Three Medical School students went back to middle school over the summer. This time around, though, they weren't students, but teachers. The students taught about 20 students at the Turner Middle School, at 59th and Baltimore, about cancer and general health topics. The students were participating in a summer internship program run by the West Philadelphia Improvement Corps and the Community Health Group at the University. The students were also sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. WEPIC developed out of a public service and community development seminar taught by School of Arts and Sciences Vice Dean Ira Harkavy and President Sheldon Hackney. "The goal is improving the quality of life in the community by linking the students at the University with West Philadelphia community work," Harkavy said. "In this way, the University will be assisting schools to become centers for their neighborhoods." Last year, the theme for the curriculum was hypertension, and this year the focus was on cancer. "We tried to teach what cancer is, where it arises from, and how it spreads," said second-year Med student Dwayne Sewell. The 20 middle school students learned about the different types of cancer and the risk factors associated with it. "A key point was that we focused on the philosophy that they control their own health," said second-year Med student Mike Reyes. A typical day at the school would begin with a short lecture. The classroom setting was interactive and students asked questions throughout the day. The class split up into small groups for discussion run by the three Med students, three Turner teachers and nine undergraduates from Harkavy's seminar class. Each undergraduate was assigned two middle school students who they worked with for the whole month. Group time was spent role playing, writing rap songs, and videotaping presentations. The Med students also brought pathology specimens, such as a human liver and a silicon breast model. The middle school students spent much of the time preparing for a health fair which was held on the last day of school. The students ran the booths themselves, which ranged from blood pressure tests to cancer screenings to eye examinations. "This program provides a way for different schools such as the Med school to infuse resources into the community," said Jack Ende, an associated professor at the Med School and an administrator at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Ende supervised the Med students at Turner. The summer program is already expanding. The program directors just obtained funding from the Ronald McDonald Children's Charity which was used, in part, to hire full-time coordinator. The three Med students all have written reports based on their summer experience. Sewell developed a breast cancer survey which he distributed at the health fair. Reyes studied the demographics of the Turner community and what health facilities are available. The third Med student, Laura Sices, developed a manual for intensive preventive screenings to be done by fourth-year Med students later this year. "It was really a unique program because so many different groups-graduates, undergraduates, and middle school students- worked together," Sices said. "It was rewarding because we got to see what being a doctor is really all about," Reyes said.
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AIDS events may return AIDS Awareness Week may be back on track, according to Sexual Health Educator Kate Webster. Webster said last week that for the second straight year, there would be no AIDS Awareness Week at the University in February. But this week, she said she has begun recruiting speakers and will attempt to form an AIDS awareness event around them in February. "There is programming happening," said Webster. "I am awaiting the acceptance of a keynote speaker so that I can build a program around her." Webster said that there will be several events scheduled for the second week of February. However, Webster said that it may be only "a couple of events" rather than a full week of activities. AIDS Awareness Week was held in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Turnout for many of the programs was very low, and the annual event did not occur last February. The lack of an awareness week has come under fire from several student groups, including the Graduate Student Associations Council. Last week GSAC passed a resolution calling for Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson to "take responsibility for sponsoring and coordinating" AIDS Awareness Week. The resolution also states that "the plans for HIV/AIDS Awareness Week are poorly developed or non-existent." "One of the main reasons that there was no AIDS Awareness Week [last year] is that Kate Webster's position was vacant -- there was no one to coordinate," said GSAC Secretary Michael Polgar. But after talking to Webster yesterday, Polgar said he "was impressed" by Webster's commitment to planning events which focus on AIDS education. Polgar said that he believes "there was never a conscious decision" to discontinue AIDS Awareness Week. "It was more that the University just let things slide," he said. Besides scheduling programs for February, Webster said that the University will also hold events in observance of International AIDS Awareness Day on December 2. Webster said that the December program was planned "long before" Magic Johnson's announcement that he is HIV-positive. However, Webster said that this revelation has heightened AIDS awareness on campus -- especially with December 2 fast approaching. "It's almost unbelievable timing," Webster said. According to Polgar, GSAC will work with Facilitating Learning About Sexual Health, a student organization which sponsors Sexual Health workshops at dormitories and fraternities and provides individual counseling for students. The group will distribute condoms and fliers on International AIDS Awareness Day. GSAC also will help organize activities for February. Anthropology graduate student Michael Bazinet said that the University should do more to promote AIDS awareness. "They have good ideas but no idea about implementation," said Bazinet. "I'm really upset that there hasn't been a more carefully orchestrated effort." Bazinet said that one of the main reasons AIDS Awareness Week was scheduled for February is because "it's safer to have it in the spring." "It's not like Homecoming or Parents' Weekend where there are a lot of alumni and parents floating around," Bazinet said. On International AIDS Awareness Day, FLASH will be handing out free condoms on Locust Walk throughout the afternoon, beginning at noon. Students will also be handing out "FLASH facts," short messages which provide information such as the statistic that 75 percent of people world-wide infected with AIDS are heterosexual. FLASH fliers, bearing the slogan "It takes more than Magic to stop AIDS. Use Condom sense," have begun appearing throughout University dormitories and classrooms. "The FLASH kids have a great message," said Webster. "We welcome other groups to bring their banners and messages." (CUT LINE) Please see AIDS, page 4 AIDS, from page 1
