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Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical
Out with the old
QoWL Council responds
A job well
"We're Here for You"
To kick off a new campaign to make sure customers know who
comes first, the CC Outpatient Department (OPD) unveiled its
new slogan at its first annual Customer Service Appreciation
Week last month. Shown modeling buttons are members of the team
that came up with the idea. Clockwise from the far right are
Stephanie Black, Caleb King, Jovetta McCormick, Theodora White,
Kimberly Priest, and Regina Thomas. Not pictured are Karen Kaczorowski
and Robin Smith. "We want people to know that we are dedicated
to providing quality services to every customer in the NIH community,"
said team leader King. "We also wanted to bring members
of our department together, since we're spread throughout the
Clinical Center." OPD sections include Admissions, Voucher
Office, EKG, Clinic Clerks, Computerized Appointment Scheduling,
Transportation, Ober Travel, and Messenger & Escort. Steve
Groban is OPD's chief.
Imaging in an emergency
Suddenly one afternoon, your right arm feels weak. It doesn't
get better after a few minutes, and you suspect a stroke. You
call 911, and you're whisked away to a nearby emergency room,
where you receive a CT scan and possibly a dose of the clot-busting
drug t-PA. You'll be OK. You caught it in time.
This scene plays out daily in hospitals everywhere-except
the Clinical Center.
"Since the Clinical Center has no emergency room, we
have never had the opportunity to study patients with urgent
conditions such as acute stroke and heart attack," said
Dr. John I. Gallin, CC director.
But that's about to change, thanks to an innovative new partnership
among Suburban Hospital, NHLBI, NINDS, and the CC's Diagnostic
Here's the plan: Suburban Hospital ER patients suspected of
having a stroke or heart attack will be eligible to receive a
series of ultrafast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on
sophisticated new scanners, purchased with institute funds. These
images will be interpreted by institute and CC staff as part
of ongoing clinical research protocols.
"Imaging will play a key role in both guiding the appropriate
therapies and documenting their effectiveness," said Dr.
R. Nick Bryan, head of diagnostic radiology and an expert in
brain imaging and stroke.
A Harvard-based neurologist, Dr. Steve Warach, has been recruited
to head a new NINDS stroke unit, housed at Suburban. "The
focus of Dr. Warach's research will be to develop and test new
drugs that may supplement t-PA or be more appropriate in patients
for whom t-PA is not an option," according to Dr. Bryan.
"MR imaging will help us make a more specific diagnosis
of the type of stroke and pick the patients who are best treated
by t-PA or another drug."
The cardiac studies will be run by Dr. Robert Balaban and
Dr. Andrew Arai, of NHLBI. "MRI has many unique aspects
that make it very well suited to studying people with coronary
artery disease," said Dr. Arai. "Improvements in MRI
hardware and technology have resulted in substantial improvements
in cardiac image quality. These tools have great potential to
change the way we approach patients with coronary artery disease."
Last month Suburban installed two new MRI scanners built by
GE Medical Systems and programmed in part with technological
advances devised by NIH's cardiac and imaging teams.
"We've worked side by side with GE to write programs
that make it possible to acquire unique information about the
heart more quickly and easily," said Dr. Arai.
One scanner was funded by NHLBI and will be devoted to cardiac
imaging; 20 percent of the other machine was funded by NINDS
and will be used for stroke imaging.
In both types of imaging studies, the focus will be on clarifying
the diagnosis in questionable groups of patients.
"Anyone whose ECG shows an obvious heart attack doesn't
need another test, and would be treated with standard, state-of-the-art
clinical care," Dr. Arai said.
"Imaging can help us better select patients who would
most likely benefit from a treatment, and exclude those who would
not benefit or might actually be harmed by a treatment,"
said Dr. Bryan.
Dr. Bryan reports that the planned stroke workup takes about
20 minutes and includes 5 different types of scans. The cardiac
scans can be done in under 30 minutes, according to Dr. Arai.
Suburban Hospital's patients will benefit greatly, since this
level of technology and expertise is currently available at just
a handful of health care facilities.
