Boston Clinic Helps Children Thrive

Boston Clinic Helps Children Thrive

Dr. Deborah Frank, Founder and Director of the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center, took time to communicate with Cureus about the work that she and her team have been involved in for well over twenty years.

Since 1984, Dr. Frank’s Boston area specialty clinic has been treating children diagnosed with “Failure To Thrive (FTT).” Children with FTT do not achieve expected height and weight milestones for their age. As a result, they are at high risk for various difficulties including increased vulnerability to illness, delays in the development of language, learning, attention and motor skills, continued growth failure, and emotional problems.

The Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, provides multidisciplinary services to children with FTT and their families. Dr. Frank’s team consists of faculty physicians, social workers, nutritionists, and outreach workers, all of whom are strongly committed helping children who have been diagnosed with FTT. The clinic serves a particularly vulnerable population in which all of the children are moderately to severely malnourished. Approximately 10% of the children live in shelters or are homeless, most of the children and families served by the clinic have public health insurance, and 68% live below the poverty level.

The Grow Clinic team approaches malnutrition as a medical as well as a social/economic condition. In order to address their patients’ needs, the Grow Clinic provides services to patients in the clinic as well as in other environments in which they are fed. This includes homes, day cares, shelters and schools. The team collaborates in order to assess the nutritional, social service, and emotional needs of each child and family. In addition to the nutritional needs of the child, their outreach program addresses issues such as housing, food, clothing, and transportation. Dr. Frank’s passion and dedication to this work, along with the incredible commitment of her team, has allowed them to improve the health of over 1700 children.

According to Dr. Frank, similar clinics exist in Baltimore, Little Rock, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and other Massachusetts locations. Dr. Frank’s clinic is considered the flagship, as they are unique in the amount of outreach, home visits, and concrete supports (such as high chairs, food vouchers, assistance locating housing) that they provide. When asked what she feels helps families the most, Dr. Frank said “We don’t just jaw bone them. We facilitate doing what is needed.” This includes assistance such as giving families a high chair, helping them fill out Head Start applications, distributing food and supermarket cards, writing advocacy letters to homeless shelters, and many other things. Dr. Frank stated that the clinic could not function without the philanthropic support they receive, which allows them to purchase items for families and also maintain their staff.

In addition to the Grow Clinic, Dr. Frank is also the Founder and Principal Investigator of Children’s HealthWatch. Her research interests include child health and development as it is influenced by cumulative risk factors such as food, energy, and housing insecurity.

For more information about The Grow Clinic for Children click here.

Webcast Showdown: Live from Sydney

Webcast Showdown: Live from Sydney

Live from Sydney, Cureus Editorial Board Member Lee E. Ponsky, MD Moderates a Webcast Showdown: The Future of Prostate Cancer Therapies. Tune-in, April 16 6pm EDT


This is a guest post from Dr. Lee Ponsky

Just like Cureus is pushing the envelope with online publications, GlobalCastMD is similarly pushing the envelope with medical education interactive broadcasts. “The topics will cover contemporary imaging of the prostate, the role of focal therapy and optimizing biopsy techniques.  The course format will include live surgeries, debate and interaction from the participants in true GlobalCastMD style”

On April 16th (6pm EDT) we will be conducting a cutting edge course on prostate focal therapy demonstrating live surgery broadcast from Sydney, Australia with HIFU and Irreversible Electroporation with the Nanoknife. The course will feature Professor Mark Emberton from the UK. There will be presentations on prostate imaging with MRI particularly with an interest in active surveillance. The latest studies and findings on MRI for prostate cancer will be presented. A not to be missed debate between Mark Emberton and Declan Murphy will be a ‘no holds barred’, throw-down fight to the death debate over the merits if focal therapy: the future or for fools? This is a course not to be missed. We invite you to participate in the future model of medical education…register now!