It wasn't quite the mother lode, but it still would have made a prospector proud. While dissecting the head and neck of his cadaver "Hal" Wednesday morning, first-year Medical School student Michael Agus found that the dearly departed gentleman had a gold tooth. But yesterday, Agus made another find. "Tonight when we continued the dissection I looked in [the mouth] and saw that the tooth was gone," he said last night. After Agus announced the missing gold to his lab partners, classmate Tad Dibbern, another first-year Med student, remembered that his cadaver had similar dental work. And it soon became apparent that Hal wasn't the only stiff to be visited by the aspiring tooth fairy. "I said, 'We have two gold teeth, too,' " Dibbern said. "But when I checked, I saw they were gone." But when students checked a third body which was known to have had gold teeth, they found the treasures intact. Dibbern speculated that a set of dentures which had been placed above the teeth "as a joke" may have deterred the thief. "Underneath, there was an entire gold bridge with six or eight gold teeth that no one had touched," Dibbern said. According to Gary Cohen, a clinical associate professor of oral medicine, the three swiped caps could have netted the swiper somewhere between $60 and $120. "Gold teeth usually weigh between one-tenth and one-fifth of an ounce," Cohen said. "If you took them to a smelter or a jeweler you probably would get between $20 and $40 per tooth." Although a University Police officer was sent to the anatomy laboratory, no incident report was filed, according to Sergeant Lawrence Salotti. According to Agus, the officer who came to investigate the crime asked him for the name of the complainant, so Agus told him "Hal." "I don't know his name, but we call him Hal," Agus said. The professor of the class, Associate Anatomy Professor John Weisel, said he was upset by the whole incident. "I think it's really unfortunate -- one of the things we teach is respect of the cadavers which have been donated," said Weisel. "It is unfortunate that someone would desecrate these bodies."
A new University study has found that there is no national consensus on the type and amount of sedatives administered to medical intensive care unit patients with respiratory failure. Sedatives are commonly administered to make ICU patients feel more comfortable when they are receiving mechanical respiration through a tracheal tube. "Essentially we found that sedatives are given to almost everyone receiving mechanical ventillation in the event of respiratory failure," said Carole Basile, HUP research study coordinator with the pulmonary department. Despite the widespread use of sedatives at ICUs nationwide, there is no commonly accepted rule for the amount of medication employed, the method of administering the drug, or the time period during which the patient may safely remain unconscious. "We found variation across the board in all areas of sedation," Basile said. According to the study, 17 different sedating drugs are used by ICUs nationwide. The drugs are often used to induce paralysis to prevent the patient from moving and interfering with the mechanical respiration. "Otherwise the ventillator isn't well tolerated [by the patient]," Hansen-Flaschen said. Hansen-Flaschen said researchers now need to study the sedatives' effect on patients while they are unconscious. "I think it's a pretty bizarre thing that's happpening that no one knows much about," Hansen-Flaschen said. Frequently patients remain partially conscious when they do not receive enough anesthetic, an eperience he described as being in a "Rip Van Winkle state." "You go in Tuesday and then you wake up three weeks and five days later and you have crazy nighmarish memories of the whole thing," Hansen-Flaschen said. "A month ago we identified a patient who was unconscious for 36 hours, but she remembered the experience." The results of the study are based on a survey which was sent to 265 U.S. medical ICUs which train pulmonary fellows. 164 hospitals -- 62 percent of those surveyed -- responded to questions about their use of sedatives and neuromuscular blockers. "We got the idea for the study when we were introducing a new sedative at our ICU and we realized that not much research had been done on this subject," Basile said. The article appeared in the November 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Craig Tanio originally entered the University's Department of Medicine just to complete his residency. But his work there has now made him a contestant, and winner, on a nationally televised game show to be broadcast this weekend. Third-year resident Tanio defeated two other residents from the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Texas in a new cable program called Medquiz, which is scheduled to air this Sunday at 5 p.m. on the Lifetime Cable Network. Contestants were presented with typical medical cases and were asked to answer questions and make diagnoses based on the information given. Each contestant responded to each question within a set time frame and their answers were then judged by a panel of three doctors. The data provided for contestants included X-rays and photographs of patients' symptoms. Tanio was the winner of one of the two shows which were taped on the first day of the program. The winner of the other show is a Harvard University resident. "It was a very interesting experience and hopefully we can do more of it," said Terry Schomwald, Associate Producer of Medquiz. "At this point they're pilots for a series. There might be something more down the road. Right now I haven't a clue as to what is going to happen concerning the future of the show." The producers of the quiz show initially contacted several medical schools, including the University's, and asked each school to select a student for the program. For his efforts, Tanio won the grand prize of $3000, which Schomwald said he plans to donate to the Department of Medicine Scholarship Fund. The University will also receive an additional $2500 for its participation in the project. "It was a very close game," he said. "I enjoyed the experience, particularly because I was able to visit my parents who live in Southern California. It was an honor to represent Penn Medical Center in the competition." Lifetime Medical Television spokesperson Alisa Johnson said that any plans for the creation of new episodes of Medquiz would depend on the Ciba-Geigy Corporation, which sponsored the original two shows. The shows were produced by Medical Communications Resources, Inc. "Between 4 and 7 p.m. we allow sponsors to air programs which are produced by an outside producer," Johnson said.
