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Dr. Perman talks at the TEDx UMB event

TEDx Event Amplifies UMB’s Cutting-Edge Innovations

The audience seated in an intimate ballroom at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) turned its attention to a small stage at the front of the room. The stage filled with red light as Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, MS, a research associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, entered from behind a black curtain off to the right.

“I am a P-H-Diva,” Finigan-Carr declared. “I study sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, and I’m here to tell you about the perfect combination of the three: child sex trafficking.” And with that, Finigan-Carr began her TEDx talk titled Child Prostitutes Don’t Exist, which discussed the topic of minors being manipulated and trafficked for sex.

Her riveting talk was part of TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore (TEDx UMB), an inaugural, day-long event for the University put on through TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” The goal of a TEDx program is to carry out TED’s mission in local communities around the world through a series of live speakers and recorded TED Talks.

On Nov. 9, 10 speakers from the UMB community took the stage to share their innovative ideas across a wide scope of subject areas united under a single theme culled from the University’s mission statement: Improving the Human Condition. Each speaker approached the theme from a unique perspective informed by life, work, and experience. This brought forth an engaging mix of topics ranging from pioneering augmented reality in the operating room to exploring a middle ground in gender beyond just male and female.

(View a photo gallery.)

“All of the speakers are passionate about the work they are doing,” explains Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA, UMB’s senior vice president for operations and institutional effectiveness and a member of the committee that organized TEDx UMB. “As an institution for health and human services, UMB conducts a multitude of cutting-edge research and education and we’re always looking for platforms to amplify our work.”

UMB’s cutting-edge research certainly was demonstrated by TEDx UMB speaker Samuel A. Tisherman, MD, FACS, FCCM, a professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), with his talk: A Cool Way to Save Dying Trauma Patients.

Tisherman discussed the idea of using EPR (Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation) on patients with severe traumatic injuries like gunshot or stab wounds to help stave off death during surgery. The innovative medical technique involves pumping the human body with cold saline (a saltwater solution used for resuscitation) to lower a dying patient’s body temperature to a hypothermic state. This slows the patients’ need for oxygen and blood flow, giving surgeons more time to perform life-saving operations.

“There’s this dogma in surgery that hypothermia is bad, but I would have to disagree,” Tisherman told the audience. “There are numerous reports of patients having cold water drowning, but they survived after being under water for over an hour. Think about that for a second. You’re underwater, can’t breathe, but your body cools fast enough so that your brain, your heart, and other organs are protected, and you can actually survive for over an hour.”

EPR is currently in human trials at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. If it continues to be successful, EPR potentially could lead to reduced mortality rates in trauma centers around the world, which fits right into TEDx UMB’s theme of Improving the Human Condition.

Mary J. Tooey, MLS, AHIP, FMLA, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and executive director of UMB’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library, served as emcee for the day, and UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, kicked off the proceedings with his talk, No Money, No Mission. Perman discussed how he learned to balance empathy with good business practices from his parents while growing up in their family-owned dry cleaning business in Chicago. Perman explained how he has put that lesson to use as a pediatric gastrienterologist and as the president of a university that produces hundreds of millions of dollars worth of groundbreaking research and innovations every year.

The day continued with more compelling and thought-provoking discussions. Russell McClain, JD ’95, an associate professor and associate dean at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, used the back of a cereal box to demonstrate and launch a discussion about implicit bias and stereotype threat; Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and at UMSOM, explored the idea of using the brain’s own power as a solution to the opioid crisis; and Jenny Owens, ScD, MS, the faculty executive director of UMB’s Graduate Research Innovation District (the Grid), delivered a talk about her passion project, Hosts for Humanity, an organization that connects families and friends of children traveling to receive medical care with volunteer hosts offering accommodations in their homes.

“I think events like TEDx are really encouraging,” Owens said. “Seeing all of the amazing work people are doing and how much time and commitment they’re putting into making the world a better place is really inspiring, and I hope it inspires people to go out there and get to work on their own ideas.”

Although each speaker at TEDx UMB was part of the UMB community, their audience was not limited to the 100 people seated in the ballroom. The event was livestreamed on YouTube to a global audience, allowing its outreach and engagement to go far beyond the local community.

