Dr. Ali Keramati’s Honor – American College of Cardiology

Cardiac electrophysiologist Ali R. Keramati, MD, a member of the Lankenau Heart Institute at Lankenau Medical Center, has been appointed to serve as a Member of the NCDR EP Registry Steering Committee, part of the American College of Cardiology.

 

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) has the privilege to select outstanding members of the College to serve on its task forces, workgroups, councils, and committees. Aligned with ACC’s governance principles, the ACC Nominating Committee works together to identify the best candidates, based upon College needs and skillsets. The National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®) is the ACC’s suite of cardiovascular data registries helping hospitals and private practices measure and improve the quality of care they provide.

 

As a Member of the NCDR EP Registry Steering Committee, Dr. Keramati will help govern the organization, be a driving force behind the development of educational programming, products and guidelines, and shape ACC positions on both state and federal legislation.

 

In a note to Dr. Keramati notifying him of his appointment, ACC President Athena Poppas, MD, FACC and Chair of the ACC Nominating Committee  Richard J. Kovacs, MD, MACC wrote: “Thank you for the time and effort in putting forth your application. We are grateful for your commitment and hope you will agree to serve the College and your fellow ACC members in this important capacity.”

 

Dr. Keramati’s term will begin in April 2021 and last for three years.

 

Congratulations, Dr. Keramati, on this well-deserved accomplishment!

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Vaccination Update: What you need to know

Sent on behalf of Barbara Wadsworth and Jon Stallkamp, MD

 

Colleagues,

 

Following the FDA’s issuance of an EUA for the Pfizer COVID vaccine, Main Line Health and other hospitals across the country are expecting to receive shipment of the first COVID vaccines this week. With this in mind, we would like to provide you an update on our vaccine distribution and planning.

 

Vaccination eligibility and categories 

 

Employees and medical staff have been carefully reviewed and organized into categories in accordance with the distribution recommendations from the CDC and the PA Department of Health. At Main Line Health, the vaccine will be administered in five categories based on risk of exposure to COVID-19:

 

  • Category 1: Hospital staff who have significant risk of exposure to COVID-unknown patients
  • Category 2: Staff who work with COVID-positive patients in COVID units
  • Category 3: Other patient-facing staff
  • Category 4: Staff who work in a hospital, but are not patient-facing
  • Category 5: Work-from-home staff

 

Categories were assigned based on the individual’s primary worksite or department. Ultimately, our goal is to vaccinate all employees and medical staff who are in patient-facing roles. Employees without patient-facing jobs will receive their vaccines at a later date. ​While the vaccine is not mandatory, we do encourage you to be vaccinated for your safety and the safety of our patients and community. Your manager should have received your category assignment late last week. Please reach out to your manager if you are unsure as to which category you are in.

 

We have received many questions about individuals who should not take the vaccine. At this time, we will allow staff who are pregnant or breastfeeding to be vaccinated, but strongly encourage that you consult with your health care provider before scheduling a vaccination. If you were unable to schedule your appointment previously due to the pregnancy and breastfeeding question and would like to schedule your vaccination, please try again tomorrow.

 

As previously mentioned in COVID communications and town halls, we will continue to work with our pregnant staff members who wish to be reassigned because of exposure to COVID-positive or COVID unknown patients.

 

Scheduling your vaccination 

 

For some employees in Categories 1 and 2, vaccination scheduling has already begun. If you have scheduled a vaccination for December 16th or 17th please be advised that you will need to reschedule your vaccination. We do not expect to be able to begin vaccinations on those days, as previously suspected, and appreciate your flexibility to find a new vaccination day and time.

 

Regardless of when you are expected to receive the vaccine, please remember: All employees and medical staff who wish to be vaccinated will be required to register for a Main Line Health MyChart account, if they have not done so already. You will not be eligible to receive the vaccine until you have an MLH MyChart account.

 

By opening an MLH MyChart account, you will be able to:

  • Receive notifications when you have been identified as eligible to get the vaccination
  • Schedule your vaccine slots
  • Sign vaccine consents
  • Have a record of the immunization

 

Signing up for MLH MyChart is easy and can be done at any time. Go to www.mainlinehealth.org  and click on the MLH MyChart link. If you need assistance, please call our 24/7/365 portal help desk at 484.580.1080 or send a message securely using our support form. You will receive a MyChart notification when scheduling is available for you, based on your role.

 

When you receive the notification that vaccination scheduling is available to you, please take the time to schedule your vaccination and complete the pre-visit check-in process. If you do not intend to be vaccinated, we ask that you please designate this during the scheduling process. A demo is now available on MLH To Go and Wellspring on how to schedule and complete your pre-visit check-in.