A new $3.5 million grant will provide two medical students at the University with complete scholarships for a period of six years to study internal medicine. Portions of the grant from the Lucille Markey Charitable Trust will also go to two internal medicine students from Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Washington University in St. Louis. The grant will be used to fund the Four Schools Physician Scientist Program, which is in its third year and pays for six years of fully funded training for students who are interested in becoming physician scientists. "As the resources of each school grow increasingly limited, we decided to form a consortium of four schools to generate physician sciences, which is a national need," said Medicine Professor Alfred Fishman, the program's coordinator. After completing their third year of medical school, the eight students will be given the chance to take a year off from medical school to pursue research at any of the four participating schools. The students will then return to their home schools for their final year of medical school and are sponsored through two years of residency and two years of post-doctoral training. "If I were starting over again, it would be a really attractive program to me, especially since some students couldn't afford to pay for this training," Fishman said. Third-year Medical School student Stephen Gruber, one of this year's participants in the program, described the program as a "unique opportunity." Gruber said that he eventually wants to get an academic position in the field of epidemiology. Gruber, who completed his undergraduate education at the University and then obtained a Ph.D. in epidemiology, is spending his research year working in a University molecular biology laboratory. "I've been studying the molecular biology of tumors, and it's already been a worthwhile experience," said Gruber. "I've been able to apply the skills I'm learning to a Parkinson's study that I was working on previously." At the end of the year, Gruber and the other participants in the program will present their research findings at a special convocation ceremony for the students at all four schools. The ceremony was held at the University for the first two years of the program's existence. "The mentor program participants are very close," said Fishman. "They've formed a kind of research society and each year we bring everybody back for convocation."
Student Health has used or assigned all 300 doses of the flu vaccine they have, and are now putting students on a waiting list, Student Health Director MarJeanne Collins said. The unusually high number of students requesting shots follows predictions by the federal Centers for Disease Control that this year's flu season would be one of the worst in years. It also follows reports by makers of the vaccinations that they have already distributed all of the shots they produced for this season. But Collins said that Student Health will attempt to get additional doses if demand keeps up. "By the end of the week we will look at how many students remain on the list and then we will see if we can get more vaccine," Collins said. Collins said that although there is already a waiting list, she is encouraging students to sign up as soon as possible to protect themselves from the disease. The shots cost $5. While the influenza virus has not yet reached Philadelphia, Collins said that there are signs that this year's flu season will be coming soon. "We're reaching the beginning of the flu season and schools have been closed in the South," Collins said. This number is significantly higher than last year, when the Hospital gave approximately 4500 injections of the flu vaccine. The increased demand resulted in a period of five days last month when HUP was without the vaccine. But Grimm added that HUP has received another shipment and still has almost 500 shots available. According to Grimm, the increase is largely attributable to an increase in hospital employees who are receiving the vaccine. "Hospital program employees have taken twice as many doses as last year," Grimm said. This year, HUP Organizational Services organized a new program which offered $15 flu shots to University faculty and employees. However, the walk-in program has been temporarily discontinued to give priority to workers "in the Hospital community," according to Emergency Department Administrator Sue Canning. "We can't afford to have our staff members give the flu to our patients," Canning said. The moratorium, which restricts the vaccine to Medical Center employees, will continue until December 10, after which time the remaining doses will be again offered to the rest of the University community. "The flu season is starting early and we've had to deal with and increased spurt [in people wanting the shots] which was unexpected," Canning said.
A new federal "right-to-die" statute that took effect last week will not have a significant impact on HUP's day-to-day operations, University officials said this week. The new law requires all health institutions -- hospitals, nursing homes and HMOs -- to ask in-patients for "advance directives" in case they become incapacitated and are only being kept alive through life-support systems. Failure to comply with the regulation, passed in November 1990, may result in the loss of Medicare and Medicaid payments for the institution. "HUP has always been sensitive to patients' rights and autonomy," Forrest said. "In clinical practice there's been no real change at the hospital." She added that the law, formally titled the Patient Self-Determination Act, is intended to "increase patient autonomy and to reduce costs by withholding care to people who don't want it." Because the act was passed by Congress a year ago, hospitals have had over a year to implement programs which provide information about advance directives. The Act says that when patients are admitted to a hospital, the hospital must tell the patient about advance directives such as a living will, which indicates in writing the conditions under which the patients would refuse certain treatment. Another example of an advanced directive is a "durable power of attorney" document which gives another person the right to make medical decisions if the patient becomes unable to make decisions for themselves. "My personal opinion is that the proxy option is the safest way to carry on your autonomy," Forrest said. The new law also requires that the patient be told about hospital policy concerning advance directives and that hospital employees should be be educated about patients' rights. According to Forrest, HUP patients have shown a lot of interest in composing living wills. "Since Sunday, one-third of patients [at HUP] have asked for additional information," Forrest said. According to Associate Medicine Professor Paul Lanken, a former Chairman of the HUP Ethics Committee, the act was passed in response to a June 1990 U.S. Supreme Court decision which said that Missouri officials were correct to require "clear and convincing evidence" of the patient's wishes regarding the right-to-die. The family of the patient in the case, Nancy Cruzan, wanted to stop feeding Cruzan through a feeding tube which was sustaining her life, but doctors were prevented from carrying out their wishes by state law when she lapsed into a vegetable state without a living will. Although Cruzan's family eventually convinced the courts that she had previously requested life-support not be used, the Supreme Court decision indicated the need for patients to be encouraged to write living wills or grant proxies to ensure their wishes be fulfilled. "If you're in a state which requires evidence of your intentions, like Missouri, it's best to carry a living will to have it in writing," Lanken said. According to Forrest, Pennsylvania is the only state without a state law concerning patients' rights. Lanken said that such a bill is currently before the state legislature, but added that it has met strong opposition because it has a clause which prevents pregnant women from refusing life-support. The greatest impact of the new law will fall on nursing homes and HMO's, according to Lanken. "Nursing homes are not strong advocates of patient autonomy, but they will be required to comply," Lanken said. "Hospitals basically already respect patient autonomy."
