The new “Program in Lung Healing” was recently announced by E. Albert Reece, Dean and representative of the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) and Jeffrey A. Rivest, CEO and president of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). This program will advance both schools’ positions as research leaders, top educators and clinical innovators for acute lung diseases and respiratory medicine.
According to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the country. In addition, the NIH also estimates that over 320,000 people in the United States are affected by acute respiratory failure, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), COPD exacerbations, influenza and progressive pulmonary fibrosis each year, with ARDS alone being responsible for about 70,000 deaths.
This new program brings together pioneering leadership and crucial expertise that will lead to deeper insights about respiratory failure, and leverage the institutions’ experience in preserving and restoring optimal lung function, explained Reece.
Rivest added in a press release: “This new program is a great example of how we continue to invest in unique programs that ultimately will deliver the highest value for our critically-ill patients. By bringing together our unparalleled strengths in time-sensitive critical care medicine, we can maximize the potential outcome for our patients with the most severe cases of respiratory failure.”
Rivest went on to explain that this new program represents an exciting approach to addressing lung diseases, backed by some of the most skilled and compassionate medical professionals in America: “a multi-disciplinary approach, access to all of the tools, a proven model for critical care and a broad focus on research, education and clinical innovation all under the same umbrella.”
The program will explore different scientific approaches to address lung healing such as tissue engineering, the use of stem cell therapy, artificial respiration and personalized diagnostics.
“This new program is an example of what leaders do. We are already one of the busiest medical centers for patients with respiratory failure of all types. And, we are internationally recognized as a leader in each of the key areas that impact lung and respiratory failure. This program brings together our academic and research leadership with the vision and the clinical expertise to treat patients in ways that are unique anywhere in the world,” said Dr. Thomas Scalea, one of Trauma’s Critical Care Division leaders.
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