“There are so many talented people doing important work here at UMB,” said John Palinski, MPA, a philanthropy officer at UMB and a member of the TEDx planning committee. “TEDx is a bit of education in just reminding people who we are by projecting to the world all the wonderful things that are happening here.”

Members of UMB’s TEDx planning committee hope that this year is just the beginning of an annual event that showcases UMB’s commitment to sparking deep discussions and spreading innovative ideas to improve humanity.

“I am so pleased with this year’s event and I’m already excited for next year,” concluded Palinski.

Jena FrickCollaboration, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Administration, University Life, USGANovember 14, 20180 comments
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Panoramic view of colorful sunrise in mountains

UMB Scholars for Recovery Peer Support Meetings

The mission of UMB Scholars for Recovery is to create a recovery-friendly environment on campus and increase peer support among students suffering with or in recovery from substance use disorders. Student input is welcome as we build this community.

Please join us on the following Mondays — Nov. 26, Dec. 3, and Dec. 10 — for peer support meetings, which are open to all students in recovery from or seeking recovery from substance use disorders. Spring semester meetings will take place at the same day and time.

To get involved, if you have questions, or if you are interested in getting involved but are not available to meet during this time, contact us:

Becca GibsonPeople, University LifeNovember 14, 20180 comments
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UMB USGA Fall Formal poster

UMB 2018 USGA Annual Fall Formal on Nov. 16

The University Student Government Association (USGA) invites UMB students to attend the USGA Annual Fall Formal on Friday, Nov. 16, in the ballrooms of the Baltimore Convention Center.

The formal will take place from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets are $25 for students and $35 for guests. Please use a umaryland email account to buy your tickets. Purchases are limited to one student ticket and one guest ticket per student, or until sold out. You must bring your student ID and a government-issued photo ID for age verification.

Tickets can be purchased at this Eventbrite webpage. Ticket price includes food and drinks.

For questions, please contact umb.usga.programming@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Andrea TheodoruPeople, University Life, USGANovember 13, 20180 comments
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The President's Message-November

The President’s Message

Check out the November issue of The President’s Message. It includes:

  • Dr. Perman’s column on UMB leadership’s 10-day trip to Asia
  • A look back at Founders Week
  • UMB Police launch COAST outreach team
  • A new cohort of CURE Scholars dons white coats
  • First piece of public art at UMB unveiled
  • Then-Baltimore Police spokesman T.J. Smith joins White Paper discussion on gun violence
  • A look ahead to the UMB TEDx event (Nov. 9) and Barbara Mikulski’s visit (Nov. 27)
  • A roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements and a call for Board of Regents’ Staff Award nominations
Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, UMB News, University Life, USGANovember 9, 20180 comments
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Thanksgiving Food drive volunteers

Thanksgiving Collection: Donate a Basket Through Nov. 13

UMB’s Staff Senate and the Office of Community Engagement are teaming up to host a Thanksgiving food drive through Tuesday, Nov. 13, to benefit CURE Scholar and Police Athletic/Activities League families of West Baltimore.

Departments or individuals can sponsor a family by collecting the items below to fill a Thanksgiving food basket.

Each donation basket should include:

  • 2 boxes of stuffing
  • 2 cans of cranberries
  • 2 boxes of mashed potatoes
  • 2 cans of sweet potatoes
  • 2 cans of gravy
  • 4 cans of vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, etc.)

Don’t Have Time to Shop?

You can donate online through the Staff Senate giving page.

Collection Drop-Off

Through Nov. 13, donations can be placed in collection bins located at the following locations:

  • Saratoga Building lobby, 220 Arch St.
  • Lexington Building, first- and second-floor lobbies, 620 W. Lexington St.
  • MSTF Atrium, BIORESCO, 695 W. Baltimore St.
  • Cancer Center, Clinical Research Center, 22 N. Greene St.
  • School of Social Work lobby, 525 W. Redwood St.
  • School of Nursing lobby, 655 W. Lombard St.
  • School of Nursing, sixth floor, in front of elevators
  • SMC Campus Center lobby, next to guard station, 621 W. Lombard St.
  • Facilities Maintenance Service Center, 622 W. Fayette St.
  • Bressler Research Building, Room 7-022, 655 W. Baltimore St.
  • HSF II Building lobby, 20 Penn Street
  • School of Law lobby, 500 W. Baltimore Street
Brian SturdivantCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, People, UMB News, University Life, USGANovember 9, 20180 comments
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TEDx at UMB: Improving the Human Condition

Coming Friday: TEDx UMB on ‘Improving the Human Condition’

The TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) event will be held Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, at the SMC Campus Center Elm Ballrooms.

