Ginger Plumbo @gplumbo

Activity by Ginger Plumbo @gplumbo


Fri, Feb 17 at 1:15pm EDT by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic announces successful face transplant on Wyoming man

Photo of Andrew SandnessROCHESTER, Minn. ― A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians and other health professionals recently completed a near-total face transplant on a Wyoming man on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. The extensive, life-changing surgery will improve the patient’s ability to chew, swallow, speak, breathe and smell. The recipient, Andrew Sandness, is a 32-year-old man from eastern Wyoming whose face was devastated by a gunshot wound at the age of 21. He is doing well.

“I am absolutely amazed at the outcome so far,” says Sandness. “I am now able to chew and eat normal food, and the nerve sensation is slowly improving, too. My confidence has improved, and I’m feeling great ― and grateful. I am so thankful to my donor and the donor’s family, and to all of the people who have supported me throughout this process.”

The care team led by Samir Mardini, M.D., and Hatem Amer, M.D., the surgical director and medical director, respectively, for Mayo Clinic Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery. The team includes specialists from Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Transplant Medicine, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Radiology, Critical Care, Anesthesia, Psychiatry, Infectious Diseases, Immunology, Pharmacy, Regenerative Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Rehabilitation, and Speech and Language Pathology. The team also includes staff from LifeSource, the federally-designated nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest.


Journalists: Broadcast-quality video packages with split-channel audio, animations and extra b-roll are in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

“Mayo Clinic has a long history of specialized teams of experts providing complex care to patients who need hope and healing,” says Dr. Mardini. “This is an extraordinary example of the teamwork, collaboration and compassion that we provide at Mayo Clinic, and I couldn’t be more proud of this team. Andy has been our patient for 10 years. He has worked so hard to prepare for this, and during his entire recovery period, he has been strong, gracious and determined. Andy is an amazing person and so well-deserving of this gift.”

The surgery, which spanned more than 50 hours, occurred in the summer 2016 and involved restoring Sandness’ nose, upper and lower jaw, palate, teeth, cheeks, facial muscles, oral mucosa, some of the salivary glands and the skin of the face (from below the eyelids to the neck and from ear to ear). The surgical team used virtual surgical planning technology and 3-D printing to optimize the aesthetic and functional outcomes of the surgery. Sandness has been recovering in Rochester and likely will return home to eastern Wyoming this month.

View photo gallery on Flickr.

Overhead photo of face transplant team

“We are grateful that the guiding principles of the Mayo Brothers have endured and shepherded the development of the Reconstructive Transplant program, and for Andy’s dedication to his medical care,” says Dr. Amer. “Throughout the entire journey, we have shared Andy’s concern and sympathy for the donor family who have made this amazing gift possible. Their selfless gift gives hope to so many other people who are living reclusively, have limited function, and are socially isolated due to facial deformities.”

The multidisciplinary team leaders for this project ― all from Mayo Clinic ― are:
Samir Mardini, M.D., surgical director
Hatem Amer, M.D., medical director
Charles Rosen, M.D., director, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center
Brooks Edwards, M.D., immediate past director, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center
Sheila Jowsey-Gregoire, M.D., Transplant Psychiatry
Kevin Reid, D.M.D., Bioethics
Daniel Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Anesthesia/Critical Care
• Sharon Prinsen, M.S.N., R.N., N.E.A.-B.C., nursing administrator, Transplant
• Cheryl Weisbrod, R.N., N.E.-B.C., nursing administrator, Surgery
• Lori Ewoldt, M.A., administrator, Transplant Center
• Mark Dahl, CPP, Security
• Christopher Arendt, Pharm.D.

Facial transplantation is the process of removing part or all of a donor’s face and attaching it onto a patient who has previously suffered facial injury or deformity. Skin, fat, muscles, nerves, tendons, cartilage and bone may be components of the transplant. Attaching nerves and blood vessels from the donor’s face to the recipient’s provides the potential (with extensive rehabilitation) for sensation, function and mobility similar to an uninjured face. In some situations, it may allow the recipient to regain the ability to speak, chew food, avoid ongoing use of feeding tubes, and regain his or her sense of smell.

Mayo Clinic’s primary goal is to restore normal anatomy and improve function as much as possible. A secondary goal is to help patients achieve better social integration by improving their appearance and removing their facial deformity, giving them the confidence to live less reclusively and have a better quality of life. At Mayo Clinic, teams of experts focus on meeting the needs of each patient as a whole person, providing exactly the care he or she needs.

For more than 50 years, thousands of people have received organ, tissue and bone marrow transplants at Mayo Clinic, and Mayo Clinic has been on the forefront of reconstructive facial surgery since the 1930s. Mayo Clinic performs more transplants than any other institution in the nation. The face transplant program combines these long-standing areas of expertise to provide patients with peace of mind that Mayo Clinic has the capabilities and experience they need to have a successful outcome and improved quality of life.

