Renown Cardiologist Shares Insight On Warfarin, The Life-Saving Blood Thinner That Started Out As Rat Poison
Renown Health's Dr. Christopher Rowan recently joined a distinguished panel of experts on the "Game Changers in Medicine" podcast to discuss the science behind the discovery of warfarin. Renown Health Cardiologist Dr. Christopher Rowan was just featured on an episode of Game Changers in Medicine, a groundbreaking medical history podcast from Dramatic Health about some of the world’s most significant medical discoveries. The episode, Warfarin: How a rat poison became one of the world's most widely prescribed drugs, dives into the fascinating history of Warfarin and its life-saving effects on humans. During the episode, Dr. Rowan, whose research focus is heart disease and atherosclerosis, is joined by experts Kevin Walters, Historian and Strategic Research Coordinator at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF); and Ramya M. Rajagopalan, Ph.D. of the Institute for Practical Ethics at UC San Diego. Listen to the episode now or download it wherever you listen to podcasts. History of Warfarin Warfarin prevents blood clots from forming or expanding. The drug is especially important for individuals who have experienced a heart attack or stroke, or are at risk of experiencing either. However, the backstory of the drug is rather fascinating. Beginning in the 1920s, an unknown disease was killing cattle throughout the U.S. and Canada. Desperate to find a solution, one farmer drove 200 miles to the University of Wisconsin with a dead cow, bales of spoiled hay and a milk can of unclotted blood in tow. He crossed paths with a scientist, whose team set out to determine the hemorrhagic component of the spoiled hay, resulting in a series of medical discoveries that would revolutionize medicine. After learning more about Warfarin and how Vitamin K could reverse its blood thinning properties, doctors first prescribed the drug for human use in 1954. It is perhaps most widely known for saving President Dwight D. Eisenhower after he suffered a heart attack in 1955. Today, Warfarin continues to saves millions of lives each year. “Before blood thinners like Warfarin, people would experience strokes, blood clots in their lungs, blood clots in their legs, blood clots in their hearts, along with countless other clotting disorders - these conditions likely cutting their lifespans short,” Dr. Rowan said during the podcast. “Warfarin revolutionized the treatment of patients who suffer from heart attacks and strokes, helping them to live normal and healthy lives. The drug changed medicine forever and helped make incredible innovations such as mechanical heart valves a reality.” Interview Opportunity Dr. Rowan is available for interviews to discuss the importance of this unique medical discovery and the positive impact it has on many of the patients he treats every day. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 775-691- 7308 to coordinate an interview. About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath, Neurosciences and Robotic Surgery. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project® . For more information, visit renown.org. About Dramatic Health Dramatic Health, a national healthcare video company, is the producer of the six-part podcast series Game Changers in Medicine. The series premiered in July with an episode about Vitamin K and an enterprising Boston house doctor. The August episode showcased the creation of a smallpox vaccine and its parallels to today's urgent search for a COVID-19 vaccine. Game Changers in Medicine ranked #27 in Apple Podcasts: Life Sciences in the United States according to Chartable as of August 21, 2020. Both episodes, a series backgrounder, and additional material about the podcast series are available at www.gamechangersinmedicine.com and can be accessed wherever you listen to podcasts.
The Healthy NV Project® launches a new study to identify how private well water could impact the health of those living in the household. You use your faucet to wash your hands, make coffee and fill your water bottle. However, for approximately 41,000 people in Washoe and Churchill Counties who rely on private well water, there may be unseen contaminants present in their H2O, which could be affecting their health. The Healthy Nevada Project®, with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is launching a new study to discover how private well water quality impacts the health of well owners. By providing free water testing kits to interested Healthy Nevada Project® participants, researchers will collect samples and give results back to well owners, along with resources for potential treatment options. Data from previous studies in Nevada show elevated concentrations of heavy metals in some private, household wells. Since water from household wells is not monitored for quality by government agencies, well water testing helps ensure water does not contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, such as lead, which can lead to adverse health impacts. Those with a household well interested in receiving a free water testing kit must be enrolled in the Healthy Nevada Project’s population genetic screening study and consent to be a part of further research. People interested in joining the study can simply sign up to receive a genetic spit test kit in the mail or join the waitlist to be notified when in-person testing resumes. “The goals of the Healthy Nevada project are to improve population health and better understand processes that increase disease risks, such as cancer. In this study, we engage with our study participants and inform them about the impact of the environment on their health, while researching environmental contaminants that may elevate cancer risk,” said Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., research professor at DRI, principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project® and chief scientific officer for Renown Health. “During a time where people are spending more time at home, we’re excited to launch this multi-disciplinary study that dives into possible health impacts of a household’s water source.” “As the Healthy Nevada Project continues to serve over 54,000 research volunteers, we are proud to provide helpful information to participants, so they can make life-changing improvements to their home environment,” said Tony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, FACHE, president and CEO of Renown Health and co-director of the Healthy Nevada Project. “This allows every person with well water in Nevada, to have important information, at no charge, to help live healthier and better lives and to protect their family’s health.” The Healthy Nevada Project® is the fastest-enrolling genetic study in the country. The Project is also the first of its kind to return clinical results to study volunteers, which means participants can learn their genetic risks tied to heart disease and certain cancers, as well as lifestyle changes that could potentially help reduce their risk and prevent disease. To enroll in the Healthy Nevada Project, please visit healthynv.org. Renown Institute for Health Innovation is a collaboration between Renown Health - a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California; and the Desert Research Institute - a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet. Renown IHI research teams are focused on integrating personal healthcare and environmental data with socioeconomic determinants to help Nevada address some of its most complex environmental health problems; while simultaneously expanding the state’s access to leading-edge clinical trials and fostering new connections with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Learn more at healthynv.org.