Mary Bell and Thang Dinh were presented with awards by Clinical Center
Director Dr. John Gallin for demonstrating superior customer service.
Employees honored for excellence in customer service
Mary Bell and Thang Dinh have established themselves as role models in
providing excellent and consistent customer service.
Last month, they were presented with certificates in recognition of their
"For two years, we have worked to improve how we interact with one
another, how to better help one another and how to make this place special,"
said Clinical Center Director Dr. John Gallin. "Both of these employees
are examples of how to do this, and they do it well."
The awards come as a continuing effort to recognize customer service
as a top priority in the minds and attitudes of Clinical Center employees.
Mary Bell, affectionately known as "Mom" by most employees,
is not only a grill cook with the second floor cafeteria, but a motivator,
advisor and friend to hundreds of employees who see her daily.
"This award means a great deal to me," said Mary. "Because
this smile I have isnÕt mine, God gave it to me. Everyday I ask that I
am able to be pleasant and happy to others, and for those who are sad
I want to make them happy."
Mary is employed through Eurest Dining Services, and has worked at the
Clinical Center for seven years. The award came as a surprise to Mary,
who wasnÕt told in advance of the award because her boss wanted to keep
it a surprise.
"She goes the extra mile to get to know each customer, which makes
each visit a personal experience for everyone," said Steven Phillips,
food service director for Eurest Dining Services.
That is Mary's goal each time someone passes her counter. "I'm going
to try even harder to do whatever I can to make people happier,"
she said. "I ask the Lord to speak through me so I can help someone
else, and it makes me feel good when I can make somebody's day."
Thang Dinh is well known around the Office of the Director as a hard
worker. And Thang wouldn't have it any other way, because he knows that
his hard work benefits others.
"I'm just happy when I can help other people out. It makes me happy
to see others happy," said Thang.
Thang has worked in the Office of the Director as a clerk for five years
and continues to go beyond his regular duties by voluntarily working weekends
to develop workbooks for customer service training and staying late to
set up and clean out conference rooms. During one customer service training
session, the VCR in the training room was not working properly. Thang
brought in his personal VCR from home so that the class could continue
"Thang does everything with a smile and a wonderfully supportive
attitude," said Deborah Gardner, chief, Planning and Organizational
Development. "He often goes the extra mile, always listens attentively
and is a total pleasure to work with."
Thang said he receives his motivation from his belief in Buddhism. "I
just want to do good things for other people," he said. "Because
when you help people, you also help yourself. It makes you a better person."
The customer service initiative began in June 2001 with a two-year series
of training seminars for all Clinical Center employees and supervisors
to ask for their help in improving patient care delivery and to encourage
better coordinated support for patients, visitors and other employees.
More than 2,200 employees have completed the training.
"When we launched the customer service initiative, our biggest concern
was developing ways to sustain the momentum," said Gardner. "Thang
and Mary represent the type of employees who really keep customer service
alive. Each of us needs to be committed every day. These two people represent
that type of commitment and make the difference between good and outstanding
customer service. I am pleased to say that there are many other Clinical
Center employees doing this."
The success of the training program has spread beyond the Clinical Center,
as members of the customer service initiative develop customer service
programs for other NIH institutes.
Recently, a Clinical Center patient, who owns her own company, was impressed
by the "culture of friendliness" at the Clinical Center that
she requested information that would assist her in implementing a similar
program into her business.
The second phase of the customer service initiative will focus on optimizing
the diversity of employees to improve patient care and employee satisfaction
and commitment. According to Gardner, this phase will look at improving
how employees are valued and how to optimize their contributions.
Gearing up for Team NIH
The 2003 Komen National Race for the Cure takes place on Saturday, June
7, at 8:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C. and Team NIH is gearing up. Colleagues,
family members, patients, and friends are invited to join in representing
NIH at this event, the worldÕs largest five-kilometer (5K), or 3.1 miles,
For the second year in a row the NIH Clinical Center is spearheading
the organization of the team. In 2002 Team NIH participants were joined
by more than 68,000 walkers and runners. The National Race has steadily
grown from 7,000 runners and walkers in 1990 to 26,000 in 1995, to an
average of nearly 70,000 entrants each year since that time. Last year,
Team NIH was one of more than 700 teams taking part.
