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Archive for May, 2010

Sports Medicine Update for the Primary Care Physician

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

May 22, 2010 at Legacy Lodge and Conference Center at Lake Lanier Islands.  For more information, download this brochure.


NFMGMA Educational Session

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

May 19, 2010 at Northside Medical Campus, Old Milton Parkway. For more information, visit NFMGMA’s web site


Clinical Trial Evaluates New Approach for Individuals Recently Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Dr. Bruce Bode, a diabetes specialist with Atlanta Diabetes Associates with special expertise and interest in insulin delivery and glucose sensing,  announced that he is now recruiting adults with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes for Protégé Encore, a randomized, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial. This is the second of two Phase III studies testing the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug called teplizumab. The first study, known as Protégé, has completed enrollment of more than 530 subjects with type 1 diabetes. There is currently no approved therapy to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes.

In patients with type 1 diabetes, T cells of the immune system attack and destroy beta cells that are located in the pancreas and make insulin. Teplizumab works by binding to CD3 receptors on the surface of the T cells and, by doing so, may modulate the autoimmune attack on pancreatic beta cells and preserve or protect these cells. If effective, patients may require less injected insulin and their blood glucose levels may be easier to control.

In an earlier trial of teplizumab, a small group of subjects with diabetes of recent onset were noted to have improved function of their beta cells, improved glucose control, and reduced insulin requirements for up to two years. These findings are being further studied in the Protégé and Protégé Encore clinical trials.

The Protégé Encore trial is designed to determine if teplizumab can preserve pancreatic insulin production, which may make diabetes easier to manage. “We have a lot of enthusiasm about the teplizumab studies and their implications. It is hoped that one day we can offer a new treatment option to help patients better manage their disease,” Dr. Bode commented.

Dr. Bode obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology at the College of Wooster in Ohio, and his doctorate of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He completed his internship and residency at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals and a fellowship in diabetes with Paul C. Davidson, M.D. Dr. Bode is a clinical associate professor of medicine at Emory University, has served as president of the Atlanta chapter of the American Diabetes Association, and is on the board of directors of the Atlanta chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He is a fellow of the American College of Endocrinology and is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Bode has written, co-written, or contributed to more than 100 books, articles, and abstracts.

Approximately 125 study sites across 16 countries will be enrolling 400 individuals who have been to a physician with signs and symptoms of type 1 diabetes within the past 12 weeks. Most study sites are enrolling individuals 8-35 years old, and Dr. Bode is enrolling individuals 18-35 years old. Subjects will receive one of three treatment regimens, or placebo. Subjects will be followed over a 2-year period.

For more information on Protégé Encore call 1-866-874-2516.


Joseph I. Miller Jr., M.D. Joins Piedmont Heart Institute

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Joseph I. Miller Jr., M.D. recently joined the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI) as the new chief of thoracic surgery and thoracic oncologic surgery.

For more than 35 years, Dr. Miller has been a thoracic surgeon at Emory Midtown Hospital. He also has served his profession as an examiner of the Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery for the past 19 years. Recognized as one of the leading general thoracic surgeons in the United States for over 10 years (Castle-Connolly peer review), Dr. Miller has published more than 165 peer-reviewed articles and over 50 book chapters.

Dr. Miller was recently awarded the Second Century, Wadley R. Glenn, MD, Award by Emory Healthcare.

Dr. Miller has offices on the Piedmont Hospital campus and at Piedmont West Medical Office Park on Howell Mill Road, where the Piedmont Cancer Center is located.


Richard Performs First Bariatric Surgery in Gwinnett

Friday, May 14th, 2010

The first bariatric surgery was performed recently at Gwinnett Medical Center – Duluth and in Gwinnett County . The surgery was performed by Robert Richard, MD.

Robert Richard, MD, FACS, is the medical director of the program and a board-certified surgeon who has performed bariatric procedures for more than a decade.  He came to GMC-Duluth in January to develop the Center for Surgical Weight Management program. The program is the first and only bariatrics program in Gwinnett County.  The program also relies on sister programs at GMC-Duluth to maximize the continuum of care for the whole person, such as the Center for Sleep Disorders, the Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center and more.
“Obesity is a disease that causes several other co-morbidities that we have to treat in their early stages (i.e. sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure) The goal of bariatric surgery is to prevent these diseases,” said Dr. Richard. “The side effect is being thin, but it is not our sole motive for these patients.  Better health is our main goal – being thin is a benefit for their quality of life.”

Studies show that bariatric surgical procedures can result in significant long-term loss of weight, recovery from diabetes, improvement in cardiovascular risk factors, and a reduction in mortality. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends bariatric surgery for obese people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious coexisting medical conditions.


Kaiser Permanente to Open New Medical Office In Lawrenceville

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Kaiser Permanente announced it will invest nearly $2 million to open its newest medical office in Lawrenceville.

Located in Building 100 at 455 Philip Blvd., the new medical office will become Kaiser Permanente’s third location in Gwinnett County, along with its Sugar Hill-Buford and Gwinnett locations. The Lawrenceville location is the third new Kaiser Permanente medical center to open in the past six months, along with East Cobb and Downtown Decatur.

The 5,700 square foot Lawrenceville medical office will employ between 10 and 15 health care professionals and will include exam and procedure rooms, a laboratory, a pharmacy and basic radiology services. Kaiser Permanente will invest about $1.8 million in interior construction, furniture, and medical and IT equipment.

