School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Residentís study review reveals two-fold increased mortality risk for non-Hispanic blacks with GI cancers
In Headlines on January 17, 2013
Raxitkumar Jinjuvadia, M.D.

Raxitkumar Jinjuvadia, M.D.

Raxitkumar Jinjuvadia, M.D., chief medical resident of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Internal Medicine program who in 2012 discovered the magnitude of the role race and gender play in gastrointestinal cancer-related deaths, is writing the protocol for a follow-up study aimed at identifying the etiological factors leading to the racial disparities.

In April 2012, he and brother Kartikkumar Jinjuvadia, M.D., WSU Department of Internal Medicine Division of Gastroenterology faculty member and second author on a paper about the work, reported a two-fold increased risk of death for non-Hispanic blacks compared to whites with GI cancers after reviewing the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (third edition) and related mortality data files to evaluate racial differences in mortality from cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, liver and pancreas.

“Some results for individual cancer were expected from previous research by multiple authors. But the overall combined impact of all the GI cancers was not studied well and its effect was worth noticing in our study,” Dr. Raxitkumar Jinjuvadia said. “Identification of significantly higher GI cancers-related mortality in minority population as identified in our study instigates us to look back and recognize the causes that could be responsible for this. This should hopefully lead to more targeted efforts to reduce these disparities. This is especially applicable in areas with the high proportion of minority population, like Detroit.”

He is now writing the protocol for the follow-up study, to be submitted to the WSU Institutional Review Board for approval this year.

A portion of the doctors’ first study was orally presented at the Digestive Disease Week’s annual meeting in May 2012, and was later accepted to the Digestive Diseases and Sciences journal. In the journal’s July 2012 online issue, “Dr. Jinjuvadia noted significant mortality in non-Hispanic blacks compared to whites in a variety of GI cancers, many of which can be discovered early though screening,” said Diane Levine, M.D., associate professor of Internal Medicine and the department’s vice chair for Education.

The study, “Racial Disparities in Gastrointestinal Cancers-Related Mortality in the U.S. Population,” is Dr. Raxitkumar Jinjuvadia’s first published paper.

While the role of race in cancer disparities is well-established, the research was significant enough that the journal’s staff wrote a supporting editorial, Dr. Levine said. In it, editorial writer Adeyinka O. Laiyemo proposes an algorithm for evaluating disparities in GI cancer-related mortality involving a series of questions and simple “yes” or “no” answers.

“It feels great to be published, and getting an editorial on top (of it) was like icing on the cake,” Dr. Jinjuvadia said.

According to the American Cancer Society and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, general risk factors for health disparities in poor and minority populations include lack of health insurance, lack of access to medical care, poverty and low education levels. Additionally, a low socioeconomic status may lead to lower rates of cancer screening and delay in diagnosis, Dr. Jinjuvadia’s article states, referencing previous reports from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the Annals of Epidemiology and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“Despite significant advancement in medicine over last 30 years, this remains a major challenge. Though we have made progress, the ultimate goal of resolving these disparities still remains far-fetched,” he said.

The initial study also revealed higher mortality from gastric, colorectal and primary liver cancer-related mortality in non-Hispanic black men compared to non-Hispanic white men. Esophageal and pancreatic cancer mortalities were higher in non-Hispanic black women compared to non-Hispanic white women.

The study is co-supported by grant K08 AA016570 from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, grant 1I01CX000361-01 from the Veterans Affairs Research and Administration and other awards.
Oakwood names WSU-staffed Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation unit Clinical Program of the Year
In Headlines on January 16, 2013
Jay Meythaler, M.D., J.D.

Jay Meythaler, M.D., J.D.

Oakwood Healthcare Inc. named the Oakwood Rehabilitation Trauma Unit, staffed by the  Wayne State University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Oakwood Program, as Oakwood’s Clinical Program of the Year for 2012.

