UT Headlines

Archive for May, 2010

What makes a good doctor good?

What makes a good doctor good? It starts in the anatomy lab where medical students begin working with their first patients who donated their bodies to science.

WTOL’s Chrys Peterson highlighted the UT Anatomical Donation Program in a detailed special report Thursday that covered the story from the angles of a donor family and from the students who learn from these generous donations.


But it’s ultimately the patients who benefit from the well-trained doctors.

First-year medical students each study in the gross anatomy lab with a cadaver. When those students go on to become doctors, they will see at least 420,000 patients in their career. When you multiply that by the four medical students who learn from one donor, that cadaver will form the basis of training that will impact 1.6 million patients.

That’s quite an impact from one generous donation.

Wide-spread coverage for UT/ProMedica partnership

Monday’s news conference announcing UT’s new partnership with ProMedica is already drawing praise from community leaders and wide-spread coverage. Attending were local and state elected officials, including State Rep. Matt Szollosi (Oregon-OH), who is the No. 2-ranking member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

According to the Blade’s news story:

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, present at the signing ceremony, lauded the agreement as a big step forward for the area.

“I think that this is a mega accomplishment,” the mayor said. “Being formerly a firefighter and paramedic inside the system and knowing that these two institutions are connected, it is extremely huge.”

The Blade’s editorial board referred to the agreement as a “health care breakthrough” saying “it can only improve the quality of life and economic development locally.”

It further states:

Under the agreement ratified Monday, UT’s medical school will manage residency programs at Toledo Hospital and other ProMedica operations in the region. Jeffrey Gold, dean of the medical school, says that relationship will “shore up the pipeline” of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists in the local medical market.

“This will help patients and families in this community by enhancing health-care delivery,” Dr. Gold told The Blade’s editorial board on Monday. “It will produce tangible wealth for the community as well.”

In addition to increasing immediately the number of ProMedica residents in the region by nearly 40 percent, the partnership will allow the company to expand its residency programs in various high-end specialties.

It also will enable ProMedica patients to benefit from clinical trials and cutting-edge research conducted by the medical school, says ProMedica President Randy Oostra. Dr. Gold says he expects the partnership to encourage drug companies, makers of medical devices, and information technology firms to expand their presence in Toledo.

Lawrence Burns, UT’s vice president of external affairs, predicts the partnership will stimulate substantial spin-off employment. It will encourage development of the area between the UT campus and Toledo Hospital, especially along major thoroughfares such as Dorr Street, he says.

The UT-ProMedica alliance is the biggest development in local health care since the university merged with the former Medical College of Ohio four years ago. Surely it is better for such vital local institutions to work together than at cross purposes, as they had in recent years.

If their partnership on medical education becomes one of those instances in which the whole exceeds the sum of its parts, every resident of northwest Ohio will share in the gains.

The agreement earned local coverage from each TV station, the Toledo Free Press and WSPD radio as well.

UT/ProMedica partnership leads UT front page

UT’s mission statement was on prominent display this morning on the front page of the Toledo Blade. UT and ProMedica are announcing a partnership this afternoon to improve clinical education in the region – an effort that means improved health care both in the short and long term.

Also, this University’s ongoing effort to advance knowledge was hit out of the park as Dr. Tom Megeath announced a new discovery that sheds new light on how stars (and solar systems, planets and life) begin.


ProMedica, University of Toledo partner to lure docs

After years of strained relations, the University of Toledo and ProMedica Health System are forming an health education partnership that will expand their resident programs – and help both of them attract doctors.

Under the proposed agreement pending final approval today, UT will manage resident programs at all ProMedica facilities, including Toledo Hospital. A board with equal representation from both UT and ProMedica will oversee the academic partnership.

The relationship also will strengthen opportunities for UT students at the medical school, the former Medical College of Ohio, as well as those in nursing, pharmacy, and other health-related fields, said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, UT provost and executive vice president for health affairs and medical college dean.