"We hope all of NIH and its research partners will once again be
part of the team as we show support for this concerted national and international
effort to improve womenÕs health," said Clinical Center Director
Dr. John Gallin.
To make registration more accessible to NIH employees, associates and
friends, registration tables will be set up outside the second floor and
B-1 cafeterias each workday in the Clinical Center beginning Tuesday,
April 15, through Friday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register,
you will need a check, cash or credit card payment in the amount of $25
Individuals registering during these times will also be able to sign
up for complimentary bus service from the Clinical Center to the race
site on Constitution Avenue on race dayÑspace is limited and will be on
a first come basis. The buses will be available following the event to
return to the Clinical Center. Individuals will also soon be able to register
at malls, coffee shops, stores, and schools throughout the community.
Web registration is available now at www.nationalraceforthecure.org/registration.html
with the online fee being $30 before May 17, and $35 from May 17-30. Don't
forget to indicate the code 'NIH' when registering online or at one of
the local sites in the community.
For further information or to volunteer to staff the NIH registration
or packet distribution stations, contact one of the Team NIH coordinators:
Pat Piringer, email@example.com, 301-402-2435; Georgie Cusack, firstname.lastname@example.org,
301-594-8128; or Dianne Needham, email@example.com, 301-594-5788. More
details regarding the Komen National Race for the Cure may be found at:
New CRC website unveils photos, floor plans
The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center draws more attention as
work on the facility progresses. Employees will begin hearing more details
about the new hospital.
General plans for the first, third, fifth, and seventh floors may be
seen at http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/crc/visuals.html.
The patient care units, day hospital stations and laboratory areas are
A new website provides an overview and specific facts and milestones.
There is information on the design and construction, former Senator Mark
Hatfield and the project partners. The visuals section has more images
of the floor plans as well as construction photos. Visit the website at:
For more information about the Clinical Research Center website, email
Dianne Needham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cannon serves as 2003 Medical Executive Committee Chair
Dr. Richard Cannon
Richard Cannon, M.D., is the 2003 chair of the NIH Clinical
Center Medical Executive Committee. The person elected to this role is
peer nominated with final selection made by the Clinical Center Director.
The committee, made up of NIH clinical directors and other senior medical
and administrative staff, advises the Clinical Center Director and develops
policies governing standards of medical care and clinical research in
the Clinical Center. The Committee also represents and acts for the medical
staff and enforces the rules and policies of the hospital.
"It is truly an honor to serve in this capacity,"
said Dr. Cannon. "It is a privilege to interact with the committee
members and associates and to determine how we can provide the best care
and the best research environment possible for our Clinical Center patients."
Dr. Cannon, who came to NIH as a clinical associate in
1979 followed by cardiology fellowship training, is the clinical director
of NHLBI and head of the Clinical Cardiology Section in the Cardiovascular
Branch. He also serves as a clinical professor of medicine at the Georgetown
University Medical Center.
A major challenge for the Medical Executive Committee, according
to Dr. Cannon, is the transition to the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical
Research Center in 2004. "Going from the old facility to the new
hospital will require us to work together in a different mode," he
said. "The design of the building and organization of the patient
care units should enable more intellectual collaboration among clinical
researchers of different Institutes, Centers and Clinical Center departments,
and allow us to explore new ways of conducting research."
"Activities of subcommittees of the Medical Executive
Committee will have a more immediate impact on patient care and clinical
research," said Dr. Cannon. "These activities include a web-based
consult service assessment, prototype for the generation and processing
of clinical research protocols and the new Clinical Research Information
System (CRIS). The Committee is also in the process of assessing each
institute's intramural clinical research program for compliance with the
Standards for Clinical Research, adopted by the Medical Executive Committee
three years ago, and include data management, biostatistics support, quality
assurance, protocol review, human and physical resources, and training
and education in the conduct of clinical research."
