Category: Featured

Peds Interest Group Recognized for Excellence

July 2nd, 2015 in Awards & Honors, Featured, Student Activities

The BUSM Pediatric Interest Group has been selected to receive the inaugural 2015 Pediatric Interest Group of the Year Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Student Subcommittee (AAP MSSC).

Robert Vinci

Robert Vinci

This award recognizes one Pediatric Interest Group annually for its excellence in interest group programming and involvement in the Section on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainees (SOMSRFT) annual advocacy campaign. Among the many applications received for the award, the BUSM chapter “stood out as one that not only proves what a chapter can do, but also sets the standard high for what is achievable as an interest group,” said one reviewer.

“Two years ago I challenged the Interest Group to think creatively about their work, to develop a plan for impacting child health and to organize the group to discuss advocacy, research and ways to improve child health,” said Bob Vinci, MD, the Joel and Barbara Alpert Professor and Chair of Pediatrics. “They did more than take on that challenge. They have organized themselves into a dynamic partnership with our Pediatric Department and they are impacting the work we do at BUSM in a very positive and collaborative way.”

The group will be recognized during medical student programming at the AAP National Conference in Washington, DC, October 24-27.

MED’s David Seldin Dies at 58

June 29th, 2015 in Announcements, Faculty Affairs, Featured

Beloved clinician and mentor, founded Amyloidosis Center

David Seldin “will be remembered by our community as a beacon of hope for his patients, inspiration for his trainees, and admiration by his colleagues,” says David Coleman, Wade Professor and chair of the department of medicine. Photo courtesy of BU School of Medicine.

David Seldin “will be remembered by our community as a beacon of hope for his patients, inspiration for his trainees, and admiration by his colleagues,” says David Coleman, Wade Professor and chair of the department of medicine. Photo courtesy of BU School of Medicine.

David Seldin, Wesley and Charlotte Skinner Professor for Research in Amyloidosis, a School of Medicine professor of medicine and microbiology, and chief of the section of hematology-oncology at Boston Medical Center (BMC), died of prostate cancer Saturday at age 58.

A beloved, caring teacher and clinician, he was a world-renowned expert on amyloidosis, a rare disease caused by abnormal protein buildup in blood and other tissues that is linked to many progressive illnesses, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and can lead to fatal organ failure. Seldin became director of the BU Amyloidosis Center in 2007, and chief of hematology-oncology the following year.

“Boston University School of Medicine has lost a distinguished professor, a brilliant investigator, an exceptional teacher, and a friend,” says Karen Antman, dean of MED and provost of the Medical Campus. “David had a marvelous dry wit and was a master of irony, which he delivered with just a hint of a smile as he waited for others to get the joke. He loved good, freewheeling critical science discussions, but coached, supported, and mentored students and junior faculty. David’s patients loved him. He provided expertise based on his extensive experience with amyloidosis, a disease that other physicians saw perhaps once in their careers. He treated patients with warmth and caring, while his research results provided hope. We will all miss him.”

A 1978 graduate of Harvard College, Seldin graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1986 with a medical degree as well as a PhD in immunology. He arrived at MED in 1994 as an assistant professor of medicine and went on to teach in a range of departments. His work as a researcher and clinician earned him many fellowships and grants and has been supported by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Avon Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Wildflower Foundation, the Stewart Endowment Fund, the US Health Resources and Services Administration, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Seldin’s colleagues are remembering him as a passionate Renaissance man who loved to spend time outdoors hiking, skiing, and at the beach with his family. He was also an avid scuba diver for many years, a wine connoisseur with his own wine cellar, and an LP record collector and audiophile who built his own stereo system. But he will be remembered best at BMC as a generous mentor known for his kindness to nurses, patients, and colleagues.

“David was a compassionate physician, an accomplished researcher and mentor, and a wonderful person,” says Kate Walsh, BMC president and CEO. “His leadership and advocacy in the area of amyloidosis research and treatment are known across the country and the world, and he will be greatly missed by all his colleagues and patients at BMC.”

