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Ryan White Program to Raise Funds for HIV Care With Evening of Food, Music

The fourth annual Re-Tie the Red Ribbon fundraiser presented by The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Ryan White Program will take place Saturday, Sept. 14, at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.

Re-Tie the Red Ribbon supports UTMC’s Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care, which provides HIV care for adults and children in the Toledo area who have needs not covered by other agencies or programs in the community.

Tickets for the fundraiser are $50 each and include a variety of food stations and entertainment. The event will take place from 6 to 10 p.m.

“The University of Toledo Medical Center has been the regional referral center for HIV care for more than 30 years and has served the needs of the growing populations of persons with HIV,” said Richard Meeker, manager of community engagement and development at the Ryan White Program. “Support of this event makes a difference to the women and men in our community who depend on the services of the Ryan White Program.”

Wayson Locher opened the first grant-funded free and anonymous HIV testing site in northwest Ohio in 1985 and was one of the key organizers for The University of Toledo’s Ryan White Program. The memorial fund was developed in her honor after her death in 2010.

UTMC’s Ryan White Program offers high-quality comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services. The program uses a multidisciplinary model that incorporates healthcare, mental health services and case management for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Lucas County and the surrounding counties in northwest Ohio.

Entertainment at this year’s Re-Tie the Red Ribbon event will be provided by the Toledo School for the Arts Alumni Band, The Overton Project, and jazz vocalists Ramona Collins and Trez Gregory.

The Ryan White Program is seeking sponsorships with opportunities that range from $250 to $5,000 and include VIP tickets and recognition at the event.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The University of Toledo Alumni Association website.

Study May Unlock New Diagnostic Tools for Fainting Disorder

New research from The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences strongly suggests postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, is an autoimmune disorder and may help pave the way for a simple blood test that could help physicians diagnose the condition.

POTS is characterized by large increases in heart rate and sometimes decreases in blood pressure when standing up. That can cause lightheadedness, heart palpitations and even loss of consciousness. In addition to fainting, POTS patients also regularly suffer from a litany of additional symptoms, including fatigue, pain, gastrointestinal issues, bleeding disorders, anxiety and brain fog.

About 3 million Americans are believed to be affected, but because of its wide-ranging and seemingly unrelated symptoms, POTS is notoriously difficult to identify.

Grubb

“The trouble with diagnosing POTS is that it’s currently principally a clinical diagnosis. It’s based on history, the absence of other illness, as well as the finding of increase in heart rate when standing. There is no blood test right now to aid in the diagnosis. It can be an incredibly frustrating process for patients,” said Dr. Blair Grubb, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences and director of electrophysiology services at The University of Toledo Medical Center.

In the largest study of POTS patients to date, published Sept. 9 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Grubb and UToledo research collaborators found 89 percent of patients they examined had elevated levels of autoantibodies against the adrenergic alpha 1 receptor.

“People have suspected an autoimmune connection for years, and other small-scale studies have suggested it,” said Grubb, one of the world’s foremost experts in syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system. “We did a much larger cross-section of patients than has ever been done before and found that almost all of them tested positive for autoimmune antibodies. That’s a significant finding.”

None of the 55 patients who participated in the study had another recognized autoimmune disorder. Fifty-two were female, with an average age of 30.

Researchers screened the patients’ blood for autoantibodies against nine receptors. A handful of patients showed elevated levels against all nine. But it was the prevalence of adrenergic A1 subtype receptor autoantibodies that make their findings so intriguing.

Gunning

“I think that we have identified a biomarker. We now might have the ability to diagnosis this, or at least have an inkling. Like other autoimmune disease, we can take a blood sample and detect if there are increased levels of autoantibodies present. According to our results, autoantibodies against this particular receptor should be present in about 90 percent of patients with POTS,” said Dr. William Gunning, a professor of pathology in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and the paper’s lead author.

Gunning and Grubb say much more research is needed. However, this study adds significantly to the evidence that POTS is an autoimmune disorder — and it shows it may be possible to give physicians unfamiliar with the condition an easy way to test for it.

