Back to: Clinical Center Home Page
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 It was current when it was produced, but it is no longer maintained and may now be out of date.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/
Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical
Blizzard hits; CC keeps going
Klein to head blood association
Atkinson receives mastership
Keeping your credit clean
Medicine for the Public artwork shines again in CC gallery
chronicles experiences here
Keyworkers key to CFC success
Blizzard hits; CC keeps going
The recent snowstorms caught the Washington, D.C., area unprepared.
Although snow totals ranging from 12 to 18 inches caused the
Federal government to close down for two days last month, the
Clinical Center stayed open, continuing to provide uninterrupted
care to patients.
"My special thanks to all the staff who came in during
the inclement weather and kept the place running so smoothly.
Also thanks to Maureen Gormley, Elaine Ayres, and Pat Piringer
for their help coordinating things," said CC Director John
With the cafeterias closed, the Nutrition Department was the
main source of food for employees who desired more to eat than
a candy bar and a soda. Nutrition staff prepared 100 boxed lunches
for staff who stayed for extra shifts the night of the blizzard.
Outpatient Department staff were also on hand to coordinate
various activities, including delivering those boxed meals, coordinating
bed assignments for staff who stayed overnight, arranging transportation,
and fielding numerous phone calls from NIH employees and patients.
The surrounding community chipped in to help as well.
"Channel 9 called asking if we needed them to make any
announcements for us," said Maureen Gormley, the CC's chief
operating officer. Once the call went out, volunteers with 4-wheel-drive
vehicles ferried hospital staff from all over the area. "The
NIH police also helped out by transporting emergency staff from
the Metro station to the their work areas and driving patients
from hotels to their hospital appointments," Gormley said.
Back to Top
Dr. Harvey Klein
Klein to head blood association
Dr. Harvey Klein, chief of the Department of Transfusion Medicine,
was recently elected president-elect of the American Association
of Blood Banks (AABB). His one-year term begins in November.
Dr. Klein has been on the AABB's board of directors for the
past 6 years and chaired the association's research-funding entity,
the National Blood Foundation, when it was created a decade ago.
Established in 1947, the AABB sets standards for blood collection
and transfusion, provides education and certification for physicians
and medical personnel, and assesses institutions involved in
the collection and processing of blood products.
Its membership comprises hospital and community blood centers,
transfusion and transplantation services, and individuals involved
in activities related to transfusion and transplantation medicine.
The association also publishes "Transfusion," the premier
research journal on blood-related issues.
Dr. Klein's primary responsibilities as president will be
strategic planning and leadership on blood transfusion issues,
both national and international.
"Many national policies are developed with input from
the AABB, which has not only the data but also the expertise
among its membership and various committees," he said. "One
of my responsibilities will be to make sure the organization
is positioned to provide this critical information." Dr.
Klein will be the AABB's main spokesperson as well.
"With its organization and resources, the association
is ideally placed to provide the country with the information
required to make decisions about blood transfusion. It can provide
a forum for diverse groups-patients, donors, or collection centers-
to discuss important issues, such as emerging infectious diseases
in the blood supply," he said.
One arm of the association, the National Blood Data Research
Center, collects data involving blood donation and transfusion.
"It is the only centralized source of national statistics
on blood donation and transfusion," said Dr. Klein, who
pointed out that the Federal government has no mechanism to collect
such data. "The recent concern over blood shortages was
based on data collected by the Blood Data Research Center. The
Red Cross collects similar data from its own operations, but
it collects slightly less than half the blood in the U.S. and
it does not transfuse at all. The Center collects data for both
of these functions nationally."
Klein admits he'll be a busy man during the year of his term,
as he will continue to head DTM. "I'll probably have to
set aside other outside activities to perform this function.
It's a large responsibility, but I am willing to spend a year
as president because of the importance this organization has
in the safety and availabilty of this national resource."
--by Sue Kendall
Back to Top
Atkinson receives mastership
Dr. Arthur J. Atkinson
Dr. Arthur J. Atkinson, Jr., the Clinical Center's senior
advisor in clinical pharmacology, was recently elected a Master
of the American College of PhysiciansAmerican Society of
Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).
