Mary Seieroe, DDS named Chief of Dentistry

Dr. Mary Seieroe

Dr. Mary Seieroe

Dr. Mary Seieroe was recently named Chief of Dentistry at Hennepin County Medical Center, a Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center and teaching hospital in Minneapolis.

“It’s a great privilege to care for patients at HCMC, and I look forward to serving my colleagues and our patients and families in this new role,” said Dr. Seieroe, who graduated from the University of Iowa in 1986, and completed the General Practice Residency program at HCMC. Her special interests include oral health disparities, the relationships between oral health and overall health, hospital dentistry and management of medically complex patients and those with special needs.

 

 

Is niacin breaking your heart?

Using niacin to improve cholesterol levels doesn’t reduce heart attack or stroke in high risk patients

We’ve all heard that lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels and raising HDL or “good” cholesterol is good for the heart. When lifestyle changes have not been adequate, most treatment effort in the management of heart disease and stroke risk has focused on lowering the LDL or “bad” cholesterol using a class of drugs called statins. In recent years, the use of niacin – a vitamin B3 – in addition to standard statin therapy has been increasing in the U.S.   The main effect of niacin is in raising HDL or “good” cholesterol and this was hoped to result in improving heart attack and stroke prevention beyond what was obtained through the use of statins. But recently reported results from a large study state that the long-term effects of niacin do not lead to better outcomes.

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

“And in fact, niacin use may even be harmful,” explains Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew, a cardiologist at Hennepin County Medical Center, who is referring to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine that associated niacin with infections, skin problems, and diabetes complications. “While niacin can increase HDL levels and lower LDLs and triglycerides, these apparently favorable changes in the lipid levels did not reduce heart attack and stroke when high risk patients were followed on niacin over the long-term,” says Dr. Ayenew. “The effect or benefit of niacin on patients without prior vascular disease was not looked at in these studies.”

“In light of this research, high-risk patients with prior heart attack, stroke or diabetes with arterial blockages who are currently taking niacin with their statin should review their treatment plan with their provider.”

Dr. Ayenew also asserts that pursuing a healthy lifestyle is still the most beneficial and safest way to avoid cardiovascular disease.  If medications are needed to supplement healthy lifestyles, it does appear that statins are very effective and have a better safety profile compared to vitamin B3 or niacin.

Woubeshet Ayenew practices in HCMC’s Cardiology Clinic located in downtown Minneapolis, as well as HCMC’s Brooklyn Center Clinic.  He was the local principal investigator for the AIM-HIGH trial that looked at the impact of niacin on people with vascular disease. The cardiology clinic was recently identified as the number one rated cardiology clinic by patients for “overall provider experience” in Minnesota, according to results published by Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCAHPS), a tool used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to collect patient feedback.

 

 

Center for Hyperbaric Medicine re-accredited “with distinction”

Hyperbaric chamber at HCMC

Hyperbaric chamber at HCMC

Congratulations to the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine for recently achieving re-accreditation “with distinction” from the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society (UHMS)!

In addition to being the accrediting agency for hyperbaric chambers recognized by The Joint Commission, the UHMS is the primary source of scientific information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide.

HCMC’s 2-day survey took place in March and included over 600 checkpoints for the program, resulting in re-accreditation “with distinction” which means the program can be called a “Center of Excellence.”

HCMC has the only multi-chamber hyperbaric oxygen facility in the region that’s used for 24/7 emergency treatment of critically ill patients: usually victims of carbon monoxide exposure or life-threatening infections, but also cerebral gas embolism and decompression sickness (“the bends”).

Congratulations to everyone on the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine team for this excellent achievement!

UCare honors HCMC for delivering high-quality care

HCMC was recently recognized for achieving outstanding results in UCare’s 2013 quality programs

HCMC's Scott Wordelman and Dr. Jon Pryor accepted the award from UCare officials.

