U.S. News Ranks Rush Among Nation’s Best Hospitals

Rush University Medical Center has once again been named one of the nation’s top hospitals, according to the upcoming issue of U.S.News & World Report. Rush is ranked in 10 of 16 categories included in the magazine’s 2011-12 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue, which will be on sale Tuesday, Aug. 30.

Just 140 of the approximately 5,000 hospitals in the United States — less than 3 percent — scored high enough this year to rank in at least one specialty.

Rush is ranked higher than any other program in Illinois in orthopedics at No. 8 in the nation and geriatrics at No. 17. Rush’s other ranked programs are neurology and neurosurgery (No. 15); heart and heart surgery (No. 29); gynecology (No. 33); cancer (No. 40); pulmonology (No. 45); ear, nose and throat (No. 46); urology (No. 39); and kidney disorders (No. 47).

In May, U.S. News ranked the top children’s hospitals. Rush Children’s Hospital was on the list for a pediatric specialty for the first time with the pediatric gastroenterology program ranking No. 49 in the nation.

Rush continues to do great work in a broad spectrum of categories, and these rankings are representative of the outstanding quality of care provided at Rush,” said Dr. Larry J. Goodman, CEO, Rush University Medical Center. “Rush has earned its place among the top academic medical centers in America.”

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Interventional Cardiologists Learn Latest Advancements for Treating Heart Defects at PICS-AICS Conference

Interventional cardiologists from around the world gathered in Chicago July 18-21 for the annual Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium (PICS-AICS).  Dr. Ziyad Hijazi, director of the Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease at Rush University Medical Center, helped develop the annual conference where specialists can learn the latest techniques and advancements for treating heart defects without open heart surgery.

At the PICS-AICS conference, doctors view live, interactive, O.R. cases from around the world from major institutions in London, Saudia Arabia, Brazil and Chicago.

Hijazi and his team at Rush University Medical Center performed several real-time cases to teach other interventional cardiologists attending the conference the latest minimally invasive procedures for valve replacements and other procedures.

Dr. Clifford Kavinsky, interventional cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center, highlights the minimally invasive heart valve replacement procedure being showcased at the annual conference.

Empowering Women to Make Heart Health a Priority

Heart disease is the leading killer of American women, yet several studies have shown women cardiac patients receive inferior medical care compared to men.  The Rush Heart Center for Women is proud to be partnering with WomenHeart to raise awareness about the importance of prevention and early detection, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment of women’s heart disease.

WomenHeart is a national patient advocacy organization that was founded by three women who had heart attacks while in their 40s and faced many obstacles, including misdiagnosis and social isolation. The three women: Nancy Loving, Jackie Markham, and Judy Mingram, connected in 1998 when each was interviewed for an article on women and heart attacks for MORE magazine. Nancy, Jackie, and Judy formed their own support network.

Now the organization has thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, physicians, health advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives.

“Women with heart disease had no support system until WomenHeart was founded. It is the only national organization dedicated to women with heart disease,” said Dr. Annabelle Volgman, director, Rush Heart Center for Women.

Rush will be hosting the first WomenHeart Regional Symposium, an educational seminar about women’s heart disease on Saturday, September 11th with the goal of educating women and empowering them to spread their knowledge to friends, family and their community.

The symposium will feature lectures and workshops to learn the basic science of women’s heart disease, including prevention, diagnosis and quality care. There will be information about healing the mind and body. Participants will meet and bond with other women living with heart disease and learn from leading health care professionals, health educators, and women’s health advocates.

“We have a very busy Rush Heart Center for Women so hosting the first WomenHeart Regional Symposium was a natural partnership. We have assembled a group of medical experts on women and heart disease from many medical centers in the Chicago area.”

The free event will be held September 11, 2010 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Room 500 of the Searle Conference Center, located in the Rush Professional Building, 1725 W. Harrison St., Chicago.  The deadine to apply is Friday, July 23.  (UPDATE: The deadline for registration has been pushed back to Friday, August 20.) Visit http://www.womenheart.org/events/registration.cfm to register.

