Tag Archives: Mayo Clinic

ASU Students

ASU Students: Large Enrollment, Campuses And Dreams

Attending a school with four campuses, 250 undergraduate programs and nearly 72,000 students enrolled, Arizona State University students aren’t finding it difficult to stick out from the crowd. In fact, they are proving countless ways to be innovative, distinct and professionally developed.

ASU has provided its student body with opportunities to take their education to a different level: to their careers, bringing their future dream jobs to the present.

Take ASU student Frank Kyle Robertson, for example. He’s a third-year law student, looking to graduate with a Juris Doctorate (J.D). Earlier this year, however, on January 24, he went from being a student of law to arguing a case before Arizona’s highest court.

He represented the Homeowner Advocacy Unit at ASU’s law school, Southern Arizona Legal Aid and Jean Braucher, a law professor at the University of Arizona.

Robertson was extremely interested in this case and spent much time and effort during winter break towards research of the case. And his professors appreciated his interest and, in turn, invested in him and his professional development.

Robert says that the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law “offers a large number of real-world opportunities that are very helpful in preparing to practice law.” The law school also offers 10 clinical programs, moot court competitions and litigation-focused classes.

The Biomedical Engineering Department also offers opportunities for ASU students. Through its undergraduate program, students must undergo the design process of medical technologies in its entirety: designing, testing, customer research, FDA regulations and, finally, production.

In fact, the current undergraduate senior class is working on projects that have great potential. Edgar Sanchez, a senior graduating in May of this year, is working on an electrode-based device that he will code to make readings of antibodies and antigens. This device is innovative in its portability and size. Currently, electrodes are used to input to a much larger reading device; however, Sanchez’s project will allow for the electrodes to do the readings themselves.

His colleague, Madeline Grade, has also been recognized by Mayo Clinic and other research centers for her work on epilepsy. She, along with her professor Leon Jassemidis, has worked on the development of seizure predictions. Eventually, a device will be created that will warn an epileptic of a seizure hours before it actually occurs.

Dr. Vincent Pizziconi, the instructor of the senior capstone design course, says that ASU students at the biomedical engineering department are pushed to “realize their potential in the world of global health. Students are being trained to develop medical devices…” and provide them to those who live in places lacking resources.

As he works with students at the multimillion-dollar design facility at the Tempe campus, journalism professors and professionals at the Downtown Phoenix campus are working with their students to produce news pieces of national and international impact.

ASU student journalists have been awarded some of the nation’s most prestigious awards and recognized by the Associated Press TV-Radio Association, the Broadcast Education Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Be it in the fields of law, biotechnologies, journalism or otherwise, ASU students are finding it accessible to further both their education and their careers.

For more information about ASU and ASU students, visit asu.edu.

Mayo Medical Schools Expands to Arizona

Mayo Medical School Expands To Arizona With New Campus

Mayo Clinic has announced the expansion of its Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn., to a new campus in Arizona. The new expansion, in addition to being a symbol of Mayo’s commitment to leadership in patient-centered academic excellence, will allow Mayo to continue redefining the field of medical education.

The new Mayo Medical School – Arizona Campus will include a collaboration with Arizona State University. At this new branch, students will complete a specialized master’s degree in the Science of Health Care Delivery granted by ASU concurrently with their medical degree from Mayo Medical School.

Regarding the new expansion, John Noseworthy, M.D., the president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, says, “This is one of the most important and exciting initiatives we can undertake. For Mayo Clinic, this new branch of Mayo Medical School is firmly aligned with Mayo’s commitment to patient-centered academic excellence and redefining the field of medical education. Together with ASU, we will create the health care workforce of the future.”

ASU President Michael Crow was also excited about the new campus.

“Mayo Medical School is believed to be the first medical school in the U.S. to offer an embedded master’s degree in the science of health care delivery,” Crow says. “ASU is proud to partner with Mayo in this innovative approach to providing future physicians with the complementary competencies needed to deliver high-value care.”

Even Arizona governor Jan Brewer had a few words on the expansion: “This is very good news for all of Arizona. It’s a great example of how Mayo Clinic and ASU are working together to continue to raise Arizona’s profile as a national and international hub for innovation in medical education and health care delivery.”

The new branch of Mayo Medical School will be based on Mayo’s Scottsdale campus in buildings to be remodeled and retrofitted just for it. The campus faculty will be drawn from both Mayo’s instructional resources and experts from ASU, providing a wide range of educational experience.