A six-year study co-authored by a University professor has determined that a pneumonia vaccine can be effective in preventing infection in older patients, not just younger ones for whom the vaccine was originally designed. The results of the study appeared in the November 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Professor Robert Austrian, chairperson emeritus of the Department of Research Medicine, co-authored the study which involved over 1000 elderly patients from eleven hospitals in Connecticut. The study, led by Yale University Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology Eugene Shapiro in conjunction with the University and the National Institute of Aging, is regarded as important in showing the strengths of the pneumonia vaccine. "There's been a controversy regarding the efficacy of this licensed vaccine," said Shapiro, the primary author of the study. "Our study shows that the vaccine is effective for treatment of the elderly." One of the key conclusions of the study is that the vaccine should be administered more frequently. Only 10 to 20 percent of the "high-risk population" in this country have been immunized, according to Austrian. "With greater use, I know we can save lives," Austrian said yesterday. "The results of this study are quite conclusive in demonstrating that the vaccine can provide protection for older people." The University has been a recognized leader in pneumonia research and has one of only two World Health Organization Collaborating Centers for pneumonia research. The tested pneumonia vaccine is composed of 23 separate vaccines which represent the 23 pneumococcal types which are responsible for 90 percent of all pneumococcal infection. The vaccine is similar to an earlier vaccine which was taken off the market after World War II when penicillin proved effective against some types of pneumonia. However, further studies by the National Institutes of Health found that penicillin was not entirely effective. When the vaccine was relicensed in 1977 some doctors said that although the vaccine was tested effective for young adults, it might not be similarly effective for older people. However, Austrian said the study shows that the vaccine is indeed effective for elderly patients "who are at a greater risk for serious infection and death." Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of death around the world. One of six patients who contract pneumonia may die from infection. In high-risk patients, such as the elderly, the mortality rate rises to 25 to 30 percent.
Today will be a day of carrot sticks and chewing gum for millions of smokers nationwide. The American Cancer Society is asking smokers to put away their cigarettes, pipes and cigars as part of the 15th annual Great American Smokeout -- at least for the day. On campus, Student Health will distribute information about quitting smoking, said Health Education Director Susan Villari. And while Student Health has sponsored events like "Fun Runs" in past years to promote the Smokeout, no special events are planned this year due to low turnout the last few years. "In the past we've tried several things but we've not gotten a lot of response," Villari said. Villari said that counseling for smokers who want to quit is available at Student Health year-round, but that there are "only a handful of requests over a year's time." A program for faculty and staff members has also been canceled due to poor attendance. "Attendance [for last year's program] was just a handful of people, despite a lot of advertising," said Training Specialist Marisa Buquicchio. "I guess people aren't interested in quitting for the day." Renee Benderski, a facilitator for the Philadelphia ACS Fresh Start program which provides counseling for people who want to quit smoking, said that today's Americans are less interested in smoking than in years before because "more and more, it is becoming socially unacceptable to smoke." Benderski, a former smoker herself, said that if people want to quit, they should not get discouraged if they cannot stop completely right away -- it took her seven attempts before she was able to go "cold turkey." Benderski suggested that people drink water to help ignore the cravings for nicotine. "Drinking allows you to satisfy the oral desire and not gain weight," Benderski said. Larry Kaiser, director of the University's new Center for Lung Cancer and Related Disorders, wants people to use the day to see the dangers in smoking. According to Kaiser, 85 to 90 percent of all cases of lung cancer can be linked to smoking. "This suggests that lung cancer is a preventable malignancy if we can prevent enough people from starting to smoke," said Kaiser. "The intent [of the Smokeout] is to get people to stop for a day with the idea that if they can stop for a day perhaps they can persist [in not smoking]." Last year, 7.4 million people -- approximately 15 percent of all U.S. smokers -- stopped smoking for the day. This year, the ACS is hoping to get 20 percent participation in its goal to create a "smoke-free nation." The American Cancer Society estimates that there are about 50 million smokers and about 38 million former smokers in the U.S. today.
