Press Releases

LSUHS Library Exhibiting at Geek'd Con in Shreveport

Amazing Captain Fit Comic

The Library will be highlighting the Amazing Captain Fit comic with the support of a National Network of Libraries of Medicine grant.

 

LSU Health Shreveport Health Sciences Library faculty will be exhibiting at Geek'd Con at the Shreveport Convention Center this weekend, August 16-18. At the Library booth, children will receive an activity book on genetics created by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine - Greater Midwest Region, and a box of crayons. In addition, there will be stickers and other consumer information on genetics and precision medicine. Each hour during the convention, Library volunteers will draw the names of four lucky kids to receive a printed copy of the Amazing Captain Fit by mail after the event.

Over 12,000 people attend Geek’d Con, and a majority of them are children, making it an ideal place to highlight the Library's The Amazing Captain Fit comic. The comic was originally funded through an NN/LM South Central Region Health Information Literacy Award in 2014. Library faculty Talicia Tarver (now at Virginia Commonwealth University) and Deidra Woodson wrote the comic, in consultation with Dr. John Vanchiere and Dr. Nelsihan Gungor from the LSU Health Shreveport Department of Pediatrics. Nick Fechter, an LSU Shreveport Bachelor of Fine Arts student, illustrated and lettered the comic. The comic follows the adventures of a child who aspires to be like his favorite hero, Captain Fit. However, he must first complete a series of tasks to make sure he is healthy enough to help Captain Fit fight childhood obesity.

“A lot of teachers, and even professors, are using comic books - either characters or the books themselves - as a way to teach literacy about a variety of topics, especially science,” said Talicia Tarver, co-author of The Amazing Captain Fit, about the comic in April 2015 on Red River Radio.

Captain Fit received local and national praise. It was featured in the Shreveport Times and the American Library Association weekly e-mail. The authors received written thanks from Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator. The Amazing Captain Fit comic can be found online at www.healthelinks.org/kidshealth.

Exhibit costs are funded through a grant from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine - South Central Region (NN/LM-SCR).

For more information on Geek’d Con, visit www.geekdcon.com. For more information on the Health Sciences Library at LSU Health Shreveport, visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/our-schools/library.

AHA PRESS RELEASE: Autopsies reveal how meth hurts the heart

American Heart Association Meeting Report – Presentation #120; Concurrent Session 13A

Study Highlights:

  • Autopsy samples reveal that methamphetamine use makes dangerous structural changes in heart muscle that increase the risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death and heart failure.
  • A microscopic understanding of how the stimulant drug changes the heart could help in devising ways to treat meth’s toxic effects.

BOSTON, Aug. 1, 2019 — Use of the illegal stimulant methamphetamine causes build-up of tough protein fibers in heart muscle, which may help explain the development of enlarged hearts and heart failure in users, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2019 Scientific Sessions.

Methamphetamine, also known as meth, is an extremely addictive and commonly abused stimulant drug, with 1.6 million Americans reporting using the drug in 2017.

Previous autopsy reports of some meth users have documented injury to heart cells, scarring of heart muscle and enlargement of the heart. The current studies were designed to systematically compare autopsy results in meth users and non-users and look for the mechanisms by which the drug might create heart problems.

“Our goal is to discover a fundamental mechanism of methamphetamine toxicity in order to find a way to treat heart muscle diseases associated with illicit methamphetamine use,” said Md. Shenuarin Bhuiyan, Ph.D., senior author of the study and assistant professor in the department of pathology and translational pathobiology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport.

Researchers used heart samples obtained at autopsy from 32 chronic meth users (mostly Caucasian men, average age 38 years) who died from meth overdose or from gunshot wounds, hanging, blunt force injury, stab wounds or sudden heart or lung problems. These were compared with samples from five non-substance users who also died suddenly from gunshot, hanging, blunt force injury or blood clots in the lungs. Meth used was established by medical history and the results of toxicology reports.

In comparison to samples from non-users, samples from the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) in meth users showed:

  • Increased deposits of collagen (stiff protein fibers) around the blood vessels.
  • Accumulation of collagen throughout the spaces between heart muscle cells.

“Regardless of the cause of death, we found methamphetamine has profound harmful effects on the cardiovascular system and results in irreversible damage to the heart, raising the risk of a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest and heart failure,” said Chowdhury S. Abdullah, Ph.D., co-lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Bhuiyan’s laboratory. “Rehabilitation centers for methamphetamine users should routinely monitor heart function and look for signs of heart failure, since early detection of heart problems could prevent further deterioration of the heart muscle. Monitoring should continue even after people have quit using the drug.”

The researchers found similarly increased collagen deposits in mice exposed to meth compared to those who were not. The studies on mice also indicated that methamphetamine may lead to structural changes in heart muscle by inhibiting a specific receptor in the heart, suggesting a possible mechanism to prevent meth-induced heart damage in the future.

The study is limited by using only autopsy samples, so researchers could not determine how the structural differences they documented in methamphetamine users might specifically affect blood tests and heart function.

“We need to further study cardiac function and biochemical blood parameters in methamphetamine users and compare them to those in other substance users and in non-substance users,” Bhuiyan said.

Co-authors are Richa Aishwarya, B.S., co-lead author; Shafiul Alam, Ph.D; Mahboob Morshed, Ph.D; Gopi K Kolluru, Ph.D.; James Traylor, M.D; Sumitra Miriyala, Ph.D.; Manikandan Panchatcharam, Ph.D.; Matthew D. Wollard, Ph.D.; Nicholas E. Goeders, Ph.D.; Xioa-Hong Lu, M.D., Ph.D; Paari S. Dominic, M.D.; Christopher G. Kevil, Ph.D.; A. Wayne Orr, Ph.D.; Norman R. Harris, Ph.D.; and Felicity N.E. Gavins, Ph.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport Malcolm Feist Cardiovascular Research Grant provided funding for the study.

Additional Resources:

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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries and AHA Expert Perspective: 214-706-1173
Cathy Lewis – 214-706-1324; cathy.lewis@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and strokeassociation.org

LSUHS School of Allied Health Professions Awarded Grant by Noel Foundation

July 15, 2019 The School of Allied Health Professions at LSU Health Shreveport has been awarded the “Geaux Upstate Technology Expansion” grant from The Noel Foundation, Inc.

The grant for $43,010 was presented at a check presentation today attended by members of the Noel Foundation Board of Directors, Dr. Robert C. Leitz, III (Board President), Mr. Shelby L. Smith (Board Vice President), and Mr. Merritt B. Chastain, Jr. (Board Secretary), and LSU Health Shreveport leadership, Dr. G. E. Ghali (Chancellor), Dr. Sharon Dunn, (Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions) and Dr. Suzanne Tinsley (Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Assistant Dean of Development for School of Allied Health Professions).

The “Geaux Upstate Technology Expansion” grant will support implementing current best practice technology capabilities within the School of Allied Professions for the purposes of teaching, research and patient care. This is the first grant LSU Health Shreveport has received from the Noel Foundation.  

This proposal is focused on the enhancement of SAHPs students’ learning experiences and increases the educational opportunities available to all students enrolled in the school’s programs. Current practice and teaching standards mandate students be educated in evidence-based practice protocols, and lack of access to the most up-to-date technology and equipment limits learning experiences for students that they will ultimately need in clinical practice upon graduation.

The addition of the equipment requested in the grant proposal will not only greatly impact the educational offerings to current students, but also aid in the recruitment of future students to all programs offered by the School of Allied Health Professions, which are Cardiopulmonary Science, Clinical Medical Science, Communication Disorders, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant. All programs will benefit from this grant.  