The specialized Science of Health Care Delivery degree will address the changing needs of 21st century health care delivery, and will include components like social and behavioral determinants of health, health care policy, health economics, management science, biomedical informatics, systems engineering and value principles of health care.

For additional information on the new Mayo Medical School expansion, visit: dev.newsblog.mayoclinic.org or asunews.asu.edu.

 

Google Apps Seminar Series, Thin Client Computing

Thin Client Computing Hosts Google Apps Seminar Series

Thin Client Computing announced a Google Apps seminar series designed to promote cloud-based communication through education for businesses and non-profits.

The Shalimar Country Club in Tempe, Ariz. will host the first of the seminars, “A Better Mobile Experience, Google Apps and Sprint,” led by Dan Peterson, Google Apps certified deployment specialist, on August 3.

“The goal of these monthly seminars is to educate and inform those looking to take advantage of Google Apps messaging and collaboration features,” Peterson says.

Also in attendance at the seminar is Tim Gray, president and CEO of Graycom Communications, who will demonstrate Android tablets and smart phones from sprint.

Graycom’s focus is on the changing role of technology in business and the demand for integrated and compatible data.

Register for the seminar online or over the phone at (602) 721-3756.

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If You Go

Google Apps Seminar Series:

“A Better Mobile Experience, Google Apps and Sprint”
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Shalimar Country Club

2032 East Golf Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480) 838-0488

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About Thin Client Computing

Thin Client Computing is a leader in virtualization and remote computer solutions. With training from Google and access to APIs, Thin Client Computing is able to provide Google Apps service and support for customers. Other recent clients of Thin Client include Mayo Clinic, Cox Communications, American Express and ASU.

What are Google Apps?

Google Apps aims to provide communication and collaboration tools — all available from Google — allowing for ease of setup and maintenance. Apps such as Gmail, Google Calendar and integrated IM keep users in sync and make working together simple.

Google Docs and Google Sites, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentation and creation tools, allow for file sharing and real-time collaboration with other users.

Gluten-rich bread

Watch For Signs That Gluten-Rich Foods Are Affecting Your Health

Digestive symptoms are common. Most are transitory or respond to simple changes in diet or lifestyle. However, for some people digestive symptoms can be chronic, severe and cause significant impairment to their quality of life.

One such condition is Celiac disease; also known as Celiac Sprue, Nontropical Sprue or Gluten-sensitive Enteropathy.  Celiac disease is an immune reaction to the protein gluten, which is found in foods containing grains such as wheat, barley and rye (e.g. bread, pasta, and pizza crust). When gluten is ingested, the immune reaction causes damage to the lining of the small intestine.

The cause(s) are unknown. There is a hereditary risk of 5 percent to 15 percent if an immediate family member is affected. In studies of identical twins, 70 percent-85 percent of the time, the second twin is affected if one twin has Celiac disease.  Sometimes the disease develops after some form of trauma — infection, surgery or pregnancy.  Persons with Type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent) or certain thyroid diseases are more commonly impacted.

Typical symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. However, these symptoms can mimic other gastrointestinal diseases, and infrequently some people may not have any gastrointestinal symptoms.  Other features/complications include anemia (from malabsorption of nutrients and vitamins, leading to malnutrition), joint pains, muscle cramps, skin rash, mouth sores, osteoporosis (loss of calcium and vitamin D), nerve damage, general weakness and fatigue and weight loss. Due to damage to the small intestines, some people will develop lactose intolerance. Untreated persons have a long-term increased risk of some cancers, such as intestinal lymphoma.

Diagnosis, in addition to a medical history and physical exam, involves testing the blood for specific antibodies present at high levels. These antibodies can identify people more likely to have the disease. In addition, a biopsy of the small intestine (done by a scope inserted through the mouth) is used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment involves a gluten free diet.

If you have persistent digestive symptoms, discuss with your doctor.  Keeping a diary of foods eaten and symptoms can be very helpful. Only your doctor can make the proper diagnosis.

Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Sterling Award.

Scottsdale Area Chamber Of Commerce Gives Out Its Annual Sterling Awards

Four Scottsdale businesses received the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Sterling Award.  The 25th annual Sterling Awards were handed out yesterday, Nov. 16, to a packed house at the Scottsdale Resort and Convention Center.


