January 2015

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Published monthly by the Office of Communications and Media Relations. News, article ideas, calendar events, letters, and photographs are welcome. Submissions may be edited.

Clinical Center News
National Institutes of Health
Building 10, 10 Center Drive
Room 6-2551,
Bethesda, MD 20892-1504
Tel: 301-594-5789
Fax: 301-402-0244

2015 ISSUES:
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Obama expresses gratitude for treatment of patient with Ebola and ongoing research

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama visited the NIH Clinical Center Dec. 2 and spoke in Masur Auditorium about continued support towards treating and developing a potential vaccine for Ebola.

President Barack Obama visited the Clinical Center and Vaccine Research Center Dec. 2, 2014. Obama was briefed on an investigational Ebola vaccine and spoke on the need for continued research on the Ebola virus and increased U.S. assistance in treating Ebola.

"This past summer, as Ebola spread in West Africa, I told my team that fighting this disease had to be a national security priority and a priority across agencies and across our government," Obama said. "Every day, the NIH is at the forefront of this mission."

During his speech, the president expressed his gratitude towards the Clinical Center for the treatment of Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who was diagnosed with Ebola in October 2014. At the time of Pham's stay, NIH was only one of three U.S. healthcare facilities capable of treating a patient diagnosed with Ebola.

"You displayed great skill and professionalism. You reminded the world that it is possible to treat Ebola patients effectively and safely without endangering yourselves or others. We thank everyone on her team at the NIH Clinical Center who delivered such remarkable care to Nina," Obama said. He then announced the U.S. now has 35 treatment centers designated to care for patients with Ebola.

While U.S. media attention has diminished over time on the topic of Ebola, the president made it clear that the NIH has not halted its efforts on the deadly virus.

"The work that you have done has continued even if the cameras have gone elsewhere. One of the great virtues of what you've done here at NIH is reminded people that science matters and that science works," he said.

Just days before the president's visit, the NIH announced that an experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a phase 1 clinical trial tested at the Clinical Center. The candidate vaccine was co-developed by the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline.

"No potential Ebola vaccine has ever made it this far. This is exciting news," he said. "You are a vital part of our fight against Ebola, across our government."

View a video of the president's remarks.

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Test results quickly available through Patient Portal

The Patient Portal used at the Clinical Center now displays patient test results in a fraction of the time it took previously.

Imaging results will be automatically released to the portal three days after being finalized in the Clinical Research Information System, known as CRIS. Previously, these results were released after 14 days.

Non-imaging results, including lab tests, will be released to the portal eight hours after being finalized in CRIS. Some non-imaging results will be posted after only 15 minutes — a significant change compared to the previous release time of seven days.

The Patient Portal, which went live in July 2013, has been updated and revised continuously based on patient input. Approximately 6,500 patients actively use the patient portal, with over 91,000 views of results and over 43,000 views of documents.

The Clinical Center hopes this latest update to the portal will help improve both the patient experience and patient care. Questions? Please call the Medical Record Department's Patient Portal support staff at 1-855-644-6445.

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A surprising 'engagement' takes place at the Clinical Center

Alicia Galat hugging her sister Brianna Galat

Alicia Galat (right), a patient at the Clinical Center, hugs her sister and bone marrow transplant donor, Brianna Galat (left). Alicia and her family, along with NIH staff, helped pull off a surprise proposal for Brianna in the research hospital.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, amongst the hustle and bustle of research and medical appointments, a life-changing event for the Galat family took place for the second time at the Clinical Center.

Twenty-one-year-old Brianna Galat was on a break from her studies at Drexel University and traveled to the research hospital to visit 19-year-old sister Alicia Galat. Alicia has sickle cell disease and just two months before, on Sept. 11, she received a bone marrow transplant from Brianna at the Clinical Center.

Brianna came to visit Alicia, her mom and family for the holiday weekend and found out that she was being honored with an NIH award for being a donor. Or at least that's what she thought. But no such award exists. What the family and NIH doctors had planned was much greater than an award.

"Brianna's boyfriend wanted to propose in a memorable way that would catch her completely by surprise," said Arnee Galat, the girls' mother. "My family and I helped set up a bogus 'Distinguished Donor' award ceremony on Outpatient 7."

Alicia's doctor, Dr. Matthew Hsieh, and her research nurse, Beth Link, came in on what should have been their day off just to be a part of it.

