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In the News

Spring 2017


(May 2​017) Huntington Potter, PhD, director of the Rocky Mountain Alzheimer’s Disease Center and professor of neurology, in February told 9News, the NBC affiliate in Denver: “We found so far that Leukine is safe in people with Alzheimer’s disease. That means that it doesn’t have the side effects that so many other Alzheimer’s drugs have had, which are swelling in the brain and bleeding into the brain.”

Kenneth Tyler, MD, chairman of neurology, explained to the San Francisco Chronicle the significance of a research article, published in February, based on findings by his laboratory team: “A lot of people were dubious about Enterovirus D68 because they said, ‘Gosh, this virus isn’t known to be neurotropic and we’re not finding it in the spinal fluid. We asked, ‘Would these (strains) produce a neurologic disease in mice, and would it be similar to what we saw in humans?’ And the answer was a resounding yes.”

Kennon Heard, MD, professor of emergency medicine and section chief of medical toxicology, was quoted in February by the CBS affiliate in Altoona, Penn., describing an increase in emergency room visits by frequent users of marijuana. “When the decriminalization of medical marijuana occurred and the number of medical (marijuana) licenses in the state went up dramatically,” he said, “we started seeing more and more cases of young, otherwise healthy people who would have multiple recur-rent episodes of severe abdominal pain and vomiting and often end up in the emergency room.”

Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD, associate professor of family medicine and faculty with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, was interviewed in The Atlantic in February discussing his paper “Pain, objectivity and history: understanding pain stigma,” published in the journal Medical Humanities.

Virginia Borges, MD, associate professor of medicine, explained the benefits of cold cap treatments to reduce hair loss due to chemotherapy, on CBS This Morning in February. “They have more energy,” she said. “They really feel like a return to themselves, their sense of themselves, much faster because they don’t have to wait for their hair to regrow.”

Pam Wilson, MD, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, told the NBC affiliate in Colorado Springs, that she is training to compete in curling at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games. “I got online and looked around and said, ‘This wheelchair curling sounds kind of interesting. I think I’ll give it a try.’”

Torri Metz, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, warned against marijuana use during pregnancy in a February New York Times article: “There is an increased perception of the safety of cannabis use, even in pregnancy, without data to say it’s actually safe.”

Jack Westfall, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine, described his efforts to work with rural clinics and hospitals to address opioid use in those communities in a report on National Public Radio in January. “We don’t know what to do with this wave of people who are using opioids,” he said. “They’re in the clinic, they’re in the ER, they’re in the hospital. They’re in the morgue, because they overdosed.”

A report by Sam Wang, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times in a December article about the risks of children accessing edible products containing marijuana: “Ingestion of edible products continues to be a major source of marijuana exposures in children and poses a unique problem because no other drug is infused into a palatable and appetizing form.”

Erica Wymore, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, was quoted in a New York Times article in February about pregnant women using marijuana and the risks of birth defects: “Just because they don’t have a major birth defect or overt withdrawal symptoms doesn’t mean the baby’s neurological development is not impacted.”

Matthew Greenhawt, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and chair of the food allergy committee of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, explained in a Washington Post article in January why new National Institutes of Health guidelines are closely tied to eczema. “[S]evere eczema is not a kid with a little arm or cheek rash,” he said. “These are kids with a decent percentage of their bodies covered despite good moisturizing, bathing and increasing topical prescriptions.”

Thomas Inge, MD, chief of pediatric surgery and director of adolescent metabolic and bariatric surgery, discussed with The New York Times his study of outcomes for children who get bariatric surgery. Many more could have reached a normal weight, he said in the February article, if they had had the operation when they were younger, before they got obese.

Jessica Cataldi, MD, a fellow in the Pediatric Infectious Diseases fellowship, appeared on 9News, the NBC affiliate in Denver, in Febru-ary, to discuss the importance of the HPV vaccine: “This vaccine is about cancer prevention. It can prevent almost 80 percent of cervical cancer…and many cancers of the throat and the mouth…. We give it to children around age 11 or 12 because that’s when their immune system responds the best.”

Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, chair of pediatrics, was quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times in March, explaining reasons that parents struggle to keep junk food away from children: “Families and kids are busy, and they often want convenience as part of their choices.”

Andrew Freeman, MD, assistant professor of medicine, told ABC News in February that the most heart-healthy diet includes foods like extra-virgin olive oil, antioxidant-rich berries, green leafy vegetables and plant-based proteins. “There is sort of mass confusion about what foods are healthy or not healthy,” he said. “When you take the time to weigh through the data and the evidence it becomes clear. Human beings haven’t changed all that much in the last many, many years.”

Karyn Goodman, MD, associate director of clinical research for CU Cancer Center and visiting professor of radiation oncology, told the Coloradoan newspaper in January about research that focuses on shorter radiation treatments for cancer patients. “We hope this is the first of many clinical trials we are able to open across the UCHealth system,” she said. “This is a major step toward expanding access to oncology trials, and we hope to continue to bring these leading-edge treatment options to Coloradans outside of the Denver metro area.”

Abraham M. Nussbaum, MD, MTS, chief education officer at Denver Health and an associate professor of psychiatry, wrote an op-ed in December for the Washington Post about Medicaid. “Over the past few weeks, there has been talk both of funding infrastructure projects and defunding Medicaid, at least in part. I recently saw a patient who reminded me that Medicaid itself provides an essential kind of infrastructure.”

Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, told the Denver Post in November that Denver Health’s Center for Health Equity plans to expand its recruitment efforts to include middle schoolers and graduate students. “The idea is that when patients have a doctor who is culturally congruent,” she said, “they better understand their options and are more likely to make an appointment.”

Matthew Zipse, MD, assistant professor of medicine, in February described to 9News, the NBC affiliate in Denver, the advantages of a small pacemaker received by University of Colorado Hospital patient, who became the first in the state to receive it. “For some of our cardiac patients, the device is a great option and offers a less-invasive approach. And I think [she] really liked the cosmetic side to it. She wouldn’t have a scar, she wouldn’t have a pocket like the ones left behind from the traditional larger pacemakers, she wouldn’t have any restriction in range of motion.”

Thomas Bak, MD, associate professor of surgery, was quoted in a November report on 9News, the NBC affiliate in Denver, about the first kidney donation to travel over an ocean to Colorado. “We fly organs all across the country pretty frequently for this program, so it’s definitely becoming more common,” he said. “A flight to Hawaii is really not much different than a flight to New York, but the concept of flying organs over the ocean is neat.”

Jennifer Honda, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in medicine, was mentioned in an article in The New Yorker in December because the author asked her to determine whether nontuberculous mycobacteria, a pathogen that can cause lung disease in individuals with weakened immune systems, could be found in the author’s showerhead.