“What this does is prove the concept,” Grubb said. “Other studies had used very expensive research tests. What we used are the same kind of testing methods that would be used by regular hospitals. We wanted to do something that would potentially be a test applicable to the general population, not just a research test.”

While Gunning and Grubb caution they’re still investigating the precise methods by which POTS is established, their study does raise the possibility that existing immune modulating medications could be a viable therapeutic method for some patients.

The study was supported by funding from the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation, the Life as a Zebra Foundation, and the Virginia Lounsbury Foundation.

Rocket Week to Kick Off With Flag-Raising Ceremony Sept. 6

The University of Toledo President Sharon L. Gaber and Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will kick off the start of the second annual Rocket Week with an official proclamation and ceremonial raising of the UToledo athletics flag at a news conference at One Government Center Friday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m.

Rocket Week is a series of special events leading up to the home-opening football game of the Toledo Rockets. The Rockets will host Murray State Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Glass Bowl.

In addition to the location at One Government Center, Rocket flags will be in place at other city buildings and parks. Along with promoting Rocket Week, Gaber and Kapszukiewicz will be asking businesses and fans to fly their Rocket flags during the week leading up to the first home game and all season long.

As part of Rocket Week, UToledo and the city of Toledo also will recognize city employees during the game and during pregame festivities.

Some of the events during Rocket Week include the annual Backyard Barbecue Tuesday, Sept. 10, at noon and a pep rally at 12:30 p.m. on Centennial Mall, as well as downtown pep rallies Thursday and Friday, Sept. 12 and 13. The Thursday pep rally will take place at Levis Square at noon during Lunch at Levis. The pep rally Friday will continue a tradition in which the Rocket Marching Band performs at various establishments in the entertainment district that evening, marching through the downtown streets between each performance.

Another exciting event during Rocket Week will be the Battle of the Badges flag football game between the city of Toledo fire and police departments Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the Glass Bowl. Tickets are $15 and include admission to the Rockets’ home opener Sept. 14. Three dollars from every ticket sold will be donated to each organization’s charity. The fire department is donating to Toledo Firefighters’ Local 92 Charity, while the police department is contributing to the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association. Go to the police ticket website or the fire department ticket website.

Throughout Rocket Week, and especially on Rocket Thursday, fans are encouraged to wear their Rocket gear or school colors midnight blue and gold in support of UToledo. The University celebrates Rocket Thursday each week throughout the school year.

As a special promotion for the home opener, city of Toledo employees have the option of purchasing tickets for $12 prior to game day by using the promo code TOLEDO. All others in the Toledo community may purchase tickets for $19 from Friday, Sept. 6, through Friday, Sept. 13, (prior to game day) by using the promo code ROCKET.

For more information about Rocket Week or to order tickets, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office, located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go to the Toledo Football Central website, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653). UToledo students are admitted free with their Rocket ID; faculty and staff can buy tickets half price with ID.

Rocket Week Events

Sunday, Sept. 8

• 1 p.m. — Rocket Women’s Soccer vs. Wright State at Paul Hotmer Field. Tickets are $6 and $4 for 18 and younger; UToledo employees can purchase tickets at half price; and UToledo students are admitted free with ID. Go to UToledo soccer ticket website or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Tuesday, Sept. 10

• Noon — Backyard Barbecue on Centennial Mall.

• 12:30 p.m. — Pep Rally on Centennial Mall.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Health Science Campus Picnic in the Four Seasons Bistro and outside the Health Education Building.

• 12:30 p.m. — Memorial Stair Climb in the Glass Bowl.

• 6:30 p.m. — Toledo Fire vs. Toledo Police Battle of the Badges Flag Football Game in the Glass Bowl. Tickets are $15 and include admission to the Rockets’ home opener Sept. 14.

Thursday, Sept. 12

• Noon — Pep Rally at Lunch at Levis at Levis Square in downtown Toledo.

Friday, Sept. 13

• 9 to 10:30 p.m. — Rocket Marching Band Pep Rally Parade in downtown entertainment district.

Saturday, Sept. 14

• 7 p.m. — Toledo vs. Murray State in the Glass Bowl.

