Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF Sept. 30, 2011 Issue | Archived Issues

Cedars-Sinai Opens Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core Production Facility

The Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute has opened a new Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Core Facility to produce powerful cells capable of making all tissues of the body from adult human skin cells.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Honored as one of Joint Commission's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures

Cedars-Sinai has been honored as a Joint Commission "top performer" in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

» Read more

Free Flu Vaccinations Now Available

Free Flu Vaccinations Now Available

Cedars-Sinai is offering free flu vaccinations to all physicians at various locations on and off-campus. Simply bring your ID badge with you and roll up your sleeve!

» Read more

Six Cedars-Sinai Scientists, Physicians to Present at World Stem Cell Summit

Six leaders in stem cell research from the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute will be key presenters at the world's largest interdisciplinary stem cell meeting Oct. 3-5 in Pasadena.

» Read more

High Holiday Services at Cedars-Sinai

Rabbi Jason Weiner, senior rabbi and manager of Spiritual Care, will conduct High Holiday services at Cedars-Sinai.

» Read more

Imaging Case of the Month for September

Make Your Diagnosis

History: A 44-year-old male with history of chronic alcohol abuse presents with seizures.

Question: What is the abnormality?


» Read more

Calling Code Sepsis!

Test-of-Change Designed to Ensure Rapid Response to Sepsis Cases

To further improve our care for patients suffering severe sepsis or septic shock, Cedars-Sinai has developed a new "Code Sepsis" order set and protocols. This order set, which went live Sept. 19, helps ensure that patients with suspected sepsis have immediate blood cultures drawn and antibiotics administered quickly – with the goal of one hour or less.

» Read more

Cedars-Sinai Opens Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core Production Facility

The Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute has opened a new Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Core Facility to produce powerful cells capable of making all tissues of the body from adult human skin cells.

Cells produced by the Cedars-Sinai core - one of the first to open in California - will be used in research funded by the National Institutes of Health and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The cells will be critical for innovative research aimed at increasing our understanding of human diseases and genetic disorders, and the quest for new treatments.

"The opening of the Cedars-Sinai Stem Cell Core Facility underscores what an exciting time this is in regenerative medicine," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Cedars-Sinai. "It also is an example of Cedars-Sinai's deep commitment to the scientific research that will be translated into tomorrow's leading-edge treatments."

The new facility will use the latest technology to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from a patient skin scraping. The induced pluripotent stem cells can be replicated indefinitely and have biological properties similar to embryonic stem cells. These "blank slate" cells can then be turned into any kind of differentiated cell, such as a brain cell or an eye cell or a liver cell.

Although iPS cells were first produced only three years ago, they have quickly become valuable research tools. Clinicians can take skin cells from patients with specific life-threatening diseases. Then, Regenerative Medicine Institute scientists can create iPS cells from them and generate so-called "disease in a dish" models that enable them to more easily identify effective therapies.

"Now, for the first time, we can study human diseases by creating a laboratory specimen of afflicted cells," said Clive Svendsen, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute. "We have been funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to do this work, which has the potential to revolutionize medicine."

For example, the Stem Cell Core Facility already is supplying iPS cells to a five-member NIH consortium of researchers for development of potential therapies to treat Huntington's disease, an incurable neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and some cognitive functions, such as memory. With funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Cedars-Sinai core has also generated iPS cells from children with spinal muscular atrophy - a lethal disease that leaves children paralyzed. These are being used to develop novel drug compounds to treat this devastating disorder,

"We are very excited to launch this new core facility," said Dhruv Sareen, PhD, the core's new director. "It will enable exciting studies across the entire Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and we look forward to much productive collaboration."

Cedars-Sinai Honored as one of Joint Commission's Top Performers on Key Quality Measures

Top Performer LogoCedars-Sinai has been honored as a Joint Commission "top performer" in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

The award was given for "attaining and sustaining excellence in accountability measure performance" during the 2010 calendar year.

"This recognition from The Joint Commission is a reflection of the commitment to quality of Cedars-Sinai staff and physicians," said Thomas M. Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai Health System.

Only 14 percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals that report core measure performance data earned the distinction of being named a top performer. Fewer than half of those hospitals received recognition in four of the different categories of key quality measures.

