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December 2010 Archives


The day the Wall Street Journal called on Sandy Barker for comment on dogs in the doctor’s office

The Dec. 21, 2010, edition of the Wall Street Journal looked at the growing trend of therapy dogs in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Sandra Barker, Ph.D., director of the School of Medicine’s Center for Human-Animal Interaction, shared from her experience in the field, which includes incorporating her own Lhasa apso, High Anxiety, in treating trauma survivors for nine years.

“When you have psychiatrists who say, ‘I want to leave my practice and come and work with you,’ you know it’s an area of great interest,” she told the Journal.

VCU’s School of Medicine offers a course in human-animal interaction for fourth-year medical students and another for psychiatry residents.

Read the Wall Street Journal article, The Doctor’s Dog Will See You Now.


The day Tom Loughran was inducted into the VCU Athletics Hall of Fame

The Class of 1977’s Thomas P. Loughran, M.D., knows his way around a basketball court. And around a soccer field. And around a baseball diamond. Loughran was inducted into VCU Athletics Hall of Fame in December in honor of his longtime service as physician to the university’s sports teams.

“Tom has devoted a lot of energy throughout his career to providing services for VCU student athletes,” said Jeff Cupps, VCU’s senior associate athletic director. “I think we have student-athletes who are 20 or 30 years out of school who still refer to Tom glowingly. That speaks volumes to the service that he’s provided to the university and to the athletic department here at VCU.”

Loughran, who completed orthopaedic surgery training on the MCV Campus in 1982, has spent the past 25 years at the VCU Medical Center reconstructing knee ligaments, examining injuries and helping broken athletes heal. A general orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopy, Loughran is an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the medical director of VCU’s Sports Medicine Clinic.

Loughran also has worked as the orthopaedic surgeon and consultant for Virginia Union University, the Richmond Braves, the Richmond Flying Squirrels and several local high schools.

Read more about Loughran’s career.


The day Jerry Strauss reflected on the past year

The Dean of Medicine Jerome F. Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., reflected on the past year in his traditional December letter to the alumni body.

“This past year has seen many changes on the MCV Campus,” he wrote. “The most visible among them has been the demolition of the A.D. Williams Clinic that has made way for the medical school’s new education building at the heart of the medical center.”

His letter also touched on curricular advances in the medical school including a newly awarded $1 million grant that will support geriatric training, as well as faculty and student achievement.

Read his 2010 end-of-year reflection [PDF]


The day the Richmond community learned about a program aimed at breaking the cycle of violence

Intervening in the lives of teens when they are most vulnerable, Bridging the Gap, aims to break the cycle of violence through counseling and other assistance. A program led by the VCU Medical Center’s Trauma Center enrolls teens after they are brought to the hospital, wounded by violence.

With support from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the program has enrolled 82 patients since it was begun in 2007. Michel Aboutanos, M.D., told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that is just a portion of the “estimated 600 patients in the same age range who came through VCU’s trauma center for violence-related injuries over the past three years.”

In an article that appeared in the Dec. 11 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Aboutanos said he wants the program to help his patients avoid being wounded again.

Associate professor of trauma surgery, Aboutanos completed his surgery residency at the medical center in 2000.

Read the Richmond Times-Dispatch article, Group Offers Medical Care, Counseling to Trauma Victims.


The day ABC News called on Harry Bear for comment on aggressive breast cancers

In its coverage of Elizabeth Edwards’ death from breast cancer, ABC News called on Harry D. Bear, M.D., Ph.D., for comment on the rapidity with which metastatic cancer can progress in its final stages.

Bear, chair of surgical oncology, told ABC News for its online news story that, “Once the last of all of the likely therapies stops working, it is typical for deterioration to be quite rapid.”

Read the ABC News online story.


The day John Pellock took the helm of the American Epilepsy Society

John M. Pellock, M.D., chair of the Division of Child Neurology and professor of neurology, pediatrics and pharmacy and pharmaceutics, was named president of the American Epilepsy Society during the organization’s 64th annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

The 3,000-member American Epilepsy Society is the world’s largest organization of professionals dedicated to the prevention, treatment and cure of epilepsy.

Pellock is an internationally recognized expert in epilepsy drug therapy and a frequent lecturer and presenter at professional symposia around the world. He served earlier this year as leader of the Infantile Spasms Working Group, which produced the U.S. Consensus Report on Infantile Spasms for the guidance of pediatricians in treating this rare but serious condition.

He received his medical degree from St. Louis University, St. Louis. He completed a fellowship in pediatric neurology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, and residency in pediatrics at the VCU School of Medicine. He holds board certifications in pediatrics and in psychiatry and neurology with special competence in child neurology.

Read more on the AES website.

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Updated: 04/29/2016