The Scoop: A Publication of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston

UT medical team helps Haiti

Dr. Milan Sen with some new friends.

Dr. Milan Sen takes time out during a mission trip to Haiti for a
photo with translators in their new UT T-shirts.

The amount of infection and the resilience of the people were what surprised Dr. Milan Sen most about the recent trip he and a group of 23 medical professionals from the Texas Medical Center took to Haiti to aid earthquake victims.

“Despite some of them losing everything—their families, their homes, and having nowhere to go to—the patients we found in Haiti were in incredibly good spirits,” reported Sen, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery.

Sen and the group from Houston cared for 300 patients during their medical outreach visit Feb. 26–March 6, treating victims of the 7.0 earthquake, which hit Port-au-Prince Jan. 12.

The medical mission was organized by physician assistant Jerry Buchert, who works with Dr. Rex Marco, professor of orthopaedic surgery, and coordinated by Sacred Heart Hospital’s non-profit foundation CRUDEM. The volunteers were headquartered at Sacred Heart Hospital in Northern Haiti and cared for patients in tents and operating rooms.

The Houston group included orthopaedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiology technicians, intensive care unit nurses, physical therapists, physiatrists, occupational therapists, recovery room nurses, and scrub technicians and represented the Medical School, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Shriners Hospital for Children Houston, and The Methodist Hospital, among others.

Medical School faculty included Sen; Marco; Dr. Timothy Achor, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery; and Dr. Didier Sciard, associate professor of anesthesiology. Orthopaedic surgery residents Drs. Matt Camarillo, John Wesley Munz, and Michael Connally also participated.

“I think we were prepared for the patients we saw because we had assembled a pretty large team covering what we thought were the important areas,” Sen said, adding that general medicine specialists were needed.

The team performed 94 operative procedures.

“The injuries were what we expected; however, the number of infections were greater than we could have anticipated. We ended up doing nonoperative treatments that we normally would have operated on due to infection rates,” Sen said.

Sen kept friends and colleagues posted on the Haiti trip through Twitter (Read Sen’s posts here).

“I used Twitter because I thought it would be easiest for those back home to communicate with me in real-time, and the feedback I received is that they did enjoy reading the Twitter posts to see what was going on from day to day,” Sen said.

— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School

Post Comment

Preterm birth focus of one-day conference

The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the Clinical Innovation & Research Institute for Memorial Hermann are organizing a one-day educational conference, Best Practices in Prevention and Management of Preterm Birth, at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center April 24.

The conference is jointly sponsored by the Larry C. Gilstrap Center and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and is being held on the Saturday before the March of Dimes March for Babies, which occurs Sunday, April 25.

The goal of this conference is to provide an up-to-date, clinically-oriented, evidence-based review of current or accepted practices in the care and treatment of preterm birth. Topics will include: evidence-based use of tocolysis, antenatal corticosteroids, and cervical length assessment; role of antenatal magnesium sulfate therapy for neuroprotection; management of periviable preterm delivery, late preterm birth, and scheduled/elective early term delivery.

Medical School speakers include Dr. Susan Ramin, Emma Sue Hightower Professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Craig Cordola, CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and associate dean for hospital affairs and community partnerships; Dr. Sean Blackwell, director of the Larry C. Gilstrap, M.D., Center for Perinatal and Women’s Health Research; Dr. Cody Arnold, associate professor of pediatrics; Dr. Lara Friel, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences; Dr. Suzanne Lopez, associate professor of pediatrics; Dr. Nicole Ruddock, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences; and Dr. Alex Vidaeff, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences.

The conference will be held 8 a.m.–4 p.m. in the Hermann Pavilion Conference Center. Cost is $100 for physicians and $50 for nurses, residents, and other trainees. This activity provides 6 contact hours. Register here.

Post Comment

West named ACR fellow, ASER gold medalist

gold medal from the American Society of Emergency Radiology

Dr. O. Clark West, professor of diagnostic and interventional imaging, recently was honored with two national radiology accolades.

He received the gold medal from the American Society of Emergency Radiology (ASER) during its 20th Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course in Orlando, Fla., in October. He also was named an American College of Radiology (ACR) fellow—one of that organization’s highest honors.

The gold medal recognizes distinguished and exemplary service to the society and the specialty it represents. ASER, which was founded in 1988, established its gold medal on the occasion of its 10th Annual Scientific Meeting. West was recognized for 17 years of continuous service to ASER, beginning during his fellowship in trauma radiology in 1992 and culminating with his presidency of ASER from 2006-08. West continues to serve the society as immediate past president.

According to West, “I will continue to serve ASER and the field of emergency radiology throughout my professional career. I grew up in the ASER; its members are my professional family.”

Only 10 percent of ACR members are named as fellows, which are described as “those members who attain eminence in the specialty.”

West is chief of emergency and trauma imaging and recently was named vice chair for clinical operations and informatics of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging. He received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed residencies at Barnes Hospital and Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis. He did fellowships at Washington University School of Medicine and University of Maryland. West joined the Medical School faculty in 1997 and was promoted to professor in 2009.