According to ACP-ASIM, "those awarded Mastership have
achieved recognition in medicine by exhibiting pre-eminence in
practice or medical research, holding positions of high honor,
or making significant contributions to medical science or the
art of medicine."
The formal award ceremony will be held in Philadelphia in
April, but preliminary recognition was made last month at the
local ACP-ASIM chapter meeting. The ACP and ASIM were two separate
internal medicine organizations before they merged in 1998.
Dr. Atkinson was recognized for a distinguished career devoted
to research in and teaching of clinical pharmacology, a medical
subspecialty that studies the effects of a drug on the body,
or conversely, the effect of the body on the drug, i.e., how
it is metabolized.
"This award is a particularly welcome recognition that
clinical pharmacology is important to the practice of internal
medicine," Dr. Atkinson said.
Before joining the CC in 1998, Dr. Atkinson was professor
of pharmacology and medicine at Northwestern University Medical
School for 24 years. He started Northwestern's program in clinical
pharmacology, which under his leadership evolved into a multidisciplinary
center with NIH-funded research and training programs. He also
set up and directed the therapeutic drug assay laboratory at
Northwestern Memorial Hospital. This lab was the first of its
type in the United States and was instrumental in demonstrating
the clinical utility of therapeutic drug monitoring.
At the Clinical Center, Dr. Atkinson heads the Clinical Pharmacology
Research Associate Program (ClinPRAT) (www.cc.nih.gov/OD/clinprat/)
and directs the popular Principles of Clinical Pharmacology course.
The program, a joint effort by the CC and NIGMS, seeks to develop
a cadre of scientists with the capability to conduct both basic
and applied clinical pharmacology research.
In becoming a Master, Dr. Atkinson joins a nationwide fellowship
of distinguished physicians that also includes former CC director
Dr. John Decker and NIAID's Drs. Anthony Fauci and John Bennett.
Dr. Paul Plotz, of NIAMS, also received the award this year.
--by Sue Kendall
Back to Top
Keeping your credit clean
If you're like many Americans you probably hoped that
the Y2K bug would wipe out all your negative credit entries.
So when you woke up on Jan. 1 and realized that you couldn't
have been so lucky, you hopefully opted for Plan B, working to
repair your credit.
With more than a million people filing for bankruptcy in 1997,
banks are balking more and refusing requests for loans. If you
think it's perfectly OK to pay a couple of bills or loans a little
late, or think no one will ever know, you're wrong. It's all
there on your credit report and with today's technology, that
subscription bill you ignored five years ago or those late payments
you made can all come back to haunt you. Here are some tips to
keep your credit report as clean as possible:
1. Get a copy of your report from all three major credit bureaus.
It's a good idea to order your credit report once a year to make
sure there are no errors. The major credit-reporting agencies
Equifax 1-800-685-1111 www.equifax.com
Experian 1-888-397-3742 www.experian.com
Trans Union 1-800-916-8800 www.transunion.com
2. Know how to read the report. Reports will list every credit
account you've ever had, any account that's gone to a collection
agency, bankruptcies, liens, judgments, and each payment you've
made on each account. Note that payments will also contain a
notation on their timeliness:
1 for "paid as agreed"
2 for 30+ days past due
3 for 60+ days past due; and so on, up to number 9 for "charged
off to bad debt," the worst mark you can receive.
You can dispute any of the entries on your report if you feel
they have been entered in error. The credit-reporting agency
will investigate the dispute and inform you of the findings of
their investigation. You also have the right to explain your
side of the story if the issue remains unresolved. You may write
an explanation of up to 100 words that will appear on your credit
3. Pay your bills on time. If you're falling behind, pay the
minimum amount due. This keeps your report in good shape.
4. If you know you can't pay a bill, be proactive. Call the
company and explain your situation. Make arrangements to set
up a manageable payment schedule. Many will agree to meet your
If you've already had some bumps and bruises in the credit
game, rebuilding isn't as hard as it may seem. Here are some
1. Open a checking account. Keep your checkbook balanced,
and don't overdraw your account.
2. Open a savings account. Make regular deposits and avoid
taking money out of the account. To help you re-establish your
credit, some banks will allow you to take out a small personal
loan secured by your savings account.