The Mayo Clinic Essam and Dalal Obaid Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery is supported by a generous gift from Mr. Tarek Obaid and the Essam and Dalal Obaid Foundation in honor of the Obaid family’s values — particularly hope — which they consider the most powerful emotion, providing the fortitude to persevere and the well from which people draw strength.

Related news: Transforming a life: Mayo Clinic announces its first face transplant


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or


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Mon, Jan 30 at 5:09pm EDT by @gplumbo · View  

Media statement from Mayo Clinic regarding immigration/travel executive order

artistic lens photo of Gonda Building with blue skies, Damen parking ramp and Founder's Park

Updated Statement from Mayo Clinic
January 30, 2017

“We are currently assessing the situation related to the travel and immigration executive order. We are aware of approximately 80 staff, physicians, or scholars associated with Mayo Clinic who have ties to the seven countries included in the executive order. We are not aware of any Mayo Clinic staff traveling for Mayo Clinic business who are currently affected. We are not aware of any Mayo-sponsored non-immigrant visa holders who have been immediately affected. We are still unsure of how Mayo staff and their families who are traveling for personal reasons may be affected.

A number of Mayo Clinic staff and trainees have expressed concern about the potential impact this order may have on their future plans, and we are working to more fully assess and advise on these concerns in a rapidly changing legal environment.

We are aware of approximately 20 patients who may be affected, and are working with any patients who have any concerns related to travel to or from Mayo Clinic.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

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Apr 15, 2016 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Long-term Benefits to the Kidney in Simultaneous Liver-Kidney Transplant

female hands holding green organ transplant awareness ribbonResearchers find lower incidence of chronic damage to the kidney due to rejection and better overall kidney function at 5 years post transplant

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A new study from physicians at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, found there may be long-term benefits to simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation versus kidney transplantation alone. The study, “Decreased Chronic Cellular and Antibody-Mediated Injury in the Kidney Following Simultaneous Liver-Kidney Transplantation” published recently in the journal Kidney International. Among patients with high and low levels of donor-specific alloantibodies, the study showed those who received simultaneous liver-kidney transplants demonstrated a lower incidence of cellular and antibody-mediated rejection and chronic injury to the kidney, and demonstrated better overall kidney function five years post procedure.

Rejection of transplanted organs can occur within minutes (hyperacute rejection) or days to months (acute) after a transplant. In other cases, the damage takes place over a number of years and can lead to decreased kidney function and, potentially, rejection of the transplanted organ. This is known as chronic kidney injury. While past research has shown that patients who have a combined or simultaneous liver-kidney transplant can be protected from hyperacute and acute rejection, the recent Mayo Clinic study is the first to examine the potential long-term effects of simultaneous liver-kidney transplant and chronic kidney injury or function.

“We know that a healthy liver can reduce the levels of circulating donor-specific alloantibodies, which can lead to rejection of a transplanted organ in kidney transplant recipients,” says Timucin Taner, M.D., Ph.D., a transplant surgeon at Mayo Clinic. “The findings from this study indicate that these positive benefits of a healthy liver in simultaneous liver-kidney transplants may be long-standing and that the liver may have a protective role against cellular rejection, as well”

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Mayo Clinic physicians studied kidney biopsies from 68 consecutive liver-kidney transplant recipients, 14 with donor-specific alloantibodies and 54 with low or no donor-specific alloantibodies. These results were compared to biopsies from patients who had received a kidney transplant alone, with a comparable break down of high and low donor-specific alloantibodies.

Factors studied included the overall five-year patient and graft or transplant survival; the incidence of acute rejection and chronic kidney damage; and overall measures of kidney function. Findings indicate that, at five years post-transplant in patients with donor-specific alloantibodies, those who had a simultaneous liver-kidney transplant kidney transplant had a:

  • 7.1 percent rate of acute rejection, compared to 46.4 percent for similar patients who had a kidney transplant alone
  • No chronic transplant-related kidney injury, compared to 53.6 percent incidence of chronic injury for patients who had a kidney transplant alone
  • Stable glomerular filtration rate (a measure known as a glomerular filtration rate [GFR], which indicates how well the kidneys are functioning), compared to a decline in GFR of 44 percent for patients who had a kidney transplant alone.

“This study is promising, because it demonstrates the power of a well-functioning liver allograft in modulating host immune responses and positively influencing long-term outcomes of the kidney transplant in simultaneous liver-kidney transplant recipients,” says Dr. Taner. “More work is needed to better understand how far this benefit extends beyond transplantation, as well as how immunosuppressive therapies impact these outcomes.”

April is Donate Life Month. More than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Nearly 2,000 of those are children. Mayo Clinic has over 3,000 patients on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national waiting list. An average of 21 people die each day in the United States waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs.


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or

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Apr 7, 2016 by @gplumbo · View  

Principal Photography Completed for ‘The First Patient’ Documentary

Left to right: Photo of Dr. Nirusha Lachman, Dr. Wojceich Pawlina and Filmmaker Chip DuncanNew feature-length documentary explores the study of human anatomy with unprecedented access to student dissection of the human body

ROCHESTER, Minn. and MILWAUKEE — No class in medical school is considered more challenging than gross anatomy – the dissection of the human body. Aptly described by many in the medical field as a “rite of passage” in which students learn the complex language of medicine and the intricacies of the human body, the class is unlike anything experienced in any other setting. Documentation for a film and TV audience rarely has been undertaken – until now.