 

Vaccination time slots will be available from 5:00 AM-12:00 AM. We ask that you consider scheduling your vaccine for the end of your shift.

 

Day of vaccination: What to know 

 

All vaccinations will take place at the Lankenau Medical Center Annenberg Auditorium. This is because Lankenau has ultra-low temperature freezers that will allow us to store the vaccinations safely. If you are not familiar with the Lankenau campus, please know that signage will be in place to direct you to parking on the day of your vaccination. When you come to Lankenau, please ensure that you have:

 

  • Your MLH ID badge
  • A second form of photo ID
  • Completed your pre-visit check-in on MyChart

 

Once you’ve received your vaccine, you will be asked to remain in the Auditorium for 15 minutes so that a member of our vaccination team can monitor you for any reactions to the vaccine. A physician will be on hand during every vaccination day, and EpiPens will be available in the event of an allergic reaction.

 

If you have questions, please consult our COVID Vaccine FAQs, available on the COVID Vaccine Wellspring page. If you have questions that are not answered here, please email COVIDVaccine@MLHS.org. As always, we thank you for your patience, cooperation and support during this time.

 

Barbara Wadsworth, DNP, RN
Chief Operating Officer | Chief Nursing Officer

 

Jon Stallkamp, MD
Interim Chief Medical Officer

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GC/Chlamydia, HPV lab update

Effective Friday, Dec 11th Main Line Health labs will convert GC/Chlamydia/HPV testing from Roche Cobas instruments to Hologic Panther instruments. The Aptima Combo 2® Assay is a target amplification nucleic acid probe test that utilizes target capture for the in vitro qualitative detection and differentiation of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) from Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and/or Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) to aid in the diagnosis of chlamydial and/or gonococcal disease using the Panther® System. These tests will be offered only as combo test, will be build in EPIC as combo test and will require a new collection kits-Aptima kits rather than Roche Cobas kits.

 

The Aptima HPV assay is an in vitro nucleic acid amplification test for the qualitative

detection of E6/E7 viral messenger RNA (mRNA) from 14 high-risk types of human

papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical specimens. The high-risk HPV types detected by the assay

include: 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66, and 68. The Aptima HPV assay

does not discriminate between the 14 high-risk types. Cervical specimens in ThinPrep Pap

Test vials containing PreservCyt Solution and collected with broom-type or cytobrush/spatula

collection devices may be tested with the Aptima HPV assay.

 

If Aptima HPV is positive, Aptima HPV 16 18/45 genotype assay will be performed. Aptima genotype assay is an in vitro nucleic acid amplification test for the qualitative detection of E6/E7 viral messenger RNA (mRNA) of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18, and 45 in cervical specimens from women with positive HPV results. The Aptima HPV 16 18/45 genotype assay can differentiate HPV 16 from HPV 18 and/or HPV 45, but does not differentiate between HPV 18 and HPV 45. Cervical specimens in ThinPrep Pap Test vials containing PreservCyt Solution and collected with broom-type or cytobrush/spatula are acceptable specimens.

 

If you have any questions, contact Daniel Lindao at 476-8424 or Dr. Bhagat at 476-3521.

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Clinical Trial of the Week: Device trial to treat left atrial appendage closure in atrial fibrillation ablation patients

By Donna Loyle, communications manager, LIMR

 

The OPTION clinical trial is a randomized, multicenter study to determine if left atrial appendage closure with the WATCHMAN FLX device is a reasonable alternative to oral anticoagulation following percutaneous catheter ablation for high-risk patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).

 

Participants are randomized into two study groups:

  • Arm 1 receives the WATCHMAN FLX implant, including a modified post-implant drug regimen
  • Arm 2 receives oral anticoagulants for the trial’s duration

 

Inclusion criteria:

  • Must have a CHA2DS2-VASc score of 2 or greater for males and 3 or greater for females
  • Must be deemed suitable for the protocol’s drug regimen
  • Must not require long-term anticoagulation therapy for reasons other than AF-related stroke-risk reduction

Other significant inclusion and exclusion criteria apply.

 

The primary outcomes being measured are stroke, all-cause death, systemic embolism, and non-procedural bleeding within 36 months.

 

The MLH principal investigator is Sheetal Chandhok, MD. The trial is approved for Bryn Mawr Hospital and Lankenau Medical Center. For more: https://www.mainlinehealth.org/research/clinical-trials/option

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Basic Leave Cash In – Direct Deposit Option

Eligible employees who elect to cash in basic leave under the Basic Leave Cash-in Program for 2021 will receive a separate payment on Friday, January 22, 2021.

