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This file is provided for reference purposes only. It was current when it was produced, but it is no longer maintained and may now be out of date. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing information may contact us for assistance. For reliable, current information on this and other health topics, we recommend consulting the NIH Clinical Center at http://www.cc.nih.gov/.

past issues

 Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical Center Communications

November 1998


Clinpath resource center

Mercury reduction

Flu shots

NIH Research Festival

Diversity issues

CFC Campaign

Rehab Medicine educates

Balancing needs

Father Linehan retires

Getting around campus

Disability Awareness

News briefs

 

As construction continues to close roads surrounding the Clinical Center, electronic signs have sprung up around campus to guide patients to the P3-level parking lots. Mobile signs such as this one near Center and Convent Drives use solar power and can quickly be edited to include up-to-the-minute road changes. To find out more about getting around campus, see NIH gets around.

 


Clinpath provides resource center to NIH community

The Clinical Pathology Department now serves as the umbrella for NIH laboratories seeking review and compliance with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA).

"The NIH community is conducting some excellent research and we see this resource center as an opportunity to help increase investigators' understanding of the requirements of CLIA," said Dr. Thomas Fleisher, chief of Clinical Pathology. "Our role is to provide them with information and help them to be successful in the CLIA process."

The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1967 was passed in an effort to regulate laboratory testing in the U.S. The law was amended in 1988 to expand federal oversight to virtually all clinical laboratories in the country and covers all laboratory tests performed on materials derived from the human body for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, or monitoring of patients as well as the assessment of patient health or impairment. The Clinical Pathology Department has overseen clinical testing since the passage of the law in 1967 and has gained extensive experience in compliance with regulatory issues. Since some research labs have now come under the umbrella of the law, many more NIH labs have been affected, and the Clinical Pathology Department will provide services NIH-wide.

The NIH CLIA Resource Center provides among other services, an explanation of the CLIA regulations and the complete process required for certification, assistance with application forms, and on-site mock lab inspections.

"We feel that this resource center is a worthy enterprise," said Peggy Spina, laboratory manager. "We hope that NIH labs will make use of our services to become compliant with the CLIA regulations."

For more information on the NIH CLIA Resource Center, contact Peggy Spina at 6-5668.

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Blood pressure monitors, such as this one, can now be found on the extinction list at the CC. Some other medical supplies and equipment, including thermometers, can all contain mercury, a known health hazard.

 

 

 


CC mercury reduction project in full swing

What do blood pressure monitors, thermometers, and fluorescent bulbs all have in common? Some types of these items may contain mercury, a known health hazard when released into the environment. But the CC has initiated a project to reduce the mercury in the building, thereby reducing the known risks to humans and the environment.

"Most exposure to mercury is chronic and cumulative, and is usually the result of inhalation or ingestion," said Dr. Michele Evans, CC safety officer. "Typically, employees may be exposed to contamination when a medical device containing mercury breaks. These exposures occur by inhalation and although they are accidental, they are also preventable, and that's what the mercury reduction project is all about."

Recent national efforts led by the Environmental Protection Agency and others have shown that the occupational and environmental costs of using mercury might very well outweigh any other benefits. "Research has shown that a single drop of mercury spilled on the floor can result in hazardous air concentrations in indoor environments," said Evans. The related cost for cleaning up mercury spills at the CC are often high due to the need for specially trained staff to clean up the spill, and extra costs for chemical wastes."Patient care can also be disrupted in such cases because they would need to be removed from the area to ensure that they are not harmed," she added.

The CC Safety Committee, along with the Materials Management Department, Equipment Standardization's Committee, Office of the Director, and the Division of Safety have all worked together to reduce the mercury in the CC. One of their first tasks was to replace equipment that accounted for the most frequent spills.

Whenever possible, new non-mercury medical equipment was purchased, according to Jerlynn Taylor, nurse consultant in the Materials Management Department. NIH hazardous waste staff were critical in removing the old equipment from the patient care areas and every nursing unit and outpatient clinic was given an in-service on using the new equipment. "It was a monumental project," said Taylor. "But we couldn't have done it without everyone coming together to get involved."

