UT Headlines

UT Media Summary – July 24


In the last month, UT and UT experts have been featured in a number of news stories reaching national, regional and local audiences. While not comprehensive, a summary is below. If you know of any story we’re missing, please send it our way for the next UT Media Summary.

Community celebrates medical school’s 50th anniversary

The University of Toledo’s impact on the health of our region and beyond is being widely recognized as we celebrate the golden anniversary of the Medical College of Ohio.

The nation’s 100th medical school was officially created Dec. 18, 1964, when Ohio Gov. James A. Rhodes signed legislation establishing the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. It would be difficult to measure the impact of the generations of medical leaders who have since trained on the campus.

From left, Paul Block, Gov. James Rhodes, Dr. Glidden Brooks, Dr. Robert Page and Lurley Archambeau (student) at the groundbreaking of the Health Sciences Building, Sept. 11, 1970.

From left, Paul Block, Gov. James Rhodes, Dr. Glidden Brooks, Dr. Robert Page and Lurley Archambeau (student) at the groundbreaking of the Health Sciences Building, Sept. 11, 1970.

The Blade recognized the milestone with a front-page Sunday story featuring the history of the medical school and the efforts of Paul Block, then co-publisher of The Blade and a chemist, to bring it to the region.

The newspaper also covered the 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday when some 350 guests, including many former students and professors, reunited to celebrate what is now the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

An editorial in Sunday’s paper noted that Mr. Block “would have been proud of the medical college’s growth and accomplishments” and called on the medical school to continue on its path as a world-class institution of learning and research.

Continuing its traditions, 250 new alumni graduated from the medical school on Friday ready to help people through careers in medicine and medical research. Read about the commencement ceremony in The Blade and watch TV coverage from WTOL 11 and13 ABC.

The celebrations continue with WGTE Public Media airing its “Toledo Stories” documentary titled “MCO: A History of Healing and Teaching” 8 p.m. Thursday, June 5.

In other medical news, Dr. Lawrence Elmer, professor of neurology and director of the Gardner-McMaster Parkinson Center, was featured in a Plain Dealer article about the Partners In Parkinson’s symposium in Cleveland.

And student medical researchers have the opportunity to share their work with the community through a new guest column in The Blade. Today’s features Jessica Arden sharing her research into trying to curb the spread of glioblastoma cancer cells in the brain.

A great history and future for the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences!

#UTgrads share their Rocket Pride

More than 2,000 students celebrated accomplishing their goals of earning a college degree during spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday. Congratulations to all the new University of Toledo alumni!selfie

Thanks to social media, the pride of many students was shared in real time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and probably others I’m not familiar with. UT encouraged students to share their graduation experiences (unlike some schools) with the hashtag #utgrads to create a conversation around graduation.

And our graduating Rockets responded! Claire tweeted a photo of her in front of the tower saying “A day I will never forget,” Mackenzie posted she “couldn’t be prouder to be a @UToledo graduate” and Steven shared a photo with friends from the morning ceremony.

The University also recently joined Snapchat and graduates snapped photos of their smiling faces in their cap and gowns to the new “utoledo” account.

Take a look at the Spring Commencement Ceremonies 2014 photo album on Facebook for more photos and tag your friends.
Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 1.53.32 PM

UT President Lloyd Jacobs also took to social media to congratulate graduates with his President’s Message video on YouTube.

Leading up to graduation, UT and the Office of University Communications shared more than 125 Tweets of graduation news including the promising job outlook for the Class of 2014 and successes of individual students, such as Jordan Gannon who had a successful sales internship with 3M that lead to a full-time job upon graduation.

Search the #utgrads hashtag on Twitter to see other graduation stories shared during recent weeks such as a video of how alumni help market the University and recent episodes of The Relevant University radio shows on 1370 WSPD and 760 WJR focused on graduation.

Local media shared the excitement of graduation season with The Blade reporting how the job market looks for new grads and WTOL 11 had a piece about how UT prepares students for careers after graduation. The Blade also had a nice story about the commencement ceremonies. Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 1.43.52 PM

Graduation season continues with the UT College of Law at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 11 in the Student Union Auditorium and the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences at 2 p.m. Friday, May 30 in Stranahan Theater.

As President Jacobs said during his speech at commencement, “You and UT are linked forever — your success is our pride.” Thank you graduates for sharing your Rocket pride at graduation and congratulations on your current and future successes.


UT had a marketing campaign several years back asking UT students and employees to use social media to share what they liked about UT with prospective students.

While that campaign focused primarily on boosting undergraduate enrollment, a couple of stories in the past few days about UTMC crystalized for me why so many people choose the former Medical College of Ohio our hospital.

From the Detroit News on Friday, Feb. 21:

Over the next several months, she would leave doctor’s offices feeling the same way: empty-handed and frustrated. She went through a revolving door of specialists in the fields of pulmonology, neurology, rheumatology, cardiology and endocrinology at three different medical institutions.

