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Past News Items - Feb 2015

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In the News

Scripps Opens Most Advanced Heart Care Institute on the West Coast

UWS and the Institute for Functional Medicine Sign Global Agreement

New Study on BioCell Collagen Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

Children’s Use of Complementary Health Approaches

A Physical Therapy Exceeds Medical Success Treating Female Infertility

ABOIM Welcomes Inaugural Class of Board Certified Integrative Medicine Specialists

Medical Report Confirms "Inside the Artery" Therapy Vastly Improves Stroke Patient Outcomes

Riordan Clinic IVC Academy Teaches Doctors About the Use of High Dose Vitamin C.

TAP Integrative Launches an Online Educational Community for Integrative Practitioners

Bacteria: New Weapon in Cancer Battle, CIO 2015 Study Suggests

Released: 02/27/15

Scripps Opens Most Advanced Heart Care Institute on the West Coast

 Scripps Health today celebrated the grand opening of the most advanced center dedicated to heart care anywhere on the West Coast. The $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla is a hub for innovation bringing together leading researchers, physicians, staff and technologies in the largest heart program in the region.

"Today, we celebrate the opening of one of the country's top cardiovascular institutes right here in San Diego, which offers the most advanced heart care available not just for patients in our community but for heart patients everywhere," said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. "We designed this institute to be centered around our patients and their needs, creating an innovative environment for collaboration among some of the nation's most brilliant physicians, for ground-breaking research by world-class scientists, and for the diagnosis and treatment of the most challenging heart conditions."

The grand opening event included medical staff, volunteers, patients, donors and community leaders. It will be followed by a community open house on Sunday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"As one of San Diego County's largest employers and a top innovative health system in the country, Scripps has long provided opportunities to countless San Diegans," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "With the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, Scripps has taken it a step further by building the most sophisticated heart hospital on the West Coast – right here in San Diego."

The 383,000-square-foot tower of glass, brick and steel rising seven stories above Genesee Avenue is named for Conrad Prebys, a real estate developer, philanthropist and generous Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped create an institution that will save lives and foster medical breakthroughs for decades to come.

"In business, and in philanthropy, I want to be involved in projects that make me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm," said Conrad Prebys, whose donation was the largest he has ever made and the largest one ever received by Scripps. "I'm overwhelmingly enthusiastic about this building because it symbolizes the caliber of expertise, technological advancement and care that patients receive throughout the Scripps system."

Best provider of cardiovascular care gets better

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute combines highly respected cardiovascular programs from throughout the Scripps system and Kaiser Permanente. Each year, more than 76,000 patients receive their cardiovascular care from Scripps, making it San Diego County's – and California's -- largest heart care provider. For more than 30 years, Kaiser Permanente cardiologists have partnered with Scripps cardiovascular surgeons to care for Kaiser Permanente heart patients. This collaboration has contributed to the program's high-quality care, superior patient outcomes and national recognition.

"Building on a long history of working together, Kaiser Permanente and Scripps cardiac specialists will continue to offer the best heart care available to patients throughout the region through the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute," said Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice President and Executive Director Jane Finley.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming about 600,000 lives each year and accounting for one in every four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In San Diego County, nearly 4,000 people die of heart disease each year, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

With 166 cardiovascular specialists, Scripps performs more heart procedures than any other heart care program in California. In 2013, Scripps physicians performed 10,326 catheterization procedures, 3,682 electrophysiology procedures, 1,112 cardiovascular/thoracic surgeries and 95 heart robotic surgeries.

Scripps is the only heart care provider in the region consistently recognized by US News & World Report as one of the best in the country. In 2014, US News ranked Scripps 18 in the nation, the highest rated program in San Diego County.

Redefining heart care in San Diego

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute builds on a legacy of breakthroughs by Scripps in pioneering surgical procedures, landmark studies, genomic medicine and wireless technology to provide the most advanced treatment options available to patients with cardiovascular diseases.

The new tower features 108 inpatient beds in private rooms, 59 intensive care beds, six state-of-the-art operating rooms, and three advanced technology cardiac catheterization labs with space to add three more. Work also has begun on a state-of-the-art emergency department on the ground floor of the hospital, which is scheduled to open in June 2016.

"Advanced technology and tools allow us to vastly improve patient care, from diagnosis to treatment, resulting in safer procedures, shorter stays, faster recovery and better outcomes," said Paul M. Teirstein, MD, medical director of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute. "By keeping the patient at the center of our model of care, we deliver the highest quality care, one patient at a time."

