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October 2011: IU Health supports heart, kidney, breast health

IU Health supports breast cancer awareness, searches for a cure.
An estimated 39,520 women and 450 men will die this year from breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Indiana University Health is partnering with local organizations to raise awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.
The Indianapolis Colts will host Dr. George Sledge – medical oncologist and co-leader of the breast cancer program at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center – as the Honorary Coin Toss Captain during the game on October 9, recognizing his advancements in breast cancer research. IU Health will continue to work with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to collect funds and breast tissue donations at the Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.
In addition to raising awareness, IU Health is continuously working to improve patient care, lower both incidence and mortality rates, and find a cure. The NCI-designated Cancer Center at the IU Simon Cancer Center houses 34 breast cancer researchers, including clinical researchers, laboratory scientists, epidemiologists and clinical pharmacologists. This multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive care with roughly 6,000 breast cancer patient visits annually.
Because of the center’s unique partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, patients have access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options available. So far this year, the IU Simon Cancer Center breast cancer program has received $10.1 million in research funding, and has 29 active clinical trials.
To interview Dr. George Sledge or other breast cancer specialists, please contact Abby Gras at 317.963.0833.


Show some heart this October.
October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month and Indiana University Health Cardiovascular is celebrating by offering free or reduced-cost heart screenings for central Indiana student athletes. The program, Echoes for Athletes, provides echocardiograms to athletes in grades 7-12 at participating athletic departments of various school districts. To view screening dates and locations, Echoes for Athletes.
The 15-minute screenings will evaluate heart size and thickness along with valvular structure and function. The process is a non-invasive way to rule out the major cardiac conditions that can affect young athletes and lead to sudden cardiac death. Screenings will look for Marfans Syndrome, Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy, Aortic Stenosis and Mitral Valva Prolapse.
For more information or to interview a physician, contact Kristofer Karol at 317.962.4589.


Kidney transplant recipient dedicates self to help others.
When Vicki Hulett, an Indianapolis attorney, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at 53, she had already lost nearly 70 percent of kidney function. Strangely, however, she showed no symptoms.
Reluctant of dialysis, Vicki completed testing for inclusion on the transplant waiting list but was told the projected wait was about three years. Instead, Jennifer Waybright, her daughter, insisted on donating a kidney to her mother.
After the transplant, both Jennifer and Vicki dedicated themselves to health: Jennifer left her teaching job to pursue nursing, and Vicki set out to help other patients like her.
Vicki, along with her daughter, spent the next two years writing a 5-step guide to kidney health. The book includes quizzes, statistics, treatment options and nutrition and exercise plans in an easy-to-read format. To ensure the accuracy of information, the duo solicited help from Vicki’s transplant nephrologist (kidney specialist) at IU Health, Dr. Tim Taber. The book, “Kidney Steps”, is now published and available for purchase on Amazon.
Learn more at the IU Health Newsroom.
To interview Vicki Hulett or Dr. Tim Taber, contact Abby Gras at 317.963.0833 or Gene Ford at 317.962.4576.


Don’t get spooked this Halloween.
Halloween is known for scary costumes and haunted houses, but when it comes to trick-or-treating, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health wants to keep your kids safe.
One of the most common Halloween injuries is falls, said Dr. Robert Collins, medical director of Emergency Services at Riley at IU Health. Children should avoid long or baggy costumes that they might trip over. Also, trick-or-treaters should stick to sidewalks and avoid crossing through yards.
“We have seen injuries from tripping over sprinkler heads, bikes, scooters and rakes,” said Collins. “These all are especially difficult to see after sundown.”
Other safety tips to follow include:

  • Costumes should be easily seen. Look for bright colors or add reflective tape.
  • Parents should inspect all candy and never let children eat unwrapped candy.
  • Pin a slip of paper with your child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case they get separated from the group.

To interview Dr. Robert Collins, contact Kit Werbe at 317.963.7692.

Go to IU Health Newsroom