Faculty & Staff Spotlights
The Indianapolis Business Journal names IU faculty members 2014 Health Care Heroes
Mar. 13, 2014
Two IU School of Medicine faculty members were named winners of the 2014 Indianapolis Business Journal's Health Care Heroes Awards.
Malaz Boustani, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and director of the Innovation and Implementation Science Initiative, was named the winner of the Advancements in Health Care Category.
This category honors a company or individual primarily responsible for a scientific discovery or for development of a new procedure, device or service that can save lives or improve quality of life for a large number of people. A geriatrician and director of the Healthy Aging Brain Center at Eskenazi Health, Dr. Boustani is the developer of the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor, a “blood pressure cuff” for dementia that within two years of launch was put into use as a screening, diagnostic and management tool. He also developed, tested and helped put into widespread clinical practice the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale, which evaluates the side effects of common over-the-counter and prescription drugs on the aging brain.
As director of the Center for Innovation and Implementation Science, Dr. Boustani also oversees four specialized research and discovery units managed by IU School of Medicine researchers at Indiana University Health, Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Eskenazi Health and the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. The new center's mission is to generate innovations to improve patient care as it tackles systemic health-care costs.
He is also a member of the IU Center for Aging Research and an investigator at the Regenstrief Institute.
Elaine Cox, M.D., associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, was named the winner in the Physician Category.
This category honors a physician whose performance on the job is considered exemplary by patients and peers. As a the medical director of infection prevention and safety officer at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, Dr. Cox was recognized for her efforts to decrease infant HIV infections in Indiana through increased access to HIV testing for pregnant mothers, including her role as the founder of a coalition to advocate for changes to a state law -- culminating in the passage of universal access to testing in 2012 -- whose members included the Indiana Minority Health Coalition, Indiana State Department of Health and the legal staff at IU Health.
Dr. Cox also co-led a campaign, "One Test, Two Lives," to educate caregivers around the state about the need for HIV testing, and was recognized for a commitment to fellows physicians and patients, examples of which include her practice of always making herself available to colleagues as well as her advocacy on behalf of patients, such as personally meeting with school administrators when an oncology patient was suffering from bullying.
In addition, four faculty members and one alum at the IU School of Medicine were named finalists in several categories They are:
- Palmer McKie, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine, was named a finalist in the Physician Category. As the medical director of the Health Integrative Pain Program at Eskenazi Health and a charter member of the Indiana Attorney General’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, Dr. MaKie helped develop -- and later implement -- new rules for the prescription and dispensation of pain medications adopted in December 2013 by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board.
- Heike M. Minnich, O.D., assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, was named a finalist in the Non-Physician Category, which honors an individual from nursing or allied health fields whose performance in the delivery of care is considered exemplary by patients and peers. As co-director of the International Adoption Program at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health and Medicine, Dr. Minnich plays a crucial role matching Hoosier families with children from troubled backgrounds in countries such as China, Ukraine, Hungary, Latvia, Ethiopia and Haiti.
- Timmy Global Health, a global non-profit organization founded by Chuck Dietzen, a graduate of the IU School of Medicine, was named a finalist in the Community Achievement in Health Care Category, which honors a company or organization that has successfully implemented a program that addresses an acknowledged problem in health care administration or delivery. This year, the organization expect send 600 to 700 of student volunteers abroad to bring health care services to the poor in Ecuador, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Nigeria and El Salvador. Many volunteers with the group are also students at the IU School of Medicine. The award was accepted by Matt , executive director of Timmy Global Health.
Gerald Walthall, M.D., volunteer clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at the IU School of Medicine was named a finalist in the advancements in Health Care Category. As medical director of palliative medicine at Franciscan St. Francis Health, Dr. Walthall helped lead the creation of the Physician Order for Scope of Treatment form, known as POST, a physician order that limits the lengths health care providers can take to save the patient’s life. The form, available to people who have a condition that is expected to end their life within a year, was approved by the Indiana General Assembly last year.
Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine, was named a finalist in the Physician Category. As medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Franciscan St. Francis Health, Dr. Winchester trying to find the source of Indiana's unusually high premature birthrate, including recently completing a study based upon 14 years of health data in California that found the shortest pregnancies occurred in the countries with the highest pesticide rates when conception occurred during peak use of the chemicals.