The scope of Dr. Cannon's own current research involves
treatment of severe coronary artery disease with cytokine-mobilized autologous
stem and progenitor cells. His long-standing interests include the role
of nitric oxide on the regulation of blood vessel functions and blood
flow in the heart. More recently he has investigated nitric oxide transport
in blood and its effect on blood vessels in collaboration with Dr. Mark
Gladwin of the Critical Care Medicine Department and Dr. Alan Schechter
A native of Nashville, Tenn., he received his bachelor's
degree from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from the Vanderbilt
University School of Medicine in Nashville. Dr. Cannon served his residency
in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University School
of Medicine in St. Louis. He has been honored by the U.S. Public Health
Service; the Medical and Surgical Society of Bologna, Italy; and the Fukushima
Society of Medical Science of Japan. He has also received the NIH Clinical
Fellows Teaching Award and the NIH Director's Award.
-by Dianne Needham
IRTAs gain experience outside of lab
Nine IRTA fellows sought out volunteer opportunities within the Clinical
Center and found interpreting for patients to be a rewarding experience.
Pictured are (standing l to r) Karen Ortiz, Dennis Montoya, Emmanuel
Gonzalez, Melissa Burgos, (seated l to r) Lorri-Anne Burke, Avi Aster,
Tomas Rivera and Klodin Ghazarian. Not pictured: Jordana DeLeon.
A small group of Intramural Research Training Award fellows, or IRTAs,
have come to the Clinical Center wanting more than just a boost for their
resumes and medical school applications. They came to give a voice and
understanding to non-English speaking patients being treated at the Clinical
Nine IRTA fellows are using their multilingual abilities to volunteer
as interpreters when needed.
"Some people are hesitant when they get into a new environment,
or a new situation and they become scared to ask for what they need,"
said Lorri-Anne Burke, an IRTA fellow in the Pathology Lab, NCI. Burke
is a native of the West Indies and speaks Spanish and English. "Everyone
needs healthcare and we need to make them feel comfortable by providing
people who can speak their language."
Each of the nine fellows sought out ways to volunteer during their one-year
stint at the Clinical Center. Some searched the Internet and found they
could volunteer as interpreters�?something they were doing long before
realizing that the Social Work Department readily accepts and trains people
to be volunteer interpreters.
"This is a special group of IRTAs who have taken time to help interpret
on a voluntary basis," said Andrea Rander, director, Volunteer Services.
"Sometimes IRTAs just want a chance to get out of the lab and do
something on the clinical side, so it's to our advantage and beneficial
for them when we are able to make a placement."
Each fellow must go through an orientation where they receive a packet
of information including a patient handbook, Clinical Center policies,
a dictionary, and a listing of patient needs. After orientation, each
fellow goes through a hands-on, or shadow training, in which they sit
with an experienced interpreter as they interpret for a patient.
"This has worked wonderfully. The lab managers have been extremely
helpful by allowing the fellows to be released from the lab in order to
volunteer, and this also adds to their experience at NIH." Karen
Ortiz and Melissa Burgos, both from the Radiology/Oncology branch, NCI,
are well known in their department as "Team San Juan." Both
Karen and Melissa are from Puerto Rico and speak Spanish and English,
which has made them a widely used commodity.
"There is a high percentage of Latinos who need healthcare and come
to the Clinical Center, however there is not a high percentage of Spanish-speaking
physicians," said Burgos. "This is really important, because
in research there is no contact with the patient, but volunteering as
an interpreter allows you to see the connection and to see that there
is actually a person who is suffering and has emotions and a family."
Ortiz agrees, and has taken it upon herself to not only help those in
the Clinical Center, but in other countries. "There are two people
I know in Venezuela who cannot get treated there, so I'm trying to get
them to NIH," she said. "I want to help my people, and many
of them do not know about NIH, or how to go about getting treated here.