The design of the building was driven by evidence-based principles and shaped by more than 200 individuals -- including doctors, nurses, leadership, architects and support staff – who provided guidance on the best practices for cardiac patients. Some of the hospital's notable features include:

  • Decentralized nurse stations to closely monitor patients and communicate with family members.
  • A three-tiered wireless infrastructure dedicated to enterprise, medical and consumer use that maintains maximum security and capabilities for clinicians.
  • Four state-of-the-art operating rooms.
  • Two hybrid operating rooms that can be used for catheterization procedures or surgeries.
  • 17 negative pressure isolation rooms.
  • Patient rooms and hallways bathed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • A subdued color palette proven to increase patients' sense of well-being and to boost the healing process.
  • Private rooms equipped with LCD screen televisions that can display clinical images, such as CT scans, and pullout couches so family members can stay comfortably overnight.

The institute is the cornerstone of a 25-year master plan unveiled in November 2010 that is transforming the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus.

"The opening of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is a major step in the reshaping of the Scripps La Jolla campus," said Gary Fybel, chief executive of Scripps La Jolla. "Through this and other campus improvements, Scripps La Jolla will continue to deliver the best medical care to patients for generations to come."

The master plan also calls for the replacement of the existing hospital to comply with California earthquake safety mandates. Other additions include the Scripps Clinic John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion, a $130 million multispecialty medical building being constructed adjacent to the institute and scheduled for completion in March 2016.

A new central energy plant located 1,600 feet from the institute was completed in November. The three-level, concrete structure provides the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute with air conditioning, heating, medical gas, steam, fuel storage, waste storage and emergency generators.

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., served as the construction management firm on behalf of Scripps. McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. was the design-assist general contractor, and HOK Architects was the project architect.

Scripps invites the community to the grand opening of the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on Sunday, March 1, during an open house featuring an out-door health and activities fair, and public tours of the tower's patient rooms, operating rooms and other spaces. The free event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the institute, which is located at 9888 Genesee Ave, La Jolla, 92037.

The fair will include healthy cooking demonstrations, free health screenings, a Kids' Zone featuring a Lego station, musical performances by Hulabaloo, and exhibits by the American Heart Association, WomenHeart, various public safety agencies and other community partners.

More information about the institute is available by calling 855-218-5721, or by visiting


Released: 02/26/15

UWS and the Institute for Functional Medicine Sign Global Agreement

Since its inception, the Master of Science in human nutrition and functional medicine (HNFM) program at University of Western States (UWS) has incorporated innovative content from the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM). Recently, the two institutions forged a stronger alliance and signed a global agreement that will lead to further collaboration them, including integration of IFM’s novel patient assessment criteria into the UWS program and IFM training for HNFM faculty. As part of the agreement, UWS and IFM have issued the following collaborative joint statement:

“University of Western States (UWS) and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) are pleased to announce a joint collaboration to incorporate functional medicine and functional nutrition coursework in the Master of Science in human nutrition and functional medicine (MSHNFM) program at UWS. UWS is an innovative university with a mission to improve the health of society and advance the science and art of integrated healthcare. This collaboration will enable UWS to better prepare health professionals to address the 21st century epidemic of chronic diseases. IFM, the global leader in functional medicine education, is pleased to provide faculty training, faculty scholarships, and curricular materials and tools to support this innovative master’s program. The MSHNFM program has been met with enthusiasm and interest among students from around the world and from a variety of backgrounds, including dietitians, nurses, physicians, and several other professions.”

Daniel Redwood, DC, director of the HNFM program, welcomed the signing of the UWS-IFM agreement.

“In our efforts to create the strongest possible program for our HNFM master’s degree students, we are committed to providing our students and faculty with expanded opportunities for professional growth. This new agreement with IFM will help us to achieve both of these important goals,” Redwood said. “Both IFM and UWS are institutions that increasingly embody what so many of us have hoped for and spoken about for many years—interprofessional relationships that include not only mutual respect, but active collaboration. We aspire to practice what we preach, enhance the quality of what we offer, and enlarge the range of ways we serve. Functional medicine principles and practices provide our students with a 21st century foundation.”


