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Vital Signs

News Briefs

ON CLOUD NINE: U.S. News & World Report noted that "among elite centers in the U.S. News 'America's Best Hospitals' rankings that reported patient satisfaction survey results for . . . 2008," Dartmouth-Hitchcock had the ninth-highest rank in the nation.

He's a Jolly Good Fellow

From the left are Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim, honoree C. Everett Koop, presenter John Orr of the Royal College, and DMS Dean Bill Green.

Dr. C. Everett Koop has racked up oodles of honors and awards over the years. The U.S. surgeon general from 1982 to 1989, he has racked up lots of years, too. A Dartmouth College '37 and a member of the DMS faculty since 1992, Koop turned 93 on October 14. The day before his birthday, he received one more tribute—honorary fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSE), in recognition of the fact that before being named surgeon general he was a pioneering pediatric surgeon. Dr. John Orr, the RCSE's president, traveled to Hanover to bestow the honor in person.


BLOOD RELATIVE: Dartmouth-Hitchcock runs its own blood donor program. About 90% of people will require a blood transfusion at some point during their life, and of the 90% about 40% are eligible to donate blood—but only 5% of them actually do.

Kidney Swap Makes History

If someone you loved was in urgent need of a kidney, you might well donate one of yours. That's exactly what a man from Milford, N.H., wanted to do for his brother. But unfortunately, the brothers weren't a match for each other. Thanks to a four-way swap, however, the Milford man's brother got a new kidney, while his own was transplanted into a stranger. Two more willing donors and grateful recipients completed the complex cascade.

Paired kidney exchanges aren't new; the first one was done at Johns Hopkins in 2001. But the New Hampshire brothers—whose surgeries were done at Dartmouth-Hitchcock—were part of one of the nation's first multihospital paired exchanges. The first, involving three institutions, took place in February 2009. The July 15 swap that included DHMC was the first to involve four institutions; the other three were Yale-New Haven Hospital and Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess and Brigham and Women's Hospitals.


KING OF GORE: Best-selling horror writer Stephen King gets the gore right. For 35 years he has relied on a physician's assistant trained at Dartmouth, says Wired magazine, for such details as what bone dust smells like and how to cauterize a wound using a blowtorch.

A Big Hand for Ear Feat

Getting personal

Read an account of how Tanzer's technique has benefited one patient.
Read more

For a journal article still celebrated as a milestone half a century after its publication, it bears a downright unassuming title: "Total reconstruction of the external ear." Shouldn't such a significant treatise contain the word "breakthrough"? Or at least a few polysyllabic medical terms?

But the author of that article wouldn't have had it any other way. Dr. Radford Tanzer, a member of the DMS faculty from 1937 until his death at age 97 in 2003, may have figured out how to replace a missing external ear. And that feat may have earned him the first standing ovation ever granted a presenter at a meeting of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. Yet Tanzer was a soft- spoken stickler for detail who focused on his work, not on the glory it brought him.

So he might have been embarrassed by the encomiums heaped upon him during the Radford C. Tanzer, M.D., Plastic Surgery Symposium, held in October to mark the 50th anniversary of his landmark article. But he'd surely have been pleased that surgeons came from around the world to attend the event—and that the program made note of his "qualities of integrity, humility, and passion."


LAB-ORIOUS ENDEAVOR: The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center clinical pathology laboratory performs 2 million tests every year and employs about 200 pathologists, clinical laboratory scientists, technicians, and clerical staff.

All the World's a Village

Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes engineers, accountants, and social scientists—not just medical professionals—to treat the sick and prevent disease worldwide. That's the premise behind the new Dartmouth Global Health Initiative. DMS and Dartmouth's Dickey Center for International Understanding are overseeing the program, to which the National Institutes of Health recently awarded $250,000.

It will involve the development of new curricular offerings for undergraduate and graduate students, overseas research opportunities, and symposiums on global health. Students who complete a series of courses will be eligible to receive a Certificate in Global Health.

"The problems of global health are complex," says DMS's Dr. Lisa Adams. "We need to be providing a knowledge base to a wide range of professionals." She and DMS's Dr. Ford von Reyn will head the program, which will begin with a course in spring term on Essentials in Global Health Research. An elective on child health and survival, geared to medical students but open to all Dartmouth students, is also in the works, as is a conference also slated for this spring.


I NEEDED THAT!: Two special-needs volunteers at DHMC—Lauren Guay (the subject of the Editor's Note in the Fall 2009 issue of this magazine) and Tracy Bleyler—received the Edith Amsden Volunteer of the Year Award from the DHMC Auxiliary.

If you'd like to offer feedback about these articles, we'd welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

These articles may not be reproduced or reposted without permission. To inquire about permission, contact DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

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