The Noel Foundation was established in 1972 as a non-profit organization that supports education, cultural arts, and the community in Shreveport, Louisiana. Their aim is to grow Shreveport both culturally and academically. Noel Foundation Board Vice President Shelby L. Smith stated at the check presentation, “The grant awarded today clearly reflects the vision of James Smith Noel to support both education and our community.”

For more information about the Noel Foundation, visit https://www.jsnoelcollection.org/about-the-foundation.html

For more information about the School of Allied Health Professions at LSUHS, visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/our-schools/school-of-allied-health-professions.

LSUHS Medical Student Awarded Inaugural Scholarship from Ochsner

PHOTO OF RECIPIENTLouisiana Native Receives Full Tuition for LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine

NEW ORLEANS – Recent Xavier University of Louisiana graduate Sarah Bertrand was awarded the inaugural Ochsner Health System Medical School Scholarship for LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine. The scholarship award will cover cost of tuition and fees for Bertrand to attend the four-year medical school program at LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine starting this fall.

Bertrand, 21, graduated Magna Cum Laude this spring from Xavier with a degree in biology, a minor in chemistry and honors in biology, English and chemistry. While at Xavier, Bertrand was an active member of the school’s chapter of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Delta Sigma Theta – a service-based organization. Originally from Marrero, La., Bertrand grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy before moving to New Orleans to study at Xavier – the same school where her mother earned her pharmacy degree. 

“Medicine is a profession where you can really help someone and make a positive change in their lives. I’ve seen this first hand from my mom working in the medical field. She’s really inspired me to follow this path,” said Bertrand. “There’s a strong need for high quality healthcare here in Louisiana. I was raised here, and I’d like to give back by serving this community.”

On average, it takes 7 to 15 years for a physician to complete medical training. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the demand for physicians is projected to grow faster than the current supply and it anticipated that the United States will see a shortage of up to nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032. The physician shortage is most pronounced in Southern states like Louisiana.

“Since its founding, Ochsner Health System has been committed to training the next generation of healthcare providers. Given the physician shortages faced by our country, continuing to invest in the future of healthcare education is critically important,” said Leonardo Seoane, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health System. “This scholarship creates a clear pathway for students to continue their medical education here in Louisiana. Furthermore, it builds upon existing partnerships with Xavier University and LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine. By working together, we are sending a clear message that we believe and choose to invest in the future of medicine in Louisiana – today and for years to come,”

To qualify for consideration for this scholarship, students were required to be Louisiana resident, Xavier students, and have already been accepted into the LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine. To apply for the scholarship, Xavier students submitted an application detailing academic accomplishments, recommendations and an essay reflecting on how they have overcome adversity. A joint Xavier and Ochsner committee reviewed the applications and selected the final scholarship recipient. Moving forward, one scholarship recipient will be selected annually for this scholarship program.

The scholarship program is the next evolution in a long-standing relationship between Ochsner and Xavier, which dates to the early 1980s when Ochsner and Xavier’s College of Pharmacy established an affiliation agreement partnership to provide educational experiences to pharmacy students. Through this partnership, Ochsner has provided clinical training for an average of 80 Xavier pharmacy students each year. Earlier this year, Ochsner and Xavier announced the launch of a new Physician Assistant program, with the first class beginning in January 2020.

“Nurturing Louisiana talent is essential to the future of healthcare in our great state. It is gratifying that Sarah Bertrand, one of our Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (UGRAP) graduates, was selected for this inaugural scholarship from Ochsner Health System.  We are grateful for the support from Ochsner and look forward to all that Sarah will accomplish in her pursuit of becoming a physician.” said Dr. Debbie Chandler, Associate Dean for Diversity and Student Affairs, School of Medicine at LSU Health Shreveport.

On Oct. 1, 2018 Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) and LSU Health Shreveport jointly formed Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport to oversee and coordinate activities between the health sciences center and the healthcare delivery system in Shreveport and Monroe, La.  Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is a public private partnership with a vision to improve the health and well-being of its communities, access to care, quality and facilities, expand patient-centered technology, grow the medical school and enhance research in North Louisiana by building on the strengths of Ochsner and LSU Health Shreveport. Under the new structure, Ochsner brings their nationally-recognized expertise to the management of operations for partner hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, clinics and the clinical activity of the LSUHSC-S Faculty Group Practice. LSU will continue to successfully oversee the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine, School of Allied Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, Graduate Medical Education and research initiatives.

For more information about Ochsner Academics, visit www.ochsner.org/locations/center-for-academic-excellence. For more information about Xavier, visit www.xula.edu. For more information about LSU Health Shreveport – School of Medicine visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/our-schools/school-of-medicine.

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About Ochsner Health System

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About LSU Health Shreveport

LSU Health Shreveport is one of two Health Sciences Centers of the Louisiana State University System and one of only 145 in the nation. LSU Health Shreveport is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions, Graduate Medical Education and a robust research enterprise. Almost 900 students are enrolled in degree programs at any one time. Additionally, over 550 residents and fellows are trained in Shreveport each year. The primary mission of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the well-being of the region and beyond. At the heart of the LSU Health Shreveport is a strong faculty that includes a number of nationally and internationally acclaimed physicians and scientists. More than 600 strong, they lead our research efforts, educate our students and provide primary and specialty care to patients throughout the region. LSU Health Shreveport has strong community support, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes mutual respect for all. For more information visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu.

About Xavier University of Louisiana

As America’s only historically Black and Catholic University, Xavier University of Louisiana has set itself apart for nearly a century. Despite its small size (3,300 students), Xavier is a nationally recognized leader in the STEM and the health sciences fields, producing more African American students who graduate from medical schools each year than any other university in the United States. Its liberal arts-based programs in such areas as art, business, education, psychology, and political science – as well as such recent additions as bioinformatics, data science, neuroscience, crime and social justice, and jazz studies – offer students an unbeatable combination of traditional classroom study, hands-on research, service-learning opportunities, and life experiences.  For more information about Xavier University of Louisiana visit us online at www.xula.edu or follow us on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter @XULA1925. To book interviews, contact Diana Hernandez at (504) 520-5120 or dhernan1@xula.edu

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Paper by LSUHS Researchers on Possible Stroke Treatment Published in AHA Journal

In the United States, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds according to the American Heart Association. In 2015, stroke deaths accounted for 11.8% of total deaths worldwide, making it the second leading cause of death in the world behind heart disease.

A paper authored by many researchers at LSU Health Shreveport on the prevention and treatment of stroke was recently published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association. The paper is titled, “A Novel Role for the AnxA1-Fpr2/ALX Signaling Axis as a Key Regulator of Platelet Function to Promote Resolution of Inflammation.”

During stroke, blood supply to parts of the brain becomes limited causing cell death. This complex response called “inflammation” involves blood vessels, chemical mediators and immune cells. Ongoing or worsening inflammation further damages the brain. Reducing and ideally eliminating inflammation is critical to recovery from stroke – a process termed ‘resolution’.

Platelets are tiny cells that play a crucial part in the development of stroke. By collecting samples from human subjects within 24 hours of having a stroke and from age-matched volunteers (i.e. without stroke) (IRB Protocol: STUDY00000261 and STUDY00000572), along with animal models of stroke, Dr. Gavins and her team at LSU Health Shreveport have discovered that targeting the formyl peptide receptor 2, Fpr2/ALX - a key player in the resolution process, with a compound called Annexin A1 (AnxA1) is able to reduce platelet function, resolving both thrombosis (clotting) and inflammation, and limiting brain damage during stroke.

