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Recent News


American College of Medical Informatics Honors Dr. Julio Facelli

Dr. Julio Facelli has been elected as a 2014 Fellow to the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA).  The ACMI Fellowship is one of the highest honors in the field of informatics. Congratulations Dr. Facelli. The ACMI originated in 1984 when five pioneers in ...

Human DNA Shows Traces of 40 Million-Year Battle For Survival Between Primate and Pathogen

Study Highlights Importance of Nutritional Immunity in Fighting Infectious Disease Listen to an interview about the research on The Scope Radio (SALT LAKE CITY) – Examination of DNA from 21 primate species – from squirrel monkeys to humans – exposes an evolutionary war against infectious bacteria over iron that circulates in the ...

New Research Shows Fewer Deaths Related to RSV than Previously Thought

It’s a virus that has long been characterized as dangerous and even deadly, but new research shows infant deaths from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are actually quite uncommon in the 21st century.    Researchers at the University of Utah have shown there are approximately 42 deaths annually associated with RSV in the ...

Genetic Variation Protects Against Major Cause of Strokes--Cervical Artery Dissection

(SALT LAKE CITY)—In an unprecedented international study, researchers from Europe and the United States have shown that individuals carrying a particular genetic variant in the PHACTR1 gene are at reduced risk of sustaining cervical artery dissection, a major cause of stroke in young and middle-aged adults. Cervical artery dissection is caused ...

Games4Health Challenges Awarding More Than $30,000

The Sorenson Center for Discovery and Innovation at the David Eccles Business School along with the Center for Medical Innovation and Entertainment and Media Arts Engineering School at the University of Utah have come together to form the Games4Health Challenges that run the course for the academic year. The main ...

Are Ear Infections Overtreated in White Children?

Racial Disparities in Ear Infection Treatment May Contribute to Problem of Antibiotic Over-prescribing Listen to an interview with Adam Hersh, M.D. Black children are less likely to be diagnosed with and less likely to receive broad-spectrum antibiotics for ear infections than white children are, a new study has found. But the discrepancy ...

Treating the Transgender Community

University of Utah Health Care hosted a summit Saturday titled “Expanding Knowledge of Transgender Health Care.” The event was held at the University of Utah School of Medicine and was aimed at health care providers, mental health professionals and students interested in improving their knowledge about the issues faced by ...

University of Utah Doctors on Team to Study Genetic Causes of Male Infertility

Male infertility can be devastating for men and their partners. Despite that, an underlying cause of infertility cannot be identified in about half of infertile men. Now researchers have received a 2.1 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health for the Genetics of Male Infertility Initiative (GEMINI), a ...

University of Utah Hospital Among First Selected for American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program

University of Utah Hospital is one of 35 hospitals in the country selected to participate in the American College of Cardiology Patient Navigator Program, the first program of its kind in cardiology designed to support hospitals in providing personalized services to heart disease patients and help them avoid a quick ...

Health Care Transformation


Could Peer Pressure Improve Care?

"A basic principle of health care is that everyone strongly favors transparency—for everyone but themselves," wrote Thomas H. Lee in the Harvard Business Review, extolling the virtues of the University of Utah's pioneering move to publish patient satisfaction scores on its Find-A-Doctor website. The U. was the first academic medical center in the U.S. to put patient reviews online, complete with comments and an accessible five-star ranking system. Doctors were justifiably nervous. But the U. was "richly rewarded for its creativity and courage," wrote Lee, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Press Ganey Associates, the nation's leading provider of patient surveys.

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Out-Yelping Yelp

Doctor rating websites are gaining in popularity, but the problem with consumer portals like ZocDoc and Healthgrades.com is it's impossible to verify if those submitting scathing or glowing comments are actual patients. Instead of allowing a few squeaky wheels to drive the discussion, the U. decided to "turn the trend" to its advantage, reports The Economist. It was the first of a growing field of health centers to survey its patients and publish their reviews online. "Most reviews are positive, and patient-satisfaction scores have improved...Happy patients communicate an co-operate better with their doctors."

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Getting a Grip on Costs

"To think that health care is this ginormous business that doesn't understand costs is mind-blowing," University of Utah Health Sciences Sr. VP, Vivian Lee told a reporter for Kaiser Health News and USA Today. Lee "was stunned" when in 2012 she challenged senior managers and physicians to reduce spending, and they told her they didn't know what it cost to provide care, so how could they manage spending? "Today, the Utah health system is one of a handful in the nation with a data system that can track cost and quality of care for every one of its 26,000 patients. Those data are shared with doctors and nurses for further input about ways to streamline cost and improve care."

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Since 2012, Algorithms for Innovation has been asking questions and searching for solutions to some of the most impossible problems facing health care today. We believe there's an unprecedented opportunity to invent a new vision for health care, and academic medicine is poised to lead the way. Algorithms for Innovation is designed to spark conversations, highlight best practices, and foster collaboration to help transform the future.