A phony Distinguished Donor certificate was presented with an NIH mug and shirt (that her mom had bought on campus). Hsieh gave an "impromptu speech" to Brianna "for being an amazing donor for her sister," the girl's mother said. Then Alicia began to play a "thank you donor video" which she had created for her older sister. While it began with pictures of their time at the NIH, it quickly transitioned to personal photos along with photos of Brianna's "future wedding party" designating them as bridesmaid or flower girl. At the end of the video, four doctors who Hsieh had enlisted to help with the surprise stood up with signs spelling out "Bri, will you marry..." Then, much to her surprise, boyfriend David walked into the room with a sign that said "me?" With tears of happiness, Brianna said yes!

While Alicia's transplant was a life-changing event, the engagement is, according to Arnee, also a "good memory from their time at the NIH." Alicia said, "Brianna getting engaged was like the rainbow after the storm." The couple plan to marry in September 2016.

NIH staff

NIH staff help a patient and her family pull off a surprise engagement proposal in the Clinical Center.

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Clinical Center director's awards focus on staff's dedicated service

After a year full of unique challenges and great opportunities, staff working at the NIH research hospital were recognized at the 2014 Clinical Center Director's Annual Address and Awards Ceremony for their outstanding contributions.

Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, thanked employees for their exceptional service, tireless dedication to patients and continued research and medical innovations.

"Extraordinary work quietly happens here every day in countless ways to combat a wide range of both common and rare diseases," Gallin said. "All of our staff play a role in our success in furthering the nation's health – and that of the world. I am in confident that in 2015 we will continue to stand strong as the House of Hope."

More than 300 awards were presented to staff from multiple disciplines and departments. Highlights included recognition for excellence in customer service, mentoring, scientific advancements, enhancing the electronic medical records system, patient care and safety, improving quality of work life and diversity, teaching and training and the comprehensive response needed to treat a patient diagnosed with Ebola.

NIH staff can view all award winners on the Intranet (NIH Staff Only).

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Clinical studies in need of volunteers

NIH Clinical Center Study
Researchers are testing a new 3-D imaging system in children and adults with scoliosis. If you or your child (over the age of 2) has scoliosis or similar conditions, you may be interested in participating. All study-related tests and procedures are provided at no cost. Compensation is provided. Learn more about study 11-CC-0120.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study
NICHD is studying how stem cells work within the uterus. Researchers are collecting uterine tissue in women over 18 who are healthy, have had a stem cell transplant or have a condition affecting repro-duction. A single one-hour visit to the NIH Clinical Center is needed. Study-related tests and procedures provided at no cost. Compensation is provided. Learn more about study 12- CH-0016.

National Institute of Nursing Research
NINR seeks people who completed radiation therapy for cancer to participate in a study. Some people have persistent clinically-significant fatigue after receiving radiation therapy. Researchers want to test if the medication ketamine can reduce this fatigue. Study procedures take place at the NIH Clinical Center. Study-related tests and medication are provided at no cost. Compensation will be provided. Learn more about study 15-NR-0037.

For more information on the studies above or others available, please call the Office of Patient Recruitment at 1-866-444-2214, (TTY 1-866-411-1010), or visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

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Officials from Macedonia and Vietnam tour Clinical Center

Macedonian Health Minister Nikola Todorov speaking to Dr. David Henderson, the deputy director for Clinical Care and associate director for Hospital Epidemiology and Quality Improvement

Macedonian Health Minister Nikola Todorov (center) speaks with Dr. David Henderson, the deputy director for Clinical Care and associate director for Hospital Epidemiology and Quality Improvement, at the Clinical Center Nov. 24. Todorov visited several locations in the U.S., including the NIH, to discuss best practices in healthcare delivery. Todorov toured the Special Clinical Studies Unit, 1NW and Metabolic Unit.

Maj. Gen. Vu Quoc Binh, members of the Vietnamese Blood Safety team and senior leadership from the Clinical Center Department of Transfusion Medicine

On Dec. 4, Maj. Gen. Vu Quoc Binh (center), director general of the Vietnamese Military Medical Department, and members of the Vietnamese Blood Safety team met with senior leadership from the Clinical Center Department of Transfusion Medicine and toured the facilities. The group learned more about the modernization of blood donation, component processing, and infectious disease testing and cellular therapy manufacturing operations.

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Doppman Lecture for Imaging Sciences talks virtual colonoscopy

On Dec. 17, Dr. Perry J. Pickhardt, professor of radiology and chief of gastrointestinal imaging at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, gave the 14th Annual John Doppman Memorial Lecture for Imaging Sciences at the Clinical Center.