The group also worked with engineering to remove the mercury-containing instrumentation controls in the building utility systems, and is currently looking at more subtle sources of pollution in the hospital, such as laboratory reagents.

"We may not find acceptable alternatives, but we can still limit our risks by minimizing the wastes generated and reinforcing measures to reduce contamination of the work site," said Evans. "In keeping with federal mandates, our goal in the CC is to reduce the use of hazardous materials, including mercury, by 50 percent by the year 2000."

-by LaTonya Kittles

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It's not too late

Dr. John Gallin, CC director, was among a host of staff to receive the influenza (flu) vaccine this season. Administering the shot is Joan Arcilesi, staff nurse with Occupational Medical Service (OMS). If you haven't yet had your shot, there's still time. For more information, visit the website at http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/98flu/flu.98sced.html, or call 6-4411.

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CC researchers participate in NIH Research Festival

The NIH Research Festival held on Oct. 6-9 drew many to the Natcher Building to take part in presentations, workshops, and poster sessions. Among the host of posters were those including researchers from the Clinical Center.

 

 

Alberto Goldszal (left) and Dr. Peter Choyke (right) discuss the CC group's poster, "A Prototype Mouse Phenotype Parameterization Laboratory."

 

 

 

Reviewing their lab chief's poster "A Technical Solution for an Interactive fMRI Examination: Application to a Physiological Interview and the Study of Cerebral Physiology," are Kay Jordan and Henry Bryant with Diagnostic Radiology.

 

 

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CC Council to explore diversity issues

Not just another committee, the recently assembled CC Workforce Diversity Advisory Council aspires to become a valuable resource by promoting recognition and appreciation of diversity within the Clinical Center.

"This Council promises to be a positive mechanism for managers to use in monitoring the effects of CC policies, practices, and procedures on the Clinical Center's diverse workforce," said Walter Jones, deputy director for management and operations. "It will also provide an opportunity for managers and staff members to improve their awareness and understanding of equality and workforce diversity."

The Council was developed under the scope of the CC Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office. Its 13 members represent a cross-section of the CC population. The Council's plans include assisting with the design of diversity trainings programs, participating in special-emphasis observances, and aligning diversity activities with the CC mission and strategic plan.

Luis Rosario, Medical Records, and LaTonya Kittles, Communications, co-chair the group. Members are: Harvey McDonald, Diagnostic Radiology; Clara Chen, Nuclear Medicine; Edna Lowe, Housekeeping and Fabric Care; Joseph Martin, Human Resources Management; Sandra Bowles and Sybil Barnaby, Nursing; Sabas Carino, Clinical Pathology; and Francis Labosco and Nyna Konishi, Materials Management. Non-voting members are Alisa Peinhardt, Nursing; Carl Lucas, EEO; and Walter Jones.

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CFC Campaign begins

This year's Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is off with a bang and will run through December 4. Keyworkers and coordinators recently attended a training session hosted by (left) NINR Facilitator Jack Patterson and (right) Al Rexroad, deputy coordinator of the CC campaign. Again this year, "It All Comes Back to You," when you help others. Employees are asked to contribute to the campaign, which since 1961 has helped to improve the quality of life for people locally, across the country, and around the world.

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Rehabilitation Medicine educates many

The Rehabilitation Medicine Department has co-sponsored several major conferences recently to help educate attendees on areas pertinent to the field.

"Breast Cancer Rehabilitation for Health Professionals" was held on October 23, 24, and 25. The session was designed to increase the knowledge and skills of attendees who are involved in cancer rehabilitation. The conference was the result of a collaboration between INOVA Fairfax Hospital and NIH to develop and implement a comprehensive cancer rehabilitation program for patients served by INOVA. Speakers included representatives from INOVA and CC Rehabilitation Medicine.

On Nov. 6-8, the physical therapy section of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department, along with the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), will sponsor "Foot & Ankle Dysfunction: A Case Study Approach," in the Natcher Conference Center. The program will utilize several case studies to provide the clinical and scientific knowledge needed to effectively evaluate and treat a variety of conditions affecting the foot and ankle.

