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Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical
CC Positions filled
Foil the flu
||Natasha Walters (left) and Matt Caprio (right)
get a lesson in geography from teacher Anne Wasson at the NIH
Children's School, which helps pediatric patients stay current
with their schoolwork while they're away from home.
It's back-to-school time...even at the CC
It is a common belief that learning shouldn't stop at the
classroom door, and NIH and the Clinical Center have made this
ideal a reality for pediatric patients. Through the Children's
School, not only does learning continue beyond the standard classroom
door, it endures within the sometimes confining doors of a hospital.
The NIH Children's School is a resource provided for pediatric
patients and their families to help keep children current with
their schooling during visits to the CC. The school classrooms
are housed in the Clinical Center, and the program is supported
by the Institutes.
The school, opening along with the Clinical Center in 1953,
was founded by researchers upon the idea that parents wouldn't
let their children participate in protocols if they had to miss
school. This type of schooling is only now becoming more common
in research and standard hospitals alike.
The school is under contract with the Montgomery County public
school system. The 10th floor classroom operates according to
the standard 9-month school year, while the 3rd floor classroom,
specifically for patients of NIMH, operates all year.
"The school has been extremely successful," said
Helen Mays, school director, who has been a part of the program
for 25 years. "There's a greater awareness of the school,
and we are getting a newer group of physicians who regard the
school as very important."
When the CC doors opened, the school started with 75 students,
while the highest number of students enrolled was 300. This past
school year the school enrolled 184 students.
Mays attributes the lower enrollment to the addition of day
hospitals, shorter patient visits, and an overall decrease in
Families of pediatric patients are informed of the school
before their arrival at the CC and instructed to bring work from
the child's home school. Work completed at the CC is graded and
combined with the child's home school grades.
The school serves mainly as a tutoring service. The teachers,
contracted through the Montgomery County Home and Hospital Teaching
Service, usually work one-on-one with children to help them complete
the assignments from their home schools. If a child doesn't have
assignments from home, a teaching plan will be devised for them.
"We work very closely with the teachers and counselors
at the patient's home school," said Mays. "We can get
assignments through fax and email to make sure the kids are kept
up with their schooling."
To enroll in the school, a child simply has to be a patient
at the CC. Each child is assigned to a tutor. An elementary school
patient will usually spend about an hour per day on assignments,
while a high school student may spend about 2 hours.
While children are encouraged to come to the classroom for
instruction, the teachers are willing and able to take their
knowledge to the patient.
"What we really love to do is get the kids into the classroom,"
said Mays. "The atmosphere is very friendly and kids from
different units get to know each other. But if they aren't well
enough, they can be tutored at bedside."
In addition to Mays, there are four teachers who work with
the school. They are all certified to teach, have had either
classroom or home-school teaching experience and are able to
teach all basic subjects K-12.
"One of the best things about the school is the personnel,"
said Mays. "They're very talented, accommodating and giving.
I really admire them tremendously and have a great deal of pride
Ann Davidson, who has been teaching for 30 years, has been
with the school program since 1986.
"The school is very important to the children,"
she said. "It gives them normalcy. We provide them with
structure, and they gain a lot of skills, more confidence, and
become more responsible students."
Anne Wasson, who has taught elementary school, has a background
in liberal arts, and was a Home and Hospital teacher for about
24 years, came to NIH to teach 10 years ago.
"I love the program, and I think it's wonderful for the
children," said Wasson. "One of the worries for patients
and families is how they are going to stay caught up in school.
I've seen kids complete senior year and graduate, and it's really
great. It's one less worry they have."
"I always bring my schoolwork with me," said Natasha
Walters, 11, a pediatric patient from Tennessee who just finished
fifth grade with the help of the school. Her favorite subject
Eileen Sandifer, a nurse practitioner who works with Natasha,
believes the program is very important to young patients who
often have to miss school.
"I think this program is critical," she said. "Like
many patients, Natasha has to miss a week every two months, and
it's important to keep that link with school."
