October 1, 2012

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What Doesn’t Kill You…

Almost anything can affect the success of a business. Economics, location ...Read More

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Healthcare Heroes

The Quiet Champions of Healing and Hope

Sarah Cutler, Di Lewis, Sarah Ryther Francom

October 1, 2012

Key to the company’s success is that it is able to provide medical responses to emergency situations while being integrated with other local, county, state and national emergency response agencies. The company is certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) and is the first ambulance provider in the state to achieve the national distinction.

Gold Cross often donates its services and time to the community. In 1990, the company provided free-of-charge services to Intermountain Healthcare by transferring infants and children from the former Primary Children’s Hospital to the new facility on the University of Utah medical campus. Moffitt says donating time and the use of ambulances is one of the most rewarding aspects of his career.

Moffitt has served as president of the American Ambulance Association, chair of Utah Emergency Medical Services Committee and president of the Utah State Ambulance Association.

Dr. T. Jared Bunch

Physician, Intermountain Electrophysiology Program Medical Direction;
Director of Electrophysiology Research, Intermountain Medical Center, Intermountain Heart Institute

Dr. T. Jared Bunch and his team have found that atrial fibrillation adversely affects the body, resulting in many disease patterns such as dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), renal dysfunction, diabetes, heart failure, body inflammation and both cardiac and all-cause mortality.

Bunch’s goal is to reduce the adverse effects of atrial fibrillation by examining and enhancing the various methods used to minimize the associated risks, with his end goal being to minimize or eliminate the morbidity and mortality associated with atrial fibrillation.

“I hope that we can reduce stroke, heart failure, dementia and all other problems that are associated with atrial fibrillation so patients not only live longer, they feel better and can live good lives,” Bunch says.

His process led to three provisional patents that center around ablation tools or ablation monitoring tools. Bunch and his team developed a mapping approach for patients with more advanced atrial fibrillation that could help minimize excessive ablation and heart injury. Another tool is a unique temperature monitoring system that can measure heating of the esophagus over a broad region.

“When I take the time to ask research questions and truly examine what I am doing and how it impacts the lives of my patients, I am a much better physician. I am idealistic—I think we can one day have highly effective treatments for atrial fibrillation and can tell patients that we can treat this abnormal heart rhythm [more than] 99 percent of the time,” says Bunch.

Roy D. Bloebaum, PhD
Director, Bone and Joint Research Lab, VA Medical Center; Professor of Orthopaedics, Biology, Bioengineering, University of Utah Department of Orthopaedics

Roy D. Bloebaum, has greatly enhanced the lives of thousands of people who have lost limbs. His work focuses on attaching prosthesis directly to bones. “The innovation we are working on today is to help develop implants that can go inside the bone, protrude from the skin and allow the prosthesis to attach directly to the implant so the bone can be loaded, not the exterior skin and muscle.” This remarkable innovation has helped numerous individuals, who once thought that they would spend their lives in a wheelchair, be able to stand and walk again.

More recently, Bloebaum’s work has evolved to help soldiers and veterans who have lost multiple limbs in the Iraq and Afghan wars. “There are over 2,000 severely traumatized warfighters with severe limb loss and over 5 million amputees in the U.S.,” says Bloebaum. “These individuals will hopefully be able to stand, walk and play again without the need for wheelchairs and cumbersome attachments to their body.”

Bloebaum says he is inspired by his mother and wife, who have both served as nurses and dedicated themselves to bettering the lives of those around them. He also says his innovations wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of many students, clinicians, bioengineers and fellow scientists.

“Helping others through the scientific process is rewarding,” he says. “It also allows one to help thousands of individuals to millions of people to improve the quality of their lives.”

T. Charles Casper, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Biostatistics
Dr. John Rose
Professor of Neurology, University of Utah;
Chief of Neurology, VA Medical Center

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis typically occurs in one’s midlife, yet more and more children are being diagnosed with this disabling disease. While an official MS diagnosis is difficult (especially in children), early detection is vital. Charles Casper and Dr. John Rose have dedicated their work to improving the diagnosis process, making it easier and better for all impacted.

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