Source: University of Western States, Institute for Functional Medicine


Released: 02/24/15

New Study on BioCell Collagen Published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

BioCell Technology has announced the publication of a new clinical study on BioCell Collagen. The study, now indexed on PubMed (, describes the potential of BioCell Collagen for protecting the connective tissue of the musculoskeletal system and enhancing recovery from intense exercise. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was carried out by investigators at the Center for Applied Health Sciences (CAHS) who presented data in June at the 2014 International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Earlier clinical studies of BioCell Collagen have substantiated its safety and efficacy in promoting joint health and skin beauty. As these studies provide evidence that the patented healthy aging ingredient supports various connective tissues throughout the body, this proof-of-concept study was conducted to investigate whether daily intake of BioCell Collagen for six weeks could protect skeletal muscle connective tissue following an intense exercise challenge, and also enhance recovery. Data from the study showed that BioCell Collagen attenuated deleterious changes in muscle tissue damage and inflammatory biomarkers including creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and C-reactive protein. In addition, subjects who took BioCell Collagen appeared to show a more robust “repeated bout effect” as compared with placebo, suggesting augmented tissue recovery and remodeling.

“Extending its market-leading position as a key joint and skin health ingredient, this new clinical study in recreationally active healthy subjects provides intriguing dataset suggesting that this patented, research-backed dietary supplement has promising new applications in sports nutrition,” says Suhail Ishaq, president of BioCell Technology. “This opens up a new category in sports nutrition regarding connective tissue protection and recovery from post-workout soreness and limiting repetitive, overuse-related injuries.”

The details of the abstract are published on the JISSN website:


Source: BioCell Technology


Released: 02/18/15

Children’s Use of Complementary Health Approaches

A new report based on data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)* found that nearly 12 percent of children aged 4 to 17 years use complementary health approaches. Although this was not a significant change from the previous survey in 2007, there were significant increases in children’s use of yoga, fish oil, and melatonin. The complementary health approach most commonly used by children was natural products (dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals) at almost one-quarter the adult rate (4.9 percent vs. 17.6 percent). This issue of the digest highlights findings from the survey, which aims to provide the most current and comprehensive picture of U.S. children’s use of complementary health approaches, and may give you insight into your own patients’ use of these products and practices.

*The complementary health questionnaire was developed by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (formerly NCCAM) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The questionnaire is administered every 5 years as part of the NHIS, an annual study in which tens of thousands of Americans are interviewed about their health- and illness-related experiences. The 2012 survey results are based on combined data from 17,321 interviews with a knowledgeable adult about children aged 4 to 17 years.

For additional information visit


Released: 02/17/15

A Physical Therapy Exceeds Medical Success Treating Female Infertility

A 10-year study of 1,392 infertile women treated with a hands-on physical therapy called the Clear Passage Approach equaled, and often exceeded, standard medical treatments for the most common causes of female infertility, including both hormonal and structural conditions. Available in the US and England, the therapy opened totally blocked fallopian tubes—previously thought impossible without surgery—and achieved pregnancy rates double those of surgery.


The multi-site study, published in the US peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, had positive results for women who were infertile due to hormonal conditions. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the primary cause of female infertility, per the US Office on Women’s Health, because it interferes with ovulation. More than 53 percent of infertile women with PCOS became pregnant after receiving therapy—roughly double the success rates of surgery and drugs cited in the study. Comparable with surgery, 43 percent of women diagnosed infertile with endometriosis became pregnant after the therapy. The authors were encouraged that women diagnosed subfertile or infertile due to high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), which occurs as a woman approaches menopause, had a 39 percent pregnancy rate.


Women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) also saw improvement. Pregnancy rates were 56 percent for women who received therapy before IVF transfer, versus the national average of 37 percent during the decade-long study. The largest difference was in women older than age 40, where participants had an IVF pregnancy rate 3 to 5 times higher than the norm.


The therapy, which can feel like a deep massage and occurs over five days for a total of 20 hours, focuses on decreasing adhesions—the internal scars that form in the body after surgery or infection. It was developed over 25 years by physical therapist Belinda Wurn and her husband Larry, a massage therapist, to help decrease debilitating adhesions that formed in Belinda after pelvic surgery and radiation therapy.


“My personal struggle with painful adhesions and our decades of study in this area are turning a very bad experience into something quite positive,” she said.


Richard King, MD, a gynecologist-surgeon and the medical director for the study, said, “This landmark study can profoundly change the way physicians treat infertility in women. The treatment appears to reverse adhesive bonding and allow structures to move more freely, as they did earlier in life. When that happens, reproductive function clearly improves dramatically.”


Treatment is available at Clear Passage locations in several US cities and in the United Kingdom. To read the study, get complete success rates, or for more information, visit


Source: Clear Passage


Released: 02/16/15

ABOIM Welcomes Inaugural Class of Board Certified Integrative Medicine Specialists

The American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM) has announced that 121 integrative medicine physicians have attained board certification in the field as a result of successfully completing the initial board examinations. This marks an important milestone in the evolution and maturation of the emerging specialty.