I want to change that."
For Dennis Montoya, volunteering as an interpreter has refocused his
career goals. Once determined to be a researcher, he has reconsidered
and decided to become a physician, where he can have direct patient interaction.
"This was just a reinforcement that has shown me that I want to
work with patients," said Montoya, who speaks Spanish and works in
the HIV Research Section, NIAID. "When people are sick, they don't
need someone telling them they are sick. Especially when children come
here, they are scared and crying because it is unfamiliar. Then there
are a bunch of unfamiliar faces looking at them throughout the day. But
when you can make them feel comfortable and stop them from crying, then
it makes you feel good."
Klodin Ghazarian can understand the unfamiliarity and uncomfortable
feelings people have coming to the United States and the Clinical Center.
She moved from Iran in 1988 and didn't know any English. Now, she not
only knows English, but interprets Armenian, Farsi and German.
"This is a good opportunity to combine both the clinical and research
part of medicine," said Ghazarian. "It also gives me a chance
to meet different people and offer a service to those who need help."
For Tomas Rivera, the clinical side of patient care is what he needs
to fulfill his goal of becoming a doctor.
"This opportunity helps me to relate to the patients and gain the
tools needed to treat and understand them," said Rivera, who interprets
Spanish and works in the Physical Disabilities Branch, CC. "This
program is good for students like us, because the opportunity is available
and all it requires is that you are able to speak another language."
And that opportunity is what Emmanuel Gonzalez needed for personal satisfaction.
Gonzalez works in the Biological and Chemistry Section, NIDDK.
"People who otherwise would come here lost or uncomfortable, no
longer feel that way because of my help," said Gonzalez, who has
made friends with patients and often visits or speaks to them in the hallway.
"I feel good just to be able to make patients feel welcomed."
Jordana DeLeon arrived at NIH in Sept. 2001, and decided to volunteer
as an interpreter after hearing a presentation by Rander during an orientation.
A native of the Philippines, DeLeon speaks Tagalog, and was needed to
translate for two patients in the first two weeks of working in the Host
Defenses Section, NIAID.
"This just opened my eyes to everything that NIH does,"
said DeLeon, who has developed many friendships with patients over the
past year and a half. "This is a place that includes all aspects
of medicine, from the research, clinical and humanitarian perspective.
It's a one of a kind place and I'm privileged to be a part of it."
-by Tanya Brown
NIH research nurse vaccinates top leaders
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist requested that Nelson
administer the smallpox vaccination to him.
Nelson educates U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona
about the smallpox vaccine.
Lt. Cmdr. Lucienne Nelson, R.N., research nurse, Pediatric Oncology Branch,
administered the smallpox vaccination to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
(R-Tenn.) and U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona last month. Senator
Frist requested that Nelson administer the vaccine after she was recommended
by Rear Adm. Mary Pat Couig, assistant Surgeon General and chief nurse
officer. "I am proud to represent the NIH Clinical Center Nursing
Department in this role and every day," said Nelson. "This is
a privilege and I am greatful for the opportunity." Nelson is part
of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Readiness Force and
was deployed to New York immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept.
11, 2001, where she treated firefighters and workers involved in the rescue
efforts. She was later deployed three more times to Washington, D.C. after
the anthrax breakout in metropolitan post offices and office buildings.
On the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Nelson was recognized
by HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and Carmona for her role in helping during
Dr. David Henderson addresses Clinical Center managers
during a table-top drill.
Table-top drill prepares manager for emergencies
It's 8:05 on a weekday morning and the NIH Fire Department receives reports
of a chemical smell on the North corridor of the first floor. The fire
department arrives on the scene at 8:15 and the smell extends along the
corridor from the main elevators to the D wing. At 8:30 the fire department
evacuates the offices along the corridor. At 9:15 a code yellow emergency
is initiated and broadcast over the fire alarm system. How does the Clinical
Center staff respond?
