In this edition of Vital Signs, we tackle a tough issue—the increase in heroin and prescription drug abuse and deaths, both locally and nationwide. There are no easy answers to this national epidemic, but researchers and physicians at the Boonshoft School of Medicine are working with officials at the state and local levels to fully understand the problem in an effort to develop better policies and treatment options.
We also highlight another epidemic that many had feared would threaten our nation—Ebola. Currently raging in Western Africa, this terrifying disease seemed to be making a beachhead in the United States, raising alarms nationwide. But our strong public health system has managed to contain the threat before it exploded. You can read about the local and statewide response and the role played by our Master of Public Health program in creating and maintaining our region’s strong public health system.
In other stories, you’ll meet Debra Mayes, a neuroscientist and faculty member who overcame a massive stroke at the age of 28 to continue her research into neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. You’ll also learn about second-year student Aaron Palmer, who grew up in a housing project in Akron and taught himself auto repair to pay for his undergraduate degree and pursue his dream of medical school. Now one of our top-ranked students, he hopes to become a neurosurgeon.
And finally, it was my joy to sit down with several of our outstanding women faculty members for a lively discussion about women in medicine in conjunction with the AMA’s Women in Medicine month in September.
Thank you all for your generous support of the Boonshoft School of Medicine. I wish you a wonderful holiday with family and friends and look forward to working with you in the new year.
Marjorie A. Bowman, M.D., M.P.A.