ST. LOUIS - Highlighting the pioneering vision and worldwide impact of leaders at Saint Louis University, the St. Louis Business Journal recognized several members of the SLU community as "Health Care Heroes."
The Aug. 27-Sept. 2 St. Louis Business Journal profiles the achievements of medical professionals who, the editors say, are giving patients the power to improve their lives.
Eight of the 19 medical professionals recognized for their outstanding accomplishments are connected to the SLU community, reflecting the far-reaching impact of work performed by SLU's physicians, researchers and faculty members.
Saleem Abdulrauf, M.D.
|Saleem Abdulrauf, M.D.|
Abdulrauf was recognized as a Health Care Hero for innovation in neurosurgery. Professor of neurosurgery at Saint Louis University, Abdulrauf has refined leading-edge techniques allowing surgery that otherwise would be impossible.
Equally innovative is the collaborative work within SLU's Center for Cerebrovascular and Skull Base Surgery that he directs. Treating stroke, brain tumors and aneurysms, a team of experts from otolaryngology, neurology, radiology, and SLU's Cancer Center consult on complex cases.Designed for collaboration, the Center has an integrated high-tech system permitting seamless video communication from across the University and around the globe, allowing Abdulrauf to advise surgeons around the world, even during surgery.
A leader in the field of neurosurgery, Abdulrauf is currently chairman of the International Division of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, secretary of the North American Skull Base Society and secretary general of the World Federation of Skull Base Societies.
Raul Artal, M.D.
|Raul Artal, M.D.|
Honored for his contributions to public policy, Artal is an advocate for maternal and fetal well being. On the forefront of developing new pregnancy weight and exercise standards, Artal has challenged current pregnancy weight gain guidelines.
He was among the first to advocate that attention to weight control and the use of exercise be used as an alternative to medications in controlling blood sugar in pregnancies complicated by diabetes.
Artal is one of four U.S. medical experts selected to serve on a World Health Organization panel that recommends ways to make pregnancy safer for women around the world and is current chair of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' scientific committee.
He also wrote the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' guidelines for exercise during pregnancy.
When two St. Louis medical clinics that served the Hispanic community closed their doors last year, Fox, CEO and owner of New Space and Saint Louis University board member, launched Casa de Salud. For his work ensuring that a crucial health need was met, he was honored as a Health Care Hero in community outreach.
Fox, who chairs Casa de Salud's board of directors, approached Saint Louis University president Lawrence Biondi, S.J., who agreed that SLU would be a founding and sustain sponsor of the new endeavor. After obtaining support from several other St. Louis institutions, Fox saw Casa de Salud open its doors on April 16.
With the goal of eliminating the barriers that prevent new immigrants from accessing health care, Casa assigns each patient a "navigator," who teaches new Americans how to use the complicated health care system, helping fill out forms, providing translation services and even accompanying a patient on an appointment at a new facility.
Sharon Frey, M.D.
|Sharon Frey, M.D.|
On the front lines of efforts to protect the health of the nation as the country braced to battle the H1N1 influenza pandemic last year, Frey was honored in the physician category.
SLU is one of eight elite medical institutions selected and funded by the National Institutes of Health to test new vaccines, and, as clinical director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Saint Louis University, Frey led the NIH's H1N1 influenza vaccine trials at SLU.
In addition, Frey studies vaccines for hepatitis, HIV, avian influenza and salmonella, among other diseases. After the 2001 terrorist attack, when the nation feared the deadly smallpox virus could become a weapon, Frey conducted research that helped U.S. leaders decide on the best way to protect Americans in case of a bioterrorist attack.
For more than 10 years, Frey has brought humanitarian medical aid to those in need in countries that include Zaire, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Honored in the Allied Health category, Ruminski is a former Pfizer scientist who joined Saint Louis University to lead a group of highly trained scientists at SLU's new Center for World Health & Medicine.
Taking basic academic research and turning it into drugs that combat diseases in the developing world, Ruminski's team will work to develop medications to treat conditions like malaria and childhood diarrhea, the second cause of childhood death in the world.
With a $5 million, two-year investment from SLU and a substantial equipment investment from Pfizer, Ruminski's group aims to develop chemical compounds that may have promise, but which were not deemed commercially viable by pharmaceutical companies.
Three other members of the Saint Louis University community also were recognized.
Theodore Dubuque, M.D.
Recognized with the St. Louis Business Journal's highest Health Care Heroes award, Dubuque was named this year's lifetime achievement winner. Former chief of surgery at SSM St. Mary's Health Center and emeritus professor of surgery at Saint Louis University and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center, Dubuque founded CRUDEM (Center for the Rural Development of Milot), an organization which helps support Hospital Sacre Coeur in Haiti. Since his work began, the hospital has grown from six to 73 beds and is the region's largest employer.
President and chief executive of Health Literacy Missouri, senior adviser to the Missouri Foundation for Health, and adjunct faculty member at Saint Louis University's School of Public Health, Culbert was recognized in the public policy category for his work the help Missourians better understand health information.
Director of clinical programs at Esse Health, nurse practitioner and doctor of nursing practice student at SLU's School of Nursing, Beckerle was recognized for her mission work, care for chronically ill seniors and diabetes education outreach in nursing.