Dr. Gavins and her team, which includes many clinical and non-clinical collaborators from LSU Health Shreveport and other institutions in the United States, Australia and Germany, are particularly excited as this is the first study to ever show a multi-faceted role for AnxA1, which could help to protect people against stroke and from the worsening outcomes following a stroke.

Their work not only represents clinicians and scientists working together, but a global collaboration to find a treatment for stroke. Louisiana residents also contributed to this research by volunteering to donate blood samples that could be studied by the researchers.

Shreveport Team Members:

  • Felicity N. Gavins, Ph.D., FRSB (Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Director of Small Animal Imaging at LSU Health Shreveport)
  • Elena Senchenkova, Ph.D. (Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology)
  • Junaid Ansari, M.D., Ph.D. (Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology)
  • Ms. Shantel Vital, MS (Dr. Gavins’ Lab Manager in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology)
  • Hai Sun, M.D., Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Epilepsy Surgery)
  • Hugo Cueller-Saenz, M.D. (Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Neurointerventional Surgery)
  • A. Wayne Orr, Ph.D. (Professor of Pathology and Translational Pathobiology and Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences)
  • Zaki Al-Yafeai (Molecular and Cellular Physiology Ph.D. student at LSU Health Shreveport)
  • Karen Stokes, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology  and Assistant Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences)
  • Ana-Maria Dragoi, Ph.D. (Associate Director of Innovative North Louisiana Experimental Therapeutics)
  • Jennifer Carroll, Ph.D. (Director of the In Vivo, In Vitro Efficacy Core)
  • D. Neil Granger , Ph.D. (Boyd Professor and former Chair of the Department of Physiology at LSU Health Shreveport)

PAPER CITATION: A Novel Role for the AnxA1-Fpr2/ALX Signaling Axis as a Key Regulator of Platelet Function to Promote Resolution of Inflammation.  Circulation. 2019 Jun 3. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.

NOTE: All animal experiments were approved by the LSU Health Shreveport Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and were in accordance with the guidelines of the American Physiological Society.

TWITTER: @Gavins_Lab

LAB WEBSITE: www.shreveportphysiology.com/faculty/felicity-gavins-phd/

Ochsner LSU Regional Epilepsy Center Receives Accreditation from NAEC

The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) recently accredited the Ochsner LSU Regional Epilepsy Center as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center.

The Epilepsy Surgery program is a collaboration between members of the departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology at LSU Health Shreveport. Hai Sun, MD, PhD, FAANS, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Director of the Ochsner LSU Regional Epilepsy Center, and Rosario Maria S. Riel-Romero, MD, FAAP, FAAN, FACNS, Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Co-Medical Director of the program and Director of Child Neurology and the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, jointly lead the program. Peimin Zhu, MD, PhD, and Jayson Rodriguez, MD, are the two other board-certified epileptologists in the program. Additional LSU Health Shreveport faculty who are active members of the program include Christina Notarianni, MD, FAANS, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery; Eduardo Gonzalez-Toledo, MD, Professor of Radiology; and Christina Ledbetter, PhD, Fellow in the Department of Neurosurgery. Credit also goes to the center’s team of electroencephalogram (EEG) techs, which is headed by Alena Stevens.

The NAEC has four levels of epilepsy care and accredits centers that meet criteria to be a Level 3 or Level 4, which provide specialized epilepsy care. By the NAEC definition, a Level 4 center provides more complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring, as well as more extensive medical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial treatment than a Level 3 center can provide. Level 4 centers also offer complete evaluations for epilepsy surgery and perform more complex epilepsy surgeries.

The Regional Epilepsy Center at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center is the only facility in North Louisiana with Level 4 NAEC accreditation and the resources to care for epilepsy patients in need of more specialized care. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures and affects approximately 10,000 people in the region. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are about 3.4 million people in the U.S. with epilepsy.

 “I am extremely honored to be recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers with the Level 4 designation,” said Dr. Sun. “Since becoming Director of Epilepsy Surgery three years ago, I was committed to expanding our epilepsy services at the hospital and to provide access to high-level care to patients in our community who have complex neurological conditions such as epilepsy and seizure disorders. Having a NAEC Level 4 designation means that we are able to provide the most acute and comprehensive care for epilepsy patients, and it also enhancing the training of our LSU Health Shreveport Neurosurgery and Neurology Residents to become the next generation of epilepsy specialists.”

“The accreditation of the Epilepsy Center is a tremendous accomplishment that was made possible only by the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the individual members of our Epilepsy team. Our team is driven by the common vision and goal of providing the best possible care to our patients, and to ensure the best possible surgical outcome to those who suffer from medically refractory seizures. We are very proud to have been able to come this far, and to be able to offer this service to the people in our community and north Louisiana,” said Dr. Riel-Romero.

Physicians committed to setting a national agenda for quality epilepsy care founded the NAEC, a non-profit association, in 1987. Today, the NAEC has a membership that includes more than 230 specialized epilepsy centers throughout the United States, and it continues to develop standards of epilepsy care and educate various interest groups about the complexities of and need for patient access to specialized epilepsy services.

More about the NAEC’s accreditation process and criteria can be found here.

Photo: (L to R) Y. Eric Tran, Dr. Jayson Rodriguez, Alena Stevens, Dr. Peimin Zhu, LaTonya Lowe, Dr. Rosario Maria S. Riel-Romero, Towana Berryman, Shantaneil Alexander, Dr. Hai Sun, Ruthie Monroe, Aries George, and Kristie O’Glee. Not pictured: Dr. Christina Notarianni

193 Students Graduating from LSU Health Shreveport, Governor Edwards to Speak at Commencement Ceremony

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SHREVEPORT, La. (May 22, 2019) – On Saturday, May 25, 193 LSU Health Shreveport students will celebrate a great accomplishment in their education and pursuit of a career in the medical field by graduating with a Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD, or Doctorate degree. Twelve students will receive a PhD or Master’s degree from the School of Graduate Studies; 62 students will receive a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate from the School of Allied Health Professions; and 119 students will graduate from the School of Medicine and become Doctors of Medicine.

Graduation for all three of LSU Health Shreveport’s professional schools will take place in a combined ceremony held at Centenary College’s Gold Dome. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards will give the keynote commencement address.

“We look forward to welcoming Governor Edwards to Shreveport to address our graduates,” said LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G. E. Ghali, DDS, MD, FACS, FRCS(Ed). “Graduation is a momentous occasion for students, their families, our health sciences center and our community. The Governor has consistently shown a commitment to higher education and healthcare in our state, and we are grateful to have him join us and celebrate such a significant achievement with our students.”

LSU President F. King Alexander and members of the LSU Board of Supervisors will also attend the graduation ceremony.

“I am looking forward to celebrating this incredible graduating class. These outstanding individuals will go on to improve the collective health and well-being of citizens in the Shreveport-Bossier area, the state of Louisiana, and the world beyond. We are proud to count them as part of the LSU family,” said President Alexander.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, the number of healthcare occupation employees is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 2.4 million new healthcare jobs will be added over this ten-year time span, which is more than any other occupational group. This increase in demand for more healthcare professionals is due to a growing, aging population. Physician Assistants, Physical Therapists, and Physicians and Surgeons are in the top ten most in demand healthcare jobs. The growing and aging population, along with increased rates of several chronic conditions and a growing reliance on pharmaceuticals, is also leading to the employment outlook for medical scientists to grow at a faster than average rate. There is a growing need for medical scientists and their contributions to the development of treatments that improve human health.