Pictured L to R: Scott Wordelman, HCMC VP of Ambulatory Administration; Dr. Jon Pryor, HCMC CEO; Dr. Russ Kuzel, UCare Chief Medical Officer; and Nancy Feldman, UCare CEO

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) was recently honored for delivering high-quality care to UCare’s Medicaid members at UCare’s sixth annual “A Salute to Excellence!” event on June 17. HCMC was one of 25 health care systems and clinics to be recognized for either for earning quality excellence awards in UCare’s 2013 Pay for Performance (P4P) program or for going the extra mile to deliver culturally responsible health services to UCare members and to reduce barriers to care for people with disabilities.

 

 

 

HCMC program recognized by America’s Essential Hospitals

HCMC recognized for work to improve health in the Latino community

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has been recognized by America’s Essential Hospitals for its work to reduce health disparities for Latino youth through culturally sensitive, integrated care.

America’s Essential Hospitals, a national organization representing hospitals committed to high-quality care for all people, including the vulnerable, awarded HCMC a 2014 Gage Award honorable mention for population health.

“Health care disparities among minority and other underserved populations is a persistent problem that requires creative solutions, such as those at Hennepin County Medical Center,” said America’s Essential Hospitals President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH.

The Gage Awards, named after association founder Larry Gage, honor and share successful and creative programs that improve patient care and meet community needs. The Gage Award for population health recognizes activities that improve delivery, access, or value for specific populations in the recipient’s community and, as a result, have improved health outcomes. Last year HCMC’s  Coordinated Care Center was recognized for improving population health.

HCMC’s Aqui Para Ti (APT)/Here for You program is a family centered, clinic-based youth development program that seeks to reduce health disparities for Latino youth using a culturally sensitive, bicultural, bilingual, integrated approach. Among other achievements, upon completion of the Beck Depression Inventory – a rating inventory that measures characteristic attitudes and symptoms of depression – APT patients exhibited significantly fewer depressive symptoms at their final assessment than at their initial assessment, and those with scores of depression achieved a statistically and clinically relevant improvement at follow-up.

“HCMC is a national leader in population health management because of programs like Aqui Para Ti that are created with the community, not for the community,” said HCMC CEO Jon L. Pryor, MD, MBA. “Dr. Svetaz and her team have developed an approach that works because it is culturally sensitive and it works with the family – both the teens and their parents – to address the factors that influence their health status. That is why it is making a real difference in the lives of these families and our community.”

Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized healthcare system that includes a Level l Adult Trauma Center and Level l Pediatric Trauma Center and a comprehensive primary and specialty care clinic system. The campus in downtown Minneapolis includes a 455-bed acute care hospital and many primary and specialty care clinics. Other clinics are located in Golden Valley, St. Anthony Village, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Richfield; and in Minneapolis in the Whittier Neighborhood and on East Lake Street. HCMC also has a retail clinic in Bloomington, an employee clinic in the Hennepin County Government Center, and a Neurology and Specialty Clinic in the 212 Medical Center in Chaska.

 

Will more Americans benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy?

In Nov 2013, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) introduced new guidelines to reduce heart attack and stroke through lifestyle changes and selective use of cholesterol-lowering  medications.

The ACC/AHA proposed changes to the guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering medications called statins in accordance with the latest clinical study data available on the use of these drugs to reduce heart attack and strokes, due to the high prevalence of heart attack and stroke associated with high blood cholesterol.

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

“For years, the LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol level was the basis for the initiation and follow up of statin therapy,” cardiologist Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew at Hennepin County Medical Center explains. “But the new guidelines de-emphasized the value attached to following the LDL level and instead recommended that the intensity of statin therapy match the risk of stroke and heart attack in an individual. For example, high-intensity cholesterol reduction is now recommended for those who have had prior heart attack or stroke, since the recurrence of such events is highest for those individuals.” Continue reading

Getting a handle on headache

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It can start as a dull ache – barely noticeable – but by the end of the day you’re clutching your forehead in pain. Most of the time, headaches are a nuisance and nothing to worry about. If headaches disrupt your life on a regular basis, however, they should be discussed with a physician.

Neurologist Kevin Brown, DO, sees many patients with headaches at Hennepin County Medical Center’s Chaska Neurology and Specialty Clinic. “You should consult a physician if you suffer from persistent headaches that disrupt your daily function or are associated with headache “red flags,” he says. Continue reading