In a course developed by Mayo Medical School, 52 first-year medical students spend seven weeks as members of four-person teams following a closely defined process of dissection and analysis of donor cadavers. Long considered an essential, but somewhat daunting subject, the anatomy class provides students with firsthand experience that helps inform and shape their entire education – from learning human anatomy to patient care to skills in teamwork and professionalism.

“The study of anatomy done in this manner has a profound impact on our students,” says Wojciech Pawlina, M.D., professor of Anatomy and Medical Education at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a leading national expert and author on anatomy and histology. “Filming this passage with The Duncan Group will hopefully provide the public with a glimpse of how the study of gross anatomy translates into the real world of medical care, teamwork, professionalism, and, even in death, putting the patient first.”

MEDIA CONTACTS: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,
Chip Duncan, Writer and Director - “The First Patient", 414-223-1060,

Tentatively titled “The First Patient,” the feature-length documentary will include detailed interviews with faculty and more than 20 participants from the diverse student body. The film is being written and directed by Chip Duncan from the award-winning team at The Duncan Group, Inc. ( The producers for the film are Duncan, Vivien Williams and Bob Huck. The Duncan Group is now in its 31st year as a leading producer of long-form, nonfiction documentaries.

“It’s a privilege to document the extraordinary transformation of first-year students in the class many consider the toughest in medical school,” says Chip Duncan, director. “With access and assistance provided by Mayo Clinic, we were able to bring our cameras into a world the public rarely sees. I believe our audience will be inspired by the passion and commitment of the students, as well as the astonishing beauty of the human body.”

“The First Patient” has been in the planning stages with Mayo Clinic for nearly four years as the production team conducted extensive research and carefully worked through filming logistics. The joint collaboration of The Duncan Group and Mayo Medical School, long considered a national leader in medical education, underscores the importance of medical training and patient care.

“Mayo Clinic is transforming the way tomorrow’s physicians are trained,” says Michele Halyard, M.D., interim dean, Mayo Medical School. “This film gives a glimpse of our students’ hard work and dedication, and provides unprecedented insights into the journey of becoming a doctor. But, most importantly, the film will demonstrate what an amazing gift the human body is to our students and the medical profession in general.”

The anticipated release date for “The First Patient” is January 2017. Scripting and editing for the film are underway at The Duncan Group offices in Milwaukee.


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or


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Apr 4, 2016 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic Offers Condolences on Passing of a Key Philanthropic Partner

Richard O. JacobsonRichard O. Jacobson, a longtime Mayo Clinic patient who in 2011 made the largest outright gift in Mayo Clinic history, passed away on Friday after a courageous battle with stomach cancer.

“We are greatly saddened at the news of Mr. Jacobson’s death and offer our sincere condolences to all who knew him. He had an extraordinary generosity of spirit, and we will always be inspired by his optimism for the future of patient care,” says Dr. John Noseworthy, president and CEO, Mayo Clinic.

Mr. Jacobson gave $100 million to Mayo Clinic just as plans were underway to establish the Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program and build new facilities in Rochester, Minnesota and Phoenix. To honor Mr. Jacobson's transformative gift, Mayo Clinic named the Rochester facility in his honor.

"My dream has always been to establish a major new facility at Mayo Clinic," Mr. Jacobson said at the time of the gift. "By supporting Mayo, you help people throughout the country and around the world."

The Proton Beam Therapy Program opened in the Richard O. Jacobson Building in Rochester in 2015.

“Mr. Jacobson’s gift to Mayo Clinic will have a lasting influence over many decades,” says Dr. Robert Foote, medical director of the Proton Beam Therapy Program and chair of Radiation Oncology. “It will allow tens of thousands of children and adults to be cured of cancer with fewer, and less severe, immediate and long-term side effects leading to a better quality of life.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

Mr. Jacobson had a relationship with Mayo Clinic that spanned more than 70 years. His parents were loyal patients in the early 1900s and friends of the Mayo brothers. When Mr. Jacobson was a young child, he became ill. His mother called Dr. Charlie’s son, Dr. Chuck Mayo. They discussed the boy’s condition, and Mrs. Jacobson decided her son should be seen at Mayo. She told Dr. Mayo, “We’ll see you tomorrow at 10.” Sure enough, Dr. Mayo saw the boy as his mother directed.

Mr. Jacobson founded Jacobson Warehouse Co. in Des Moines, Iowa. It became one of the largest privately owned warehouse companies in the nation -part of Jacobson Companies - which includes investment, transportation, packaging, logistics and staffing businesses.

In 1976, he established the Richard O. Jacobson Foundation, which provides wide-ranging support for children and education in Iowa, the Midwest and Pinellas County, Florida.