 

For your convenience, if you are enrolled in payroll direct deposit you will receive this payment by direct deposit, just like your regular paycheck.  This will include any partial deposits to secondary accounts, which are made before your net pay is deposited to your primary account.

 

If you would like your payment to go to your direct deposit account(s), you do not need to take any action.

 

However, if the direct deposit option is not convenient for you, or if you do not want your payment deposited into your secondary account(s), you may suppress your direct deposit for this one payment and a live check will be mailed to your home address instead.  Direct deposit will automatically resume to your existing account(s) on the next regular pay date.

 

To suppress direct deposit of your cash-in payment, please follow the instructions below:

From the Employee Self Service page in PeopleSoft, click on the “Payroll Self Service” tile.

 

From the Payroll Self Service page, click on the “Suppress Direct Deposit” link on the left-hand side of the page.

 

On the Suppress Direct Deposit page, read the acknowledgement and click the box next to the statement, “Issue a live check for this payment”.

 

Click “Submit”.

 

Sign out of Payroll Self Service and close your browser.

 

Requests must be submitted by Sunday, January 17, 2021.

 

Employees receiving cash-in payments who are not enrolled in payroll direct deposit will receive a live check, mailed to their home address.

 

If you have any questions about suppressing direct deposit for this payment, please contact the Payroll Department at payroll@mlhs.org.

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Vaccine Distribution Update—Sign Up for MyChart!

Sent on behalf of Barbara Wadsworth and Dr. Jon Stallkamp

 

Colleagues:

 

As you have heard on several of our recent town halls, Main Line Health has been working with state and local health officials to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine for our employees and medical staff. We expect to receive our first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine in the next two weeks.

 

While the vaccine will not be mandatory for employees and medical staff at this time, we will make it available to employees and medical staff who wish to be vaccinated, beginning with our emergency department staff and other employees who are providing direct care for COVID-positive patients, including staff in the ICU and on COVID cluster units. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure every member of the MLH team who is providing patient-facing care receives the vaccine.

 

Regardless of which tier you are a part of as a result of your role or when you are expected to receive the vaccine, there is one thing you can do now to expedite the vaccination process. All employees and medical staff who wish to be vaccinated will be required to register for a Main Line Health MyChart account, if they have not done so already. You will not be eligible to receive the vaccine until you have an MLH MyChart account.

 

By opening an MLH MyChart account, you will be able to:

  • Receive notifications when you have been identified as eligible to get the vaccination
  • Schedule your vaccine slots
  • Sign vaccine consents
  • Have a record of the immunization

Signing up for MLH MyChart is easy and can be done at any time. Go to www.mainlinehealth.org and click on the MLH MyChart link. If you need assistance, please call our 24/7/365 portal help desk at 484.580.1080 or send a message securely using our support form. Please note: You cannot schedule an appointment for your vaccination at this time. An announcement will be made when scheduling is available for you, based on your role.

 

We understand that you have many questions about the vaccine and the distribution process across our System. We have put together a vaccine workgroup to thoughtfully and efficiently deploy these vaccines, and this group is closely following updates provided by the FDA and CDC. We expect to have more information, pending the issuance of an emergency use authorization (EUA) by these federal agencies, as well as the state.

 

We do know that, just as so many of you have volunteered to help with screenings, we will rely on our qualified clinicians across the System to help us administer these vaccines. If you are interested in assisting with the administration of these vaccines and you are qualified, please email COVIDVaccine@MLHS.org and a member of the team will follow up with you.

 

Please know that we will seek to answer your questions and provide you updates about this process as soon as they become available. An FAQ sheet is now available on Wellspring, which we hope will address some questions you may have about the vaccine, employees and medical staff who should and will receive it, and more. This FAQ sheet will be available to you anytime, for reference, and we will keep this updated with relevant information. Additionally, information will continue to be shared in our weekly Town Halls, COVID Daily Updates and MLH To Go.

 

If you have questions, please email COVIDVaccine@MLHS.org. As always, we thank you for your patience, cooperation and support during this time.

 

Barbara Wadsworth, DNP, RN

Executive Vice President | Chief Operating Officer | Chief Nursing Officer

 

Jon Stallkamp, MD
Interim Chief Medical Officer

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Electrophoresis Lab Update

Effective Dec 8th, 2020 we will switch from Helena electrophoretic system to Sebia electrophoretic system for serum/urine protein electrophoresis, serum/urine immunofixation electrophoresis and hemoglobin electrophoresis. The methodology will remain the same, only instrument will change. As a result of this change, serum protein electrophoresis reference ranges will change to a minor degree. Also, if a patient is being followed for monoclonal protein, quantity of monoclonal spike will be 10% to 20% less with Sebia instrument now than prior to the change.

