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

Produced by the Office of Communications // October 4, 2012

Blackwell named chair of Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Sean Blackwell, M.D.

Sean Blackwell, M.D.

After a national search, Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo has announced that Dr. Sean Blackwell has agreed to be the chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences.

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Blackwell into this leadership role—he has tremendous passion for this department and school,” Dean Colasurdo said. “He has done an outstanding job of recruiting and managing top talent—building upon a very strong and specialized faculty that can teach and treat a very comprehensive patient base.”

Blackwell, an associate professor in the department, has been serving as interim chair for the past year. He received his undergraduate degree from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., with an A.B. in biology and the classics. He earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, Ill. He completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency and maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at Wayne State University in Detroit. Blackwell was on the faculty at Wayne State University and also at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., before joining UTHealth.

For the past five years, Blackwell has been the principal investigator for Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) Maternal Fetal Medicine Units Network at UTHealth, which is the largest clinical trials network in the United States. UTHealth is one of only eight institutions that have both the NICHD-funded maternal and neonatal research networks.

He also directs the Larry C. Gilstrap M.D. Center for Perinatal and Women’s Health Research at UTHealth and serves as the assistant dean for Healthcare Quality in Perinatal Medicine and Women's Health. He is a graduate of the Physician Quality and Safety Academy at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Medical School. Blackwell is the vice chair for the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Publications Committee and currently serves on the SMFM board of directors.

His research interests include clinical trials in obstetrics, fetal heart rate monitoring and fetal brain injury, shoulder dystocia, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and preterm birth. He has a strong clinical background in maternal fetal medicine and extensive experience in clinical care of both private patients and through an academic teaching service.

On his appointment Blackwell said, “I am honored and appreciative for the opportunity to help lead our department and build our programs; my goal is for us to become a center of excellence in every aspect of our mission—give exceptional care and service to our patients, train the next generation of physicians, and advance the science of our specialty in order to improve the quality and safety of medical care for women and children.”

Blackwell also will serve as the chief of service for Obstetrics and Gynecology at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital at the Texas Medical Center.

“Dr. Blackwell brings to our hospital a level of excellence that further enhances our ability to provide the highest quality of care to our patients. His broad-based clinical, academic, and leadership experience is an important asset to Women's Services,” said Susie Distefano, chief executive officer of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.

— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School

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Flu shots available at UT Physicians

UT Physicians logo

Same-day flu shot are available at UT Physicians Family Medicine in the UT Professional Building, Suite 170. The flu shot is covered for UT employees through Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, so please bring your insurance card.

Just call 832.325.6500 for an appointment. UT Physicians Family Medicine office hours are 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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UT Audiology hosts open house

UT audiologists Adelaide Dowell, Au.D., left, and Mackenzie Hill, Au.D.

UT audiologists Adelaide Dowell, Au.D., left, and Mackenzie Hill, Au.D.

Do you sometimes find yourself missing out on conversations? Come experience what it is like to be able to communicate with ease at UT Audiology’s open house Oct. 19.

Co-sponsored by Oticon, free demonstrations on the newest hearing aid technology will be available. The event will be held 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. at the Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza location, 6400 Fannin, Suite 2700.

Walk-ins are welcome, or you may make a reservation, 713.486.5037.

UT Audiology’s services include newborn hearing screenings, hearing aid evaluations and fittings, and diagnostic audiological evaluations.

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Clinical thinking topic of two lectures


Clinical Thinking in Medicine will be the topic of conversation Oct. 25, when Dr. Richard Schwartzstein, Kay Senior Fellow at Harvard Medical School, visits the Medical School.

Sponsored by the Academy of Master Educators, Schwartzstein will present an engaging session on the role of critical thinking in medical education, primarily to Medical School students in MSB 3.001. This is a brown bag lunch—desserts and drinks will be provided.

At 4 p.m. that day, Schwartzstein, the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medicine and Medical Education, will give a formal presentation to the interested public on the topic, “Fostering Critical Thinking: Medical Education’s Challenge in the 21st Century.”

“The Academy of Master Educators has been examining the role of critical thinking over the past few months, and these presentations are kicking off the project,” explained Dr. John Ribble, founding member of the Academy of Master Educators.

Critical thinking concepts are currently in use in first- and second-year courses and have been presented to the Medical School’s Curriculum Committee for further integration and review.

Schwartzstein, a Rabkin Fellow of the Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education and Research, also will be the guest speaker at this year’s induction ceremony of the newest members of the Academy of Master Educators.