Learn more about the Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program.

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Feb 8, 2016 by @gplumbo · View  

No Increase in The Utilization of Timely Living Donor Kidney Transplants

Man in hospital for kidney transplant

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A kidney transplant is a life-changing and life-saving procedure. Yet, a new study conducted by Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan shows that only one-third of patients who ultimately receive a living donor kidney transplant receive it pre-emptively (i.e., before starting dialysis). Less than two-thirds receive a transplant either pre-emptively or within a year of starting dialysis.

Existing research suggests that less time spent on dialysis before transplant can improve patient outcomes and survival after transplant. However, this new research shows there has been no increase in the utilization of what is known as timely living donor kidney transplants, which includes pre-emptive and early transplants, since 2006. The study “Under-utilization of timely kidney transplants in those with living donors,” was published recently in the American Journal of Transplantation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

“Early referral to transplant evaluation and access to information about living donor kidney transplantation is key to a successful timely transplant and to improved long-term outcomes,” says Mark Stegall, M.D., a professor of surgery at Mayo Clinic and senior author of the manuscript. “One important area where people lack education is on how to communicate with family and friends about their need for a kidney transplant and the fact that live donors offer, on average, a better outcome than deceased donor transplantation.”

“Past studies and patient data have shown that we can improve a person’s quality of life and chance of surviving end-stage renal disease if we can avoid or minimize the amount of time they spend on dialysis,” says Ankit Sakhuja, M.B.B.S., a graduate of Mayo Clinic Renal Transplant Fellowship. He also currently is an assistant professor and director of the kidney paired donation program in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Michigan.

Mayo Clinic and University of Michigan researchers examined data from the United Network for Organ Sharing to evaluate the use of timely kidney transplants from 2000 to 2012 for 68,128 patients who received living donor transplants. Although data showed an improvement in the use of pre-emptive and early living donor transplants between 2000 and 2006, there has been no improvement since.

“Patients who are receiving transplants from compatible living donors should, theoretically, not need to go on dialysis at all,” says Dr. Sakhuja. “In comparison, patients with no living donors may wait for a deceased donor organ for a long time. But in reality, we see a wide variation in the timing of transplants and no improvement in the use of timely transplants from living donors, despite the potential availability and known benefits.”

Factors that influence a person’s chance of receiving a timely living kidney transplant are thought to include lack of available living donors, decreased number of living donors, lack of insurance, lack of education or knowledge, delayed diagnosis and delayed referral.

Paired donations and direct donation represent two viable and available options for timely living kidney transplant. Yet both can be influenced by early referral and by a patient’s understanding of their situation and the transplant evaluation process. The use of timely kidney transplant can vary greatly from one transplant center to another, based on factors including the patient population, the transplant team and its comfort in evaluating living donors, and providing prompt transplant evaluations for patients. But according to Dr. Stegall, approximately 80 percent of kidney transplants at Mayo Clinic in the past 15 years have been from living donors, with 40 percent of those being pre-emptive living donor transplants.

Currently, more than 600,000 people suffer from end-stage renal disease and are candidates for dialysis or kidney transplant. To learn more about living donor kidney transplants, visit


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or

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Jan 20, 2016 by @gplumbo · View  

Work Schedule is Top Barrier to Staying Healthy, According to First-Ever Mayo Clinic National Health Check-Up®

image of fruits, vegetables and hand weights representing healthy lifestyle 

According to the first-ever Mayo Clinic National Health Check-Up, most Americans experience barriers to staying healthy, with their work schedule as the leading barrier (22 percent), particularly among men and residents of the Northeast. While work schedule is a top barrier for women, as well, they are significantly more likely than men to cite caring for a child, spouse or parent.

“The Mayo Clinic National Health Check-Up takes a pulse on Americans’ health opinions and behaviors, from barriers to getting healthy to perceptions of aging, to help identify opportunities to educate and empower people to improve their health,” says John T. Wald, M.D., Medical Director for Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic. “In this first survey, we’re also looking at ‘health by the decades’ to uncover differences as we age.”

Watch Dr. John Wald 

Survey also reveals optimism about curing cancer, in light of State of the Union imperative

“Eat a Healthier Diet” Tops Resolutions for 2016
When asked about their plans to improve their health in 2016, survey respondents’ top three answers in rank order were “Eat a Healthier Diet” (74 percent), “Exercise More” (73 percent), and “Schedule an Annual Wellness Visit with Your Doctor” (66 percent).

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Women were more likely than men to say that they will do something to improve their health in 2016:

  • Eat a healthier diet (80 percent vs. 67 percent)
  • Schedule an annual wellness visit with their doctor (70 percent vs. 62 percent)
  • Get more sleep (67 percent vs. 58 percent)
  • See their doctor to discuss symptoms they have been experiencing (62 percent vs. 51 percent)
  • Take a nutritional supplement (63 percent vs. 47 percent)
  • Schedule a milestone screening (56 percent vs. 26 percent)

Mayo-National Check UP Infographic

View entire Mayo Clinic National Health Check-Up Infographic

“While we know that women tend to be more proactive about their health, it’s concerning that so many fewer men say that they plan to schedule a milestone screening, such as a colonoscopy, in 2016,” said Dr. Wald. “Men need to prioritize screenings as well, because early detection of disease can help improve chances of survival. If they are of average risk, men should begin getting screened for colorectal and prostate cancer at age 50, and sooner if they are of above-average risk.”

