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Tosa institutions reach out to larger community

Aug. 11, 2010

Health and education institutions at and near the Milwaukee County Grounds on the city's west side are expanding their impact into the larger community with several new projects.

The Medical College of Wisconsin was awarded a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund its work with seven additional institutions to work to get medical advances to patients faster. The so-called Clinical and Translational Science Award is set to last for five years and the Medical College was one of nine new institutions added to the list last month, now totaling 55 in 28 states.

"A critical goal of biomedical research is to transform discoveries into preventions, treatments and cures," said NIH Director Francis S. Collinsin. "By working together, CTSAs are removing barriers to research, training new generations of clinical and laboratory research teams, and providing them with the equipment and resources they need."

The other institutions in the area that will work with the Medical College are the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Froedtert Hospital, Children's Hospital and Health System, the BloodCenter and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.

College officials have said there are more than 140 projects planned. The institutions in the CTSI share research resources and allow their personnel to seek adjunct faculty appointments at the other institutions.

College forms cancer network

Froedtert Hospital & The Medical College of Wisconsin have formed a regional cancer network to improve access to their specialists at community hospitals. The college said that over the past three years, cancer cases seen by Medical College doctors at the Froedtert & Medical College Clinical Cancer Center have increased almost 35 percent, creating a growing demand for the cancer expertise of the college's doctors.

Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls and St. Joseph's Hospital in West Bend are the first hospitals to join the network, increasing the number of cancer specialties available in both communities. At Community Memorial, the network will add medical oncologists. Medical College specialists in urologic oncology, gynecologic oncology and neuro-oncology also will be available in Menomonee Falls via the network. In West Bend, Medical College specialists in radiation oncology, gynecologic oncology, urologic oncology and plastic and reconstructive surgery are now available.

"Driven by the best practices of an academic medical center, our physicians constantly investigate new methods of treating cancer," said Frank Wilson, chairman and a professor in radiation oncology at the Medical College, said in announcing the network.

Wilson added that, "Research translates to better treatments and improved outcomes, and it means patients within the network can rely on a consistently high standard of evidence-based cancer care that meets or exceeds national guidelines."

The Medical College research staff works to improve the understanding of cancer and helps to develop new procedures in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. By focusing on community health, the college says its research efforts have led to innovative treatments and preventive measures that benefit patients.

The college receives $15million to $18 million annually in cancer-related research support from the National Cancer Institute and other funding agencies.

Its research programs focus on more than a dozen types of cancer and other aspects of the disease, including: cancer education, blood and marrow transplantation and cancer cell signaling, growth and spread.

Pathways to College growing

Wisconsin Lutheran College, 8800 W. Bluemound Road, has announced plans to acquire the former Finney Library building, 4243 W. North Ave. in Milwaukee, to begin offering a pre-college program known as Pathways to College. The college began Pathways to College in 2007 to help underserved students in the Milwaukee area get into college and be more successful in obtaining degrees. It's broken into four components serving grades kindergarten through 12. There is no cost to students selected to participate in the program.

A brick-naming sale is being held to raise money to fund the purchase of the building.

Robert Warde is a freelance business writer living in Wauwatosa. He has been a journalist for more than 27 years and a business journalist for the past 15 years. Reach him at robert.warde@yahoo.com.

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