3. Join a credit union. These organizations often may be more
willing to take your personal and financial situation into account
when reviewing your application for a credit card or loan.
4. Get good credit references. Even if you've had negative
entries based on a credit card or installment loan, you can demonstrate
good standing by having a stable relationship with a bank or
credit union, and a record of paying your rent and utility bills
5. Apply for a gasoline or department store credit card. When
you use them, pay on time to develop a positive record with the
credit bureaus. Keep in mind, these usually have higher interest
rates so you should pay the full balance when payment is due.
6. Get a cosigner. Sometimes you can begin to re-build your
credit by having someone agree to assume responsibility for your
loan or credit card if you aren't able to make payments.
Keep in mind, if you owe money to a lot of companies, it may
be time for expert help. There are nonprofit credit-counseling
organizations such as Consumer Credit Counseling Service. These
organizations can work with you and your creditors to set up
a repayment plan. This service is provided at little or no cost.
But beware of "credit repair" companies that offer
to fix your credit history for a fee. To check out a company's
reputation call the Better Business Bureau.
This information was compiled by LaTonya Kittles, and is
provided as a service to CC employees by the CC Quality of Worklife
Back to Top
Medicine for the Public artwork shines again
in CC gallery
"Anatomy of Memory" lecture, 1989
"Genetics of Cancer" lecture, 1988
"Obesity" lecture, 1977
"Research With People: Problems and Ethics" lecture,
"Phobias" lecture, 1985
"The Brain" lecture, 1977
Like beautifully colored gems extracted from a dark
cave, original illustrations created for the Clinical Center's
popular Medicine for the Public (MFP) lecture series have been
pulled from storage, framed, and put on display in Gallery I.
"I was astonished at this wonderful collection of art
that has been here all this time," said Lillian Fitzgerald,
of Fitzgerald Fine Arts, curator for the CC's art galleries.
The Medicine for the Public lecture series was created by
the CC in 1977, and has been presented every fall since. Lectures
on disease topics are presented by NIH scientists and are illustrated
by original art that helps translate medical terminology into
In the spirit of the new millennium, Fitzgerald wanted to
pull together a collection of art that reflected NIH's history.
During discussions with Colleen Henrichsen, chief of CC Communications,
which runs the lecture series, and Linda Brown, of the Medical
Arts and Photography Branch (MAPB), Fitzgerald said the idea
of displaying the MFP art quickly took shape because the pieces
fulfilled several goals at once.
"The illustrations are appealing from an artistic perspective,
and they reflect artistic styles over the past 20 years, but
they also depict a history of NIH's work," she said. Lecture
topics are selected each year on the basis of current research,
new findings, and public interest.
With over 180 lectures in 23 years, there are an estimated
9000 visuals in storage. "We couldn't sort through all of
them, so I selected some that particularly appealed to me,"
said Fitzgerald. Brown pointed out that "we could change
the exhibit every month for 10 years and not run out of illustrations."
Originally titled "Medicine for the Layman," the
series was developed as a means of reaching out to the general
public with information on clinical research, and to make people
aware of what NIH does and how it contributes to the public health
of the nation.
"The challenge was to create a means of conveying complex
medical and scientific information to nonscientists. This was
achieved by creating understandable, recognizable, and sometimes
humorous visual images to accompany the lecture," said Henrichsen.
As with any work of art, sometimes the images connected with
the viewer, and sometimes not. But always the artistic quality
"When we selected artists for Medicine for the Public,
we always looked at the quality of the art first," said
Ron Winterrowd, retired chief of MAPB. "Then we looked at
which artists had the ability to work effectively with the doctors.
And then, of course, they had to be able to meet the due date."
After the lectures were over, many of the illustrations reappeared
in a series of booklets developed from the talks. Although budget
constraints have stopped development of illustrations for current
MFP lectures, a new use for the art from past lectures is on
"Lillian presented the idea of decorating selected areas
of the new hospital with some of these illustrations," said
CC Director Dr. John Gallin. "We thought it would be an
excellent new use for these interesting and beautiful images.