Pickhardt, whose research interests include oncologic imaging and maximizing the clinical value derived from radiologic studies, spoke on "CT Colonography: Progress Beyond the Department of Defense Screening Trial." CT colonography, sometimes called "virtual colonoscopy," is a less invasive diagnostic method than traditional colonoscopy for detecting abnormal tissue growth in the intestines, using x-rays.

"[CT colonography] has progressively evolved over the past decade since the landmark [Department of Defense] screening trial," Pickhardt said. "Many advances have been made that improve patient ex-perience, safety and comfort level, increase diagnostic accuracy and make interpretation easier. In a nutshell, [CT colonography] is better, faster, safer and cheaper than the current standard of invasive colonoscopy."

The lecture honors the memory of Dr. John Doppman, a diagnostic and interventional radiologist at the Clinical Center for 36 years and chair of the hospital's diagnostic radiology department for 28 of those years. Under his leadership, the department was among the first in the nation to have CT and MRI scanners. Doppman was known as a gifted teacher, a respected colleague and a generous mentor as well as a superb clinician and investigator who was devoted to both patient care and research.

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Staying social with the Clinical Center in 2014

77 percent increase in followers on Facebook. Interactions more than doubled on Facebook (likes, shares and comments). +10,000 new followers on Twitter.Through a variety of clicks, likes, posts and tweets, the Clinical Center has seen an exciting resurgence in its social media outreach and connection with people over the past year.

The Clinical Center's Facebook [disclaimer] and Twitter [disclaimer] platforms provide an opportunity for patients, staff, visitors and friends to stay up-to-date on the research, events and everyday activities that make the research hospital so unique.

"The Clinical Center's social media platforms strengthen our profile and contribute to a supportive and collaborative environment – key traits for a patient-centric training and research hospital," said Justin Cohen, chief of the Clinical Center Office of Communications and Media Relations (OCMR). From January to mid-December 2014, the Clinical Center's Facebook audience increased 77 percent, growing from 5,200 to more than 9,300. On Twitter, the number of followers increased by 32 percent, growing from 33,320 to more than 44,100.

In late 2013, after reviewing the analytics of social media posts from previous years, Cindy Fisher, the web development and digital media lead within OCMR, was able to determine which content was most valuable to followers. A rigorous posting schedule along with more consistent and relevant posts led to the exciting surge of new followers.

"The result has been robust, consistent growth and positive engagement experiences," said Cohen. "Social media is now synergized with other Clinical Center communications efforts like never before."

With the increase in followers, the office has also seen a rise in followers' interactions with daily posts such as liking, sharing and commenting. On Facebook, interaction increased by 50 percent compared to 2013.

Also, the office developed a new social media comment policy that helps to protect participants and ensure relevant and respectful exchanges while making involvement of page managers rare.

Clinical Center social media platforms include the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education Flickr [disclaimer] account and Twitter [disclaimer] account, the NIH Blood Bank Facebook page [disclaimer] and a Clinical Center YouTube channel [disclaimer]. A Patient Library Facebook page [disclaimer] recently launched to help patients, families and caregivers discover the library's diverse information and leisure resources.

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Diaz meets with NIH experts as she conducts research for second book

Cameron Diaz (left), Sandra Bark (right), and Dr. Kong Chen (center)

On Dec. 12, Cameron Diaz (left), actress and author of The Body Book, visited the NIH with the book's co-author Sandra Bark (right). Diaz and Bark are conducting research for a second book about healthy aging. Above, they viewed the Bod Pod in the Metabolic Clinical Research Unit in the Clinical Center, and spoke with Dr. Kong Chen (center) an investigator in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). During the day-long visit, the authors toured numerous NIH laboratories and met with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and experts from the National Institute on Aging, Office of Research on Women's Health, Clinical Center, NIDDK and Vaccine Research Center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Sterilization device installed to support high containment unit


The autoclave sterilizes medical waste from a patient and personal protective equipment worn by staff.

In late 2014, the Clinical Center, along with the Office of Research and Facilities, completed the installation of a large autoclave, or pressure chamber, used to sterilize equipment.

The autoclave, accompanied by two smaller autoclaves installed in September, serves the Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU). The SCSU is an inpatient unit designed with a state-of-the-art infrastructure that allows for isolation capabilities and infection control while patients participate in clinical research studies. Being in close proximity to the high containment unit, used recently to treat patients exposed to or diagnosed with Ebola, allows for the processing of waste on-site. All waste is steam sterilized at temperatures of at least 250 degrees Fahrenheit under pressure for no less than an hour.

In addition to the autoclaves, a new staff bathroom and shower were also built near the unit.