— Darla Brown, Office of Communications, Medical School

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A shot of happiness

Allen Webb of UT Health Services prepares a flu shot for Kathleen Schmitz Sept. 27 at the Medical School.

Allen Webb, of UT Health Services, prepares a flu shot for Kathleen Schmitz Sept. 27 at the Medical School.

— Dwight C. Andrews, Office of Communications, Medical School





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Events to know

Proposals for Faculty Development Leave are due Nov. 1 in the Office of Faculty Affairs, G.420 MSB. Proposals can be submitted twice a year: Nov. 1 and April 1. View the guidelines. For questions, call Faye Viola, 713.500.5101.

October 6

UT Physicians Free Vein Screening.
9 a.m.–noon, UT Physicians at Bellaire, 6700 West Loop South, Suite 520.
Screening will take about 10 minutes. Appointments are limited and required. Please call 713.486.5175.

Houston Dynamo’s Texas Medical Center/Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
7:30 p.m.
$25 ticket packages. Contact Lindsay Yates, 713.276.7537.

October 8

Center for Membrane Biology Seminar Series: Dr. Cynthia Czajkowski (University of Wisconsin—Madison) presents, “Structural Mechanisms Underlying Pentameric Ligand-gated Ion Channel Activation.”
Noon–1 p.m., MSB 2.135.

October 10

Friends of the Children’s Learning Institute Lunch and Learn: “Raising the Standard of Care in Texas for our Youngest Children.”
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m., St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
For details, contact Karyn Ullman, 713.500.3746.

Topics in Neurobiology of Disease: Disorders of Learning and Memory: Dr. Anne Sereno, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy, presents, “Attention and memory deficits in Schizophrenia and Parkinson's.”
Noon, MSB 7.037.
Sponsored by the Neuroscience Research Center and GSBS.

“Talking from Heart to Heart.”
Join us to discuss meaningful tips and coping strategies for patients and caregivers living with cancer.
Noon–1 p.m., Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza Cancer Center Conference Room, 29th Floor.
Call 713.704.3961 to sign up.

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Robert Guynn, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, presents, “Maintenance of Certification and Life-Long Learning.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.

Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Omatola Hope presents, “Seizure Disorder.”
1–2 p.m., MSB 2.135.

October 11

Department of Surgery Grand Rounds: Dr. Jeffrey Lee (University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) presents, “Surgical Strategies for Cancer of the Adrenal Gland: Lessons from Addison, Osler, Cushing and the Legacy of DDT.”
7 a.m., MSB 3.001.
CME credit is available.

October 12

Third Annual Advances in Oncology: From Clinical Science to Clinical Practice.
8 a.m.–5 p.m., Hermann Pavilion Conference Center, Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center.
Course director is Dr. Robert Amato, director of the Division of Oncology.

Department of Neurology Grand Rounds: Dr. Robert Knowlton, associate professor of neurology, presents, “Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Epidemiology, Race and Disparities.”
Noon–1 p.m., MSB 2.135.

UTHealth Town Hall meeting hosted by Dr. Kenneth Shine and featuring Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo.
Noon–1 p.m., Institute for Molecular Medicine Beth Robertson Auditorium. Also broadcast live to MSB 1.006.

October 16

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Seminar Series: Dr. Scott Lindner (Seattle Biomedical Research Institute) presents, “Regulation of gene expression during the vector/host transmission of malaria.”
10:30 a.m., MSB 2.103.

October 17

“Look Good…Feel Better.”
A free program that teaches beauty techniques to women who are actively undergoing cancer treatment, to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
10 a.m.–noon, MH-TMC.
Call 713.704.3961 to sign up.

“Talking from Heart to Heart.”
Join us to discuss meaningful tips and coping strategies for patients and caregivers living with cancer.
Noon–1 p.m., Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza Cancer Center Conference Room, 29th Floor.
Call 713.704.3961 to sign up.

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds: Dr. Candice Alfano (University of Houston) presents, “Developmental Psychopathology of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Childhood Sleep Patterns and the Early Family Environment.”
Noon–1 p.m., HCPC Auditorium.

Family & Community Medicine Grand Rounds: Dr. Nneka Ifejika-Jones presents, “Stroke Complications.”
1–2 p.m., MSB 2.135.

Heroes in Health Memorial Hermann–Texas Medical Center and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital tour.
6:30 p.m.
Space is limited. To RSVP, email Courtney Webb or call 713.242.4452.

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Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D.

Darla Brown
Director of Communications

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