Also, since the art is already owned by the Clinical Center,
there's a cost savings from not having to purchase new pieces."
The MFP art will be on display through March 1 in Gallery
I, which is along the diagonal hallway that leads from the North
Lobby to the Center Lobby elevators.
The Clinical Center maintains three other galleries and three
sculpture cases. Shows are changed six times a year.
"There is often an NIH or CC connection in the shows,"
Fitzgerald said. "In addition to the MFP art, the current
show has works by the wife of an NIH doctor and a CC nurse who
was so inspired by the galleries that she returned to school
to study art." (See below.) An exhibit last year showcased
art by the mother of an NICHD doctor.
In addition to providing inspiration and enjoyment, the galleries
benefit CC patients and their families. According to Crystal
Parmele, art director for the CC galleries, "We ask that
the artists make their works available for sale, with 20 percent
of the price donated to the Patient Emergency Fund. Only in special
instances are pieces not for sale."
The MFP illustrations, however, represent one of those special
instances. They will remain in the CC's permanent collection.
For further information on the galleries, contact Crystal
Parmele at 2-0115.
--by Sue Kendall
A Few Words
I have spent the last 21 years working as
a nurse, and 14 of those years were here at the National Institutes
of Health. During my time at NIH, I have had the opportunity
to view many wonderful works of art displayed in the galleries
which line these hallways. I would always make an effort to enter
and leave the building via the hallways with these exhibits,
because it would help me begin and end my workday with such beautiful,
sometimes thought-provoking images. It so inspired me, that I
decided to go back to school to study art.
I have now been studying in the evenings after
work for two years, at Montgomery College in Rockville. I have
concentrated mostly on watercolor, working under the wonderful
guidance of Professor Andrea Burchette. It has been an adventure
I never dreamed could happen, and it is a joy to have my work
hanging in the very art-filled halls that inspired me to pick
up a paintbrush. I hope that you will find something in these
halls that touches your soul also.
--by Leslie Stephens
Leslie Stephens's work is on display in
Gallery III, near the Admissions Desk.
Back to Top
CC patient chronicles experiences here
Gianna Pedace Allentuck
Knowing that you are not alone, that someone else has
traveled the road you are on and lived to tell of the journey,
can often be a great help to people coping with an illness.
Former Clinical Center patient Gianna Pedace Allentuck understands
this. In 1996, at the age of 25, she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma, and underwent chemotherapy at the Clinical Center as
a participant in an NCI clinical trial.
"While I survived the rigors of chemotherapy and continue
to remain in remission, I firmly believe I would not have fared
so well without the constant love and support provided by my
family and friends," she said. "Unfortunately, however,
there are those who do not have a support system equal to my
own; and who do not survive their own battles with chemotherapy
so well, sometimes succumbing to the cancer."
As a tribute to family, friends, and fellow patients, and
in an effort to reach out to other families coping with serious
illness, Allentuck has written a book of essays, "Welcome
to My Heart," detailing various experiences during diagnosis
and treatment of her disease.
In addition to providing emotional support for patients and
their families, Allentuck wants the book to benefit others in
a very concrete way. She plans to donate all proceeds from the
sale of her book to The Children's Inn at NIH. "Our goal
is to sell 3000 books and raise a significant amount for the
Inn," she said. "I believe strongly in the loving,
supportive atmosphere fostered by the Inn, and I hope this book
will be of help to children and their families during such a
The following excerpt is from her essay entitled "The
I had expected the NIH Clinical Center to
be a sterile, serious place with doctors and nurses stiffly walking
from room to room and patient to patient. Instead, I had been
greeted with smiles and laughter. While the goals of the clinic
remain serious, the staff are also serious about making the patients
feel at ease, feel better, which is a huge step in the scary
road to treatment and hopefully recovery....
NIH is one big major league with all the different
departments acting as teams. I would become a player for the
clinical team (the Yankees, let's say); and when we all worked/played
together, my treatment game plan played out like the 1998 World
I had been scheduled for several tests that
day, and each department we visited, from Phlebotomy to Radiology
to the 10th floor nurses station to the 12th floor Clinic, pulled
together as a team to make my appointments as comfortable as
possible. The nurses who draw blood in Phlebotomy, conscious
of my nervousness about giving blood, distracted me by playfully
teasing each other about who was the best "draw" nurse....
