Aesculapian Awards Announced

Each Spring, Aesculapian representatives nominate residents, faculty, and departments, on behalf of their peers, who have shown a true passion and dedication to teaching for the Excellence in Teaching Awards. A primary vote by the student body narrows the field to a final ballot, and then a final vote by the student body determines the winners. 

This year we would like to congratulate the following residents, faculty, and departments for winning Aesculapian Excellence in Teaching Award for 2018! They have gone above and beyond to make sure every student walks away with the knowledge and skills they need to become a great physician.

L1 Fall Semester Award – Dr. William Swartz (Cell Biology and Anatomy)

L1 Spring Semester Award – Dr. Patricia Molina (Physiology) 

L2 Fall Semester Award – Dr. Joy Sturtevant (Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology)

L2 Spring Semester Award – Dr. Taniya De Silva (Internal Medicine – Endocrinology

L3 Intern Award – Dr. Antoinette Laurel (Psychiatry)

L3 Resident/Fellow Award – Dr. Courtney Cox (Pediatrics)

L3 Staff Award – Dr. Chelsey Sandlin (Pediatrics)

L4 Intern Award – Dr. Christopher Brown (Surgery)

L4 Resident/Fellow Award – Dr. Alykhan Lalani (Vascular Surgery)

L4 Staff Award – Dr. Randy Roig (PM&R)

Junior Faculty Award – Dr. Shane Sanne (Internal Medicine)

Department Award – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

We thank you on behalf of the Aesculapian Society and student body for your tremendous impact on medical education at LSUHSC.

 

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Juzar Ali Named TB Champion

Juzar AliEarlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) issued a call for submissions of best practices and success stories from those who were making a significant contribution toward TB elimination through collaboration. Juzar Ali, M.D. (Pulmonary Critical Care & Allergy/Immunology) was nominated and was selected as a CDC U.S. TB Elimination Champion. 

As a CDC U.S. TB Elimination Champion, He is being recognized as making tremendous strides in collaborating with public health partners, health care providers, and community organizations.  His story can be read here:

https://www.ahcmedia.com/articles/59241-nih-s-tb-awards-boost-interest-and-skill

 

Welcome Newcomers! 

We’d like to extend a warm welcome to the following faculty members who have joined the School of Medicine Family between the dates April 1 – May 31, 2018! 

Ophthalmology 

  • David Fargason, M.D. – Clinical Assistant Professor

Surgery 

  • Michael Cook, M.D. – Assistant Professor, Clinical

UMC – Family Medicine 

  • Stephanie Aldret, D.O. – Clinical Assistant Professor

Camp Tiger Benefit and Auction!

SAVE THE DATE!

CAMP TIGER BENEFIT AND AUCTION
Friday, April 6, 2018
7:00 – 11:00 PM
Club XLIV, Champions Square

All proceeds go to support Camp Tiger, the annual week-long camp run by the first year medical student class for regional children.

Medical Student Art Show and Fundraiser

Join us for Art in Medicine, a visual arts show and fundraiser featuring work created by medical students, residents, and faculty, on April 21, from 7:00-9:00 PM at Hivolt (1829 Sophie Wright Place). There will be a $5 cover at the door, with food and drink provided. Entry fee and a percentage from any art sold will be donated to Hotspotters, an interprofessional organization comprised of LSU, Tulane, and Xavier students.  This organization works to help patients with a high incidence of utilizing the healthcare system determine why such high utilization occurs.  Their work focuses on working with the patients to provide care coordination, health literacy, and chronic disease management.  Any questions may be directed to Sidrah Syed (ssyed4@lsuhsc.edu) or Hillary Gary (hgary2@lsuhsc.edu).

Second Annual LGBT Health Care Symposium

Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Genetics 

LOCUS
Primary Faculty Advisor

On April 25 – 26, 2018 LSUHSC will be hosting the second annual LGBT Health Care Symposium.  Last year’s event was attended by nearly 150 people comprised of members of the health sciences center who were joined by nearly 80 members of the community.  The previous symposium discussed transgender health and was led by a panel of four individuals who are transgender and/or interact with transgender people in the community or through their health care practice. 

In addition to educating the audience on many important topics related to transgender health, the event facilitated the formation of important relationships between LSUHSC and LGBT community groups such as NO/AIDS task force, CrescentCare, and New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE).   

For this year’s event, LGBT+Allies Organization for the Cultural Understanding in the Health Sciences (LOCUS) will partner with the South Central AIDS Education and Training Center Program (AETC South Centeral) in the LSU School of Public Health to provide an expanded, two day LGBT health care symposium. 

