Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF Nov. 22, 2013 | Archived Issues

Formulary Expanded; FDA Warns About Immune Globulins, Spinal Catheters, Cardiac Drugs

Pharmacy Focus

The Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee added ticagrelor (Brilinta®) to the formulary and took other actions Oct. 1. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cautioned about human immune globulin products, the use of spinal catheters in patients taking anticoagulants and two cardiac stress test agents.

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Meetings and Events


Grand Rounds

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Upcoming CME Conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - November 2013 (PDF)

Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

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'Award-Winning Care' More Than Words

Heart transplant patient Jorge Nishii (left) shakes hands with Denise Piastrelli, RN, CN IV, after presenting a trophy to the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

Thank-You Cards Not Enough, So Heart Transplant Patient Gives Team a Trophy

Jorge Nishii got his new heart in September. So the way he sees it, the team of healthcare professionals at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center deserves a little something, too.

"I don't even know how to put into words how I was treated," said Nishii, 67, of Santa Fe Springs, who underwent a heart transplant on Sept. 8, just days after his birthday. "Everyone took care of me and went out of their way every day. I feel like I was treated like I was the only patient in the hospital."

In fact, Nishii is one of more than 100 heart patients who have received heart transplants at Cedars-Sinai during 2013. For the past three years, Cedars-Sinai has performed more adult heart transplants than any other U.S. medical center, according to statistics compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit organization that manages the nation's transplant system.

The glass trophy is engraved with the names of many of the medical center's programs and nursing units.

As Nishii recovered from his surgery, he kept himself busy by walking the medical center's hallways, visiting with his wife, three daughters and three grandchildren, writing thank-you cards to his nurses and filling out Standing Ovations for nearly 20 members of his patient care team.

But when Nishii, a production manager for an aerospace parts manufacturer, was discharged to go home to Santa Fe Springs, he didn't think the thank-you cards and Standing Ovations quite captured the depth of his gratitude. That's when he got the idea of awarding a trophy to the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.

"I feel like the way Cedars-Sinai took care of me, they deserve some kind of special gratitude from us," Nishii said. "I told my wife and my kids, 'I want to give everyone involved in my care a trophy to show how much I appreciate everything they did for me and my family.'"

And that's exactly what he did.

On Nov. 6, Nishii attended his final heart transplant clinic before being cleared to return to the care of his longtime cardiologist. He brought with him his wife, Lilly, and two of their three daughters, Joanne and Michelle, along with a gleaming glass trophy engraved with the names of many of the medical center's programs and nursing units. The family presented the trophy to a team of heart transplant clinic caregivers led by Denise Piastrelli, RN, CN IV, and Jignesh Patel, MD.

Jorge Nishii (center) with members of the heart transplant team and his family

"Every member of the heart transplant team feels rewarded whenever a patient goes home with a new heart and a second chance at life," said Piastrelli, of the Advanced Heart Disease Center. "Now, all we have to do is look at Mr. Nishii's trophy to be reminded of the important work we do and how fortunate we are to make such a difference in our patients' lives."

Jon Kobashigawa, MD, director of the Heart Transplant Program, wasn't surprised by Nishii's gratitude toward his caregivers. "The Cedars-Sinai Heart Transplant Team excels in outstanding patient care," Kobashigawa said. "They are the most caring and compassionate people who truly understand what our heart transplant patients are experiencing.

"I believe that our multidisciplinary team approach contributes greatly to patient care, which includes nursing, social work, pharmacy, nutrition, financial and many other services."