In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

April 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Fishing for Answers, and Hope in Battle With Rare Disease

By In the Loop

Ed Shawley enjoying a day of fishing.
Ed Shawley had to give up fishing to search for answers and help for a rare neurodegenerative condition called multiple system atrophy, which he describes as bring like ALS, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease all wrapped up into one.  [...]

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April 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Comforting Gifts for Pediatric Patients from One of Their Own

By In the Loop

Curtis Morey with fellow pediatric patient Elizabeth White.
Curtis Morey returned to Mayo Clinic bearing gifts to support his fellow pediatric patients, who he calls "the strongest people I have met" and "the brightest part of my day."  [...]

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Tags: cancer

April 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop

"Writers fish for the right words like fishermen fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called."

Jarod Kintz

April 28th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Patient, Fort Hood Survivor Receives Purple Heart

By In the Loop

Patrick Zeigler talks with visitors at the Mayo Clinic mobile exhibit.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Zeigler came to Mayo Clinic after being wounded in the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, and has made several return visits to share his story and support his comrades. Last month, he received the purple heart.  [...]

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Tags: military, purple heart, Traumatic brain injury

April 28th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

The Mayor (and Coach) of Iowa State Back in the Game After Heart Surgery

By In the Loop

ISU basketball coach Fred Hoiberg

Photo courtesy of Iowa State University


Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State mens basketball coach, took a time out for open-heart surgery after the team's season ended. He's expected to make a full recovery and return to coaching and being an advocate for heart education.  [...]

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Tags: aortic root aneurysm, Dr Rakesh Suri, Fred Hoiberg, heart valve replacement, Iowa State University

April 28th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Quote of the day

By In the Loop

"What you are as a person is far more important than what you are as a basketball player."

John Wooden

April 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

A Life Volunteered -- Celebrating 60 Years of Service to Patients

By In the Loop

NeedhamBillie805

Even as big-check presentations go, one that happened this week at a Mayo Clinic volunteer recognition event in Rochester was a doozy. The volunteers presented a check in the amount of $3,478,250 to Jeff Bolton, vice president, Administration, at Mayo Clinic. The check, which represented 143,079 hours of volunteer service on Mayo's Rochester campus in 2014, may not have been real, but everything it symbolized certainly was. And while the check may have put a dollar amount on the volunteers' contributions, based on what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says volunteer time is worth, Bolton responded saying there's really no way to put a price on what Mayo's volunteers do for patients every day.

"It's interesting to quantify, but what you do for Mayo Clinic truly is priceless," Bolton said. "You are a calming effect and have a significant impact on the patient experience."

One volunteer who has had a significant impact on the patient experience for many, many years is Billie Needham. This year, she celebrated her 60th anniversary as a volunteer, going back to her days as a charter member of the Rochester Methodist Hospital Auxiliary, which was formed in 1955. Billie, who is 96 years young, tells us some of her earliest memories of volunteering included shopping for patients and doing, really, anything else "that would help the patient." One of her early duties was helping to sew caps -- more than 6,000 in all -- for nursing students at the Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing, which she continued to do until 1970, when the school closed. Over the years, she has also knitted 4,044 caps for babies born at the Rochester Methodist campus of Mayo Clinic Hospital. [...]

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Tags: Billie Neeham, volunteers

April 23rd, 2015 · 3 Comments

Uncovering Hidden Messages -- Examining the Value and Benefit of Autopsy

By In the Loop

AutopsyTable805

The patient was a young, seemingly healthy female. Until she died suddenly one day in her home. "When we did the autopsy, we uncovered that she had a heart condition that was potentially heritable, which means it could have been traveling in her family," says Joseph Maleszewski, M.D., a cardiovascular and autopsy pathologist at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. "And lo and behold, when we found that, we also found out that her father had been diagnosed with a heart condition that his doctors couldn't quite put their fingers on." The autopsy finding led doctors to look for and find the same condition in her father.

It's cases like this that Dr. Maleszewski says show the importance and benefit of the autopsies he and his team perform. And while a recent article in The Wall Street Journal says the number of autopsies being performed in hospitals around the country has declined (slowing "scientific advances in diseases including cancer, dementia and heart disease," along the way), Dr. Maleszewski says that's not the case here at Mayo. "We do autopsies on about 25 percent of our in-hospital deaths," he tells us. And he says they're often full of surprises. "Between 30 and 40 percent of the time, we'll find something that was not known to the treating clinical team," he says. [...]

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Tags: autopsy, Dr Joseph Maleszewski

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