CVM Professor to Promote Worldwide Bone Health in Bulgaria
Posted May 22, 2017
cancer treatment in the United States involves open and
communicative relationships between doctors and patients, this
isn’t always the case in European countries. Dr. Larry Suva, head
of the Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology at
the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences (CVM), hopes to change this by participating in the
Fulbright Specialist Program.
The program, funded by the U.S. Department of State and the
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is giving Suva the
opportunity to collaborate with New Bulgarian University in
Bulgaria to implement a program in medical care centers that will
promote better bone health for cancer, autism spectrum disorder,
and Down syndrome patients across Europe.
Suva said that in some European countries—such as Bulgaria,
Austria, the Czech Republic, and parts of Italy—there is a lack of
communication between doctors and patients. As a result, patients
can be left feeling lost or confused about the next step in
treating their illness or managing their disorder.
In fact, following an oncology visit, many patients in Bulgaria
are referred to a psychologist who is familiar with the person’s
medical case for follow-up care, including counseling and
survivorship. Suva said this process can be hard on patients who
are often left with little direction or support.
After learning about this, Suva pursued the Fulbright Program to
make a positive change in doctor-patient relationships and create
support networks for European patients that would address potential
health concerns, such as bone health, during treatment.
“We want to set up a program where people with Down syndrome,
autism spectrum disorder, and cancer can get support and
information about nutrition and their skeleton,” Suva said. “In
these patients, bone fractures are catastrophic.”
But the program is not limited to Bulgaria. Suva is hopeful the
program will be successful in Bulgaria so it can be transplanted to
other European countries.
Additionally, designing and implementing the program will also
give medical and psychology students at New Bulgarian University a
chance to learn more about how certain disorders and diseases
negatively affect the skeleton. This knowledge could help create a
better future for patients with bone health concerns.
“As students are being trained, they're going to learn the
consequences of bone fractures, poor nutrition, and poor bone
health during the treatment journey,” Suva said. “Then, they are
going to find a path toward a healthy healing process.”
Through the Fulbright Program, Suva will make improvements in
bone health awareness for cancer, autism, and Down syndrome
patients. By creating support networks and helping patients in
Bulgaria build better relationships with their doctors, Suva will
gain the knowledge and experience necessary to make positive
changes in other European countries, too.
“Even if my the program only helps a few people, someone has to
start,” Suva said.
Read more about Suva's work in an upcoming edition of CVM
For more information about the Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, please visit our
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Contact Information: Megan Palsa, Executive Director of
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of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Science; firstname.lastname@example.org
; 979-862-4216; 979-421-3121 (cell)
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