The physical therapy section, also in collaboration with the APTA, will host "Compression Bandaging for Edema/Lymphedema Management," on Nov. 21 in Lipsett Amphitheater. The one-day seminar is designed for physical therapists and other health care professionals who need to manage edema/lymphedema in their clinical practice.

For more information on the Rehabilitation Medicine programs, call 6-4733.

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Balancing the needs of work, family, and community

It's been over a year since Secretary Shalala kicked off the HHS Quality of Work Life (QWL) Initiative. As well, it was a year ago that the NIH observed it's first Quality of Work Life Week, devoted to raising awareness about family and work life issues.

Once again this year, the NIH will celebrate Quality of Work Life Week from Nov. 16 through 19. The event will kick off with a volunteer fair on Monday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Visitor Information Center. More than 30 agencies will be on hand to provide information about their organizations and volunteer opportunities.

"The purpose of the first NIH Quality of Work Life Week was to introduce the NIH QWL strategy and to elevate issues that employees face trying to balance work and personal responsibilities," said Marvene Horwitz, chairperson of the NIH Quality of Work Life Committee. "This year, the observance will not only feature activities that highlight the achievements of the past year, but will also give NIH employees a chance to learn how they can make a difference in their communities."

Additional events for the week include a simulcast of Secretary Shalala's conference on Family Friendly Work Practices, which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Building 31, Conference Room 7. On Wednesday, Nov. 18, NIH will host a reception honoring the most recent recipients of NIH QWL awards, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Wilson Hall. The week's events will culminate with an open house at the NIH Work and Family Life Center (Building 31 Room B3C15) on Thursday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Father Eugene Linehan retires from Spiritual Ministry Department

What started as a temporary assignment has now almost three decades later turned into a "wonderful experience that words can't explain."

Rev. Eugene Linehan, Catholic Chaplain in the Spiritual Ministry Department, recently retired after 26 years of service in the department.

At the age of 18, Linehan entered the Jesuit seminary. After 15 years of training, he was ordained and began working as a high school teacher and has also taught at a Jesuit retreat center. In 1972 he joined the chaplain staff here at the CC.

Linehan said that he was instantly drawn to the CC when he first entered the building for his temporary assignment. "I was immediately fascinated by the research taking place here and the grandness of the facility," he said. But as time went on, he said that it was his interaction with the staff and patients that taught him many life lessons and earned his admiration.

"Daily mass has always given me a tremendous amount of strength," said Linehan. "We are praying for real things and prayer comes alive because of the needs of patients."

He credits the wonderful friends that he has made among CC patients and staff for his happiness here. "It is great to have friends among people who are different faiths," he said. Among those is Rabbi Joseph Levine, Jewish Chaplain in Spiritual Ministry, who calls Linehan, "one of the most loving men in the world." Rabbi Levine credits Linehan with having the ability to love people as individuals and not because of their religious beliefs. "Father Linehan has no denominational boundaries but he is respectful of all beliefs," he said. "We all have cultural fences and he has the ability to transcend them."

Among the most vivid experiences that Linehan has had is the daily opportunity to see the enormous amount of strength in pediatric patients being treated here. He said that one of his fondest memories was when one young patient was discussing his pending death and said, "I have lost the battle, but I've won the war."

"These children and patients here who can accept illness and death with complete serenity are a blessing," he said. No doubt, Father Linehan has helped them reach that point.

-by LaTonya Kittles

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As construction on the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center changes the course of the area surrounding the CC, employees might find campus shuttles to be more and more convenient.

 


NIH gets around: Finding your way around campus

Starting later this month, NIHers riding the shuttle buses will notice some changes that should improve the way they get around the campus.

For one thing, the bus routes will be more easily identified through color coding. Also, two major hubs at Building 31 and the new Building 10 South Entry will serve not only the campus route, but also all off-campus shuttles. In addition, a new stop on Center Drive will serve as a minor hub providing additional service to the Natcher Building and the Library of Medicine. The Medical Center Metro stop will be the second minor hub with direct routes to Building 10 and Building 31, in addition to the regular campus shuttle. All shuttles will run in one direction throughout the day eliminating much of the current confusion. And finally, new signs at all bus stops will have clearly posted route maps and stop schedules.

