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monthly for CC employees by Clinical Center Communications
Main lobby flood
Code team trial
When a six-inch pipe burst in Phlebotomy, five- to ten-thousand
gallons of water were released throughout the CC. Up to three
inches of water could be found from the main lobby to the film
library, and everywhere in between.
When it rains, it pours
Sprinkler system causes flood from main lobby through
The flood came at 8 p.m. on Nov. 10. The culprit--a six-inch
pipe, which broke after repairs on the hospital's sprinkler system.
The result--five- to ten-thousand gallons of water were released
into offices, patient-care areas, and throughout the first floor
"The flood was the result of a break in the compression
fitting in a sprinkler pipe," said Jim Wilson, chief of
the Office of Facility Management. "The fitting is supposed
to keep the pipes connected. When it blew, it resulted in the
flood of water as high as three inches in many areas."
According to accounts of staff present when the pipe broke--after
the initial shock-- they all banded together to try to save equipment,
papers, and computers. "I looked down the hallway and just
saw a rush of water coming at me," said Brandon Coleman,
admissions assistant in the Outpatient (OP) Department. "Our
department immediately contacted emergency personnel and then
tried to move as much as we could onto chairs and desks so that
it wouldn't get wet."
The water seemed to keep coming, leaving many staff members
feeling helpless. "I thought, I don't believe that this
is happening and there's nothing we can do except make sure that
everything is turned off and moved from the floor," said
Stewart Hill, lead admissions assistant. At the same time, many
staff were also concerned about how high the water would actually
get. As they put it, it seemed that no end was in sight. "I
have never seen anything like it before in my life," said
Jawanna Clark, OP admissions assistant. "I have been through
snow emergencies and other events but I have never seen anything
One of the areas to receive the most damage was Phlebotomy
because when the pipe burst, the 160- to 170-pound pressure blew
all the tiles out of the ceiling. "It was devastating,"
said Veronica Washington, supervisor of Phlebotomy. "It
looked like a bomb went off."
Several staff members attempted to keep the water--which was
rushing from Phlebotomy--from entering under the door of unoccupied
offices by using blankets and towels. According to Wilson, that
quick action helped to keep more damage from being done. "CC
staff in several departments and areas, including Clinical Pathology,
Phlebotomy, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Outpatient,
Housekeeping and Fabric Care, Maintenance, and Information Systems,
should be commended for their efforts in handling this emergency,"
One such area that was saved from damage thanks to blankets
and towels is Diagnostic Radiology. According to Tim Smith, senior
lab technician, the blankets worked for offices but they were
unable to keep water from entering the reception area, which
suffered carpet damage.
The Budget Office had major damage, losing computers and hard
copies of files dating back 10-15 years. "Although we had
a lot of damage, I feel that the Office of Facility Management
and Housekeeping did a lot to make sure that we didn't lose more,"
said Carol Verderese, nurse consultant to the Budget Office.
"We are very thankful for their help."
Efforts by the Office of Facility Management, as well as the
Division of Engineering Services, were to attempt to get the
affected areas as close to normal for those returning after the
Veterans Day holiday. "Our main goal was to have the patient-care
areas functional for the next day that patients were to be seen,"
said Wilson. According to many staff upon return, they could
barely tell that such devastation had occurred. "It is remarkable
that they were able to get the area back together," said
Washington in Phlebotomy.
"It was truly a collaborative effort and everyone deserves
a lot of praise for their involvement," said Karen Kaczorowski,
OP deputy chief. "From the NIH police to the fire department
to the page operators, housekeeping and others, everyone really
-by LaTonya Kittles
Heading the new internal medicine
consultation service will be Dr. Fred Gill
and Laura Shay.
Internal medicine experts serve CC patients
The Clinical Center is now staffed with experts in internal
medicine to enrich the breadth of care provided to patients here.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the CC to make a
substantial contribution to the quality of care provided to our
patients," said Dr. David Henderson, deputy director for
The service, which was initiated late last month, was developed
as a result of suggestions from the Clinical Research Revitalization
Committee, as well as the Medical Executive Committee.
"Recently, numerous Institutes expressed a need for a
consultant who is knowledgeable about complex and complicated
cases of internal medicine," said Henderson. "The talent
and expertise of our new consultants will be a valuable asset
to the clinic staff here."
