology Associates of North Mississippi began doing research in 1997. Local participants were enrolled from Janu-ary 2006-August 2008 and followed through July 2014. The study involved patients who had recently recovered from an “acute coronary syndrome” caused when a buildup of cholesterol in one of the heart blood vessels blocks the blood and oxygen supply to part of the heart.

Members of Cardiology Associates of North Mississippi’s Research Department are (front row, from left) Laurie Harlow, RN, BSN; Tina Watts, D’Anne Richey, RN, BSN, CCRP; and Yvonne Ray; (second row, from left) Kristin Eads, RN; Marsha Jones, RN, BSN, CCRP; Debbie Roth, RN, CCRP; Ericka Hodges; and Megan Senter, RN, BSN. Angela Long, RN, also works in the department.

Tonda V. Haigler Named Chief Operating Officer

Tonda V. Haigler has been named Chief Operating Officer at Biloxi Regional Medical Center. Most re-cently, Tonda served as Chief Operating Officer at Central Mississippi Medi-cal Center in Jackson. She has served in many other administrative roles since 2007. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Execu-tives.

Haigler holds her MBA from Mis-sissippi State University in Starkville and both her master’s degree in public health and administration and bachelor of sci-ence degree from the University of South-ern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Hattiesburg Clinic Endocrinology Welcomes White

Elizabeth A. White, CNP, recently joined Hattiesburg Clinic Endocrinology as an adult nurse practitio-ner specializing in diabe-tes care.

She earned her Master of Science in nursing and a Post-Master of Science in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nurs-ing in Nashville, Tenn.

White is dual certified by the Ameri-can Nurses Credentialing Center and the National Certification Corporation. She is a member of Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners, the Mississippi Nurses Association and the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health. White joins Daniel T. McCall, IV, MD.

Tonda B. Haigler

Elizabeth A. White

Page 12: Mississippi Medical News February 2015

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