The proposed changes are prompted by the upcoming opening of the new South Entry to Building 10. But revisiting the current NIH shuttle system has been a top priority for the Office of Research Services (ORS) for some time now.

"We always felt that the shuttle buses are an integral part of the NIH Transportation Management Plan," says Stella Serras Fiotes, master planner with ORS Facilities Planning and Programming Branch. Fiotes has been collecting information and considering improvements since the parking and transportation survey, which was conducted late last year.

With the recent formal transfer of the shuttle buses to ORS, changes are being coordinated directly with other ongoing parking and transportation initiatives. Further reductions in the campus parking supply will increase employee reliance on the NIH shuttle buses to access outlying campus lots, off-campus satellite lots, and the Metro station. The closure of the north entry to Building 10 and the opening of the South Entry will result in a total re-orientation of pedestrian, vehicular and bus traffic to the Clinical Center. With over 6,000 employees, and numerous visitors coming to this building, it became apparent that the shuttle buses would not only need to service the new South Entry but also provide more options for accessing the rest of the campus.

The concept underlying the proposal is simple. The entire NIH shuttle system is viewed as one integrated network of routes. Off-campus routes are linked at the hubs to the campus shuttle, which will continue to provide "loop" service around the entire campus. Riders waiting at the shuttle hubs will have more than one option to travel to any of the other hubs. By coordinating routes and stops, Fiotes hopes to take better advantage of the fleet of over 20 shuttle buses serving NIH.

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Maryland Ravens hoop it up on the 14th floor

 

During activities for Disability Awareness month in October, members of the Maryland Ravens wheelchair basketball team challenged NIH employees to a game. The program, "Opening Doors to Disability," provided an opportunity to increase awareness of disability.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball isn't the only eye-opening activity conducted by the group. They have given lectures at schools and sites throughout the community for the last 25 years.

 

 

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News briefs

Celebrate Escort Services

Join the Outpatient Department's Patient Escort Service in celebrating patient escort services Nov. 2-6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the special events office, 1C174. They will sponsor their fourth annual raffle to benefit the Patient Emergency Fund, and the winner will receive exclusive transport services for the department of their choice. Tickets can be purchased from a member of the patient escort team, or outside the second floor and B1-level cafeterias on Nov. 2-6.

 

Benefit concert

The Performing Arts Ensemble will present "Holiday in Oz" on Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium. This sixth annual benefit concert will support the Friends of the Clinical Center. The event will include door prizes and a cameo appearance by Santa Claus. Admission is $8 for adults, and $4 for children ages 12 and under. Sign language interpreters will be available. For tickets, call 4-5596.

 

Medicine for the Public continues

The 1998 Medicine for the Public lectures continue this month. NCI's Dr. Marston Linehan will present "Kidney Cancer: Understanding How Genes Impact Cancer" on Nov. 10, and Dr. Harold Slavkin, NIDR, will present "A Smile for a Lifetime" on Nov. 17. All lectures begin at 7 p.m. in Masur Auditorium. For more information call 6-2563.

 

Learn to retire

Are you interested in learning more about retirement benefits available within the Federal service? Attend "Mid-Career Retirement Planning," on Dec. 2-3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in room 3E01 at 6100 Executive Boulevard. To register, call the CC education and training section at 6-1618.

 

Clinical Pathology Auction

For 26 years, the Clinical Pathology Department has participated in a holiday fundraiser to benefit the Patient Emergency Fund and the Friends of the Clinical Center. Join the group in this year's activities by volunteering your services or donating items to the white elephant sale and silent auction. The event will take place on Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in room 2C310. To make donations, call Sallie Seymour at 6-3386, or Norma Ruschell at 6-4473.

 

Blood urgently needed

The CC Department of Transfusion Medicine is in urgent need of type O blood. If you are a donor of this type, please donate today. Visit the blood bank in room 1C713B, or call 6-1048 for more information.

 

Use it or lose it

Since the 1998 leave year ends on January 2, 1999, all "use or lose" leave must be scheduled or rescheduled in writing by Nov. 21. For more information contact personnel at 6-6219.

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 Editor: LaTonya Kittles


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 month.

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