One nurse in particular, named "the cat man" because
he has so many cats, drew a picture of a kitty cat on my arm
bandage after I told him about my two kittens, Bob and Chunky.
While the bandage only stayed with me for about 15 minutes, the
cat man's sensitivity and sense of humor have stayed with me
The staff of the Radiology Department were
also sensitive to my nerves and my needs. When I went for my
X-rays, CT scans, and "glow-in-the-dark" test, the
nurses and technicians always offered me a heated blanket. Usually
I was shaking from both anxiety and cold, and the cozy blanket
always warmed my limbs and settled my nerves.... After Lee and
I finished making the scheduled rounds, we returned to the 10th
floor nurses station....
After thanking the doctors and Deb for their
time, I asked for a moment alone with Lee so that we could discuss
my entering the clinical trial versus undergoing standard treatments
with Georgetown or a private clinic. Once the doctors had left
the room, Lee and I reviewed the paperwork and the information
that the doctors had given us and decided to sign up for the
program. We felt that after dealing with the wonderful staff
of NIH all day and finally ending up with obviously caring and
intelligent doctors, in addition to the convenience of NIH, it
would be best to join the protocol.
I had been a "free-agent" weighing
my treatment options, and I decided to sign with this team of
superstars. A decision that has clearly paid off as we continue
to hit home runs together each time I leave the clinic with another
quarterly clean bill of health. For me, NIH has never been about
individual status or priorities, but about teamwork. About working
together to reach the ultimate goal - patient recovery - the
victory in life's world series.
"Welcome to My Heart" will be available starting
Feb. 14 at NIH R&W gift shops and at www.sharinghearts.org.
All proceeds will benefit The Children's Inn at NIH (www.childrensinn.org).
Backk to Top
Keyworkers key to CFC success
Keyworkers were key to the success of the Clinical Center's
effort in the 1999 Combined Federal Campaign. CC contributions
totalled over $102,000, according to Dr. George Patrick, chief
of the Recreation Therapy Section of the Rehabilitation Medicine
Department and CC campaign coordinator. "The best news,
however, is that we also increased our participation to almost
49 percent of employees. This is up from 40 percent last year.
We are very happy to have new people signing up and, we hope,
establishing the habit of giving." Dr. Patrick emphasized
the role of more than 80 CC keyworkers in the success of the
campaign. At left, Mary Palsgrove, keyworker for Materials Management,
displays a silk scarf she hand-painted and used as a prize in
a drawing of people who donated. Dr. Patrick also credits Nicole
Butler, OD, and Sharon McDowney, Nursing, for handling all the
paperwork and keeping up-to-date spreadsheets on the status of
Back to Top
Cafeteria still shut
The reopening of the Bldg. 10 B1-level cafeteria has been
postponed to address unforseen plumbing issues. The cafeteria
will continue to offer a limited variety of grab-n-go food items.
It will reopen as soon as possible.
Healthy postmenopausal women are needed for a study of normal
blood. To be eligible, you must have had no abnormal bleeding
or clotting in the past. Study participants must be willing to
stay off any hormone treatment for 9 months. Participants will
be required to give a small sample of blood (about 2 tablespoons)
in an initial screening. The study takes place at the Clinical
Center and involves no hormones or medications. NIH will pay
participants $50 for each blood draw. For more information call
Watch your mail this month for your 4th annual Personal Statement
of Benefits, provided by the Clinical Center Office of Human
Resources Management. If you have questions or comments, call
Sharon Reed on 6-6924.
The Education and Training Section presents "Competency
101," Feb. 15, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Feb. 17,
from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in Bldg. 10. (Call for rooms.)
This class will assist managers and supervisors in understanding
the CC's policy for assuring the ongoing competency of all hospital
personnel, contractors, volunteers, and students. Call 6-1618
for details or to register.
If you have any questions about these policies, discuss them
with your supervisor.
Back to Top
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.
top | cc
home page | nih home
The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.
This page last reviewed on 09/9/09