People in 30s Least Optimistic About Aging Better than Parents
While most respondents (70 percent) said that they believe they will age better than their parents, the survey identified demographic differences in opinion. People in their 30s were the least optimistic (56 percent) about aging better than their parents, while people in their 80s were the most optimistic (92 percent). Differences were also revealed by household description, with people with children in the household (63 percent) less optimistic than people without children in the household (73 percent).

The survey also explored changes experienced by respondents in the past five years due to aging, identifying that women were significantly more likely than men to say that they had experienced weight gain (46 percent vs. 35 percent) and difficulty sleeping (46 percent vs. 34 percent).

Health-Related Conversations: By the Decades
The Mayo Clinic National Health Check-Up revealed an evolution in health-related conversations with friends as we age:

  • 20s – Healthy meal options
  • 30s – Maintaining healthy weight, parents’ health issues
  • 40s – Maintaining healthy weight, children’s health issues
  • 50s – 80s – Their own health issues

Telemedicine is Still Gaining Traction
In spite of the growing access to telemedicine, the survey showed that the majority of respondents (61 percent) would not choose telemedicine over an in-office visit, with the greatest opposition from Midwestern respondents (31 percent answered that “nothing would influence them to choose telemedicine over seeing a doctor in-person”). The most likely champions of telemedicine were people in their 30s (49 percent) and respondents with household income between $75,000 - $100,000 (52 percent).

Optimistic About Curing Chronic Diseases
Respondents demonstrated optimism for curing chronic diseases in the near future:

  • In the next 10 years:
    • Diabetes (46 percent)
    • Cancer (35 percent)
  • In the next 20 years:
    • ALS (38 percent)
    • Alzheimer’s (34 percent)
    • Parkinson’s (35 percent)

“At Mayo Clinic, we’re in the midst of a number of exciting clinical trials that validate respondents’ optimism about curing chronic diseases,” said Dr. Wald. “It’s important to note that funding for research will be paramount to achieving these milestones.”

About the Poll
The Mayo Clinic National Health Check-Up was conducted through an ORC International Telephone CARAVAN® survey of 1,012 adults (18 years and older) living in the continental United States was conducted in December 2015. To learn more, please visit

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or

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Dec 15, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Targeting Frailty in Pre-Lung Transplant Patients Might Improve Survival Rates, Patient Outcomes

older, frail woman using walker 16x9

Rochester, Minn. — Frailty can affect people of all ages and demographics. Defined simply as “an increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes,” frailty can affect a patient’s chances of surviving a surgical procedure or needing a nursing home. A new study from physicians at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., published recently in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, is among the first to show a definitive connection between frailty and survival after a lung transplant procedure.

Mayo Clinic researchers studied 102 individuals who received lung transplants at Mayo Clinic between Jan. 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2013, and found that patients who were frail had a decreased survival rate compared to patients who were not frail.

According to the report, 46 percent of the patients studied were considered to be frail based on an assessment of 14 activities of daily living, such as difficulty climbing stairs, dependency on oxygen or noninvasive ventilation for normal breathing and difficulty with housekeeping chores. Of those considered to be frail, 63 percent were female with an average age of 57. Within this study population, there were 32 deaths within the first three years post-transplant.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

“Based on this population, we saw a definitive association between pre-transplant frailty and decreased survival after transplantation,” says Cassie Kennedy, M.D., Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic. “This suggests that we may be able to help patients live longer with fewer complications after a transplant by intervening early to prevent or lessen the severity of frailty.”

According to Dr. Kennedy, Mayo Clinic researchers found that the one-year survival rate for frail patients was 71.7 percent, compared to 92.9 percent for patients who were not frail. At three years, the survival rate for frail patients was 41.3 percent, compared to 66.1 percent for patients who were not frail.

“Understanding the connection between frailty and lung transplant survival and outcomes can help physicians deliver a more accurate prognosis for transplant patients and, ultimately, get patients and their families engaged in taking steps to improve long-term outcomes and survival,” says Dr. Kennedy.

Kennedy adds that future studies in this area will more clearly define the role that frailty plays in identifying candidates for lung transplantation, with the potential to influence selection guidelines and transplant center policies.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or


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Nov 23, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic Leads Global Effort to Standardize Diagnosis of Kidney Disease

medical illustration for normal kidney and diseased kidney
Consensus report expected to lead to more effective, patient-centered diagnosis and treatment

Rochester, Minn. — Kidney disease is a major health concern worldwide. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 American adults are at risk of developing kidney disease, and 26 million adults already have kidney disease. Many are undiagnosed. Because kidney disease can go undetected until it’s too late, effective and consistent diagnosis is essential. Physicians on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester, Minn., campus – one of the world’s leading kidney disease centers – are at the forefront of an effort to standardize the diagnosis of kidney disease.

