Students teach students the importance of hand hygiene

Students teach students the importance of hand hygiene

To the tune of Frère Jacques, kindergarten students at French Elementary in Jackson sing, “Top and bottom, top and bottom, in between, in between, rub them all together, rub them all together, squeaky clean, squeaky clean!”

The kindergartners sit in neat rows on the carpet as University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing students Meagan Coleman, Brittany Stamper and Shairah Hortelano sing through the verses, while demonstrating hand motions. After only once or twice through the song, the kids are singing along, word for word.

The future nurses are taking part in the Mississippi Kindergarten Hand Washing Campaign to incorporate a service learning aspect of the N300 Health Promotion Course. The campaign is a partnership between the Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi Nurses Foundation and the Mississippi Hospital Association's Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Greater Jackson Chapter.

Katie Hall, instructor of nursing, teaches the junior level course.

“The class is about primary prevention, preventing a person from getting an illness or disease,” said Hall. “With flu season here, we are about to see a lot of respiratory illness - runny noses and coughs. If we can teach the kids to wash their hands and cough in their arms, then we may prevent them from coming in sick to the hospital.”

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Rural communities benefiting from UMMC clinics

The opening of a new clinic in Vaiden and acquisition of another in Winona is giving residents in those communities much-needed primary care from University of Mississippi Medical Center physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners.

UMMC began operating the Family Medicine Clinic on North Applegate Street in Winona Sept. 1 after Grenada Family Medical Group staff there became employees of UMMC's Grenada hospital campus. The UMMC Family Medicine Clinic on Magnolia Street in Vaiden opened Oct. 5. Both offer not just primary care, but consultations with a selection of specialists practicing on the UMMC Grenada and Jackson campuses.

The Vaiden clinic, in Carroll County, and the Winona clinic, in Montgomery County, join UMMC's primary care clinic in West, which is located in Holmes County.

“We saw a great opportunity to continue to provide the same services and offer more at the Winona clinic,” said Claudette Hathcock, director of human resources at UMMC Grenada and UMMC Holmes County in Lexington.

“This will give the community another avenue to obtain primary care in their own community,” Dewery Montgomery, director of ambulatory operations for the Grenada and Lexington hospitals, said of the Winona clinic. “We plan to expand the clinic to five days a week and add pediatrics and OB/GYN one day a week in the future”

UMMC Family Medicine Clinic in Winona is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Vaiden clinic operates Monday through Wednesday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and the West clinic is open 8 a.m.-noon on Thursdays.

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Rural communities benefiting from UMMC clinics

Unlocking the secrets of sepsis

Unlocking the secrets of sepsis

For the past decade and a half, Dr. Alan Jones has stared down the often-deadly sepsis infection.

Not in his own bloodstream, but in a research laboratory.

Jones, chair of the University of Mississippi Medical Center's Department of Emergency Medicine, has studied sepsis in clinical trials before and after coming to the Medical Center in 2011. His research goals include finding ways to lessen the effects of a nasty disease that can make the body attack its own organs and often results in a patient being placed on a ventilator.

“It can be devastating and result in rapid death,” said Jones, professor of emergency medicine. “The mortality rate when it progresses to septic shock is 40 percent. Only about one in two patients will live.”

Sepsis is an extreme reaction to an infection, most commonly pneumonia or a urinary tract infection. When such an overwhelming immune response to an infection occurs, chemicals released into the blood to fight the infection also trigger inflammation that can cause organs to fail. In the worst cases, a person's blood pressure plummets, causing septic shock and often death.

First recognized in the early 1700s as a condition that rapidly progressed after someone developed an infection, sepsis moved into the limelight in the Jackson area after legendary television anchor and newsman Bert Case was hospitalized with it on August 31. Case is slowly recovering, but the disease nearly killed him.

“There's no way to prevent it,” Jones said. “It needs to be recognized and treated early, before it gets bad.”

It's been proven through research that some people can be genetically predisposed to getting a more severe inflammatory response to infection, and that if you have sepsis once, you're prone to it recurring. Jones has designed and directed clinical trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that explore ways to diagnose sepsis earlier in the infection process, and to treat the patient by changing the chemicals present in the bloodstream.

Jones is presently the principal investigator for a multi-center clinical trial that is coordinated out of UMMC and is being conducted in 15 U.S. academic medical centers taking part.

“We're doing studies to develop markers in the bloodstream to determine the imprint that sepsis may be present sooner than is clinically apparent,” Jones said. “We're also doing a trial to give patients replacement of a nutrient, carnitine, that allows energy production and metabolism to be more efficient.”

Carnitine is a substance the body uses to efficiently turn fat into energy. Giving the body additional carnitine can improve the ability of certain tissues to produce energy at a time when an infection like sepsis is draining the body's energy, which causes problems with breathing and often triggers an altered mental state.

“By providing this nutrient, we believe patients will heal faster and recover more quickly than those who don't get the nutrient,” Jones said. “It provides energy.”

It's that lack of energy production that can in part cause a patient with sepsis to rapidly deteriorate as he becomes weak, dizzy and confused. Patients with other risk factors that suppress their immune system - for example, if they're on chemotherapy or cope with a chronic disease condition - “have a harder time fighting infection, and a harder time getting over the disease process,” Jones said. 

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Vitter pledges his support for UMMC, medical research

The preferred candidate to succeed Dr. Dan Jones as University of Mississippi chancellor says he has limited leadership experience at academic medical centers, but that he's committed to ensuring the University of Mississippi Medical Center thrives and prospers.

“This is a huge part of higher education in the state of Mississippi,” Dr. Jeffrey Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas, told students, faculty, staff and alumni Wednesday during sessions in which they were encouraged to ask questions of the Institutions of Higher Learning's choice to lead the University, including its regional campuses in DeSoto, Tupelo, Booneville, Grenada and UMMC in Jackson.

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Vitter pledges his support for UMMC, medical research

Shuttle service change brings new buses, GPS capability

Shuttle service change brings new buses, GPS capability

For more than two decades, large blue buses have lumbered about the University of Mississippi Medical Center campus, ferrying employees, students, patients and visitors to and from the Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium parking lot.

Effective Sunday, Nov. 1, those “Blue Bird” buses will be a thing of the past.

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Two SOM alumni, former peds fellow join UMMC faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

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Two SOM alumni, former peds fellow join UMMC faculty
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