Martha Skinner, Amyloidosis Center director of special projects, says that Seldin was not only a brilliant scientist and clinician, but took pleasure in working with those just beginning their careers in medicine. “His special love was students and young scientists; he had an amazing ability to critique their work respectfully and encourage them to strive for the best,” says Skinner. “In fact, David had an extraordinary talent for inspiring his colleagues to excel, and he rarely took any credit for himself. He is one of the best colleagues I have ever had.”

Seldin and his colleagues developed a publicly available amyloidogenic protein database as well as an amyloidosis model used to test novel therapies. He collaborated with researchers all over the world, and devoted a large portion of his time to training and mentoring a generation of physicians and postdoctoral and predoctoral fellows in the conduct of clinical, laboratory, and translational research. He served on numerous thesis committees.

“David will be remembered by our community as a beacon of hope for his patients, inspiration for his trainees, and admiration by his colleagues,” says David Coleman, Wade Professor and chair of the department of medicine and chief of the BMC division of medicine. “He has led in defining new therapies for amyloidosis and in serving our institution with great distinction. David’s generosity, acumen, and brilliance have illuminated our department for over two decades. His example as a compassionate and pioneering physician scientist, friend, and colleague will endure forever at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.”

Among his many honors, Seldin was appointed to the Wesley and Charlotte Skinner Professorship for Research in Amyloidosis in 2014. He had been a member of an NIH study section and grant and program review panels for Canada, Greece, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. He was the first director of the graduate program in molecular medicine in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, and established graduate courses in cancer biology. In addition, he appeared on a variety of “Best Doctors” lists. He served on the scientific advisory board of the Amyloidosis Foundation and on the board of the International Society of Amyloidosis and was an associate editor of Amyloid, Journal of Protein Folding Disorders.

Amyloidosis Center colleague Vaishali Sanchorawala, a MED professor of medicine, summed up Seldin’s legacy with these words: “David Seldin—where brilliance met kindness.”

Seldin is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Hohmann, an infectious diseases specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, three daughters, Stephanie, 26, Maggie, 23, and Diana, 21, and his parents, Florence and Ira Seldin of Chatham, Mass. BU Today will publish information about a memorial service when it becomes available.

To make a gift in memory of David Seldin, call the School of Medicine Development Office at 617-638-4570 or email busmdev@bu.edu. Donations will be used to establish an endowed professorship in Seldin’s name in the MED department of medicine.

Scleroderma Treatment Breakthrough ID’d by BUSM Researchers

June 24th, 2015 in Featured, Research

A major treatment breakthrough for total body scarring of the skin that occurs in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), also known as scleroderma, may soon be available for the estimated 300,000 Americans who suffer with this condition. Currently, no treatment is available.

Robert Lafyatis

Robert Lafyatis

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers worked with 15 SSc patients who were treated with either one or two doses of fresolimumab, a new, unapproved drug therapy that targets a chemical mediator in the body known as TGF-beta. After seven weeks of treatment, the researchers examined the effect on skin scarring and on expression of molecular markers in the skin. In both clinical and molecular evaluations these patients showed profound decreases in skin scarring.

The researchers found that TGF-beta plays a critical role in skin scarring in patients with SSc. Although TGF-beta has long been implicated in causing scarring, this is the first clinical study to clearly show its impact on humans. The study appears online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

SSc is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The disease may affect the connective tissue in many parts of the body including the skin, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract (stomach and bowels), lungs, kidneys, heart and other internal organs. It also can affect blood vessels, muscles and joints. The tissues of involved organs become hard and fibrous, causing them to function less efficiently.

“Our study shows that TGF-beta plays a critical role in skin scarring in patients with systemic sclerosis,” explained corresponding author Robert Lafyatis, MD, professor of medicine at BUSM and Director, BU Scleroderma Center of Research Translation. “Our results strongly indicate that targeting the TGF-beta in these patients will block skin scarring.”

