Tag Archives: Banner Sun Health Research Institute

Dr. Oddo

New Researcher Joins Banner Sun Health Institute

Dr. Salvatore Oddo, a leader in the development of genetically-engineered mouse models and their use in the study of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, will join the research team at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute (BSHRI) as a Senior Scientist and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Oddo comes to Arizona from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he served as an assistant professor in the physiology department. He starts at BSHRI on July 1.

Oddo and his colleagues continue to develop genetically-modified mouse models and study them in the effort to clarify some of the molecular and cellular disease mechanisms responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, to discover new treatments and to help test some of the treatments that are being considered for evaluation in clinical trials. Using the “triple transgenic mouse model” that he and his colleagues first developed at the University of California, Irvine, they have already made a number of pioneering contributions to the field.

His arrival marks the first of several joint recruitments that are planned between Banner and the medical college to advance the scientific fight against Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides an opportunity to expand the resources and collaborations involved in the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, the nation’s leading model of statewide collaboration in Alzheimer’s research. While Oddo’s lab will be based at BSHRI, he will work closely with his new colleagues in the medical college and other organizations in the Consortium.

“I am extremely proud to become part of a fantastic Alzheimer’s disease research team and to establish my laboratory at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute,” Oddo said. “I look forward to developing new and stimulating collaborations with the faculty to identify new therapeutic targets for this terrible disorder.”

Oddo, who earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from the University of Catania, Italy and his graduate degree in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory from the University of California, Irvine, has served as an assistant researcher at the University of California Irvine’s department of neurobiology and behavior. He is moving from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where currently he is an assistant professor in the department of physiology.

“This is the first and critical step in what will be an extremely robust partnership between the Banner Sun Health Research Institute and our college,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. “Dr. Oddo is playing an important role in the research of Alzheimer’s disease, of critical importance as we address an aging population in Arizona and beyond.”

“We are pleased to welcome someone with Dr. Oddo’s scientific caliber and extraordinary productivity,” said Marwan Sabbagh, Director of the Banner Sun Health Research Institute. “Dr. Oddo is a valuable addition to what is already a world-class team. We look forward to work ahead.”

medical.research

A Saliva Gland Test for Parkinson’s Disease?

Described as a “big step forward” for research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease, new research from Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Banner Sun Health Research Institute suggests that testing a portion of a person’s saliva gland may be a way to diagnose the disease.

The study was released Friday and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16–23.

“There is currently no diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease,” says study author Charles Adler, MD, PhD., a neurologist with Mayo Clinic in Arizona. “We have previously shown in autopsies of Parkinson’s patients that the abnormal proteins associated with Parkinson’s are consistently found in the submandibular saliva glands, found under the lower jaw. This is the first study demonstrating the value of testing a portion of the saliva gland to diagnose a living person with Parkinson’s disease. Making a diagnosis in living patients is a big step forward in our effort to understand and better treat patients.”

The study involved 15 people with an average age of 68 who had Parkinson’s disease for an average of 12 years, responded to Parkinson’s medication and did not have known saliva gland disorders.

Biopsies were taken of two different saliva glands: the submandibular gland and the minor saliva glands in the lower lip. The surgical team was led by Michael Hinni, MD, and David Lott, MD, at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and the biopsied tissues were tested for evidence of the abnormal Parkinson’s protein by study co-author Thomas Beach, MD, with Banner Sun Health Research Institute.

“This procedure will provide a much more accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease than what is now available,” Dr. Beach says. “One of the greatest potential impacts of this finding is on clinical trials, as at the present time some patients entered into Parkinson’s clinical trials do not necessarily have Parkinson’s disease and this is a big impediment to testing new therapies.”

The abnormal Parkinson’s protein was detected in nine of the 11 patients who had enough tissue to study. While still being analyzed, the rate of positive findings in the biopsies of the lower lip glands appears much lower than for the lower jaw gland.

“This study provides the first direct evidence for the use of submandibular gland biopsies as a diagnostic test for living patients with Parkinson’s disease,” says Dr. Adler. “This finding may be of great use when needing definitive proof of Parkinson’s disease, especially when considering performing invasive procedures such as deep brain stimulation surgery or gene therapy.”

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement. It develops gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. But while tremor may be the most well-known sign of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. No tests exist to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Now diagnosis is made based on medical history, a review of signs and symptoms, a neurological and physical examination, and by ruling out other conditions. Yet up to 30 percent of patients may be misdiagnosed early in the disease.

Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms.This study was funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

volunteer

Banner honors Employees for Community Service

Banner Health has recognized five outstanding employees with a Paul L. Singer Award, an award that honors those who not only make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care, but through extraordinary volunteer work and community service.

Now in its 25th year, the Singer Awards honors Banner Health employees and their impressive community service activities. The 2012 award honorees were recognized Thursday at an event that honored the 54 employee award nominees and the five outstanding individuals who were selected to receive a Singer Award. The five winners received a certificate and trophy as well as a monetary donation toward a charity of their choosing.