Tickets are sold out, but you can still watch the TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore event and its lineup of 10 speakers on a livestream at the TEDxUMB website Friday. The theme of the daylong event is “Improving the Human Condition.” The speakers will begin at 10 a.m. and the event closes at 3 p.m. For a schedule, go to this webpage.

Here are the speakers in order, with TED Talk videos interspersed (read about the speakers on the TEDxUMB website.)

Jay A. Perman, MD
No Money, No Mission

Jeff Johnson
Disruptive Communication: Killing the Echo Chamber to Save the Ecosystem

TED Talk Video by Derek Sivers
How to Start a Movement

Sarah Murthi, MD
Seeing Into the Future: Augmented and Virtual Reality in Medicine

Russell McClain, JD ’95
Invisible Influences in Education: Implicit Bias, Stereotype Threat, and the Achievement Gap

TED Talk Video by Joseph Ravenell
How Barbershops Can Keep Men Healthy

Julie Gilliam, ScD, MS
Finding the Middle Ground in Gender

TED Talk Video by Dave Troy
Social Maps That Reveal a City’s Intersections – and Separations

Frank Pasquale, JD, MPhil
From Cost Disease to Cost Cure: Revitalizing Economic Growth with Renewed Commitment to the Caring Professions

Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS
Are Placebos the Solution? Tackling the Opioid Epidemic in the Decades Ahead

Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, MS
Child Prostitutes Don’t Exist

TED Talk Video by Erricka Bridgeford
How Baltimore Called a Ceasefire

Samuel A. Tisherman, MD, FACS, FCCM
A Cool Way to Save Dying Trauma Patients

Jenny Owens, ScD, MS
Hosts for Humanity: Tapping Into the Collective Compassion of Volunteers to House Patient-Families Traveling for Care

 

Communications and Public AffairsCollaboration, Education, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeNovember 8, 20180 comments
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Join us for the Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at HS/HSL

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, health professionals, students, and librarians from all over the country will join forces for an all-day edit-a-thon. Participants will edit Wikipedia articles on women’s health topics and improve citations using trusted National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources.

The Health Sciences and Human Services Libary (HS/HSL) is hosting a two-hour drop-in session with librarians from the HS/HSL and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to help if you’ve never edited Wikipedia before.

If you are unable to attend the event, you can still participate virtually all day. Join us at the HS/HSL in Room LL05 on the lower level.

Lauren WheelerCollaboration, Education, PeopleNovember 2, 20180 comments
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Tree with the sky as backdrop

Join Restore Outdoors for Challenge Course Adventure on Nov. 18

Come and join Restore Outdoors for a crisp, fall day of adventure on Sunday, Nov. 18, at Genesee Valley Outdoor Learning Center in Parkton, Md.

Zip-lining, high-static aerial course, group bonding games, and time outside will all be optional and encouraged fun!

The day will start at 9 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. All are welcome. Lunch will be provided (your choice from Panera). Carpools from UMB will be arranged.

Please RSVP to Zoe at zjack@umaryland.edu if you are interested in attending. The event is sponsored by the University Student Government Association.

 

Zoe JackEducation, People, University Life, USGANovember 1, 20180 comments
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Nursing students

Check Out School of Nursing’s Fall 2018 Career Fair on Nov. 5

Join the School of Nursing for out Fall 2018 Career Fair on Nov. 5 and explore your possibilities.

This career fair is geared toward students and/or alumni who are early in their career (0-3 years) and are seeking employment, internships, or graduate school opportunities.

Alumni looking for RN positions are welcome to attend. Take advantage of this FREE opportunity to meet representatives from national and regional health care institutions and from other schools of nursing.

