Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Marketing Department Receives Honors for braVo!; MdMD Magazine for Life

The LifeBridge Health Marketing Department won several awards recently, including top honors for its braVo! book and calendar.

The braVo! 2009 calendar was named a Judge’s Choice Award through the Aster Awards Competition, hosted by Creative Images, Inc., an internationally recognized firm specializing in strategic healthcare marketing. The Aster Awards is an annual contest honoring entries achieving excellence in healthcare marketing. From approximately 3,000 entries, there were only 10 Judge's Choice awards given.

The calendar also won gold in the Twenty-Sixth Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards competition, and an honorable mention from the Hermes Creative Awards. The Healthcare Advertising Awards honor the most prestigious examples of healthcare advertising, with over 175,000 entries submitted across the nation.

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition, with entries submitted from corporate marketing and communication departments to non-profit institutions. The braVo! book also won kudos from the Hermes Creative Awards, which named it a platinum winner. Only 17 percent of the roughly 3,700 entries received this top honor.

MdMD Magazine for Life and the LifeBridge Health Web site are APEX 2009 Award winners.

APEX 2009 awards were based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success in the opinion of the judges in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. They are sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc. There were close to 3,785 entries this year, and there were 1,158 Awards of Excellence given out over 122 individual categories. MdMD Magazine for Life won in Apex's Magazine & Journal Writing category, and the Web site won in the Most Improved Web & Intranet Sites category.

Oral Cancer Can Be Prevented

Do you have a sore on your lip that does not heal? It could be a sign of oral cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there are around 29,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed every year in the United States. There are an average of 600 new cases expected in Maryland this year.

But most oral cancer is preventable. Ninety percent of oral cancer use tobacco, making it the No. 1 risk factor. Those over 40 years old are more likely to have oral cancer, and it is twice as common in men as women. Other risk factors include alcohol use, prolonged sun exposure and having HPV (human papillomavirus).

Like other cancers, oral cancer is more likely to be cured if it is caught early. By limiting alcohol consumption, using a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15, and eating a healthy diet are among the ways to reduce your chances of contacting oral cancer.

And of course, stop smoking. The Maryland Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) offers free telephone-based counseling, support and tips to help you quit. The Baltimore City Health Department also offers smoking cessation.

Free smoking cessation programs, some of which are held at Northwest Hospital, are available to Baltimore County residents or individuals that work or attend school in Baltimore County over 18 years of age.
Call the Baltimore County Tobacco Resource Line at 1-888-887-0123 to learn more.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Migraine Treatments Available at LifeBridge Health

There’s no limit to what can trigger a headache. And when one strikes, there is no limit to how much time it can take away from work, family or fun.

Headaches fall into two categories: primary headaches (including tension or migraine) and secondary headaches (those resulting from brain injury or illness). The majority of headaches fall into the first category.

In fact, there are 28 million people who get migraine headaches in the United States, three-fourths of whom are women, says Adrian J. Goldszmidt, M.D., chief of the Department of Neurology at Sinai Hospital and director of the Headache Center, a program of the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute.

“Those with chronic or episodic migraines may be suffering needlessly when there are treatments available,” he says.

A migraine is often a throbbing type of headache felt on one side of the head, and may cause nausea or sensitivity to light, says Goldszmidt. About one in five people with migraines experience an “aura,” which involves other neurologic symptoms, such as visual changes or numbness.

According to the American Council on Headache Education, about 60 percent of women with migraines note an increase in association with their menstrual period.

The aftershocks of a headache may have adverse consequences. According to a recent study published in the medical journal Neurology, women who suffer from chronic headaches, defined as more than 15 a month, are four times more prone to major depression than those with episodic headaches.

Plus, “migraines cause $13 billion a year in lost productivity,” Goldszmidt says.

In contrast to migraines, a tension headache is caused by tight and contracted muscles in the shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. Often related to stress or anxiety, these headaches may be caused by lack of sleep, missed meals or overwork.

A physician can help decode the reason behind a headache. When a patient seeks treatment at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Health Brain & Spine Institute, he or she will benefit from a top-notch team of physicians who adopt a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. The physician elicits details about the headaches, including specific features, duration and patterns. The patient is asked to keep a record, which can help pinpoint triggers. If needed, additional testing such as a CT scan or MRI may be ordered.