“We’re just so much better together than we are separately,” said Randy Oostra, ProMedica’s president and chief executive.

Star origins:

University of Toledo professor leads breakthrough on stars

A team of international astronomers led by a University of Toledo professor has made a surprising discovery that alters understanding of how stars are formed.

Their finding – a hole within the cloud of gas and dust that surrounds baby stars in the Orion constellation – turns a previous scientific assumption on its head.

Often referred to as “The Hunter,” Orion contains one of the closest star-forming areas to Earth.

Since at least the 1970s, astronomers believed the hole in Orion was simply a very dense section of cloud, said UT associate professor Tom Megeath.

UT prof’s stellar research discovery in National Geographic

In 2008 UT News reported on UT atronomy professor Tom Megeath and his role leading a team to probe the gas and dust clouds that form the stellar nurseries for stars still in the process of forming.

Using an instrument called Herschel a the far-infrared space-based telescope, Megeath and his team have indeed found something of interest in scientists understanding of star formation.

In a story that is quickly spreading across scientific journals and into wide distribution in prominent media organizations.

From National Geographic:

Hole in Space Found by Orbiting Telescope

An orbiting European telescope looking for young stars recently found an unexpected surprise: a truly empty hole in space.

The hole lies in a nebula called NGC 1999, a bright cloud of dust and gas in the constellation Orion. The nebula glows with light from a nearby star.

The Hubble Space Telescope first snapped a picture of the nebula in December 1999. Astronomers assumed that an inky spot in the cloud was a blob of cooler gas and dust that’s so dense it blocks visible light from passing through. (See a Hubble picture that shows dark globs in another nebula.)

But new pictures from the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory show that the blob really is an empty void. That’s because Herschel sees in infrared, which should allow the telescope to peer through dense dust and see any objects inside.

Even to Herschel, however, the blob looked black.

Astronomers think that the 0.2-light-year-wide hole was made by the fitful birthing process of a nearby stellar embryo called V380 Ori. (Related: “Big Bang Ripples Formed Universe’s First Stars.”)

The protostar is already 3.5 times the mass of our sun. The team thinks the newborn is signaling its near maturity by shooting out superfast columns of gas from its poles that are blasting away any leftover material from the star’s formation.

“We think the star is launching a bipolar jet at hundreds of kilometers per second that is punching a gigantic hole in the surrounding cloud,” said team leader Tom Megeath of the University of Toledo in Ohio. “Essentially these bolts of gas are being shot forward and are sweeping away all the gas and dust.”

It’s just one more example of UT researchers playing prominent roles in discoveries that change the way we see the world, and the universe, around us.

WSJ article highlights UT’s, universities’ path

The Wall Street Journal included The University of Toledo in a story it ran today about business incubators and the increasing role they and universities generally are playing in economic development. The story highlights on a national level something UT has been acutely focused on for half a decade.

For the past two years (2009, 2010) UT President Lloyd Jacobs has in his Annual Address to the Community spoken about the importance of universities playing an economic development role. The state’s strategic plan for higher education calls on universities to take lead economic roles in their communities and the recent overwhelming renewal of Ohio’s Third Frontier economic development program by voters May 4 shows Ohio citizens understand the value of investing their economic future in the hands of faculty and entrepreneurs (who are increasingly one in the same).

On the same day, the Blade published a story about efforts by UT faculty and researchers from several Ohio universities to increase the number of women in the sciences across academic departments. UT has some outstanding women in leadership roles, but as Dr. Karen Bjorkman, chair of the UT Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, makes clear, we need more.

A perfect example would be Dr. Connie Schall, an associate professor in the College of Engineering. Dr. Schall has received money from the Third Frontier to research biofuels, specifically how to take unused parts of plants and turn that material into vehicle fuels and is working with SuGanit Systems, a biofuels company in UT’s Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator.


But as the Wall Street Journal article makes clear, universities across the nation are on the same path we are, and some have gotten quite a head start. As our Incubation efforts continue to expand so too does the role we and all universities must play locally, regionally and globally.

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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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