Forget the sleds and the reindeer. When it comes to CHOP's annual toy drive, Santa's helpers ride motorcycles -- big and loud. And over 1400 of them with their engines revving, roared down Broad Street on Saturday to bring holiday gifts to the patients at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This was the 11th year that the Association of Bikers Aimed Towards Education has sponsored the "Toy Run for Tots." The group has donated over 75,000 new toys to CHOP over the last ten years. According to CHOP Special Events Coordinator Lydia Sermons, the annual event was coordinated by several CHOP employees who are members of the ABATE motorcycle organization. "It's great -- each person brings a toy," Sermons said. "They strap them onto their bikes and bring them [to CHOP]." Among the motorcyclists bearing gifts was CHOP President Edmond Notebaert, who rode in the event for the first time. Notebaert drove his 1991 Harley Daytona in the parade, right alongside "Santa Claus." Silvestri said that the parade is intended to draw attention to the Children's Hospital and to "abolish some of the negative images of bikers." "It went great -- the best ever," Silvestri said. In addition to the many toys which were collected, CHOP received several donations from sponsors such as Chevron and Atomic Tires. Earlier this month the members of ABATE held their first-ever local telethon, which raised over $8,000 for the "Toys for Tots" program. This year's parade was dedicated to the memory of Mike Hagerty, a road captain of ABATE who was one of the principal planners of the annual "Toy Run."
AIDS Awareness Week may be back on track, according to Sexual Health Educator Kate Webster. Webster said last week that for the second straight year, there would be no AIDS Awareness Week at the University in February. But this week, she said she has begun recruiting speakers and will attempt to form an AIDS awareness event around them in February. "There is programming happening," said Webster. "I am awaiting the acceptance of a keynote speaker so that I can build a program around her." Webster said that there will be several events scheduled for the second week of February. However, Webster said that it may be only "a couple of events" rather than a full week of activities. AIDS Awareness Week was held in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Turnout for many of the programs was very low, and the annual event did not occur last February. The lack of an awareness week has come under fire from several student groups, including the Graduate Student Associations Council. Last week GSAC passed a resolution calling for Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson to "take responsibility for sponsoring and coordinating" AIDS Awareness Week. The resolution also states that "the plans for HIV/AIDS Awareness Week are poorly developed or non-existent." "One of the main reasons that there was no AIDS Awareness Week [last year] is that Kate Webster's position was vacant -- there was no one to coordinate," said GSAC Secretary Michael Polgar. But after talking to Webster yesterday, Polgar said he "was impressed" by Webster's commitment to planning events which focus on AIDS education. Polgar said that he believes "there was never a conscious decision" to discontinue AIDS Awareness Week. "It was more that the University just let things slide," he said. Besides scheduling programs for February, Webster said that the University will also hold events in observance of International AIDS Awareness Day on December 2. Webster said that the December program was planned "long before" Magic Johnson's announcement that he is HIV-positive. However, Webster said that this revelation has heightened AIDS awareness on campus -- especially with December 2 fast approaching. "It's almost unbelievable timing," Webster said. According to Polgar, GSAC will work with Facilitating Learning About Sexual Health, a student organization which sponsors Sexual Health workshops at dormitories and fraternities and provides individual counseling for students. The group will distribute condoms and fliers on International AIDS Awareness Day. GSAC also will help organize activities for February. Anthropology graduate student Michael Bazinet said that the University should do more to promote AIDS awareness. "They have good ideas but no idea about implementation," said Bazinet. "I'm really upset that there hasn't been a more carefully orchestrated effort. Bazinet said that one of the main reasons AIDS Awareness Week was scheduled for February is because "it's safer to have it in the spring." "It's not like Homecoming or Parents' Weekend where there are a lot of alumni and parents floating around," Bazinet said. On International AIDS Awareness Day, FLASH will be handing out free condoms on Locust Walk throughout the afternoon beginning at noon. Students will also be handing out "FLASH facts," short messages which provide information such as the statistic that 75 percent of people world-wide infected with AIDS are heterosexual. FLASH fliers, bearing the slogan "It takes more than Magic to stop AIDS. Use Condom sense," have begun appearing throughout University dormitories and classrooms. "The FLASH kids have a great message," said Webster. "We welcome other groups to bring their banners and messages."