The 14-bed specialty unit at Oakwood Heritage Hospital in Taylor was designed for traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and neurological trauma patients.

“We’ve been able to assemble a team that is both diverse as well as having the multiple complex specialties that may be involved in these patients in their continuum of care,” said Jay Meythaler, M.D., J.D., director of the Rehabilitation Trauma Unit and professor and chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. “The award reflects how a rehabilitation program can improve the quality of care, the outcomes of care and the reimbursement to an integrated health care system. It does this by improving the flow of patients through various levels of care in a vertically integrated health care system.”

The Oakwood Heritage Hospital Neurotrauma Rehabilitation Unit renovation was completed in January 2012 at a cost of $5.8 million. The unit runs at full capacity while working in collaboration with Oakwood Southshore and Dearborn Hospitals.

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Oakwood program boasts of a full team of specialists, including physicians who are leaders and experts in the areas of amputee services, cancer rehabilitation, eletrodiagnostic testing, geriatric rehabilitation, musculoskeletal disorders, neck and back pain, spasticity management services, spinal cord injuries, sports injuries, stroke rehabilitation, transplant rehabilitation and traumatic brain injuries. The program includes 24-7 physician coverage, 365 days per year, with high-quality faculty and staff utilizing state-of-the-art facilities, including all private rooms and same-floor CT, MRI and intensive care unit to provide the finest in research, teaching and patient care.

Under the leadership of Dr. Meythaler, Steven Hinderer, M.D., M.S., P.T., and In Kwang Yoon, M.D., the program has become the regional leader in delivering rehabilitation care that focuses on healing and the art of and practice of medicine upon acute care admission, through the continuity of care and outpatient services utilizing an interdisciplinary approach.

Candidates for Oakwood’s Clinical Program of the Year are evaluated against the STEEEP principles for providing care that is Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable and Patient-Centered. The teams’ customer excellence scores are also considered.
Dr. Powell featured speaker at Community Connection Day
In Headlines on January 16, 2013
Isaac Powell, M.D.

Isaac Powell, M.D.

Isaac Powell, M.D., professor of the Wayne State University Department of Urology and a member of the Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center will be one of the featured speakers at the free Community Connection Day on Jan. 20.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Soul Harvest Ministries, 16300 Woodward Ave., Highland Park.

Dr. Powell will speak at the 10 a.m. service about the importance of cancer screening. He will be joined by Blake G. Livingston, D.D.S., who will talk about the importance of dental hygiene, and Ellis Liddell, president and chief executive officer of ELE Wealth Management LLC, who will talk about how to create wealth.

The event includes free cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetic health screenings, information on subjects like health, nutritional education, job training, educational options and estate planning, and free refreshments, gifts and prize drawings. Female attendees can register for mammograms and pap smears at the event.

For more information, contact Soul Harvest Ministries at 313-869-7685 or Karmanos at 1-800-KARMANOS (1-800-527-6266).
Ethnic Fair brings together hundreds, celebrates school's wealth of traditions
In Headlines on January 15, 2013
Students perform a cultural dance at the 2013 Ethnic Fair. Photo by Rob Widdis.

Students perform a cultural dance at the 2013 Ethnic Fair. Photo by Rob Widdis.

Matthew Jackson, Ph.D., assistant dean of Basic Science Education, and Wayne State student Christion Hall were the hosts and pilot's for the Ethnic Fair, themed as a trip around the world by the Board of Student Organizations. Photo by Rob Widdis.

Matthew Jackson, Ph.D., assistant dean of Basic Science Education, and Wayne State student Christion Hall were the hosts and pilot's for the Ethnic Fair, themed as a trip around the world by the Board of Student Organizations. Photo by Rob Widdis.

Dancers from Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel perform a Mexican folk dance for the crowd at the 2013 Ethnic Fair in Scott Hall. Photo by Rob Widdis.

Dancers from Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel perform a Mexican folk dance for the crowd at the 2013 Ethnic Fair in Scott Hall. Photo by Rob Widdis.