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Clinical Center Gingerbread House Decorating Contest bring holiday cheer, thousands of votes

The NIH Clinical Center 11th Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Contest had 47 entries and drew more than 2,400 paper ballot votes in the building and over 4,000 Facebook [disclaimer] votes, or 'likes', online.

The winners were announced Dec. 12. For the second year in a row, the NIH Clinical Center 3NE [disclaimer] won the paper ballot contest. This year, they have built a 'Frozen' themed castle and received 381 ballot votes. The Clinical Center Rehabilitation Medicine Department [disclaimer] took second place with 244 votes, for their creation of Candy Land. The Medical Research Scholars Program [disclaimer] received third place for their rendition of the North Pole.

With over 551 likes on Facebook, the first place social media winner went to the Pacak's Team [disclaimer] from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for their intricate lace gingerbread village. Second place went to 3NE [disclaimer]. The third place Facebook winner, with 236 likes, is the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program [disclaimer] within the National Cancer Institute for their Goldilocks and the three bears at NIH house.

Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, and Dr. Clare Hasting, chief of the Nursing Department, presented certificates to the winners.

"Congratulations to our winners and to all the teams who entered this year's competition. You have brought a great deal of happiness and holiday spirit to the patients, visitors and staff of the Clinical Center," said Gallin.

Thank you to the Recreation and Welfare Associations [disclaimer] and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences [disclaimer] for their contributions of gift certificates and to the Foundation of the NIH [disclaimer] for donating the gingerbread house kits.

The gingerbread houses remained in the atrium through Jan 2.

Paper ballot and Facebook winners

First place: paper ballot winner and second place: Facebook winner

First place: paper ballot winner and second place: Facebook winner.

Second place: paper ballots winner

Second place: paper ballots winner.

Third place: paper ballot winner

Third place: paper ballot winner.

First place: Facebook winner

First place: Facebook winner.

Third Place: Facebook winner

Third Place: Facebook winner.

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Local elementary school delivers colorful holiday cards for patients

handmade holiday cards by Students at Carderock Springs Elementary School

Students at Carderock Springs Elementary School in Bethesda sent more than 240 holiday cards to Clinical Center patients in December 2014. This marks the fourth year in a row the students involved in the school's Student Government Association (SGA), along with their classmates, have sent the colorful cards. "Year after year, I am reenergized by the selflessness our students and community shows," said Matthew Ghaman, Carderock teacher and SGA advisor. "The Carderock Family has a special partnership with the Clinical Center and our kids have always taken on that commitment with enthusiasm and sincerity." The students, ranging in age from 5-to-11-years-old, filled the cards with well wishes for a happy holiday and healthy New Year.

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Upcoming Events

Most lectures will be streamed live and archived

January is Blood Donor Month
Learn how to become a blood donor. Staff can view details to potentially request administrative leave to donate.

Winter Market (ongoing through April) [disclaimer]
Tuesdays, 10:00 am – 2:00 p.m.
South Lobby
A variety of gifts, baked goods and other food products are available for purchase.

Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers Lecture
Illuminating the Earliest Events in Lymphoid Neoplasms
Jan. 14, 2015, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Elaine S. Jaffe, MD, NCI

Clinical Center Grand Rounds Lecture
Myelokathectic Immunodeficiency Disorders: Tales from the Clinic
Ulcerative Colitis: An Atypical Th2 Disorder Mediated by NKT Cells

Jan. 21, 2015, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Philip M. Murphy, MD, NIAID and Warren Strober, MD, NIAID.

NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
Bringing Genetics and Epigenetics to the Fetal-Adult Hemoglobin Switch
Jan. 21, 2015, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Masur Auditorium
Presented by Stuart Orkin, MD, Harvard Medical School.

Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies
When Experts Disagree: The Art of Medical Decision Making
Jan. 25, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Jerome Groopman, MD, Harvard Medical School and Pamela Hartzband, MD, Harvard Medical School.

Clinical Center Grand Rounds Lecture
Gaucher Disease and Parkinsonism: Using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Probe the Link Between a Rare and a Common Disorder
Clinical and Molecular Characteristics of Erdheim-Chester Disease
Jan. 28, 2015, Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Ellen Sidransky, MD, NHGRI and Juvianee Estrada-Veras, MD, NHGRI.

NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
Insights into Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology from Cryptococcus Neoformans
Jan. 28, 2015, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Masur Auditorium
Presented by Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

COMING SOON: Rare Disease Day
Feb. 27, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Masur Auditorium

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