Finally in May 2010, Scholl was diagnosed by Dr. Blair Grubb at the University of Toledo with POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

And from today’s Toledo Blade:

Over the next year and a half, Ms. Rabquer saw numerous doctors who kept prescribing costly antibiotics to treat the C. diff. Her medical bills kept mounting but not even the strongest antibiotic available to treat the infections, vancomycin, could fight off the C. diff and restore balance to her system, she said.

She took more than six courses of vancomycin in a year and a half and her out-of-pocket cost after insurance was $1,500 for a 14-day dose.

Finally in April, 2012, Ms. Rabquer was referred to Dr. Nawras, who told her that her condition was worsening and she might need a colectomy, a surgical procedure to remove all or part of her colon. He also suggested that they could try a fecal transplant first as a last resort before surgery.

Dr. Nawras said he is the first doctor in Toledo to offer this treatment, and he had performed it twice earlier in 2012 on patients in critical condition at UTMC before Ms. Rabquer sought help.

Healthcare at UTMC is a team effort and many, many people are responsible for the great care patients receive. But it is that “finally” that sets our hospital apart. That’s what is meant when we say UTMC sets the bar for health care in our region. This is the higher degree of healing. These are the complex cases we’re talking about. Why come to UTMC? Because people come here in distress and this is the hospital where they get the correct diagnosis and treatment and say to themselves, “Finally!”

Should we get rid of the doctor’s white coat?

Could the doctor’s white coat become a thing of the past?

News outlets throughout the country asked that question after 13 ABC featured The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Dr. Christopher Cooper testing resident doctors wearing scrubs during rounds rather than the traditional white coat. That local story quickly went national across the US.

The theory is that pathogens and bacteria could cling to the white coat as doctors see patient after patient, which raises concerns about infection for those with compromised immune systems.

A recent study by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America suggested a “bare below the elbows” policy during contact with patients, which would mean no long-sleeved white coat.

Watch the 13 ABC story here:


That local news story was then picked up by television news outlets across the country including Las Vegas, Colorado Springs and Dallas, as well as talk radio in places Seattle, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and San Francisco.

Watch this compilation of some of the national coverage:


Kudos to Susan Wells, director of healthcare marketing, for coordinating the media coverage.

National research led by UT alters hypertension treatment

The results of a 10-year, international clinical trial led by Dr. Christopher J. Cooper, professor and chair of the UT Department of Medicine, will alter the way physicians treat people with specific types of hypertension.

Dr. Cooper

The Cardiovascular Outcomes in Renal Atherosclerotic Lesions trial, known as CORAL, revealed that opening narrowed arteries to the kidney with a stent combined with medication didn’t help patients any more than taking medicine alone. The results were announced Monday, Nov. 18 at the American Heart Association’s scientific conference in Dallas.

“Stenting of atherosclerotic renal stenosis has been reasonable, despite several negative studies, because other studies suggested it might lower blood pressure and stabilize kidney function,” Cooper says in the official announcement from the AHA. “But in our study, opening narrowed kidney arteries with stents provided no additional benefit when added to medications that lower blood pressure, control cholesterol levels and block substances involved in blood clotting.”

The results of the study, which was supported with a grant from the National Institutes of Health, are published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In an article in today’s Toledo Blade, Dr. Cooper describes the research in detail and notes that he already is adjusting his treatment plans based on the results.

The news has been reported by the Associated Press, Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, and other national news outlets, in additional to some international attention by the Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen in Canada and numerous medical websites, such as WebMD’s Medscape.

Learn more about the CORAL clinical trial at coralclinicaltrial.org.

National news perfectly timed for McMaster Cosmology Lecture

In the news today: First hint of dark matter detected by cosmic ray on International Space Station.

Humans can’t see the vast majority of the universe. Not because it is too far away, but because it exists in a form that we can’t directly detect called “dark matter.”

The evidence announced today is just the most recent example of scientists’ assumptions of how the universe works being supported by real data. See: Boson, Higgs.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect for the UT community. Tomorrow, April  4, at 4 p.m. in the Driscoll Auditorium, at the annual McMaster Cosmology Lecture, Dr. David Hogg from New York University will discuss dark matter in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium. He will attempt to answer the question, “Where and What is Dark Matter?” – a question perhaps slightly closer to a conclusive answer today than yesterday.

And after your stop at Driscoll, grab some dinner and head over for the Shapiro Lecture by Washington Post Columnist E.J. Dione at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Auditorium.

UT gets attention for serving adult, military students

Adult students often juggle college courses with job and life responsibilities, and The University of Toledo is getting recognition for its efforts to make it easier for nontraditional students to be successful balancing everything.

The College of Adult and Lifelong Learning and its new Office of Adult Student Extended Services in Rocket Hall Room 1800 was recently highlighted in The Blade for “fresh efforts” to serve nontraditional students.

The Associated Press also noted the UT Military Service Center and our new Military and Media Liaison Haraz Ghanbari in its piece Ohio colleges expand services for veterans, that appeared in The Blade, Columbus Dispatch and other newspapers.