The Sterling Award is presented to companies that make Scottsdale a great place to live, work and play. Four teams of judges narrowed the field from 12 and selected one winner in each of the following four categories–micro, small and big business, and nonprofit.

Celebration of Fine Art was awarded the Sterling Award in the micro business category, which is awarded to businesses with fewer than seven employees that exhibit success through innovation, creativity and collaboration. Celebration of Fine Art champions art in all forms, from furniture and jewelry to watercolor and pastels, and gives visitors the opportunity to converse with the artists as they work.

Human Capital Strategies won the Sterling Award in the small business category, which is awarded to businesses with seven to 99 employees that demonstrates innovation, quality, professionalism and commitment to community. Jason Knight started Human Capital Strategies in 2007 to “do what small business owners and office managers don’t like to do, don’t know how to do and, often times, don’t even know they are supposed to do.®”

Scottsdale Fashion Square was awarded the Sterling Award in the big business category, which goes to businesses with more than 100 employees that significantly impacts the community’s economic fabric. Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the Valley’s premier tourist destinations, but also gives back in many ways, including partnerships with nonprofit organizations and employee volunteerism.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance received the Sterling Award in the nonprofit category, which is awarded to a charitable organization that contributes to the social, cultural and educational well-being of those it serves. As the world’s first food bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is committed to improving the quality of life in Arizona and serves 13 of Arizona’s 15 counties.

Other businesses were recognized in the four categories. Reliable Background Screening, Sonoran Studios, Payroll Experts, Hot Air Expeditions, DMB Associates, Mayo Clinic, Gabriel’s Angels and Every Kid Counts, Inc. were all recognized at the ceremony, which was emceed by Good Morning Arizona anchor and host Tara Hitchcock.

www.celebrateart.com
www.hcscando.com

www.fashionsquare.com

www.firstfoodbank.org

www.scottsdalechamber.com

Routine screening tests can be one of the most important personal health strategies

A Personal Health Plan Includes Screening Tests

Everyone should develop a lifetime plan to stay healthy. A healthy lifestyle, an understanding of personal health risks and the appropriate use of screening tests are all important parts of a plan.

Routine screening tests can be one of the most important personal health strategies.  Screening tests are designed to detect disease or risk factors for disease before symptoms appear. Detecting disease early can lead to more effective treatment. Identifying risk factors for disease may reduce the chance of developing certain diseases or prevent them completely.

Much research on the development and effectiveness of various screening tests has been done in recent years. Although effective screening tests are widely available, many people do not take advantage of them. A screening test is not necessarily complicated or expensive. For example, a simple blood pressure check can detect elevated blood pressure or hypertension, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Discovery can lead to early treatment and prevention of these adverse outcomes.

Common screening tests in addition to blood pressure measurement include checking your cholesterol value and blood sugar (diabetes). Cancer screening tests are available for colon cancer (starting at age 50), breast cancer (mammograms, annually starting at 40), cervical cancer (Pap test) and prostate cancer (blood PSA test starting at 50). Personal risk factors can change the age at which testing begins and the frequency with which the tests are performed.

There are also other important strategies to stay healthy and prevent disease. In addition to specific screening tests, reviewing your family history and lifestyle can help identify risk factors that may increase or decrease your chances of developing specific conditions. The best approach is to discuss a lifetime preventive strategy with your personal physician. Completing one of the many available health risk appraisal tools on the Internet can help make you more informed about your personal risks and increase the focus and productivity of your discussions with your physician.

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Award Winners

Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ are honored to unveil the winners of our inaugural Arizona’s Most Admired Companies Awards.

With 43 winners, we think you’ll agree the awards selection committee has done an outstanding job in determining some of the most admired companies in our state.  Our primary goal in developing this program was to find those organizations that excel in four key areas: workplace culture, leadership excellence, social responsibility and customer opinion.  This list features the most prestigious companies in our state, providing us the opportunity to learn from the best.

Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 69
Recent Award: AIA Kemper Goodwin Award – 2009
WEB: www.a-p.com

AlliedBarton Security Services
Headquarters: Conshohocken, Penn.
Year Est.: 1957
No. of Employees in AZ: 1,047
Recent Award: Brandon Hall Research Award for Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management – 2009
WEB: www.alliedbarton.com
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American Express
Headquarters: New York
Year Est.: 1850
No. of Employees in AZ: 7,219
Recent Award: Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies – 2010
WEB: www.americanexpress.com
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Arizona Charter Academy
Headquarters: Surprise
Year Est.: 2001
No. of Employees in AZ: 61
Recent Award: Elks Lodge Community Partner of the Year – 2010
WEB: www.azcharteracademy.com
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Banner Health
Headquarters: Phoenix
Year Est.: 1999
No. of Employees in AZ: 27,528
Recent Award: Gallup Great Workplace Award – 2009
WEB: www.bannerhealth.com
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BeachFleischman PC
Headquarters: Tucson
Year Est.: 1991
No. of Employees in AZ: 104
Recent Award: Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For – 2009
WEB: www.beachfleischman.com

To buy a print version of the 2010 Arizona’s Most Admired Companies
go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

A Solid Health Management Program Can Be A Good Investment For Any Company

Many population health management programs face closer scrutiny when a company is faced with difficult budget decisions during a tough economy. But health and health care costs are a strategic priority for every business whether they acknowledge it or not — and most readily do.

In times of economic downturn, companies might want to consider increasing their spending on health and wellness initiatives. Why? Because in an economic downturn, maximizing productivity and reducing costs are more important than ever.

The true cost of poor health includes indirect costs, as well as the more obvious direct cost of medical claims. The more bad health habits or risks employees have, the lower their productivity; and health risks directly equate to higher health care costs, both direct and indirect. A number of medical conditions, if left unmanaged or poorly managed, become catastrophic, ending in hospitalization and reduced functioning, thereby reducing productivity. Lastly, health and wellness programming is a relatively low cost and important item. It decreases disease, but also influences whether employees like their jobs and feel cared about by an employer, which in turn affects productivity and absenteeism.

There are some key preventive measures a company can take that help keep people from slipping into a high risk, high-cost category. First, know what the most common or costly conditions are in your population and offer programs targeted to help your people manage these conditions. Encourage the local medical community to be an active partner with innovative management tools and strategies. Also increase the employees’ stake in the equation, but not regressively. Again, making disease management easy and affordable will likely save money. Lastly, look for quality in the medical care your employees get. Help your employees find quality care for catastrophic, high-cost conditions, and make helpful, quality information easy to access. There are now a number of good Web-based sources of quality medical information, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Library of Medicine, and mayoclinic.com.

When prioritizing program elements during tough economic times, companies can minimize downstream health costs and productivity impacts if they focus on initiatives that prevent the onset of high-cost, productivity-lowering diseases such as diabetes. In most health promotion and disease prevention programs, we know there is a three-to-one return on your investment, and you get the pay back in one to two years.

For mild conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes, company policies should make it easy to treat these conditions, and encourage medication and behavioral approaches. Make common medicines cheap to the end user, and encourage regular use of prescribed medications. Back it up with multimodal messages throughout the year. Make talking to a human easy when people have questions about their condition or medications with telephonic coaches, disease management professionals, group classes, or an onsite nurse.

Online personal health managers are a new consumer tool that will likely play a key role in helping people take their medications and manage their conditions. Using an online personal health manager also forms a bridge to doctors, and can give personalized day-to-day support and guidance to people via the Internet.

Keep healthy people healthy to prevent downward risk migration that can make health costs jump, and engage as many of your employees as possible in something positive. The first step is to get their attention. A health assessment tool provides a teachable moment and a jumping off point for engaging people in the wellness options you may offer.

Tracking data can often represent a significant time and dollar investment that may be difficult to keep up with during lean budget times. But the old adage of you can’t manage what you don’t measure is true in population health management. Maintaining a database of health status and trends is critical for making informed decisions on what interventions will have the most impact for your particular population. It also helps you justify the expenditure by showing whether you’re making a difference over time.

Use a health assessment as your baseline data set. It allows immediate feedback to the individual and gives group data for needs assessment and program development. It allows tracking of change over time, an early warning system and modeling of pay back from various program options. And it’s low cost, especially the online versions.

When faced with difficult budget decisions, if you are contemplating cuts to your health and wellness programming, stop and think about the downstream implications. Preserving these programs not only will help you keep your bottom line healthy, but also may improve your employees’ health, productivity and morale.

Arizona Business Magazine

February 2010

Technology

Arizona’s High-Tech Sector Has Grown And Diversified Over The Years

Intel. Boeing. The Mayo Clinic. Try finding anyone who hasn’t heard these renowned names. Fortunately for Arizona, they and other companies like them have been key to our state’s technology scene growing dramatically over the past quarter century.

