Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Science!

Here is a fun intersection of science and Thansgiving. 

Imagine if this Thanksgiving you could trick your brain into thinking that the plate of green beans in front of you actually tastes like chocolate cake! That day might be here sooner than we think thanks to the growing field of neurogastronomy. This new science merges the science and culinary worlds by studying the human brain and the behavior that influences how we experience eating and drinking. More importantly, researchers are studying if advances in taste and odor perception could make it possible to one day manipulate taste perception neurologically.

Gordon M. Shepherd, a physiologist and professor in the neuroscience department at Yale is leading the charge in this field by studying the sense of smell and how odor is processed by neurological circuits in the brain. To learn more about his findings and contributions to neurogastronomy as profiled by the Wall Street Journal click here.

So as you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal this year, take comfort in knowing that perhaps one day, in the not too distance future, that macaroni and cheese you’re eating and feeling totally satisfied with is actually broiled broccoli!

I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving with your loved ones this year!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

30 Days of Gratitude

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I would highlight one of my favorite 'giving' programs at MedStar - 30 Days of Gratitude.  

This program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is an opportunity to stop for a moment and reflect on the colleagues for whom you are grateful, and why. Then the associates just sends in a few sentences explaining “why” they are grateful, along with the person’s name and department, and a photo of the honoree (even a selfie of you both).

Then, the expressions of gratitude are publicly displayed.

In this last round, two MHRI associates were nominated - Antoinette Newman and Ron Migues - congratulations!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Georgetown Rainbow

What is at the end of your rainbow? 

Well this afternoon it was the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

I can't remember the last time I saw such a vibrant rainbow and how apropos that it was as was walking from the Georgetown Medical School to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ADA's National Healthy Lunch Day

What did you have for lunch today? With an increased focus on health, and not just healthcare, I thought you may enjoy this:

More information about National Healthy Lunch Day at this website
including some fun infographics like the one below on how to build a healthier sandwich.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Wii Bowling at MHRI

Guest Blogger: Michele Lee Clements, Research Planning Manager

So what did you do during your lunch break this week?

MHRI associates at UTC work hard every day to support and advance research, however they are just as committed when it comes to employee engagement and a little friendly competition!

The associates at University Town Center (UTC) held its 2nd Wii Bowling Tournament, hosted by Clark Bean and Michele Lee Clements yesterday.  The tournament offered Associates a time to step away from their busy schedules and reconnect with one another in UTC’s virtual bowling alley.   

Ten teams were given lane assignments at various times throughout the morning, and one by one they were eliminated.  It all came down to the Final Round featuring the seasoned, self-proclaimed college Wii bowling champions, Matt Hoffman and Alex Kuhn, better known as “The Turkeys”, against “The Enforcers”, Debbie Dasgupta and Maureen McNulty, virtual unknowns in the Wii bowling community who would prove to be stiff competition.  

Tension was thick across the bowling lane as strikes and spares were bowled back to back.  The crowd appeared to favor the underdog Enforcers, but luck (and some skill) favored the Turkeys who, in the end, pulled out the win.  Final score – Turkeys 405, Enforcers 284 with Alex holding the high score of 224!

Congratulations to Matt and Alex who went home with the prized Wii Bowling trophy and movie tickets!  And thank you to all who participated as bowlers and spectators.  A great time was had by all! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Afternoon Recognizing Women's Health

Last month, associates across MHRI sat in to hear an overview of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and MHRI's significant contributions to the project over the years. 

The WHI was established by the National Institutes of health (NIH) in 1991 to address the most common causes of death, disability, and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women.It included randomized controlled trials of hormone therapy, low fat diet, and Calcium/Vitamin D supplementation to address cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis as well as an observational study.

The WHI enrolled more than 160,000 postmenopausal women, making it one of the largest U.S. prevention studies of its kind. MHRI's group enrolled nearly 4,000 women in 3 years including the highest number of African American women per site to the study.

Dr. Barbara Howard, former MHRI president and WHI Principal Investigator at MHRI, gave an informative overview of the study and results of this important study. Geraldine Boggs, Program Manager for WHI will be retiring after 20 years with MHRI and spoke about her involvement in the project. 

To learn more about the Initiative click here or check the November issue of our FOCUS Newsletter

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Systemness Tour

Systemness - it is the underlying theme behind the creation of a distributed care delivery network which we refer to as "MedStar 2020." We are not just 10 hospitals and 250 ambulatory sites, but a network of health care that is connected. One way to instill systemness is that all new senior managers across MedStar take part in a 3-day tour of the System, visiting every hospital and several ambulatory sites. Dr. Lisa Boyle and I have the pleasure of being the Leadership Team hosts for the tour occurring this week. Below are some pictures of the group (including MHRI CFO Bill Gayne) at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center and observing telehealth technology for real time neurology stroke consults in MedStar St. Mary's Hospital (60 miles south of Washington). If you are interested I getting real time updates of the tour, follow MedStar's new Cheif Digital Officer Mike Ruiz on Twitter (@ruizm001) as he shares his own experience and perspective.