- News Releases
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 28, 2012. Twenty-five years ago, in June 1987, a crew of just 47 physicians and 225 allied health employees rallied to formally launch Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Before the doors even opened, 1,800 patient appointments had been booked. Now, at the organization's 25th anniversary, set for Friday, June 29, 470 physicians and scientists and nearly 5,000 allied health employees, including many from the "original crew," will celebrate Mayo Clinic's many successes over the past quarter century of operation. Mayo Clinic in Arizona now spans two campuses, comprising more than 400 acres of land, and has added two research buildings on the Scottsdale campus and, on the Phoenix campus, a 244-bed hospital, a specialty clinic, housing for transplant and cancer patients and leased space for a child care center, a hospice and a hotel. Offsite family medicine practices were also added in Scottsdale and Glendale, Ariz. A visible new development on the Phoenix campus is construction currently under way for the Proton Beam Therapy Program, a precise form of cancer treatment that allows greater control over radiation doses, using pencil-beam scanning. Located just east of Mayo Clinic Hospital, the 100,000-plus square foot facility is expected to open its first treatment rooms by 2016. The center will be the first one in the Southwest. Plans were also announced in September 2011 for development of a branch of Mayo Medical School, called the Mayo Medical School – Arizona Campus, in collaboration with Arizona State University. Expected to open in 2015, the school will offer both a medical degree granted by Mayo and a master's degree in the Science of Health Care Delivery through ASU.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 28, 2012. More than 40,000 student athletes in Arizona have taken advantage of computerized baseline concussion evaluations offered by Mayo Clinic, in the program's first year. That amounts to nearly 40 percent of the state's roughly 100,000 high school athletes. Baseline concussion evaluations measure how the brain is working before injury, and are mandatory tests for professional and college athletes. Mayo covers the cost of the cognitive evaluations for all high school and junior high school-aged interscholastic and club athletes in the state. The program was made possible through the support of benefactors and Mayo Clinic. The test takes 8–15 minutes to complete, and athletes or their parents can share the results with health care providers of their choice. After a concussion, the test can be repeated to determine if there has been a change in the cognitive capabilities of the athlete and, once symptoms have resolved, the test can be repeated to determine whether the athlete has returned to pre-injury baseline. The results of this test, combined with a thorough neurological evaluation, ensure that the health care provider can make an informed and objective determination on when and whether the athlete can safely resume normal activities — and in the case of student athletes, when they can return to their sport. "The diagnosis of concussion, assessment of its severity and knowing when an athlete can return to physical activity, competition, work or school is not always clear," says Mayo neurologist David Dodick, M.D., at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and president of the American Headache Society. "Having a baseline concussion assessment for each athlete will assist in a physician's ability to identify and quantify a change in brain function, and determine if and when the athlete has returned to his or her baseline." After a concussion, if an athlete continues to play or returns to play too early, there is a significant risk of experiencing another concussion. Dr. Dodick adds. "Repeat concussions may take longer to resolve and come with a risk of permanent neurological damage or, rarely, death," he says. Children, adolescents and female athletes appear to be at a higher risk for concussions, and may also take longer to recover. While the importance of baseline testing is clear, the results should be used with a comprehensive neurological evaluation. Although the majority of concussions resolve relatively quickly, some athletes may experience symptoms that may persist for months or longer. The medical care and rehabilitation of these athletes is best achieved by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals with expertise in the evaluation and management of concussions. Providing this baseline assessment also highlights the importance of safeguarding the brain health of young athletes.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 26, 2012. For a significant number of patients, gastric bypass surgery for weight loss can reverse Type 2 diabetes, but a new Mayo Clinic study finds that the disease can return in some 21 percent of patients within three to five years. The recurrence of diabetes was mainly influenced by the patients' longstanding history of Type 2 diabetes, explains Yessica Ramos, M.D., an internal medicine resident at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and study lead. "This suggests that early surgical intervention for obese people with diabetes can improve the chances for remission of the disease." Ramos and colleagues at Mayo Clinic studied records of 72 patients with Type 2 diabetes who had undergone a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass procedure (the most common form of gastric bypass surgery in which part of the patient's stomach is used to create a new, smaller stomach pouch) between 2000 and 2007. Of those patients, 66 (92 percent) experienced reversal of their diabetes at some point following the surgery. However, 14 of those same patients (21 percent) experienced a recurrence of their Type 2 diabetes within three to five years, according to the researchers who studied their blood work. Both groups of patients – those whose diabetes was reversed, and those whose diabetes returned – regained similar amounts of weight post-surgery. Those whose diabetes was reversed lost more weight originally and maintained a lower mean weight throughout the five years of follow-up. The Mayo researchers found that the longer the patients had diabetes previous to their weight loss surgery, the higher the probability that their diabetes would recur. In particular, patients who had diabetes for longer than five years before their surgery were 3.8 times more likely to experience a recurrence of their diabetes, compared with patients who had less than a five-year history with the disease.
