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Best for baby

Photo courtesy of Mike Styer

Photo courtesy of Mike Styer

UF Health Shands Hospital has been awarded the Baby-Friendly designation by Baby-Friendly USA, a global initiative of the World Health Organization and UNICEF that recognizes birthing facilities that implement specific breastfeeding procedures. The hospital is the only academic health facility in the state of Florida, the seventh hospital in the state of Florida and the only one in North Central Florida to successfully implement all the required standards for this designation. Baby-Friendly hospitals educate mothers on the importance of breastfeeding, provide excellent maternity care and achieve optimal infant feeding outcomes and mother/baby bonding. To reach the goals of the Baby-Friendly designation, clinic and hospital staff at UF Health Shands Hospital received special training to educate expectant or new mothers. “Mothers need to know we are prepared to assist them in their breastfeeding decisions,” said Kay Roussos-Ross, M.D, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the UF College of Medicine. “We work with them before and after their babies are born to create an atmosphere of support, ensuring that they are successful in their breastfeeding goals.”

Top programs

College of Medicine graduation 2013

In its annual rankings of the nation’s best graduate schools, U.S. News & World Report ranked graduate programs within the UF colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Health Professions, and Veterinary Medicine among the top 50 schools of their type in the country. The UF College of Medicine was ranked No. 43 among the Top 50 best research medical schools. Among public medical schools, UF now ranks No. 17 nationally and is the highest-ranked medical school in the state of Florida. The UF College of Nursing’s master’s degree program was ranked No. 48. Although the college offers several graduate programs, U.S. News & World Report ranks nursing schools specifically related to their master’s degree programs. Nursing programs were last ranked in the publication’s 2012 edition. The College of Veterinary Medicine was ranked No. 14 among schools of veterinary medicine. The School of Physician Assistant Studies within the College of Medicine was ranked No. 27. In addition, two programs within the College of Public Health and Health Professions received rankings this year: the college’s public health graduate program was ranked No. 30, and its health care management program was also ranked No. 30.

Repairing aortic aneurysm

A UF Health physician is currently the only researcher in the nation conducting a study of three specific, unique types of devices to treat aortic aneurysms. Adam Beck, M.D., a vascular surgeon and an assistant professor in the College of Medicine’s department of surgery, is the study’s lead investigator and has permission from the Food and Drug Administration to use a surgeon-modified device and two others it considers “investigational,” meaning they have not yet been approved for use in the United States. Also called grafts, these metal mesh tubes are covered with a special fabric and are used to line the inside of a major blood vessel where there is a weak spot, known as an aneurysm. Blood collects in the weak area, causing it to balloon outward and sometimes rupture, which can be fatal. Without the use of these specialized grafts, repair of aortic aneurysms in this area of the body requires extensive open surgery. Such surgeries have a high rate of complications, so many patients are not candidates for them and may have no other options for repair.