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), Mayo Clinic researchers provide a detailed recommendation for standardizing the diagnosis of glomerulonephritis. This is a term used to describe various conditions involving inflammation of the glomeruli, which is the basic filtering unit in the kidneys. Inflammation prevents the kidneys from properly filtering toxins out of the blood and regulating fluid levels in the body, and, ultimately, can lead to permanent damage to the kidneys and potential kidney failure.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [...]

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Nov 11, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic announces new program for preventive care of business aviation pilots

photo of small jet with pilots

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Today, Mayo Clinic announces ProPilot, a new program for corporate flight departments that offers bundled services designed to keep and get pilots back on the flight deck quickly and safely.

Mayo Clinic also announces today that the first member organization of ProPilot is the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Pilots from hundreds of corporate flight departments belonging to YPO now will have access to a premium preventive health screening program provided by Mayo Clinic.

Mayo Clinic’s Section of Aerospace Medicine is launching the Mayo Clinic ProPilot Program on its Rochester, Minnesota, campus. The program features an age-tiered model of predetermined preventive health services offered to pilots annually. Member aviators have access to Mayo Clinic experts in Aviation Medicine, along with a team of nurses who provide a comprehensive preventive screening assessment in conjunction with their required Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification examination. If a medical condition is detected, it is often identified earlier in its course to prevent a lapse in certification eligibility, and Mayo flight physicians expedite any necessary medical waivers if a condition is detected.

Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Linda Fisk, YPO, Office: +1 972-629-7305 (United States), Mobile: +1 972-207-4298, Email: [...]

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Oct 19, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Specific Protein in Blood Can be Early Predictor of End-Stage Kidney Disease and Death

medical illustration of normal kidney and diseased kidney

Rochester, Minn. (Oct. 20, 2015) — Mayo Clinic researchers in Rochester, Minnesota, collaborated with the University of Mississippi Medical Center on a recent study, “Troponin T as a Predictor of End-Stage Renal Disease and All-Cause Death in African-American and Whites From Hypertensive Families.” For the first time, this study identified the presence of a specific protein in the blood used to look for heart damage. This protein can be an early indicator of end-stage renal disease — and ultimately death — in people with hypertension, regardless of race or baseline kidney function. The study was published online today, and will be in the November issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

According to LaTonya Hickson, M.D., lead author on the study and a Nephrology and Hypertension physician at Mayo Clinic, an increased level of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) in the blood can be an early indicator of disease and accurately identify patients who need intervention, regardless of race. Dr. Hickson says this is important, because, while previous studies have shown a higher incidence of death and kidney failure among African-Americans compared to whites, doctors now know that, regardless of race or baseline kidney function, having an elevated level of cTnT can be a warning of impending kidney failure and/or early death.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [...]

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Sep 30, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Study finds connection between severe menopausal symptoms and history of recent abuse

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Menopause is associated with many bothersome symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, difficulty with mood, memory or concentration, and changes in sexual function. Mayo Clinic physicians recently released findings from research that demonstrated a connection between the severity of menopausal symptoms and a woman’s recent experience of abuse. The abuse could be verbal or emotional, physical or sexual.middle aged woman, sad, thinking, worried, depressed

Mayo Clinic experts presented findings from the study, “The Association Between Abuse and Menopausal Symptom Bother: Results From the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause and Sexuality,” at the annual conference for the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Las Vegas.

“Approximately 25 percent of women say they have experienced abuse over the course of their lifetime, and we know that this can have long-lasting and far-reaching effects on physical and emotional health,” says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Office of Women’s Health and co-author of the study. “This study examines whether, and to what degree, self-reported abuse in the last year is associated with the severity of menopausal symptoms.”

Based on survey responses from more than 3,700 women, Mayo Clinic researchers found that:

• In the last year, 6.8 percent reported one or more forms of abuse. Of those, 96.8 percent reported experiencing verbal or emotional abuse; 13 percent, physical abuse; and 3.9 percent, sexual abuse.
• Women who reported recent abuse also reported having more bothersome menopausal symptoms, including difficulty with sleep, issues with mood, memory or concentration, bowel/bladder problems, and difficulty with sexual function.
• There was not a direct correlation between the severity of hot flashes or night sweats, and reports of abuse in the last year.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Faubion are available in the downloads.


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Jul 28, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic releases findings and treatment criteria for use of left-ventricular assist devices on heart failure patients

heart transplant surgery ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic is announcing results of a study on the effectiveness of left-ventricular assist devices (LVAD) in treating patients with a form of cardiomyopathy called restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM). The Mayo Clinic study, which is the largest study of its kind to date, demonstrates that LVAD devices are a viable and accessible option for treating patients with RCM, who would otherwise see their health deteriorate or who may not survive. The study suggests criteria that clinicians can use for successful implementation of these devices in RCM.

