As 2015 draws to a close, Scripps Health has selected its top news stories that made headlines this year.
Whether it was opening new health care facilities, introducing novel medical procedures or conducting groundbreaking research, 2015 was a busy year for Scripps Health. Here are the top stories covered by the Scripps Health news center team in 2015.
Scripps opened the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, the most advanced center dedicated to heart care on the West Coast. Located on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, the center is a hub for innovation, bringing together leading researchers, physicians, staff and technologists in the largest heart program in the region. The seven-story tower is named for Conrad Prebys, a real estate developer, philanthropist and generous Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped create the institute.
A Scripps Medical Response Team made up of four nurses and a mission leader deployed to Nepal for three weeks in May to provide care to the victims of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on April 25. The team cared for nearly 2,200 patients and set up temporary clinics in 17 remote, mountainous villages, many of which were accessible only by helicopter. The team set broken bones and treated chronic illnesses and post-traumatic stress symptoms for people who were just starting to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
Scripps Announces New Breast Cancer Treatment Option
Scripps announced it is the first and only health care provider in San Diego to deliver radiation treatments to breast cancer patients in the operating room during surgery. The new Mobetron technology uses a mobile linear accelerator to deliver electron beam radiation into the patient’s open surgical site after the tumor is removed. This approach offers improved accuracy and allows for a week’s worth of radiation to be delivered in one minute. Scripps is developing a protocol to deliver all of a patient’s required radiation (which typically lasts five days a week for six weeks) in a single two-minute dose.
Scripps cardiologists were on the cutting edge of heart care, becoming the first in the region to implant a new defibrillator approved for use with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a drug-coated balloon to treat peripheral artery disease and a miniaturized wireless sensor placed directly into the heart to manage heart failure. In each case, Scripps physicians and patients took part in important clinical trials that validated the use of the new technologies. As the largest provider of heart medical services in the region, Scripps physicians and staff constantly deliver the most advanced care to their patients.
Researchers at Scripps Health were awarded a $7.6 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) as a part of the agency’s Preclinical Development Awards program. The funding will support ongoing stem cell research led by Darryl D’Lima, M.D., at the Shiley Center for Orthopedic Research and Education at Scripps Clinic. The research targets the repair and regeneration of knee cartilage, as well as the underlying bone defects and lesions caused by osteoarthritis.
Researchers at the Scripps Translational Science Institute launched the first clinical trial of the Scanadu Scout, a much-anticipated wireless health sensor that measures four vital signs in a few seconds by touching the device to the temple. The Scout is a finalist for the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a global technology challenge named for the fictional hand-held wireless medical device depicted in the “Star Trek” TV series. More than 4,000 people who invested in the device through a record-breaking Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign signed up to take part in the study.
Leading-edge research using a patient’s own cells for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease at Scripps Clinic and The Scripps Research Institute could change the future of treatment for the degenerative neurological disorder. Eight patients of Melissa Houser, M.D., are participating in a clinical research study that is creating dopamine-producing neurons from the patient’s own skin and successfully reversing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rats.
Scripps Mercy Hospital celebrated its 125th anniversary of providing health care to the San Diego region. This area’s longest-established hospital was started by Mother Mary Michael Cummings in 1890 in a rented space above a men’s clothing store in downtown San Diego. It joined the Scripps Health system in 1995 and remains the region’s only Catholic hospital, with campuses in Hillcrest and Chula Vista. The hospital has grown from approximately 100 inpatient admissions annually 125 years ago to more than 32,000 per year today.
Scripps Health and Irvine Company announced the opening of Scripps HealthExpress, the first health care facility situated in a workplace community in San Diego County. Located at The Plaza, an Irvine Company office complex in University City, the clinic provides convenient care and offers a range of health care services provided by Scripps Clinic caregivers. These include physicals, treatment and evaluation of minor conditions, health screenings, immunizations, diagnostic tests and more.
In its annual “Best Hospitals” issue, U.S. News & World Report listed Scripps Health facilities among the best in the nation in eight categories, including top 20 rankings for heart care, gynecology and diabetes. The rankings recognize hospitals that excel in treating patients with the most challenging health care needs. As an employer, Scripps was recognized as one of the nation’s 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine, and also one of the country’s top workplaces for diversity, women, learning programs and Hispanics.
Scripps Health entered into an affiliation agreement with Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District in Brawley, Calif., marking Scripps’ first such agreement outside of San Diego County. The agreement calls for Scripps to provide Pioneers with the tools it needs to provide value to patients, through continuous quality improvements and reducing costs. Scripps will share its own best practices in the areas of leadership training and process improvements.
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