His scholarly interests include imaging of spinal trauma, traumatic aortic injury, skeletal trauma, and the application of multi-row detector CT to trauma imaging. West is a committed educator in the field of emergency radiology, locally, nationally, and internationally. He regularly presents lectures for the Medical School radiology residents and is frequently invited to teach at national and international radiology courses. He recently agreed to chair the committee charged with developing the new general radiology certifying examination for the American Board of Radiology, which will replace the current oral examination in 2015.

Post Comment

New In-Library login policy

At the request of your institutions to more accurately measure library usage at an institutional level, as of March 22, 2010, all users of the HAM-TMC Library will be required to log-in, via Resource Access Account (formerly Remote Access), to all public computers in the Library. This applies only to access for databases and full-text journals. General internet browsing will not be affected.

  • TMC affiliate users without a Resource Access Account will need to register for an account. Account set-up takes about 5 minutes. Sign up for a Resource Access Account.
  • Non-academic TMC affiliate Resource Access Accounts do not allow full access to all electronic resources. Non-academic affiliates (Memorial Hermann Hospital or Harris County Hospital District, for example) will need to obtain single day, library use only, enhanced Resource Access login at the Library Circulation Desk.
  • Visitors not affiliated with a TMC institution will need to obtain a single day Resource Access Account at the Library Circulation Desk

Submit questions or comments.

Post Comment

Match Day

Please install Flash® and turn on Javascript.





Read and post comments on our articles.

Subscribe to Scoop Name:

Email Address:

Add me to the UT to Me list

Events to Know

March 18

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. Kumaran Ramamurthi (Center for Cancer Research/NIH) presents, “Morphogenesis in a bacterium.”
4 p.m., MSB 3.301.
Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

Neurobiology and Anatomy Seminar Series: Dr. Kimberly Huber (UT Southwestern) presents, “Control of Synapse Development and Plasticity by Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein.”
4 p.m., MSB 2.135.

Neuroscience Research Center sponsors Brain Night for Children.
6–8 p.m., The Health Museum, 1515 Hermann Drive.

March 22

Department of Biochemistry Seminar Series: Dr. Chen Dong (M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) presents, “Regulation of Immunity.”
Noon, MSB 2.135.

Medical School Art Wall Artist Reception.
4–7 p.m., MSB ground floor.

March 23

Medical School Art Wall Artist Lecture.
Noon, MSB 2.103.
Lunch available for the first 50 people.

Deadline for donations for student spring break outreach trip to Texas border.
Drop-off boxes in MSB Leather Lounge and near elevators.
For more details, contact William McKee.

March 25

Department of Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Jacob Langer (University of Toronto) presents, “Controversies in the Management of Hirschsprung Disease.”
7 a.m., MSB 3.001.
CME credit is available.

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. Peter Baumann (Stowers Institute for Medical Research) presents, “Telomerase Biogenesis and function.”
4 p.m., MSB 2.103.
Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

Neurobiology and Anatomy Seminar Series: Dr. Kresimir Josic (University of Houston) presents, “Correlation Transfer and Coding in Neuronal Populations.”
4 p.m., MSB 2.135.

March 26

PM&R Alliance Grand Rounds: Dr. Brent Masel (UTMB) presents, “Brain Injury as a Disease.”
Noon, MSB B.605.

March 29

Integrative Biology and Pharmacology Seminar Series: Dr. Anthony Muslin (Washington University School of Medicine) presents, “Novel Molecular Insights into Pathological Cardiac Remodeling.”
4–5 p.m., MSB 2.135.

March 31

Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Kevin Finkel, professor of internal medicine, presents, “Update on Renal Vascular Disease.”
1–2 p.m., MSB 2.135.

April 1

Department of Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Timothy Nunez (Brooke Army Medical Center) presents, “Advances in Combat Casualty Care and Their Application to Civilian Trauma Care.”
7 a.m., MSB 3.001.
CME credit is available.

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. C. Mark Ott (NASA-Johnson Space Center) presents, “Microbial risk assessment for the spaceflight environment.”
4 p.m., MSB 2.103.
Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

Deadline to order faculty regalia for commencement.
For details, contact Jamie Munsinger, 713.500.5167.

April 9–10

Medical School Homecoming and Reunion.
For registration and details, visit the Web site.

April 15

Department of Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Jason Fleming (M. D. Anderson Cancer Center) presents, “Anatomy is Still King: Surgical Approaches to Borderline Resectable Pancreatic and Midgut Tumors.”
7 a.m., MSB 3.001.
CME credit is available.

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. David Bates (Baylor College of Medicine) presents, “Tracks and snaps: New views on DNA replication and chromosome segregation in E. coli.”
4 p.m., MSB 3.301.
Reception to follow in MSB 1.180.

April 25

March of Dimes March for Babies.
8:30 a.m., University of Houston Robertson Stadium.
For detail, visit the Web site.

Scoop is a weekly electronic newsletter providing timely information to the Medical School.

Submit event items or news tips for Scoop by noon on Thursday preceding the week of publication in which you would like your event or news to appear (seven days in advance).

To submit content for Scoop, send an e-mail to

Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D.

Darla Brown
Director of Communications

Carlos Gonzalez
Web Developer II