Approximately 500,000 people are currently living with cardiomyopathy, which is a condition that affects the muscles in the heart. RCM is a rare form of cardiomyopathy that limits the heart muscle from relaxing between beats when the blood returns from the body back to the heart. This causes the heart to pump weakly and restricts the flow of blood to the heart’s chambers. An LVAD is a mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [...]

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Jul 16, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Researchers Test Bioartificial Liver Device to Treat Acute Liver Failure

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Approximately 30,000–40,000 people die from liver disease each year, according to the American Liver Foundation. For people who experience acute liver failure, the only proven treatment has been liver transplantation. Researchers at Mayo Clinic have developed and are testing an alternative to liver transplantation called the Spheroid Reservoir Bioartificial Liver that can support healing and regeneration of the injured liver, and improve outcomes and reduce mortality rates for patients with acute liver failure --without requiring a transplant.bioliver slide

Developed by Scott Nyberg, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator in the Artificial Liver and Liver Transplantation Laboratory at Mayo Clinic, and liver transplant surgeon, the device uses healthy hepatocytes, or liver cells, from pigs to do the job of a normal, healthy liver, which aids in digestion and the removal of waste and toxins from the bloodstream. Treatment with the Spheroid Reservoir Bioartificial Liver (SRBAL) has been shown to reduce the severity of liver disease and improve survival in pigs. Future clinical studies are planned to assess the SRBAL as a less-invasive, long-term treatment option to liver transplantation. Results from a study using the device in a pivotal preclinical trial were published today in the Journal of Hepatology.

To see how the device works and access exclusive video of researchers in Mayo's laboratories, click here.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

“Acute liver failure claims the lives of over 30 percent of people who are diagnosed with this condition. Liver transplantation has been the go-to option for treating acute liver failure, but it also comes with many risks and isn’t always an option, due to compatibility and availability of donor livers,” says Dr. Nyberg. “A bioartificial liver device could allow physicians to treat and extend the lives of more patients, safely and cost-effectively, with fewer risks.”

The study conducted by Dr. Nyberg was designed to serve as a preclinical trial on pigs with drug-induced acute liver failure. The animals were treated using the Spheroid Reservoir Bioartificial Liver and were injected with healthy donor hepatocytes to determine if this treatment method could reverse the severity of their disease.

“This study demonstrated that animals treated using the bioartificial liver responded to the healthy hepatocytes and reached the study endpoint with less disease severity than animals that received other forms of treatment,” said Dr. Nyberg. “Although the artificial liver is not yet cleared for use on humans, these findings show promise as an effective treatment option for diseases like liver cancer and hepatitis, which is becoming an increasingly common diagnosis.”

The rights to the SRBAL have been exclusively optioned to Liver Cell Technologies for commercial development. Mayo Clinic and Dr. Nyberg have a financial interest in the product and Liver Cell Technologies.

According to the American Liver Foundation, there are more than 100 different types of liver disease that can compromise liver function and lead to chronic and life-threatening conditions such as hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and liver cancer.

Mayo Clinic, which performs approximately 120 liver transplants each year at its hospitals in Minnesota, Arizona and Florida, was named the Best Gastroenterology & GI Surgery Hospital in the nation in 2014–2015 by U.S. News & World Report.


About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit or


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May 14, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic Study Finds Losing Weight Can Reduce Risk of Death and Ventilator Use in Lung Transplant Patients

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Obesity is a complicating factor for many surgical patients. In a recent study published in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, Mayo Clinic researchers have shown that losing weight can have a positive impact on outcomes for lung transplant patients.

Image of heart transplant surgeryIn the manuscript, “Weight loss prior to lung transplantation is associated with improved survival,” Mayo Clinic researchers showed that a one unit reduction in body mass index in overweight and obese lung transplant recipients resulted in a reduced risk of death. The study also showed overweight and obese patients who lost weight spent less time on a mechanical ventilator after transplantation surgery.

“We knew from past research that obesity complicates post-transplant outcomes and survival,” says Cassie Kennedy, M.D., Mayo Clinic pulmonologist and transplant researcher. “Many practices advocated delaying transplant listing for obese patients to allow for weight loss, but we didn’t know if losing weight prior to transplantation was realistic. Patients awaiting lung transplantation have functional limitations that might impede weight loss. We also did not know if weight loss before lung transplant could actually help transplant patients live longer and avoid complications. This study showed weight loss in overweight and obese patients was achievable, sustained six to 12 months post-surgery, and that these individuals had improved survival and fewer complications related to their transplant procedure.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:


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May 3, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic Physicians to Present Research Findings From Late-breaking Transplant Studies at American Transplant Congress

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic transplant researchers will present findings from nearly 20 studies at the American Transplant Congress in Philadelphia, Penn., May 2-5.