Vivian Lee

Vivian S. Lee
M.D., Ph.D., MBA

Senior VP for Health Sciences
Dean, School of Medicine
CEO, University of Utah Health Care
@vivianleemd +Vivian Lee

Oct

03

American College of Surgeons, SLC Quality Summit

A Who's Who list of health industry leaders gathered at the Utah Capitol on Oct. 3 to share how they're delivering more efficient, high quality health care. I had the pleasure of participating in the event, sponsored by the American College of Surgeons - and was proud to showcase some of University of Utah Health Sciences' victories in the volume-to-value revolution.

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Sep

25

Restore NIH Purchasing Power

As the senior vice president of the University of Utah Health Sciences (UUHS), I have the privilege of working with some of the top researchers in the country who have devoted their lives to making discoveries that will change others' lives for the better.

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Research Roundup


Scalpel or Scope? Costs Influence Consumers

Author: Eric R. Scaife
Co Author: Katie W. Russell
Journal: Annals of Surgery
Date: 09-01-2014

Consumer price comparison is almost nonexistent in the U.S. health care system, but University surgeons show in a study that when given the choice between a less costly "open" operation or a pricier laparoscopy for their children's appendicitis, parents were almost twice as likely to choose the less expensive procedure - when they were aware of the cost difference.

The study, shows that providing pricing information upfront can influence patient choice of surgical procedures and potentially lead to cost savings in health care, a sector of the economy that accounts for more than 17 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, says Eric R. Scaife, M.D., senior author, associate professor of surgery and chief of pediatric surgery. Surgery resident Katie W. Russell, M.D., is the study's first author.

View article in Annals of Surgery

If Mitochondria Don't Move, Motor Neuron Disease May Develop

Author: Janet Shaw
Co Author: Tammy T. Nguyen
Journal: PNAS
Date: 08-13-2014

Researchers long have known of a connection between mitochondrial function and distribution and neural disease, but they hadn’t been able to tell whether a defect occurs because mitochondria isn’t functioning properly or isn’t getting to the right.

Biochemistry professor Janet Shaw, Ph.D., and M.D./Ph.D. student Tammy T. Nguyen led a study that addressed that question and found that when mitochondria weren’t distributed along the spinal cord and axons in mouse models they developed, the animals developed symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases.

View article in PNAS

Research Lab Website

8,000-Year-Old Mutation Key to Human Life at High Altitude

Author: Josef Prchal
Co Author: Felipe Lorenzo
Journal: Nature Genetics
Date: 08-17-2014

Researchers long have known of a connection between mitochondrial function and distribution and neural disease, but they hadn’t been able to tell whether a defect occurs because mitochondria isn’t functioning properly or isn’t getting to the right.

Biochemistry professor Janet Shaw, Ph.D., and M.D./Ph.D. student Tammy T. Nguyen led a study that addressed that question and found that when mitochondria weren’t distributed along the spinal cord and axons in mouse models they developed, the animals developed symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases.

View article in Nature Genetics

Mouse Model Provides Window into the Working Brain

Author: Peter Tvrdik
Co Author: J. Michael Gee
Journal: Neuron
Date: 08-21-2014

University of Utah scientists developed a genetically engineered line of mice that is expected to open the door to new research on epilepsy, Alzheimer's and other diseases.

The mice carry a protein marker, which changes in degree of fluorescence in response to different calcium levels. This will allow researchers to study many cell types, including astrocytes and microglia, in a new way. John White, Ph.D., professor of bioengineering and executive director of the Brain Institute, is corresponding author of the study. Peter Trvdik, Ph.D., a fellow in human genetics, is senior author, and J. Michael Gee, who is pursing and M.D. and graduate degree in bioengineering, is first author.

View article in Neuron

In Utah, you can truly have it all. Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas offer new comers diverse neighborhoods, great schools, arts and entertainment, and endless possibilities for sports and recreation. A strong economy and low cost of living make Utah a perfect choice to call home.

University of Utah Health Sciences

University of Utah Health Sciences is an economic engine unlike any other in Utah. With more than 14,000 faculty and staff it is one of the state's largest employers and contributes millions of dollars in net tax revenue to Utah every year. But University of Utah Health Sciences' impact goes beyond the balance sheet. Its bottom line includes the health and well-being of Utah residents in every corner of the state and from all walks of life.

University of Utah Health Sciences is the only university health care system in the state of Utah and provides patient care for the people of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and much of Nevada. It is also the training ground for most of Utah's physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and other health care professionals.

Named as one of theTop 10 Safest Teaching HospitalsBy Consumer Reports

Named as one of the100 Great Hospitals In AmericaBy Becker's Hospital Review

Ranked as one of theBest Performing Health Care Systemsby us news & world report

Health Sciences Received$235 Million In GrantsDuring Fiscal Year 2013