Day one of the event will consist of a panel of four professionals discussing and answering questions from the audience related to Current Issues Surrounding the Physical and Mental Health Care of People Living with HIV/AIDS in the LGBT Community.  The panelists for this year’s symposium will include Dr. Christine Brennan, Ph.D., of the School of Public Health and Project Director for AETC at LSUHSC; Terry Mayers, LCSW, a mental health care provider serving the New Orleans LGBT+ community; Robert Suttle, Assistant Director of SERO, an organization focused on ending the inappropriate prosecution of people living with HIV; and Bruce Hinton, P.A., who works at CrescentCare and focuses on the expansion of PreExposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) services and management and treatment of HIV infection.  Day one is free and open to the public with no registration required. 

Day two of the event will be a training event entitled HIV Criminalization in Louisiana, and will be run by Robert Suttle of the SERO Project.  Day two is free and open to the public with registration for the event at the following website: 

https://aetcnec.virtualforum.com/pifidform.cfm?erid=67513&sc+241258&aetccode=16  

We hope that you will join us for what we hope to be an informative and education event with vibrant discussion.  Light refreshments will be provided. 

 

Match Day, 2018

Leslie Capo
Director of Information Services 

Envelopes revealing the number of new doctors who will train in Louisiana were opened at the LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine Match Day Ceremony on Friday, March 16, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It is the culmination of months of interviewing for graduating medical students with academic health centers and hospitals that have residency programs.  The students list their choices for residency programs, and the academic health centers and hospitals list their choices of students to fill them. All selections are fed into a computer, and “matches” are made.  Match Day is when the students and their families find out where they matched and where they will go to complete their graduate medical education. 

Since statistics show that the majority of physicians remain in the communities and set up practice where they’ve done their residencies, Match Day also reveals important information about the supply and types of physicians the New Orleans area and the state of Louisiana will have. The supply of physicians practicing here not only affects access to care, but also local economies and the larger state economy. LSU Health New Orleans educates the majority of Louisiana’s physicians.  

Forty-six percent of graduating medical students participating in the National Resident Match Program this year chose to remain in Louisiana to complete their medical training, and 75% of those staying in state will enter an LSU Health residency program. That is down from 49% staying in state last year and 64.3% in 2012.  “The anxiety our students feel over budget cuts, either proposed or imposed, to higher education and health care is continuing to erode their confidence in Louisiana,” notes Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. “Our graduates are in great demand by programs in other states, and the constant uncertainty is driving them out of Louisiana in growing numbers. We are very concerned about the future of health care here.” 

“A decline of 18% in the last five years is of concern,” said Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of the School of Medicine. “The anticipated opening of University Medical Center New Orleans bolstered our Match numbers in 2012, but consternation about the future of UMC and our other teaching hospitals, as well as the fate of our residency programs based in them, is taking its toll. In the past when our students chose out-of-state residency programs, they left to broaden their experience, and many would come home to practice. But if they leave because they think Louisiana’s future as a place to live and practice is in question, they will never return. We train Louisiana’s physician workforce, and Louisiana is among the states with the highest number of physicians age 60 and older. The constant budget uncertainty is making it increasingly difficult to retain our highly qualified graduates to replace retiring doctors and maintain an adequate supply of physicians.”  

Of the 65 accredited residency and fellowship programs under LSU Health New Orleans, 35 participated in the Main NRMP Match whose results were released today. They are Anesthesiology, Child Neurology, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Family Practice (Kenner, Bogalusa, Lafayette and Lake Charles), Internal Medicine (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans), Interventional Radiology, Medicine-Preliminary (Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans), Neurological Surgery, Neurology, Obstetrics-Gynecology (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Plastic Surgery, Psychiatry (Baton Rouge and New Orleans), Radiology, General Surgery, Surgery-Preliminary, Vascular Surgery, Medicine-Pediatrics, Medicine-Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics-Emergency Medicine. 

LSU Health New Orleans medical graduates training in other states will be going to such prestigious programs as Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, the Medical University of South Carolina and Emory University, among others. 

The National Resident Matching Program was established in 1952 to provide an orderly and fair mechanism to match the preferences of applicants for U.S. residency positions with  residency program choices of applicants.  The program provides a common time for the announcement of the appointments, as well as an agreement for programs and applicants to honor the commitment to offer and accept an appointment if a match results. 