To be recognized as a top performer, an organization must meet two 95 percent performance thresholds.

  1. They must achieve a composite performance of 95 percent or above after the results of all the accountability measures for which they report data to The Joint Commission were factored into a single score, including measures that had less than 30 eligible cases or patients

  2. They must meet or exceed a 95 percent performance target for every single accountability measure for which they report data, excluding any measures with less than 30 eligible cases or patients.

"Today, the public expects transparency in the reporting of performance at the hospitals where they receive care, and The Joint Commission is shining a light on the top performing hospitals such as Cedars-Sinai that have achieved excellence on a number of vital measures of quality of care," said Mark R. Chassin, MD, MPP, MPH, president of The Joint Commission.

Cedars-Sinai will be included in The Joint Commission’s "Improving America’s Hospitals" annual report and will be recognized on its Quality Check website.

Free Flu Vaccinations Now Available

Get your flu shotCedars-Sinai is offering free flu vaccinations to all physicians at various locations on and off-campus. Simply bring your ID badge with you and roll up your sleeve!

Following are the dates, times and locations for upcoming clinics:

  • Friday, Sept. 30
    • 3:30 – 6:30 p.m., 7 North unit rounds
    • 5:30 – 10:30 p.m., 8 North, Room 8035
    • 8 a.m. – 3p.m., 5 OR Comm. Center
  • Monday, Oct. 3
    • 8 – 11:30 a.m., Room 2806, Plaza Level
    • Noon – 1:30 p.m., Room 6717, Pulmonary
    • 2 – 10 p.m., Taper Imaging, Room 1423
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4
    • 8:30 a.m. – noon, HID Plaza Level
    • 1 – 3:30 p.m., Pharmacy, Lower Level A-124
    • 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Harvey Morse Conference Room 6
  • Wednesday, Oct. 5
    • 2 – 10:30 p.m., Davis Conference Room 1011
    • 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m., Harvey Morse Conference Room 6
  • Friday, Oct. 7
    • 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. MGB Conference Room106
    • Noon – 1 p.m., Pathology Residents
  • Monday, Oct. 10
    • 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Harvey Morse Conference Room 6
    • 2 - 3:30 p.m., Medical Genetics Suite 203
  • Tuesday, Oct. 11
    • 8 - 11:30 a.m., Room 2806, Plaza Level
    • 3:30 - 6 p.m., Room 2806, Plaza Level
  •  Wednesday, Oct. 12
    • 8 - 10 a.m., OB/GYN, West Tower 160
    • 12:30 - 3:30 p.m., Davis Conference Room 1011
  • Thursday, Oct. 13
    • 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Harvey Morse Conference Room 3
    • 1 - 3:30 p.m., Suite 203, 8727 Beverly Blvd.
  • Friday, Oct. 14
    • 8 - 11:30 a.m., Harvey Morse Conference Room 3
    • 1:30 - 6 p.m., Harvey Morse Conference Room 3

Additional clinics are being scheduled and updates will be published in Pulse. You can also get vaccinated at Employee Health Services, located on the second floor of the Steven Spielberg Building. Walk-ins are welcome or please call ext. 3-3322 to make an appointment. EHS is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Six Cedars-Sinai Scientists, Physicians to Present at World Stem Cell Summit

Six leaders in stem cell research from the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute will be key presenters at the world's largest interdisciplinary stem cell meeting Oct. 3-5 in Pasadena.

The World Stem Cell Summit, co-sponsored by the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, is the flagship event for the global stem cell and regenerative medicine community.

The summit will feature more than 170 scientists, physicians, medical ethicists, legal scholars and technology transfer experts discussing the latest scientific discoveries, business models, legal and regulatory solutions and best practices. The event is expected to attract more than 1,500 attendees from 25 nations and 60 exhibitors.