This was the scenario presented to about 40 Clinical Center managers
at a table-top drill held in the Medical Board Room on March 7.
"The drill was a pen-and-paper exercise to test and critique communication
processes and methods that would be used during an emergency situation,"
said Dr. David Henderson, Clinical Center deputy director for Clinical
Care, who led the exercise. His role was to direct the emergency management
communication center and give overall direction for hospital operations,
and authorize appropriate organizational responses, if necessary. This
is the role that will be assumed by Clinical Center Director Dr. John
Gallin in most emergency situations.
All attendees were assigned roles and responsibilities and then reported
on their responses. At least two future table-top drills are being planned,
according to Henderson.
CRIS Grand Rounds focuses on issues facing physicians
CRIS Grand Rounds at the Clinical Center on April 23 will focus on issues
facing physicians who use electronic medical information systems such
as the NIH Clinical Research Information System now in development. Rounds
are at 12 p.m. in the Lipsett Amphitheater. Topics and speakers are:
• "Creating Healthcare's Next Era: The Role of Informatics,"
Dr. Martin Merry, associate professor of health management and policy
at the University of New Hampshire and senior advisor for medical affairs
at New Hampshire Hospital Association and Foundation for Healthy Communities.
• "Mission Possible: Safer Care for Clinical Research Patients,"
Dr. Bruce Berg, patient safety and medical informatics officer at Sarasota
The CRIS project is in high gear, said Dr. Stephen Rosenfeld, project
manager and chief of the Department of Clinical Research Informatics at
the Clinical Center. Intensive design sessions involving nearly 200 people
from across NIH were held in February and more sessions follow on April
9. This work is necessary to install the largest component of CRIS, the
core that replaces MIS, the Clinical Center's 25-year old medical information
"We have two priorities in developing this core: to provide a new
system that will keep the hospital running smoothly during the move to
the new Clinical Research Center and beyondÑand to ensure it's a system
that will encourage and support innovation and future growth," said
Rosenfeld. "We've introduced this new facet of Grand Rounds to help
keep that focus on future possibilities while we do the necessary work
in developing CRIS." For more information visit http://cris.cc.nih.gov.
Starve a Mosquito, Give Blood...
...says a T-shirt being distributed to people who donate blood at
the NIH Blood Bank. The shirts are available on a first-come, first-served
basis. The Blood Bank is especially in need of type O positive blood.
To schedule an appointment call 301-496-1048. Pictured are (l-r):
Cindi Mann, R.N., Department of Transfusion Medicine; donor Dave Whitmer,
chief, MPASB, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute;Êand Gladys
Sanders, medical technologist, Department of Transfusion Medicine.
Fluid Electrolytes: Practical Cases
Narins, M.D., American Society of Nephrology
Polyvalency: From Influenza To Anthrax
George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., Harvard University
Smallpox and Vaccination: Implications for the Future
Vincent A. Fulginiti, M.D., University of Colorado Health Sciences
Center and the University of Arizona College of Medicine
The Alpha Project And The Dream Of A Predictive Biology
Rogert Brent, Ph.D., Ellison Foundation for Medical Research
Genetic Susceptibility To Infection: Malaria and After
Sir David Weatherall, M.D., Oxford University, United Kingdom
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture
Nutrition, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol-And Low Risk
Stamler, M.D., Northwestern University
Creating Health Care's Next Era: The Role of Informatics
Martin D. Merry, M.D., C.M., University of New Hampshire
Mission Possible: Safer Care for Clinical Research Patients
Bruce H. Berg, M.D., M.B.A, Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture
Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Genetic Determinants And Challenges
For Novel Therapeutics
Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., University of Michigan
for Special Events
Celebration of Nursing
Past, Present and Future
National Nursing Week
May 6-12, 2003
Tanya C. Brown
writers: Colleen Henrichsen, Dianne Needham, John Iler, Sara Byars
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