“Treatment options vary depending on the reason a headache is occurring,” Goldszmidt says. “A change or reduction in medication may help, as may changes in diet or an increase in physical activity.”

Those who get migraine headaches also may benefit from preventative medications. In addition, those who experience headaches may benefit from learning about and subsequently avoiding “triggers,” which may include alcohol, caffeine, glaring lights or certain odors. Lifestyle changes, such as sleeping more each night or changing one’s diet, may also decrease the number of headaches.

“Much more often than not, our systematic approach to headache treatment yields tangible results, with dramatic reductions in headache frequency and severity and improved quality of life,” Goldszmidt says.

For more information about the Headache Center at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cardiac Arrest Requires Immediate Response

After the death of Michael Jackson, there are a lot of questions about cardiac arrest.

The American Heart Association, headed by Sinai Hospital President Neil Meltzer as of July 1, recommends knowing the warning signs of cardiac arrest, such as a loss of consciousness, cessation of normal breathing and loss of pulse and blood pressure. A common underlying reason for patients to die suddenly from cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease. Brain death and permanent death start to occur in just 4 to 6 minutes.

While it's not known what caused Jackson's cardiac arrest, Sinai Hospital cardiologist Ali Tabrizchi, MD, FACC, FSCAI, says there are several factors that can put a person at high risk. These are coronary and structural heart disease, metabolic abnormalities, arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies. Non-cardiac causes include infections, drug overdoses, trauma, or cancer.

People often confuse a heart attack with cardiac arrest. Dr. Tabrizchi explains that a cardiac arrest is the abrupt cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively, whereas, a heart attack occurs when blood flow to a beating heart is interrupted. For example, a heart attack can occur when a buildup of plaque blocks one of your coronary arteries.

A year ago, another prominent celebrity, Tim Russert, died after suffering cardiac arrest. However, Russert had symptomatic coronary artery disease, while the details of Jackson's health are not yet known.

Diabetes Resource Center Offers Education and Management Tools

What do Sonia Sotomayor, Bret Michaels and Nick Jonas have in common?


They are among the 23.6 million children and adults in the United States, or 7.8 percent of the population, who have diabetes. In Maryland, the rate of diabetes has grown over the past 10 years, from 6 percent of adults in 1998 to 7.9 percent of adults in 2006. By the end of 2007, there were 358,000 adults with the disease in the state, according to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In Maryland it is estimated there is another undiagnosed group of 143,000 adults.

Luckily, the Diabetes Resource Center at Sinai works with patients with diabetes by promoting healthy behavior for an improved quality of life. The center recently completed its application for certification by the American Diabetes Association.

In addition to addressing the fear about regular injections, staff members at the center acknowledge the constant maintenance required in controlling diabetes. By taking into consideration a patient’s feelings and daily lifestyle, the center is re-inventing diabetes management. Education is key to helping people with diabetes manage their disease, so group classes are offered for ongoing education and support. The center’s components also include glucose monitoring, medication and/or insulin instruction, nutritional counseling, and a focus on prevention of complications. Other staff members at the center include diabetes nurse educators, pharmacists and registered dietitians.

There is a close relationship with patients. Physicians and staff can facilitate care with other specialists in the LifeBridge Health system, including the Krieger Eye Institute, the Sleep Center at Sinai and the Heart Center at Sinai. Plus, new technology at the Diabetes Resource Center includes real-time glucose monitoring, insulin pump therapy and intensive insulin treatment.

The Diabetes Resource Center staff makes it their mission to educate people on the risk factors for diabetes, including obesity. It is no coincidence that the obesity rates are tied to the rise of type 2 diabetes. There are 21.4 million men and 22.9 million women in the United States who are currently obese.

For more information on the Diabetes Resource Center, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rehabilitation Therapists Sought in Baltimore

Today in PT magazine is featuring working at Sinai Hospital as a dream job!

Physical Therapists, who specialize in brain injury and neurological rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, are responsible for patients with neurological impairments, including those from the CARF-accredited RETURN! Brain Injury Program, as well as others with diagnoses such as normal pressure hydrocephalus, CVA, mild brain injury, spasticity, and sports-related concussion.

"Sinai Hospital is simply a great place to work. The interdisciplinary teams are outstanding and there is so much encouragement for professional development. Sinai rehabilitation services span all areas, and each program strives to be a center of excellence. Our neuro and orthopedic programs are top-notch, and we continue to encourage staff in new areas of specialization such as our outpatient vestibular program and women's health," says Julia Greninger, physical therapist and rehab coordinator, acute care, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.