Matt Caprio, 13, has been involved with the program for 8
years. His visits to the Clinical Center cause him to miss school
at his Pennsylvania home, and he and his family find the school
"It helps kids who can't go to school and have to stay
in the hospital," said Matt, who just finished the 7th grade.
His favorite subjects are science and health.
"I think it's a wonderful program because it helps the
kids keep up with their peers at home," said Elizabeth Caprio,
Matt's mother. "It helps the continuity of learning, provides
an aspect of normalcy, and keeps kids in more of the routine
they are used to.
"To me, it makes so much sense, rather than having kids
repeat grade levels for something they have no control over-their
health," she said. "And it's another way of making
them feel good about themselves."
- by Bonnie Flock
Key CC positions filled
Two key Clinical Center positions have recently been filled:
chief information officer and chief of hospitality services.
Chief information officer
Richard J. Gordon has been appointed as the Clinical Center's
first chief information officer.
"Richard joins the CC after an impressive career in information
systems development," said CC Director Dr. John Gallin.
"I am confident that his experience will lead us smoothly
through the many challenges that lie ahead."
Most recently Gordon served as the regional chief technology
officer for the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command in Washington,
D.C., which manages all the Army hospitals and medical facilities
from New York to North Carolina.
"I helped to construct their 'enterprise network'-which
is a way to make 25 hospitals talk to one another as if they
were one," Gordon said.
He began his career as the deputy chief information officer
at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, a medical research
facility, and then became the chief information officer at the
Walter Reed Health Care System in Washington, D.C.
Originally from Los Angeles, Ca., Gordon is retired from the
U.S. Army after 22 years of service, during which he attained
the rank of captain.
He holds an associate's degree in computer science and a bachelor's
degree in information systems from Park College, in Kansas City,
Mo., and a master's degree in information systems from American
University in Washington, D.C. He is an adjunct faculty member
at A.U., teaching data-base systems.
The job Gordon has taken on is a big one. "The CC wants
to create a 'digital hospital' across many of the functional
areas - labs, radiology, pharmacy, critical care - just about
everywhere," he said.
This entails upgrading the wiring in the old building, wiring
the new Clinical Research Center as it grows, and installing
a number of new systems that will provide unparalleled ability
to manipulate images and generate the hard data so needed by
researchers, clinicians, and administrators alike.
"These new systems will allow us to easily move radiology
images and digital copies of paper records via the hospital network.
We will be able to more easily schedule patients, and understand
the impact of that schedule on our staff resources. We are going
to provide a physician workstation that affords easy review of
the patient's medical history. We are, in essence, going to provide
an integrated electronic medical record that offers the NIH a
new way to conduct business," said Gordon.
Implementation of the new medical systems is planned for mid-2001,
but upgrades to nonmedical CC functions are already underway.
One change staff can look for soon is ISD's new "help
desk" function, which will allow remote troubleshooting.
Gordon explained: "We plan to set up a phone system and
a help desk application and install some software on every person's
computer. When you call the help desk, you'll be asked your name
and phone number, and then the ISD staffer will ask your permission
to take control of your computer. They will then be able to see
your computer, and control your mouse and your keyboard. Any
problem you might have, they can immediately correct. If the
problem can't be corrected that way, we'll dispatch a qualified
Assisting Gordon with all these changes will be Dr. Steve
Rosenfeld, deputy chief for clinical informatics, and a deputy
chief for operations is being recruited.
"As Richard assumes this new position, I would like to
thank Steve Rosenfeld for his exemplary leadership as acting
associate director for information systems during the past several
months," said Dr. Gallin. "Steve has worked tirelessly
to introduce new programs throughout the organization and sustain
staff enthusiasm for computer technology. I personally am grateful
for his work."
Summing up, Gordon said, "There are going to be some
significant changes in the way we do business in ISD. I ask that
the staff be patient, let us get through the transition, give
us a shot at it, and I think they'll be very pleasantly surprised
at what we're able to do."
Chief of hospitality services
Michael D. Daniel recently came on board as chief of the newly
created Clinical Center Hospitality Services Program. He holds
a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Hampton University
in Hampton, Va., his hometown.