View the course description and invitation:

Diego Gonzalez Rivas at TEDxGalicia

Diego Gonzalez Rivas at TEDxGalicia

13_diego_gonzalez-150x150Cureus Editorial Board Member Diego Gonzalez Rivas spoke recently at the TEDxGalicia conference about the pioneering steps thoracic surgery has taken to approach lung cancer through minimally invasive (i.e., a single small incision) video-assisted surgery.

Dr. Diego Gonzalez Rivas received degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Santiago de Compostela from 1992-1998. He completed his Residency at the Hospital Juan Canalejo, Department of Thoracic Surgery (La Coruña 1999 – 2004).

Along with his colleagues Ricardo Fernandez y Mercedes de la Torre, he promoted the creation of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI) in 2010. He currently works as an adjunct  physician at Coruña Hospital and the minimally invasive thoracic surgery unit (UCTMI) located in Modelo Hospital, San Rafael and USP Santa Teresa.

Cardiothoracic video surgery was created at some of the best hospitals in the world including Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA and Duke University in North Carolina. Dr. Gonzalez Rivas and teams of surgeons worldwide have evolved thoracic video surgery to include the treatment of lung cancer with thoracoscopy and using only a small incision so that the patient can be discharged within 24 to 48 hours after surgery.

This important technique is now well-recognized by the international scientific community and has been published in prestigious scientific journals as well as International Atlas. It has also been featured in multiple international conferences including the USA, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Indonesia and others.

Video surgery is the least invasive way to operate on lung cancer, which is critical in decreasing the overall patient impairment and post-operative complications (e.g. due to extended immunocompromised time periods). The future of thoracic surgery will undoubtedly include the use of video-assisted surgery via single incision combined with robotic technology and wireless cameras.

More information:

Watch Dr. Gonzalez Rivas’ TEDxGalicia talk:

New Benefits to Walnut Consumption

walnutsA study published in the most recent edition of The Journal of Nutrition looked at the relationship between walnut consumption and type 2 diabetes. The study by An Pan, at the National University of Singapore, and United States colleagues, showed that higher levels of walnut consumption were associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in women. The study followed more than 135,000 women over 10 years. The researchers controlled for variables such as smoking status, diet (including fish consumption), and physical activity.  Results also demonstrated that women who consumed more nuts tended to have lower Body Mass Index (BMI), but the benefit remained even after researchers accounted for the difference in BMI. Interestingly, despite the higher fat content found in nuts, women in the study who consumed more nuts did not gain weight. The researchers noted that those who frequently consumed nuts also tended to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This variable may have accounted, in part, for some of the decreased risk of diabetes.

Previous studies have demonstrated an association between tree nut consumption and type 2 diabetes, but the Pan et al.  study identified a particular type of tree nut, the walnut. Diabetes has become a major public health issue, with prevalence rates of type 2 diabetes on the rise. Increased knowledge of lifestyle and dietary changes that impact the development of this disease is an important area of focus, according to the authors. Among the tree nuts, walnuts are unique because they contain a high level of a particular type of fat (PUFAs). They also contain beneficial dietary fiber and antioxidants.

Nothing Fishy About Eating Fish

Nothing Fishy About Eating Fish

fish_healthConsuming seafood high in omega-3 fatty acids may protect against cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study suggested new evidence that higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk for heart disease and death in people over age 65. Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, associate professor at Harvard, and his colleagues found that those with the highest omega-3 blood levels were less likely to die in general, and specifically less likely to die of coronary heart disease or arrhythmia than those with low levels of omega-3s.

According to the study’s lead author, people benefit most from consuming an average of 400 milligrams of omega-3s per day. Associating the intake of omega-3s with the prevention of certain causes of death is a new and important finding. Some wonder whether taking a supplement is just as beneficial as eating the fish itself. According to Dr. Mozzaffarian, certain recent studies show benefits of supplements, while others do not. He recommended supplements for those who do not eat fish, while also stating that there is no harm in taking supplements for those who do eat fish.

You can read the New York Times blog here