To learn more, visit http://news.todayinpt.com/article/20090608/TODAYINPT0206/90605011&SearchID.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Spinal Stenosis Treatment Offers Hope

Spinal stenosis is caused by narrowing in your spine that can put pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. Symptoms include cramping, pain or numbness in your legs, back, neck, shoulders or arms, and a a loss of sensation in your extremities. It is most common in people over age 50.

The Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute is proud to offer treatment options for those with spinal stenosis. John Brunson, M.D., a neurointerventional radiologist at Sinai Hospital, recently performed a minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD) on a patient with central canal lumbar spinal stenosis. Severe lumbar spinal stenosis, which occurs in the lower back, can be crippling, and there are 1.5 million patients who are newly diagnosed each year

The MILD procedure involves a physician making a small incision and remove targeted portions of the bone. This minimally invasive procedure is an effective alternative to open surgical treatment, especially for elderly patients who may not otherwise be candidates for surgery. MILD has potentially fewer complications and a shorter recovery period. Dr. Brunson is one of only five local physicians performing the MILD procedure.

For more information about Dr. Brunson or the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nurse Navigator Begins at Northwest

By Deb Kirkland, RN, BSN, MPH
Nurse Navigator, Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Center at Northwest Hospital

The role of navigation in cancer centers has evolved due to the need in assisting patients through their cancer journey. Being diagnosed with cancer can be an overwhelming experience, with a great deal of information delivered to the patient in a short period of time. After hearing the words, “You have cancer,” one’s world can spin (or crash) in less than a nano-second. Anything that is said following these words is a challenge to comprehend due to these words creating such an impact. Many patients have questions ranging from facing mortality to how they will take care of their family to how they will keep working.

Having cancer can be a full-time job and not something one looks forward to penciling in their BlackBerry. While the patient is enduring multiple appointments, the navigator is able to sit down with the patient and place the pieces of the puzzle together, guiding them through this challenging process. The role of a nurse navigator is to educate, support and advocate for patients through the cancer journey by functioning as care coordinators, system navigators, and ambassadors to the community on a mission to improve the quality of the patient’s cancer experience. This navigation begins when a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, continuing through treatment, as well as long-term follow-up.

I know firsthand what it’s like - nearly 8 years ago, I was one of those confused cancer patients. Just after Sept. 11, 2001, I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. I was 32 years old, with no family history. Being a nurse, I was well-educated and aware of the statistics, but never imagined I was at risk. I was 100 percent wrong. Today, 85 percent of new breast cancer cases have no family history. I started a group (Young Survival Coalition of Greater Baltimore) and partnered with LifeBridge Health, obtaining a grant from the Maryland Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, called Breast Friends. This program is designed to address the unique needs of women aged 40 or younger affected by breast cancer. The program seeks to meet these needs through support and educational activities. Breast Friends also provides community outreach to young women’s groups and African American women, both populations having a lower incidence of breast cancer, yet a higher mortality rate. Today, this program is solely funded by LifeBridge Health.

My new position is coordinating Breast Friends and being a Nurse Navigator in the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Center at Northwest Hospital. The center is a part of the Alvin and Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute at LifeBridge Health. While I am new to Northwest Hospital, I have been a part of LifeBridge Health for the past 5 years coordinating Breast Friends. My new role is to navigate patients in overcoming challenges and assisting them through these unknown waters. Having been there myself, I hope to make the waters less choppy for them.

I will be blogging regularly in this space on breast cancer issues, so feel free to post comments. Meanwhile, if you have a breast cancer question or would like to visit our center, please feel free to contact me by calling 410-521-8831 at dkirklan(at)lifebridgehealth.org.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Renovated LifeBridge Health & Fitness Reopens

LifeBridge Health & Fitness
in Pikesville reopened Saturday after an extensive renovation. The $600,000 facility face-lift now provides members with the some of the most advanced exercise equipment in the area.

LifeBridge Health & Fitness replaced 90 percent of the current equipment with the highly rated Technogym system. The Technogym equipment has a built-in LCD screen and iPod docking bay. This will allow members to bring their own music or videos to plug right into the equipment.