  • Date: Monday, Nov. 5
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: School of Nursing Lobby
  • More information: Go to this webpage.
Dardanelles EstesClinical Care, People, UMB News, University LifeOctober 29, 20180 comments
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Diwali: The Festival of Lights flyer

Join UMB’s Indian Association in Celebrating Diwali 2018

The UMB Indian Association proudly presents “Diwali: The Festival of Lights” on Nov. 13.

There will be music and dance performances and other exciting surprises. Come to the event with your friends and family and enjoy delicious Indian cuisine.

  • Date: Tuesday, Nov. 13
  • Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: SMC Campus Center, Elm Ballroom A (Room 208)
  • Tickets: Students, $4; non-students, $6; at the door, $10.
  • Free admission: To children below the age of 5 and volunteers.

Consult members of Indian Association for tickets or look out for flyers of the event with the QR code.

Anmol KumarPeople, University Life, USGAOctober 25, 20180 comments
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Hillary Edwards and Dr. Perman

Putting PATIENTS first, Edwards Wins UMB Employee of the Month Award

Hillary Edwards, MPH ’14, says bringing people together to advance patient-centered outcomes research is among the favorite parts of her job with the PATIENTS Program at the School of Pharmacy.

On Oct. 23 in a conference room at the Saratoga Building, Edwards brought together a large group of her colleagues from the program — except she actually had no part in planning this gathering.

Edwards, the associate director of program management and evaluation, was engaged in a weekly strategy meeting with senior members of the PATIENTS Program when University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, interrupted with some good news: Edwards was UMB’s Employee of the Month of October, and the 10 people who accompanied him were there to celebrate her achievement.

“Plain and simple, we’re here to honor you because you do such a good job,” said Perman, who delivered a plaque, a letter of commendation, and news that an extra $250 would be in Edwards’ next paycheck. “You have done a great deal for the PATIENTS Program and you put together the PATIENTS Day event this summer that was very successful. But more globally, people say you always go out of your way to do a great job. And that’s appreciated by your colleagues and the University.”

Back-to-Back Events

The PATIENTS Day event was the second one hosted by the program, whose acronym is short for Patient-Centered Involvement in Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatments. The PATIENTS Program was launched in 2013 with a $5 million grant from the Agency on Healthcare Research and Equality and is headed by C. Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair of the school’s Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research. The July event was touted as an interactive, educational health and wellness fair where community members, health care providers, researchers, and community organizers could learn from one another about what is needed to create and sustain healthy individuals, families, and communities.

“Hillary worked tirelessly to ensure that PATIENTS Day had activities that would engage attendees in a meaningful way,” Michelle Medeiros, MS, MA, CCRP, the program’s director of research, said in her nomination. “In addition to the multi-vendor fair, the event featured three informative panels that focused on research from the community’s perspective, gun violence as a social determinant of health, and Baltimore authors on holistic health: physically, spiritually, financially, and beyond.

“With leadership and enthusiasm, Hillary has served as a role model for the PATIENTS Program’s peers and colleagues, inspiring them to initiate sincere and genuine interactions with the community. The feedback we received from the community about PATIENTS Day demonstrated the positive impact it had.”

Mullins was equally effusive in his praise of Edwards, who has worked with the program for three years and been at UMB since 2010.

“Her outstanding ability to balance accountability and civility resulted in an amazing PATIENTS Day event,” Mullins said. “I’m proud to have her as a leader within the PATIENTS Program. Hillary embodies the spirit of UMB’s core values. She is 100 percent accountable and reliable, and she knows how to get the job done. At the same time, she embraces civility and inclusiveness and allows every voice to be heard before she implements a plan.”

Making her plan implementation more difficult this year, Edwards also had to coordinate a site visit the day before PATIENTS Day that involved hosting the program’s steering committee and external advisory board members. The visit had been scheduled in January or March in previous years, she said, but had been affected by winter weather issues.

“By doing the events back-to-back, we not only had our advisors in town to really talk about our program infrastructure, but they also were able to celebrate the community partnerships that we’ve built with our West Baltimore neighbors,” Edwards said.

Making an Impact at UMB

She has worked at UMB for eight years, first with Campus Life Services, where she helped launch the Wellness Hub, then at the School of Medicine helping to coordinate a research certificate program, then at the School of Pharmacy with the PATIENTS Program, starting in 2015. In addition to her role there, she has been president of the UMB Staff Senate for two years.