"The CC benefits too by gaining an opportunity to do
research on some very important common diseases that we have
never been able to see without an emergency room," said
Dr. Bryan. In addition to providing the basis for a sound clinical
assessment, the images will be archived into a data base that
will provide a rich source of clinical information to spur future
The new "NIH/Suburban MRI Center" is slated to open
-by Sue Kendall
Clinical Center property specialists keep close tabs on thousands
of pieces of CC equipment. Pictured with just a few of those
items are (left to right) James Gray, Charles McClanahan, and
Michael Rice (left) and Charles McClanahan (right) verify
a computer monitor's inventory code number with the number on
the master list before the item goes to surplus.
Out with the old, in with the new
Not so fast: Before you ditch that old computer or chair into
the nearest Clinical Center corridor remember procedure; remember
the Property Section.
The Property Section of the Materials Management Department
(MMD) is responsible for the administrative inventory and tracking
of some 9,040 pieces of CC equipment, from computers to furniture.
"It is important that people know this section exists
to serve the Clinical Center and that there are procedures in
place," said Frank LaBosco, chief of Materials Management.
"Property Section staff are ready, willing, and able to
help in matters of surplus, and serve as resources in property-related
According to the NIH-wide inventory, this section is a leader
on campus in efficiency and excellence, and has less than one-percent
inventory variability for equipment.
"The MMD Property Section has performed an outstanding
job," said LaBosco.
With this abundance of equipment and a small team of three
certified professional property specialists, Charles McClanahan,
James Gray, and Michael Rice, it is crucial that proper procedure
be followed when moving equipment (see sidebar).
In a hospital, where impediments can have devastating consequences,
it is especially important to keep hallways or elevator lobbies
clear of equipment obstacles.
"If we have a Code Blue or another type of emergency
and crews have to get to a floor, it could mean the difference
of whether a person lives or dies if there is furniture or equipment
in the way," explained Rice.
One may also wonder where old equipment goes once out of the
Through the MMD Property Section, the CC has donated between
$250,000 and $500,000 dollars worth of equipment to schools,
universities, prisons, other hospitals, museums, and Indian reservations,
according to the property team.
The Section encourages individual departments to consider
if and where they would like to donate their surplus equipment.
Though all surplus is first offered to all other institutes on
campus by means of the NIH Gaithersburg Distribution Center,
if not claimed, it will then be donated.
To claim a piece of surplus equipment at the distribution
center, a NIH employee may go to the center and select equipment
for their department.
"In short, the MMD Property Section truly adheres to
the adage of 'Doing the right thing and doing it well,'"
For further questions regarding equipment surplus, contact
your MMD Property Section representatives at 6-3151.
What to do with all that old stuff
Procedures for Surplusing Unserviceable or Unrequired Equipment
In an effort to better serve the Clinical Center, these procedures
have been developed to guide the surplusing of unserviceable
or unrequired equipment for all Clinical Center areas:
1. Once you have designated something for surplus, notify
the CC Property Custodian for your section, usually the chief
of the department.
2. The Custodian should complete form NIH-649, "Report
of Property Transfer." Equipment from laboratory or clinical
areas should be accompanied by form NIH-2683, "Certificate
that Equipment is Free from Hazard." These forms are available
at the MMD Property Section and all self-service stores.
3. Form(s) should be forwarded to the MMD Property Section.
4. The section will submit a request within 24 hours to the
Department of Logistics of NIH for surplus action. Surplus should
be picked up within a week of when the Department of Logistics
receives your request.
5. Once surplus is picked up, make sure you receive a signed
copy of all paperwork.
-by Bonnie Flock
QoWL Council responds
The CC Quality of Work Life Council recently received the
following suggestion. It was forwarded to Mr. Hank Primus, chief
of the Housekeeping and Fabric Care Department (HFCD) for a response.
Please look into the cleanliness of offices and restrooms,
particulary in the B1 level. The dust needs to be addressed,
and sometimes areas appear to have been skipped during the cleaning
The HFCD is taking steps to keep the Clinical Center cleaner.