According to the researchers proving that TGF-beta can block scarring may provide a major treatment advance for scarring-mediated organ dysfunction common to many diseases including lung fibrosis in idiopathic or radiation induced pulmonary fibrosis, liver fibrosis from viruses or toxins, kidney fibrosis from diabetes and other less common kidney diseases, and heart fibrosis that occurs after heart attacks and during heart failure.

A larger study with a placebo-treated group of patients is needed to confirm these results.

Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers P30AR061271, P50AR060780 and R01AR051089. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Genzyme (now a fully owned subsidiary of Sanofi) supplied the study drug and assisted with regulatory aspects, supplying the IND cross–‐reference letter and reviewing adverse events, but provided no other financial support for the study.

June 13: March with BUMC Pride

June 11th, 2015 in Announcements, Featured, Student Activities

BUMC PRIDEThe Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs invites you to march with “PRIDE” and show your support for our LGBT students, faculty and staff in the 45th Annual Boston Pride Parade on Saturday, June 13. Showing your support to our LGBT friends and colleagues reaffirms our openness and strengthens the diverse fabric of our institution.

The parade is a fun event which fosters change and progress in our society by embracing the LGBT community’s history, culture and identity. Additionally, the parade promotes community engagement and inclusivity.

If you are interested in marching please contact BUMC Pride (Boston University Medical Campus) via email medglo@bu.edu indicating that you plan to attend the event. Please meet us by the Boston Public Library on Dartmouth Street between 9-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, rain or shine. BUMC Pride will provide you with additional information and updates regarding the time and exact location of the BUMC contingent pre-march meeting. Join us and march proudly under the BU Banner!

Medical Campus Celebrates Promotions

May 21st, 2015 in Awards & Honors, Faculty Affairs, Featured

MED, SPH profs move up the ranks

Doctors can prescribe the treatment, but it’s up to their patients to follow their advice. A. Rani Elwy, a recently promoted School of Public Health associate professor of health policy and management, studies the reasons some patients seek medical help while others don’t. Elwy, who has won four SPH teaching awards and is an investigator with the Bedford VA Medical Center’s Center of Innovation, specializes in the study of patients’ perceptions of their health, doctor-patient communication, and how complementary and alternative therapies can be tailored to improve engagement and access to care.

“As a health psychologist, I felt that the patient role was not being investigated enough,” says Elwy. “Patients bring a whole host of cognitive, emotional, and cultural beliefs to the health care setting, and providers need to know these in order to facilitate appropriate care….Our job as researchers is to work collaboratively with patients and provider—learning from them, not imposing our views on them—which enables us to develop innovative methods to address these complex health care problems.”

Elwy’s work has been rewarded with a promotion to associate professor, making her one of 11 Medical Campus faculty members to be recently promoted (find Charles River Campus faculty members who have been recently promoted here).

“These promotions…mark an especially proud moment for the BU community, as we’ve had the pleasure of watching these talented women and men develop from promising junior faculty into scholars and teachers of national impact and recognition,” says Karen Antman, School of Medicine dean and provost of the Medical Campus. “We see great things ahead for them and are pleased they have chosen BU as the place to launch their independent careers.”

As well as A. Rani Elwy, promoted were:

Renee Boynton-Jarrett, School of Medicine associate professor of pediatrics

Boynton-Jarrett specializes in the study of social determinants, such as early life adversity, and their long-term impact on health outcomes for populations. A principal investigator on privately funded studies exploring child abuse prevention and early puberty and adolescent obesity, she codirects the Academies of Investigation and the Academic Development Block for the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics, which brings together the training programs of Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. She is a faculty mentor for the program’s Urban Health Advocacy Track for the Community Health Mentorships Group.