Approximately 75 health care union members demonstrated outside the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for two hours yesterday in an attempt "to send a wake up call" to CHOP management. Claiming that the hospital is trying to undermine the union, AFSCME District 1199C President Henry Nicholas called for the removal of "the union-busting" Marriott Corporation, which manages food services and housekeeping for the hospital. "We are here because we believe this hospital is involved in a systematic attack to undermine the union and collective bargaining and we will not stand for it," Nicholas said. The union represents dietary workers, housekeeping, supply aides, skilled maintenance workers and some clerical workers, which constitutes less than 15 percent of CHOP employees, said Pat Rocchi, a spokesperson for CHOP. Protestors claim that Marriott has systematically tried to bust the union but did not state any specific incidents. "Marriott is making it harder for us to work here," said Martha Patterson, a nurse's aide at CHOP who is a member of the executive board of the union. "They came in with the idea that they were going to try to bust the union." But Rocchi said that CHOP was not aware of any union busting attempts by Marriott. "We find it hard to respond to this," Rocchi said. "We were not aware of any specific issues related to union-busting or to the Marriott corporation." The protest consisted of members of the 13,000-member city-wide union, all of whom work at area hospitals. The protest at CHOP was one in a series of protests that took place at area hospitals yesterday, in an effort to strengthen union solidarity for upcoming contract negotiations. According to Nicholas, 86 city hospital contracts will be up for renewal on July 1. Rocchi said yesterday that it was "unfortunate" that the demonstration was held. "It is unfortunate that the union officials do this because we haven't discussed it [with the union] yet," he said. "We have a meeting coming up on [November] 26. We've never even discussed it." The city-wide union is attempting to encourage early contract talks, and is critical of what they see as management's anti-union treatment. "We're going for early contracts for everyone," said Dave Shahade, a union organizer. "This place has been real hard-headed." Nicholas said that the union would attempt to obtain similar contracts at each of the hospitals. Nicholas also said that CHOP has asked Blue Cross/Blue Shield for a quote for its health benefits plan without first discussing benefits with the employees. "We will not let them dictate what health care benefits and wages will be," said Nicholas. "Only members will dictate. We will close them down if necessary."
It must be Magic. Basketball star Magic Johnson's stunning announcement last week that he has the virus that causes AIDS has kept phones ringing at health offices throughout the University. And at the Student Awareness of Safer Sex Supplies office, which sells birth control devices for students, sales have increased since Johnson's disclosure, according to SASSS Administrative Assistant Rita Ricks. "We were bombarded the first day with a lot of students asking questions and wanting to be tested," said Ricks. "We've had a definite step up in inquiries." And Student Health Director MarJeanne Collins said Johnson's frank disclosure that he has tested positive for the HIV-virus has raised questions in many students' minds. "There's no question that having someone like Magic Johnson standing up and saying, 'I'm HIV-positive,' shook a lot of people up," Collins said. Student Health is continuing to offer AIDS testing for students, but the testing process is classified as "confidential" rather than "anonymous." "Confidential" means that the results are only accessible if the patient signs a release form. But the records would be required if a person wants to take out any insurance policy. "Anonymous" testing means that the blood sample is coded so that there is no way to determine the identity of the patient. Sexual Health Educator Kate Webster suggested that if students want to be tested and are concerned over their privacy, they may be better off being tested at off-campus testing sites. Collins said Student Health does not do anonymous testing because it would run counter to the principles of a health care center, which are to treat any illness. "The reason we don't do anonymous testing is because we want to be able to give care to the patient if he tests positive [for HIV]," Collins said. Webster, who is currently organizing events for International AIDS Awareness Day on December 2, said that she hopes something enduring will come out of the increasing attention the AIDS virus has been receiving. "I'm not happy Magic Johnson has the infection, but he's certainly given us a change in perspective," Webster said. "Whether this scare will make [students] use safer sex, only time will tell." Webster said it is important for students to actively protect themselves from getting AIDS. "If students think that there is no HIV virus on campus, they are sadly mistaken," Webster said. As coordinator of Facilitating Learning About Sexual Health, Webster has been working to promote AIDS awareness on campus.
The city's pricetag for selling the Civic Center to the University for use as a new hospital site could be as high as $60 million, according to one city administrator. And it remains unclear if the city would ever want to sell the center or have the authority to do so. Medical Center officials have speculated that the city might be willing to sell the center once the new Pennsylvania Convention Center is constructed in Center City in 1994. The Convention Center could take away much of the Civic Center's business. University and city officials have been unwilling to publicly speculate on what the facility might cost, fearing that any estimates they give out now might be used against them in future bargaining. But according to the city's Real Property Evaluator Ruth Skaroff, a Wharton alumnae, the city lists the market value of the property as approximately $38 million. The Civic Center contains five major buildings and occupies 15 to 18 acres. Skaroff said that although the asking price of the Civic Center would depend on the condition of the market, she would estimate that the entire parcel of land would cost between $50 and $60 million. Skaroff said she had not heard of the Medical Center's interest in the property, but said that such a purchase "would not be farfetched." "The University of Pennsylvania buys anything that's not nailed down from 33rd to 40th from Chestnut on down," she said. One other key issue is determining who actually owns the Civic Center. At a Medical School Trustees meeting, trustees said they would eventually discuss any proposal with the city. But Pennsylvania Hall, which constitutes 2.2 acres of the center, is apparently owned by the state, according to Real Property Evaluator Wilhelmina Herbert. Medical School officials have not announced whether they would want to purchase the entire Civic Center or only parts of it. Civic Center General Manager Jim McCarvill said that he believes that the city owns the entire Civic Center. McCarvill said that the final decision on the future of the Civic Center has not yet been made. "As far as I know, the plan is to have the Civic Center continue operations [after the new Convention Center is constructed]," he said. Although McCarvill said that he had not heard of the Medical Center's interest in moving HUP to the Civic Center site, he said that the move is a "logical idea" since "there's nothing else around."