“These integrative medicine board-certified physicians are now able to present themselves as doctors who incorporate the concepts of disease management, health promotion, illness prevention, and healthy lifestyle into their medical practices—all elements necessary to provide the best possible health care to patients,” said ABOIM chair Randy Horwitz, MD, PhD.

Candidates interested in pursuing ABOIM certification must meet specific eligibility requirements. The deadline for the next exam is May 1, 2015. Complete requirements, along with the application and examination information, are available online at

“ABOIM offers qualified physicians an accepted and formal way to demonstrate their mastery of knowledge, competencies, experience, and commitment to integrative medicine,” added Horwitz.

Source: ABOIM


Released: 02/13/15

Medical Report Confirms "Inside the Artery" Therapy Vastly Improves Stroke Patient Outcomes

"This clinical trial proves beyond any doubt that inside the artery therapy is the best possible treatment for patients suffering an acute ischemic stroke from a large artery occlusion," according to Donald Frei, MD, neuro interventional surgeon at Swedish Medical Center and Radiology Imaging Associates in Englewood, CO. He's also coauthor of a worldwide medical report published this week by the New England Journal of Medicine which confirms that a clot retrieval procedure known as endovascular treatment (ET) dramatically improves patient outcomes after stroke.


And he should know.  He's considered one of the nation's preeminent neurological specialists, with Swedish Medical Center hand-picked as one of only six stroke centers in the US to participate in this groundbreaking medical study.


The clinical trial, known as ESCAPE (Endovascular treatment for Small Core and Anterior circulation Proximal occlusion with Emphasis on minimizing CT to recanalization times) presented overwhelming evidence that ET improves patient outcomes from 29 percent to 53 percent.


In many cases, according to the report, instead of suffering major neurological disability, patients went home to resume their lives, regaining full independence. The overall mortality rate was reduced from 2 in 10 patients for standard of care treatment to 1 in 10 patients—a 50 per cent reduction with ET.


Pamela Nelson suffered a stroke last June and was treated at Swedish Medical Center by Dr. Frei using this procedure.


"I feel I've fully recovered," Nelson said from her Denver home. "I wouldn't be here without this treatment. Swedish is the place for stroke care."


ET is performed by inserting a thin tube into the artery in the groin, through the body, and into the brain vessels to the clot. This is done under image-guided care using an X-ray. The clot is then removed and pulled out, restoring blood flow to the brain.


Dr. Frei, who is also the President-Elect of the Society of Neuro Interventional Surgery with headquarters in Fairfax, VA, has been successfully treating stroke patients with "inside the artery" therapy for several years in his practice, and trusts the findings of this clinical trial.


"The vast majority of our patients benefit from ET," he said. "But the key factor is time. The patient's best chance for an independent outcome is to get to a comprehensive stroke center as fast as possible."


Swedish Medical Center is Colorado's First Comprehensive Stroke Center, and cares for more stroke patients than any other hospital in the state. Currently, they are participating in a dozen neurovascular disease trials. According to the hospital's President and CEO Mary M. White, their success is a team effort.


"Our team of physicians and staff are working together to deliver the best patient care and the most exceptional outcomes in our multi-state region," White said. "The results of the ESCAPE study provide more evidence that Swedish Medical Center truly is Colorado's No. 1 brain team. Our care is collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and the most advanced, evidence-based care available. I am proud of what we're able to offer our patients and community."


695,000 Americans suffer an acute ischemic stroke each year, and it should always be treated as a medical emergency.


"Stroke is still the leading cause of adult disability," Dr. Frei added. "But with clot retrieval, we can get most people back to independence."



Source: Swedish Medical Center


Released: 02/12/15

Riordan Clinic IVC Academy Teaches Doctors About the Use of High Dose Vitamin C.

The Riordan Clinic is hosting its 2nd Riordan IVC Academy on March 13th and 14th at La Concha Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The IVC Academy will introduce the concepts of high dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) as an adjunctive clinical therapy. Medical professionals from around the world will attend the conference and take a collaborative look at the use of IVC therapy as a safe and effective adjunct to conventional approaches.

