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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    SBUMC Pulse: Center for Outpatient Services, VIP Gene and 5 Million Lives Campaign!

    Center for Outpatient Services

    Mar. 23 marked the opening of SBUMC’s new Center for Outpatient Services. This 65,000 square foot facility located next to the Ambulatory Surgery Center on the SBUMC campus offers a host of different, specialty services and aims to serve as a ‘one-stop resource’ for all its patients.

    Featuring services once located all around SBUMC, the Center for Outpatient Services includes a Center for Pain management, Cancer Center, Imaging Center, Breast Care Center, Medical Oncology, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Surgical Oncology. Striving to provide patients with the best in comfort and convenience the Center also features on-site food services free valet services and parking.

    ‘This facility was designed to be efficient both clinically and architecturally,’ explains Richard N. Fine, MD, dean of the SBU School of Medicine, as quoted from a recent press release, ‘It unites outpatient care specialists under one roof for the convenience of our patients, and is equipped with the most modern technology available in the areas of diagnostic imaging, pain management and cancer care.’ Each area of the Center features spacious, quiet consultation rooms where physicians can interact with patients and their families in comfort and privacy.

    Championing efficiency, the Center for Outpatient Services provides an ‘ideal way for our medical experts to come together, share their knowledge, and to provide the best team care,’ said Steven L. Strongwater, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Stony Brook University Hospital in a recent press release.

    Stony Brook Researchers Find ‘Anti-Pulmonary Hyptertension’ Gene in Mice

    37 years after the initial discovery of the Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) gene by Sami I. Said, MD, distinguished SUNY professor, it has been identified as an ‘Anti-Pulmonary Hypertension’ gene by a team of SBUMC researchers also lead by Dr. Said. This finding may eventually have an immense impact on the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension disease (PAH). This condition which involves the activity of the VIP gene, often results in heart failure as the pressure in the pulmonary artery rises high above normal levels. According to the American Heart Association, PAH is a rare and chronic condition affecting mostly young women.

    These findings were reported in the Mar. 13 issue of Circulation in a study entitled ‘Moderate Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Male Mice Lacking the Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Gene.’ The study found that mice lacking the VIP gene developed PAH but when these mice are given VIP-replacement therapy, they exhibit fewer signs of the disease condition.

    According to Dr. Said, in a Mar.19 press release, ‘The ability of the VIP to ameliorate the pulmonary arterial hypertension pathology in these mice provides a solid rationale for its therapeutic potential in chronic human disease.’ This study along with an earlier study from the same investigative team published last year in The American Journal of Physiology, Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology continues to explore the significance of the VIP gene to pulmonary vascular pathology.

    Contributing team members include Sayyed Hamidi, M.D.; Richard Z. Lin, M.D.;Tarek Abdel-Razek, Ph.D.; Kathleen G. Dickman, Ph.D.; Anthony M. Szema, M.D., and and Smadar Kort, M.D.

    Stony Brook University Hospital to Participate in IHI’s 5 Million Lives Campaign

    During National Patient Safety Awareness Week, Stony Brook University Hospital as part of its dedication to spreading patient safety awareness committed itself to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Protecting 5 Million Lives From Harm Campaign.

    This campaign aims to reduce the number of incidences of medical harm in American hospitals. SBUH promised to aid the IHI campaign to protect patients from at least 5 million incidents of medical harm through Dec. 9, 2008, covering a 24-month period. Medical harm, according to IHI, is any unintentional physical injury caused or contributed to by medical care and that subsequently results in the need for further medical attention.

    SBUH was a successful participant in IHI’s previous patient safety initiative, Saving 100,000 Lives by saving an additional 242 lives over an 18-month period and was cited by IHI as a mentor hospital in the prevention of central line infections. Stony Brook was one of 3100 hospital nation-wide that improved patient safety conditions by saving an estimated total 122,000 additional lives over the extent of the Saving 100,000 Lives campaign. The 5 Million Lives campaign at SBUH is, in many ways, an extension of the 100,000 Lives campaign and strives to exceed its previous levels of success.

    Among the many initiatives of the 5 Million Lives campaign, according to a Mar. 9 SBUH press release, are reducing surgical complications, preventing central line and surgical site infections, preventing adverse drug events, organizing rapid response teams at the first signs of patient decline and reducing harm from high-alert medications such as insulin and anti-coagulants.

    An estimated 15 million incidents of medical harm occur annually at American hospitals. SBUH’s participation in IHI’s 5 Million Lives campaign represents its commitment to significantly reducing this number and promoting patient safety.

    In summing up the efforts of the 5 Million Lives campaign, Donald Berwick, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of IHI insisted that, ‘We can, and we will, equip all willing health care providers with the tools they need to make the motto, ‘First, do no harm,’ a reality,’ according to a recent press release.

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