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Vital Signs

News Briefs

Make That The DACGME

No, really, there's no move afoot at Dartmouth to co-opt the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). It just seems that way.

The ACGME accredits 7,800 U.S. residency programs, which train 100,000 residents in 27 specialties. It's a huge national organization, but at its September 2006 meeting, held in Rosemont, Ill., there was a significant Dartmouth presence: Drs. Elliott Fisher and Tina Foster gave keynote addresses; former DHMC executive vice president Paul Gardent was elected to the organization's executive committee; Dr. Worth Parker, director of graduate medical education (and chair of the ACGME's Institutional Review Committee), gave a presentation to the Council of Committee Chairs; and it was announced that Dr. Paul Batalden will receive the 2007 John C. Gienapp Award to honor his outstanding contributions to graduate medical education.

That's on top of the fact that Dr. David Glass received the Gienapp Award in 2006 for his work chairing the committee that implemented national residency work-hour standards. And that Dr. Richard Dow received the ACGME's Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award in 2005.

Maybe the organization should just plan on holding its 2007 meeting at Dartmouth.


"Doing Something Right"

A national award for pediatricians-in-training has been bestowed on a DMS graduate for the second time in four years. The 2006 recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Anne E. Dyson Child Advocacy Award is Dr. Gary Maslow '04. He was picked for establishing a group called The Adolescent Leadership Council (TALC) at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., where he is a third-year resident. TALC gives teens with chronic illness a social support network and a voice to improve the care of other children with chronic illness. "It was modeled on DHMC's STAR [Steps Toward Adult Responsibility] program," says Maslow, who worked with STAR at DMS.

TALC brings together 10 teenage patients and 10 Brown University student mentors—all of whom live with a chronic illness. The group meets monthly and makes presentations at area high schools and hospitals. Dr. John Modlin, chair of pediatrics at Dartmouth, was "very pleased, but not surprised, that Gary has been given this award."

The Dyson Award was presented in 2003 to Dr. Tommy Clark, a 2001 DMS graduate. Modlin says such honors are "a nice reminder that we are doing something right at DMS when we are able to attract students of [this] caliber and watch them begin careers armed with the right values."


A Winter Wonderland

This winter, middle-schoolers in New Hampshire's Mascoma Valley School District will enjoy skiing, ice-skating, and other outdoor activities thanks to the efforts of DMS third-year students Rahim Nazerali and Ashlee Logan. Nazerali and Logan, who were among DMS's 2005-06 Albert Schweitzer Fellows, joined forces with Mascoma Valley health educators last spring to organize a winter-gear drive as part of their Schweitzer project. The goal of the project was to help in the fight against childhood obesity in New Hampshire. "Childhood obesity was an area that both Ashlee and I felt needed attention," says Nazerali. One of the biggest barriers to physical activity at this time of year, he explains, is the high cost of winter sporting gear.

Thanks to the highly successful drive—which netted 30 pairs of cross-country skis, 55 pairs of ski boots, 22 pairs of ski poles, 21 pairs of ice skates, and 2 pairs of snowshoes, plus assorted other pieces of equipment—Mascoma students will have a fun . . . and active . . . winter this year.


A Match Made at DHMC

Many couples promise to care for each other in sickness and in health. But Peter Pardoe wanted to do more than just care for his sick wife, Jody—he wanted to donate one of his kidneys to bring her back to good health.

Devotion alone does not ensure a good match, however: the Pardoes' blood types were incompatible. Fortunately, another couple in the same straits were compatible with the Pardoes and willing to participate in a complex and rare four-way surgical swap, or paired exchange. On September 12, 2006, DHMC's first-ever paired kidney exchange took place, with each husband donating a kidney to the other's wife. For all involved, the surgery was a success.

Transplants from living donors do better than organs from someone who has died, according to Dr. David Axelrod, who led the surgical team. Over 89,000 U.S. patients are currently waiting for an organ transplant and nearly 4,000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.


Hot Stuff: When the President's Cancer Panel visited Kentucky, DMS's Dr. James Sargent was invited to present his research on movie smoking's effects on children. A local paper called it "one of the most interesting presentations."

On The Map: For the first time ever, the United Health Foundation's national "healthiest states" ranking took account of data about the cost versus the quality of care—by drawing on the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

Power Up: New Hampshire magazine put Frank McDougall, vice president of government relations at DHMC, on its 2006 "It List" of Granite State movers and shakers, saying he "knows the corridors of power" and is "always straddling party lines."

A Shot in the Dark: New Hampshire became the first state in the nation to offer the new cervical cancer vaccine to girls as part of its standard vaccination program. Dartmouth's chair of pediatrics, Dr. John Modlin, was among those who lobbied for the action.

Top Talent: Dr. James Bernat, a DMS neurologist, was one of 16 speakers from around the world invited by the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences to give a paper at a meeting called "The Signs of Death."

Care Tactics: The American Journal of Nursing presented its 2006 AJN-Beatrice Renfield "Caring for the Caregiver" Award to Samuel and Annette Levine of Hanover, N.H., in recognition of their longtime financial support for nursing at DHMC.

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