However, we need the assistance of all of the building occupants.
The building inhabitants are quite hard on the building! A while
ago, in an effort to gain support, CC administration launched
the CC Cleanup Campaign. Unfortunately, there has been little
progress to date. One of the reasons has been a lack of commitment
on the part of building occupants to help with the cleanliness
of the building.
Presently HFCD is having some of the building cleaned by contract
employees to augment the present staff. The dirt that is generated
by construction is a hard rascal to tame. We will double our
efforts to try to keep the building clean. You can help us by
contacting the main office on
6-2417 if you believe your area has been neglected, or if
you see spills or other debris, so that we can respond.
The Council will continue to research and respond to all suggestions
received. Check CC News for more suggestions and feedback. Feel
free to drop your suggestion in the box just outside the B1 cafeteria.
During Children & Healthcare Week last month, CC pediatric
patients expressed their creativity by turning standard medical
supplies into artist's tools. The 14th floor playroom served
as their studio. Other events sponsored by the Clinical Center
pediatric staff included a St. Patrick's Day party and the ever-popular
Children's Medical Play Clinic, during which the kids switched
roles with their caregivers.
Kendrick Blanding gives the art session two paint-covered
"high-fives." We think he got some of that paint on
the paper too.
Sister and brother artists Olivia and Noah Wright get creative
with syringes, bandages, and cotton swabs.
Taylor Colvin takes the sting out of a syringe by using it
as a paintbrush. Helping her create her masterpiece is Esther
Epstein, an art therapist with the Recreation Therapy Section
of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department.
Friends of "Friends"
The Friends of the Clinical Center received a $2600 donation
from Randy and Jane Debnam (left and center). Al Rexroad (right)
accepted the donation for FOCC. The Debnams run the Performing
Arts Ensemble of Olney/Rockville, which presented "Holiday
in Oz" in Masur Auditorium last December to benefit CC patients
and their families.
A job well done
Dr. Maria Merino, of NCI's Laboratory of Pathology, was surprised
with the Clinical Center Director's Award last month before colleagues
at the Medical Executive Committee meeting. Pictured with CC
Director John I. Gallin (right) and her supervisor Dr. Lance
Liotta (left), Dr. Merino received the honor for "stellar
surgical pathology support to the Clinical Center and its clinicians."
The award cited her knowledge, collegiality, and skills as an
outstanding academic pathologist and teacher.
FEGLI open season starts April 24: More coverage available
An open enrollment period for the Federal Employees' Group
Life Insurance (FEGLI) program will be held from April 24 through
June 30. During this period, employees can elect any life insurance
they don't currently have.
What coverage has changed?
Until now, Option C coverage, which is coverage on your eligible
family members, was limited to $5000 for your spouse and $2500
for each eligible child. You can now elect up to five multiples
of those amounts, making the maximum amounts available $25,000
for your spouse, and $12,500 for each eligible child. You must
elect the same number of multiples for each family member.
When will new coverage go into effect?
Coverage elected during this open enrollment will become effective
the first pay period beginning on or after April 23, 2000. You
must be in pay and duty status during the pay period before the
coverage becomes effective. For full-time employees, the amount
of pay and duty status required is 32 hours.
When do I start paying the premiums for my new coverage?
Premiums begin when coverage goes into effect in 2000.
If I don't want to change my coverage, do I need to do
What must I do if I want to elect more coverage?
You will receive information about the FEGLI program: a revised
FEGLI Booklet (RI 76-21), and a special FEGLI 99 Open Enrollment
Period Pamphlet (FE 74A). Review the materials. If you want to
elect more coverage, you must complete a special FEGLI 99 Enrollment
Election Form (RI 76-27), which you can get from your personnel
office or from the FEGLI web site. You must fill the form out
to show ALL the coverage you want, not just the new coverage.
Will I be able to continue this new coverage if I retire?