For more information, go to the Rocket Week website.

Sidewalk Construction Continues on Health Science Campus

A project to replace sidewalks in front of Mulford Library on The University of Toledo Health Science Campus is expected to be complete by mid-September.

The project will replace the sidewalk leading from parking area 40 to Mulford’s main entrance, as well as a portion of the sidewalk going west toward The University of Toledo Medical Center.

No building entrances will be closed. Fencing and signage will isolate the construction area.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Facilities and Construction at 419.383.6720.

UTMC Outpatient Pharmacies Announce Hours

As the semester begins, some hours of The University of Toledo Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacies will change.

The Main Campus Pharmacy will resume normal hours Monday, Aug. 26. Located in the University Health Center across from Horton International House, the pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Health Science Campus Pharmacy in the Medical Pavilion can assist customers Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The UToledo Access Pharmacy in the Comprehensive Care Center, 3333 Glendale Ave., is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the UTMC Outpatient Pharmacies’ website.

Satellites to Hold Shoe Sale to Raise Scholarship Funds

It’s coming back: The 43-hour shoe sale will start at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, and run through 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, in The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Four Seasons Bistro Atrium.

The Satellites Auxiliary and the UToledo Retirees Association in conjunction with Outside the Box Shoes will present the popular event.

“Our employees love the convenience of being able to shop for good work shoes at the hospital,” Lynn Brand, president of the Satellites, said. “That’s why we have two shoe sales each year.”

Brand names will include Clarks, Klogs, Skechers, Merrell, Jambu, New Balance, Dansko, Kamik, Grey’s Anatomy Softwalk and more.

Cash, credit cards and payroll deduction will be accepted.

Profits will benefit the auxiliary’s and association’s campus scholarships.

The Satellites Auxiliary promotes education, research and service programs; provides support of patient programs in accordance with the needs and approval of administration; conducts fundraising events; and offers volunteer services.

For more information on the shoe sale, contact Brand at lynn.brand@utoledo.edu.

UTMC Updates Status to Level III Trauma Center

In response to the changing healthcare needs of the Toledo region, The University of Toledo Medical Center (UTMC) has elected to transition to a Level III trauma center.

UTMC notified the American College of Surgeons this week that it desires to change its verification status from a Level I adult trauma center to a Level III trauma center.

“This has been our long-term strategy, and we have been working for several years to transition to a community hospital focused on serving South Toledo,” UTMC CEO Dan Barbee said. “Most recently we have increased our emphasis on primary care and behavioral health, and we will continue to evolve to meet the healthcare needs of our community.”

Earlier this month, UTMC opened the new Comprehensive Care Center, which offers a variety of primary care services, including family medicine, internal medicine, multi-specialty, X-ray and laboratory services, and an on-site pharmacy. Behavioral health services have been expanded in recent years to include inpatient and outpatient recovery services; electroconvulsive therapy, better known by the acronym ECT, as a treatment option for patients with depression; geriatric psychiatry; and child and adolescent psychiatry. Additional services are being discussed based on the community’s needs.

“Our expert physicians, nurses and medical technicians in our emergency department and throughout the medical center remain committed to providing high-quality care to our patients,” Barbee said.

The city of Toledo currently has three Level I trauma programs, making this continued investment unnecessary to fulfill the needs of our community, Barbee said. As part of our long-term strategy, this move enables us to align our operations with the healthcare needs of South Toledo and our surrounding communities.

From the Heart Celebrity Waiter Event and Raffle

The ninth annual From the Heart Celebrity Waiter Event will take place Monday, Aug. 19, at Loma Linda Restaurant, 10400 Airport Highway in Swanton.

The event supports the Mundt Cardiology Endowment Fund at The University of Toledo Medical Center. This fund, established in 2008 by the Mundt family, provides support for innovative programs in advanced cardiac care at the hospital.

Raffle tickets will be sold in advance of the event in UTMC’s Four Seasons Bistro from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on:

• Tuesday, July 23;

• Wednesday, July 31;

• Thursday, Aug, 8; and

• Friday, Aug. 16.