There is one name, however, many may have forgotten. Although no longer a huge presence here, one company paved the way for others, as well as gave birth to offspring that garnered their own recognition. Its name? Motorola.

After World War II, the Signal Corps asked officials at radio communications pioneer Galvin Manufacturing Corp. to move parts of their operations out of Chicago for fear an atomic bomb could wreck needed production capabilities. Following the Windy City’s snowbirds, Motorola headed West and eventually built its landmark 56th Street facility in Phoenix, signaling the start of phenomenal growth. Eventually creating other electronics as well as semiconductors, the company grew to more than 20,000 Arizona employees at locations across Phoenix and the East Valley. You could argue that our high tech golden era began a little more than 25 years ago, when Motorola unveiled a device that changed the world forever: the portable cellular phone for commercial use.

Another significant presence began when the Valley proudly proclaimed “Intel Inside” and the company’s “fab” plants and related campuses became part of Chandler’s landscape. Now using the innovative 45nm technology, Intel is the city’s largest employer and has about 10,000 employees in the state.

Also in the mid-80s, biotechnology research started with the opening of Sun Health Research Institute in Sun City. The following year, the Mayo Clinic opened its campus in Scottsdale. The next year, Arizona State University granted master’s and doctorate degrees in bioengineering.

When it came to getting the United States and other nations into orbit and keeping them secure, the world already had discovered Arizona. Key to that reputation is Honeywell. In 1986, it purchased Sperry Aerospace and became the world’s leading integrator of avionics systems. At the end of the 1990s, Honeywell made major headlines again when it merged with AlliedSignal. When the dust settled, Honeywell Aerospace called Phoenix its home.

Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems also claimed a piece of history when its Patriot missile became the star of the Persian Gulf War.

By the end of the 20th century, Boeing was ready for the next conflict, as its Apache Longbow helicopter took off.

The new millennium brought a new order and the beginning of the end for Motorola as we knew it. After ON Semiconductor was spun off, the company sold its Scottsdale-based government IT division to General Dynamics, and its life-sciences arm to Britain’s Amersham. Motorola spun off its Freescale Semiconductor operation in 2003, shrinking Motorola’s Arizona payroll to 3,500. Some observers now put that number at 500 after Emerson Network Power acquired the Embedded Communications Computing group in Tempe last year.

The real growth was happening in biotechnology. One of the biggest coups occurred when the International Genomics Consortium announced it was moving to Phoenix to create the Translational Genomics Research Institute. Also in 2002, Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation, began outlining recommendations for the state to become a national biosciences leader.

ASU and the University of Arizona joined the effort. The first building of ASU’s acclaimed Biodesign Institute opened in late 2004, followed by the facility’s completion two years later. UA’s BIO5 Institute was launched to pursue life sciences research.

As you can see, the infrastructure is in place for the future to bring even more. Everyone has a chance to share the rewards. The technology industry is viewed as the bright spot of what has been a dismal economy. Arizona companies already are reporting new hires to help serve new contracts. There’s no doubt we live in a top-tier technology state.

hand sanitizer helps stay healthy at work

Staying Healthy At Work

Stress is present in almost everyone’s lives today, particularly with the cloud of an unstable economy hanging over the country. Not surprisingly, work is one of the top things that cause people stress.

The problem doesn’t end there. Stress can affect more than our mindset and our mood — it can affect our health. The Wellness Council of America reports that 70 percent of workers say job stress causes frequent health problems. The good news is there are many fun ways employers can help their employees beat stress at work and stay healthy.

“Stress can manifest itself in many ways including obsessive (behavior), excessive worrying, making simple mistakes — such as forgetting to write a check in the register — appetite loss, muscle tension, upset stomach and headaches,” says Dr. Paul Berkowitz, a psychiatrist at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.

He adds that stress can also weaken the immune system, putting people at a higher risk for catching the common cold.

Dr. Bob Orford, who specializes in preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, adds that stress can also result in depression, high-blood pressure, sleep deprivation, hypertension and even obesity, because people often eat as a way to relieve stress.

Orford offers many ways employers can help their employees fend off stress and increase productivity in the workplace.

“They should allow several mini-breaks for their employees throughout the day — two or three times an hour — to stand up, stretch or simply walk around,” he says. “Productivity can be increased (as a result of) those mini-breaks. “Exercise is the single best way to relieve stress,” he adds.

