In The Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

September 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Intensive Care for a Colleague Taking on Cancer

By In the Loop

Jim Hulet with colleagues who raised funds to help with his medical bills. Jim Hulet makes an hour-long drive (one-way) from his home in Palm Coast, Florida, each day to his workplace in Mayberry. Okay, it's in Jacksonville, not Mayberry, but Jim says his workplace at Mayo Clinic hospital in Florida has that kind of hometown feel. It seems 18 years of working with folks who come to be friends will do that. "It's my Mayberry," he says. And the hometown team rallied around Jim this past summer like a small town rallies around the grand marshal in a parade.

In this case, the hometown team was rallying to help Jim get some relief from medical bills that have been piling up in his drawn-out battle with T-cell lymphoma. Rallied might not be exactly the right word, however, according to Jim. "You can't even say they've rallied around me, because they never left," he says. "They were always here with me." The support he's seen all throughout his battle, he tells us, "could not be more awesome."  [...]

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Tags: Employee Story, T-Cell Lymphoma

September 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

New Hope for Melanoma Patients

By In the Loop

Hands hold up sign of hope. If initial testing results hold up, a drug called Keytruda just may end up becoming a lifesaver for some patients suffering from stage IV melanoma. The drug, as the Florida Times-Union reports, was tested by Mayo Clinic doctors to treat melanoma patients and was recently given the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's stamp of approval for widespread use. According to the newspaper, "the drug has produced a 'phenomenal response' in about 25 percent of patients who do not respond to other medications."

Mayo's Richard Joseph, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus, tells the Times-Union that the drug helps a patient's immune system "fight off skin cancer tumors, which typically trick the immune system into thinking the patient isn't sick." In some of those patients, "we're seeing some 'Lazarus effects,'" Dr. Joseph tells the paper. "I saw a man in April where his doctor had recommended hospice. … We put him on it, and four treatments later, he had a complete remission, no longer thinking about hospice." [...]

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Tags: Clinical Trial, Dr Richard Joseph, Melanoma, research

September 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the Day

By In the Loop

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you."

Mother Teresa

September 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Diners, Drive-Ins and Little Boo …

By In the Loop

littleBoo760Little Boo has been accumulating fans since he came to Mayo Clinic in 2013. And last week, he went a little Hollywood. Robert Maddox, affectionately known as Little Boo, came to Rochester after spending nearly 500 days, and two birthdays, in a New Orleans hospital battling the H1N1 virus. Some of his organs had shut down, but he wasn't healthy enough for transplant. At Mayo, his doctors  discovered that a fistula was giving Boo pulmonary hypotension and other blockages were sending deoxygenated blood to his heart. Once they fixed all of that, Boo finally got healthy enough for a new kidney, which he received from his mother.

After that transplant, Boo's surgeon, Mikel Prieto, M.D., talked about better days ahead for his young patient, including starting school and finally getting his hands on that slice of pizza he'd asked for so many times while in the hospital, even though he know he couldn't have it until he was healthy. Last week, we learned that little Boo enjoys more than just pizza. And that he has some pretty famous new fans. His story caught the attention of the folks at "The Meredith Vieira Show," and Boo and his parents appeared in an episode, during which we learned that Boo liked to dream of many foods he saw on his favorite channel, The Food Network. [...]

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Tags: Dr Mikel Prieto, kidney transplant, Robert Maddox

September 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tips for avoiding the post-workout pig-out

By In the Loop

kicking760Fitness is a numbers game. Whether it’s heart-rate or calories burned or sit-ups done, it’s tough to talk about fitness without doing a little math. A recent story from Health.com gave us even more numbers to add to the tally. And while we may have started reading the story because we thought it said, “11 ways to stop working out after overeating,” we learned that “11 Ways to Stop Overeating after Exercising” provides some good advice from Mayo wellness dietitian Emily Brown. Brown, a former professional runner, says you have to understand your body’s nutrition needs to avoid doing things that negate your best efforts. [...]

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Tags: Emily Brown, Fitness, Nutrition

September 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop

“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.”

Calvin Trillin

September 11th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

A Back-to-Basics Thought from the Transform Symposium

By In the Loop

The auditorium lights up at Mayo Clinic's Transform symposium. If you've been to Transform, you might associate it with inspiring speakers, impressive design, the latest technology, and transformative thinking. It's pretty cool, as far as symposia go, and has seemingly all of the bells and whistles. But one participant has a message of caution for the folks at Transform and, really, health care in general: Let's not transform ourselves so much that we lose the personal touch. (Hey, that rhymes.)

In a guest post on the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation blog, Lynn Kosegi of Pittsburgh writes that this year, "I find myself feeling uncomfortable." And not just in that energizing way the conference planners aim for. Kosegi notes that this was her third Transform conference, which she says was "as always, a wonderful opportunity to engage with others who are passionate about health care." And like other years, she says she left "re-energized, with a renewed motivation to contribute to the field." But then there's that but.  [...]

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Tags: Center for Innovation, patient-centered care, Transform

September 11th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Lacing Up for the Hometown Team

By In the Loop

A high school football player kneels on the field. n4 PhotoVideo / Shutterstock.com

For some, it takes time and a few wrong turns to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. For Thomas Bramwell, D.O., all it took was a few high school football games. As the Tomah Journal and La Crosse Tribune reported, Dr. Bramwell, an orthopedist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Tomah and Onalaska, Wisconsin, says he first caught the medicine bug while playing running back in high school in the late 1990s.

Dr. Bramwell's doctor, Rodney Erickson, M.D., was "on the sidelines with the players and helping injured players get back on their feet." Now, 16 years later, Dr. Bramwell is working alongside Dr. Erickson, taking care of Mayo Clinic Health System patients.  [...]

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Tags: Dr Rodney Erickson, Dr Thomas Bramwell, Mayo Clinic Health System, orthopedics

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