NEW HAVEN — Practice Greenhealth has honored Yale-New Haven Hospital with two awards for environmental excellence at the annual CleanMed Conference & Exhibition. The Circle of Excellence Award, Practice Greenhealth’s highest honor for hospitals, recognizes those facilities leading the industry with innovation in sustainability, demonstrating superior programs and illustrating how sustainability is embedded in their culture.

YNHH is also among the first-ever winners of Top 25 Environmental Excellence Awards, the most prestigious environmental achievement award offered by the organization. It recognizes health-care facilities that exemplify the best of the best in environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in health care.

Some of the sustainability initiatives for which YNHH was recognized include operating room recycling, LEED ratings for “green” buildings, a sustainable pharmaceutical waste program, various operating room reprocessing initiatives, the reduction of BPA/DEHP (chemicals found in some plastics) and safer chemicals hospital-wide.

 NEW HAVEN — The State Bond Commission has awarded a grant of  $917,141 in funding for the Fair Haven Community Health Center for the construction and purchase of equipment for a new 6,000-square-foot mental health, dental and primary care facility on Grand Avenue in New Haven.

 

“This grant will help the Fair Haven Community Health Center continue in its mission of providing critical access to excellent, affordable medical care to those in need,” said State Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D ) of New Haven.

 

“This funding is incredibly important to the Fair Haven Health Center,” said Suzanne Lagarde MD, FACP. “We serve over 15,000 residents and are in need of more space in order to keep up with the demand for our services.

 

The Fair Haven Community Health Center is a not-for-profit primary health care organization that has been dedicated to serving the greater Fair Haven Community since 1971. It provides comprehensive health care from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult and geriatric.

 NEW HAVEN — So-called “superusers” of Emergency Medical Services (EMS)— most of whom had alcohol-related reasons for their EMS transport — generated millions of dollars in medical costs in one year alone in the city of San Francisco, according to a new study by the Yale School of Medicine and the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF). The study, which focuses on the financial impact of alcohol abuse on one urban community, appears in the journal Prehospital Emergency Care.

Researchers from the Emergency Department at Yale and UCSF identified 100 EMS superusers — individuals who used EMS services in San Francisco more than 15 times in the year 2009. Yale first author M. Kennedy Hall and colleagues found that superusers were significantly younger and more likely to be male than other EMS users. The majority of superusers had Medicaid coverage. Also, superusers were more than eight times more likely to have an alcohol-associated reason for an EMS encounter than people who used EMS only once that year.

Although the EMS superuser group comprised only 0.3 percent of the total number of individuals who used EMS, they generated 6.1 percent of the transports, as well as a disproportionate share of estimated charges — $3.8 million for that year — reimbursed primarily through public insurance programs.

 HAMDEN — The Quinnipiac University School of Nursing has been awarded a $652,000 grant that will be used to support underrepresented students in its doctor of nursing practice program.

The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded Quinnipiac an Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship Program grant, which was created to increase the number of advanced-education nurses trained to practice as primary-care providers and/or nursing faculty to address the nurse faculty shortage. The grant runs from July of this year through June 30, 2016.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” according to Laima Karosas, clinical associate professor and director of the nurse practitioner and post-MSN programs at QU. “This grant will be used for nurse practitioner education, especially nurse practitioners who want to work in primary care.”

Karosas, the principal investigator on the grant, said the funding will be used to support underrepresented populations Hispanics, veterans and males who demonstrate a need in completing their DNP degrees. “Many of our students are adults with families,” Karosas notes. “They just can’t quit their jobs to pursue their education.”

More than 120 students are enrolled in Quinnipiac’s doctor of nurse practice program.

 NEW HAVEN — Preventing weight gain obesity, and ultimately diabetes could be as simple as keeping a nuclear receptor from being activated in a small part of the brain, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Published in the August 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), the study showed that when the researchers blocked the effects of the nuclear receptor PPARgamma in a small number of brain cells in mice, the animals ate less and became resistant to a high-fat diet.

“These animals ate fat and sugar, and did not gain weight, while their control littermates gained weight on the same diet,” reports lead author Sabrina Diano, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at the med school. “We showed that the PPARgamma receptor in neurons that produce POMC could control responses to a high-fat diet without resulting in obesity.”

Diano and her team studied transgenic mice that were genetically engineered to delete the PPARgamma receptor from POMC neurons. They wanted to see if they could prevent the obesity associated with a high-fat, high-sugar diet.

The findings may have key implications in diabetes. PPARgamma is a target of thiazolidinedione (TZD), a class of drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes. They lower blood-glucose levels, but patients gain weight on these medications.

 HAMDEN — J. Alan Otsuki, MD of North Haven has been appointed senior associate dean for medical education at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. Otsuki will be responsible for overseeing and building the medical school’s curriculum, including leading the development of the third- and fourth-year curricula. He also will work closely with the medical school’s clinical partners, including St. Vincent’s Medical Center, the school’s principal clinical partner, and Middlesex Hospital, MidState Medical Center, Waterbury Hospital, Griffin Hospital and several others.

Otsuki comes to Quinnipiac from the Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Health Network, where he was chief of the Division of Education and associate dean of the University of South Florida College of Medicine’s Regional Campus at the Lehigh Valley Health Network. Before that, Otsuki was associate dean for medical education and student affairs at Emory University School of Medicine.

 BRIDGEPORT— A cardiac patient at St. Vincent’s Medical Center has received Fairfield County’s first implantation of the Subcutaneous Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (S-ICD), a new life saving procedure for irregular heart rhythms.

 

Cardiac electrophysiologist Joseph Tiano, MD, successfully implanted the new S-ICD device at the Medical Center in March. He is the third physician in the state of Connecticut to perform this operation and the first in Fairfield County.


 

The S-ICD System gives new hope to many living with life-threatening forms of ventricular fibrillation, or V-Fib. It is the world’s first and only implantable device that provides defibrillation therapy without touching the heart. It detects very fast and disorganized heart rhythms, known as ventricular tachyarrhythmia, and provides electrical therapy to restore the heart’s normal rhythm, preventing possible sudden cardiac arrest.

 

“This latest advance will be a tremendous benefit to those patients who might not normally be able to undergo the implantation of a device due to other conditions or overall physical frailty,” said Tiano. “This new technology gives patients with life-threatening heart rhythm irregularities another less invasive and safer option.”

 

 NEW HAVEN — Yale Cancer Center is among the first 19 sites to launch a multi-center clinical trial for patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer who progressed after initial treatment. The trial, called Lung-MAP (Lung Cancer Master Protocol) is public-private collaboration that includes the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Friends of Cancer Research, cancer centers across the U.S. and five pharmaceutical companies.

Roy S. Herbst, MD, chief of medical oncology at Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, said Lung MAP was designed to take advantage of cancer gene-sequencing technology to screen as many patients as possible to determine whether they are a match for the five experimental drugs in the trial. Herbst is co-chair of the Lung-MAP oversight committee and chair of the drug selection committee.

“With as many as 500 other partners expected to join this network, this trial offers us an exciting opportunity to work with enough patients to yield meaningful and actionable findings in terms of determining the best new drugs in the pipeline for these patients,” Herbst said. “We think this trial will be a model for any cancer based on molecular profiles.”

The trial will be available to eligible patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital and the eight YNHH Cancer Care Centers in the community.

Squamous cell carcinoma represents about a quarter of all lung cancer diagnoses, but there are currently few treatment options beyond surgery for the disease. The trial will use genomic profiling to match patients for whom other treatments have failed to one of drugs designed to target the genomic alterations suspected of driving the growth of the cancer.

To learn more about the trial visit Lung-MAP.org.