“The Staff Senate provides a really amazing opportunity to be able to understand the priorities that our staff have across campus,” Edwards said. “I’ve also worked closely with Human Resource Services to think about ways we can provide professional development for our staff.  In my time at UMB, I’ve been able to grow professionally thanks to having incredible supervisors and being under senior leadership who really care about the growth of our employees and staff.”

With the PATIENTS Program, she says she loves the interdisciplinary nature of its team of 15-plus colleagues and the fact that she can reach into the realms of research and community partnership at the same time.

“I also get to have a hand in the community partnerships and building those continued networks,” Edwards said. “I love to think of the PATIENTS Program as a resource center, not a research center, so I enjoy being able to serve as a matchmaker for our faculty’s brilliant ideas, and then to hear our community’s priorities when it comes to health and health services research. Being able to bridge the two together is really innovative, and it gives me something new and exciting to work on every day.”

The Employee of the Month gathering was the second celebration this month for Edwards, who got married Oct. 13, and she thanked her colleagues and supervisors for their support during her busy year.

“It’s a great joy to work with this amazing team that spans not only scientific expertise but also community development and community partnership,” Edwards said. “And I’d like to thank my bosses — Dr. Mullins and Michelle Medeiros — for acknowledging my work and helping me through challenging times. It’s not easy to pull off those two back-to-back, high-profile PATIENTS events, so their guidance through that process was really meaningful to me.”

— Lou Cortina

 

Lou CortinaPeople, UMB News, University LifeOctober 24, 20180 comments
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Hazel Lewis serving food at Hope Lodge

UMB Police Serve Hot Meal to Cancer Patients at Hope Lodge

To “protect and serve” is the creed followed by police officers on the job every day. On Oct. 17, officers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Force (UMBPF) took the latter part of that creed literally. Armed with aprons and hair nets, half a dozen officers along with police Chief Alice Cary, MS, spent the evening serving dinner to residents at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Baltimore.

“It is amazing that the UMBPF officers are coming in to embrace our family,” said Karen Seaberry, manager of the Hope Lodge facility in Baltimore. “They’ve always made us a part of the community. They protect us, they serve us, and now it’s great to see them come in and interact with some of our guests.”

Hope Lodge provides a home away from home for patients battling cancer from all around the world. There are 31 Hope Lodge facilities across the United States — including Puerto Rico and Hawaii — and the mid-Atlantic facility is located on the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s campus on West Lexington Street. Hope Lodge provides housing and hospital transportation for its residents free of charge but does not always have the means to provide meals.

Cpl. Hazel Lewis discovered this after meeting a cancer patient who was staying at Hope Lodge. Lewis was providing her with a police escort from her treatment at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center.

“Out of curiosity I asked her what she was eating tonight,” Lewis explained. “She said she didn’t know because Hope Lodge doesn’t necessarily provide dinner every night. Meals usually come from volunteers or through donations, and I said, ‘Wow I never knew that.’ ”

That was all it took for Lewis to begin looking for ways to help. She rallied UMBPF officers to donate money, so they could cater and serve a hot meal to the Hope Lodge residents. Her fellow officers were more than happy to pitch in and volunteer.

“I was all for giving support,” Pfc. Ronald Nicholson said. “I think it’s a great idea and a good way to give back to the community and show our love and support as police officers.”

Lewis, Nicholson, and Cary along with Deputy Chief Thomas Leone, Assistant Chief Dameon Carter, Detective William Epperson and security guard Evelyn Greenhill served up a dinner of baked chicken, mac and cheese, rice, and greens with a bundt cake for dessert. They also prepared and delivered plates of food to patients who were too sick to come out of their rooms for dinner.

Chief Cary expressed her excitement to see her officers engaging the community in such a heartfelt way, and she commended Lewis for taking the initiative to coordinate this act of service.

“Hazel has a great heart. She’s full of compassion, not just at Hope Lodge but everywhere else on campus,” Cary said. “I’m hoping this will be the start of a new tradition, and it’s all because of Hazel Lewis and her outreach.”