The 2012 Singer Award recipients include:

Rosinja de Gorostiza (Banner Baywood Medical Center)

Community service: Bay Area Camarines Norte Association

Muriel Kremb (Banner Estrella Medical Center)

Community service: Arizona Game and Fish, Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center

James Nimos (Banner Sun Health Research Institute)

Community service: New Song Center for Grieving Children

Kimberly Reiners (Cardon Children’s Medical Center)

Community service: Camp Soaring Eagle and Asthma Athletics

Kenneth Wutoh (Page Hospital)

Community service: Stepping with Faith Rehab and Missahoe Orphanage in Ghana

The Singer Awards are named after the late Paul L. Singer, MD, a former chief of staff at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix who exemplified a commitment to community service. Banner encourages employees to take its nonprofit mission of making a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care beyond the hospital and into their communities.

Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns or manages 23 acute-care hospitals, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including physician clinics and home care and hospice services. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

alzheimers

‘The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook’ signing

Not many people hope to work themselves out of a job. However Dr. Marwan Sabbagh, a board-certified neurologist and Banner Sun Health Research Institute medical director, has spent his entire career seeking to do just that as a leading researcher combating Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Sabbagh’s next step toward his self-stated unemployment goal is “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Boost Brain Health,” a full-color cookbook and health guide he co-authored with Food Network star and Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Executive Chef Beau MacMillan.

To encourage everyone to get this valuable nutritional information in time for the holidays, Dr. Sabbagh will team up with the Sun Health Gift Shops inside Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb medical centers and host a pair of book-signing events during December.  Dr. Sabbagh visits Banner Boswell Medical Center Gift Shop from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 before traveling to the main gift shop at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14.

According to Amazon.com, “The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook” outlines “…the latest evidence-based research on Alzheimer’s and nutrition, and presents a dietary plan …to enhance your health.”  More information about the book can be found at: http://www.marwansabbaghmd.com/

“The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook” will be on-sale at both events for $30 each. Dr. Sabbagh will also happily sign any previously purchased books.

My Electronic Pillbox can help with complex medicine regimes

Sun Health And MedMinder Offer Electronic Pillbox Trial For $1

Sun Health and MedMinder have partnered together to allow participants from the Sun Health Medication Management program a 30-day trial of the My Electronic Pillbox for as little as $1. If, at the end of the 30 days, participants opt to keep My Electronic Pillbox, they will be enrolled in a lease-to-own program and charged $25 per month for 23 months.

My Electronic Pillbox is a state-of-the-art program that helps participants keep track of their medication, allowing for a greater peace of mind for both the individual and his or her family. The MedMinder pill dispenser has the same features of a regular pill organizer; however, it also provides medication reminders to the user and informs him or her if medications are missed. Loved ones and caregivers can also be notified through email or text message when a medication must be taken or was missed.

Ron Guziak, Sun Health’s chief executive officer, spoke about the dangers of poor medication adherence among seniors.

“Study after study clearly illustrates just how serious and prevalent the problem of poor medication adherence among seniors is,” Guziak says. “The numbers indicate this is a potentially life-threatening issue, and My Electronic Pillbox conveniently and affordably provides an answer.”

My Electronic Pillbox is easy to use and has no digital readouts. Instead, it utilizes flashing lights, audible beeps and phone calls, text messages and emails to remind participants to take their medication. This wireless pill dispenser and its complementary medication management service makes it easier to adhere to complex medication regimens.

My Electronic Pillbox can be programmed via the Internet by either the participant or Sun Health. There is no need for a wireless router, computer, phone line or any form of internet access to use the MedMinder pill dispenser.

“This new program will help keep seniors independent, at home and at ease with their medication management,” says MedMinder’s Chief Executive Officer Evan Shavelsky.

About Sun Health
Sun Health is a long-standing community partner providing philanthropic resources for area healthcare, comprehensive senior living options and signature programs that leverage technology to enhance healthcare and service — both within and outside hospital walls.

Its emerging chronic disease and medication management programs, for instance, will enable Sun Health to provide residents with even greater access to healthcare tools and services that promote healthy living.

Its Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides philanthropic funding for Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center, Banner Sun Health Research Institute and other non-profit services. Its senior living services provide care at three distinct retirement communities: The Colonnade in Sun City Grand, Grandview Terrace in Sun City West and La Loma Village in Litchfield Park.

To learn more about the 30-day trial or My Electronic Pillbox, call (623) 832-4100 or visit medminder.com.

For more information on the program, visit sunhealthmeds.org.

Sun Health

Purse-Suit Of Fashion: The Doctors’ Runway Hosted By Sun Health

Thanks to the Sun Health Foundation, on Saturday, February 18th, doctors will no longer be recognizable; they will be in “Purse-Suit of Fashion.”

Leaving behind their scrubs, stethoscopes and lab coats, doctors and physicians will trade in their uniform and instead show off some of Dillard’s hottest spring fashions. They’ll also be trading in their hospital halls and operating rooms for the Wigwam Arizona’s runway.

