Scripps Tips- October 2007

A monthly list of story ideas for journalists

Some Women More Genetically Prone to Breast Cancer – Ethnic Background Plays a Role
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an appropriate time for women to learn their genetic risk for developing the disease.
While the causes of most cancers are unknown, risk factors and genetic predisposition can increase the chances of developing cancer. Genome researchers have discovered that about 70 percent of everyone’s genetic makeup is the same. But about 30 percent is “ancestry specific.” Not only does our ancestry play a role in what diseases we may be prone to, but it also affects how the disease may respond to certain therapies. Lifestyle plays a role as well – women predisposed to breast cancer can reduce their risk through changes in diet, exercise and smoking. For more information or to arrange an interview with a breast cancer specialist at Scripps, please contact Lisa Ohmstede at ohmstede.lisa@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will host a free community lecture about the genetics of cancer Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Schaetzel Center.

Scripps Polster Breast Care Center offers free classes to help individuals identify and reduce their risks for breast and ovarian cancer the first and third Friday of each month.

Scripps Hosts Symposium Oct. 22 to Discuss the Future of Genomic Medicine
Almost daily a new report is published announcing a discovery linking DNA markers to a common disease. The human genome presents opportunities to change the practice of medicine from a one-size-fits-all approach to tailored prevention and treatment methods for individuals based on their genes.Scripps Genomic Medicine and the J. Craig Venter Institute will gather 300 geneticists, scientists and physicians from around the world for a symposium on the future of genomic medicine in San Diego on Monday, Oct. 22. Experts will explore specific strategies in treating cancer, cardiovascular and immune system diseases. Eric J. Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, is available to comment on the latest news in genomic medicine. To schedule an interview or attend the symposium, please call Don Stanziano at stanziano.don@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Health Earns National Honors from AARP and Working Mother Magazine for its Creative Employee Benefits
America has a chronic shortage of skilled health care workers, but Scripps Health is winning national praise for the way it attracts and retains employees – especially working moms and those over 50. AARP has ranked Scripps Health No. 4 in America in its 2007 listing of the top 50 Employers for Workers Over 50, while Working Mother magazine included Scripps Health on its 2007 list of the 100 Best Companies for its family-friendly policies. Scripps was lauded for offering a range of attractive benefits, such as flexible work schedules, job sharing and telecommuting. For example, at one Scripps hospital, a pair of nurses who both recently gave birth are now sharing a single nurse manager job, allowing them to devote time to family while advancing their nursing careers.

Approximately 77 percent of Scripps’ employees are women, and 33 percent of its workforce is over 50. To arrange an interview with Scripps Senior Vice President of Human Resources Vic Buzachero, contact Steve Carpowich at carpowich.stephen@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine Conference Oct. 27 Offers Scientific Facts and Practical Advice for Mind-Body Health
What’s the hard science behind açaí berries, tomatoes, and other “superfoods?” Can stress make you sick? Can fish oil really help heart disease? How do you tell your physician that you want to try acupuncture for your allergies?These and many other questions will be addressed during the Introduction to Integrative Medicine Conference on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. Presented by the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, this unique full-day event will introduce San Diegans to the many lifestyle and therapeutic options that can complement their traditional medical care. For more information or to cover the event please contact Anna-Maja Dahlgren at dahlgren.anna-maja@scrippshealth.org.

Helmets Give Vital Protection to Bicycle Riders
According to NeurosurgeryToday.org, there were more than 65,000 estimated bicycle-related head injuries treated in U.S. hospitals in 2006. Many of these injuries could have been prevented by wearing a helmet, which can protect against serious head trauma. To arrange an interview with a neurologist about traumatic brain injuries or to speak to a helmet fitting therapist, please contact Nichole Warren at warren.nichole@scrippshealth.org.

Scripps Encinitas will be hosting a free bike fitting and safety clinic for the community at the City of Encinitas Feeling Fit Festival, Sunday, Oct. 7, at the Leo Mullen Sports Park. Several therapists are available to provide helmet fittings and education on proper posture and injury prevention during cycling.