In addition to new exercise equipment the gym has also remodeled the locker room space to provide members with several different locker options, including lockers with digital locks so members will not have to worry about losing a locker key.

LifeBridge Health & Fitness also offers its members several new programming options. Face2Face is a program that is included within your membership, and allows members to meet with a personal trainer five times for 30 minutes to help create fitness goals. The Parisi Speed School is a new sports performance program at LifeBridge Health & Fitness. This program is nationally recognized and is currently in 22 different states across the country.

For more information, call 410-484-6800.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Northwest Hospital Designated Primary Stroke Center

For some residents in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties, lifesaving emergency stroke care just got closer to home. That is because the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) has just designated Northwest Hospital as a Primary Stroke Center. Now, ambulances transporting stroke victims will take them to Northwest Hospital for treatment when the hospital is the closest Primary Stroke Center.

Before the designation, emergency vehicles with stroke patients had to drive past Northwest and go to a farther hospital that was a Primary Stroke Center, which wasted precious time. During a stroke, “time is brain,” and it is critical that victims recognize the warning signs, call 911 and receive medical attention as soon as possible. The longer the wait, the potential for extensive brain damage and death increases.

“We’re very happy that Northwest Hospital is now able to serve our community better by providing closer – and therefore faster – emergency stroke care,” says Erik Wexler, president of the hospital. “Being a Primary Stroke Center is an unusual distinction for a community hospital, but we were certified as one because, among other things, we have dedicated neurology coverage; we can administer tPA, a clot-busting drug; and we have the ability to rapidly transfer the most complicated stroke cases to our affiliated teaching hospital, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore.”

To be designated a Primary Stroke Center, Northwest Hospital has to continually meet 10 core measures for stroke patient care outcomes. Gurdeep Ahluwalia, M.D., Northwest’s on-staff neurologist, leads the team of medical experts who enable the hospital to provide 24/7 emergency stroke care. This team is well-versed in stroke protocol, which involves giving the patient a CT scan to confirm the stroke is caused by a blood clot and, if so, administering tPA within the first three hours of stroke symptom onset. This powerful drug has the ability to dissolve clots that are blocking oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Any patients for whom tPA is not appropriate and who require more invasive means of blood clot removal can be easily transferred and treated at Sinai Hospital if necessary.

In addition to providing time-critical emergency treatment for stroke, as a Primary Stroke Center, Northwest provides a full continuum of care for stroke patients that includes a multidisciplinary approach by emergency medicine, neurology, interventional radiology, rehabilitation services, pharmacy, lab, dietary and social work experts. The whole team works collectively to ensure stroke patients recover and are able to resume their daily activities and previous quality of life as fully as possible.

To learn more about Northwest Hospital and stroke services at LifeBridge Health, visit www.lifebridgehealth.org.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Pedestrian Bridge Work Begins at Northwest

Those visiting Northwest Hospital this month will see an an exciting development in progress. A new pedestrian bridge is being built, and will connect the new Medical Office Building to the hospital's second floor. While the structure, scaffolding and bridge framework are being built, Carlson Lane will be closed between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily. Drivers will be re-routed to the back of the MOB, and those exiting from the Main Entrance will be sent via the outpatient lot to Old Court Road. When the Main Entrance is closed, drivers may be asked to drop off passengers at the "G" lot." Workers are on site to guide drivers and pedestrians.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interpreter Services Available at Sinai

Sinai Hospital is proud to offer a variety of translation services to its non-English speaking patients. A full-time Russian translator works on the Sinai campus Monday through Friday, and a translation service is available after hours. This translation service also assists patients who speak any foreign language.

Sinai also is committed to meeting the needs of the hearing or visually impaired. A sign language interpreter service is available 24/7. The Telecommunication Department also has communication devices for those who are blind or unable to speak.

Please ask a nurse for an interpreter if you need one during your hospital stay.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LifeBridge Health Offers Unusual and Exciting Benefits

LifeBridge Health offers its employees a wide range of benefits. These include an adoption benefit, providing cash reimbursement for legal and adoption expenses. Another benefit is phased-in retirement, which allows employees over the age of 60 to step down their hours but maintain their benefits at their full-time level.