Before coming to the CC, Daniel spent 5 years as director
of Patient Access Services at the University of Maryland Medical
System, in Baltimore, Md. His responsibilities there included
supervising a staff of 60, who provided guest services and patient
transportation services. Daniel also managed the numerous retail
operations housed within the medical system.
"Clinical Center staff already provide an excellent level
of customer service," said CC Director John Gallin. "We
hope to take that a step further by creating a state-of-the-art
guest-services program that will be emulated by other organizations
across the country. Michael brings some great ideas on how we
can achieve that."
At the University of Maryland Medical System, Daniel says,
patients and visitors experienced a "seamless process for
the delivery of customer service. The guest was catered to in
an expedient manner from the time they drove up the front drive
until the time they were ready to go home."
The CC Hospitality Services Program will include a greeter
stationed outside to meet and escort the guest into the lobby,
and three inside hospitality services coordinators to assist
the guest in reaching his or her destination.
Daniel and a team of CC stakeholders are busy planning the
new program, with hopes of launching it later this fall. (Watch
CCNews for details on this exciting new initiative.)
Many at the CC have at one time or another been asked to provide
directions or help a visitor solve a problem.
"I hope to coordinate customer-service training for all
employees to help the organization address way-finding, customer-service,
or problem-solving issues," Daniel said. The training would
provide staff with a common set of skills to assist patients,
families, and visitors.
"I'm very happy to be here and looking forward to working
with everyone," said Daniel. "I hope that my skills
and attributes can bring more cohesiveness to our customer service
initiative, and enhance the exemplary services we already provide."
Former CC patients recall long-ago heart surgeries
One of the lives saved by doctors at the Clinical Center in
1967 returned to the CC in July.
Dr. Susana Capristo, a former patient and now a cardiologist
in Buenos Aires, Argentina, stands in front of a portrait of
the late Dr. Andrew G. Morrow, the surgeon she credits with saving
her life and inspiring her to become a cardiologist.
As a young girl, Dr. Capristo was treated here for Tetralogy
of Fallot, a combination of four heart defects. Pictured with
her is NHLBI's Dr. Julio Panza. During her visit, Dr. Capristo
toured the CC and Dr. Panza's echocardiography lab.
In an interesting coincidence, CCNews received the following
letter by way of the NIH web site from another of Dr. Morrow's
My name is Patricia MacDonald and I just wanted to let you guys
know that yesterday was the 29th anniversary of my open heart
surgery that was performed at NIH on Aug. 18, 1970 by Dr. Morrow.
At the time of my surgery, I was only 9 years old and had
been to NIH on numerous occasions for catheterizations, etc.,
so I was familiar with the "child friendly" atmosphere.
I've always tried to keep healthy after my surgery, and
even though I could never take gym in high school, I was a cheerleader.
Now I keep in shape by doing Irish step dancing and tap dancing.
It was always a
childhood dream of mine to take some kind of dancing lessons,
but my mom would never let me because she knew it would be too
much for me.
My scar from my surgery is barely visible after all these
years, but it still reminds me of my days as a child when I was
tired and sickly all the time.
I don't know if Dr. Morrow or any of the members of the
cardiac team who worked on me are still around, or if they even
remember me, but I just wanted them to know that, even after
all these years, every
Aug. 18th I think of them and thank them for fixing my heart
so I could live a healthy life!
Patricia MacDonald (Moody)
Dr. Morrow was a pioneer in the field of heart surgery. He
came to NIH from Johns Hopkins in 1953, and worked here until
his death in 1982. His wife, Phyllis, volunteers at the Red Cross
desk and still receives visits from his former patients.
Medicine for the Public lecture series returns
The Medicine for the Public lecture series begins next month.
It features physician-scientists working at the forefront of
medical research at the National Institutes of Health. The series
helps people understand the latest developments in medicine-new
therapies, diagnostic procedures, and research. The lectures,
which are free and open to the public, are held at 7 p.m. on
Tuesdays in the Clinical Center's Masur Auditorium. To give you
plenty of time to plan, here's the schedule:
Oct. 5, Exercise for the Elderly: Have We Discovered the
Fountain of Youth? - By the year 2030, the fastest growing
segment of our population will be those over 85 years of age.