Residency programs begin on July 1, 2018. 

 

Exceptional Outcome for LCME Reaccreditation

Richard DiCarlo, M.D.
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Institutional Affairs 

Over the last two years, I have written about LCME reaccreditation several times.  This should be the last time we hear about the LCME for a while.  We had our site visit in November and received their final report at the end of February.  The outcome was outstanding, and we received full accreditation for the maximum period of eight years.  Our next site visit will not be until sometime in 2025-26!

It took over two years and considerable effort to prepare for this site visit.  More than 250 people participated, including full time faculty, medical students, residents, alumni, administrative staff, and representatives from our clinical partners.  We submitted more than 2500 pages of documents to demonstrate our compliance with the LCME accreditation standards.  These standards address curriculum, student services, faculty, governance and leadership, teaching facilities, clinical facilities, and finances.  Of the ninety-three accreditation criteria, the LCME determined that our compliance was satisfactory in ninety areas and was unsatisfactory in only three.  The LCME commended the dean’s leadership, the collegial atmosphere between students, faculty and administration, the strong commitment of our clinical partners, and our excellent educational facilities.  They were again impressed with the Learning Center, and they were newly impressed with the Medical Education and Innovation Center in Baton Rouge.

The three areas in which we were unsatisfactory include some missing language in our anti-discrimination policies, the need to place greater emphasis on prevention in instruction about certain societal problems, and the process we use for admission of transfer students.  We have already taken steps to correct these deficiencies.

LCME accreditation is a rigorous process.  Over the last two years, the LCME did not give full accreditation to nearly 40% of the medical schools that underwent review.  They gave many schools a warning, and placed several on probation.  Our success is a testament to stable and respected leadership of the school and health sciences center, a highly dedicated faculty and staff, engaged students, and a strong commitment to the school’s mission from our clinical partners.

Having coordinated the preparation for the site visit, I want to thank the numerous people that contributed to our excellent outcome.  This begins with Dr. Nelson, and includes the leaders in all of the dean’s offices.  Course and clerkship directors, department heads, staff in the UME office were essential to our success.  Students worked on their portion of the self-study for over two years, and the LCME was impressed with the collegial process we developed.  I am grateful for all of your hard work and dedication.

 

LSUHSC Hosts Latino Medical Student Association Regional Conference

David Mas (Medical School Class of 2020) 

LSU Health Science Center hosted the 6th annual Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) regional conference January 19 – 21, 2018. LMSA is a national organization with a mission to unite and empower medical students through service, mentorship, and education to advocate for the health of the Latino community. The conference consisted of an array of different speakers and panels discussing how we can empower the community through health and how individuals within the community can break down barriers that exist in healthcare today.

The conference brought together roughly 60 medical students along with pre-medical students from across Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Originally, it was planned to be held at LSUHSC; however, due to unforeseen weather conditions and water pressure issues that arose the week of the conference, it had to be moved to the University Medical Center conference center with only a few days’ notice. This daunting task would not have been possible without the help of Dr. Robert Maupin Jr. (Associate Dean for Diversity and Community Engagement) who had been working with the regional board and me to plan this conference.

This entire journey started around November of 2016 when I along with some other students heard about LMSA and wondered why, given the large Latino patient population present in New Orleans, we did not have a chapter here at LSU. Dr. Maupin graciously signed up to be the faculty sponsor for our local chapter and from that point on we obtained recognition from LMSA as an official chapter, for which I presently serve as president.

When the regional board asked presidents to suggest locations for the regional conference, I thought what better place than here at LSU. Our city has a plethora of diverse ethnicities and identities along with a top-class hospital. My role throughout the planning period was to meet with school administration and relay any updates from the regional board. Dr. Maupin and I helped coordinate workshop sessions with Mr. Darryl Lofaso along with giving the regional board suggestions on who to contact as a speaker for the conference.

Involved with the planning of the conference was Dr. Joseph M. Moerschbaecher, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who originally approved LSUHSC hosting the conference. After approval by and meeting with Dr. Moerschbaecher, more of the administration became involved. Dean Steve Nelson, Dr. Patricia Molina, Dr. Maupin, and Dr. Richard DiCarlo all met with me to determine the logistics of planning an event of this nature. Later on, I contacted Dr. Charles Hilton and Ms. Stephanie Galendez for their assistance in reserving the Center for Advanced Practice for the conference. Unfortunately, the location was already reserved for the weekend of the conference, so we were unable to use it. Ms. Galendez continued to meet with me and other leaders to assist in the planning of the conference. Dr. Cathy Lazarus and her Office of Student Affairs also got involved and assisted with the logistics of conference planning.

