May 17, 2013

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights

By Karl Oestreich



May 17, 2013

Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.

Thank you.

Karl Oestreich, manager enterprise media relations

National Geographic
What Gives Elite Everest Climbers Their Edge?
By Christy Ullrich

Elite climbers are testing the limits of the human body on top of the world's tallest peaks. Bruce Johnson, a professor of medicine and physiology at the Mayo Clinic, accompanied the recent National Geographic 2012 team expedition to Everest to learn more about the effects of high altitude on premier athletes—and came back with some surprising research.

Reach: National Geographic - Online has more than 4.3 million unique visitors each month. National Geographic magazine has more than 4.3 million subscribers each month and is a general interest magazine that focuses on natural history, geography and wildlife. National Geographic covers science, technology, natural history, exploration, cultures, nature, and geographical regions.

Additional Coverage: Chicago Tribune

Context: Mayo Clinic physiologists were on Mount Everest in the spring of 2012, where they conducted research and collected data on extreme athletes making an ascent on the peak via two routes. The Mayo group monitored climbers from base camp for the duration of the climb. Their studies will provide knowledge that will help heart patients, as well as extreme athletes. The climbing expedition was funded by National Geographic and The North Face, with support from Montana State University. For background on the medical expedition, visit

Mayo Clinic Advancing the Science Blog: Mayo Research Adds “New Chapter” to National Geographic’s Everest

News Release: Mayo Clinic Studies Climbers on Everest to Help Heart Patients at Home

Previous Coverage:
June 1, 2012 Weekly News Highlights

May 25, 2012 Weekly News Highlights

May 18, 2012 Weekly News Highlights

April 27, 2012 Weekly News Highlights

April 20, 2012 Weekly News Highlights

March 23, 2012 Weekly News Highlights

Public Affairs Contact: Bob Nellis

NY Times Well Blog
My Stroke of Luck
by Andrew Revkin

…There are other impediments to what’s called telestroke technology, including licensing roadblocks preventing doctors from practicing across state borders. You can learn more about research showing the cost-effectiveness of telemedicine for stroke and the hurdles to its adoption in my Skype chat with Dr. Bart Demaerschalk, the director of the Mayo Clinic Telestroke Program in Arizona and an author of an important 2012 paper on telestroke cost-effectiveness.

Circulation: The New York Times has the third highest circulation nationally, behind USA Today (2nd) and The Wall Street Journal (1st) with 1,150,589 weekday copies circulated and 1,645,152 circulated on Sundays.

Context: Bart Demaerschalk, M.D., is a neurologist based at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Dr. Demaerschalk is director of Mayo Clinic's Telestroke Program in Arizona.

Public Affairs Contacts: Jim McVeigh, Traci Klein

The New Yorker
The Walking Alive

by Susan Orlean

I am writing this while walking on a treadmill. And now you know the biggest problem with working at a treadmill desk: the compulsion to announce constantly that you are working at a treadmill desk… That happened not long ago, when I spoke to Dr. James Levine, the leading researcher in the marvellous-sounding field of “inactivity studies,” at the Mayo Clinic’s Scottsdale, Arizona, campus, and the most prominent of walking-desk partisans. I was already on my second mile of the day when I called him. He had just stepped out for coffee and was on his way back to his office, and he managed to open the door, put down his coffee, step onto his treadmill, and start walking without skipping a beat. “You’re going to hear a bit of an odd sound,” Levine said. “That’s my treadmill.”

Reach: The New Yorker is a weekly magazine with a circulation of more than one million readers. The magazine covers culture, art, fiction, business, politics, science and technology. It reports on current ideas and evolving issues, often with a touch of humor. Launched in 1925, it is published by Condé Nast Publications. Its mission is to report and reflect on the world at large with wit, sophistication and originality. The New Yorker's website has more than 722,000 unique visitors each month.

Additional coverage: Times Herald-Record NY

Context: James Levine, M.D., Ph.D., is a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist who is often sought out by journalists for his expertise. Basing his techniques of non-exercise activity on years of Mayo Clinic research, he offers cost-effective alternatives to office workers, school children and patients for losing weight and staying fit. Author, inventor, physician and research scientist, Dr. Levine has built on Mayo’s top status as a center of endocrinology expertise and has launched a multi-nation mission to fight obesity through practical, common-sense changes in behavior and personal environment.

Public Affairs Contact: Bob Nellis

Jolie's mastectomy highlights genetic testing company
by Aaron Smith

In an op-ed piece published by the New York Times on Tuesday, the Oscar-winning Jolie wrote that she decided to have the surgery based on the discovery that she has a "faulty" BRCA1 gene…Jolie explains that it's possible for women to find out if they'reat risk for breast cancer through a blood test, however she doesn't mention any companies by name. But Myriad is the only company that conducts tests related to the BRCA genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, according to Dr. Judy Boughey, a breast surgeon with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Reach: has 74.2 million unique visitors to its website each month.

First Coast News
Friends to mastectomy patient: 'Why would you get your boobs cut off?' by Jeannie Blaylock

With all the news about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy, women might be wondering, "Should I get tested, too?"…According to Mayo Clinic's Dr. Edith Perez, a breast cancer researcher known around the globe for her work, a prophylactic mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer by 90 percent. Maegan Roberts, a genetic counselor at Mayo, said there are five red flags that you should consider genetic testing. She said the initial step should be talking with your family to find out if there is any history of cancer. 

Reach: First Coast News refers to three television stations in Jacksonville, Florida. WJXX, the ABC affiliate; WTLV, the NBC affiliate; and WCWJ, the CW affiliate.

My Fox Phoenix
Jolie's admission brings validation to other women who did the same
by Kristen Keogh

Actress Angelina Jolie has gone public with a very personal health decision, writing in an op-ed that she underwent a double mastectomy earlier this year after testing positive for a gene linked to breast and ovarian cancer…The Mayo Clinic's genetic counselor Katherine Hunt says only 5% to 10% of women with breast cancer have the gene mutation that McCulley and Angelina Jolie share. "Women who should consider genetic testing are women who've had a family history of breast cancer, any woman who's been diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50 and any women who's has both breast and ovarian cancer or has a family history of ovarian cancer," says Hunt.

Reach:  KSAZ/Fox 10 is the Fox affiliate in Phoenix, Ariz.

Women have new options for breast cancer surgery
by Marilynn Marchione

Treating breast cancer almost always involves surgery, and for years the choice was just having the lump or the whole breast removed. Now, new approaches are dramatically changing the way these operations are done, giving women more options, faster treatment, smaller scars, fewer long-term side effects and better cosmetic results. It has led to a new specialty — "oncoplastic" surgery — combining oncology, which focuses on cancer treatment, and plastic surgery to restore appearance…Nationally, about 25 to 30 percent of women get immediate reconstruction. At the Mayo Clinic, about half do, and at Georgetown, it's about 80 percent.

Reach:  The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative, owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members. News collected by the AP is published and republished by newspaper and broadcast outlets worldwide.

Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
Breast removal not easy decision
by Christena O’Brien

General surgeons in Eau Claire have performed preventive double mastectomies — the same surgery Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie underwent earlier this year after being diagnosed with a gene mutation that increased her risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Dr. David Ciresi, one of seven general surgeons at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, has performed the procedure on about five patients — all women — over the last five to 10 years.

Circulation: The Leader-Telegram is the largest daily newspaper in west-central Wisconsin. It covers 12 counties with circulations of 23,500 weekdays and 29,800 Sundays.

Additional Coverage Mentioning Mayo Clinic:
CNN, USA TODAY, Newser, WISTV S. C., Daily Journal Ind.,, AZ Family, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Arizona Republic, All Voices, Huffington Post, Live Science, Globe and Mail, WBUR (NPR Boston), Global News, Jamestown Sun ND, Saudi Gazette, KAAL, CNN

Context: Doctors in the Breast Diagnostic Clinic at Mayo Clinic sites in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota evaluate many people who have various breast conditions.  Breast care at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire is provided at the HERS Breast Center.

Public Affairs Contacts: Paul Scotti, Julie Janovsky-Mason, Brian Kilen, Kelley Luckstein, Susan Barber Lindquist

Star Tribune
Tevlin: Mayo doctor's breakthrough shows importance of scientific research

When a Mayo Clinic surgeon showed a short film featuring the drummer of the heavy metal band Extractus at the Minneapolis Convention Center last week, he probably wasn’t hitting the band’s target audience…That’s because the drummer, 22-year-old Justin Vigile, had been bedridden and dying with end-stage heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or thickening of the heart muscle, just months before the video was shot. The Mayo surgeon, Dr. Hartzell Schaff, played the video as part of his swan song as president of the association. But he didn’t do it to show off his pioneering surgery. Schaff was trying to highlight the importance of the unforeseen benefits of research, sometimes realized decades later.

Circulation: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 518,745 copies and weekday circulation is 300,277. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Context: Hartzell Schaff, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic cardivascular surgeon who has appointments in Cardiovascular Surgery and Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Schaff is just completing his tenure as president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Public Affairs Contacts: Traci Klein, Nick Hanson

Star Tribune
Less medicine for overwhelmed patients
by Maura Lerner

It’s hard enough to live with a chronic condition like diabetes, says Dr. Victor Montori of the Mayo Clinic. But sometimes doctors make it harder, by piling on more tests and treatments than the patient can bear.  In an era of checklist medicine, Montori is trying to push the pause button. He believes that, before doctors pull out their prescription pads, they should have a heart-to-heart talk with patients who have complex conditions about how much medicine they really want to put up with. Montori, 43, has become an evangelist for what he calls Minimally Disruptive Medicine — also known as Goldilocks Medicine (not too much, not too little).

Circulation: The Star Tribune Sunday circulation is 518,745 copies and weekday circulation is 300,277. The Star Tribune is the state’s largest newspaper and ranks 16th nationally in circulation.

Context: Victor Montori, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist. Dr. Montori is interested in how knowledge is produced, disseminated and taken up in practice — and how this leads to optimal health care delivery and patient outcomes.

Public Affairs Contact: Nick Hanson

Pioneer Press
Call came at last for Oak Park Heights boy: 6-year-old's heart transplant a success
by Mary Divine

The news that Cameron Ulrich's long wait was over was announced on his CaringBridge page: "We have a heart!"  Cameron, the 6-year-old boy from Oak Park Heights who had been waiting for a heart since mid-October, underwent transplant surgery Wednesday, May 15, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester…Born with a rare heart defect, Cameron survived for more than six months in Mayo's cardiovascular intensive care unit because of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine -- an ECMO machine -- that functioned as a replacement for his heart and lungs.

Reach: The St. Paul Pioneer Press has a daily circulation of 208,280 and its Sunday newspaper circulation is 284,507.  Its website had approximately 20.4 million page views (March 2013). Mobile page views on smartphones and tablet computers totaled more than 11.4 million in March 2013.

Additional Coverage of Cameron's Heart Transplant: Bemidji Pioneer (AP), FOX47, Crookston Times, Mankato Free Press

Context: Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced transplant practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in more than a dozen specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery. Mayo Clinic, with transplant services in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota, performs more transplants than any other medical center in the world.

Public Affairs Contact: Ginger Plumbo

Mayo Clinic researchers explain Alzheimer's 'treatment window'
by Jeff Hansel

…The key, say scientists at Mayo in Rochester, seems to lie in a "treatment window" of more than a decade, from the time the disease takes root in the brain until the moment a person first shows outward symptoms. "Our study suggests that plaques in the brain that are linked to a decline in memory and thinking abilities, called beta amyloid, take about 15 years to build up and then plateau," Mayo radiologist Dr. Clifford Jack was quoted as saying in February, when the "treatment window" first was announced.

Circulation: The Post-Bulletin has a weekend readership of nearly 45,000 people and daily readership of more than 41,000 people. The newspaper serves Rochester, Minn., and southeast Minnesota.

Context: Clifford Jack Jr., M.D., Mayo Clinic Radiology, is developing and validating magnetic resonance imaging techniques for diagnosis and measuring progression of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, as well as clinical and epidemiological research projects in normal aging, Alzheimer's disease, and other dementias.

Public Affairs Contact: Nick Hanson

Phoenix Business Journal
Mayo Clinic headed south of the border

by Angela Gonzales

Mayo Clinic has gone south of the border. Mayo’s rigorous review process to become the first international member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network…Medica Sur in Mexico City has passed “Mayo’s history and bond with Mexico runs deep,” said Dr. Robert Ferrigni, medical director of the Mayo Clinic International Office in Arizona. “For years we’ve collaborated with some of the country’s pre-eminent doctors in caring for patients. This is one more way we can work with Mexico’s distinguished medical professionals to meet the health care needs of the Mexican people.”

Reach: The Phoenix Business Journal is one of 61 newspapers published by American City Business Journals.

Context: Mayo Clinic announced this week that Médica Sur passed Mayo's rigorous review process to become the first international member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. As a member, Médica Sur will offer medical services that enable physicians to interact, share and collaborate with Mayo Clinic physicians to continue offering patients the best possible medical treatment in Mexico.

Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin, La Informacion, El Porvenir, El Financiero, Economia Terra, Obras Web, Cronica, Estilo Medico, El Economista

News Release: Mexico City-based Médica Sur Becomes Mayo Clinic Care Network Member

List of Mayo Clinic Care Network Members

Public Affairs Contacts: Bryan Anderson, Soledad Andrade

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