More than 200 medical students, medical residents, faculty and staff attended the Wayne State University School of Medicine Board of Student Organizations’ annual Ethnic Fair in the school’s Scott Hall cafeteria.

The popular Jan. 11 annual event included food, music, dance and fun in the form of giveaways, raffles and even a photo booth. For second-year medical student and BSO President Christopher Sy, it was also the opportunity to appreciate the advantages of “being the largest single-campus medical school in the country.

“What does that really mean in the end? I believe that Ethnic Fair is one of the answers to that question,” Sy said. “With so many medical students, you can bet we have an unprecedented wealth of cultural/religious traditions and ethnic backgrounds that cannot be replicated. Ethnic Fair takes advantage of our greatest strength and it builds a sense of appreciation and unity within the school.”

Guests started their journey with a diverse spread of food from Italian, Chinese, Thai, Jewish, Indian, Nicaraguan, Mexican, French, Middle Eastern, American and Polish cultures before taking their seats for a trip around the world “piloted” by emcee Christion Hall, a Wayne State student and Scott Hall security desk attendant. Matthew Jackson, Ph.D., assistant dean of Basic Science Education, served as the event’s co-pilot.

“As medical students it is easy to forget how much good food and good company adds to our lives. We are constantly reminded how much we should be studying, doing research or honing our technical skills.” Sy said. “In the end, Ethnic Fair is one evening where we all collectively tell ourselves it is all right to take a break and see a side of our colleagues that we rarely get the chance to see. We remember and realize that each of us has a unique background and something special to contribute -- the best part is we all know we are going through the same journey together. Food, performances and one of our deans in a pilot costume? What can beat that?”

Performers included Ballet Folklorico Moyocoyani Izel, a Mexican folk dance troupe from southwest Detroit; the Native American Swamp Singers; and the School of Medicine’s own UltraSounds, an a cappella group comprised of medical student, among others.

“This year we had some very diverse representation. As far as performances, we had the privilege of experiencing song and dance from Mexican, Native American, African, Indian and Lebanese cultures,” Sy said.

The event was sponsored by the efforts and generosity of the School of Medicine Alumni Association, with additional support from the Office of Student Affairs, the administrative agent for the Office of Student Organizations and the BSO. The BSO is a student body acting as liaison between student organizations and interest groups, the student senate, and school administration and faculty.

Click here to view a gallery of event photos.
(All photos by Rob Widdis)

John Malone Sr., M.D., dies at age 85
In Headlines on January 14, 2013
In this 2009 photo, former Dean Robert M. Mentzer Jr., M.D. (far right); Theodore B. Jones, M.D., former chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (far left); Robert J. Sokol, M.D., director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development; and John M. Malone Sr., M.D., celebrate the establishment of two new endowed chairs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In this 2009 photo, former Dean Robert M. Mentzer Jr., M.D. (far right); Theodore B. Jones, M.D., former chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (far left); Robert J. Sokol, M.D., director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development; and John M. Malone Sr., M.D., celebrate the establishment of two new endowed chairs in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

John M. Malone Sr., M.D., the father of former Wayne State University Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology John Malone Jr., M.D., died Jan. 8, 2012, at his home in West Bloomfield, Mich. He was 85.

In his 50-year profession, Dr. Malone Sr. delivered more than 3,000 babies at Mount Carmel Hospital, where he served as chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Mount Carmel Hospital, now Sinai-Grace Hospital, was at that time affiliated with the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He also served as the Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship supervisor for Sinai-Grace Hospital. He remained on staff at Sinai-Grace Hospital until his retirement from practice in the 1990s, but continued to attend departmental grand rounds and actively participate through 2012.

He had recently been serving on an ethics review committee for the WSU School of Medicine.

Dr. Malone Sr. was born in Toledo and grew up in Detroit. He graduated from University of Detroit High School and served in the U.S. Navy. He attended the University of Detroit and took his medical degree from St. Louis University.