Christopher Connor, MED associate professor of anesthesiology

Connor, anesthesiology department director of research, specializes in inventing new technologies to improve patient safety and postoperative outcomes, such as critical care and pain management. Considered among the world’s top investigators in airway management and new technology studies, he holds the distinction of being the only scientist/innovator in his field to earn four out of the five national safety awards over the last five years. Connor has a joint appointment in the College of Engineering’s department of biomedical engineering, where he is an assistant professor.

Alik Farber, MED professor of surgery and radiology

A specialist in vascular disease, Farber is chief of the division of vascular and endovascular surgery at Boston Medical Center (BMC), where he directs the vascular surgery training program. He is a co–principal investigator on a $25 million National Institutes of Health award comparing outcomes of open vascular surgery and endovascular surgery in patients with critical limb ischemia (a severe blockage of the arteries in the legs or feet).

Devin Mann, MED associate professor of medicine

Mann is BMC’s associate chief medical information officer for innovation and population health and the physician lead on a project to standardize health information across 61 specialty clinics. He studies new ways to enhance health care delivery through novel technologies and the integration of multiple disciplines, including bioinformatics, behavioral medicine, and human-computer interactions. A presidential appointee to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s health information technology policy committee, he has written more than 50 scholarly publications.

Paul Monach, MED associate professor of medicine

Monach researches and treats vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels, with an emphasis on genetics and the development of biomarkers. He is the director of the Vasculitis Center, a regionally recognized resource for patient care and research, and of the BMC rheumatology fellowship program. He is an active member of several prominent vasculitis consortia and is co–principal investigator and site investigator on a major National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases study.

Rebecca Perkins, MED associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology

Perkins has dedicated her career to cervical cancer prevention and promoting the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine into clinical practice. A member of the Society of Gynecologic Investigation, she has worked to identify social and educational barriers to vaccination coming from parents and health providers and piloted interventions to increase vaccination rates and acceptance. She has published consistently in top journals and been awarded four grants as a principal investigator and two as a coinvestigator.

Frederick L. Ruberg, MED associate professor of medicine

Ruberg is the director of MED’s cardiovascular medicine fellowship training program and is an attending cardiologist and director of the advanced cardiac imaging program at BMC. He specializes in amyloid heart disease and the use of advanced imaging technology to assess cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle). He is principal investigator of an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant and was recently site principal investigator for an NIH-funded study on the evaluation of chest pain.

Shannon Wiltsey Stirman, MED associate professor of psychiatry

Named a “rising star” by the Association for Psychological Science, Wiltsey-Stirman has been actively funded as a principal investigator since 2007, amassing more than 1,000 citations for her work, which includes a study on technology-enhanced psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specializing in implementation science, she focuses on the integration of evidence-based interventions into practice settings, including VA and community health clinics.

Ann Zumwalt, MED associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology

Zumwalt is an expert on perceptual changes that occur as people grow from naïve learners to experts and in pedagogical approaches that bridge the gap between basic science and clinical education. A recognized leader within her program, she has been honored with MED’s Preclinical Educator of the Year Award. She has published extensively on science education, serves in leadership posts for numerous national organizations for anatomists, and is director of her department’s Vesalius Program, which applies principles of neurobiology to education.

Edward A. Ruiz-Narváez, SPH associate professor of epidemiology

Ruiz-Narváez studies how molecular, nutritional, and cardiovascular disease epidemiology intersects, and how it can identify genetic risk factors for a variety of diseases among African American women. A principal investigator or coinvestigator on five major grant awards, including two from the National Cancer Institute, he has earned widespread recognition for studies covering diseases that disproportionately affect black women, including breast cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

This BU Today story was written by

Catching Lung Cancer Early

May 19th, 2015 in Featured, Research

New test may prevent invasive procedures and save lives

Lung cancer is responsible for the most cancer deaths in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, it will kill an estimated 158,000 people in 2015, more than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. Because lung cancer grows and spreads so quickly, many healthy (and former) smokers undergo diagnostic screening CT scans of the chest, which can detect small lesions in the lungs that may be an early sign of the disease. But abnormal results often lead to painful and invasive biopsies. Now, Avrum Spira has found a better path to diagnosis.

