Health Notes: Texas Health Southwest volunteer named top in region

The Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital Medical Office Building recently opened to enhance health care needs of Arlington-area residents. Along with services previously offered at the former facility, the new building houses medical providers that offer cardiac services, cancer treatment, orthopedic services and a senior care clinic. Developed, owned and operated by Cambridge Healthcare Properties, the new building is on the campus of Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. The old “900” office building remained open while Cambridge built the project in phases. Construction for the new 56,000-square-foot building began last March. The new building is home to Orthopedic Medicine Specialists, led by Dr. Joseph Borrelli, orthopedic department chairman at Texas Health Arlington Memorial; and Arlington Internal Medicine Group, led by medical director Dr. David Lee, an internal medicine physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Arlington Memorial. Both organizations are affiliated with Texas Health Physicians Group, Texas Health Resources’ 501(a) not-for-profit health corporation that encompasses sleep lab services, infusion services, diagnostic imaging and chiropractic services in more than 200 locations in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Parker and Tarrant counties. Other offices located in the new two-story building are Texas Oncology, HeartPlace and Quest Diagnostics.

Texas Health Fort Worth promotes Randy Ball Randy Ball has been appointed the new vice president and professional services officer at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. Ball, a Texas Health employee for more than 30 years, brings more than 25 years of clinical leadership experience to the position. In his new role, Ball will oversee pharmacy services, therapy and rehab services, respiratory therapy, radiology and laboratory. Previously, he was Texas Health Fort Worth’s director of pharmacy for 15 years. In that role, he participated in the development of the first system-wide strategic plan for pharmacy and also worked with Texas Health’s Center for Learning to create a management and leadership development program for pharmacy directors throughout the Texas Health system. Ball began his career as a staff pharmacist at Texas Health Fort Worth in 1982, eventually becoming a lead pharmacist. In 1987 he moved to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, where he was director of pharmacy services from 1987 until 1992 and administrative director of ancillary services from 1992 until 1998. In 1998, he returned to Texas Health Fort Worth to lead the pharmacy department as director. Ball earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, the Texas Society of Health Systems Pharmacists and the Metroplex Society of Health Systems Pharmacists. In April he was recognized as a Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

UT-Arlington engineer to design flash-flooding predictor D.J. Seo, a water resources engineer at the University of Texas at Arlington, is developing a first-of-its-kind prototype that would allow the city of Fort Worth to more effectively dispatch emergency personnel to save lives and property when flash flooding occurs. Seo, an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, has received a $310,000 grant from the city of Fort Worth, the National Science Foundation and the National Weather Service to use high-resolution rainfall data from a new weather radar system for high-resolution monitoring and prediction of flash flooding. The research is a collaboration with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Colorado State University and is part of the NSF’s Accelerating Innovation Research program. Seo says Fort Worth emergency responders could see an effective lead time of up to 30 minutes in many flash-flooding situations. “The prototype will provide timely and location-specific information of what’s happening currently and in the immediate future when flash flooding occurs,” Seo said. “The city officials can use that information to help dispatch emergency personnel at the right time and to the right place.”

Baldwin to be inducted as nursing Fellow Kathy Baldwin, a nurse scientist at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, has been selected to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Last year, Baldwin worked with one of the 26 organizations the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services funded to pioneer accountable care organizations (ACOs). This particular ACO involved Texas Health Resources and the North Texas Specialty Physicians group in Fort Worth and was charged with providing health care services to a specific group of Medicare patients. Baldwin developed an advanced practice case management role within the ACO. As one of eight nurse scientists, an official role established this year by Texas Health, Baldwin promotes research and evidence-based practices at both Texas Health Cleburne and Texas Health Southwest. She also is chairman of the Clinical Nurse Specialist Foundation and is a member of several national organizations, including the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists and Sigma Theta Tau International. In October, Baldwin and other Fellows will be inducted during the American Academy of Nursing’s 40th annual conference in Washington, D.C.

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Research Institute launches Assistive Living Laboratory The University of Texas at Arlington Research Institute marked its first year June 28 by launching the Assistive Living Laboratory, in which researchers will work with robots to help people live independently longer. In its first year, the Research Institute has generated about $4 million in research spending, forged partnerships with industry leaders in robotics, biomedical and advanced manufacturing, and expanded its staff to 50 engineers, scientists and support staff. Last year, the institute received two key donations of robots from RE2 and QinetiQ North America to support the Assistive Robotics Lab. In addition, the institute bought a PR2 robot from California robot hardware and software firm Willow Garage to do further research on assistive robotics. “We are becoming the destination companies can rely on for enhancing product development in the field of assistive robotics,” said Rick Lynch, a retired Army lieutenant general and executive director of the Research Institute. “Our team of researchers is partnering with corporate and industry leaders to help robots become part of our everyday lives and to aid us in our homes and businesses.” Lynch said the new laboratory will let researchers explore the capabilities of a variety of robots, customize programming and make them easier to use and more valuable for a variety of uses. The Research Institute’s robotics team also works with an industrial robot manufactured by the KUKA Robot Group based in Augsburg, Germany; a seeing-eye dog robot; Zeno, a humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics Inc.; and several other robots. The institute also owns several high-tech instruments and processes that are available to industry partners to augment individual business research efforts. Those devices include a 3D printer, nano- and micro-grappling apparatus, a die attachment system used to make integrated chips, and a metal deposition evaporator that helps build metal and dielectric thin films. Lynch has invited business partners to use the UT-Arlington Research Institute as a testing center for their own advanced manufacturing and advanced technology. “We want to be the commercialization stop for business and industry,” Lynch said. “We are quickly becoming part of a firm’s path to commercialization of specific technologies or processes.” The Research Institute, based in Fort Worth’s Riverbend Business Park, specializes in advanced manufacturing, applied robotics, medical technologies and technology focused on energy, water and the environment.

Legacy at Bear Creek opens Legacy at Bear Creek, a 77-suite assisted living/memory care facility at 200 Keller Smithfield Road South, opened its doors on June 27. Jamie Bryant is the executive director. “With only two other assisted living communities in Keller, we are absolutely filling a need,” said community relations director Kathleen Bethay. “We have had enormous interest and expect that trend to continue as more people discover that we are not only offering a gorgeous community but exceptional care as well.” DeAnna Reaves, Keller’s economic development coordinator, agrees. “We are happy to have a beautiful facility that will provide a great service to the growing population of Keller. Our city continues to attract high quality development to Keller and with this assisted living and memory care construction valued at over $7 million, it definitely fits that category.”

Texas Health Southwest volunteer named top in region Al Wexler, a volunteer at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, recently was named Volunteer of the Year by the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation. The presentation was made during the organization’s annual luncheon to recognize excellence in health care. After retiring from a 51-year career at Lockheed Martin, Wexler, now 94, has dedicated the last 18 years of his life to serving his community. He found his niche volunteering at neighborhood schools, museums, the zoo and Texas Health Southwest, where he has been a volunteer for the past 10 years. “Al is an invaluable member of the volunteer team here at Texas Health Southwest,” said Cyndi Martin, gift shop manager and volunteer coordinator. “He is always here to help and does anything that anyone asks. He is more dependable than the postal carrier.” During his 18 years of volunteering, Wexler’s service has gone uninterrupted. “Volunteering gives me a great sense of accomplishment,” Wexler said. “It’s very rewarding to be able to help someone, and I like feeling like I still have something to contribute.”