Dr. Malone Sr. is survived by his sons, Louis, Thomas, Mark and James; daughters, Mary Thereza Centilivre, Susie Nash and Karen Fontecchio; 16 grandchildren; and his special friend, Joan Cribb.

He was predeceased by his wife, Thereza, who died in 1997; and his son, John M. Malone Jr., M.D., former chair of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who died in 2009. The John M. Malone Jr., M.D., Endowed Chair and Director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development is named for the younger Dr. Malone.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 13 at St. Fabian Catholic Church in  Farmington Hills. The family suggests memorials to the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, 8400 S. Cambridge, Detroit, MI  48221-1699.
ROCK wins leadership award for public health outreach
In Headlines on January 11, 2013
ROCK co-founders and third-year medical students John Purakal, center, and Joe Tsao, right, use a hands-on approach for educating a young ROCK audience member about hypertension.

ROCK co-founders and third-year medical students John Purakal, center, and Joe Tsao, right, use a hands-on approach for educating a young ROCK audience member about hypertension.

When a ninth-grader implores her hypertensive father to put down the salt at dinner, you know you’re doing something right.

Earlier that week, the girl’s high school class had listened to a lecture on heart health from the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Raising Our Community’s Knowledge student organization. Its speakers, all students, aim to raise health awareness by educating at-risk groups in Detroit about prevalent diseases.

“(The teacher) told me that one of her students came up to her the day after our talk, and had discovered that both her parents had high blood pressure,” said John Purakal, a third-year medical student and the organization’s director and co-founder. “She said she told them all about the talk and even stopped her dad from using the salt shaker at dinner. I loved hearing this, because part of our message to our audiences is to take ownership of your own health and help others take ownership for theirs.”

Recognizing efforts like this, and others, ROCK will receive the 2013 Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award from the Wayne State’s Office of Government and Community Affairs on Jan. 22 at the university’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit.

The award, named after late civil rights leader and Wayne State administrator Arthur L. Johnson, honors individuals and organizations whose contributions positively affect the community. Nominations are made by the public. ROCK was founded in 2010 by Wayne State medical students Purakal, Joe Tsao and Jakub Sikora in response to the general lack of appreciation and understanding of disease processes in Detroiters. Since then, it has expanded to include five board members and 20 to 25  medical and nutrition graduate students who speak at community centers, schools, churches, clinics, refugee homes, homeless shelters and military bases. Topics include hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, depression, obesity, drug and alcohol use, prevalent cancers and risk factors, vaccinations, sexually transmitted infections and more. The students have reached an estimated 3,000 people.

“I believe it is our mission – to improve disease comprehension and health beliefs to drive better health behavior – that is being recognized by the Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award. The burden of preventable disease in the city of Detroit is astounding.  It will require a concerted effort, with students and health care professionals alike, to make a dent in it,” Purakal said. “(The award is) unexpected, and very humbling. I knew Focus:Hope won it last year, which is an organization that I volunteered with as a student at the University of Detroit Jesuit. For our efforts to be recognized in a similar fashion was truly an honor. That being said, we understand that this is a great opportunity to grow our reach in the Detroit community and educate more people who are at-risk for preventable diseases.”

The group continues to grow, booking up to four speaking engagements in some months.

“We get great feedback from the groups we work with, and welcome positive criticism of our speakers. These students will be health care professionals in the near future, and will have to be able to explain these same topics conversationally with their patients. We are continuing to schedule talks with all of the partners we have made,” Purakal said.

Additional Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award recipients include WSU Associate Professor of Urban Planning Kami Pothukuchi and the WSU Student Veterans Organization. For more information or to purchase tickets to the MLK Day Tribute, visit www.wayne.edu/communityengagement/mlk. For more information about ROCK, visit www.raisingknowledge.org and www.facebook.com/ROCKdetroit.

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