HEALTH BEAT

• Dr. Joseph Guarisco, M.D., Systems Director of Emergency Medicine at Ochsner Health System advises New Orleanians to stay cool through the very end of summer. To prevent heat stroke, Guarisco recommends drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol during prolonged sun exposure, in addition to wearing light, loose-fitting clothing, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Children under the age of four, seniors over 65, overweight individuals and those who are already ill or on medication are the most at risk for heat stroke.

• Dr. Larry Hollier, Chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC), has named Demetrius Porche, DNS, APRN, FNP, CS, left, permanent dean of LSUHSC’s School of Nursing. Among his many accolades, Dr. Porche serves as the associate editor of the Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS and chief editor of American Journal of Men’s Health. In addition, he was elected president of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing last fall, serving 200-‘09. A Professor of Nursing, Porche also holds an appointment in LSUHSC’s School of Public Health.

• The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will receive $15 million to help in the effort to bring primary care physicians and medical professionals to New Orleans. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allocated the grant money for the Greater New Orleans – Health Service Corps to give incentives to health care professionals to relocate to the area. The grant entitles physicians and other health professionals to loan repayments, sign-on bonuses, malpractice premium payments, relocation expenses and income guarantees if they commit to providing three years of full-time service in Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines or St. Bernard parish. There are numerous program guidelines; more information is available at pcrh.dhh.louisiana.gov.

• A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 94 percent of physicians have received a gift from a drug, device or other medical company, despite obvious controversy. In 2002, pharmaceutical companies adopted a policy discouraging the giving of gifts over a $100 value and the new study is the first to examine this issue since the 2002 change.

• CEO of Ochsner Health Systems (OHS), Patrick Quinlan, M.D., right, has been named the No. 1 most powerful physician executive by Modern Physician magazine. “Quinlan’s perseverance and commitment to initiate change in healthcare in Louisiana has made him a leader in his field,” says Warner Thomas, COO and president of OHS.

• Children’s Hospital is confident in its renewed emergency preparedness for the hurricane season. The hospital has dug a well complete with a pump that will support a roof-based air conditioning system, sewers and showers. In addition, they’ve increased stock of medical supplies and linens and also greatly improved the telephone, Internet and satellite communication capabilities. The hospital also ensures that the New Orleans police and fire departments will have officers specifically designated to protect its campus during an emergency, says Doug Mittelstaedt, vice president of Human Resources.
– Karie Meltzer

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