LifeBridge Health is also pleased to offer tuition reimbursement, flexible spending accounts and much more. To read more about the benefits offered by LifeBridge Health, visit a recent article in Advance for Health Care Careers. To learn about the opportunities available at each of the LifeBridge Health entities, visit www.lifejobs.org.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bone Up on Your Knowledge of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can cause the loss of 20 percent of total bone mass for women in the first five to seven years after menopause, but it may be reversed if detected early. Even with advanced cases, treatment can improve bone health.

At the Sinai Hospital Center for Bone Health, our osteoporosis experts can deduce whether you need treatment or are at risk.

Out of the 10 million Americans estimated to have osteoporosis, eight million are women. It’s estimated that over 1.5 million bone fractures each year are because of osteoporosis, making it a public health risk for 55 percent of Americans who are 50 and older, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include a family history, advanced age, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, or a vitamin D deficiency. Those taking corticosteroids for conditions such as arthritis or colitis are especially at risk for bone loss. Low body weight (less than 127 pounds) and anorexia also are high risk factors for developing osteoporosis.

The Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Sinai provides comprehensive consultative services to patients with a wide variety of endocrinologic and metabolic disorders, including osteoporosis and calcium disorders. Although osteoporosis often isn’t diagnosed until after age 50, the disease gets its start years, or even decades, earlier.

According to Sinai Hospital Center for Bone Health director and endocrinologist Esther Krug, M.D., all women over age 65, regardless of whether they have any symptoms of osteoporosis, should be screened. At Sinai, a painless and non-invasive test can help measure the bone mineral density and predict the chances of future fractures. This test, called a DXA scan, provides baseline measurements of the bone density of the hip and spine and then is compared with similar measurements in the future to evaluate changes in bone mineral density.

Even with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, with proper treatment women and men can lead safe, active and pain-free lives, Krug says.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bead Therapy at the Cancer Institute

The Alvin & Lois Lapidus Cancer Institute at LifeBridge Health is always looking for new ways to reach out to cancer patients, survivors and their family members. That's why we are proud to offer the Lunch and Learn program. These sessions offer various topics, and either provide education, interaction or a chance for artistic expression.

At noon on Wednesday, June 17, cancer survivor Dawn Foote and her mother, Maria will be leading a session on bead therapy.

Using beads to create jewelry is a great distraction for patients and may provide relief from the discomfort of diagnosis help relieve stress.

This session is open to cancer patients, survivors and their family members. For more information, call Yolanda Marzouk at 410-601-0920.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Krieger Eye Institute Hosts Diabetic Eye Screening

by Don Abrams, M.D.

The Krieger Eye Institute of Sinai Hospital sponsored a Diabetic Eye Screening at the institute's Quarry Lake location last night. The event, which was promoted on WJZ-TV, resulted in 41 people, all with diabetes, attending the screening.

The screening was set up to determine if any of the individuals had diabetic eye changes and needed therapy. Many of the participants had not eye care for many years, and in many cases had never had seen an ophthalmologist, despite carrying the diagnosis of diabetes.

Several of the patients had diabetic retinopathy, and many had not received treatment for the condition. Several patients also were diagnosed with cataracts, and a couple were diagnosed with uncontrolled glaucoma.

All participants were encouraged and educated about seeing their eye care professionals annually. Those that needed more immediate treatment were counseled to see their own ophthalmologists as soon as possible, or were scheduled to see some of the doctors of the Krieger Eye Institute.

Five Krieger Eye Institute ophthalmic technicians, seven Krieger Eye Institute faculty members, resident physicians, and members of the Marketing Department participated in the event.

Sign Up for the Save-A-Limb Ride

Registration is open for the 4th annual Save-A-Limb Ride and Festival, which will be Sunday, September 13, at Oregon Ridge Park.

This event benefits the Save-A-Limb Fund, a non-profit organization established with the goal of advancing patient care and support in the fight to preserve limbs and joints from amputation, both domestically and abroad, through the research and work of the physicians and staff of the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics (RIAO) at Sinai Hospital.

Options for riding include a 6-mile Family Ride, which starts at 10 a.m., a 30-mile ride, which starts at 9 a.m., or the Metric Century ride, which is 62.60 miles and starts at 8 a.m.

The event features professional cyclist Floyd Landis. The post-ride festivities include a picnic and carnival with live music, face painting, costume characters, demonstrations by the police K-9 Unit, carnival games, water balloons, egg races, a Dunk the Doctors tank and much more.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Levindale Hosts Wii Bowling Tournament

by Helene King

The phrase, “life in the fast lane,” took on new meaning at Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital recently.