Healthcare remains one of central factors that drives economic growth in our community. LSU Health Shreveport has an economic impact of nearly $6 million in the Shreveport region. Combined with the economic impact of its practicing alumni, LSUHS has a total economic impact of nearly $3 billion on North Louisiana. More than 70 percent of the physicians and allied health professionals in our community received a portion or all of their training at LSU Health Shreveport. Many Class of 2019 School of Medicine graduates will be staying in the state of the Louisiana to complete their residency training, with 22 percent staying in Shreveport.

The LSU Health Shreveport graduation ceremony will stream live online at www.youtube.com/user/LSUHSCShreveport.

LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech University Partner to Establish New Research Center

SHREVEPORT and RUSTON, La. (May 1, 2019) – The LSU and University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors have provided one-year conditional approval of the request to establish the Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (CTERM), a collaborative research endeavor between LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech University.

The proposal will be reviewed next by the Louisiana Board of Regents.

The Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (CTERM) will focus on the development of cell-based and tissue-engineering therapies to combat tissue inflammation, damage, and loss associated with complications of metabolic syndrome or trauma injury. Specifically, the goal of CTERM is to produce clinically relevant stem cells and biomaterial scaffolds to generate useful cell- and tissue-based therapies that can combat the loss of healthy tissue associated with chronic diseases.

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from LSU Health Shreveport and Louisiana Tech will combine their expertise to study chronic health issues that affect the region and parishes across the state, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The CTERM will also offer an ideal environment to train future scientists, engineers and clinicians for careers in stem cell biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

“We are grateful for the approval of the governing boards of LSU and the UL System. This collaboration holds tremendous potential for addressing the issue of tissue loss associated with chronic disease, as well as providing an innovative genre of scientific training,” stated Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor for Research at LSU Health Shreveport.   

“This new Center is directly aligned with our commitment to providing the highest quality research, education, and economic development for our state and nation,” said Dr. Les Guice, President of Louisiana Tech University. “This formal partnership has grown from collaborations between our two institutions over several years, and it represents an opportunity to capitalize on the respective strengths of faculty and staff at both institutions.”  

CTERM supports an already established collaborative relationship between LSUHS and Louisiana Tech, and will enhance opportunities available to students, researchers and clinicians in a critical area of basic and translational research.

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ABOUT LSU HEALTH SHREVEPORT

LSU Health Shreveport is one of two Health Sciences Centers of the Louisiana State University System and one of only 145 in the nation. LSU Health Shreveport is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions. Almost 900 students are enrolled in degree programs at any one time. Additionally, over 500 residents and fellows are trained in Shreveport each year. The primary mission of the LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the well-being of the region and beyond. At the heart of the LSU Health Shreveport is a strong faculty that includes a number of nationally and internationally acclaimed physicians and scientists. More than 600 strong, they lead our research efforts, educate our students and provide primary and specialty care to patients throughout the region. LSU Health Shreveport has strong community support, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes mutual respect for all.

ABOUT LOUISIANA TECH UNIVERSITY

Today, Louisiana Tech University continues a tradition of excellence in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community. Members of the Louisiana Tech community are trailblazers. They seize opportunity, embrace challenge and create solutions that benefit our region, state and nation. Louisiana Tech University provides an unparalleled educational experience for its diverse community of learners.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tonya Oaks Smith
Executive Director, Office of University Communications
Louisiana Tech University
318.257.4854 | 318.548.0877 | tonya@latech.edu

Lisa Babin
Executive Director of Public Affairs & Communication
LSU Health Shreveport
318.675.8769 | 318.458.0166 | lbabi6@lsuhsc.edu

 

9th Annual An Evening for Healers Event Set for May 2

SHREVEPORT, La. (April 8, 2019) An Evening for Healers, hosted by the LSU Health Sciences Shreveport Foundation, will take place on Thursday, May 2, at the Shreveport Convention Center. The event will honor local physicians, healthcare professionals and first responders who have dedicated their lives to saving others.

An Evening for Healers supports LSU Health Shreveport and funds the most critical needs of the health sciences center, making it possible to continue the mission of educating tomorrow’s healthcare professionals, delivering outstanding patient care, and conducting promising research.

Doctor Ed and Mary Pat Morgan will chair this year's event. Ed is an Orthopaedic surgeon in private practice with Willis Knighton and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at LSU Health Shreveport. Mary Pat is a graduate of LSU School of Nursing and a community volunteer. Their daughter, Ali, is a second- year student at the LSU Health School of Medicine in Shreveport.

“We are excited and proud to participate in this event benefiting LSU Health Shreveport! The evening celebrates the incredible dedication and strength of our community of healers. It is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase how our community’s support directly impacts the growth of the health sciences center, which in turn enhances healthcare for all of us,” said Ed and Mary Pat.

This year’s An Evening for Healers will feature the stories of three patients from around the state who experienced life-changing medical emergencies and defied the odds to survive with the help of dedicated first responders, expert LSU Health Shreveport faculty physicians, and a caring team of nurses and support staff at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center.

LSU Health Shreveport faculty physicians provide life-saving care to patients, like the three who will be featured at Healers, at the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center, North Louisiana’s only Adult and Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons.

Past events have welcomed more than 800 attendees each year and raised nearly $2 million to support LSU Health Shreveport. Funds raised have gone towards purchasing new physical therapy rehabilitation technology, supporting student research programs, enhanced technology in the student simulation center, and recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty that help to enhance LSU Health Shreveport’s mission to teach, to heal, and to discover.

“I look forward to An Evening for Healers each year. We are deeply appreciative of the financial support received through Healers, and the opportunity to educate the community on the impact our health sciences center has here in Shreveport/Bossier and beyond. It is an honor to recognize the first responders, doctors, allied health professionals, and nurses who provide patients with live-saving care every day,” shared G. E. Ghali DDS, MD, FACS, FRCS (Ed), Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport.

Individual tickets and sponsorships are available at www.lsuhsfoundation.org/healers. Reserving your spot early is encouraged as An Evening for Healers is expected to have another sell out year. For more information, contact Mary Cobb at mcobb@lsuhsfoundation.org, or call (318) 861-0855.

School of Medicine Students Experience Match Day Rite of Passage

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SHREVEPORT, La. (March 15, 2019) – This morning, 116 LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine students learned where they will be going for their residency training during a Match Day ceremony held on campus. On Monday, students received a notification from the National Resident Matching Program of the Association of American Medical Colleges, or the NRMP®, confirming if they matched with a residency program. At the ceremony, each student was randomly called to the stage where they received a sealed envelope containing the highly anticipated news of where they matched. Each student announced their fate and shared their excitement in front of a large crowd of family, friends, faculty and fellow students.

Match Day is also a strongly anticipated day for the LSU School of Medicine, which learned it successfully filled all 122 residency positions available. The new group of residents will be welcomed to Shreveport in July, where they will train at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Academic Medical Center and other partner hospitals.

Many students will be staying in the state of the Louisiana for their residencies. Twenty-two percent of students will be staying in Shreveport, and 47% of students will be staying in the state of Louisiana. Prestigious out-of-state residencies students matched to include University of Massachusetts, Harvard University, Wake Forest, University of Virginia, Mt. Sinai, Temple University, UT Southwestern, Baylor University, Oregon Health and Science University, and University of Alabama-Birmingham.

"Match Day is a day a medical student never forgets as it determines a key step in their goal of becoming a practicing physician. I am so proud of our students, as well as our dedicated faculty, for delivering another successful match. It is gratifying to see a large number of students electing to stay in Shreveport to continue their training. I know those staying, as well as those accepting residencies around the U.S., will represent LSU Health Shreveport well, strengthening our reputation for outstanding medical education,” said Dr. David Lewis, Dean of the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport.