This dinner is only the first course of a new relationship between the UMBPF and Hope Lodge of Baltimore. Lewis says she hopes to make Hope Lodge dinners a monthly event for her department.

“I think this is just the beginning!” Lewis exclaimed. “Hope Lodge is right on our campus. It’s right next door to us, so why not give back?”

Lewis’ act of selflessness will be crucial for residents of the facility as the holiday season approaches, as many guests will not be able to spend time with their families. Seaberry is encouraging people to follow Lewis’ lead and donate their time by putting on events or activities at Hope Lodge to create a jovial atmosphere throughout the holiday season. She’s also asking the community to check out Hope Lodge of Baltimore’s Amazon Wishlist, which has a list of suggested gifts and supplies people can donate through Amazon.com.

For more information on how you can volunteer or donate to Hope Lodge of Baltimore, visit the American Cancer Society website or call the facility directly at 410-547-2522.

— Jena Frick

(View a photo gallery and watch a video about the event.)

 

Jena FrickCollaboration, Community Service, For B'more, People, UMB NewsOctober 24, 20180 comments
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Woman smiling

Oct. 30 Free Lunch & Learn Seminar on Breast Cancer Prevention and Screening

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to learn about breast health. The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center offers an all-women-physician comprehensive care team, including nationally recognized breast cancer specialists in surgery, reconstruction, genetics, and breast imaging.

On Oct. 30, Gauri Khorjekar, MD, and Suliat Nurudeen, MD, MPH, will present a free Lunch & Learn seminar titled “Deciphering Lumps: Breast Evaluation 101” in the Gladhill Board Room at the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL).

Drs. Khorjekar and Nurudeen will answer questions and provide information.

Registration is required and lunch will be served.

  • Date: Tuesday, Oct. 30
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Where: HS/HSL Gladhill Board Room, Room 505, fifth floor
  • Registration: Go to this link.
Jessie PulsipherBulletin Board, Clinical Care, People, University LifeOctober 22, 20180 comments
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UMB leaders, sculpter and First Lady Hogan stand in front of the public art

UMB’s First Public Art Inspires Leaders, Onlookers

The day was brisk, the winds were moderate, and the invited crowd and numerous passers-by were appreciative as the first piece of public art on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was dedicated on Oct. 16.

(View a photo gallery on Facebook.)

The 30-foot-tall piece by artist Eric Peltzer is a kinetic sculpture that had been temporarily immobilized by a red sash. He and the participating dignitaries, including Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, had no scissors to cut that ribbon as is typical during a dedication. Instead they loosened the sash and let the wind take hold.

In introducing the artist, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, had set the stage for the resulting movement. He observed that Peltzer had chosen a fitting title, “Stochastic Interactions,” and that stochastic describes the random processes of genetics and molecular biology.

“The random nature of the wind interacting with the sculpture is meant to suggest the randomness at work on our genetics. It’s a gorgeous piece,” Perman said.

Perman also called attention to the way the piece “suggests the human form through the shape of the DNA double helix.” He called the design “a wonderful nod” to the cutting-edge genomic research that takes place in Health Sciences Research Facility III. The new building is a soaring backdrop for the sculpture and home to the Institute for Genome Sciences of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), among other offices and labs.

As required by legislation passed in 2013, Maryland must include public art in new or renovated state buildings. The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI) sets aside a percentage of capital construction costs for the integration of public art and enables its creators to become involved early in the planning and construction phases.

Peltzer is a Southern California artist who has been making sculptures for more than three decades. He visited the site over a two-year period after being selected in an open-call jury process overseen by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency of the state Department of Commerce.

It is the Maryland Commission on Public Art that directs the strategic vision of Maryland’s statewide public art program. Leaders of both participated in the ceremony.

“Public art is free. No admission price. A museum without walls,” said the council’s executive director, Ken Skrzesz, who also noted that an outdoor sculpture such as Peltzer’s work “allows us moments of reflection.” As for the dynamics of the still-fettered “Stochastic Interactions,” Skrzesz observed, “It’s dying to take off!”

Commission Chair Catherine Leggett called the sculpture magnificent, adding that the piece  “lifts us up” and connects the health-care aspects of its surroundings on the UMB campus and the nearby University of Maryland Medical Center. “Well done,” she said.

