Health News

It’s been a while since my last post, but I thought you might be interested in some of the positive news coming out of Rochester General Health System. 

As part of the Ambulatory Care affiliate group of Rochester General Health System, the Imaging Center at Alexander Park was recently opened at Alexander Park. It will provide a wide range of high quality diagnostic radiology services with convenient access for patients who live or work near downtown Rochester.  

This expansion of community health services is part of the RGHS Ambulatory Care initiative, in which advanced medical care is offered in an outpatient environment to ensure a more cost-effective and convenient patient experience without compromosing the quality of care.  Outpatient care is the wave of the future of health care reform, and placing these services downtown is a great example of Rochester General’s commitment to the city of Rochester.  For more information about this new Imaging Center,  check out this link http://www.rochestergeneral.org/~/media/Files/RGHS_Alexander%20Park_Brochure_7%2017%2012.pdf





Great news for both RIT & RGHS Alliance Partners!

Congratulations to all the RGH team for the demonstration and achievement of excellence.   Most recently, RGH was ranked #15 by U.S. News & World Report among 241 hospitals in New York State and recognized as High Performing in 11 Specialty AreasHealthGrades recognized RGH as one of only 7 hospitals in New York State to be ranked among the Top 5% of all U.S. hospitals in terms of quality and patient safety.  And, earlier this year, RGHS was once again recognized as one of the Nation’s Top 100 Integrated Health Networks. 

Kudos are also in order for Rochester Institute of Technology, named a “Best Buy” school in the 2013 revised and updated edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges.

The guide has an “Index by Price” that groups public and private institutions into four price categories, from inexpensive to very expensive, but also suggests a number of schools that offer outstanding academics with relatively moderate prices. In 2013, Fiske designated  RIT one of 41 such institutions—20 public and 21 private—as Best Buys. All of the “Best Buy” schools fall into the inexpensive or moderate price category and have stellar academics ratings, according to the publication.

Fiske described RIT as follows: “RIT is the largest of New York’s three major technological universities. The school is strong in anything related to computing, art and design, and engineering. … Photography and imaging are among tops in the nation. RIT is devoted to undergraduates.”

Congratulations to both of these RIT & RGHS Alliance Partners and teams, for continuing on this upward trajectory in pursuit of excellence and this well deserved recognition!  I am so proud to be associated with two such fine institutions and the people who make these achievements possible!



You may be wondering why the story about RGH and Hockey.   RIT hockey players are making their mark both on and off the ice. The pace and pressure off the ice may be just as high and contributions to the team just as important, especially when there are patients involved. Just ask Trevor!

When Eckenswiller’s not in class acing the requisite courses he will need to hopefully enter medical school in the fall, or he’s not on the ice with the Tigers practicing and playing games at the Division I level, he’s in the emergency department at Rochester General Hospital getting a first-hand look at what his future may entail.

For the past 11 months the 24-year-old from Lions Head, Ontario, has worked a co-op at RGH, and since his senior year began in September he’s been pulling the overnight shift — 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. — twice a week because that’s all that fits with his class and hockey schedule.

“It’s quite a workload,” said Eckenswiller, who will graduate this spring with a grade-point average in the posh neighborhood of 3.8 and a degree in biomedical sciences.   For more on this story, click http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20120228/SPORTS09/302280026/RIT-

We’ll learn more today, Wednesday, June 15, at the next presentation in the RIT & RGHS Alliance Research Seminar Series at Noon in the Twig Auditorium at RGH. This research is a collaborative project that includes Dr. Gwen Sterns, Chief, Ophthalmology Department, RGHS, Andreas Savakis, Ph.D., Professor, Computer Engineering, RIT, and Gary Behm, Assistant Professor, NTID, RIT.  This project was featured at our Imagine RIT exhibit and received much attention and interest throughout the day.

The long term goal of the research is to develop a portable system on a smart phone platform that enables individuals with visual field loss to train their eyes and brain to operate at a preferred area of their visual field, and thus improve aspects of their lives that have been negatively impacted by their visual impairment.  For example, an individual who has lost central vision will be able to utilize this system to relocate the image to a functioning area of the retina and zoom into image regions of interest. The idea is to provide individuals with a system that can circumvent many of the problems associated with partial visual loss, by essentially using the remaining visual field to improve functional vision, and hence increase independence, ability to work, interact with the environment, etc.  In addition to opthalmology, this research should be especially of interest to neurology and rehabilitation as well as to geriatric medicine.

 So, in the future, not only will smart phones help us communicate by voice and text, they may also help our vision. What will we think of next? 

If you miss the presentation today, which will also be videoconferenced in the the RIT USC Conference room on the second floor, you can also catch our exhibit at the LPGA in the RIT Technology Tent.