To continue FEGLI coverage when you retire, you must retire
on an immediate annuity and have had the coverage for the 5 years
of service preceding your retirement. If you don't have the coverage
for 5 years, you can continue it if you've had it since your
first opportunity to elect it. For example, if you elect Option
B during this open enrollment period, you must have it for 5
years before you retire in order to continue it. This is because
the open enrollment period wouldn't be your first opportunity
to elect Option B; you could have elected it when you first became
eligible for it. However, since the 2&SHY;5 multiples of Option
C coverage have never been available before, this open enrollment
is your first opportunity to elect them. If you do so, and retire
any time after these additional multiples go into effect in 2000,
you will be eligible to continue the coverage when you retire,
as long as you meet the 5-year requirement for your previous
Option C coverage.
If you need further information or assistance, contact your
servicing personnel assistant on 6-6924. You can also obtain
information from the Office of Personnel Management's FEGLI web
--Office of Human Resources Management
Looking like something out of Jurassic Park, a machine known
fondly as "The Muncher" chomped away at the north portico
late last month to make way for the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical
Research Center. Exerting 200,000 pounds of pressure per square
inch, the muncher pulverizes whatever is in its path. Chipping
was done by hand in areas where the structure joined the building.
Inside the CC, the groaning sounds and vibrations of the demolition
drew the courious out of thier offices for a look. Some even
requested souvenir bricks.
Sharon Brigner, R.N., a neurology research nurse with the
Clinical Center Nursing Department, was chosen to give a speech
and then introduce President Bill Clinton at a White House forum
on priorities for the budget surplus, including Social Security
and Medicare. The February meeting included young adults from
across America, all concerned with ensuring that they and their
peers in the workforce have access to Social Security. Brigner,
26, is a past president of the National Student Nurses' Association.
Her affiliation with that group lead to her being asked - with
just 48 hours' notice - to prepare a speech. Chosen as a representative
for her generation, Brigner remarked, "I was truly honored
to be able to represent the nursing agenda and NIH as well."
Memorial services are scheduled for Dr. Tillye Cornman, on Tuesday,
April 6, at 3:30 p.m., in the 14th floor Chapel, and for Dr.
David W. Alling on Friday, April 16, at 3:30 p.m. in Lipsett
On April 8, the Nursing Department's oncology nurses and NCI
will co-sponsor Cancer Fatigue Awareness Day. Festivities will
be held in the 13 East Outpatient Cancer Center, 2 East, and
the 12th floor clinic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Participants will
learn ways to manage cancer-related fatigue, the most commonly
reported symptom by people undergoing cancer therapy. For more
information, call Antoinette Jones-Wells, RN, at 5-5612.
A workshop on "Embryology Imaging and Education" will
be held April 16 and 17 at the National Museum of Health and
Medicine, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Hosted by the Museum and the American Association of Clinical
Anatomists, the workshop will address the use of new and old
technologies to communicate the difficult concepts of developmental
biology to the student and lay person. For more information,
call Debbie Sweet at 202-782-2682.
Grief and bereavement are emotions that hospital workers must
deal with in the course of their daily work. The Hospice Foundation
of America's 6th annual National Bereavement Conference, "Living
with Grief: At Work, At School, and At Worship," will offer
humane and practical suggestions for persons assisting grievers.
The program is a live, video-teleconference sponsored by the
Geriatric Psychiatry Branch of NIMH. The moderator will be Cokie
Roberts of ABC News, and she'll be joined by a distinguished
panel of experts. It happens on Wednesday, April 14, in Wilson
Hall, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. To reserve your seat, call Larry
Bauer at 6-6565, ext. 228.
April 18-24 is National Volunteer Week. During the week, staff
are encouraged to say "thank you," or congratulate
the many volunteers who give so generously to help the CC and
its patients. A recognition ceremony is planned for April 20
at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, in Bethesda, at 11:30
a.m. The theme is "The Magic of Volunteering." For
more information, call Andrea Rander at 6-1807.
NHLBI and the Clinical Center seek healthy postmenopausal women
to take part in menopause studies. Compensation is provided.
For more information, please call the Clinical Research Volunteer
Program at 1-800-892-3276.
Editor: Sue Kendall
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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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09