7 Reasons to Have Lunch With Us: the 2013 Research Colloquia Roundup


In 2013, the Office of Research hosted a series of colloquia at the Doty Education Center at Intermountain Medical Center. The enlightening lunchtime meetings offered a lot to chew on – much more than just the free meal provided.

  1. The first colloquium, held in January, featured Dr. Robert Christensen speaking on Neonatal Hematology:  Recent Advances from the Women and Newborn Program. He highlighted research from 24 published peer-reviewed studies and case reports in 2012 that show significant benefits from implementing umbilical cord milking and drawing initial blood samples from the placenta instead of directly from newborns. He explained that these practices can help reduce the incidence of neonatal jaundice and intracranial hemorrhage, which can be causes of neurodevelopmental delay, cerebral palsy, special needs and mental retardation.

  2. Next, in March we had the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Benjamin Horne, who spoke on the Intermountain Risk Score and 30-day Hospital Readmission. Dr. Horne’s team of researchers showed that using the risk score tool helps clinicians more accurately assess a patient’s condition prior to discharge, lowering the likelihood that the patient would need to return to the hospital for the same problem. Dr. Horne said the tool “gives physicians an effective, real-time tool to help assure patients are in a healthy position for discharge.”

  3. In May, our speaker was Dr. Greg Elliott, who presented a fascinating discussion on Genetic Discoveries in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). His genetic research led to the discovery that mutations in a specific gene cause approximately 80% of heritable cases of PAH. His results lead to the conclusion that genetic counseling and testing should be offered to patients diagnosed with heritable or idiopathic PAH.

  4. July brought us a presentation on the Development, Implementation and Clinical Impact of an Electronic Pneumonia Decision Support Tool, delivered by Nathan Dean, MD. Dr. Dean discussed the several clinical trials involving a computerized, real-time decision support system for diagnosing community-acquired pneumonia – including how well such a system works, and what can be done to further improve it in the future.

  5. September’s colloquium focused on Evaluating Whole Health Integration in the Primary Care Clinical Program, as well as a Sneak Preview of Intermountain’s Diabetes Prevention Program. The presenters were Liz Joy, MD; Kim Brunisholz, MST, CRCC; and Brenda Reiss-Brennan, PhD, APRN.  Dr. Reiss-Brennan talked about Mental Health Integration and Whole Health Integration, which can lead to more cost-efficient care with better patient outcomes. This can be achieved by enhancing the preventive care visit, using health risk assessment processes and tools, evaluating and encouraging fitness, and supporting lifestyle management for clinicians. The goal is to routinize these and other aspects of the new care process model across all hospitals and clinics. The speakers also discussed what’s termed “The Diabetes Disaster” in the U.S., in the context of Intermountain’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which focuses on prevention via healthy lifestyle choices.

  6. In October, as an ideal way to round out the International Year of Statistics, we lightened things up a little with a humorous and informative presentation called The Impact of the Science of Statistics through History, presented by Greg Snow, PhD. Dr. Snow led the audience on an odyssey through the history and development of the science of statistics (skipping all the boring parts) to give an appreciation for the progress we have made and some of the people who have helped to make that progress, including advances in health care based on statistics-enhanced research studies.

  7. Finally, in November, the subject was Development of a Risk Scoring System to Prevent Hypoxic Injury to the Newborn, presented by Sean Esplin, MD. Dr. Esplin explained that there are antepartum and intrapartum factors that contribute to intrapartum fetal hypoxia and adverse neonatal outcome. These factors can be utilized to create a risk stratification model including fetal heart rate tracing NICHD categorization to predict intrapartum hypoxia. His team created a three-tiered fetal heart rate categorization system to predict such outcomes. Among other findings, the research showed that category assignment by trained RNs was reliable, and that the Category 1 patterns reliably predict a healthy newborn.

These presentations are fact-packed and fascinating. If you’d like to learn more about any of the subjects presented in 2013, feel free to contact any of the above-named presenters. Another Research Colloquia Series is planned for 2014 – watch this blog for more information…