Hope to SEE you!


This just in……..The RIT & RGHS Alliance Research Seminar Series, is now accessible at both RGHS and RIT.  The next seminar, on Tuesday, May 17, will be held at noon in the Weiner Room at Rochester General Hospital, but by popular demand is now available via teleconference in the USC Board of Trustees Conference Room. 

The formation of distant metastatis is the main cause of mordibity and mortality in cancer patients.  Hematogenous spread through venous drainage is the main route of the spread.  Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S. among men, and is the most commonly disgnosed cancer in American males.  There are currently no effective targeted therapies that selectively target circulating tumor cells to prevent distant spread of the disease.

The next session will feature RIT faculty  Steven Day and Anthony Harkin, along with Dr. Bishoy Faltas from RGHS.  They will discuss their  innovative research project  to demonstrate the feasibility of using a modified IVC filter as a magnetic bioseparation device to selectively attract and capture the tumor cells tagged wtih magnetic nano-particles to interrupt the metastatic cascade. 

This should prove to be a very interesting discussion. The format of the program is a 20 minute presentation, followed by Q&A.  The program is from Noon -1:00 p.m.

Imagine RIT Recap

Nice to see the sunshine in Rochester this week. The sun was certainly shining on RIT last weekend at the Imagine RIT Festival. While I love the Lilac, Corn Hill and Park Ave fests, this first festival of the season at RIT continues to grow and become a premier festival for the Rochester and surrounding communities. The festival is engaging, educational and fun at the same time, and it also offers hope for our future. The work that is happening right under our noses at RIT is nothing less than impressive, and the collaborative work of the RIT & RGHS Alliance is a good example.

Our exhibit was visited by a steady stream of visitors. We were fortunate to have the chief of Opthamology from RGHS as a research partner with RIT’s Andreas Savakis and Gary Behm of NTID who are working together to assist people with low vision by using smart phone technology. Thousands of visitors crowded their table and a variety of glasses were worn, simulating different vision problems to test the technology. The Robotic surgery simulator was also a huge draw. Visitors could look through a viewer and see 3D images developed by students on this surgery simulation project. We were proud to showcase the work of the biomedical photographic communications classes with our display of photos from the operating room, as well a s an innovative new concept for training new staff in the OR.  This online, interactive training program was jointly developed with Dr. Ralph Pennino, interim chief of surgery at RGHS.  Our exhibit also included a poster for an artificial muscle acuator and assistive devices.  While the robotic hand was not actually operational, it was a great example of an assistive device developed in our engineering dept.  There is a collaborative project to develop an assistive device to help patients with foot drop.  If you saw the robotic crab in the kiddie pool, that was a working example of the technology.  Finally, Scott Sleeper and Wayne Morton from RGHS joined Rajiv Ramchandra from RIT’s Pollution Prevention Institute to demonstrate the waste audit work they did that has saved $100,000 + for RGHS this year.  They are currently working together on a program to train staff on proper waste disposal in order to continue the cost savings for the health system.

We had a great day and truly enjoyed spreading the word about the innovative collaborations of the Alliance.  A special thanks to all of our faculty, students, staff, and docs for their participation, dedication and for helping us share the story of the RIT & RGHS Alliance.

Well, the big day is almost here! Tomorrow, May 7, is the Imagine RIT Innovation and Creativity Festival. This was the brainchild of RIT President Bill Destler and has become one of the biggest and best events on the Rochester Festival circuit. You may be wondering, how much fun could it be, a festival at an Institute of Technology. You can only imagine! Seriously, RIT has found a way to bring a community together to appreciate all that RIT has to offer–whether you’re a scientist, a techie or an artist, or somewhere in between, there’s something for everyone. As with other festivals in town, there is always the music and food and games for the kids, but there is so much more. This festival will awaken your imagination, stimulate your senses, and open your eyes to the vast possibilities for our future.

Why do I tell you all this? I do have an ulterior motive–an RIT & RGHS Alliance exhibit in the Gordon Field House. I hope you’ll stop by to learn more about the latest Alliance news and see some of the cool research collaborations among the RIT faculty, students and RGHS physicians. Our exhibit is # 263, Medicine + Technology = Innovation in Healthcare. Join us to learn about the RIT & RGHS Alliance and what the future may hold through some of the innovative collaborations among students, faculty and physicians. Learn about projects such as a stereo simulation for robotic surgery instruction, development of an artificial bicep muscle prototype, a robotic hand that uses “air muscles” for force generation, use of smart-phone technology for low vision, and medical waste management, as well as photographs from the operating room and a web-based instructional program for new practitioners in the OR. The exhibit also features the new Institute of Health Sciences and Technology. Imagine RIT is from 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. so stop by our exhibit. What will we think of next? See you there!