Thirty years ago, Dr. Hugh Riordan treated his first cancer patient with high doses of intravenous vitamin C. The patient was a 70 year-old gentleman with kidney cancer and metastasis to the liver and lungs. Dr. Riordan offered to treat this cancer patient "palliatively" with 30 grams of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) intravenously twice a week.  After 15 months of therapy, the cancer was gone

Some 70,000 vitamin C infusions later, Dr. Riordan and his research team demonstrated scientific evidence to support the use of high dose ascorbate in the adjunctive care of cancer patients. Studies at the US National Institutes of Health have since replicated and advanced these findings.

Interest continues to grow through practitioners from around the world who have adopted the freely accessible "Riordan IVC Protocol" for the administration of high dose IVC for the treatment of cancer, viral infections and other health concerns in a non-toxic fashion.

The Riordan Clinic hopes to continue this bold new initiative by hosting several IVC Academy's across the world over the next couple years.  More information on the Riordan IVC Academy can be found online at:

For more information about vitamin c research and the Riordan IVC Protocol, visit:


Released: 02/05/15

TAP Integrative Launches an Online Educational Community for Integrative Practitioners

TAP Integrative announces the launch of an online educational community resource dedicated to furthering the evidence-informed and experience-based knowledge between integrative practitioners. is a membership site designed for “on-demand” access to clinically reviewed and science-based clinical practice topics and research, leading clinical experts, and a community of integrative healthcare professionals. A nonprofit organization founded and sponsored by Integrative Therapeutics, TAP’s mission is truly unique.


TAP stands for the teaching, advocacy, and practice of integrative medicine,” said Dr. Lise Alschuler, executive director of TAP. “Our goal is to support the community of practitioners that are committed to the practice of integrative medicine. Since education and practical knowledge are both necessary for continued growth in our practices, it’s exciting to see TAP Integrative become a resource that can provide both. Our hope is that TAP soon becomes the go-to trusted resource for deepening and advancing clinical expertise.”


TAP’s content is presented in multiple formats, including video discussions, audio abstracts, blogs, case discussions, graphic overviews, research reviews, and patient education tools. The website is designed so that the practitioner can quickly take away key insights from a clinical topic or can delve deeply into the topic. Collaboration between members also takes place by exchanging best practices in the member forum, or by directly asking the subject experts. TAP offers members a number of unique benefits including access to a drug-nutrient interaction database and, in collaboration with institutional member, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, a digital article retrieval service.


“A TAP member can learn from either experts or experienced peers in various fields of practice, with the flexibility to access learning on their own schedule,” continues Dr. Alschuler. “Membership is available to healthcare professionals and students. TAP encourages sharing experiences and will become a tool to improve your daily practice. The ultimate goal and outcome of TAP is truly to improve patient outcomes.”


Dr. Alschuler shares further insight into the development of TAP Integrative here: TAP Integrative Launches Online Educational Community. To learn more about the membership portal, visit



Source: TAP Integrative


Released: 02/02/15

Bacteria: New Weapon in Cancer Battle, CIO 2015 Study Suggests

While bacteria can cause nasty infections, a weakened version of them also kill cancer cells, suggests first-in-man research being presented at the seventh annual Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology (CIO), in collaboration with the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET).

Researchers injected a weakened strain of Clostridium novyi (or C. novyi-NT) bacteria spores into tumors. Imaging evidence demonstrated that the bacteria grew in the tumors and killed cancer cells.

“When tumors reach a certain size, parts of them do not receive oxygen, which makes them resistant to conventional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy,” said researcher Ravi Murthy, MD, professor of interventional radiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. “C. novyi-NT thrives under these conditions, hones in on the low-oxygen areas, and destroys tumors from the inside while sparing normal tissue.”

A close relative of the bacteria that cause botulism, C. novyi lives in soil. Researchers have removed the lethal toxin so the bacteria are weakened. In the study, they injected the resulting C. novyi-NT spores through the skin under radiographic guidance into tumors in six people. Growth of C. novyi was confirmed when computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the treated tumors showed gas pockets and evidence of necrosis, or cell death. Fever and elevated white blood cell count provided further evidence that the bacteria were growing and destroying cancer cells.

Once inside the tumor, the C. novyi-NT spores germinate, kill tumor cells, and then feast on the waste. C. novyi-NT bacteria stop growing and die when exposed to oxygen, which is abundant in healthy tissue. C. novyi-NT also is known to provoke an immune response against the cancer.

“Essentially, C. novyi-NT causes a potent cancer-killing infection in the tumor,” said principal investigator Filip Janku, MD, associate professor in the Department of Investigation Therapeutics and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

Six patients have been treated to date. Five are alive and one died from unrelated causes after seven months.

Source: Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology, International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy;


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