Orford suggests that anything an employer can do to encourage employees to exercise can help them reduce their stress.

“They can offer incentives such as a contribution for a health club, which Mayo Clinic does, or distributing pedometers and giving a bonus or discount on a health care premium if they walk a certain number of steps,” he says.

Berkowitz adds that companies should also help their employees balance work and life — thus helping relieve their stress — by working with them in areas such as shift scheduling, if at all possible. He suggests employers can offer the option to come in early or work later hours, depending on the employee’s preference. He also suggests perks such as bringing in a corporate massage therapist or encouraging employees to take a yoga class.

In fact, massages can have overwhelmingly positive results in the workplace. In a study performed by the Touch Research Institute in Miami, massaged subjects showed decreased frontal EEG alpha and beta waves and increased delta activity consistent with enhanced alertness; math problems were completed in significantly less time with significantly fewer errors after the massage; and anxiety, cortisol (the stress hormone) and job-stress levels were lower at the end of a five-week period.

“As more and more is expected of workers during these difficult times, maintaining good health is essential in the workplace. Even the smallest employee incentives make a big difference,” says Tiffany Richards, founder of The Back Rub Company in Phoenix. “These affordable programs — like a 15-minute chair massage — are some of the only things that employees look forward to, especially when everyone is over-stressed and worried.”

The Back Rub Company offers on-site wellness services, including chair massages, fitness classes, “lunch and learn” wellness workshops, guided meditation, hypnotherapy sessions and even healthy cooking classes.

Massage Makers offers corporate chair massages and on-site table massages, as well as the unique Body Mechanics program, which addresses repeated physical problems people suffer as a result of how they sit or stand continually at work. Owner Andrea “Andy” Sobczak believes that massages benefit employees by helping relax their muscles and get blood flowing, and also by providing a mental booster.

“It shows employees that (employers) are invested in them, and it gives employees a sense of value,” she says.

Sobczak adds that the human touch also makes people feel like they are important.“People are deprived of human touch … they need to feel special and taken care of,” she says. “It makes people feel good.”

Yoga is another positive stress reliever that employers can offer their employees. Danielle Price Catalfio started StudiYo of Scottsdale after working in Corporate America and realizing how stressful it can be, particularly in a down economy. She created the T.E.A.M. Yoga workshops, which stands for “the ego aware manager,” to help people “take the ego out of the workplace and see each other outside of their titles as human beings not humans doing.”

Catalfio’s two- to three-hour workshops include three main elements: a series of yoga techniques such as breathing and stretching to help people relax; the physical aspect, which helps people let go of thoughts and simply concentrate on holding yoga poses; and workplace stretches that can be done during mini-breaks. She also incorporates relational activities into the workshop that help build trust and camaraderie among co-workers.

Workplace wellness programs don’t just benefit employees. Statistics show these types of incentives actually have an economic return for employers. A report by the U.S. Surgeon General on Physical Activity and Health states that corporate wellness programs return $1.95 to $3.75 per employee, per dollar spent, and have a cumulative economic benefit of $500 to $700 per worker, per year. In addition, the American Journal of Health Promotions reports that for every $1 spent on wellness, employers can get up to $10 back through fewer medical claims, reduced absenteeism, improved productivity and other factors. Berkowitz says employers should look at workplace wellness incentives “as an investment to offset potential losses.”

Medical supplies

Applying Supply Chain Management Techniques To The Health Care Industry

Businesses in the 21st century frequently attribute success to the ability to tame their supply chains.

The business of hospitals, in comparison, is quite different. Hospitals are service organizations with diverse customers, including physicians who have strong commitments to given manufacturers and products. Patients, of course, are customers, and their treatment often requires costly items. Because their customer base is so diverse, and because the associated costs can be high, it is increasingly important for hospitals to purchase materials at the best price possible.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the health care industry is the prevalence of national group purchasing organizations that leverage the purchasing power of many hospitals. In Phoenix, Premier provides Banner Health and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center with strategic procurement services. Mayo Clinic is a member of Novation, giving it access to services that support standardization for expensive clinical items. Amerinet assists Scottsdale Healthcare in managing purchasing costs and improving processes.

Escalating costs
Increased costs associated with health care represent a challenge, however, it is not always clear why or where health care costs are escalating. The escalation of supply costs, frequently at greater than 10 percent annually, means that supply costs are the second-highest area for hospital expenditures after labor.