For more than a decade, Spira, a Boston University School of Medicine (MED) professor of medicine, pathology and laboratory medicine, and bioinformatics, has been developing molecular tests to detect lung cancer early, without invasive biopsies. The work has been done together with Jerome Brody, MED professor of medicine, and Marc Lenburg, MED associate professor of medicine. In May 2015, the molecular diagnostics company Veracyte, Inc. released a new, noninvasive test for the disease based on biomarkers developed by Spira and his collaborators. The test, called Percepta™, fared well in clinical trials and could be available to patients in less than a year. The results of the trials were announced in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 17, 2015.

Spira, who is also a pulmonologist at Boston Medical Center, has wrestled firsthand with the difficulty of early detection. “It’s a growing problem in our clinical pulmonary practices: smokers, either current or former, have something abnormal found on a CT scan of the chest, and we’re worried it might be lung cancer,” he says. A doctor may follow up with a bronchoscopy, a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that allows the doctor to examine a patient’s airways with a flexible tube.

While bronchoscopy is a useful tool, it’s not always effective at finding small tumors that are buried deep within the lung. “So often we don’t get a diagnosis,” says Spira, “and then we don’t know what to do next: to biopsy it or not.”

When a bronchoscopy is inconclusive, doctors and patients often err on the side of caution, opting for a lung biopsy—either via CT-guided needle biopsy or surgery. About one-third of lung biopsies come back negative. “So one-third of the time we’re taking a piece out of someone’s lung unnecessarily,” says Spira. “That can have complications for the patient and obviously has huge costs to the health care system. Our test can identify which patients don’t have lung cancer, and therefore don’t need that procedure.”

PerceptaTM early lung cancer detection device

During the Percepta test, which is performed at the same time as a bronchoscopy, the doctor uses a small brush to sample normal-looking cells in the upper airway, which are then sent to a lab for genetic testing. Spira discovered that these cells, while appearing healthy, are in the “field of injury” damaged by cigarette smoke and contain genomic markers that signal a high likelihood of cancer elsewhere in the lung. The 23 markers in the test indicate different things: some show protective genes being turned off, while others show genes associated with cell growth being turned on.

“The ability to test for molecular changes in this ‘field of injury’ allows us to catch or rule out the disease earlier, without invasive procedures,” says Spira. “Conceptually, this has implications for other diseases.”

The genomic markers were validated in two clinical trials, involving 639 patients at 28 sites in the United States, Canada, and Ireland. Researchers collected upper airway cells from people who were undergoing a bronchoscopy, then checked them one year later to see if they had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The Percepta test, when used in conjunction with bronchoscopy, identified 97 percent of the lung cancers, compared to 75 percent for bronchoscopy alone. “Our test showed very high sensitivity for detecting lung cancer in both studies,” says Spira. “So if the test is negative, that gives you a high level of confidence that person does not have lung cancer.”

The Percepta test is not yet widely available, nor is it covered by insurance. Veracyte has launched the test in an early access program, offering it in a limited number of medical centers in the United States to gather feedback on how the test is used and its clinical impact. If this trial launch is successful, the Percepta test could be made widely available in early 2016.

For Spira, it’s been gratifying to see the work he began over a decade ago finally helping patients. “Just knowing that somebody may benefit from the product, that’s the most satisfying piece,” he says. “It’s really about impacting patient care and helping people.”

This BU Research story was written by Barbara Moran.

BUSM Graduates: Influencing Lives Every Day

May 16th, 2015 in Featured, Homepage News, Student Activities, Uncategorized

IMG_5552_“There will be few days in your lives as exciting and momentous as this one,” shared Howard Bauchner, MD, MED ’79 and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), who delivered the commencement address at the 168th Boston University School of Medicine Commencement on Saturday, May 16. Friends and family screamed, cheered and applauded from the stands of the Agganis Arena as newly minted graduates were hooded and received their diplomas.

