Scripps Tips – October 2011

A monthly list of story ideas for journalists

Scripps Researchers Take Major Step Forward in Search for Genetic Secrets Behind Lifelong Health
Scripps researchers looking for the genetic secrets behind healthy aging took a major step forward in October. That’s when they announced plans to sequence the entire genomes of 1,000 “Wellderly Study” participants – people 80 and older who have avoided major illnesses or long-term medications. Whole genome sequencing is a quantum leap in technology that will provide 3,000 times more data than the current sequencing technology being used. “We’re at a turning point in medicine, where we can look at a person’s entire genetic code in a way that was never possible before,” said Scripps Health Chief Academic Officer Dr. Eric Topol. Scripps is still seeking hundreds more Wellderly participants. To interview a local Wellderly participant and Dr. Topol, please contact Steve Carpowich at 858-678-7183, or

San Diego Day of Trauma from Scene to Survival: The Crucial First 24 Hours
Each year Scripps Mercy Hospital’s Trauma Service hosts the San Diego Day of Trauma, a conference that brings together specialists in trauma, critical care and emergency medicine, as well as pre-hospital personnel and first responders. On Oct. 28 and 29, panelists and specialists from across the country will share best practices that are essential to the survival of patients with devastating injuries. For more information, to arrange an interview or to attend the conference, please contact Kristin Reinhardt at (619) 686-3787 or

Trick-or-Treating Safety
Halloween is known for spooky costumes, lots of sweet treats and pumpkin carving. However, parents should take special precautions to make sure the holiday is also a safe and healthy one. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year, and pedestrian safety is paramount. This includes adult supervision at all times, using reflective tape to make sure kids are easy to spot and ensuring that costumes do not restrict movement or pose a tripping hazard. Scripps pediatricians have plenty of other tricks on how to keep decorations, your child’s costume and candy hazard-free, from painting pumpkins to inspecting candy for choking hazards. For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Kristin Reinhardt at (619) 686-3787 or

Movember is Coming – Scripps Docs and Staff Sport Charity Moustaches
Come Movember, many of the men at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla will be sprouting a little more facial hair than usual. With their freshly grown moustaches, the Scripps physicians, nurses and staff members hope to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. Starting Nov. 1, guys register at with a clean-shaven face. For the rest of the month, the men – known as Mo Bros -raise funds by seeking out sponsorships for their Mo-growing efforts. Last year, Team “Scripps La Molla” raised over $2,000, and they hope to significantly increase donations this year. For more information, contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or

Parents Turn Grief into Lifesaving Events for Teens
Rhina Paredes, a registered nurse at Scripps Green Hospital, had no idea her athletic 15-year-old son, Eric, had an undetected heart condition until he unexpectedly passed away from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in July 2009. To help realize their goal, Paredes and her family established the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation to prevent SCA in school-age children. One of its priorities is providing free cardiac screenings to San Diego students. To date, the foundation has screened almost 3,000 adolescents – more than 50 of which were identified with heart anomalies. The next cardiac screening event will take place at West Hills High School in Santee on Oct. 16. For more information about this program, contact Lisa Ohmstede at 858-626-7142 or