CHILL-TIME: DMS students do get an occasional break, including in a long-running ice hockey face-off against University of Vermont med students. This year, DMS took the prize—irreverently called the Specimen Cup—for the third year in a row, in a thrilling shootout.
ROCKET SCIENCE: Since 1973, 23 physicians have flown in space for the U.S. One of them was Dr. Jay Buckey, a longtime member of the Dartmouth Medical School faculty. He oversaw neuroscience experiments on a 1998 mission on the space shuttle Columbia.
Cultivating Babies' Breath
Every year, millions of laboring women around the world anxiously await the sound of their baby's first cry. For many, that sound never comes. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that a million babies die each year because of an inability to breathe immediately after delivery, and a million more suffer lifelong disabilities due to compromised breathing at birth. In hopes of changing those statistics, WHO, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and other organizations are backing the Helping Babies Breathe initiative—one of whose leaders is Dr. George Little, a Dartmouth neonatologist.
In the U.S., when a newborn needs help breathing, birth attendants follow a clear-cut procedure. But it's "too resource-dependent and complicated" for the developing world, says Little. So Helping Babies Breathe created a procedure that can be used anywhere.
It has been tested in Kenya, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Tanzania and is about to be deployed in 63 countries with infant mortality rates the United Nations deems high. At an unveiling in early June in Washington, D.C., Little and colleagues testified before Congress and trained several hundred people, who will train others. In time, there should be more tears of joy and fewer cries for help from mothers worldwide.
REALLY BIG GREEN: Dartmouth-Hitchcock was admitted to the Environmental Leadership Circle, the highest recognition awarded by Practice Greenhealth, a national organization of health-care facilities committed to environmentally responsible operations.
A Close Look at Endoscopy
Last November, about a dozen regional physicians gathered in a conference room at DHMC to learn about some of the latest endoscopic procedures. But instead of listening to speakers read bullet-points from slides, they watched live as DMS faculty perform several procedures. In one case, physicians used radiofrequency ablation to destroy precancerous cells in a patient's esophagus. In another, they used endoscopic ultrasound to diagnose chronic pancreatitis.
The live format allowed attendees to ask questions during the procedures. "It is a way to educate our referring physicians," says Dr. Stuart Gordon, one of the event's organizers. "I think many prefer it to the typical didactic lecture format." Dr. Timothy Gardner, another organizer, says attendees "have been impressed. We felt that this would provide a wonderful opportunity for our local referring providers to see what happens to their patients when they are referred to DHMC for advanced and routine endoscopic care." The next "EndoLive" symposium is scheduled for the fall.
WORK SHOULDN'T HURT: The Dartmouth-Hitchcock employee injury rate is well below the national average. Last year, it was 4.5 per 100 employees, and this year it's 5.7; the U.S. average is 7.8. And DH's injury severity is one-third the national rate.
WHAT A RELIEF: Dartmouth's commitment to the relief effort in Haiti continues apace. In May, a 14-member team spent two weeks at a hospital in Port-au-Prince. So far, 39 people and 25 tons of medical supplies have been sent by the Dartmouth Haiti Response.
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