That’s because the winner of the first annual Wii Kibbutz Bowling Tournament, from Meisel One unit, rolled over the competition - literally. The championship team was named “Wii Bowl You Over.”

As part of National Nursing Home Week, more than 100 Levindale residents, patients and staff dressed in team T-shirts and headed to the Schwaber Multi-Purpose Room for a morning elimination round. Pictured above right is Levindale Rehab Tech Kearney Jones cheering on her team.

Competition was fierce, as each team bowled three games. Players were striking quickly, and no one was spared in the rivalries. When all of the pins were tallied, only the four teams with the highest single game scores moved to the finals.

As players from "Wii Bowl You Over", "Golden Rollers" (from Hall One), "Golden Hills High Rollers" (from Hall Two) and "Bumble Bees" (from Burk Two) readied for the afternoon finals, the multipurpose room filled with fans from other teams, family members and more staff. The excitement was palpable.

Although it was a well-matched tournament, in the end, the Meisel One team took top honors. For its victory, members received a certificate to hang on the unit.

“Everyone was a winner who participated in and helped with the tournament,” says John Ottena, manager of Levindale’s Therapeutic Recreation department. “Healthy competition and teamwork always boosts the spirits of everyone at Levindale. You can bet everyone is already practicing for next year’s contest.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

LifeBridge Health commits to Who Will Care? initiative

Training the next generation of nurses and nurse educators is the goal of the Maryland Hospital Association's new Who Will Care? initiative, which aims to double the number of nurse graduates in Maryland. To signify its commitment, LifeBridge Health has pledged $1 million to help fund the program.

The need is great: between 2000 and 2020, there is an anticipated 40 percent increase in the demand for nurses, compared to a projected 6 percent growth in the supply of nurses. In 2007, Maryland hospitals reported an average vacancy rate of 10 percent. Projections show the nursing shortage could grow to over 10,000 R.N.s by 2016. If nothing is done, the result will be limits to health care access, delays in treatment, excessive cost escalation, more provider stress and other compromises to ensuring health care effectiveness.

The only remedy is to train and hire more R.N.s. Yet, 1,850 qualified candidates for nursing were not admitted to Maryland’s colleges and universities in 2006 because programs were full.

Two-thirds of the LifeBridge Health donation will directly benefit nursing schools at the University of Maryland, Stevenson University and Morgan State University. The rest will be placed in a general fund to help other nursing programs around the state.

LifeBridge Health is committed to assist the community with its growing health care needs by supporting local nursing programs,” said Warren Green, LifeBridge Health president and CEO. “Our pledge is one way that LifeBridge Health is working to maintain a steady stream of qualified nurses entering the local workforce.”

Who Will Care? 's goal is to double the number of Maryland students obtaining their first nursing degree. The campaign plans to raise $60 million from public and private sources to underwrite the cost of enrolling an additional 1,500 students per year in nursing programs.

By contributing to the effort, LifeBridge Health is signaling its support for the recruitment and retention of qualified nurse faculty, availability of clinical nursing instruction sites, implementation of educational technologies, and the development of nursing student retention programs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The annual Race for Our Kids, which supports pediatric oncology at The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai, was a huge success. The total raised yesterday topped $85,000.

There were 240 runners in the 10K, with 23-year-old Ryan Blood winning with a time of 31:01. The top female finisher was 27-year-old Samia Akbar with a time of 39:38.

There were 367 runners in the 5K, with 17-year-old Steven McAndrew winning with a time of 18:05. The top female finisher in the 5K was 14-year-old Nicole Dawson with a time of 21:15.

For more race results, visit www.active.com

And don't forget that the next event in the Sizzling Summer Series is the Pikesville 5K Miles That Matter on July 12. The Hadassah CHECK IT OUT CHALLENGE ® concludes the series on August 2.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sign Up for Race for Our Kids

There's still time to register for the fifth annual Race for Our Kids, which will be at 8 a.m. on Sunday. The race includes a 10K and 5K run and a 1 Mile Family Walk.

Proceeds from the race support pediatric oncology at The Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai. The event features a premium technical shirt giveaway, $7,500 in cash awards and a post-race party with catered food sponsored by the Classic Catering People.The 5K and 10K races begin at Pimlico Road and Ken Oak. The 1 Mile Family Walk starts in the Pimlico lot and travels around the Sinai campus.

