Frostbite patients may benefit from innovative fluorescence imaging technology

Major advancement allows physicians to visualize blood flow with handheld device at bedside

Physicians at Hennepin Healthcare have a new tool to help make life and limb-saving decisions in patients being evaluated for frostbite injury and other tissue perfusion concerns. Stryker’s SPY-PHI is a hand-held device that was made to be used in a surgical setting to visualize the quality of blood flow in vessels and micro vessels that provide oxygen to organs. HCMC is the first hospital in the state to implement this advanced technology in an acute setting.

“We’ve already realized SPY’s benefits when evaluating exposure patients for frostbite injury,” explains HCMC emergency physician Dr. Thomas Masters. “It may help physicians determine when the use of clot-busting medications is indicated, as well as when it’s not.”

SPY-PHI uses a near-infrared low powered laser light source to stimulate a fluorescent imaging agent that has been injected into the blood stream. The fluorescent agent binds to the proteins in blood and circulates through the body. When stimulated by near infrared light, the protein-bound agent emits a fluorescence signal which enables visualization of blood flowing through vessels and into tissue. The fluorescence is captured by a special camera, is processed and is displayed on a video monitor for the physician to review. Since the agent is bound to blood, where blood goes, it goes. If there is no fluorescence, it can mean that there is compromised blood flow.

“We hope that eventually it may have applications for crush injuries, necrotizing fasciitis, and other types of wounds,” said Dr. Masters.

Unlike traditional bone scans, which can be time-consuming to perform in an emergent situation, SPY technology does not involve ionizing radiation and utilizes a fluorescence imaging agent with a short half-life thus allowing surgeons to repeat perfusion assessment as needed.  

HCMC is a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. It is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital and clinic system includes a 484-bed acute care hospital, primary care and specialty clinics located in Minneapolis and surrounding suburban communities, as well as home care and hospice services.

Hennepin Healthcare names Chief People and Culture Officer

Tonya Jackman Hampton

Tonya Jackman Hampton, Ed.D., MBA, has joined the leadership team at Hennepin Healthcare as the new Chief People and Culture Officer (CPCO). In this role, she oversees all human resources functions, including HR shared services, Talent Acquisition, Organizational Development and Employee Engagement, Compensation, Labor Relations, HR Operations and Diversity and Inclusion.

“We are excited to have Tonya join our leadership team at this pivotal time as our health system meets the needs of our workforce, while caring for our community during this global pandemic,” said Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO. “She brings a rich background and energy to the critical work we have in front of us to develop and support a world class workplace and sharpen our strategic focus on diversity, inclusion, and engagement across our system.” 

Over the past 25 years, Tonya has led in global and national companies within the Human Resources operations of HealthPartners, Planned Parenthood, and Medtronic, as well as many other organizations. She founded and is now an Adviser for Sequel Consulting Group and was the Managing Principal for an award-winning woman owned firm – Cook Ross, focusing on transforming organizations into inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible cultures by implementing strategies through organization development practices.

Tonya earned a Doctor of Education in Organization Development and an MBA in Human Resources Management from the University of St. Thomas. She has a B.A. in Political Science/Pre-Law from Clark Atlanta University. She is currently a board of trustee for The Minneapolis Foundation, African American Breast Cancer Alliance, and Co-Chair for the Twin Cities Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable. She previously served on numerous other community boards and committees including the Bridge for Youth and as president of the National African American Association for HR Professionals MN/Twin Cities Chapter. She is a member of The Links Organization and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – two international and community based organizations.  

About Hennepin Healthcare

Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital, as well as a clinic system with primary care clinics in Minneapolis and across Hennepin County. The clinic system features a large outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center in downtown Minneapolis and a network of clinics in the North Loop, Whittier, and East Lake Street neighborhoods of Minneapolis, and in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Anthony Village. Hennepin Healthcare has a large psychiatric program, home care and hospice, and operates a research institute, philanthropic foundation, and Hennepin EMS. The system is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County.