Mayo Clinic is nationally recognized for research and clinical success in transplantation, and performs over 1,000 solid organ transplants each year. Researchers will share findings from the following late-breaking studies at the American Transplant Congress:

“Burden of Early Antibody-Mediated Rejection (AMR): Complications, Resource Utilization and Cost Differential in Treatment of AMR”
Mayo Clinic surgeons at work

  • This study examined the connection between early AMR (a situation following transplant surgery in which the body begins to reject the donor organ) and clinical complications, hospital resource utilization and related costs.
  • An examination of 48 adult patients with AMR found those who were diagnosed with early AMR experienced higher rates of complications, almost double the number of hospital days and surgical procedures, and significantly higher post-transplant health care costs.
  • Mayo Clinic researchers involved in this study include Ramandeep Banga, MBBS, Carrie Schinstock, M.D., Matthew Hathcock, Walter Kremers, Ph.D., and Mark Stegall, M.D.
  • Presentation Date: May 2, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. EDT

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [...]

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Apr 20, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Mayo Clinic Physicians Present New Research on Heart Transplant Care and Long-term Outcomes

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Heart transplant experts from Mayo Clinic presented findings from three recent clinical studies involving heart transplant patients. The presentations took place during the 2015 International Society of Heart & Lung Transplant (ISHLT) in Nice, France, April 15–18.

Two hands holding a heartMayo Clinic physicians presented oral and poster presentations on 16 studies at ISHLT this year. The conference attracts 3,000 health care professionals from 45 countries who represent more than 15 different medical disciplines involved in the management and treatment of end-stage heart and lung disease. A few highlights of the Mayo Clinic-related research include:

“Are psychosocial characteristics predictive of death and rehospitalization after destination left ventricular assist device?”

  • This study examined psychosocial factors, such as drug use, depression and nonsmoking status to determine if they are associated with higher rehospitalization risk after a patient has received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
  • The study concluded that drug use, depression and nonsmoking status are associated with higher rehospitalization risk after LVAD. These data may be helpful in stratifying and communicating risk to patients who are considering LVAD as destination therapy.
  • Mayo Clinic researchers involved in this study include Shannon Dunlay, M.D., M.S.; Sarah Schettle, PAC; David Snipelisky, M.D.; Shashank Sharma; Sudhir Kushwaha, M.D.; John Stulak, M.D.
  • Date of presentation: April 15


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Apr 15, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

April 17 is ‘Donate Life Day’ in Rochester

Wear blue and green, attend ‘Walk of Remembrance’ and flag ceremony to commemorate

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Friday, April 17, is “Donate Life Day” in Rochester, an annual recognition to raise awareness about organ donation. LifeSource, Gift of Life Transplant House and Mayo Clinic Transplant Center are hosting a “Walk of Remembrance” and flag ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m. on the Saint Marys Hospital campus. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.Gift of Life Transplant House

More than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Nearly 2,000 of those are children. Mayo Clinic has over 3,000 patients on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national waiting list. An average of 21 people die each day in the United States waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs.

Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

April is National Donate Life Month, and events are happening across the country to increase support for organ, tissue and eye donation. In addition to the Donate Life Day event in Rochester, there are several other ways to participate or observe Donate Life Month: [...]

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Apr 14, 2015 by @gplumbo · View  

Free Webinar for Donors and Patients on Living-donor Kidney Transplants

Kidney transplant surgeon

Dr. Mikel Prieto

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Prospective kidney transplant patients, families of adult and pediatric transplant candidates, and potential living kidney donors are invited to attend a free, public webinar about living-donor kidney transplants hosted by Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic is a leader in kidney transplants, performing approximately 550 kidney transplants each year and has one of the largest living-donor kidney transplant programs in the United States.

“As living organ donation, especially non-directed or ‘Good Samaritan’ donation, becomes more widely known and accepted, we want to provide more information about innovations in donation and transplantation,” says Mikel Prieto, M.D., surgical director of Kidney Transplantation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “We also want to provide a forum to answer questions for prospective donors, recipients, and their family members.”

What:  Free Webinar

When:  April 14 at noon CDT

Topic: What Patients and Donors Need to Know About Living-Donor Kidney Transplants

Host:  Mayo Clinic Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program


MEDIA CONTACT: Ginger Plumbo, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [...]

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Oct 9, 2014 by @gplumbo · View  

News Radio 830 WCCO Broadcasting Live from Mayo Clinic

WCCO will broadcast the Morning Show with Dave Lee from Mayo Clinic on Oct. 10 from 5 to 9 a.m.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — News Radio 830 WCCO joins Mayo Clinic in marking its 150th anniversary with a live broadcast of the Morning Show with Dave Lee on Friday, Oct. 10, 5–9 a.m. from the Landow Atrium in the Gonda Building on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester. The public is encouraged to tune in.

'Mayo 150 years serving humanity' 150th Sesquicentennial LogoScheduled* guests include:

WCCO personalities on the broadcast will include Dave Lee, host; Mike Lynch, weather; Sid Hartman, sports; Mike Max, sports.

Lee is the popular, longtime host of The Morning News on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis. He has been with WCCO Radio for more than 20 years. In October 2014, WCCO Radio celebrates its 90th year on the air.


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