The sculpture stands at the corner of Pine and Baltimore streets. The latter is a busy bus-route corridor. Meanwhile, city and campus pedestrians include patients arriving and departing the clinics of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry at 650 W. Baltimore St. Only moments after the unveiling, a dental patient emerged and admired the work.

It is that sort of public access that Maryland First Lady Hogan finds laudatory. Speaking from her perspective as an artist and in her role as honorary chair of the UMB Council for the Arts & Culture, she described the sculpture as beautiful, like a bird, and observed that it’s in the perfect spot to inspire “people of all ages, including students.”

Hogan, a faculty member at Maryland Institute College of Art, called “Stochastic Interactions” an example of “artists connecting our lives.”

Peltzer said he drew his inspiration for “Stochastic Interactions” on the history of the university and especially on that of its medical school, relying greatly on author Larry Pitrof, executive director of the UMSOM Alumni Association. The legs have twists, symbolic of the challenges of the first 100 years. Also, the legs have little incisions that reflect “an inquisitive nature,” Peltzer said.

As for the genomics aspect, he said, “People walk by and know what’s going on in the building.”

Peltzer also shared one of his biggest difficulties, literally: “To get something this big and heavy to move in the wind.”

Dignitaries in attendance included Maryland Higher Education Secretary James Fielder Jr., PhD, and Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts at the Maryland Commerce Department, which oversees the arts council.

Peltzer’s parents, sisters, and other family members were present. So were several members of the selection committee, whose members spent months poring over nearly 200 artist applications. The committee was led by UMB Assistant Vice President Angela Fowler-Young, director of the Office of Real Estate, Planning, and Space Management. It included Anthony Consoli, AIA, LEED AP,  campus architect at UMB; Robert Cook, executive director of facilities and operations at UMSOM, and Pitrof, among others.

Perman thanked the committee and everyone at UMB and in Maryland government who saw the project through, such as Mark Behrens, a senior design and construction project manager at UMB, and the Maryland State Arts Council’s Liesel Fenner, ASLA, program director of public art.

“There are a million moving parts to something like this,” the president said.

But the only moving parts that mattered were the arms of the sculpture. And Peltzer’s “Stochastic Interactions” responded to the wind, on cue, at its dedication.

— Patricia Fanning

Patricia FanningPeople, UMB News, University LifeOctober 19, 20180 comments
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Dr. Thomas Scalea delivering his presentation

Scalea Recalls the Journey to MARS in Entrepreneurs of the Year Presentation

Like a preschool teacher gathering his young students around him, Thomas Scalea had his own form of “story time.” But instead of Thomas the Tank Engine, Scalea’s topic was “Supporting Failing Organs” at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Entrepreneurs of the Year Presentation on Oct. 15.

His “very cool story” took place not in a cozy classroom but in the auditorium of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, which is regarded as the world’s most advanced trauma center under physician-in-chief Scalea, MD, FACS, FCCM, and his colleagues.

Scalea mixed history, humor, and humility into a riveting hourlong presentation enjoyed by over 100 people.

“Anyone who has heard me knows I tell stories. It’s the only thing I’m good at,” said Scalea, the Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor in Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “And this is a pretty good story. It’s a story not only about MARS. It’s about the development of support for failing organs. It’s a story about a whole bunch of entrepreneurs and their spirit that allowed us to accumulate the knowledge that has brought us to this point.

“It starts with the advent of critical care: When I finished my residency back in the Middle Ages, say around 1983, there was a single fellowship program in critical care for surgeons — one. My surgical critical care certificate number is 069. There weren’t that many,” said Scalea, who arrived at Shock Trauma in 1997. “So it’s a story of critical care that traces its maturation, it’s a story of innovation and determination. It’s a story that covers a long time, it’s not just about MARS, so indulge me.”

Later called a “Pied Piper” by 2017 UMB Entrepreneur of the Year Bartley Griffith, MD, Scalea led the crowd on a journey of organ failure through the ages. Heart failure in World War I. Kidney failure in World War II and the Korean War “because helicopters and blood banking made injured soldiers live who used to die from heart failure.” Lung failure in Vietnam.

