Thursday, December 21, 2017

Stem Cell Therapy as a Way of Addressing Neurodegenerative Disease


A physician with an extensive background in stem cell research, Dr. Mark J. Holterman engages with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria as attending pediatric surgeon and professor. Mark Holterman, MD, also guides the Alliance for the Advancement of Cellular Therapies as cofounder and seeks out strategies for advancing the field through dialogue with diverse constituencies including patients, scientists, elected officials, regulatory bodies, and health care organizations. 

Stem cell therapy has had a revolutionary role in advancing the treatment of various human diseases over the past three decades. In the 1980s, a landmark use of this type of therapy was employed in Mexico for the neurodegenerative condition Parkinson's disease (PD). Though outcomes were variable, the science has progressively advanced, with promising treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as PD, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis coming online. 

With neurodegenerative diseases involving the structural and functional loss, or death, of neurons, such conditions share a number of similarities. Unfortunately, currently accessible neurosurgical and pharmacological approaches do not halt the progression of underlying degenerative processes. This makes stem cell therapy a vital area of research in combatting them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

IPSAC-VN Scholar Program Enhances Health Care Providers in Vietnam


A professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Mark Holterman, MD, has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and abstracts on various medical and surgical concepts. Dr. Mark Holterman also supports the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of VietNam (IPSAC-VN), a nonprofit that enhances medical care for children in Vietnam through collaboration from clinical teams and support personnel. The organization also enables health care providers in Vietnam to further their education through the IPSAC-VN Scholar Program. 

Scholars accepted into the program receive funding and resources to pursue a medical education at a US medical school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Scholarship recipients receive a $2,500 grant toward the cost of educational expenses, travel, and room and board for a period of one to two months, during which time they will observe US clinical practices and engage in translation research. The program is open to both licensed and in-training nurses, physicians, and allied medical personnel. 

Program applicants must possess a good grasp of the English language and the ability to converse. Additionally, applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from their home institution that confirms their commitment to enhancing the institution’s quality of care. The IPSAC-VN and the host medical institution will also grant scholars who finish the program a certificate of completion.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

AAP Offers Flood Cleanup Guidance


An experienced pediatric surgeon, Dr. Mark Holterman has served as a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine for the past six years. Outside of his work as an educator, Mark Holterman, MD, is a longtime member of the American Academy of Pediatrics

In the wake of recent hurricanes throughout the southeastern region of the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released guidelines for communities to ensure children remain safe and healthy as cleanup efforts continue. 

According to AAP officials, children are especially vulnerable to illness as a result of exposure to toxic substances present in floodwaters that linger after a hurricane--contamination that remains even after the waters recede. To ensure safety, children should not be brought back to flood-affected school areas until the buildings and playground equipment have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Additionally, drinking water should be restored and large items of debris cleared out before kids come back, and they should not be involved in the cleanup work in any capacity.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Signs that a Child May Have an Autoimmune Disorder


Pediatric surgeon Mark Holterman, MD, teaches medical students and residents as a professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In addition to this, he researches a wide range of topics relating to pediatric surgery. Over the years, Dr. Mark Holterman has published dozens of papers and maintained a clinical interest in such topics as autoimmune diseases.

Although autoimmune disorders, such as Addison’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, are rare among children, they can still occur. These conditions may appear either on their own or with another autoimmune disorder when present in children and may be caused by environmental factors, heredity, or hormonal factors. 

In most cases, children with autoimmune disease experience varying symptoms depending on the specific condition they have. However, parents can be on the lookout for signs that a child’s immune system is having problems. These signs include weight loss, low-grade fever, and fatigue. Children with an autoimmune disease may also develop rashes or skin lesions and their hair may become more brittle than usual.

Since many of these symptoms can be attributed to common illnesses, parents should make sure they know the cause behind their child’s illness. If no clear cause can be found, it’s a good idea to have a pediatrician check for illness. If they suspect that an autoimmune disease is to blame, they will refer the child to a specialist.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

IPSAC-VN Sends New Groups of Medical Professionals to Vietnam


As CEO of Mariam Global Health, Mark Holterman, MD, concentrates on research in the field of regenerative medicine. The Illinois-based pediatric surgeon additionally serves as a medical team member at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital, and as a University of Illinois College of Medicine professor. Dr. Mark Holterman’s philanthropic memberships include a position on the board of the International Pediatric Specialists Alliance for the Children of Vietnam. Thanks to IPSAC-VN, some of the country’s most vulnerable children have a chance to have their medical needs met by generous physicians, nurses, and ancillary professionals who volunteer their time.

In recent news, IPSAC-VN sent seven teams of volunteers to Vietnam in March 2017. One team of these medical personnel went into the highlands, where they taught Vietnamese hospital staff in the intensive care unit and in the operating theater. Another group brought training and surgical materials to a Ho Chi Minh Hospital. This group focused on assisting with neonatal surgeries, oncology care, and urological surgery for pediatric patients. And the third group visited a larger, newly constructed pediatric hospital, where they made rounds alongside Vietnamese physicians and assisted in the more critical surgical cases. Thanks to this outreach, Vietnamese doctors have gained an array of new skills and techniques for treating their pediatric patients.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Core Goals of IPSAC Vietnam


A pediatric surgeon who functions as a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Illinois, Dr. Mark Holterman is a graduate of Yale and the University of Virginia, where he earned his MD. Further to his professional pursuits, Dr. Mark Holterman supports the International Pediatric Surgical Alliance for the Children of Vietnam (IPSAC-VN), a philanthropic organization that assists Vietnamese pediatricians in the provision of care to the children of Vietnam.

IPSAC-VN has two core goals, including providing educational opportunities to Vietnamese pediatricians, through training events, interactive sessions, and lectures. Additionally, the organization supports a number of training initiatives created by medical schools and hospitals in Vietnam.

Its second goal is to improve the quality of patient care via the provision of suitable equipment for Vietnamese pediatricians. IPSAC-VN also works closely with medical professionals in Vietnam to identify children who may have difficulty in accessing surgical treatment and assists in the creation of mechanisms that ensure such children attain access to proper care.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Hannah Sunshine Foundation - Tucker Beau's Story


University of Illinois College of Medicine Professor Mark Holterman, MD, teaches surgical and pediatric classes. In addition to his work in teaching, Dr. Mark Holterman actively explores cellular therapies. He is also one of the early leaders of the Hannah Sunshine Foundation, which supports pediatric patients like Tucker Beau. 

Tucker Beau was diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis at a very young age. In this type of chronic arthritis the immune system targets healthy tissues, resulting in inflammation. In addition to joint pain, children living with this condition often experience prolonged fevers and issues with internal organs. 

When Tucker Beau was very young, his illness prevented him from eating properly. As time went by, it kept him from doing the active things other children do, like ride a bicycle. Tucker Beau relied on his heroes, Batman and fellow patient Sarah, for support. 

Tucker Beau's parents sought out stem cell treatments through Celltex Therapeutics, hoping to try all possible avenues to find help for their son. Tucker Beau became the first child to receive treatment for the disease that relied on the patient's own stem cells. Today, he is able to ride his bike, play lacrosse, and go to school.