Seventy million Americans will be over the age of 65. The aging
process itself is a complex series of events that are affected
by a variety of factors, including lifestyle, chronic illness,
and genetics. Dr. Lynn Gerber, chief of the CC's Rehabilitation
Medicine Department, will explain how research is showing that
exercise holds an important key to staying healthy and active
as we age.
Oct. 12, New Directions for Organ and Tissue Transplantation
- Dr. Allan D. Kirk, chief of the Transplantation Section
of NIDDK, will explain how diabetes, renal failure, and other
end-stage organ diseases can be treated more successfully by
immunologic strategies that make the body believe that the transplanted
tissues are its own. A surgeon and authority on organ transplantation,
Dr. Kirk will explore new methods to prevent the rejection of
transplanted organs and tissues, and the development of new drugs
or techniques that may improve the success of organ and tissue
Oct. 19, Blood Transfusion at the Millennium - Blood
transfusion has changed dramatically during the last quarter
of a century. Many of the early risks-hepatitis, incompatibility,
and limited storage and supply-have been all but eliminated in
industrial societies. This is not the case in much of the developing
world. Dr. Harvey Klein, chief of the CC's Department of Transfusion
Medicine, will discuss new and interesting challenges that now
involve inactivation of infectious agents in blood, production
of substitutes for human blood, and collection of novel blood
components for the immunotherapy of cancer and infectious agents,
and for such promising new approaches as gene therapy.
Oct. 26, Heart Attack: Rapid Diagnosis Using Magnetic Resonance
Imaging - When a heart attack is suspected, quick and accurate
diagnosis is essential so that treatment can begin immediately.
Innovations in imaging technology can significantly speed that
process in hard-to-confirm cases. Dr. Robert Balaban, chief of
the Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, in NHLBI, will discuss
how scientists are using sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging
to detect heart attack and heart disease in emergency-room patients.
Dr. Balaban will explore this current research dedicated to rapidly
pinpointing heart problems and, ultimately, saving lives.
For details on specific topics or speakers, call 6-2563.
The lecture series web address is: http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/99mfp/series.html.
It's time to foil the flu!
OMS, Bldg. 10, Rm. 6C306
Hours to receive vaccines are from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and from
1 to 5 p.m. on the dates listed:
Bldg. 13, Room G-904
Hours to receive vaccinations are from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1
to 3:30 p.m. on the dates listed.
Immunizations for NIH employees are free. NIH ID must be
presented. Immunizations after Nov. 24 will be given by appointment
Are you at high risk for the flu?
- Are you 65 years of age or older?
- Do you have a serious, long-term health problem, such as
heart disease, compromised immune system, diabetes, or lung or
- Will you be more than 3 months pregnant during the influenza
- Are you a health care worker?
This year, flu vaccinations will again be offered through
the Occupational Medicine Service (OMS). The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all health care
workers be protected against flu strains by annual vaccination.
This year's vaccine protects against influenza A and B.
Flu can be debilitating even for healthy people, and is particularly
serious if transmitted to the elderly or to patients with certain
chronic medical conditions. Flu is very infectious, and can be
passed from person to person through casual contact as well as
through direct patient care. Moreover, people infected with the
flu are contagious before their own flu symptoms develop, usually
2 days before fevers, coughs, and aches begin.
It is part of good medical practice for health care workers
to be vaccinated against the flu. Every year, health care workers
nationwide have benefited from receiving these vaccinations,
which protect them -and their patients - from serious illness.
The flu vaccine does not cause the flu! According to the CDC,
"the viruses in the vaccine are killed, so you cannot get
influenza from the vaccine."
The vaccine is safe for pregnant women. Those who will be
beyond the first trimester of pregnancy during the influenza
season should be vaccinated.
CC staff can "Foil the Flu" by choosing to receive
a flu vaccination from many convenient times and locations around
the hospital during the special "early-bird" health
care worker vaccination schedule from Sept. 27 to Oct.1. Look
for the early-bird schedules on patient care units and clinics.