PHOENIX, Ariz., — June 7, 2012. Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona scored high marks for safety, earning an "A" Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. The Hospital Safety Score was calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group's Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. U.S. hospitals were assigned an A, B, C, D, or F for their safety. "Mayo Clinic takes great pride in our commitment to patient safety. Providing the safest, best possible care to our patients is always at the forefront of everything we do," said Wyatt W. Decker, M.D., Vice President, Mayo Clinic, Chief Executive Officer for Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "Being recognized as one of the safest hospitals in Arizona means a great deal to our staff and the patients we serve," Dr. Decker added. "It's The Leapfrog Group's goal to give patients the information they need and deserve before even entering a hospital," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. "We congratulate the hospitals that earned an 'A' and we look forward to the day when all hospitals in the U.S. will earn the highest scores for putting patient safety first." To see Mayo Clinic Hospital's scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit the Hospital Safety Score website, which also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay. Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group's nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital's overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. The panel includes: John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (Harvard University), Lucian Leape (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim Vogus (Vanderbilt University), and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco).
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — June 6, 2012. It's the most common form of skin cancer, but in its advanced stages, basal cell carcinoma has the potential to become disfiguring and life threatening. An international phase 2 study headed by Mayo Clinic led to the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of the first drug of its kind to help advanced basal cell carcinoma patients who have few treatment options. The results appear in the June 7 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. VIDEO ALERT: Click here for footage of Dr. Sekulic. The study found the drug Erivedge (vismodegib) shrank advanced basal cell carcinoma tumors in 43 percent of patients with locally advanced disease and in 30 percent of patients whose disease spread to other organs. "This targeted therapy represents a new paradigm in cancer treatment," says lead researcher Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist and cancer researcher at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. More than 2 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are found in this country each year. Basal cell carcinoma accounts for approximately 80 percent of all diagnosed non-melanoma skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. It occurs when a basal cell develops a mutation in its DNA, causing it to multiply rapidly, with the potential of forming a cancerous tumor. In most cases, when basal cell carcinoma is diagnosed early it is treated effectively by surgery. When the cancer reaches an advanced state, surgery is not always an option or can be disfiguring. The disease can also be life threatening if left untreated or if it further advances into the skin, bone and tissue. Erivedge can shrink a tumor by targeting a molecular signaling pathway that fuels the cancer cells and shut it down, Dr. Sekulic says. "These findings are very exciting because we haven't had any therapies before that worked to this degree for advanced basal cell carcinoma," he says. Dr. Sekulic adds that more research is needed to determine if the drug has the potential to improve treatment for those in earlier stages of the disease, those with multiple basal cell carcinomas and those with a genetic predisposition to the disease. The study included researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.; Sint-Augustinus Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Denver; Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, Tenn.; University of California, San Francisco; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York; John Hopkins University, Baltimore; Genentech, Inc., San Francisco; and the Universitatsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany.