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NIH Clinical CenterNational Institutes of Health
On the Frontline of Medical Discovery

Clinical Center News

Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical Center Communications

past issues

September 2001

HHS Secretary receives grand tour

Medical community loses a jewel

CC QWI and Diversity Council: Learning event becomes a smashing success

Mission impossible: CC team takes risks for others

Nursing Dept. launches lecture series

Medicine for the Publice lecture series

News briefs

Volunteers needed

HHS Secretary receives grand tour

photo of Secretary Thompson in the blood bank preparing to donate blood.

During his four-day tour of NIH, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson stopped by the blood bank where Xin Fu, R.N., prepares him to donate blood. An advocate for organ and tissue donations, Thompson launched a "Donate the Gift of Life" initiative earlier this year to encourage organ and tissue donation, as well as registration for marrow and blood donations.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson spent four days touring NIH last month to familiarize himself with the latest medical research and internal operations.

NIH was the fourth agency Thompson visited since being sworn into office in February. During his visit, Thompson was escorted around NIH and the Clinical Center by Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, NIH acting director and CC Director Dr. John Gallin.

Thompson spoke with researchers about the latest in medical advances and met with patients who spoke firsthand about their experiences while being treated at the CC.

"No one can be more impressed with this institute than I am," said Michael Rice. "The personalities of the people here make this place shine." Rice was the recipient of a peripheral blood stem cell transplant to treat colon cancer. The transplant uses significantly lower doses of chemotherapy than would be given with a bone marrow transplant. Therefore, the procedure is tolerated much better and has fewer complications. Twelve days after the transplant, Rice was able to return home to North Carolina. "I just wanted to have the opportunity to say thanks [to the Secretary] for supporting these new treatments that have been beneficial in my life," said Rice. [more photos]

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Medical community loses a jewel

Jeanne E. Hicks, M.D., will be retiring September 30, after 24 years of government service.

For 21 years, during her tenure in the Clinical Center, she has held one position as deputy chief of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department. In that role, she directed the RMD consultation services, served as associate investigator on institute protocols, educated staff, students, residents and fellows, and directed the RMD quality assurance program.

Dr. Hicks is trained in four medical disciplines in which she is credentialed in the CC. It is rare to find a physician with numerous credentials, but after reading over her accomplishments and doing a search on the internet, it is clear to this editor that Dr. Hicks is a jewel in the crown of medicine.

portrait of Dr. Jeanne Hicks

"We have been fortunate to have Dr. Hicks on staff for 21 years. It is most unusual to have a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, rheumatology and rehabilitation medicine," said Dr. Lynn Gerber, chief, RMD. "Dr Hicks' commitment to the needs of the disabled population and to excellence in care and research is a model for all of us."

Dr. Hicks came to NIH in 1980 after completing her rehabilitation residency at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "I felt NIH was a unique multicultural environment in which I could use all of my medical skills to enhance the physical, psychosocial and spiritual well-being of patients by participating in team-oriented clinical care and biomedical research," said Dr. Hicks. "Working with the staff, patients and their families has made me a better person. This has been a great team to be part of."

Dr. Hicks is considered one of eight leading national experts in the area of rehabilitation of people with rheumatic diseases, along with Dr. Gerber. Her exceptional skills have permitted her to support a variety of research protocols and advance the clinical care of NIH patients and patient care nationally and internationally. Working as a team, Dr. Hicks and Dr. Gerber have been instrumental in integrating rehabilitation into the field of rheumatic diseases by developing a section of Rehabilitative Rheumatology in the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and organizing educational tools for the curriculum in rheumatology fellowship training programs.Dr. Hicks organized and edited one book for use in this curriculum.

Dr. Hicks has been invited to speak nationally and internationally and has presented at various scientific meetings of the ACR and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R). She has held adjunct faculty positions as associate professor of internal medicine at George Washington School of Medicine and in rehabilitation in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Georgetown School of Medicine. She has 154 publications, including chapters in major medical texts, and articles and abstracts in refereed journals. She is a reviewer on seven medical journals in her fields, has chaired major educational committees in the AAPM&R and the ACR, and served as a member of the board of directors of the ACR. She has been an expert in legal testimony for the U.S. Justice Department and local law firms.

Her main areas of research collaboration for the past 20 years have been with NIAMS and NCI. As an associate investigator on polymyositis protocols with NIAMS, Dr. Hicks provided outcome measures during drug intervention and also assessed muscle function with ultrasound. She also studied the effect of exercise in myositis patients. With NCI she has participated in sarcoma protocols and evaluated patients for the feasibility of doing amputation versus limb-sparing surgery from the perspective of predicted functional outcome considering the extent of surgical resection that needed to be done for adequate tumor removal (as determined in an NCI staging conference). Rehabilitation played an important part in preserving the quality of life of these patients.

Dr Hicks has been listed in the Best Doctors of America, The Directory of Rehabilitation Specialists, Dictionary of International Biography, Sterlings Who's Who and Who's Who Among Women. Dr. Hicks plans to do consultative work after retirement as well as resume playing the organ for religious services and weddings, painting and writing poetry and prose. "I haven't been able to participate much in these activities while working, but it won't take long to get back to them," she said.

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CC QWI and Diversity Council: Learning event becomes a smashing success

In June, the CC QWI/Diversity Council sponsored an energized, productive two-day retreat, and its members developed a strategic plan for future council activity. The group decided to revisit existing council mission, visions and goal statements as the foundation of a new framework. The council members collaboratively developed the following new statements that reflect increased emphasis on diversity in the Clinical Center and the role of the council:

Vision statement:
The council is committed to creating a workforce culture that embraces awareness and sensitivity to quality of worklife and diversity.

Mission statement:
The council will be a catalyst to promote an inclusive workplace where all employees are valued, treated with respect and supported.

Goals: The council developed goals and identified potential action items for implementation, in addition to ongoing actions. Goals include marketing and communication of council and/or CC activities; obtaining and assessing existing data/data sources that can help inform council or CC decisions; planning and resources identification; development of education plans for the council, CC staff and the public; and collaboration/integration with existing key CC initiatives, to ensure that employee QWI and diversity needs are considered.

It's all in the drum
The CC EEO Office recently sponsored a successful event at the 35th Anniversary Celebration Powwow under the auspices of the American Indian Society of

photo of native american indians sitting in a circle playing a drum

Native American powwows are family events filled with a modern blend of dance, family reunion and fun-filled festival, while presenting an opportunity for spiritual growth and celebration of tribal legacies.

Washington, D.C.The powwow took place on August 4 and 5, in Urbana, Maryland. Mr. Carl Lucas, the CC EEO officer, coordinated the event on behalf of the CC. The purpose for sponsoring a booth was to educate the local Native American community about healthy lifestyles and CC programs.

A number of NIH institutes provided health-related literature, and CC nurses and clinicians performed blood pressure and glucose screenings. Clinical Center volunteers provided information to help promote blood donations by Native Americans. Several Clinical Center QWI/Diversity Council members participated and reported the event as enriching and inspirational. Native American powwows are family-friendly events, which have evolved over time from a formal ceremony into a modern blend of (competitive) dance, family reunion and fun-filled festival, while still presenting an opportunity for spiritual growth and celebration of tribal legacies.

The rich pageantry of colors, dance, and music, in addition to the aroma of buffalo, fresh fish and Native American breads, all serve to provide a unique sensual experience. At the centerpiece of powwows are the drums, consisting of the instrument and singers. The drum sings songs for a multitude of occasions, and good drums draw excellent dancers in vibrant regalia from both local and distant Native American communities.

For more information on upcoming local Native American events, visit the American Indian Society of Washington, D.C. website at

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group photo of Elain Ruiz, Ellen Vaughan, Dr. Bibi Bielekova and Dr. John Hurley

A group of CC employees spent a week out of their comfort zone to help those in need. Part of the team includes (from l to r) Elaine Ruiz, Ellen Vaughan, Dr. Bibi Bielekova and Dr. John Hurley. Not pictured is Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck.

Mission impossible: CC team takes risks for others

A team of CC employees are looking for a "few good colleagues" to join them in a life-changing experience. But be warned, this rewarding adventure won't be easy.

Five CC staff took leave in July and paid their way to the Dominican Republic, where they had an opportunity to bathe in a bucket, sleep one night on a concrete floor and, if it weren't for the local villagers, face the prospect of eating LifeSavers for dinner. It was an experience they won't forget. Not because of the poor living conditions, but because they helped to treat more than 600 people in need of medical attention.

"It's not an easy week because you are totally out of your comfort zone," said Dr. John Hurley, director, Pediatric Outpatient Clinic. "You have to adjust to a whole new way of life, but it is definitely an enriching and humbling experience."

Dr. Hurley has been with the mission since its inception three years ago when he and members of his church, Raphael's in Rockville, decided to support their sister church in the Dominican Republic with more than monetary donations. Their solution: provide medical care to the impoverished towns and villages of their sister parish.

"We wanted to reach out and offer help as a way of building trust with the people," said Dr. Hurley. "Providing health care was a way of demonstrating our good faith." St. Raphael's provided the medications and other medical supplies. It was Dr. Hurley who rounded up the CC team of Ellen Vaughan, dialysis nurse, CC, and Elaine Ruiz, pediatric nurse practitioner, CC. Dr. Bibi Bielekova, neurologist, NINDS, and a veteran missioner, recruited Dr. Kenneth Fischbeck, NINDS, to join the NIH contingent. The entire team was made up of 30 medical professionals, support people and interpreters from around the country.

On the first day of the mission, the group traveled from the small village of Guayabal, where they were lodging, to the even smaller village of Las Canitas. The two and a half-hour trip took them over rocky roads and up a narrow mountainous path where "we were literally hanging onto the back of an open-bed truck to stay inside," said Dr. Hurley. But what started out as a day-long trip would last even longer than expected.

The weather in July consistently brings rain during the day, but the group was able to reach the village dry. When they arrived, there were nearly 100 natives waiting for them to go to work. The office was a small building with no exam tables, lab or medical resources, other than what they brought. "You have nothing to use but your hands and your head to best figure out what the problem could be," said Dr. Hurley. "It's a different experience to examine a child on the floor."

Photo of a group of children from the dominican republic

More than 300 children were immunized against the H.flu bacteria, a common and often fatal cause of meningitis in infants. Each of the children were excited to receive a flourescent BandAid after the inoculation. Dr. Hurley's son, Ryan (center), made friends easily. He traveled with the team as a Spanish translator.

Patients were treated that day beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. The group packed up their supplies and prepared to head down the mountain, when they were informed that the afternoon rain had washed out the roadway. With no change of clothes, no food, other than a few packages of LifeSavers, and only a concrete floor for a bed, morale began to dwindle. "I guess the people we treated got word that we were unable to return to Guayabal, because they brought us hot rice and beans and rolled up the mattresses from their beds and gave them to us," said Ruiz. "These people had absolutely nothing, and yet they shared what they had."

The next afternoon, following another day of treating the people of Las Canitas, the group was able to return to Guayabal and continue their mission work there and in the surrounding areas. They even dedicated one day to immunizing more than 300 children against H.flu bacteria, a common and often fatal cause of meningitis in infants.

"It was an overwhelming experience. The people are so needy, yet so grateful," said Vaughan. "I thought the children would be begging us for money and candy, but instead they asked us for toothbrushes."

The group left medicines with local organizers to be distributed when needed. Hypertension, heart attacks and strokes were among the major medical problems encountered. "This whole experience just put things into perspective," said Ruiz. "Out there, we worked together under poor circumstances, and we bonded together to get things done. It helps now when we are working and we have a stressful situation on the job to know that things really aren't that bad."

Anyone interested in going on a future mission, please contact Dr. John Hurley at No experience necessary.

-by Tanya C. Brown

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Nursing Dept. launches lecture series

Primary care will be the focus of "Primary Care Updates," a new lecture series sponsored by the CC Nursing Department. Coordinated by Laura Shay, M.S., C.R.N.P., the series will feature CC and NIH nurse practitioners. They will share their experiences about diseases such as multiple sclerosis and type II diabetes, highlighting primary care issues both for nurses and for other healthcare providers.

There are 52 nurse practitioners in the CC. Their roles may vary from institute to institute; however, their clinical focus is usually very specific. This specialization poses a challenge for nurse practitioners who want to stay current in primary care. To address this concern, CC nurse practitioners developed the lecture series as a way to keep each other up to date.

"We have so much hidden talent in our advance-practice providers," said Shay. "I am very excited to have the opportunity to make it available to everyone. In the future I hope to include lectures by clinical nurse specialists, nurse researchers and physician assistants."

The lecture series will take place in the Lipsett Amphitheater on the third Tuesday of the month beginning on October 16. CEUs will be offered. For more information, contact Laura Shay at 6-0442.

The Series

Imaging Studies in Primary Care
Barbara Galen, M.S.N., C.R.N.P.
Program Director, Biomedical Imaging Program Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnostics, NCI

Smoking Cessation
Susan Rudy, M.S.N., C.R.N.P., C.O.R.L.N.
Office of the Director, NIDCD

Update in the Treatment of Type II DM
Elaine Ruiz, M.S.N., C.R.N.P.
Diabetes Branch, NIDDK

Working Up Rheumatologic Disorders
Jeanmarie Bechtle, M.S.N., C.R.N.P.
Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, NIAMS

Update in Nephrology
David Smith, M.S., C.R.N.P.
Kidney Disease Section, NIDDK

The Differential Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Joan Ohayon, M.S.N., C.R.N.P.
Clinical Center Nursing Department assigned to: Neuroimmunology Branch, NINDS

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Employees, patients welcome Thompson to CC

photo of Secretary Thompson touring the construction site of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center

The grand tour would not have been complete without a walk through the CRC. Yong-Duk Chyun, project director (right), shows Thompson floor plans and designs of the new building. Nearly 60 percent of the patient rooms will be single rooms, while each of the pediatric rooms will have a space for the parents to sleep. Pictured (l to r) Secretary Tommy Thompson, Stephen A. Ficca, associate director, ORS, and CC Director Dr. John Gallin.

photo of Secretary Thompson touching the arm of Rosa Ramirez, a patient at the Clinical Center

Rosa Ramirez shows Secretary Thompson the toughness of her skin caused by dermatomyositis, an acute inflammatory condition of the skin and muscle. Pictured (l to r) Rosa Ramirez, Dr. Gregory Dennis, NIAMS, Secretary Tommy Thompson, Dr. Stephen Katz, director, NIAMS.









photo of Secretary Thompson visiting with Ainsline Crawford, a patient at the clinical Center

Dr. Stephen Katz, NIAMS director (left) and Dr. Gregory Dennis, NIAMS, show Thompson a splint that was placed on Ainsline Crawford's finger to maintain alignment so that the finger won't disfigure. Crawford was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1998 and is currently being prepared for enrollment into a protocol.

photo of Secretary Thompson looking at blue prints of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center

Prior to touring the CRC, Thompson is briefed on the design and structure of the building. Thompson was most impressed with the interstitial levels of the building that will house the utility infrastructure. The interstitial levels will provide full access for easy maintenance and repairs with no disruption to the patients or employees in the occupied spaces below.









photo of Secretary Thompson shaking the had of Angela Richardson

Angela Richardson tells Thompson, "I am only alive today because of the study I was enrolled in." Nearly 20 years ago, Richardson was diagnosed with lupus. At that time the disease was considered incurable. With a series of medications, Richardson has been able to control her life without having the effects of lupus interfere.

photo of Secretary Thompson giving a speech before a group of fellows prior to lunch

Thompson speaks to a group of fellows before lunch.

photo of Secretary Thompson talking with CC Director Dr. John Gallin and Maureen GormleyDr. John Gallin

Dr. Gallin and Maureen Gormley briefly speak with Secretary Thompson before touring the CC.

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Medicine for the Publice lecture series

The Medicine for the Public lecture series, now in its 25th year, features physician-scientists working at the frontiers 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 emphasis is on current topics, with speakers who can relate to the lay public. Sponsored by the NIH Clinical Center, the lectures are held at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Clinical Center's Masur Auditorium.

The lectures

Sept. 25
Pain and Palliative Care: More Than Just End-of-Life Care - Dr. Ann Berger, chief of Pain and Palliative Care Services, CC, will discuss how medicine works with other disciplines to care for the whole person to ease suffering during serious illness.

Oct. 2
The Sexually Transmitted Disease Epidemic: A Threat to the Nation's Public Health - Every year, about 12 million people acquire sexually transmitted diseases. These diseases lead to multiple complications, including infertility, ectopic pregnancies, chronic pain and cancer. Most cases can be cured. All of them can be prevented. Dr. Thomas Quinn, chief, International HIV/AIDS and STDs Section, Laboratory of Immunoregulation, NIAID, will discuss the incidence, the costs, the impact on society and what can be done to decrease the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Oct. 9
New Strategies for the Detection and Treatment of Colon Cancer - Colon cancer strikes 130 thousand people a year. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and has a mortality rate of nearly 50 percent. Dr. Steven Libutti, senior investigator, Surgery Branch, NCI, will discuss how it is detected and treated. He will also discuss what new detection and treatment options are currently under study to increase survival, including local ablative therapy, anti-angiogenic therapy and new ways to deliver chemotherapy.

Oct. 16
Breast Cancer: Progress and Promise - Dr. Jo Anne Zujewski, senior medical oncologist, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, will discuss the risk factors for developing breast cancer and current treatment options. She will review progress made in this disease and look at promising new research directions.

Oct. 23
Type 1 Diabetes: A Quest for Better Therapies - Sixteen million people in the United States have diabetes; one million of them have type 1. It is the sixth leading cause of death in this country and often leads to blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, strokes, kidney failure, amputations and nerve damage. Dr. David Harlan, chief, Transplantation and Autoimmunity Branch, NIDDK, will discuss the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, then will focus on advances in how physicians might treat type 1 diabetes. HeÕll emphasize the latest research using islet transplantation and some other positive milestones to date.

Oct. 30
The Influenza Viruses and Their Vaccines - About 10 to 20 percent of Americans are infected with the influenza virus each year. For most, the aches and pains associated with the flu come and go within a couple of weeks. However, an estimated 100,000 people are hospitalized, and 20,000 deaths occur annually from the flu and its complications. Dr. Brian Murphy, co-chief, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, will explore the latest findings in flu vaccines, including a new influenza virus vaccine undergoing evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration.

For details, call 301-496-2563, or visit the website at http://www.

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Disability awareness
The Third Annual CC Disability Awareness Showcase will be held on Thursday, October 4, in Masur Auditorium. The showcase will bring together management and staff to celebrate National Disability Awareness Month. This yearÕs theme is ÒDisabilities: Myth or Reality?Ó Information resource booths will be open to the public in the Visitor Information Center starting at 10 a.m. Vendors will feature assistive technologies, reasonable accommodation services, disability employment laws, and recruitment sources. For other reasonable accommodations, contact the disability employment program coordinator at least five days in advance at or 301-496-9100 (TTY) through the Maryland Relay Service at 1-800-735-2258.

Employee orientation
There will be an NIH employee orientation fair September 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., in the Visitor Information Center. All CC staff are encouraged to stop by and learn about NIH organizations and employee resources.

Depression screening
On October 11, the NIH Work and Family Life Center will sponsor an NIH-wide depression screening program in Bldg. 10. For information, call Sophia Glezos-Voit at 301-443-4533.

