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Editorial Results (free)

1. Training Ground -

You can’t perfectly simulate a real-life disaster. Dr. Joe Holley knows this better than most.

2. Payne Joins Fulton CPAs as Senior Accountant -

Tarasha Payne has joined Fulton CPAs PLLC as a senior accountant in the areas of taxation, compilation and reviews, and client services. Payne has more than 15 years’ experience in the field and is working toward CPA certification. The announcement comes on the heels of big changes at the accounting firm, including new ownership and a name change from Polsgrove & Fulton. (See The Daily News’ Monday, Dec. 17, edition for more information.)

3. Gammon Joins Methodist in Business Development -

Myra Gammon has joined Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare as a business development account manager for Community Care Associates. In her new role, Gammon is responsible for the development and management of the Occupational Health and Wellness Services program.

4. Starting Up -

Shawn Flynn and Ryan Ramkhelawan have, both literally and figuratively, come a long way in a few months.

They moved to Memphis recently to bring their medical industry-focused startup here and take it through the inaugural round of a new startup accelerator program, ZeroTo510. Since the end of that program – a boot camp-style mix of mentorship, networking and related instruction that came with an infusion of cash – their startup Restore Medical Solutions got a term sheet and an invitation to negotiate for a Series A round of venture capital funding.

5. Semmes-Murphey Turns 100, Looks to Next Century of Care -

Semmes-Murphey Neurologic and Spine Institute this year celebrates a century of improving the quality of care for patients with neurological and spine disorders.

The Memphis-based institute, which today employs about 275 people – including about 40 doctors – was founded in 1912 by Dr. Eustace Semmes and Dr. Francis Murphey.

6. MERI on Vanguard of New Training Technology -

Neurosurgeons began working with a technologically advanced simulator that provides sense of touch along with three-dimensional monitors as soon as it arrived at the Medical Education & Research Institute.

The Memphis center is a partner with manufacturer ImmersiveTouch for improving the Sensimmer technology and broadening it applications. At MERI, doctors can determine how closely the technology mimics working with human tissue.

The technology was invented in 2005, and only a handful of teaching institutions have one of the simulators.

“MERI is getting in on the ground floor here,” said Dr. Jeffrey M. Sorenson of Semmes Murphey Neurologic & Spine Institute.

MERI paid $100,000 for the Sensimmer, which usually sells for between $200,000 and $250,000. The institute got a better deal on the technology because of a research partnership.

The simulator arrived Wednesday and was already in use Thursday. By Friday, two teams of neurosurgeons were comparing the simulator to working with actual donor cadavers.

P. Pat Banerjee, the co-inventor of the technology and the president of ImmersiveTouch, experienced the tactile differences of working on a donor cadaver for the first time.

“I’ve been working on this module for the past three years and I never got a chance,” said Banerjee, who is an engineer.

Cristian J. Luciano, vice president of product development for ImmersiveTouch is the other co-inventor. He is also the main developer of the simulation modules acquired by MERI.

One of the goals of MERI is to bridge the knowledge and expertise of engineers who invent new medical devices and technologies with the surgeons who actually use them.

The only other teaching institution to have the technology besides MERI are universities in Illinois, Ohio and Washington. A couple of medical device companies, including Medtronic Inc., whose Spinal and Biologics Business is based in Memphis, also use the technology, Banerjee said.

Longer term, the technology could have more clinical applications.

“These types of tools are going to allow us to create a three-dimensional model of the patient’s anatomy and their particular problem,” Sorenson said. “You can visualize the surgery. You can practice the surgery before you do it on a patient. The idea is that when you do the surgery you will have rehearsed it and you will do a better job.”

The simulators could also be used to assess the competency of surgeons.

“When this is fully evolved, you will actually be able to sit down and test the surgeon,” Sorenson said.

Banerjee said the simulator can also be used for other types of medical procedures, including the insertion of central lines, orthopedic applications and liver biopsies. After he invented the technology, he began working on application models.

The partnership with MERI is a multiyear one.

Other physicians leading the research effort at MERI include Dr. Jon Robertson, MERI Medical Director Dr. Kevin T. Foley and Dr. Madison Michael.

...

7. Medtronic Whistleblowers’ Case in Jeopardy -

A former Medtronic employee who filed two whistleblower lawsuits has lost one case on appeal and is trying to convince a judge not to dismiss the second one.

Jacqueline Poteet, who was the company’s travel services manager, may lose the second case because she was not the first whistleblower to file suit. In this lawsuit, she is joined by Bobbie Vaden, another former Medtronic employee in Memphis who worked for 16 years in the company’s accounting department.

8. Landmark Community Bank Names Newell Chairman of Board -

Chuck Newell has been elected chairman of the board of directors of Landmark Community Bank and will be based in Landmark’s Collierville branch.

Newell brings more than 28 years of banking experience to the board and currently serves as the president and CEO of Merchants and Planters Bancshares.

9. Robot Makes Spinal Medicine More Precise -

When engineers designed the 1,671-foot Taipei 101 skyscraper, they had to calculate stress factors such as load, the weight of materials and contents and how the building would twist under wind pressure - always mindful that Taiwan has frequent earthquakes.

10. United Network of Organ Sharing Taps Memphian To Serve as Region 11 Councilor -

The United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) has chosen Santiago R. Vera, director of the Liver Transplant Program at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, to serve as the Region 11 Councilor on the UNOS board of directors. He will serve as the representative for UNOS members in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Vera has been with the Transplant Institute since 1982.

11. Handorf Named President of State Medical Association -

Dr. Charles R. Handorf has been named the 152nd president of the Tennessee Medical Association. Handorf is president of Duckworth Pathology Group and professor and chair of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.

12. Local Businessman to Head State Insurance Group -

Brad V. Smith, president of Cecil Smith Insurance Agency in Germantown, was elected president of Insurors of Tennessee. Smith has served on the association's board of directors and executive committee for 12 years. He won the group's Chairman of the Year award in 2004 and Insuror of the Year award in 1992.