In The Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

August 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

"Thank you, Mayo ... you did it again."

By In the Loop

BobAronson760For many years, Bob Aronson saw the inner workings of Mayo Clinic's business side through his role as a communication consultant. But in August 2007, he saw a different side of Mayo Clinic when he underwent a heart transplant  in Florida. Bob's patient experience (and his experience as a communicator) led him to start a Facebook group called "Organ Transplant Initiative" as a "support group" and a "news and information clearing house" for organ donation (and which has now grown to almost 4,000 members.) Then there's his blog, "Bob's Newheart" (get it?), on which he's authored more than 230 posts on everything from his own transplant experience to the importance of organ donation and healthy living.

One of his latest entries, posted on the Facebook group's page last week, tells yet another tale of how Bob's care team at Mayo helped "save his life" by not allowing "so much as a hiccup" to interfere with his care. Scheduled for a heart catheter-slash-biopsy as part of his seven-year transplant follow-up, Bob was lying on his back waiting for a catheter to be inserted, when he says a sudden bout of acid reflux overtook him. "It was so sudden and so bad that I involuntarily sat up, gagging and having great difficulty breathing," he writes. [...]

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Tags: Bob Aronson, Florida, heart transplant, social media

August 28th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mayo Clinic at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

By In the Loop

StateFair760Mayo Clinic's Mobile Exhibit makes a stop at the Minnesota State Fair tomorrow, Aug. 29, and stays for the duration, not folding up its collapsible (or expanding, depending on your perspective) walls until after 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1. The exhibit will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Monday, as the website suggests, on Wright Avenue, near the Education Building and the Kidway." It's within easy walking distance of the Hand Dipped Double Bacon Corn Dog stand. (But you didn't hear that from us.)

This got us thinking about what Mayo Clinic might consider doing at the fair beyond this special Sesquicentennial appearance. You probably won't be surprised, but we had a few ideas. Below are some of our "suggestions" for what a future Mayo Clinic booth at the fair might offer. [...]

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Tags: Humor, Minnesota State Fair, Sesquicentennial

August 28th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop

"The state fair is a ritual carnival marking the end of summer and gardens and apple orchards and the start of school and higher algebra and the imposition of strict rules and what we in the north call the Long Dark Time."

Garrison Keillor

August 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

'A beautiful event' of caring

By In the Loop


Bryant Sullivan, BMT Nurse Michel Benz and Joanne Sullivan

In 2012, after being diagnosed with myelofibrosis, Joanne Sullivan found herself in need of a bone marrow transplant. She found a match in an anonymous donor in Germany, whose stem cells were flown to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for the transplant.

Soon after her transplant, Sullivan’s three sons volunteered to be tested and added to the National Marrow Donor Registry as a way to pay it forward. Just one year later, on his mother's birthday no less, Bryant Sullivan got the call that he was a match for someone in need of a transplant. He was able to donate stem cells to someone in need on Nov. 12, 2013, just as his mother’s donor had done.

The Sullivans shared their story at a recent event at Chicago’s Navy Pier in conjunction with a Mayo Clinic Mobile Exhibit appearance in the windy city. Their positive experience helped to recruit new donors at bone marrow registration drive put on by Mayo Clinic and the Be The Match Registry.   [...]

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Tags: bone marrow transplant, Dr Mrinal Patnaik

August 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

A Surgical Decathlon

By In the Loop


Think of the word "Olympics," and your mind likely conjures up images of elite athletes competing. At Mayo Clinic, however, there's a different kind of Olympics staged twice a year, and the competitors are first-year surgical residents.

Mayo surgical residents participate in the Summer Surgical Olympics within the first month of their residency program. Similar to a decathlon, these Olympics have 10 events, and each resident gets just 15 minutes to complete each one. The events range from routine (for the residents, not the rest of us) laparoscopic surgery procedures to more complex challenges, such as reacting to a trauma event. Felt and other materials from retail stores are used to simulate body parts. According to David Farley, M.D., Surgery, these materials are inexpensive (costing less than $50 per session), are reusable, and have no foul odors. There even is a Nintendo Wii challenge that sounds fun, but according to past participants, is anything but easy, according to Mayo Clinic's Shields magazine.  [...]

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Tags: Dr David Farley, Edwin Onkendi, Resident

August 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."

Lao Tzu

August 21st, 2014 · 2 Comments

Cooling Down for a Cause

By In the Loop are lots of folks in lots of places doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- some successfully and some not so much -- and all that ice water is getting an incredible amount of attention and extraordinary funding for ALS research. Few of the resulting videos, however, are as compelling as those by ALS patients, themselves, and their family members doing the challenge for the greater ALS family. And we'd add, ALS researchers going beyond simply pouring their souls into their work to put their body temperatures, pocketbooks and, perhaps, their dignity on the line for ALS research.

Last week, two such groups, the ALS research team in Florida and Drs. Eric Sorenson and Nathan Staff in Rochester took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., who introduced the research team in Florida in their video, not only got a double-dose of ice water, but then also got pelted with water balloons by his (apparently very secure in their jobs) research team. And he couldn't have been a better sport about it.

Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D., who also got soaked with the team in Florida, says she wasn't aware of the initiative until the team was challenged. "It felt like the right thing to do and a small sacrifice for us to raise awareness of ALS," she says. [...]

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Tags: ALS, Dr Eric Sorenson, Dr Leonard Petrucelli, Dr Nathan Staff, Dr Rosa Rademakers, research

August 21st, 2014 · 1 Comment

The Rhinestone Cowboy and Mayo Clinic

By In the Loop

Glen Campbell and Ronald Petersen, M.D., in the movie "Glen Campbell: I'l Be Me."

A scene from the documentary "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me," due out this fall.

For more than five decades, Glen Campbell has been making our ears happy with songs from his more than 70 studio albums. But back in 2011, an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis threatened to put that to an end. Rather than riding off into the sunset, however, Campbell decided to give the world an inside look at his battle with the disease through a new documentary due out this fall called, "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me," according to Entertainment Tonight. And he invited Mayo's Ron Petersen, M.D., Ph.D., along for the ride. (Dr. Petersen even made the movie trailer.)

"The producers asked if Mayo would like to be involved by lending some medical expertise to the film to help explain what Alzheimer's is all about," Dr. Petersen tells us. "I, of course, said yes." From there, Dr. Petersen says he began having discussions with the film's producers, and Campbell himself, to hammer out what his involvement in the documentary would look like. [...]

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Tags: Alzheimer's disease, Dr Ronald Petersen, research

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