Leading the service will be Dr. Fred Gill, who has been practicing
internal medicine in Bethesda for more than 20 years. He is a
member of the Montgomery County Medical Society, as well as past
Clinician of the Year. Joining Dr. Gill in the endeavor is Laura
Shay, a nurse practitioner who has worked with many NCI physicians
in support of the Infectious Diseases Consultant Group.
"We are excited about the arrival of our new consultants,
and they are eager to assist in the evaluation and management
of patients," said Henderson. "I encourage all of the
Institutes to involve our consultants in the care of their patients."
If you are interested in the service, call 6-9490.
Three originators of the Parkinsonian Society
of Greater Washington. They are (left to right) Marge Gillespie,
Ruth Kaneshiro, and Cindy White.
Twenty years later, group still helps patients
Who says that collaborations don't pay off? Certainly not
anyone who knows about the Parkinsonian Society of Greater Washington,
which after twenty years still serves the community.
The organization was formed in 1978 by a group of individuals
at NIH who shared a common goal--a desire to cope with a chronic
ailment, Parkinson's disease. Patients and staff involved in
a support group for the disease quickly noticed that many patients
found it easier to cope when they were able to talk about their
problems, thus the group was formed.
"Often when you have a chronic disease you become more
isolated," said one of the group's founders NCI social worker
Ruth Kaneshiro. "This organization in essence provides patients
and their families with a safe environment."
Kaneshiro, along with Recreation Therapy's Cindy White and
NCI research nurse Marge Gillespie, represented NIH in helping
get the group off the ground. The organization, which is entirely
independent of the NIH, includes family, friends, and caregivers
as well as people with Parkinson's. They provide information
meetings, weekly exercise and rap sessions, a newsletter, a public
information program, and a summer camp.
"It is truly rewarding to have been involved since the
advent of the group because we were able to witness the development
of long-term relationships among its members," said White.
"It's good to see the group is still going strong."
Code team trial run
The code team, which responds to emergencies in the CC, recently
conducted a trial run at the south entry. The south entry will
soon become the main entrance for the CC as construction on the
Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center continues out front.
Revolving doors are the entry of choice for the south side, and
the trial run helped the team get acclimated to the new way of
gaining access to the building.
The Thrift Savings Plan is having another open season. It
runs through Feb. 1, 1999. FERS employees who were hired before
July 1, 1998, as well as CSRS employees have an opportunity to
change their current election or make an initial participation
election. For more information contact human resources at 6-6219.
Sue Fishbein, personnel management specialist in the Office
of Human Resources Management, recently received an NIH Quality
of Worklife Award. She was honored for her proven ability as
an innovator and advocate for improving the quality of worklife
for CC employees.
The Friends of the Clinical Center Holiday Bazaar will be
held 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the Visitor Information
Center and the main lobby.
The education and training section will sponsor "Resolving
Team Conflicts," on Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the
first floor conference room of 6100 Executive Boulevard. Attendees
will learn why conflict is both inevitable and invaluable, as
well as ways to manage conflict by improving interpersonal communication,
using negotiation, and building consensus. To register, call
The Department of Transfusion Medicine's HLA Laboratory is
looking for healthy identical twin pairs of any age, race, or
sex for a blood study. Participants must undergo a thorough medical
history exam and blood work. Call 6-8852 for more information.
A letter of thanks
OP staffer thanks coworkers
CC Outpatient Department's Joseph Weeden recently extended
sincere appreciation for the support he has received since he
has been out of work on disability.
"Thanks to my friends and associates. Your support for
me during my illness is and was appreciated. I now realize that
working for the NIH isn't just having gainful employment, but
its more like belonging to a family. A family that I am both
grateful and proud to be a part of. Please keep me in your thoughts
and prayers as you are always in mine," he said.
Clinical Center News,
6100 Executive Blvd., Suite 3C01, MSC 7511, National Institutes
of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7511. (301) 496-2563. Fax:
402-2984. Published monthly for CC employees by the Office of
Clinical Center Communications, Colleen Henrichsen, chief. News,
articles ideas, calendar events, letters, and photographs are
welcome. Deadline for submission is the second Monday of each
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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09