Scalea dropped many names of pioneers in the fight against organ failure up to modern days. Florence Nightingale. Peter Safar. Tom Petty “without the Heartbreakers.” Dave Ashbaugh. Bruce Jarrell. Rolf Barth. Art Baue. Berry Fowler. And his mentor, Louis Del Guercio. “I had no right to that fellowship, but he took pity on me, so I dedicate this to his memory,” Scalea said.

Among the historical tidbits was that Safar in 1958 set up the first ICU in the United States. “Where?” Scalea asked the assembled physicians, researchers, students, and staff. “Eight miles from here, Baltimore City Hospital, now known as Bayview. The home of critical care in trauma in the United States is Baltimore.”

Next Stop: MARS

Eventually Scalea got around to his greatest story of the day, the one that garnered him, Deborah Stein, MD, MPH, FACS, FCCM, chief of trauma at Shock Trauma, and Steven Hanish, MD, FACS, a former liver surgeon at Shock Trauma who is now director of liver transplants at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the UMB Entrepreneurs of the Year award.

Their innovative application of the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System (MARS) led to a study that found this “dialysis machine for the liver” can remove toxins, improve clotting, and reduce brain swelling — allowing acute liver failure sufferers time for spontaneous recovery or transplantation.

“Usually as the senior member of the team I would have assigned this talk to Deb or Steve,” Scalea said early in his presentation. “But he is in Dallas [at his new job] and she is in England [on vacation], so you’ll just have to put up with me.”

How the MARS machine came to Shock Trauma combined knowledge, quick thinking, a tight-knit team, and good old-fashioned luck.

“This guy comes in with a devastating liver injury from a gunshot wound,” Scalea recalls. “Deb calls me, we get him through the first operation, but he goes into liver failure. Deb says, ‘What about this MARS machine?’ We’ve heard about it, we don’t own one, few did. She says, ‘Hey, Dad, you think we could get one?’ ” Scalea recalled to the audience’s amusement.

“I say ‘Sure!’ I don’t know where the hell we are going to get one. So I call the company. They say, ‘You’re not going to believe this. Somebody bought it. They decided they didn’t want it. It’s on the truck, in Maryland, coming back to the factory. Do you want it?’

“I said, ‘Absolutely, turn the truck around and bring it down,’ ” Scalea recalled. “Then I hung up and I asked myself, ‘I wonder how much this thing costs?’ [more laughter] So I called Karen [Doyle, senior vice president at Shock Trauma] and said, ‘Hey, Mom, can we have a dialysis machine?’ God love her, she said. ‘I don’t care what it costs, if you need it, you’ve got it.’ They deliver it and just like Petty [the pioneering lung specialist], we sit on the floor. We open the instructions. We say, ‘How hard can it be? It’s just a machine.’ The patient gets well.”

And so did more and more patients. After 27 patients, Scalea, Stein, and Hanish reported their findings to the American Surgical Association. Now the nearly 14,000 Americans on the liver transplant waiting list have renewed hope. And as James L. Hughes, MBA, chief enterprise and economic development officer and vice president at UMB, who hosted the event, said, “Through persistence and meticulous research, the MARS team is on the path to turn inspiration to save one life into a new standard of care for thousands of patients.”

Scalea sees it more as being in the right place at the right time. “We had modern technology next to the patients,” he said. “We controlled the technology ourselves. We noticed what was different, we weren’t bound by conventional thinking. We challenged dogma, we flew by the seat of our pants, and as physicians and surgeons we were together. This story is far from told. There are a zillion careers for those who want to take this on. But it’s a cool story. A very cool story.”

Record-Breaking Research

After Scalea took questions from the audience, Hughes, UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and Phil Robilotto, DO, MBA, assistant vice president of research and development, presented plaques to some of the 99 UMB researchers who had U.S. and international patents approved in the past year.

“We’ve had an incredible year in extramural funding,” Hughes said. “We had big growth two years ago and this year we grew the biggest we have ever had and the biggest of any University System of Maryland institution with $667.4 million. There is a lot of great research being done here, and that’s the foundation of much of the great entrepreneur work we are seeing.”

— Chris Zang

Read more about Scalea and the MARS Team.

Chris ZangClinical Care, Collaboration, People, Research, UMB News, University LifeOctober 19, 20180 comments
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