Women suffering from the herpes virus are finding treatment from an unexpected source -- a drug usually prescribed by psychiatrists to treat manic depression. A study by psychiatrists at the Medical Center's Depression Research Unit has shown that lithium was effective in treating genital herpes in women, in some cases entirely eliminating the infection. Lithium is commonly used by psychiatrists to prevent the mood swings which are characteristic in manic-depressive patients. The results of the experimentation were recently published in the journals Lithium and Psychopharmacology. Colposcopy and DES Center Director Robert Giuntoli, a co-author of the study, said that the initial discovery was made by patients simultaneously suffering from both manic-depression and herpes. The patients who were being treated with lithium for their bipolar illness noticed that their herpes declined in severity. "We found out serendipitously that lithium decreases the occurrence of genital herpes," Giuntoli said. Psychiatry Research Coordinator Larry Potter, another co-author of the article, said that there had been earlier reports from Europe that lithium might be a possible treatment for herpes. "We heard that lithium ointment could stop replication of herpes and then we had word-of-mouth here at the hospital," Potter said. Potter said that two studies were carried out to test the lithium hypothesis. One group of patients received lithium for a year and a placebo for six months either before or after the period when the lithium was administered. The second group of patients were treated with either lithium or placebo for a three year duration. The studies involved 27 patients at HUP. "In most patients the addition of lithium halted the spread of herpes," Potter said. According to Giuntoli, an Associate Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor, lithium appears safe for healthy women when it is used at low levels. The double-blind study utilized a dosage which is one-third of the psychiatric amount. Depression Research Unit Director Jay Amsterdam, the main author of the study, said that lithium will serve as an alternative to the standard treatment with acyclovir. Acyclovir is not effective for all patients, some of whom experience negative side effects. "Lithium is an alternative, especially in the chronically ill patient," Amsterdam said. "It's a drug that can be used on a prolonged basis without significant side effects." At least 80 percent of women with genital herpes simplex virus infections experience the lesions more than once a year. The herpes virus initially causes redness and blistering, and the raised areas eventually rupture to form ulcers which can be very painful. According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 200,000 and 400,000 people each year suffer pain and discomfort from genital herpes.
The next time Mrs. Fletcher falls, she might want to call a University student to help her up. Last week, 20 students attended the a two-part class to learn CPR and basic first aid techniques in the High Rise North Rooftop Lounge. The program, which was free for all University students, was run by Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Jeff Stanley, with assistance from two Medical School students. The first class lasted for two and a half hours and covered the basic principles of practical emergency medical care, including Basic Cardiac Life Support. The second two-hour session allowed students to physically learn how to give CPR. At the end of the second class, students were given the opportunity to take a written test to become certified in CPR by the American Heart Association. The test is composed of 50 multiple choice questions. Stanley said that the American Heart Association has estimated that knowledge of life support techniques such as the Heimlich maneuver could save 100,000 lives annually. "CPR training should accompany a student's humanitarian and cultural education," said Stanley. "It would be my strong feeling that each student should take it before graduating." Fourth-year Med student Tim You, who came up with the idea for the course and assisted Stanley, said that everyone should learn lifesaving techniques so that they know what to do in case of an emergency. "I realized that not enough students are prepared in CPR," You said. "If something were to happen not everyone would know what to do." He brought his idea to Associate Anesthesia Professor Fred Campbell, who arranged for students to receive the course materials free of charge. Students were given the same 40-page handout which is given to Med School students. Stanley said he "thoroughly enjoyed" teaching the course and he was impressed with the students who attended. Students who were unable to attend the initial classes may get another chance to take the course. "If there is significant interest among a committed group of students then we could perhaps repeat the course," Stanley said. "I would be willing to teach the course again." You was very optimistic that more CPR courses will be offered in the future. "We will definitely offer other classes in lifesaving," You said. Engineering senior Alex Doyle said after the first session that he was glad he decided to take the class. "I think the class was a big success and I'm looking foward to the next session," he said. Doyle said he has been wanting to take a CPR class for some time. "I don't know [CPR] and I think it's very important that everyone should know it," said Doyle. "Also, it was a chance to do it for free." College junior Warden Hwan said the instructor helped make the class an enjoyable experience. "The teacher was funny and interesting," said Hwan. "The course was really good."
If you want a flu shot from Student Health, you had better hurry. Student Health Director MarJeanne Collins said only 74 more doses of the influenza vaccine are available to students who have not already signed up for them. "A lot of people have signed up already. We're trying to get more," she said. Each year Student Health orders 200 doses of the flu vaccine and Collins said she expects this will be an adequate amount. "It has been my experience that we have not given more than 200 shots in a single year," she said. Collins emphasized that although the $5 flu shots are "recommended," they are not essential for college students. The main people at risk to suffer complications from influenza are those over age 65 or those who have underlying immune disorders or cardiac problems. "Flu shots are available for those who feel they want them rather than just for those who need them," she said. But Collins also said that college students are at an increased risk of catching the flu because of "clustering at work and play." "I haven't had the chance to talk to Student Health, but I'll call to see if the program will be extended to students," said Emergency Department Administrator Sue Canning. Canning said that this will be the first year that HUP will be "actively marketing" flu vaccinations to the University community. HUP Occupational Health Services is organizing the new program which will offer $15 flu shots to faculty and employees. The shots will be administered from the walk-in clinic located on the ground floor of the Silverstein Building. Canning said that the clinic has ordered 1500 doses in response to a Centers for Disease Control prediction that this year's flu season will be worse than usual. "It's hard to predict demand [for the shots], but we are expecting a serious outbreak in the region," she said. Canning added that the CDC's annual prediction has been highly accurate in recent years and that the organization was also successful in predicting last year's measles epidemic. "We basically take direction from their predictions," she said. But Chief of the Infectious Diseases Section P.J. Brennan cautioned that the alarm may be premature. "It's somewhat unpredictable," said Brennan. "This wouldn't be the first time that [the CDC] had predicted a banner year and it really wasn't." Brennan said that although the risk of complications from influenza is minimal for college students, the danger of influenza should be taken seriously. "I think that anyone who wants to prevent catching the flu should get the vaccination," said Brennan. "I'm a real advocate of getting flu shots." Brennan said students should realize that a flu shot is only effective for six months because of the constantly-changing strains of the virus. As a result, this year's vaccine is different than last year's. According to Brennan, the flu vaccine is prepared in the spring based on the type of flu which is spreading in East Asia. The virus migrates to the West starting in December and the flu season can last until March.