LSUHSC New Orleans was ultimately very supportive in providing the resources needed for the conference. In addition to providing the location, LSUHSC provided the breakfast and lunch for the conference on Saturday, when the majority of the events were taking place. The Friday of the conference was dedicated to high school outreach, which was set up and planned by Dr. Maupin’s office. Roughly 25 high school students were originally planning on attending. We had specimen demonstrations planned for the kids with the help of Dr. Lisa Campeau and the Department of Anatomy. After this, the high school kids were going to go on a tour of UMC and lastly have a panel discussion with the LMSA regional members.

Unfortunately the Friday events were cancelled due to the school being closed due to inclement weather, which resulted in all of the events moving to UMC. Even though we had unforeseen circumstances occur with the weather the week of the conference, it still ended up being a huge success and would not have been possible without the help of everyone who was involved.

LSU Part of Historical Precision Medicine Program – “All of Us”

Lucio Miele, M.D./Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Genetics 

 Each individual is unique. Differences in lifestyle, environment and biology may account for different disease risk profiles and different responses to treatments. We base health decision on existing evidence, but we simply don’t have enough information on individual variability. The mission of precision medicine research is to dramatically increase the quantity and quality of individualized information that physicians and patients rely upon when making medical decisions. LSUHSC will play an important role in a historical precision medicine research program, the National Institutes of Health’s “All of Us” initiative (https://allofus.nih.gov/). 

Advances in molecular biology and digital technology have given us an unprecedented ability to gather information about human biology and disease. Yet, to translate these advances into diagnostic and prognostic tools that patients and providers can use to make informed health decisions, we must identify variables associated with health outcomes. Conceptually, this is not different from existing medical tests. The “normal” ranges for plasma glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and countless other tests were determined by testing thousands of patients and correlating the results to clinical phenotypes. What is different about precision medicine research is the unprecedented scale of the data it generates. Rather than one or a handful of variables, precision medicine research tests can return thousands to millions of data points. A simple SNP-chip test can probe hundreds of thousands of genomic variants. Proteomics or metabolomics can test thousands of analytes in a single blood sample. A whole genome sequence produces terabytes worth of information for each individual. To distinguish informative associations from random variability, we must study very large populations, representative of human diversity. This requires cutting edge “big data” approaches to build, curate and analyze datasets representing vast numbers of participants of all ancestries, from all walks of life. 

The “All of Us” initiative will enroll one million or more active participants/partners and build long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships. Participants will donate information about their health and lifestyle as well as physical measurements and biological fluids (blood and urine). The mission of “All of Us” is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us. The program will be also seeking input and suggestions on research priorities from participant/partners and citizen scientists. 

Data produced by this NIH-funded program will be shared with researchers and the community, so that new ideas can be explored, multiplying the potential impact. This will be a long-term, national team effort, which already includes over 1000 multi-disciplinary team members from centers throughout the country and approximately 14,000 participants who have completed enrollment at a handful of “pilot” locations. 

Louisiana, with its disease burden and diverse population, has an especially important role to play in shaping a precision medicine approach that will serve everyone. LSUHSC New Orleans is part of the UAB-led Southern All of Us Consortium, affectionately called “Y’All of Us”. National launch will begin at 8 selected sites in the spring of this year. “Y’All of Us”, including LSUHSC, will be among them.  

I have the honor of serving as the LSUHSC Principal Investigator, the “quarterback” of our highly dedicated LSU team. I will also enroll as a participant, and donate my data and biospecimens for the greater good. “All of Us” is a team of equals, and credit belongs to all. It will involve physicians, students, residents and fellows as ambassadors, and strengthen the bonds between LSUHSC and the community we serve.  

“All of Us” will be much more than a giant data gathering effort. It will change the way participants and investigators cooperate as equals in medical research. In time, it will change medicine and prevention in ways yet unimagined.  “All of Us” will be to health sciences what the Hubble Telescope is to astrophysics. Over the years, Hubble has revealed Earth-like exoplanets previously imagined only in science fiction, and has revealed facts about the Universe that ground-based telescopes simply couldn’t see.  

“All of Us” will be just as transformative. It will take time, dedication and patience, and it will bear its fruits over decades. But it will open new frontiers of precision medicine for each and all of “Us”. LSUHSC will be among its pioneers. Stay tuned for news on national launch!