Paul Carmichael, director of materials management at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), fears that manufacturers will not continue to absorb supply-cost increases on their own. In addition, an aging population that demands a high quality of life will also drive up overall costs.

Hospitals require significant supplies. Mayo Clinic Arizona, for example, itemizes more than 100,000 products. Banner Health, which operates 22 hospitals in Arizona, reported $2.2 billion in net revenue, with supply expenses estimated at $390 million. Of this, $190 million were expended for medical/surgical supplies and $90 million for pharmaceuticals.

Doug Bowen, Banner’s materials manager, points to the challenges associated with pharmaceutical costs that now consume almost a quarter of supply expenses. Banner very strategically employs centralized control and standardized processes to optimize its supply operations. Bowen believes that Banner’s data warehouse system will disseminate best practices across the system.

Ryan Kirane is materials manager for Mayo Clinic Arizona and points with pride to the integration of the supply chain organization across the Mayo network and the subsequent supply chain excellence. In Arizona, Mayo’s net patient revenue of more than $500 million is balanced against a supply expense of approximately $125 million — signaling supply-intense procedures such as implant surgery. With pharmaceuticals making up about $45 million in expenses, Mayo echoes Banner’s concern with the cost of medications.

Each hospital faces different challenges in managing the supply environment. PCH, whose patients range from infants to adolescents, requires up to a third more products due to patient-size requirements. PCH utilizes advanced supply chain management technologies, such as “just-in-time” stock replenishment, to maintain low levels of inventory, yet excellent access to products. It has also worked with its national distributor, Owens & Minor, to utilize activity-based management principles,leading to improved product access and efficiencies. With almost $360 million in total patient revenue, PCH reports more than $62 million in supply expenses for the thousands of different items necessary to deliver care.

Solving the problem
In 2004, the Health Sector Supply Chain Research Consortium was founded at the School of Health Management and Policy at ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. The consortium brings together U.S. firms to solve problems unique to the health care supply chain.

Eugene Schneller, Ph.D., is professor and Dean’s Council of 100 Distinguished Scholar in the W. P. Carey School of Business, School of Health Management and Policy. He can be reached at gene.schneller@asu.edu.

Bioscience in Arizona - AZ Business Magazine November 2008

Arizona Is Staking A Claim In Bioscience Territory

There’s no doubt Arizona’s public and private sectors have worked hard this decade to turn the state into a high-profile player in bioscience. And there’s no question these efforts have paid off with a number of successes. But no chart, report or press release drives these points home as effectively as an experience enjoyed by some Arizonans attending the BIO 2008 International Convention held in San Diego last June.

The annual event, staged by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, attracted more than 20,000 industry leaders from 70 countries and 48 states. A sizeable contingent stationed at the Arizona pavilion included, among others, representatives from the Arizona BioIndustry Association, the Department of Commerce, all three major universities, several Arizona cities, private firms, the Flinn Foundation, the Mayo Clinic, Science Foundation Arizona and TGen Drug Development Services, an affiliate of the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Brad Halvorsen, the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation’s assistant vice president for communications, is one of the people who noticed a difference this year.

He’s been to the last four BIO conventions and remembers the first time around when people were asking “Arizona does bio?” This year, however, visitors to the Arizona pavilion were inquiring about such specific topics as who at TGen works with proteomics.

This, according to Halvorsen, demonstrates a growing awareness that “Arizona’s not only a bioscience player, but an increasingly substantial one as far as what we’ve been able to do, not only here in-state, but on the national and international level.”

Of course, none of this would be possible without a coordinated effort — one in which the Flinn Foundation plays a major role.

Saundra Johnson, Flinn’s executive vice president, came onboard in 2000, just as the privately endowed foundation was going through an 18-month strategic planning process that culminated in a multimillion-dollar, 10-year commitment to advancing the biosciences in Arizona.

“That was based on a great deal of background work that staff and consultants had done about the tremendous potential at our research institutions,” Johnson says. “And we really believed that … bioscience and life sciences would be a wonderful opportunity for Arizona to build on those core competencies and really leapfrog into a more knowledge-based economy.”

The Flinn Foundation became one of the first and most significant contributors to a statewide effort to help geneticist Jeffrey Trent launch TGen, a nonprofit research institute focused on early disease diagnostics and treatments, and to lure the International Genomics Consortium here. The IGC is a research foundation working to fight cancer and other complex diseases by, in part, “expanding upon the discoveries of the Human Genome Project.” Both organizations have been sharing a Downtown Phoenix building since December 2004.