A Healthier Heart for Valentine’s Day

A recent study, funded by the American Heart Association, found that although heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, nearly half of women would not call 9-1-1 if they thought they were having symptoms of a heart attack.

Dr. Annabelle Volgman, medical director of the Rush Heart Center for Women, says this study clearly shows that there is a great need for more education and awareness about heart disease among women, and an even greater need among minority women.

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MIssion to Haiti: Dr. Jeff Mjaanes’ Blog – 400 Patients Seen at Make-Shift Urgent Care Center

Saturday, January 30, 9:15 p.m. ET –

Today the group split up: Some went to the General Hospital and some went to the private CTDI Hospital. My group went to a make-shift, urgent care center for people living on the streets.

At the General Hospital our cardiology and medicine residents went and worked in the ICU treating patients with wounds, heart failure and kidney failure. One was a 15-year-old boy in heart failure, who ended up being flown to the USS Comfort medical ship. Our vascular surgeons, Drs. McCarthy and Lind performed surgery all day — mainly debridement of infected wounds.

Our anesthesia and ortho teams went to a former private hospital now treating earthquake victims. Drs. Fernandez and Van Thiel rounded on wounded patients and performed seven surgeries, including debridement of the leg wound of the four-year-old we saw yesterday. The boy did well and was discharged.

Our team went to a make-shift, urgent care center and worked alongside physicians and nurses from around the world. A group from the Dominican Republic set up at the Main Police Station directly in front of the destroyed National Palace.

Our group alone saw over 400 children today. We had some very sick children with respiratory infections, dehydration and malnutrition. We had to stabilize a basically unresponsive little 11-month-old girl whose mother and two of three siblings died, and who has likely developed sepsis (blood poisoning) from infected wounds. Luckily, Dr. Ansell was at the General Hospital – we transported the girl, he received her and took her to the pediatric tent.

Many sad stories today. A pregnant mother who lost her husband and two of her children in the quake. Her two-year-old was stuck under the rubble for four days – she ended up having to pay someone 1,000 Haitian dollars to dig him out. She has nothing – not even a sheet to sleep on in the tent city.

A 10-year-old boy who lost both parents and his siblings when their house collapsed. Only he and his eight-year-old brother survived, now living on the street. To add misery to the situation, he got separated from his brother yesterday. Now both are completely alone. It is so heartwrenching to see this and be able to do so little. Although, I hope I am making at least a small contribution. The scope of all this is so immense it is overwhelming.

That is all for now – we are all exhausted and need to try and get some rest.


Study Results Suggest Adult Stem Cells May Help Repair Muscle Cells Damaged by Heart Attack

A new medical treatment being tested at Rush University Medical Center could help millions of Americans fight heart disease and even recover faster after having a heart attack.

Rush was one of only 10 cardiac centers across the country and the only Illinois research site testing the procedure in the first phase of a clinical trial called Osiris where heart attack patients received adult stem cells from a donor that were administered with a one-time IV injection.

For 80-year-old Rev. Eugene Carter from Elgin, Ill., it is still hard for him to believe he had a heart attack three years ago. It’s even harder for him to believe there are no signs left of any damage to his heart.

Rev. Carter received an experimental adult bone marrow stem cell treatment days after his heart attack at Rush. He was one of 53 patients to participate in a Phase I clinical trial. 

“The mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were harvested from the bone marrow of healthy adult donors. These cells have the potential to develop into mature heart cells and new blood vessels,” said Dr. Gary Schaer, study principal investigator and interventional cardiologist at Rush. 

Similar to Blood Type O, mescenchymal stem cells have the advantage that they can be taken from the bone marrow of an unrelated donor without needing to be matched by blood type.

The results of this Phase I study were published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Rush is currently enrolling patients for the second phase of this stem cell study.

For more information, read the news release on the Osiris study.

Advanced options available for congenital and structural heart defects

Interventional cardiologist Ziyad Hijazi, MD, describes the advanced options available for congenital and structural heart defects at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.