Cedars-Sinai faculty members scheduled to present include:

  • Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty of Cedars-Sinai, will give the summit's Welcome Overview at 8 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3.
  • Clive Svendsen, PhD, director of Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, will update attendees on his work investigating the causes of and treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5.
  • Leon Fine, MD, chair of Biomedical Sciences for the Cedars-Sinai, will speak about Hospital and Clinical Perspectives on Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 5.
  • Charles F. Simmons Jr., MD, chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Pediatrics, will moderate a discussion, The Outlook for the Cord Blood: All Things Considered, at 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3.
  • Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, will present a session on Translational and Clinical Studies of Stem Cells for Heart Regeneration at 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 3.
  • Nissim Benvenisty, MD, PhD, a research scientist at the Regenerative Medicine Institute who primarily works with embryonic stem cells, will participate in a panel discussion, Safety Issues in Stem Cell Therapies, at 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4.

"Cedars-Sinai is proud to sponsor this unique and outstanding event that brings together industry, academia and patient advocates to discuss the real advances and challenges of stem cells and translational medicine," Svendsen said.

Dedicated to advancing one of the most promising medical frontiers, the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute brings together basic scientists and clinicians to translate laboratory discoveries into effective stem cell and other regenerative therapies. It houses leading experts in neurodegenerative, metabolic, skeletal, blood and eye diseases under one roof with shared equipment and other resources.

"The unique combination of an outstanding hospital and rapidly growing research mission at Cedars-Sinai puts it at the cutting edge of the expanding field of regenerative medicine. We plan to move therapies from 'bench to bedside' by taking them out of the laboratory and directly into the clinical environment," Svendsen said.

The institute already has received a number of grants from the National Institutes of Health, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the U.S. Department of Defense.

High Holiday Services at Cedars-Sinai

Rabbi Jason Weiner, senior rabbi and manager of Spiritual Care, will conduct High Holiday services at Cedars-Sinai.

  • Kol Nidre
    6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, in Harvey Morse Auditorium
  • Yom Kippur
    10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, in Harvey Morse Auditorium

All services will also be broadcast on channel 50 of the inpatient TV system.

Imaging Case of the Month for September

Make Your Diagnosis

History: A 44-year-old male with history of chronic alcohol abuse presents with seizures.

Cedars-Sinai Cedars-Sinai
Cedars-Sinai Cedars-Sinai

Question: What is the abnormality?

  1. Arachnoid cyst
  2. Inflammatory cyst
  3. Cystic neoplasm
  4. Dermoid cyst
  5. Epidermoid

Click here to access the Imaging Case of the Month site and continue with your diagnosis.

We welcome your feedback. Please send your questions and comments to Marcel Maya, M.D., at marcel.maya@cshs.org.

Calling Code Sepsis!

Test-of-Change Designed to Ensure Rapid Response to Sepsis Cases

To further improve our care for patients suffering severe sepsis or septic shock, Cedars-Sinai has developed a new "Code Sepsis" order set and protocols. This order set, which went live Sept. 19, helps ensure that patients with suspected sepsis have immediate blood cultures drawn and antibiotics administered quickly – with the goal of one hour or less.

"Studies show that one of the most effective treatments of sepsis is the administration of antibiotics within one hour of recognizing the condition," says Heather D. Jones, MD, medical director of 8 North ICU in the Saperstein Critical Care Tower." Once the Code Sepsis order set has been filled out and handed to the RN, he or she will immediately page the unit pharmacist to expedite the antibiotic order."

Jones and Phillip Zakowski, MD, are the champions of this best practice test-of-change, developed as part of Cedars-Sinai Medicine.

Sepsis is currently the leading preventable cause of deaths in hospitals nationwide. It typically begins as an ordinary infection, such as pneumonia or a UTI, but can become fatal if the infection enters the bloodstream. Because sepsis progresses rapidly, early detection and intervention is critical to saving lives.

A Code Sepsis order set should be used only for severe sepsis (sepsis and organ dysfunction) and septic shock (severe sepsis and hypotension unresponsive to fluids).The order set includes a list of 2011 "empiric" treatment recommendations for sepsis and other common adult infections. These recommendations were approved by the Cedars-Sinai Medical Executive Committee.

For more information on Code Sepsis, please contact Jones at heather.jones@cshs.org or Jennifer Varma, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, NP-C, senior clinical project advisor for Cedars-Sinai Medicine, at jennifer.varma@cshs.org.