For more information or to register, visit www.raceforourkids.org.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center Debuts in New Space

Roughly 175 people attended the grand reopening of the Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center and the debut of the Sara & David Brown lobby at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown Tuesday evening. It also marked the end of the hospital's Renaissance Campaign, a community fundraising effort launched in 2005, which raised over $7 million that went toward the hospital's renovation and expansion.

The Samuelson Breast Care center today makes available some of the most advanced cancer detection technologies and treatment approaches – such as digital mammography, breast MRI, breast biopsy and multi-D cancer conferences. Starting July 1, the center will be headed by a fellowship-trained breast surgeon and new medical director, Dawn Leonard, M.D., pictured above left with Northwest Hospital President Erik Wexler. Her expertise will add to the comprehensiveness of the center, giving patients the option to use it as their home base for all facets of cancer care as well as for their routine mammograms.

Tuesday's event drew physicians such Ron Shuster, M.D., the division head of the Cosmetic Surgery Center at Northwest Hospital, pictured above right with LifeBridge Health vice president Ida Samet. Other attendees included state Del. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, pictured at left with Andrea Amprey, executive vice president of Amprey & Associates, and Marianne Kreitner, Director of Constituent Services for Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sinai Doctor Authors New Book on Electrocardiography

Thanks to Sinai Hospital’s Director of Noninvasive Cardiology Romulo F. Baltazar, M.D., FACC, medical professionals and students now have a clear and comprehensive new tool in understanding and treating heart disease.

Electrocardiography (ECG) is one of the most important ways to determine the rate and regularity of heartbeats, the size and position of the heart's chambers, and whether damage exists. While there are textbooks outlining the basics of ECG interpretation and ones that explain how to treat a patient with specific coronary disease, Dr. Baltazar saw the need to have a book that combines both aspects. This led to the creation of Basic and Bedside Electrocardiography, published in April by Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

“Before, you could find a textbook that tells you how to diagnose atrial fibrillation, but then you have to turn to another one to figure out what you do for the patient,” he says. “This book gives you the information you need to do both.”

Each chapter begins with the basics and is designed for medical students, nurses and paramedical professionals. But then each section moves toward ways to treat diseases such as sinus node dysfunction, with that information targeted toward fellows, physician assistants, clinical cardiologists and others who need the latest practice guidelines.
Baltazar spent eight years writing, illustrating and editing the book.

“When I started, I didn’t even know how to scan,” he says. “I was the typist, author, and illustrator.”

Dr. Baltazar completed his residency at Sinai and became a member of the Division of Cardiology at Sinai in 1975. The Division of Cardiology is home to the Heart Center at Sinai. As Dr. Baltazar trained medical students and residents, he saw the need for a book with the “ABCs” of electrocardiography as well as the latest cardiology guidelines. He revised sections such as the one on acute coronary syndrome as new recommendations were published. So far, the response from residents and colleagues has been enthusiastic.

“This is my legacy for my career at Sinai,” Dr. Baltazar says.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Northwest Hospital Campaign Concludes; Breast Center Reopens

Northwest Hospital in Randallstown is officially concluding its Renaissance Campaign, a community fundraising effort launched in 2005 that raised over $7 million. These funds, combined with support from LifeBridge Health, have provided for the hospital’s $100 million renovation and expansion to better meet the current and future needs of the surrounding community.

The celebration to mark the end of the campaign will be today from 5:30 to 7: 30 p.m. It will include the official opening of the new, state-of-the-art Herman & Walter Samuelson Breast Care Center and the Sara and David S. Brown outpatient lobby. Event speakers include Warren Green, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health; Walter Amprey, chair of the Northwest Hospital Board; Erik Wexler, president and COO of Northwest Hospital; and Dawn Leonard, M.D., breast surgeon and new medical director of the Samuelson Breast Care Center.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bloomin' 5K Benefits Cancer Services

Hundreds of runners, including Northwest Hospital President Erik Wexler (pictured in front), participated in the Bloomin' 5K Run in Owings Mills last month. The event featured a scenic tour of Red Run Business Parks, music and door prizes, and was sponsored by the Reisterstown - Owings Mills - Glyndon Chamber of Commerce. The race resulted in roughly a $4,800 donation for the LifeBridge Health Cancer and Infusion Centers at Sinai and Northwest hospitals.