This fashion-filled event, with the witty name of “Purse-Suit of Fashion,” is hosted by the Sun Health Foundation and sponsored by the neuroscience services departments at Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Centers.

The Sun Health Foundation is a non-profit organization, which aims to provide philanthropic funding for Banner Boswell Medical Center, Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center and the Sun Health Research Institute. Sun Health Foundation is under the umbrella of Sun Health, which provides philanthropic resources for the fields of health care, senior living options and technological enhancements of healthcare and service within and outside of hospitals.

The event will start at 11 a.m. with an hour of socializing and on-site shopping. The shopping site will feature Glitz~N~Glam, Paula’s Bags & More, Foofarah!, IzzBella Designs and Sharon Lee Designs.

After an hour of lunch, the doctors will hit the runway where they and their families will strut their stuff in style. Some familiar faces will include Dr. Steven Charney and Dr. Michael Cofield of the Banner Boswell and Banner Del E. Webb Medical Centers; Dr. Mark Campbell, Dr. Arash Araghi and Dr. Joshua Abrams of the Core Institute; and Dr. Chris Mackey of Cardiac Solutions and Dr. Marwan Sabbagh of the Banner Sun Health Research Institute.

Members of the Sun Health Foundation Board of Trustees and the foundation’s Volunteers in Philanthropy will also be giving their modeling career a shot.

Tickets are on sale for $60, $30 of which are tax deductible. To reserve seats, you can either call 623-832-4931  or visit sunhealth.org.

2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

2010 HCLA – Legislative Impact Award And Lifetime Achievement In Research Award

Legislative Impact Award

Honoree: Roy Ryals, Executive Director, Southwest Ambulance

Roy Ryals
Executive Director
Southwest Ambulance

Virtually every pre-hospital care related rule at the Arizona Department of Health Services, and every piece of related state legislation approved in the past 30 years, has something in common — Roy Ryals helped to write it.

Roy Ryals, Executive Director of Southwest Ambulance, 2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

Ryals, executive director for the Southwest region of Southwest Ambulance and Rural/Metro, is considered the pre-hospital regulatory expert and reference point. His knowledge and memory of the history behind decisions, and the far-reaching effects of every word that’s written, has earned him the respect of both the industry and state regulators.

In effect, every patient in Arizona who has used an ambulance over the past 30 years has benefited from Ryals’ intellect and participation in the legislative and regulatory process, whether he’s at the state Capitol, in a board room, or in the back of an ambulance. Ryals has been appointed by four Arizona governors to the Emergency Medical Services Council and was named by three directors of Department of Health Services to the State Trauma Advisory Board.

He is president of the Arizona Ambulance Association and a registered lobbyist with the state. At Southwest Ambulance and Rural/Metro, Ryals is responsible for all contracts, regulatory issues and legislative oversight. He indirectly oversees all field employees through his involvement in medical protocols and regulation for field crews of both companies. He also manages Southwest’s administrative leadership team and legislative consultants. Ryals began his career at Southwest Ambulance in 1987 as the executive director over Arizona medical transport.

Two years later, he was promoted to national director of EMS. In 1991, he became the regional chief operating officer overseeing system integration and regulatory compliance.

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Lifetime Achievement Award

Honoree: Joseph Rodgers, PH.D.

Joseph Rodgers, PH.D., Founder and Senior Scientist
Banner Sun Health Research Institute

Joseph Rogers, Ph.D., the motivating force behind Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City, has devoted three decades to finding the cause of and cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But the first work from researchers at the institute did not originate in multimillion-dollar labs or in high-tech facilities; they began their research at a card table with folding chairs.

Joseph Rodgers, Founder and Senior Scientist Banner Sun Health Research Institute, 2010 Health Care Leadership Awards

The institute, a tribute to Rogers’ tireless efforts in the field of Alzheimer’s research, has created opportunities for intensive research into other age-related illnesses, including Parkinson’s disease and arthritis. The discoveries already made at the institute, and those yet to come, promise to have significant benefits for millions around the world. Rogers, the institute’s founder and senior scientist, was recruited in 1986 to develop the research facility.

His qualifications for this breakthrough role include a doctorate from the University of California, San Diego; a postdoctoral fellowship and service as a staff scientist at the Salk Institute; and immediately prior to his arrival in Arizona, he was at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, serving as a principal investigator within the New England Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Harvard University. Rogers made the revolutionary discovery of the damage that inflammation causes to the Alzheimer’s-affected brain. Initially, other scientists scoffed because conventional wisdom precluded the inflammatory process from entering the brain, but Rogers’ discovery changed Alzheimer’s research.

Under Rogers’ leadership, the institute has attracted internationally recognized faculty and scientists, who have made their own compelling discoveries, including a direct linkage between Alzheimer’s and high cholesterol, and a compound of drugs that has promise for significant benefit to those with rheumatoid arthritis. Another key to the institute’s growth is its full-tissue repository, which Rogers initially developed as a brain bank soon after founding the institute.

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