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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 151-154

Summary of the first annual rocky mountain healthcare symposium

1 HCA Healthcare, Graduate Medical Education, Aurora, CO, USA
2 The Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora, CO, USA
3 Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, The Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora, CO, USA

Date of Submission24-Aug-2019
Date of Acceptance02-Sep-2019
Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Michael S Firstenberg
Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, The Medical Center of Aurora, 1444 S. Potomac Street, Suite 200, Aurora, CO 80012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCIIS.IJCIIS_70_19

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The Medical Center of Aurora, in Aurora, Colorado (USA), served as the host institution for the First Annual Rocky Mountain Healthcare Symposium. The objectives of the Symposium were to offer a series of lectures, provided by a group of internationally recognized leaders in clinical medical research on “How to conduct clinical medical research,” and to allow medical residents from regional training programs to highlight their research. Twelve programs, from four US States, were represented. Oral presentations were given for selected abstracts with awards given for best posters and presentations. While the First Annual Symposium was generally viewed as successful based upon feedback metrics, survey results provided both subjective and quantitative foundation for improvements.

Keywords: Medical education, presentations, research, scholarly activity, symposium

How to cite this article:
Novak M, Dziadkowiec O, Strauss S, McCallister D, Firstenberg MS. Summary of the first annual rocky mountain healthcare symposium. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci 2019;9:151-4

How to cite this URL:
Novak M, Dziadkowiec O, Strauss S, McCallister D, Firstenberg MS. Summary of the first annual rocky mountain healthcare symposium. Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2022 Dec 9];9:151-4. Available from: https://www.ijciis.org/text.asp?2019/9/3/151/268354

   Introduction Top

On April 5, 2019, The Medical Center of Aurora was proud to host the First Annual Rocky Mountain Healthcare Symposium [Figure 1]. The multifaceted purpose of the symposium was to provide a structured single-day event in which internationally recognized leaders in Clinical Medical Research were invited to lecture on the theme of “How to do clinical research” from a hypothesis to publication approach. A series of four “How to do it lectures” (see below) was given after a brief, semi-formal, instruction by Dr. Dianne McCallister, the Chief Medical Officer of The Medical Center of Aurora. Intermixed with the faculty lectures was also a medical resident research competition that featured invited oral presentations and moderated poster sessions by representatives from 12 different residency programs [Table 1]. Participation in the event primarily included Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs. We accepted projects from Pharmacy and other health professions when approached. Industry representatives also participated.
Figure 1: Symposium Welcome poster

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Table 1: Programs and institutions presenting

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Following the introduction by Dr. McCallister, the first speaker was Dr. Shay O'Mara from the state of Ohio and is currently the System Chief for Trauma and Acute Care Surgery for OhioHealth. Dr. O'Mara presented on the topic of “Publishing and Presenting: Research on the Hoof.” The focus of this topic was strategy on getting your work published. Some of the ideas included the formats for different types of submissions, the need to read and follow publishing guidelines and publishers' feedback, and the importance of a mentor to help you learn and grow in skillset. Following this lecture, the first of two moderated poster sessions took place.

   Poster Session Top

The second objective of the event was to allow invited medical residents to present their research projects. Residents from 12 ACGME approved residency programs based in Hospital Corporation of America (HCA, HCA Healthcare is a leader in patient-centered care and a leader in GME. HCA has more than 3900 residents in more than 250 residency and fellowship programs, including recently onboarding more than 1450 new residents and fellows. HCA has GME programs in 53 teaching hospitals spanning across 14 different U.S. States) owned hospital facilities in both the Continental and Mountain Divisions, spanning five states, participated. A total of 36 scientific posters were presented, and five oral presentations were given by residents [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Poster sessions. The main lobby of the Medical Center of Aurora was used to host the poster session

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   Faculty Lectures Top

Following the poster session was a presentation by Dr. Tom Papadimos from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Papadimos is a Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine [Figure 3]. His lecture was entitled, “The Process of Writing a Manuscript: A Practical Synopsis.” The focus of this lecture was to outline the key steps necessary to bring a manuscript from original idea and hypothesis to completion with a location. This included some, behind the scenes, variables that go into the peer-review process. This talk was followed by a lecture by Dr. Oliwier Dziadkowiec, the Regional Director of Research for GME, in which he outlined the resources available within HCA Divisional and Corporate infrastructure to assist with research projects, manuscript presentation, statistical guidance, and regulatory oversite.
Figure 3: Faculty Lecture. Dr. Tom Papadimos presents on scientific writing

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   Oral Presentation Top

Of the previously reviewed abstracts, five were selected to give a brief, 10–15-min oral presentation. The oral presentations represented the full spectrum of diverse topics as listed below. These were moderated by the invited faculty and included a lively question, answer, and discussion period for each one.


  • “Does the Glove Fit? Morel–Lavallee Lesion, a Unique Degloving Injury” presented by Dr. Robert Petro, Sky Ridge Medical Center–Family Medicine Residency Program
  • “Do Pediatricians Have a Role in Postpartum Contraception Counseling” presented by Dr. Hafsa Mohiuddin, Wesley Medical Center–Pediatrics Residency Program
  • “Bleeding Risk with Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, and Aspirin for Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Following Total Joint Arthroplasty” presented by Dr. Michael Kopstein, Sky Ridge Medical Center–Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • “Recurrent Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome: A Rare Neurologic Manifestation of Pheochromocytoma” presented by Dr. Michael Flannery, Swedish Medical Center–Neurology Residency Program
  • “Hypokalemia and Risk of In-Hospital Arrhythmias” presented by Dr. Weston Harkness, Sky Ridge Medical Center–Internal Medicine Residency Program.

