Jan. 24 - 28, 2011

UNC Hospitals wants to modernize ORs
The Triangle Business Journal
When designers were drawing plans for UNC Hospitals’ operating rooms, they didn’t have to worry about all the image-guided surgery equipment, microscopes and ceiling-mounted monitors that are required in ORs today. That was then, and this is now: UNC officials are evaluating what they will need from the 20 operating rooms in the oldest buildings on the hospital campus in Chapel Hill.

Campbell plans to open medical school in 2013
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Before the economy tanked, lawmakers approved plans to add 40 students at ECU's Brody School of Medicine, and 80 at UNC-CH. But they didn't provide funds. As a result, ECU has had to put its expansion on hold, while UNC-CH has scaled back plans for satellite doctor-training programs in Charlotte and Asheville. It's adding 10 students this year and another 10 in 2012 at the outlying programs, which rely on significant investments by partner hospitals in both cities. Adding students beyond that, however, would require an infusion of taxpayer dollars, which looks unlikely in the foreseeable future, said Dr. William Roper, dean of UNC-CH's medical school and chief executive officer of UNC Health Care System.

The fix that ECU's med school is in Opinion-Editorial Column)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Enhancing Medicaid reimbursements for the state's two public medical schools does not take anything away from other providers. But it does help those schools bear their load, especially in the case of East Carolina University. ...Over the years, ECU and UNC have borne the scars of the 1970s fight to establish a medical school in Greenville. Now the universities are beginning to work together in many ways to better serve the people of North Carolina.

Surgeons Treat Brain Aneurysm Through the Nose
Fox News
Traditional methods of treating a ruptured brain aneurysm usually involve pretty invasive techniques, such as removing a piece of a patients skull, but surgeons at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have found a new way to stop the bleeding – and they do it by going right through the nose.

Comparative Effectiveness: Hope Or Hype? (Blog)
...There is no simple or satisfactory answer to how we can develop and provide cutting-edge treatments at a cost that society can afford.  University of North Carolina School of Medicine Professor Joel E. Tepper captured the conundrum this way, “Many so-called advances in fact provide trivial advantage for the patient despite huge costs, and there is a total disconnect on the part of many people who demand full access to any and every medical intervention while not wanting to pay for it (either through society or the individual).”

Blue Cross expects to shrink - and expand
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...Blue Cross is in discussions with hospitals and physicians across the state to set up partnerships similar to one recently announced with the UNC Health Care System. Under that agreement, Blue Cross and UNC Health plan to develop a medical practice in Durham or Orange County that will provide care for about 5,000 members, most of whom have chronic, costly conditions.

UNC baseball team helps boy through brain surgery
The Star News (Wilmington)
Wilmington resident Zion Kinlaw, age 10, was about to check into the hospital in Chapel Hill to have brain surgery on Oct. 5. ...The visit resulted in a chance meeting with Tar Heels assistant coach Scott Jackson, a former coach at UNC-Wilmington. And that chance meeting turned into an inspirational trek for Zion and the UNC coaches and players, one of whom is a cancer survivor.

Aetna clients' care is in limbo
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Aetna and the UNC Health Care System are headed to a contract cutoff next week, with neither side willing to back down from their financial fight. Unless it's resolved at the last minute, the dispute will disrupt medical care for thousands of Aetna members. Many are scrambling to find new providers to avoid paying higher out-of-pocket costs.

TB infections in NC fall over 31 years
WRAL-TV (CBS/Raleigh)
North Carolina used to have one of the highest numbers of tuberculosis cases in the country, but big strides in public health over the last three decades have helped the state prevent the spread of the potentially deadly infection. "We have done tremendously well due to our excellent public health department here," said Dr. David Weber, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Aetna-UNC Health Care stalemate continues
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A dispute between Aetna and UNC Health Care over reimbursement is no closer to resolution, the public health system's CEO said Thursday. ...Speaking to the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, health care system CEO William Roper said Thursday that the health care system and the health insurance giant remain at an impasse.
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Blame worsens crisis (Letter to the Editor)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
I am writing as an infectious diseases physician in response to the comments made by state Rep. Larry Brown regarding HIV disease ("Gay-bashing legislator fires another round," Jan. 13 Under the Dome item). ...Disease prevention and treatment must be driven by science and compassion regardless of the disease or its source. Our investment in the state's public health, including HIV prevention and treatment, must reflect these priorities. All North Carolina residents deserve no less. (Adaora A. Adimora, M.D., Professor of Medicine, UNC-Chapel Hill)

UNC bringing breast care center to Burlington
The Burlington Times
A new partnership will bring state-of-the-art medical imaging services to Burlington through UNC Hospitals beginning on Tuesday. Dr. Matthew Mauro, chair of the radiology department at UNC Hospitals, said the new UNC Hospitals Burlington Imaging and Breast Center will provide patients with X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs as well as mammography and bone density scans.

Med students honor cadavers
Reese News
The night Solomon met her dad for dinner, he handed her a card that would allow her to transfer his body to the UNC School of Medicine after he died. She carried it with her for eight years. When the time came, she knew she could either follow her dad’s plan, or she could arrange for a traditional funeral service.

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