Have no fear, Mrs. Fletcher, help is on the way. On Tuesday night, 20 students attended the first session of a two-part class to learn CPR and basic first aid techniques in the High Rise North Rooftop Lounge. The program, which is free for all University students, is run by Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Jeff Stanley with assistance from two Medical School students. Stanley said that the American Heart Association has estimated that knowledge of life support techniques such as the Heimlich maneuver could save 100,000 lives annually. "CPR training should be accompany a student's humanitarian and cultural education," said Stanley. "It would be my strong feeling that each student shuld take it before graduating." The first class lasted for two and a half hours and covered the basic principles of practical emergency medical care including Basic Cardiac Life Support. The second session, which will be held sometime next week, will allow students to physically learn how to do CPR. At the end of the second class, students will be given the opportunity to take a written test to become certified in CPR by the American Heart Association. The test is composed of 50 multiple choice questions. Fourth-year Med student Tim You, who came up with the idea for the course and assisted Stanley, said that everyone should learn lifesaving techniques so that they know what to do in case of an emergency. "I realized that not enough students are prepared in CPR," You said. "If something were to happen not everyone would know what to do." He brought his idea to Associate Anesthesia Professor Fred Campbell, who arranged for students to receive the course materials free of charge. Students were given the same 40 page handout which is given to Med School students. Stanley said that he "thoroughly enjoyed" teaching the course and that he was impressed with the students who attended. Although students who did not attend the first session will not be able to attend the second one, students may get another chance to take the course. "If there is significant interest among a committed group of students then we could perhaps repeat the course," Stanley said. "I would be willing to teach the course again." You was very optimistic that more CPR courses will be offered in the future. "We will definitely offer other classes in lifesaving," You said. Engineering senior Alex Doyle said that he was glad that he decided to take the class. "I think the class was a big success and I'm looking foward to the next session," he said. Doyle said that he has been wanting to take a CPR class for some time. "I don't know [CPR] and I think it's very important that everyone should know it," said Doyle. "Also, it was a chance to do it for free." College junior Warden Hwan said that the instructor helped make the class an enjoyable experience. "The teacher was funny and interesting," said Hwan. "The course was really good."
Amid much pomp and circumstance, four University radiologists were honored at the annual meeting of the American College of Radiologists in Minneapolis earlier this month. Each year, ACR nominates several of its members to be designated as fellows for making significant contributions to the field of radiology. Approximately five percent of the 28,000-member national society has received this special membership status. The four University radiologists honored this year were Professors Herbert Kressel, Morrie Kricun, Igor Laufer and Assistant Professor Elizabeth Patterson. Laufer said that he "greatly enjoyed" the ceremony. He said the presentation was "very much like a college graduation," complete with a processional and cap and gown. "It was really touching to be so honored," he said. Laufer has had a distinguished career in gastrointestinal radiology. He developed the "double-contrast" barium test which helps radiologists diagnose ulcers and bowel cancers. In 1989, Laufer was named "Physician of the Year" by the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis. Laufer has been at the University for 15 years and he is chief of gastrointestinal radiology and co-director of the Gallbladder Lithotripsy Unit at the Medical Center. Laufer said that he is pleased that so many people from his department have been designated as fellows. "The success of this department is telling in the fact that four fellows would be named in this department in any one year," he said. According to Assistant to the Chairman Pat Paetow, there are now 17 members of the Radiology Department who have been named fellows at some point in their career. "This is a pretty big percentage of the physicians in our department," she said. Kricun said he was proud to be honored by the ACR for his accomplishments. "It was nice to share the moment with friends and family," he said. Kricun specializes in bone disorders and has written five books on radiology. He has been at the University since 1980. Kricun also has applied his knowledge of imaging to the field of anthropology by using radiological techniques to study prehistoric humans. Assistant Professor Elizabeth Patterson came to the University after 15 years of private practice in West Philadelphia. She is the president of the Mammography Society of Philadelphia and she chairs the Radiology Section of the National Medical Association. Professor Herbert Kressel is the director of the David Devon Medical Imaging Center at the Medical Center and is the president of the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. He is also the editor of the journal "Magnetic Resonance Quarterly."