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Archive for April, 2008

Georgia Tech and Saint Joseph’s Collaborate

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

April 2008

In an innovative collaboration, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Saint Joseph’s Health System and Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute (SJTRI), a division of Saint Joseph’s Health System, have signed agreements designed to move new treatments, therapies and products into clinical use with patients more rapidly. The agreements call for the $18.5 million relocation and expansion of the SJTRI research facilities to Technology Enterprise Park (TEP), a new bio-business park located adjacent to the Georgia Tech campus, and collaboration between physicians and researchers at Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Georgia Tech faculty and students.

“The greatest roadblock to getting new therapies or devices from the research lab to patients has been the silo approach to research,” says Nicolas Chronos, MD, president of the Saint Joseph’s Translational Research Institute. “This relationship between Saint Joseph’s and Georgia Tech brings all the forces together – clinicians, patient care, biotechnology, bioengineering, bioscience and entrepreneurial business — for cross collaboration and innovation that will move the process ahead much faster for the benefit of patient care.”

Phase one, the expanded SJTRI facility in Technology Enterprise Park (TEP), is 32,000 square feet and includes catheterization labs, expanded vascular physiology lab, surgical suites, and additional research capabilities. Georgia Tech researchers will have access to the research facility for clinical trial activities.

“Collaboration between the engineer/scientist and clinicians is key to new discoveries, so we welcome this opportunity to collaborate with Saint Joseph’s to help accelerate the development and application of advances being made across a broad range of medical specialties,” said Mark Allen, Senior Vice Provost of Research and Innovation at Georgia Tech. “Working with the physicians and researchers of Saint Joseph’s will give our faculty and students new opportunities to combine what they learn in our classrooms and research laboratories with clinical experience.”

Phase one of the new facility is expected to be completed by early 2009.

The collaborative agreements include reciprocal faculty and research appointments for Saint Joseph’s clinicians and Georgia Tech academic faculty.

Initial areas of scientific collaboration include:

  • Orthopaedics: Georgia Tech currently hosts the nation’s first Master’s degree program in prosthetics and orthotics and conducts extensive research in the development of advanced devices to serve a growing population of users. Saint Joseph’s Hospital offers access to the most active joint replacement and spine care program in Atlanta and the most advanced surgical procedures, including minimally-invasive and robotic-assisted partial knee replacements.
  • Bioengineering: SJTRI is currently conducting pre-clinical work in tissue engineering for replacement cardiac valves and vessels that are constructed from living cells which are durable, regenerative and above all, able to grow with a pediatric patient. Georgia Tech bioengineers are working to create a prototype valve for preclinical trials and, ultimately, clinical trials.
  • Cardiovascular Surgery/Cardiology: Working with Saint Joseph’s Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Robotics, Georgia Tech and Saint Joseph’s are looking at engineering and computing solutions for surgical techniques and instruments that further reduce trauma to the body and improve patients’ recovery and experience.
  • Genomics, Systems Biology and Infomatics: Georgia Tech has assembled one of the nation’s most sophisticated genomics programs analyzing complex gene expression patterns in disease cell types in order to understand the personal basis of disease and to develop new diagnostics, targeted treatments and therapies, especially promising in the areas of cancer and cardiovascular care. Through their extensive clinical work, Saint Joseph’s physicians and scientists will effectively partner with this new technology to address pressing clinical needs for new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
  • Advanced Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies: Georgia Tech’s leadership in microfabrication and nanotechnology, combined with Saint Joseph’s clinical and genomics interest, opens the door for development of nanomedicine applications including development of nanoscale particles/molecules used in the treatment of disease for unique medical effects; development of self-assembling particles or other types of nanomaterial that improve the mechanical properties and biocompatibility of biomaterials for medical implants; development of particles/materials that improve electrode surfaces and biocompatibility (active implants), as well as in vivo imaging using contrast agents, particularly for MRI and ultrasound for improved contrast and favorable biodistribution; and in vitro diagnostics using novel sensor concepts based on nanotubes, nanowires and cantilevers.
  • Robotics and Surgical Education: Surgical training and education will be most cost-effective and accessible via simulation and remote learning. As a leader in simulation technology, Georgia Tech and Saint Joseph’s are on the forefront of providing this state of the art education experience for physicians from around the world on new technology, including robotics.
  • Facilities Design and Process Improvement: Close collaboration between Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial & Systems Engineering and the College of Architecture offers students and hospital designers opportunities to develop facilities based upon advanced electronic medical records management, improved processes and user-friendly environments.
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Breast Cancer Survivor Fashion Show