Match Day ceremonies are held at the same time on the third Friday in March at medical schools around the country. Throughout their final year of medical school, students apply and travel to residency programs around the country to complete interviews. Students then rank their preferred residency programs through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®), or The Match®. The NRMP then uses a mathematical algorithm to place applicants into available residency positions.

This year’s Main Residency Match was the largest in history:

  • Record-high of 38,376 applicants who submitted program choices
  • 35,185 positions available, the most ever offered in the Match
  • Available first-year (PGY-1) positions increased by 6.5% from 2018
  • Nationally, 79.6% of applicants matched to a PGY-1 position, as compared to 98.3% of LSUHS School of Medicine students matching to a PGY-1 position.
  • Nationally, 94.9% of PGY-1 available positions were filled, compared to 100% at LSU Health Shreveport.

CCDS Receives Continued Approval as a Center of Excellence

SHREVEPORT, La. (March 11, 2019) - At the February Louisiana Board of Regents meeting, the Board unanimously approved the continuation of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences (CCDS) at LSU Health Shreveport as a Center of Excellence of research and innovation.

A Center of Excellence is uniquely focused and specific in its designation. It may consist of a unit, program, or functional area that, as a Center, is accountable to higher expectation of performance and productivity, including contributions to the body of knowledge and to economic development, placement of graduates, generation of external interest and support, formation of joint ventures and partnerships, and positive recognition of the area and its faculty and students.

A Center of Excellence must demonstrate that it is a statewide leader in the area of designation and must address how it does so in a proposal to the Board of Regents. With designation as a Center of Excellence comes the responsibility for leadership within the state and, if applicable, beyond. Implied in the designation is a commitment to concentrate and build on this strength by advancing knowledge and skills, thereby creating better opportunities for the citizens of the State. The Center is expected to serve as a resource to support similar programs offered by other institutions.

There are three Centers of Excellence at LSU Health Shreveport: The Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences (CCDS), the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center (FWCC) and the Center of Excellence for Arthritis and Rheumatology (CEAR).  

Free Cancer Screenings Provided at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center's Family Health Day

The third annual Family Health Day at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9. Festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. with information and activities for the whole family.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and LSU Health Shreveport’s Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, and the FWCC Partners in Wellness clinic to offer a day of free cancer screenings to the community. Free screenings offered will include: mammograms, prostate cancer (PSA), lung cancer (with low dose CT scanning), and colon cancer. In addition to screenings, free blood pressure checks, glucose checks, and EKG will be available.  Doctors will be available to discuss the results with participants.

Free breakfast and lunch will be provided, along with gift bags and a chance to win great door prizes, including gift cards to local stores and an iPad. Participants will have the opportunity to sample and learn how to make delicious smoothies and learn about other healthy foods. Family Health Day participants can receive a ticket for each session attended and enter for the chance to win.

Physicians and staff from Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport will be on hand to host informational sessions on topics including: questions about medications, nutrition for health and cancer prevention, smoking cessation, sickle cell anemia, and more.

 “Family Health Day is a great way to let our community know that they can fight cancer by getting screened and learning about healthy lifestyle choices. Screenings are important to help find a cancer early, and when cancers are found early, the chance of cure is improved,” said Dr. Jennifer Singh, LSU Health Shreveport Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Partners in Wellness Clinic of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center.

No appointments are required and there is no charge to attend Family Health Day. All ages are welcome, but participants must meet cancer screening guidelines.

Feist-Weiller Cancer Center is located at 1405 Kings Highway in Shreveport.

For more information, contact Feist-Weiller at (318) 813-1485.

Ochsner Health System and LSU Health Shreveport Join Forces to Improve Healthcare in North Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. (Sept. 24, 2018) – The State of Louisiana (“State”), the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (“LSU”) Board of Supervisors on behalf of LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport (“LSUHSC-S”) and the LSUHSC-S Faculty Group Practice, and Ochsner Health System (“Ochsner”) announced today that they have signed the final Public Private Partnership Agreement in Shreveport and Monroe. LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner will jointly form Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport to oversee and coordinate activities between the health sciences center and the healthcare delivery system. Under the new structure, Ochsner will bring their nationally-recognized expertise to the management of operations for partner hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, clinics and the clinical activity of the LSUHSC-S Faculty Group Practice. LSU will continue to successfully oversee the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine, School of Allied Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, Graduate Medical Education, and research initiatives.

Under the new structure, the partners announced the following expansions and investments:

  • Facility Investment will initially be focused on renovation of select operating rooms and the surgical intensive care unit in addition to the overall infrastructure of facilities.
  • Investments in technology enhancements will include but are not limited to enhancing functionality of electronic medical records with a goal of enhancing coordination of care and upgrading lab and monitoring equipment. 
  • Investments in people and programs to improve quality including hiring a new Chief Quality Officer to maintain a relentless focus on improving outcomes in both our hospital and clinic settings; launching a hospitalist program in both hospitals to provide additional care for our inpatients, and more effective coordination with their primary care and specialty physicians; and implementing best practices regarding quality, and safety analytics and processes;
  • Expansion to improve access to care including identifying opportunities to open new facilities outside of the current campuses, such as an ambulatory care clinic, diagnostic imaging center, urgent care clinics, and convenient, community based primary care clinics; investment in centralized and online appointment scheduling, and through recruitment of new physicians to support specialized needs;
  • Advancement in digital and telehealth, as well as post-acute care, to add capabilities that provide new options designed to improve the overall patient experience in north Louisiana;
  • Increased focus on the health and wellbeing of the community by broadening our primary care network, implementing programs that empower patients to stay healthy while managing chronic disease, expanding preventative screenings, and developing new community partnerships.

“I’m excited about this opportunity for the people of North Louisiana and for our state,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Our commitment has been to finding the right solutions that enable us to take care of more Louisianans, while preserving medical education in Northwest Louisiana. We are able to do that without additional financial burden on the state or our citizens. It takes innovative thinking and I believe this partnership will enable Ochsner and LSU to bring that same expertise to strengthening and growing the medical school, improving facilities, and ultimately delivering better health care to everyone in this region.”

“Today marks a new beginning for healthcare delivery in north Louisiana. LSU is proud to partner with Ochsner as we continue to train the nation’s finest healthcare professionals in Shreveport and across Louisiana,” said LSU President F. King Alexander. “I’d like to thank our faculty and staff for never wavering in their commitment to the people of this critically important region, and also Gov. Edwards and his administration for supporting LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport and its teaching mission.”

Chuck Daigle has been named Chief Executive Officer and Dr. David Lewis will be the Chief Medical Officer of Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport. Dr. Chuck Fox will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the LSUHSC-S Faculty Practice Group. These leaders will work together to establish a bold vision that builds on the strengths of Ochsner and LSU Health Shreveport. 

"This new partnership with Ochsner Health System is very exciting for our patients, students and the local economy. I am grateful to Governor Edwards, Commissioner Dardenne, LSU President King Alexander, the leadership teams of Ochsner and LSU Health Shreveport for their unwavering commitment to create this partnership that may well become the benchmark for public private healthcare operations. I also want to acknowledge and thank our dedicated employees, who even during very challenging times, remained acutely focus on our mission to teach, heal and discover,” stated LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor G. E. Ghali MD.

As a part of the new agreement, a new governing board will be formed with representation from LSU Health Shreveport, Ochsner and the North Louisiana communities being served.

