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Monday, July 23, 2012, 5:55 am

Marin foundation to take part in MS research effort

Also: Wellness center offering help with new no-smoking rules on multi-unit housing

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    Dan Verel, Business Journal Staff ReporterThe Marin Community Foundation will help oversee a philanthropic effort on multiple sclerosis research, according to Jansssen Research & Development, a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which established the fund.

    Janssen said it has committed $5.4 million that will go towards a new research sponsorship “to advance the formation of a first-of-its kind networked initiative aimed at uncovering the genetic and biological causes of MS.”

    Under the sponsorships, the Marin Community Foundation MS Project Fund will create an alliance of public and private research collaborators, according to Janssen, which will enable data sharing and integration of research. The alliance will work to expand and refine the knowledge of MS, while hoping to create new approaches for treatment of the disease.

    “We are proud to welcome the MS Project Fund within the Foundation, and we look forward to its scientific success,” said Thomas Peters, Ph.D, chief executive officer of the foundation in Novato.

    The foundation has a history of supporting neuroscience research and development, including the establishment of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging as a component of the research facility focused on aging and chronic diseases.

    The latest effort to study MS is part of the Healthy Minds initiative started by Janssen in 2011.

    “The commitment of new funds under our Healthy Minds program to this research effort in MS builds on the longstanding Janssen tradition of advancing neuroscience research and commitment to innovative collaboration,” said Husseini Manji, M.D., global therapeutic area head for neuroscience at Janssen.

    Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic neurological disorder affecting more than 350,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million worldwide, according to Janssen.

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    Dr. Michael Caccavale

    Dr. Michael Caccavale

    Dr. Michael Caccavale, an interventional radiologist, has joined Redwood Regional Medical Group in Santa Rosa. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in physiology and public health. He completed his medical degree there, as well. He completed his residency in radiology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medical Education in Rochester, Minn., followed by a fellowship in vascular and interventional imaging, also at the Mayo School.

    He joins the interventional radiology team of Dr. Gary Shaw and Dr. Ray Conway III at Redwood. Regional.

    The medical group, a privately owned physician organization, has six medical campuses with 41 physicians and more than 300 care providers. The multispecialty practice, serves more than 500 patients daily in Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Mendocino and Lake counties.

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    Sutter Medical Foundation announced that board-certified urologist Dr. Kadee Thompson has joined the foundation in Vacaville.

    In Solano County, Dr. Thompson is one of only three female urologists; the other two practice exclusively with Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, according to the Sutter foundation. Before she arrived at the foundation in Vacaville, non-Kaiser patients would have to travel to Sacramento or Walnut Creek to find a female urologist, according to the foundation.

    Dr. Thompson recently separated from the U.S. Air Force, where she held the rank of major and served as chief of urology at David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base. She has also worked through special assignment with the Sacramento VA Medical Center at Mather.

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    The Northern California Center for Well-Being said it will offer technical assistance for implementation of Sonoma County’s new smoking ordinance, which will prohibit smoking in multi-unit residences in unincorporated areas of the county.

    Property managers will be responsible for following the new law, which goes into effect on Jan. 12, 2013. The nonprofit Center for Well-Being said it’s “To Breathe Better” project staff is available to “educate and support property managers on how to comply with this ordinance,” in addition to offering free onsite classes for those who wish to quit smoking.

    The ordinance will prohibit smoking at all indoor and outdoor common areas, including hallways, paths, courtyards, lobbies, elevators, stairwells, playgrounds, parking garages and other common areas.

    More information can be found at www.norcalwellbeing.org.

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    Both Marin General Hospital and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital received “A” grades on the Hospital Safety Score from The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

    Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Santa Rosa and Vallejo also receive “A” grades on the score, while Kaiser’s medical center in San Rafael received a “B” grade, the next highest ranking.

    The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member panel calculated the scores for hospitals across the country using 26 measures from publicly available hospital data. The scores examine a hospital’s overall ability to keep patients safe from infections, injuries and medical and medication errors.

    Out of 264 hospitals in ranked by the group in California, only 37 percent received “A” grades.

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    Marin General Hospital received certification from the Joint Commission for its stroke program and, for the second year in a row, was given the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association.

    In order to receive the award, called “Get With the Guidelines,” a hospital must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month intervals and 75 percent or higher compliance with six of 10 measures. The measures include aggressive use of medication that shows better patient outcomes.

    Submit items for this column to Business Journal Staff Writer Dan Verel at 707-521-4257 or dverel@busjrnl.com.

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