February 10, 2006
This has been a week filled with accomplishment as our Health Sciences Center continues on the road to recovery. Some of the highlights include:
The Louisiana Board of Regents released some great news this week. As part of the distribution of the $95 million in federal aid, the Executive Committee has set aside $1 million for incentive grants to encourage graduates of medical schools in Louisiana to enter residency programs in New Orleans. The money will fund 100 awards of $10,000 each to residents who match residency programs at the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans in the 2006 Match.
Dr. Augusto Ochoa, Interim Director of our Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, held the first meeting of his $10.6 million COBRE grant participants on the 4th floor of the Trail Clinical Sciences Research Building on Wednesday. It was well attended, and Dr. Ochoa congratulated all involved for their exceptional effort. Not only is it highly unusual for a first time COBRE application to be funded, the LSUHSC grant proposal received the top score. A rigorous calendar of curricular activities has been developed by project leaders and mentors, and all were eager to get started.
Dr. Ken Kratz, Director of the Office of Research Services also earned top marks for his First Clinical Research Best Practices audio conference presentation, Before and After Katrina: Running an IRB in New Orleans.
The Schools of Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health, and Medicine participated in the volunteer effort to provide medical and dental services at Audubon Zoo this week. Dr. Ben Record, Assistant Professor of Dentistry and Director of the General Practice Residency Program, coordinated the dental Mission of Mercy (MOM) with the Virginia Dental Foundation which presented a $5,000 donation to the dental school. This is the most recent donationthe dental school has raised more than $3 million to date. The MOM dental clinic has been seeing between 700 and 800 patients a day. The School of Public Healths Breast and Cervical Health Program, under the direction of Donna Williams, has arranged hundreds of mammograms for New Orleans women and found a number with palpable breast masses. Dr. Mary Abell has provided follow-up. With supervising faculty Dr. Jackie Rhoads and Marge Kraus, nursing students have done everything from patient intake to producing electronic medical records for participants to take with them.
We are finalizing space to expand LSU Healthcare Network clinics in the New Orleans area and hope to have news about new clinical services within a few weeks.
Now for an update on the progress being made with our facilities. Our research efforts are up and running in the Trail CSRB and we will continue to expand our activities there. Alumni Affairs will be temporarily occupying my office on the third floor of that building. Neuroscience Center research activities are continuing on the 8th and 9th floors of the Lions Building. Further work on the MEB and Lions Building is ongoing and we hope to have occupancy there in 4 - 5 weeks. The Allied Health and Nursing building should be ready for occupancy in about six weeks. The old Residence Hall, we hope to have ready for occupancy in 7 - 8 weeks and the Stanislaus Hall, shortly thereafter. Environmental remediation of the first floors of the buildings will be accelerating. This coming Wednesday, we anticipate removal of the books and periodicals from the library to initiate the cleaning process which is anticipated to take 4 - 5 weeks with occupancy of the Resource Center in about 10 weeks. On a positive note for our research faculty, we hope to be able to start housing animals in the Trail CSRB in 2 weeks. The dental school renovations are getting underway with initial restoration of the power plant in its original location, but with a planned second stage transition to the second floor of the adjacent building. We hope to have occupancy of the dental school later in the year.
We are actively working with developers in an attempt to confirm reasonably priced housing for our students, residents, faculty, and staff. I will provide further information regarding this as these efforts mature.
Next week, Ill fill you in on the very successful early Match for one of our programs.