 

If there are any questions, please call Dr. Bhagat at 484-476-3521.

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SmokeFREE Program

Main Line Health’s FREE six session program to help tobacco users and vapers quit. Click here to view the times and dates to participate via ZOOM.

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November LIMR Clinical Research Report

By Donna Loyle, communications manager, LIMR

 

Research studies with clinical implications for patients with J Wave syndromes, brain metastases, periprosthetic joint infection and femoropopliteal artery lesions were published in peer-reviewed journals by investigators at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) in November.

 

New therapeutic approach for J Wave syndromes

Experimental models showed that the natural flavone acacetin may be a promising new therapeutic to treat the life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias knows as the J Wave syndromes, which include Brugada and early repolarization syndromes. LIMR investigators: Charles Antzelevitch, PhD, distinguished professor emeritus, and LIMR research professors Jose Di Diego, MD; Hector Barajas-Martinez, PhD; and Alexander Burashnikov, PhD. The manuscript: “Acacetin suppresses the electrocardiographic and arrhythmic manifestations of the J wave syndromes” in PLoS One.

 

Tighter constraints recommended for HA-WBRT for brain metastases

A phase II clinical trial sought to determine if hippocampal avoidance during whole brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT) for brain metastases can help to preserve patients’ cognitive function. Results showed a significant relationship between “maximum dose to the bilateral hippocampi and deterioration in short-term memory, even amongst patients who met hippocampal constraints according to the protocol, suggesting that tighter constraints may be beneficial.” LIMR investigator: Albert DeNittis, MD, clinical associate professor. The manuscript: “Steep Dose-response Relationship Between Maximum Hippocampal Dose and Memory Deficits Following Hippocampal Avoidance Whole Brain Radiation Therapy for Brain Metastases: A Secondary Analysis of NRG/RTOG 0933” in International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

 

Diagnostic test for PJI showed promising results

In patient studies, the FDA-authorized alpha defensin lateral flow test to detect periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) showed sensitivity and specificity rates of 89.5% and 94.8%, respectively. The study also demonstrated the solid performance of the test to diagnose PJI in the clinic. The test was developed at LIMR by MLH orthopedic surgeon and LIMR clinical assistant professor Carl Deirmengian, MD. The manuscript: “Validation of the Alpha Defensin Lateral Flow Test for Periprosthetic Joint Infection” in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

 

Eluvia stent helped patients avoid lesion revascularization

The randomized IMPERIAL clinical trial, in which Main Line Health participated, sought to determine safety and patient outcomes of the Eluvia paclitaxel-eluting nitinol stent vs. the Zilver PTX paclitaxel-coated stent in patients with symptomatic femoropopliteal artery lesions. Two-year follow-up of the study’s patients showed a sustained advantage for Eluvia in avoiding target lesion revascularization. Other results showed no difference in prevalence between the study groups, no flow within the hypoechogenic halo, and no associated adverse events. The IMPERIAL study was an international, 65-site clinical trial that was led by LIMR clinical professor William Gray, MD, System Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Co-Director of the Lankenau Heart Institute. The manuscript: “Two-year efficacy and safety results from the IMPERIAL randomized study of the Eluvia polymer-coated drug-eluting stent and the Zilver PTX polymer-free drug-coated stent” in Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology.

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Treatment trial for patients diagnosed with limited-stage small cell lung cancer

By Donna Loyle, communications manager, LIMR

 

Researchers seeks patients who’ve been diagnosed with limited-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC) for a clinical trial that is testing treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy with the medication Tecenriq® (atezolizumab), or chemotherapy and radiotherapy without it

 

Atezolizumab is an immunotherapy treatment currently FDA approved to treat certain types of cancer. However, atezolizumab has not yet been approved to treat SCLC.

 

Each participant in this trial receives three cycles of intravenous chemotherapy over a 21-day period and radiotherapy. One group also receives atezolizumab intravenously on day one or two of each chemotherapy cycle. Cycles repeat every three weeks for one year.

 

Eligible participants are those with limited stage (Tx, T1-T4, N0-3, M0) SCLC. They must not have been previously treated with an immunotherapy agent.

 

Study NRG-LU005 is approved for all Main Line Health acute care hospitals. The principal investigators are Tracey Evans, MD, and Albert DeNittis, MD. For more, visit www.mainlinehealth.org/research/clinical-trials/nrg-lu005

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