BU Medical Campus Provost and BUSM Dean Karen Antman, MD, reminded graduates and their families, “Commencement is the end of the beginning of your education. The diploma you get today is really a license to learn. It is a credential that grants you entry to the next stage of your education. We really hope you have acquired the most important tool of all–the capacity for continued, disciplined inquiry and lifelong learning.”

The ceremony marked the culmination of the academic journey for 144 members of the Class of 2015 receiving the MD; six the MD/PhD; 11 the MD/MPH; four the MD/MBA and 27 the PhD. “Physicians and scientists can influence many aspects of our daily lives, including the political process. Speak up, use your voice to effect change,” urged Bauchner, who also is a BU professor of pediatrics and community health sciences. He has served as the vice chairman of the department of pediatrics at BMC/BUSM and assistant dean, alumni affairs and continuing medical education at BUSM.

Bauchner reminded graduates to take time out of a busy day for a few unplanned, unscripted minutes with people important to them; to make note of good things that happen over the course of a day; and to always remember that, “relationships will sustain you throughout your life, be they with a mentor, a colleague, a friend, a spouse or a child. They must be nourished. “

Elizabeth Stanford spoke for her fellow doctoral students when she said, “All of us started this journey because of an end goal; we wanted to improve the quality of lives of others by learning more about our field of interest. This is a new beginning for us, in which all of our dreams are now a possibility due to our education from Boston University. We are now doctors of philosophy!”

Megan Janeway, who will be a sixth-generation physician, spoke on behalf of the medical students. She provided a balance of light-hearted humor and sage advice. “It has truly been a privilege to learn with you and to learn from you. More than anything it has been a privilege to laugh with you, it has carried us through the last four years. I know that you will push the envelope and challenge the hierarchy to better medicine for your patients.”

“No single profession other than health care can so impact the lives of individuals and their families,” Bauchner said. “Medicine is an extraordinary profession, filled with challenges, disappointments and anxieties, but the one constant is the ability to influence the lives of individuals every day.”

Take a look at our Facebook album for more photos.

No Link Found Between PTSD and Cancer Risk

May 13th, 2015 in Featured, Research

In the largest study to date that examines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a risk factor for cancer, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), have shown no evidence of an association.

The study, which appears in the European Journal of Epidemiology, is consistent with other population-based studies that report stressful life events generally are not associated with cancer incidence. In addition to corroborating results of other studies, this large population sample allowed for important stratified analyses that showed no strong evidence of associations even among select groups of the population.

The association between stress and cancer has been discussed in scientific literature for more than 70 years. Despite plausible theories that would support this association, findings from clinical research have been mixed.

Researchers compared the rate of various cancer diagnoses among people with PTSD with the standardized cancer rate from the general population in the same time period using data from the Danish national medical and social registers. They found PTSD was not associated with an increased risk for cancer.

Jaime gradus

Jaimie Gradus

“The general public may have a perception that stress contributes to cancer occurrence and given the ubiquity of PTSD and cancer and their costs to individuals and society, any observed associations could have meaningful public health implications,” explained corresponding author Jaimie L. Gradus, DSc, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at BUSM and an epidemiologist at the National Center for PTSD. “This study, however, provided no evidence that a severe chronic stress disorder such as PTSD is associated with cancer incidence.

According to the researchers, the large sample and long study period allowed them to examine associations that have not been studied previously as they were able to look at rare cancer outcomes and associations among important subgroups.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (1R21MH094551-01A1).

BUSM’s Eric Hardt and Thea James Lead Team for Mother’s Day Walk for Peace

April 22nd, 2015 in Events, Featured

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, Boston University School of Medicine faculty members Eric Hardt, MD, and Thea James, MD, will be participating in the 19th annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace.  They welcome students, academic colleagues, BMC staff and friends to join them.

