OKC Medical Briefs October 29, 2003

Article excerpt

Fletcher B. Taylor Jr., who has spent more than two decades as a scientist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, has endowed a chair at the foundation.

Taylor's gift will establish the Alvin Chang Chair in Cardiovascular Biology. The chair is named in honor of Taylor's longtime senior research assistant, who died in May.

In his warm, quiet way, he complemented every aspect of our laboratory research, Taylor said of Chang, and he passed those virtues on to the next generation of people in the lab.

Taylor, a physician-scientist, came to OMRF in 1982. He headed the cardiovascular biology research program for 10 years and remains a member of OMRF's scientific staff. His pioneering research with fellow scientist Charles Esmon laid the groundwork for the drug Xigris, the only FDA-approved treatment for severe sepsis, which kills 250,000 people each year.

Dr. Taylor is a true groundbreaker, said OMRF President J. Donald Capra. His work in the laboratory created a lifesaving drug, and now, as the first scientist to endow a chair at OMRF, his generosity will help his colleagues continue the battle against deadly cardiovascular diseases.

The scientist who holds this new chair will specialize in cardiovascular research, likely focusing on understanding the mechanisms that contribute to heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. OMRF has not yet determined who will occupy the chair, which will be 12th endowed chair at OMRF and the sixth established since 1998.

OU Medical Center

Roger Saunders has been named director of Neonatal Intensive Care at the OU Medical Center.

He served in the same position at the Women's Hospital of Greensboro, N.C., and most recently was the director of clinical services at Fayetteville Specialty Hospital in Fayetteville, Ark. Saunders also served Army Community Hospitals. He was stationed at Fort Jackson, Fort Riley, Fort Benning and in the 540th General Dispensary in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Saunders received his bachelor's degree in Nursing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1979. In 1983, he became a pediatric nurse practitioner at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colo. He received a master's degree in nursing administration at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1989.

Rural disaster response

Training scheduled to begin in January will provide front-line health care workers in 22 rural Oklahoma communities continuing education in bioterrorism and disaster response.

Money for the training was provided by a $1.5 million grant to Oklahoma Area Health Education Center at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.

Training is aimed at physicians, nurses, health workers, mental health professionals, paramedical workers, emergency management technicians and pharmacists, along with veterinarians, morticians and administrators.

It examines various bioterrorism scenarios such as diseases, anthrax, explosions, or radiation exposure, addressing both physical and mental health issues during the first few hours after the event, said Richard Perry, the grant's principal investigator.

The Oklahoma Statewide Bioterrorist Continuing Education Program grant is from the Health Resource Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Service. …