Monday, April 14th, 2008

teethina-ross-cherry.jpgMore than 250 people attended Bosom Buddies’ 25th Anniversary of Celebration of Life Luncheon and Fashion Show: “Stronger Together,” presented by Georgia Cancer Foundation (GCF), Saturday, March 8, to celebrate breast cancer survivors, honor those who have stood by them as members of their support family, and reflect on those who have succumbed to the disease.

The event featured a joint keynote address by cancer survivors Vince and Barbara Dooley and a fashion show featuring breast cancer survivors and members of their support teams. Vince Dooley, former head football coach and athletic director at the University of Georgia, underwent surgery in 2007 to remove a malignant tumor from his throat. Barbara Dooley, Vince’s wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and received chemotherapy in 2006.

vince_barbara-at-table.jpg

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Electronic Medical Attachments Agreement

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Medical Electronic Attachment, Inc. (MEA) announced it has signed an agreement with eLifeCare Solutions to receive and process electronic Medical attachments from their Providers.

MEA’s FastAttach system enables healthcare offices to transmit healthcare attachments – including vision, workman’s compensation attachments, professional and institutional attachments, and other documents required to process claims – to MEA’s repository, where Payors will be able to view them. FastAttach speeds up processing and eliminates the cost and hassle associated with mailing hard copy documents.

“Electronic attachments through our FastAttach program streamlines the process for Healthcare Providers and Payors,” said Thomas Hughes, President of MEA. “Adopting this technology is a nice fit with our ongoing commitment to the healthcare community to enhance our product offerings and improve revenue management.”

“The ability to capture electronic healthcare images and provide access to all healthcare participants further enhances our core interoperability solution”, said eLifeCare CEO Jim Peters. “MEA’s partnership and proven solution will allow us to offer key functionality and benefit to our clients.”

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Henry Approved for Level III NICU

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Henry Medical Center recently received approval of its Certificate of Need (CON) for a Level III Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The approval designates eight of the hospital’s 28 NICU beds to be used for Level III care.

Offering the highest level of care to babies born at Henry Medical Center was a consideration when the North Tower expansion was added. During construction of the Marcia G. Taylor Women’s Center, the hospital included in its plans the requirements needed to be approved for a Level III NICU. Some of those specifications include additional gas and oxygen outlets, a rooming-in room where parents can stay in the NICU room with their baby and a room where mothers can pump milk without leaving the NICU.

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NGHS To Relocate Acute Care & Emergency Services

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) announced plans to relocate all of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s acute care and emergency care services currently at the Lanier Park Campus to the main campus when the hospital’s new North Patient Tower (NPT) opens in spring of 2009 and redevelop part of the vacated space into a replacement skilled nursing facility for New Horizons West, according to Jim Gardner, NGHS President and CEO.

“Consolidation of these services will minimize duplication of services and enhance operational efficiencies in the delivery of acute care and emergency services, while providing an excellent opportunity for replacement of our oldest skilled nursing facility,” said Gardner.

Construction on the North Patient Tower began in fall 2006 and was planned to address the growing demand for additional bed capacity. The Medical Center’s current total bed capacity is 461 and will increase to 557 when the NPT opens. The NPT will house 96 surgical beds, 32 intensive care beds, a new surgery suite with 23 operating rooms, a new imaging suite and a new endoscopy suite.

The North Patient Tower and Women & Children’s Pavilion scheduled for completion later this year, will more than double the hospital’s square footage.

While acute care and emergency services space will be reconfigured for skilled nursing care, many of the outpatient services currently located at Lanier Park, including bariatric support services, diabetes education and Wound Healing Center, will remain. All outpatient imaging services will be consolidated to the new Imaging Center under construction on Jesse Jewell Parkway and scheduled to open in 2009.