“This is an historic day and one we know that means a great deal to the state and to the people of north Louisiana,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “We remain committed, with our partner LSU, to drive healthcare innovation in our state, to make the investments needed to expand patient-centered technology, to advance care, and to develop new models that deliver more to patients, physicians, students and residents. As true partners, and through new relationships in the region as well as participation in new programs, we will work to ensure the financial stability of the new organization and identify opportunities for continued growth.”

Under the terms of this agreement, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport will go in to effect October 1, 2018.

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ABOUT LSU HEALTH SHREVEPORT

LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport is one of two Health Sciences Centers of the Louisiana State University System.  LSUHSC- S is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions.  More than 800 students are enrolled in the degree programs at any one time.  Additionally, nearly 600 residents and fellows are trained each year.  The primary mission of the LSU’s Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the wellbeing of the region and beyond.  At the heart of the LSUHSC-S is a strong faculty that include a number of nationally and internationally-acclaimed physicians and scientists.  More than 600 strong, they lead our research efforts, educate our students and provide primary and specialty care to patients throughout the region.  LSU Health Shreveport has strong community support, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes mutual respect for all.  For more information, visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu.

ABOUT OCHSNER HEALTH SYSTEM

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across four specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 18,000 employees and over 1,100 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit www.ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

CONTACTS

Office of the Governor
Richard Carbo
225-342-2999
Richard.carbo@la.gov

LSU Health Shreveport
Lisa Babin                                                                   
318-458-0166
lbabi6@lsuhsc.edu

Ochsner Health System
Nicole O’Malley
504-615-7622
nicole.omalley@ochsner.org

 

Feist-Weiller Cancer Center Hosts 21st Annual Life Savers Gala

SHREVEPORT, La. (August 15, 2018) – Strap on your boots and ride into the sunset with Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at the 21st annual Boots & Bikers-themed Life Savers Gala! The event will be held on Saturday, September 15, at Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. Life Savers supports cancer research happening right here in northwest Louisiana. All proceeds from the event stay in our community and support work being done by local Feist-Weiller doctors and scientists.

“Life Savers is something we look forward to every year. The life-saving cancer research that takes place at Feist-Weiller is able to happen thanks to the generous support of our community,” said Dr. Glenn Mills, Director of Feist-Weiller Cancer Center. “Our doctors and scientists have been able to study various causes and types of cancer, as well as investigate innovative treatments, all to help fight cancer and make sure we continue providing the best care possible to our patients.”

Proceeds from Life Savers fund the Idea Grant program at Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, which awards cancer research grants to in-house doctors and researchers on a competitive basis to help them further develop their ideas to combat cancer in their individual areas of expertise. 

Over the past 20 years, 33 local Idea Grants totaling $1.8 million have been awarded. Feist-Weiller scientists have leveraged this local money in to more than $12 million in national grants, a true testament to the important research being done here, and to the donors who support the annual Life Savers fundraiser.

Shreveport artist Mary O’Neal and Dr. Destin Black, a local Gynecologic Oncologist, are the chairs of this year’s event. They share their passion for giving back in the community, and that passion is sure to be seen at Life Savers in September.

“Destin and I met when she became one of my art students.  We share a special connection that goes beyond the few years we have known each other.  She is a little dynamo when it comes to her passion for the betterment of women’s health.  She ‘gives of self’ every day with her cancer patients and is a role model for me,” said Mary O’Neal of her co-chair.

The attire for this year’s event is casual to fit the theme. Jeans and boots are encouraged!

Individual tickets and sponsorships are available at www.feistweiller.org/lifesavers. It is encouraged to reserve your seat or table early, as Life Savers does sell out every year. For more information, contact Darlene Whitaker at dwhita@lsuhsc.edu or 318-813-1485.

Life Savers 2018: Boots & Bikers
When:
Saturday, Sept. 15
Doors open: 7 p.m., Dinner: 8 p.m.
Where: Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino, 315 Clyde Fant Pkwy.
Tickets: $400 per couple; Sponsorships from $2,000

CONTACT:         
Darlene Whitaker
Email: dwhita@lsuhsc.edu   
Phone: 318-813-1485

LSU Health Shreveport Awarded $10 Million COBRE Grant to Study Cardiovascular Disease

SHREVEPORT, La. (January 30, 2018) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded LSU Health Shreveport with a five-year, $10.5 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant.

The $10,580,176 grant will fund the Center for Redox Biology and Cardiovascular Disease project at LSUHS and promote research on campus in the redox regulation of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, and Louisiana ranks in the top five of states most affected by cardiovascular disease. The COBRE Center for Redox Biology and Cardiovascular Disease will advance new insights and understanding of redox biology control of heart and vascular disease processes that may lead to new and better ways to detect or treat cardiovascular disease.

The NIH’s COBRE initiative aims to strengthen an institution's biomedical research infrastructure through the establishment of a thematic multi-disciplinary center. COBRE projects also enhance the ability of investigators to compete independently for complementary NIH individual research grant or other external peer-reviewed support.

Each COBRE project requires the following:

  • A principle investigator who is an established biomedical research scientist with expertise central to research theme, an active lab, relevant peer-reviewed funding, and has demonstrated administrative leadership,
  • Three to five individual research projects, each supervised by a junior investigator,
  • And at least one mentor for each junior investigator, along with a mentoring plan for how the junior investigators will transition to competitive grant support in the future.

The Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences at LSU Health Shreveport has assembled investigators with advanced knowledge and research expertise across several departments to address redox biology mechanisms contributing to cardiovascular disease.

The principle investigator of the project is Chris Kevil, PhD, Vice Chancellor of Research and Professor in the Department of Pathology. In addition to Dr. Kevil, key research personnel include Christopher Pattillo, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology; Manikandan Panchatcharam, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy; and Hyung Nam, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Neuroscience. Also instrumental in helping to secure the COBRE grant was Dr. Wayne Orr, Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences, Dr. Karen Stokes, Assistant Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Diseases and Sciences, and Dr. Andrew Yurochko, Professor and Member of the CCDS Board of Directors.

This is only the second COBRE grant in the history of LSU Health Shreveport, making Dr. Kevil the second faculty member to receive the prestigious award. Dr. Dennis J. O’Callaghan, Boyd Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, was awarded and served as principle investigator on the institution’s previous COBRE grant, which supported the Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology

State of Louisiana, LSU, BRF, and Ochsner Health System Sign Letters of Intent

SHREVEPORT, La. (Dec. 19, 2017) – The State of Louisiana (“State”), the Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (“LSU”) on behalf of Louisiana Health Sciences Center Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) and the LSUHSC-S Faculty Group Practice, the Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF) and Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) announced today that they have signed Letters of Intent (LOI) to create a new, long-term, Public Private Partnership agreement in Shreveport and Monroe. Under the proposed agreement, LSU and Ochsner will jointly form a new University Health System (UHS) structure to coordinate activities between the school and the healthcare delivery system. Under the new UHS structure, Ochsner will bring their nationally-recognized expertise to the management of operations for both University Health hospitals and the clinical activity of LSU’s Faculty Group Practice, and LSU will continue to successfully oversee the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine, School of Allied Health and School of Graduate Studies.

“Both Ochsner and LSU are proven partners who are committed to leading the advancement of healthcare in our state,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “LSU has significant strengths in medical education and research while Ochsner, also committed to academics and research, has tremendous expertise in operating hospitals and supporting the clinical activity of large physician groups. Working together, in a more integrated fashion, we plan to successfully deliver quality, cost-effective patient care in an environment that is optimal for the continued teaching and training of our state’s future doctors and healthcare professionals.”