Beginning Oct. 4, the OMS clinic offers walk-in times during
the day (see the schedule at right). Be sure to bring your NIH
employee ID. Off-campus schedules will appear in next month's
More detailed information about the flu vaccine is available
in brochures throughout the hospital. Also check out the NIAID
web site http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/flu.htm and
the CDC website
If you have other questions, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 6-2209.
The Clinical Center Department of Transfusion Medicine will
host its 18th Annual Symposium on Immunohematology and Blood
Transfusion, Sept. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Masur Auditorium.
Topics include safety of the blood supply, cell processing, and
components and processes. There is no registration fee, but advance
registration is required. Register on line at www.cc.nih.gov/dtm,
or call Karen Cipolone at 6-8335 for more information.
The CC Nursing Department will offer a review course Oct.
23-24 for nurses preparing to take the generalist oncology certification
exam. There is no cost for the review. Contact hours have been
applied for. Register before Oct. 8 by calling the Nursing Recruitment
EEO web site
The Clinical Center Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office
has recently updated its web site to include information on important
ongoing initiatives, such as affirmative action, complaint procedures,
diversity, disability employment program, sexual harassment,
and upcoming EEO training schedules for new employees and supervisors.
Visit the web site at http://oeo.od.nih.gov/
for a variety of EEO activities being offered to CC employees.
Forward your comments about the site to email@example.com.
The Clinical Center cafeterias recently changed their hours
of operation. The B1 cafeteria will be open Monday through Friday
from 5:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The 2nd floor cafeteria will be open
Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays
from 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and holidays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Call the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office at
1-800-411-1222 for information on any of the following studies:
Allergic Asthma: NIAID doctors seek people ages 12-85
who have asthma symptoms at least 3 times a week (wheezing, chest
tightness, cough, night asthma) for a research study of a new
investigational asthma medication. Compensation provided.
Psoriasis Study: NCI researchers invite people with
psoriasis on at least 10 percent of their skin to take part in
a study of a promising new treatment.
Healthy Women: NICHD seeks healthy women to take part
in a research study of normal female reproduction. You may be
eligible if you are under 35 and use no birth control pills or
Endometriosis: NICHD doctors invite women with pelvic
pain associated with endometriosis to take part in a new treatment
Clinical Center RoundTable begins its fall season Sept. 17
at noon in Lipsett Amphitheater. The topic is bone marrow transplantation.
Dr. John Barrett, NHLBI, will discuss "The Use of Nonmyeloablative
Allogeneic Marrow Stem Cell Transplants in the Treatment of Hematological
Malignancies." Dr. Richard Childs, NHLBI, will discuss "Renal
Cell Cancer and Other Solid Tumors," and Dr. Mitchell Horwitz,
NIAID, will talk about "Chronic Granulomatous Disease and
Nonmalignant Hematological Disorders."
The CC Nursing Department will host an open house on Sunday,
Sept. 26. The event is set for 1 to 4 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater.
Tours, led by staff nurses, will begin at 1:30, 2:15, and 3 p.m.
For more information, call 1-800-732-5985.
Reminder: The deadline for submitting those fire-prevention
slogans is Sept. 30. Fax your entry to J.P. McCabe at 2-2059.
Call 6-0487 for a copy of the contest rules if you missed them
in last month's CCNews.
Address & awards
The Clinical Center Director's Annual Address and Awards Ceremony
will be held on Oct. 4 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Masur Auditorium.
All are welcome to attend.
Editor: Sue Kendall
Guest Writer: Bonnie
Clinical Center News, 6100 Executive Blvd.,
Suite 3C01, MSC 7511, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,
MD 20892-7511. Tel: 301-496-2563. Fax: 301-402-2984. Published
monthly for CC employees by the Office of Clinical Center Communications,
Colleen Henrichsen, chief. News, article ideas, calendar events,
letters, and photographs are welcome. Deadline for submissions
is the second Monday of each month.
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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09