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Wellstar To Purchase 127 Acres In North Paulding

Monday, April 14th, 2008

WellStar Health System has signed a contract to purchase 127 acres located in the Cedarcrest Road/Seven Hills Parkway corridor in North Paulding County. The contract includes a pledged donation to the WellStar Foundation in excess of $5 million.

“WellStar is purchasing land to meet the tremendous growth in North Cobb, West Cobb and Paulding County,” said Gregory L. Simone, M.D., president and CEO of WellStar Health System. “The addition of this property allows WellStar flexibility when expanding healthcare services. The purchase of this property is a joint partnership between WellStar, the Paulding County Commissioners and the developer.”

WellStar has opened an 80,000 sq. ft. physician center on the property located in Hiram, GA, which includes new and expanded specialty practices. Also, WellStar is currently in a zoning approval process for land located in Acworth on the Cobb County side. These campuses will be designed to complement one another and address the community’s long-term healthcare needs.

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Langford Joins Wellstar

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Ellen Langford has been named Executive Director of the WellStar Institute for Better Health, where she will also serve as the primary liaison to the Institute’s Board of Advisors.Ms. Langford received her Bachelor’s Degree of Nursing from Kennesaw State University, and in 2005 she earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University. Ms. Langford has over twenty years experience in health care. Prior to joining WellStar, she was Director of Operations for Cardiovascular Medicine, P.C., a twenty three-physician group.

The Institute serves as a center for collaboration that seeks to contribute to medical and scientific learning; champion excellence in clinical quality and patient safety; engage consumers in good healthcare delivery; and advance the clinical practice knowledge of healthcare professionals.

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InnovaMed Alliance Launches Five Clinical Research Studies

Monday, April 14th, 2008

InnovaMed Alliance, a research partnership formed in November 2006 by Quantum Radiology P.C. and Cardiovascular Medicine P.C., has been selected to participate in 6 clinical research studies related to cardiac disease and cardiovascular imaging. The studies are sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CardioMEMS, Bracco Diagnostics, ARYx Therapeutics, Eli Lilly and Eiasi Pharmaceuticals.InnovaMed is a clinical research site that specializes in conducting Phase II-IV studies. Its objective is to work with the cardiovascular field to transform discoveries into solutions, enabling patients to have access to novel therapies.

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Piedmont Physicians Group

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Louis V. Cohen, M.D. recently joined Piedmont Physicians at East Cobb after 25 years of experience practicing medicine in the Atlanta area.

Dr. Cohen is board-certified in family medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Emory University and obtained his medical degree from the Universidad Aútonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico. He completed his internship and residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon. Dr. Cohen also served a clerkship at the United Presbyterian Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. Dr. Cohen is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians.Mark S. Cook, M.D., who is board-certified in family medicine, joined Piedmont Physicians at Newnan. Dr. Cook earned his medical degree from the University of Kentucky in. He then completed both his internship and residency in family practice at Anderson Memorial Hospital in Anderson, South Carolina.

Prior to joining Piedmont Physicians at Newnan, Dr. Cook was in private practice in Newnan for more than 25 years. He is the current president of the Coweta Medical Society and is a member of the American Academy of Family Practice. He has served in an active role at Piedmont Newnan Hospital where he previously served as President, Vice President and Secretary of the Medical Staff and where he is currently on the board of directors.

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Southern Orthopaedic Opens Surgery Center

Monday, April 14th, 2008

southern-ortho.thumbnail.jpgThe physician owners of Southern Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Fayetteville LLC are pleased to announce the opening of their single-specialty ambulatory surgery center. Located on the first floor of a Medical Office Building on the campus of Piedmont Fayette Hospital, the center maintains a staff of professionals skilled in Orthopaedic surgical care.

The Southern Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Fayetteville is Medicare-certified and also has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC/Accreditation Association), according to Patti Hartsfield, Executive Director of the facility. “Accreditation underscores our resolute commitment to providing the highest possible levels of safe and effective care to our patients,” said Ms Hartsfield. “We are pleased and very proud to have our efforts recognized with this accreditation.”

The Orthopaedic surgeons credentialed at the center include: Michael Behr MD, Alan Davis MD, Richard Johnston MD, Brian Morgan MD, Todd Schmidt MD, Peter Symbas MD, Joseph Wilkes MD, and Sharrona Williams MD.

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