Thousands of people will walk 3.6 miles through Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood in support of creating a more peaceful and violence-free community. Funds raised through this event support the efforts of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and other community organizations working to stop the violence.

BMC Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP) staff

BMC Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP) staff

James, associate professor of Emergency Medicine and assistant dean in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, also serves as director of Boston Medical Center’s Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP), which provides support services for victims of trauma that are treated at BMC.

“The Mother’s Day Walk for Peace represents a collaborative effort to raise awareness about a topic that affects all citizens of Massachusetts. The loss of young lives is missed opportunities to make positive contributions to communities, society and to the Commonwealth,” said James.

Founded in 1996 by parents still grieving the loss of their son to violence, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute has been a healing center, training resource and an educational program for the city of Boston and surrounding communities. The Institute is a resource for families, crisis management protocol for professionals and curriculum development for children.

Learn more about the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace.

BUSM Opens New Clerkship Sites in California

February 1st, 2015 in Announcements, Featured

Boston University School of Medicine has developed an affiliation with Northern California Kaiser Permanente to offer two new clinical clerkship sites for our third-year medical students.

kaiser-permanenteBeginning in May 2015, 12 third-year students will begin their clerkships at Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in San Jose and Santa Clara. After an orientation with their classmates in Boston, six will stay for a full year, while six will stay for six months. Students will rotate in family medicine, OB/GYN, internal medicine, psychiatry and neurology at the San Jose site and  in pediatrics, surgery, radiology and psychiatry at the Santa Clara site. Although this program is new for BU, Kaiser has a strong and well-established medical education framework that includes students from Stanford, UC-San Francisco, UC-Davis and Drexel.

In addition to an excellent clinical experience, the Kaiser Campus Third-Year Curriculum Program will expose students to Kaiser’s healthcare technology, preventive medicine and progressive healthcare delivery model. Students will participate in quality improvement training programs, master their electronic health system, and develop their own quality improvement projects.

Kaiser has revolutionized health care and health-care technology, providing more immediate and responsive patient care. A leader in patient safety and quality improvement, the Kaiser system has been the model for the future of medicine. Their focus on preventive care and an outpatient-centered care model reduces hospital admissions and testing.

“We are delighted to offer our students the opportunity to work in another innovative and evidenced-based system that is committed to high-value, high-quality medical care,” said Karen Antman, MD, BUSM dean and provost of the BU Medical Campus.

Despite the distance from Boston campus, students will receive uniform didactic instruction. Program Manager Monica Parker-James is coordinating the online educational experiences. Recorded lectures can be reviewed at the student’s convenience. The students also will be able to participate in live small-group discussions and case vignettes with Microsoft Lync access.

Microsoft Lync is a platform for unified communications including online meetings, instant messaging, audio and video calls, availability info and sharing capabilities.

Dr. Harley Goldberg, who has a long history of service in the Kaiser system and is involved in quality evaluations at San Jose, will coordinate the training and supervision of our students in California. He will work with students via video conferencing prior to June and will orient and mentor the students during their time in the Kaiser facilities. He has worked closely with the BUSM Kaiser Committee and clerkship directors to provide a seamless transition for the students.

Assistant Dean Paige Curran in the Office of Student Affairs will monitor student mental and physical health and support academic and career development through online communication and quarterly visits to California.

The BUSM students will have faculty support while in California and many will also be close to family and friends. In addition, we are planning a California BUSM alumni network for additional student support, mentoring and career development. Several alumni have already expressed interest, including Veronica Santini, BUSM class of 2000, an assistant professor of neurology at Stanford.

“We are impressed by how vested our counterparts in California are in making this a successful partnership,” said Anna Hohler, MD, assistant dean of academic affairs at BUSM. “This collaboration is a win-win. Kaiser will work with students who are smart, dedicated and professional. Our students will train in a leading health care system that shares our commitment to high-quality medical education, devotion to diverse patient populations and a vision for excellence in health care. We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to our students.”