   Afternoon Sessions Top

Dr. Stanislaw Stawicki is a specialist in General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care, and Neurocritical Care and leads the Department of Research and Innovation at St. Luke's University Health Network in Pennsylvania. Dr. Stawicki provided an engaging lecture entitled “Setting up a Research Program: A Regional Health Network Experience.” He discussed the process and importance of being involved in GME research and how to systematically build the infrastructure for this work to increase scholarly activity.

Following this was a lecture by the local Surgeon, Dr. Michael S. Firstenberg (Chief, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, The Medical Center of Aurora) – “Multi-disciplinary and Multi-center Approaches to Research: Benefits to You, Your Program, and Your Institution.” This lecture covered the full-spectrum of concepts of how and why to do industry-sponsored research, the different phases of clinical trials, the foundations of regulatory and ethical compliance – including a discussion of the structure and role of Institutional Review Boards, an overall outline of why physicians should include research as part of their clinical careers, and why Institutional Administrative Leadership should also embrace such initiatives.

A moderated “Question and Answer” period, led by Dr. Bill Novick (Founder, The Novick Cardiac Alliance, https://cardiac-alliance.org) with involvement by the other teaching faculty, allowed for a thought-provoking discussion regarding some of the current challenges in dealing with the current structure of the United States Healthcare System in the context of access to resources, the need for research, and how all of the topics discussed during the symposium integrate with an extremely complex socioeconomic medical delivery system [Figure 4]. This was then followed by the second moderated poster session in which the faculty completed their review and assessments of the resident posters.
Figure 4: Guest Faculty. Local Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Michael Firstenberg (left) poses with Dr. Bill Novick, Founder and Chief Surgeon of the Cardiac Alliance – a nonprofit dedicated to developing sustainable pediatric congenital heart surgical programs throughout the world

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   Symposium Awards Top

The day's events concluded with announcing the awards for the best oral presentation and the topic posters. Closing remarks were given by Dr. McCallister.

Best poster awards

  • 1st Place Poster Presentation: “Looking at the Role of Serotonergic Drugs in Exacerbation of HPPD: A Case Report,” Dr. Spencer Roberts, The Medical Center of Aurora–Psychiatry Residency Program
  • 2nd Place Poster Presentation: “A Very Atypical Case of Chest Pain,” Dr. Cristina Gabutti, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center–Internal Medicine Residency Program
  • 3rd Place Poster Presentation: “Relapsing Neurological Symptoms in a Female Thought to Have Guillain-Barre Syndrome,” Dr. Dominick Ruybal, Sky Ridge Medical Center–Family Medicine Residency Program.

Best oral presentation award

  • 1st Place Oral Podium Presentation: “Bleeding Risk with Rivaroxaban, Enoxaparin, and Aspirin for Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Following Total Joint Arthroplasty,” Dr. Paula Watts, presented by Dr. Michael Kopstein, Sky Ridge Medical Center–Internal Medicine Residency Program.

   Evening Benefit Lecture Top

Although separate from the Symposium, that evening, a benefit dinner was held and hosted by Drs. Michael Firstenberg and retired cardiologist, Eugene Sherman honoring the decades-long commitment by Dr. Bill Novick in developing sustainable pediatric congenital heart surgery programs throughout the developing world. Invited guests, former patients, and local health-system leadership participated in an uplifting social event that featured Dr. Novick presenting his tremendous accomplishments in helping treat pediatric heart disease – often in areas of active military or political conflict – with a focus on how such humanitarian efforts can rise above both the strife, and the social, religious, economic, and political challenges that exist in many parts of the under-developed world. The tone of the presentation was such that afterward, many of the participants were ready to immediately begin work alongside Dr. Novick on his next project. Further information regarding Dr. Novick and his foundation can be found on his website: www.cardiac.com. Discussions have already started regarding collaborative efforts between his organization and ACAIM (https://acaim.org//).

   Summary Top

As this represented the first time the Symposium was held, surveys were sent to all who attended requesting feedback. Although we did not receive survey responses from the entire population of Symposium attendees, the subjective and objective comments are expected to be helpful in planning the next event. In addition, the overall positive feedback was encouraging that most viewed the event as worthwhile and success in accomplishing the primary objectives. Sixty-five percent of the responders (n = 13/20) rated the overall event as excellent or very good. Likewise, 65% rated the submission and application process and the poster session as excellent or very good. Eighty percent rated the venue (The Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora, Colorado, USA) as excellent or very good. Ninety percent of the responders indicated that they would be very likely or likely to recommend the 2020 Symposium to their colleagues.

   Conclusions Top

Without a doubt, those who participated in the events found it educational and uplifting. Early feedback by the participants suggested that they felt the overall activity was excellent, and they left feeling empowered to embark on further developing their research interests. In addition, the invited faculty each commented on being appreciative of the opportunity to positively influence so many bright, young, scientific minds. While the location of the 2020 Rocky Mountain Healthcare Symposium has yet to be determined, several institutions in the area have already expressed interest in hosting.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1]


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  In this article
   Poster Session
   Faculty Lectures
   Oral Presentation
   Afternoon Sessions
   Symposium Awards
    Evening Benefit ...
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    Article Tables

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