Research festival
The 15th annual NIH Research Festival will be held in the Natcher Conference Center on October 2-5. Visit the website at for detailed program information.


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volunteers needed

Outpatient study
College-educated, middle-aged adults needed for a two-day outpatient study at NIMH. Involves blood draw and routine clinical, neurological and cognitive procedures. Compensation provided. For information call 301-435-8970.

Healthy children
Healthy children, ages 5-8, are sought by NINDS to participate in a study comparing language organization with that of children with epilepsy. Your children may be eligible if they speak English as their first language, do not have a learning disability, attention deficit disorder or any serious medical condition and do not wear braces or glasses (contacts allowed). Participation involves 2-4 outpatient visits over one year. Compensation is provided. Call Lynn at 301-402-3745.

Women needed
NICHD is seeking healthy women ages 18-55 or 60 and older, to participate in an ovarian function study involving five brief outpatient visits. Blood draws, ultrasound and an injection of a natural body hormone are involved. You may be eligible if you do not smoke or take any drugs, including birth control. A past pregnancy is necessary. Compensation is provided. For information call 301-435-8201.

Overweight women
NICHD seeks healthy African American and Caucasian overweight women, ages 18-40, to participate in a study on the effects of carbohydrates and fats on body composition and reproduction. Participants must be nonsmokers, have regular menstrual cycles, not be on any prescribed drugs, and have no major illnesses. Participation involves one outpatient and two inpatient visits. Compensation provided. Call 301-496-7731.

Healthy families
NIAAA seeks healthy parents and their adolescent children, ages 12-17, to participate in a study involving an interview and brain scan. No medication involved. Compensation is provided. Call 301-594-9950.

Men needed
NIAAA is seeking healthy males, ages 40-59, to participate in cognitive/psychological studies. No medication is involved. Call 301-594-9950. Compensation is provided.

Healthy kids
NIMH is seeking healthy children, ages 6-17, to participate in reviewing film clips, included among which will be humorous, sad and spooky clips. Your children may be eligible if they do not have a history of psychiatric problems or take any prescribed medications. Participation involves one outpatient visit and a possible second visit. Compensation is provided. Call 301-496-8381.

Evaluation study
The Clinical Neuroendocrinology Branch of NIMH seeks people with current or past depression as well as matched normal controls, to participate in an evaluation study. Participants must be between the ages of 18-65, be medically healthy, non smoker for the past year and able to spend at least one night in the Clinical Center. Compensation provided. For more information, call 301-496-5831 or 301-496-1892.

Japanese donors
The Department of Laboratory Medicine is seeking normal Japanese men and women to donate one tube of blood for a study of platelet function. You must be of full Japanese ancestry, have no evidence of anemia and be at least 18 years of age. Compensation provided. Call 301-496-5150.

Male volunteers
Men ages 45 and older are needed for a research study to assess risk factors for atherosclerosis. Medical history and blood samples are required to assess eligibility for the study. Compensation provided. For more information, call 301-496-3666.

Emotion study
The National Institute of Mental Health is seeking healthy children, ages 6-17, to participate in a mood and emotion study. Your child may not be eligible if he/she has medical or psychiatric problems, takes prescribed medications or has any first-degree relatives with psychiatric problems. Participation involves three-day screening and evaluation, two-day follow-up evaluation, MRI, physiological and psychological testing, and one month of at-home ratings. Compensation is provided. For more information or to volunteer, call 301-496-8381.

Female volunteers
The Behavioral Endocrinology Branch, NIMH, seeks healthy female volunteers ages 40-50, to participate in a longitudinal study of perimenopause. Volunteeers must have regular menstrual cycles and be medication free. Periodic hormonal evaluations, symptom rating completion and an occasional interview will be performed. Compensation provided. For more information call 301-496-9576.

Stuttering study
NIH seeks adults and children ages five or older who stutter or have family speech disorders for an experimental study of the causes of these disorders. Researchers offer speech, voice and language testing. Compensation provided. For information call 1-800-411-1222 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010).

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Editor: Tanya C. Brown

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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