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In the News

Fall 2018 Edition


(October 2018​) Reporters locally and nationally turn to the School of Medicine for expertise and research news. Here are examples from near and far.  

Jessica Cataldi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, was quoted in the Denver Post in September about her study that found parents value schools with higher vaccination rates because they want their children in a healthy environment. “Even those parents that have some concerns about vaccines still thought it was important,” she said.  

Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, was featured in a report on CNN in August about the disparity in care provided to undocumented immigrants who need hemodialysis. She discussed how a patient’s death inspired her research. “After Hilda passed away, I looked at the literature, and I found one article that was particularly interesting,” she said. And in it, [the author] discussed this issue of emergency-only hemodialysis and said that until we have the right research, the cost-effectiveness analysis, the comparative analyses, to demonstrate that this type of care needs to change, that potentially we wouldnt change it until the right data are available. And so that’s when I set off to really begin to build the body of research.”  

Jean Mulcahy Levy, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, talked with 9News, the Denver-based NBC affiliate, about providing care for a four-year-old girl diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive pediatric brain tumor. “It’s definitely one of the last frontiers trying to cure brain tumors,” she said. “Really trying to investigate the cause of these tumors to develop new therapies is essential to prolonging life and hope for a cure.”  

Gillian Kaag, PhD, senior instructor of family medicine and director of the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, discussed the clinic’s role in the community with the Denver Post in May. The clinic provides behavioral health services to military veterans and their families.  

Eric Campbell, PhD, director of research at the CU Center for Bioethics and humanities, discussed the public perception of pharmaceutical companies with STAT in May. “It appears to me that from examining these slides, Novartis leadership may have failed to fully recognize where the company stands in terms of its reputation,” he said, noting a Gallup poll last year found the pharmaceutical industry ranked last among 24 industries in the eyes of Americans who were surveyed.  

Marian Betz, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, talked to the Los Angeles Times in May about issues related to gun safety and the elderly. “It’s not about us vs. them, or taking away people’s guns. It’s about us helping people make choices in the interest of safety,” she said. “It would be awesome if all our older patients would think ahead about where and when and how they would hang up their keys and or safeguard their guns. Most of us don’t do that because we’re human. But we can try.”  

Joshua Williams, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, who was part of a team that published the first paper on vape injuries in children after he treated a 17-year-old who lost a large piece of his thumb to an exploding vape pen, was quoted in May in the Tampa Bay Times following the death of a man due to injuries related to vaping. “It’s incredibly unfortunate, but no, it’s not surprising that someone would eventually die like this considering the injuries we’ve seen.”  

Stanley Szefler, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of pediatric asthma research at Children’s Hospital Colorado, explained asthma in a May article in the New York Times. “Asthma is quite a variable disease; there’s not a one-size-fits-all,” he said. “It’s a careful balance between symptoms and prevention and then the underlying things that may be going on.”  

Heather Hoch, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, was quoted in the New York Times in May about treating patients with asthma.  “The vast majority of kids with asthma, if we treat them appropriately and they take their medications, they can do whatever they like,” she said. “I like to remind families we have Olympic athletes” with asthma.  

Elizabeth Pomfret, MD, PhD, professor of surgery, was quoted in May in a segment for CBS This Morning, about a woman who donated part of her liver after previously donating a kidney to help improve the health of people she didn’t know. “There’s very few people in the world who have donated part of their liver and a kidney,” Pomfret said. “Of that 4 percent, the number of people who are altruistic donors is extraordinarily small.”  

Todd Miner, EdD, senior instructor of emergency medicine, wrote an article for the Fishermen’s News that was published in June: “When we met with commercial fishermen, they told us that the first aid classes offered in their communities were not relevant to the emergencies they faced at sea. So we developed a new course we call Fishermen First Aid and Safety Training (FFAST).   

Marian Betz, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, appeared on the PBS NewsHour in June to discuss how families of gun owners with dementia grapple with safety. “Currently, there is no state or federal law that prohibits health care providers from talking to patients or asking about firearm access in the home,” she said. As a health care provider myself, I think it’s really important.”  

George Sam Wang, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, was quoted by the CBS News in June in a report about children overdosing on medications intended for fighting opioid addition. “We have previously shown that unit-dose packaging — a form of child-resistant packaging — can decrease pediatric exposures to buprenorphine-naloxone products, he said.  

Matt Vogl, MPH, executive director of the National Mental Health Innovation Center at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, was quoted in July in a report on KTVA of Anchorage, Alaska, about tests by the Alaska Department of Corrections on using virtual reality as an inmate training tool. “All of the work with corrections in VR is really brand new and that’s why we’re really excited about this,” he said. “We thought if we can make things work in Alaska then we can probably make them work just about anywhere.”  

Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, director of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, was quoted in the Washington Post in July in an article about the role of bioethicists in providing care. Now, he said, the bioethicists and others have a new role: to help “one side understand where the other side is coming from, that the opposing force isn’t evil but coming at this with a set of values and preferences and priorities that need to be understood to find some sort of common ground.”   

Mark Deutchman, MD, professor of family medicine and director of the rural track program, told Georgia Health News in August that the structure of the health care system steers young physicians away from rural practice. “Unfortunately, we’re getting exactly what our health care system is designed to produce,” he said noting that the system dictates where physicians locate because it rewards high-tech medical services, expensive surgeries and sub-specialty care.  

Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, chair of pediatrics, was quoted in August in an article in U.S. News & World Report about why parents should encourage healthy habits in their children. “In the analyses that have been done, genetics probably plays a role that is relatively minor compared to lifestyle,” he said. “When you’re talking about the development of these risk factors, which would include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and cigarette smoking, a lot of the emphasis really should be on lifestyle.”  

Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, was quoted in an August report by NBC’s Today Show on vaccines for meningitis B. “Not all physicians believe this should be routinely given since it is a rare disease and there is limited experience with the longevity and safety of the vaccines,” she said. “Therefore not all will bring it up.”  

Richard Zane, MD, chair of emergency medicine and Chief Innovation Officer at UCHealth, was one of 12 healthcare leaders quoted in August in Becker’s Hospital Review offering their daily mantras. “Healthcare needs to be fundamentally disrupted,” he said. Embrace disruption and drive change to improve care for our patients and the next generation.”  

Nanette Santoro, MD, chair of obstetrics and gynecology, was quoted in an Associated Press report in August on a new study about the reduced likelihood of cesarean delivery when inducing labor at 39 weeks for some first-time mothers at low risk of complications. The labor and delivery suite is one of the most expensive places in a hospital, she said. If all eligible moms decided to be induced, “I do not believe we would have the resources to accommodate them,” but may have to adapt based on this study.