Maybe more important, the Flinn Foundation commissioned a Cleveland organization, the Battelle Memorial Institute’s Technology Partnership Practice, to conduct a 2002 study that resulted in Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap. It’s a constantly evolving 10-year blueprint for helping Arizona achieve bioscience success.

Flinn found willing collaborators at all levels of government and in higher education.

“They have been wonderful partners and have embraced the Roadmap,” Johnson says. “Without strong public-private partnerships, you can’t succeed in the kind of work the foundation’s trying to do in terms of actually moving an economy in a direction very quickly.”

Sandra Watson, the Department of Commerce’s work force and business development director, sees several areas where the state has made major contributions to the effort, ranging from increased funding for university research and facilities to tax credits for those making early stage investments for qualified small businesses — especially in the biosciences.

In fact, the department has established the Arizona Innovation Accelerator Program, which combines a variety of grants, tax breaks and tools to help businesses evaluate, develop and commercialize technologies.

“What you’ll find in Arizona is that we are a very collaborative state,” Watson says. “We, along with our partners, have identified key targeted areas and are very focused on developing strategic initiatives around those areas.”

Despite current economic conditions, she is not aware of any plans to cut back current programs. Increased higher-education funding has helped propel the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, the BIO5 Institute at the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University’s Strategic Alliance for Bioscience Research and Education.

The key is that state universities not only help educate a future bioscience work force, they have an active role in the business community. One of BIO5’s main objectives, for example, is to help take research from the labs to the marketplace, and it accomplishes this through material transfer, facility-use agreements and collaborative efforts to create new companies.

“What I hope is that the community knows that if they need something — research expertise, facilities, whatever — that they can start by contacting me or someone in BIO5, and we can help them find what they need to help their business,” says Nina Ossanna, BIO5’s director of business development and vice chair for AZBio, the statewide trade association.

To understand the growing strength of Arizona’s bioscience industry, one needs to understand its diversity. That starts with a short course on terminology. Too many people throw around the term “biotechnology” when they really mean bioscience or life science.

Biotech, according to the Flinn Foundation Web site, www.arizonabiobasics.com, is a subset of bioscience. It is technology based on biology, especially when applied to agriculture, medicine and food science. Many associate it most closely with research and development.

Bioscience, as defined by Battelle, is segmented into five distinct areas: agricultural feedstock and chemicals; medical devices and equipment; drugs and pharmaceuticals; hospitals; and research, testing and medical laboratories.

While some areas around the country are especially strong in biotech, Arizona seems to cover both the gamut and a lot of ground. The so-called Arizona Bio-Corridor stretches from Tucson to Flagstaff. But it would be remiss to leave out areas such as Yuma, where there’s a lot of agricultural work going on.

There’s also a great deal of synergy taking place in different regions. Consider Tucson, where the optics industry is nationally recognized. Local optics expertise is now resulting in microscopic-imaging instruments.

Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, offers another benefit of bioscience.

“While we work and develop the bioscience sector, we actually make our health-care delivery system better,” Broome says. “And from our standpoint, we actually see it as something that basically creates a kind of economic wellness. So it’s not just about high-level employment.”

Broome points to the example of a diagnostics company that specializes in evaluating therapies for certain brain cancers. Beyond the economic benefit the company brings to the region, it helps physicians and hospitals make better treatment decisions for patients.

While an ample availability of venture capital remains a concern, there are a lot of positives to celebrate.

Three industry developments made their way into a 2008 report Battelle prepared for BIO.

One was the acquisition of Southern Arizona’s Ventana Medical Systems Inc. for more than $3 billion by Roche, the Swiss health care company. Another is the decision by Covance Inc., a respected drug development servicescompany, to build a major research facility in Chandler. And a third is medical-products manufacturer W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.’s decision to expand itsFlagstaff operation and make a move into the Greater Phoenix area.

“It’s really an exciting time to be around and look at the life-sciences industry,” says BIO5’s Ossanna.

For more information about Arizona’s bioscience presence, visit the following links:

azcommerce.com
flinn.org
tgen.org

biodesign.asu.edu
bio5.arizona.edu
arizonabiobasics.com
gpec.org
azbio.org

Arizona Business Magazine November 2008