“The Governor and his Administration have worked diligently to find a long-term solution for health care delivery at the safety net hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, as well as finding a way to support the LSU Health Sciences Center and its teaching mission,” LSU President F. King Alexander said. “We are pleased with the prospect of working with a world renowned experienced hospital partner, like Ochsner. LSU’s goals are simple: improve outcomes for today’s patients and train the nation’s finest healthcare professionals to serve the patients in the future. This proposed partnership will help us achieve our goals. “

“I appreciate Governor John Bel Edwards’ support of our health science center.  I am optimistic that a formal agreement with Ochsner will be reached in the coming months, assisting LSU Health Shreveport in reaching its immense potential.  The opportunity to strengthen our institution and community is very motivating,” stated LSU Health Chancellor G.E. Ghali.

The UHS structure under consideration would be governed by a new UHS board of directors made up of Ochsner, LSU and community board members from Shreveport and Monroe and in addition a Community Advisory Board made up of Shreveport and Monroe community members, and representatives from Ochsner, LSU and BRF to provide insight into the healthcare needs of the greater Shreveport and Monroe region.

“We at University Health are extremely pleased by this announcement today,” said Steve Skrivanos, University Health Board Chair. “We have been engaged in discussions with Ochsner for some time because of their healthcare expertise, experience and commitment to delivering high-quality care in our state. We are honored to have been able to improve access to care at the Shreveport and Monroe Hospitals and look forward to continuing to deliver our substantial expertise in in advancing biomedical research, which will continue to be invaluable to both hospitals. The great work of the dedicated employees of University Health and their incredible care for patients is to be commended and they will be taken care of in this transition process.”

“In addition to the incredible opportunity to collaborate from an education and research perspective, we understand the responsibility of fulfilling the historic mission of both hospitals to serve and care for Medicaid and indigent patients in Shreveport and Monroe,” said Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health System. “Based on our strategic and clinical expertise, we look forward to improving and expanding care while working with LSU to drive healthcare innovation in our state. Together we can explore additional relationships in the region, new community partnerships and the creation of new care delivery models that delivers more value to patients, physicians and students in north Louisiana.”

Under the non-binding LOI’s, teams from all organizations will work toward finalizing the details of the new agreements in early 2018.

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ABOUT LSU HEALTH SHREVEPORT

LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport is one of two Health Sciences Centers of the Louisiana State University System.  LSUHSC- S is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions.  More than 800 students are enrolled in the degree programs at any one time.  Additionally, nearly 600 residents and fellows are trained each year.  The primary mission of the LSU’s Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the wellbeing of the region and beyond.  At the heart of the LSUHSC-S is a strong faculty that include a number of nationally and internationally-acclaimed physicians and scientists.  More than 600 strong, they lead our research efforts, educate our students and provide primary and specialty care to patients throughout the region.  LSU Health Shreveport has strong community support, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes mutual respect for all.  For more information, visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu

ABOUT OCHSNER HEALTH SYSTEM

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 30 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across four specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 18,000 employees and over 1,100 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit www.ochsner.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT BRF

BRF, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1986 during the oil and gas industry crisis to diversify and grow our regions’ economy.  Originally known as the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, rebranding as BRF occurred in 2016.In fulfilling its mission, BRF operates as a catalyst to expand and develop research, entrepreneurship and high-growth businesses in our region.  With its $560 million budget, BRF has created and manages initiatives that address community needs to promote health and medicine, entrepreneur creation and resources, and science and technology-based workforce development.  These include the Center for Molecular Imaging and Therapy, University Health Hospital System, the Entrepreneurial Acceleration Program (EAP), InterTech Science Park in Shreveport, Office for Research Development and Administration (ORDA), Digital Media Institute at InterTech (DMII), EDVentures STEM K-12 programs, and EMR Everywhere electronic health records services and systems.

LSUHS Doctor Becomes First in the State of Louisiana to be Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine

Jennifer Singh, MD, LSU Health Shreveport School of Allied Health Physician Assistant Program Medical Director, has become Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM).

She is among the 204 physicians and 43 PhD/Masters-level health clinicians who have become the first medical professionals globally to be certified as Diplomates of the ABLM/American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine. She is also the first Doctor of Medicine in the state of Louisiana to be Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine. To complete the certification, Dr. Singh completed online and live continuing education hours, submitted case studies, and took a written exam.

Lifestyle Medicine, defined by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is the use of evidence-based lifestyle approaches, such as a predominantly whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat, and, oftentimes, reverse chronic disease.  

Despite advances in medicine, Americans are still suffering and dying from diseases that are preventable. Lifestyle Medicine targets the underlying causes and offers patients skills and knowledge to protect their health and fight disease. As much as 80 percent of chronic disease in the United States, such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, can be prevented or treated by changing diet and other daily habits.

“The most rewarding thing for me has been helping patients not just improve their numbers, but really improve their quality of life – they feel so much better, which is not always the case with writing prescriptions. It’s been very rewarding,” said Dr. Singh about her work with Lifestyle Medicine.

Dr. Singh received her Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana Tech, then attended LSU Health Shreveport, where she completed a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency. She previously served on faculty in the Department of Medicine and Pediatrics at LSU Health Shreveport.

She is also certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics.

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ABOUT THE AMERICAN BOARD OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: The ABLM was formed in November, 2015, in Nashville, TN, by a group of visionary physicians who saw the need to: educate physicians and allied health professionals about Lifestyle Medicine; set a common standard/language for Lifestyle Medicine protocols globally; differentiate between evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine professionals and non-evidence based Lifestyle Medicine practitioners; set a global Lifestyle Medicine benchmark; and attract health insurance funding for evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine by requiring that any fund receivers be formally certified. Learn more at https://ablm.co/about/.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE: ACLM is the professional medical association for those dedicated to the advancement and clinical practice of Lifestyle Medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system. More than a professional association, ACLM is a galvanizing force for change. ACLM addresses the need for quality education and certification, supporting its members in their individual practices and in their collective desire to domestically and globally promote Lifestyle Medicine as the first treatment option, as opposed to a first option of treating symptoms and consequences with expensive, ever increasing quantities of pills and procedures. ACLM members are united in their desire to identify and eradicate the cause of disease. Learn more at http://www.LifestyleMedicine.org.

Breakthrough Transplant Patent Granted to LSU Health Shreveport and Aphios Inventors

The LSU Health Shreveport Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology and Aphios Corporation has obtained United States Patent No. 9,994,585 entitled “Transplantation Therapies,” for marine pharmaceutical ‘Bryostatin-1,’ which will be used as an additive to organ transport and storage solutions.

The use of this additive may allow nearly more organs to be made usable for transplantation by making marginal, or substandard, organs survive where they would not have before. Currently, many organs are not ultimately usable in transplantation and are considered less than ideal because they have exceeded the amount of time beyond which the organ would undergo failure. The current patent technology specifically blocks the mechanisms through which the body attacks the graft to prevent acute transplant failure. This innovative approach will have far-reaching impact on the entire transplantation industry.

J. Steven Alexander, PhD, Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology and Medicine at LSU Health Shreveport, working with April Carpenter Elrod, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health and Exercise Physiology at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Penn., and Dr. Trevor Castor at Aphios Corporation in Woburn, Mass., discovered that the treatment of blood vessels with Bryostatin-1, a compound derived from the marine bryozoans species Bugula neritina, stabilizes blood vessel cells called ‘endothelial’ cells allowing them to stop the infiltration by white cells, which should lead to better organ survival and many more organs being available. This will allow more organs to now be safely shipped trans-nationally and even internationally. Also important is that this drug does not need to be given to the recipient, but rather is only introduced to the donor organ during cold storage.