Healthcare is one of five targeted industries in Partnership Gwinnett, the community and economic development initiative led by the Gwinnett Chamber, to bring jobs and investment to the Greater Atlanta region.

“The Partnership Gwinnett research on our healthcare industry showed that we had significant potential for growth in this market,” commented Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister. “Kaiser Permanente’s expansion is a strong testament to our focus on achieving that potential and cultivating a pro-business environment essential to sustainability and growth of healthcare businesses.”

Staffed by physicians of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, the new medical office will initially offer internal medicine and pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente members. Additional specialties may be added.

The Lawrenceville location brings to 20 the number of Kaiser Permanente medical facilities in the organization’s 28-county service area, with plans to add as many as six more by the end of 2010. Kaiser Permanente owns or leases more than one million square feet of building space in metro Atlanta.

The new Lawrenceville medical office is projected to open at the end of May, 2010.


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Neurosciences Program opens New Clinic for Tuberous Sclerosis

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Neurosciences Program recently opened a new clinic for tuberous sclerosis. Previously the closest facility to treat tuberous sclerosis was located in Boston.

Tuberous sclerosis is a rare, multisystem genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and on other vital organs, such as the kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs and skin. A combination of symptoms may include seizures, developmental delay, behavioral problems, skin abnormalities, and lung and kidney disease.

“One in 6,000 children is born with tuberous sclerosis every day. Therefore, the care for these children is very specialized,” Robert Flamini, M.D., Medical Director of Children’s Children’s Epilepsy Center said. “In most cases, parents have to schedule appointments with different doctors in their city because this complex disease affects several parts of the body.”

In January 2010, in partnership with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TSA), Children’s opened the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) Clinic. The first of its kind in Georgia, this virtual clinic coordinates annual visits with up to seven different physicians to ensure patients with TSC have access to pediatric specialists.  This thorough review is provided to the patient family by the TSC medical director and also is sent to the patient’s primary care physician.


Piedmont Surgery Center Opens at Piedmont West – Howell Mill

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Piedmont Surgery Center, a subsidiary of Piedmont Healthcare, is now treating patients at the Piedmont Hospital Outpatient Center at Piedmont West Medical Office Park on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta. The new 15,600-square-foot facility provides services in general, orthopaedic, gynecological, urological and plastic surgeries.

The new surgery center has four operating rooms, two procedure rooms and 17 preoperative beds (for preoperative care and post-operative recovery).

Orthopaedic surgeon Peter Symbas, M.D., the surgery center’s medical director, said, “There are several additional benefits to the outpatient setting. For otherwise relatively healthy patients who do not need 24-hour nursing care after surgery, outpatient procedures are easier to schedule and complete than in a traditional setting since there are no interruptions from emergency situations. Plus, patients have a lower risk of infection because their stays are brief.”

In addition to the new Piedmont Surgery Center at this location, the Piedmont Hospital Outpatient Center offers imaging services such as PET/CT scans, MRI, ultrasound, diagnostic radiology, digital mammography, bone density (DEXA) and general X-ray. The Outpatient Center also is home to the Piedmont Hospital Cancer Center which offers chemotherapy with private and semi-private treatment areas, medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgical oncology, gynecologic oncology, liver cancer services and Cancer Wellness.


Sibley’s Fischbach, Mahle and Vincent Head Three Cardiac Societies

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center announced that three of its pediatric cardiologists have been selected to lead national cardiology organizations.

Peter Fischbach, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Children’s Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship Program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, was recently elected Vice President of the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES).

PACES is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the care of children and young adults with cardiac rhythm disturbances. The group was established to foster high-quality collaborative research and exchange of ideas on arrhythmia topics affecting infants and children. With the improved outcomes of children with congenital heart disease, the organization has expanded its scope to provide research on patients with congenital heart disease as they transition to adulthood.

Fischbach will serve a two-year term as vice president, and an additional two-year term as president of the organization, starting in 2011.

William T. Mahle, M.D., Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, was recently elected Vice President of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Group (PHTS).

The PHTS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and treatment of children during listing for and following heart transplantation. The group established and maintains an international database for heart transplantation and uses the database to encourage and stimulate research in pediatric heart transplantation and the promotion of new therapeutic strategies. PHTS has 36 member institutions in North America and Europe, with more than 3,400 listed patients and more than 2,400 transplanted patients in the database.

Mahle will serve a two-year term as vice president and an additional two-year term as president of the organization.

Robert Vincent, M.D., Director, Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center; Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, was recently elected President of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology  and Governor of the American College of Cardiology (ACC). His term will begin in 2010.

The ACC and its state chapters work to promote high standards in the practice of cardiovascular medicine and surgery and to maximize the quality of cardiovascular care received by people in Georgia and throughout the United States and Canada. 

The Georgia Chapter also advises local and state governmental and professional organizations, as well as citizens, concerning issues related to cardiovascular disease and the practice of cardiovascular medicine and surgery. The organization, through its membership, strives to maintain the highest standards in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

“I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments of these physicians,” said Robert M. Campbell, M.D., Chief of Cardiac Services at the Children’s Sibley Heart Center. “Key leadership roles in three cardiac societies in the U.S. are currently held by physicians from Children’s.”



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