Prizes will be drawn Monday, Aug. 19, and include:

• Use of the UToledo Department of Medicine suite (up to 20 guests) at a Rockets’ basketball game, a $1,200 value.

• A $300 Loma Linda Restaurant gift card.

• Three $100 Ventura’s Mexican Restaurant gift cards.

• Two tickets to a Rockets’ football game in the UTMC suite, a $300 value.

Contact jennifer.schaefer@utoledo.edu for more information about the From the Heart event.

UToledo Medical Center to offer free skin cancer screenings for veterans, employees

As Americans head to backyard barbecues, baseball games and other fun in the sun this summer, it’s crucial to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.

“Skin cancer is still one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States,” said Dr. Lorie Gottwald, chief of dermatology at The University of Toledo Medical Center. “We need to stress protection all year long, but summer is usually the time we are out and about, and ambient sunlight is indeed a risk factor for skin cancer.”

One in five Americans will develop a form of skin cancer in his or her lifetime, according to the American Dermatological Association, making it the most common form of cancer in the country.

While some types of skin cancer are highly curable, it can be deadly. Melanoma — the most dangerous kind — will lead to an estimated 7,230 deaths in 2019.

On Monday, June 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. the Dermatology Department at UTMC will host a free skin cancer screening event for UToledo employees and all military veterans.

While there is no cost, registration is required by calling 419.383.6315. The screenings will take place at the UTMC Dermatology Clinic in Suite F at the Ruppert Health Center.

“We want to continue to fight the war against skin cancer and also recognize the contributions of our vets,” Gottwald said.

Each screening will take approximately 15 minutes. Participants will receive a sunscreen sample and information on skin cancer awareness.

If UTMC clinicians notice something that may need intervention, they will provide a screening sheet that patients can take to a dermatologist of their choice. No biopsies will be taken during the screening event.

If you are going to be spending time in the sun — even just going for a walk at lunchtime — Gottwald said you should be wearing an approved sunscreen.

“The standard recommendation is SPF 30 or higher, and higher numbers do offer more protection,” she said. “Also, remember to reapply the sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re sweating.”

Employees can stop at the Dermatology Clinic during regular hours for free sunscreen samples.

Annual CampMed program shows area students their potential in studying medicine

The University of Toledo will provide more than three dozen teens from across northwest Ohio a hands-on introduction to studying medicine during its annual CampMed program.

The students, all of whom will be high school freshmen this fall, will be on Health Science Campus Thursday and Friday, June 13 and 14.

Now in its 22nd year, CampMed gives students who excel in science and mathematics a window into what it’s like to pursue a career as a physician or medical researcher.

“We want to inspire these students and help give them an outline of how to prepare for an education in medicine,” said Courtney K. Combs, director of the UToledo and Ohio Area Health Education Center programs. “As much as CampMed is educational — and it really is — we also want it to be a fun time for the kids. It’s summer. It’s camp. It might be the first time they’re surrounded by kids their own age who have the same interests. We try to make it as hands-on as possible.”

Under the guidance of UToledo faculty members and physicians, the students will be taught Heartsaver CPR, learn how to suture, and practice forming a cast. They’ll also receive hands-on tours of the Emergency Department at The University of Toledo Medical Center, the gross anatomy lab, and the Jacobs Interprofessional and Immersive Simulation Center.

Second- and third-year medical students serve as camp counselors.

Most of the students who attend CampMed are underrepresented minorities in medicine, from underserved rural or urban communities, or the first in their family planning to attend college.

“We want to encourage these students to help them realize that a career in medicine is a realistic goal for them. Some of them may have never even been on a college campus before,” Combs said. “We want to provide that exposure to let them know if they work hard and are serious about their schoolwork now, this could be an option and The University of Toledo College of Medicine would welcome them.”

CampMed, which began in 1998, was implemented by and is coordinated through the UToledo Area Health Education Center program, which works to improve the well-being of individuals and communities by developing the health-care workforce.

The competitive scholarship program requires students to submit a letter of recommendation from a science or math teacher or guidance counselor, grade transcripts, and a personal essay to be chosen to participate.