“The approach is nothing less than revolutionary and before very long we hope that it will be widely used as a main transplant solution,” said Dr. J. Steven Alexander about the new use patent.

Previously, Bryostatin-1 was researched for treating cancer for which it is not highly active, but consequently, has extensive human safety data.

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ABOUT LSU HEALTH SHREVEPORT

LSU Health Sciences Center Shreveport is one of two Health Sciences Centers of the Louisiana State University System.  LSUHSC- S is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions.  More than 800 students are enrolled in the degree programs at any one time.  Additionally, nearly 600 residents and fellows are trained each year.  The primary mission of the LSU’s Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the wellbeing of the region and beyond.  At the heart of the LSUHSC-S is a strong faculty that include a number of nationally and internationally-acclaimed physicians and scientists.  More than 600 strong, they lead our research efforts, educate our students and provide primary and specialty care to patients throughout the region.  LSU Health Shreveport has strong community support, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes mutual respect for all.  For more information, visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu.

ABOUT APHIOS CORPORATION

Aphios Corporation (www.aphios.com) is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing green enabling technology platforms for improving drug discovery, manufacturing, delivery and safety, and enhanced natural therapeutics for health maintenance and disease prevention, and the treatment of cancers and supportive care, infectious diseases such as HIV, and CNS disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and opioid addiction.

CONTACTS

Megan Strecker
Public Relations Coordinator, LSU Health Shreveport
Office: 318-675-8789 | Cell: 770-595-3052 | mstrec@lsuhsc.edu

Trevor P. Castor, Ph.D.
CEO, Aphios Corportation Contact
(001) 781-932-6933
tcastor@aphios.com

LSU Health Shreveport Medical Students Celebrate Match Day

SHREVEPORT, La. (March 16, 2018) – Today 121 LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine students learned where they will go for their residency training during a Match Day ceremony held on campus. On Monday, students received a notification from the National Resident Matching Program of the Association of American Medical Colleges, or the NRMP®, confirming if they matched with a residency program. A sealed envelope containing the highly anticipated news of where they matched was given to each student as their name was called in random order. Each student announced their fate and shared their excitement in front of a crowd of family, friends, faculty and fellow students.

Much of the class will be staying in the state of the Louisiana to for residency. Twenty-nine percent of students will be staying in Shreveport, with 45 percent of students staying in the state of Louisiana. Students also matched with prestigious programs around the country including Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Mount Sinai, Georgetown, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Baylor Scott & White.

Match Day is also a strongly anticipated day for the LSU Health Shreveport School of Medicine, which learned it successfully filled all 119 residency positions available. The new group of LSUHS residents will be welcomed to Shreveport in July, where they will train at University Health and other partner hospitals.

"Today is an extraordinary day for our institution, the state of Louisiana and most importantly for our students. It is my honor to share that this year represents the most successful Match Day in the history of our health sciences center. These results are a direct reflection on the caliber and commitment of our faculty who work tirelessly in delivering the best possible education and training to our students and residents.   I wish the very best to our students staying in Shreveport as well as to those who matched in programs around the country.   I am confident each one of them will represent LSU Health Shreveport well strengthening our legacy of successful medical education,” said Chancellor and School of Medicine Dean, Dr. G.E. Ghali.

Students are randomly selected for the order in which they receive their Match Day envelopes. Following a tradition of LSU Health Shreveport, each student made a donation to a monetary gift that went to the last student who received their envelope, in consolation for having to wait through the entire ceremony before learning their fate. This year the money went to David Detz who will be completing his General Surgery residency at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.

Match Day ceremonies are held at the same time on the third Friday in March at medical schools around the country. Throughout their final year of medical school, students apply and travel to residency programs around the country to complete interviews. Students then rank their preferred residency programs through the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®), or The Match®. A computer algorithm then simultaneously takes the list of programs ranked by the student and the list of students ranked by the residency programs to fill available program positions. The NRMP® expects this year’s Main Residency Match to be the largest in history.

Students will receive their Doctorate of Medicine medical degrees in May at graduation before starting their respective residency programs.

LSUHS Faculty Member Elected for Second Term as President of American Physical Therapy Association

Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, was recently re-elected President of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). APTA is a national professional organization representing more than 100,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students with the goal to foster advancements in physical therapy practice, research, and education.

Dr. Dunn has been an active member of APTA leadership for many years, having also served on the Board of Directors and as vice president.  Her passions are advocacy, member engagement, and the Physical Therapy profession’s potential to add great value to a disrupted health delivery system.

Under the leadership of Dr. Dunn during her first tenure as President, APTA reached a record-setting membership number with more than 100,000 members and a growth trajectory not seen since the early 1990s. She was also instrumental in the decision to invest in a new APTA headquarters building in Virginia, and in the successful congressional effort for a permanent fix to the 20 year long Therapy Cap on Medicare beneficiaries. Dr. Dunn will serve her second three-year term as President of APTA leading up to the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2021.

“I have always been a proud member of APTA, and I was first elected President in 2015. It was a tremendous honor to be able to contribute in a leadership role and to help lead the organization during a transitional period for health services delivery in this country. It has been so enriching to my life and my career to be able to serve the physical therapy profession in this capacity,” said Dr. Sharon Dunn, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy Program at LSU Health Shreveport School of Allied Health Professions.

One of the issues Dr. Dunn and the APTA leadership team will address is the rising cost of Physical Therapy education, which is outpacing entry-level income. Completing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program can cost nearly as much as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, and student loan debt can impact a recent graduate’s career choice.  Another opportunity she sees is the need for integration of PT across the health delivery continuum as an added value which helps save overall healthcare costs.  In her 2018 Presidential Address to the APTA House of Delegates in Orlando, Fla., Dr. Dunn stated that the future of the physical therapy profession will be “characterized by an increased role in sustaining health and proactively preventing disability and disease.”

“President Dunn’s tireless commitment to advancing the profession and advocating for APTA’s members and their patients, and the positive results we’ve seen during her tenure, make it clear she is an incredible leader,” said APTA CEO Justin Moore, PT, DPT. “Sharon has been a true inspiration, not just to me, but also to those whose lives she’s touched. Her passion and positive energy are contagious and I am looking forward to continuing our work together to transform society.”

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About American Physical Therapy Association
The American Physical Therapy Association represents more than 100,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy nationwide. Visit MoveForwardPT.com to learn more about the types of conditions physical therapists treat, and find a physical therapist in your area. To learn more, visit www.apta.org.

About LSU Health Shreveport
LSU Health Shreveport is one of two Health Sciences Centers of the Louisiana State University System.  LSUHS is home to the School of Medicine, School of Graduate Studies and School of Allied Health Professions. More than 800 students are enrolled in the degree programs at any one time.  Additionally, nearly 600 residents and fellows are trained each year. The primary mission of the LSU’s Health Sciences Center at Shreveport is to teach, heal, and discover, in order to advance the wellbeing of the region and beyond.  At the heart of the LSUHS is a strong faculty that include a number of nationally and internationally-acclaimed physicians and scientists. More than 600 strong, they lead our research efforts, educate our students and provide primary and specialty care to patients throughout the region.  LSU Health Shreveport has strong community support, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes mutual respect for all.  For more information, visit www.lsuhscshreveport.edu.

Press Releases

MEDIA CONTACTS

Lisa Babin
Executive Director of Public Affairs, Communications and Development
Office: (318) 675-8769
Email: lbabi6@lsuhsc.edu

 

Megan Strecker
Public Relations Coordinator
Office: (318) 675-8789
Email: mstrec@lsuhsc.edu

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