Top Doc at the UC San Diego HTC!!!!
Clockwise from top left: Shirley Wycoco, RN, HTC Nurse; Dr. Annette von Drygalski, MD, PharmD, HTC Director and Top Doc Awardee; Alexis Sexton, MPH, HTC Program Coordinator; Zhiqiao Dong, BS, HTC Data Manager
Dr. Annette von Drygalski, Director of the UC San Diego Hemophilia and Thrombosis Treatment Center, was honored as one of San Diego’s 2014 “Top Docs” by San Diego Magazine and the San Diego County Medical Society.
The distinction is made every year following a selective survey and voting process by San Diego board-certified physicians to nominate expert physicians who excel in their field. A celebratory evening gala was held at the Birch Aquarium on November 1st in recognition of everyone named “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence” this year. The event overlooked the setting sun and guests were treated to a cool ocean breeze. Dr. von Drygalski and the team celebrated their achievements next to the aquarium’s exhibits of the underwater world.
The UC San Diego HTC is one of few centers in the United States offering specialized care for patients living with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia and von Willebrand disease. The UC San Diego HTC provides individualized services for a comprehensive patient experience including, but not limited to: emergency care, routine diagnosis and management, social work services, physical therapy, and rapid bleed detection through ultrasound technology. In the future, the center is looking to expand services to young adults with bleeding disorders to facilitate the transition of care from adolescence to adulthood.
The physicians and staff at the UC San Diego HTC are dedicated to provide new approaches to improve overall patient health outcomes. The center provides opportunities for patients to participate in cutting-edge clinical research studies to advance new therapies and create innovative knowledge on the developing needs of the aging hemophilia population. In addition, the UC San Diego HTC is launching new interactive programs geared at improving patient health, including the new Rock Climbing Program. The center’s new climbing program is focused on therapeutic measures to improve joint health.
UC San Diego HTC Climbing Rocks!
Harness. Grip. Lift. Balance. Climb. Every week at the Solid Rock Gym in Old Town, the UCSD Hemophilia & Thrombosis Treatment Center (HTC) hosts a rock climbing session for patients with hemophilia. The new therapeutic rock climbing program, now it its third month, offered a fun interactive activity aimed at providing joint therapy for patients with hemophilia.
The Rock Climbing Group: Dr. von Drygalski, Alexis Sexton, and Thomas Cramer climb with Nooshin Kosar, Executive Director of the Hemophilia Association of San Diego County, and climbing participants!
Gabe, a climbing participant, attempts to master a tough wall!
Partnering with the Hemophilia Association of San Diego County and the University of Munich, the UCSD HTC’s rock climbing program strives to increase range of motion, decrease frequency of bleeds, improve communication skills, foster team building and increase overall quality of life for patients.
Gabe, a frequent participant, knew from previous experience that rock climbing was not an easy activity but has since learned all the benefits the activity has for joint health. “It’s a lot of fun, and it’s something I look forward to every week” he says.
Generally, the only options for physical activities recommended for hemophilia patients are swimming and golfing. These restrictions often make it difficult for patients looking for alternative options for physical exercise.
“[The program] is amazing,” says Albert, another climbing participant, “I didn’t know rock climbing was so fun!”
Both Albert and Gabe hope future hemophilia programs will feature more interactive activities like rock climbing and other activities that kids can also get involved in.
The challenge of the rock wall is only the beginning. Through climbing, participants build strength, flexibility and endurance. In addition, in order to successfully finish a climb, climbers need to exercise trust in both the mind and the body with each step.
“Just keep climbing to the top,” says Gabe.