The AP article came just after the University hosted a week of events as part of the national Joining Forces Week, which is organized by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to honor veterans for their service and to work to ensure those returning from the battlefield have the economic and health care they deserve.

Watch some of the local coverage here:

And a group of students in the UT College of Business and Innovation was recognized in a Forbes article for their “remarkable track record picking stocks” with the writer noting, “As I look back at the other schools that competed, nearly all schools had at least one stock with 1 year negative returns. Toledo did not. Toledo is on a streak.”

Indeed we are.

UTMC involved in first international kidney exchange

The first international “Pay it Forward” kidney donor chain and UT’s role in making it happen made national news over the weekend.

Dr. Michael Rees, professor of urology and kidney transplant surgeon, with U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Rubin and Greek Ambassador Vassilis Kaskarelis in Washington.

Altruistic kidney donor chains are the brainchild of Dr. Michael Rees, professor of urology and kidney transplant surgeon at UTMC, who helped facilitate the first international donor chain with a couple from Greece through his Alliance for Paired Donation, where he serves as CEO.

To begin a chain, an altruistic donor – Elizabeth Gay from Oklahoma in this case – agrees to donate a kidney to a patient searching for a genetic match. In turn a relative or friend of that patient agrees to donate his or her kidney forward to another patient in search of a genetic match and the chain continues.

The first international kidney donor exchange itself is worthy of national attention, but there is a great story behind how this got started.

Theodora “Dora” Papaioannou-Helmis was genetically unable to donate her kidney to her husband, Michalis, and in their home country of Greece the law stated that only a first or second degree relative could donate their kidney.

Dora worked tirelessly to change the laws in Greece, and after she succeeded, worked to locate a compatible donor for her husband – Elizabeth Gay – and then donated her own kidney to a stranger to continue the chain. The transplant surgeries for  Dora and  Michalis were performed at UTMC.

Already, five lives have been saved and three more transplants are scheduled in this international donor chain.

The Greek Embassy in Washington welcomed the donors, recipients and physicians on Friday in recognition of this successful moment in medical history.

CNN, Fox News and Washington media were on hand to cover the event. And locally, The Blade ran a front-page article on Dr. Rees. Some news agencies covered the story featuring participants from their area, such as Indianapolis Star and North County Times.

The news also was published in CNBCThe Sacramento Bee, Denver Post, and Market Watch, among others. It also caught the attention of the Greek-American media including the USA Greek Reporter, Ekirikas, and the Greek Voice of America.


Angry birds defend their Bell Tower nest

Falcons are causing a lot of commotion at UT. Not those ones from BG, but the resident peregrine falcons living on top of the UT Bell Tower.

The newest brood of chicks for UT’s resident peregrine falcons, Belle and Allen, hatched and officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources did their annual visit to check on the baby birds. As you can imagine, the parents don’t like the idea of humans messing with their nest and their aggression was captured by UT Photographer Dan Miller and Videographer Chris Mercadante. Watch the full video here.

And this is pretty cool. The news sharing program Right This Minute came across the video and included it, with clever commentary, in their broadcast. Take a minute to watch it:

The state officials verified the eggs hatched on May 4 and came back to campus Monday to place identification bands on their legs so they can be tracked after they migrate from their birthplace. The Blade and WNWO 24 were on hand to meet the baby birds.

The University also received some attention from U.S. News and World Report. Tom Barden, English professor and dean of the Honors College, was interviewed about his new book Steinbeck in Vietnam: Dispatches from the War. Read the question-and-answer column here. And Toledo Early College High School, a Toledo Public Schools high school located on the UT Scott Park Campus of Energy and Innovation, received a bronze medal from the magazine for its 2012 Best High Schools edition. ABC 13 covered the school’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

UT has become a model for other states and universities considering mergers after the successful 2006 merger of UT and the former Medical University of Ohio. UT President Lloyd Jacobs is quoted in a piece in New Jersey’s Courier Post about discussions there to merge Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University.

But mergers can reach fruition.

In 2006, the University of Toledo combined with the Medical University of Ohio, creating an institution with more than 8,000 workers, 23,000 students and an economic impact estimated to exceed $1 billion. The combined institution includes schools of medicine, law, education, engineering, nursing, pharmacy and business. The merger’s cost was estimated at about $30 million.

“Frankly, there are few state institutions of our size that have gone through a successful merger,” said Lloyd Jacobs, the university’s president. “It’s been six years now and there have been no talks of a divorce.”

Jacobs noted the merger had to overcome hurdles. Once the merger plans became known, he said, alliances were formed, particularly among people who believed their jobs were at risk.

“There have been thousands of roadblocks from which firearms our police force should carry to the insignia,” Jacobs said. “There are so many different decisions that have to be made and that is part of the culture clash. Each institution values different things.”

Is there a doctor shortage in Toledo? Yes, says Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UT chancellor and executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. He explains to ABC 13‘s Susan Ross Wells why:

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A journal devoted to a look at local, national and global media reports about the way higher education is changing our society and those trends higher education must engage to maintain relevance in the 21st century.

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