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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/
'Angel in disguise' gives coworker a new chance at life
Bennie Wilson jokes with his wife Karen, a kidney transplant recipient,
on patient care unit 11East.
Acts of kindness, big and
small, occur in unexpected places. Such was the experience for Karen Wilson
of San Antonio. She and David Carter had been working in the same office for
five years at their jobs as computer specialists when Karen began feeling ill.
Carter had noticed Wilson
wasn't her usual zestful self. Their relationship was like that of many coworkers,
chatting about family and business matters or having lunch together, going home
their separate ways at day's end. But Carter became concerned about Wilson and
sent an email to her husband Bennie who confirmed his wife was having health
problems - he told Carter she was experiencing kidney failure and needed a transplant.
Not long after he sent the
email Carter handed his coworker a note asking her to wait until she got home
to open it. In that note, the essence of his message was a living donor's plea,
"please let me do this for you." Wilson couldn't believe what Carter
was offering. He was offering to give her one of his kidneys. "David is
a warm and sensitive person. Neither of us is shy but we are private people
so I was surprised," she said.
Annually, living donors account
for about one-third of the kidney transplants performed in the United States.
Blood relatives, who offer the best chance of compatible tissues and blood types,
are responsible for most of those donations. The United Network for Organ Sharing
reports that unrelated donors were responsible for about 950 of the 4,000 living
donor kidney transplants that occurred during January-September 2001.
Several of her family members
had already offered to be kidney donors but were not suitable matches. Carter
was evaluated for his compatibility and discovered he was a match.
That was more than a year
ago. By early 2002 both Wilson and Carter were on patient care unit 11East with
the actual transplant set for January 8. The procedure went well. Wilson, who
is the third of four siblings, now refers to Carter as "her youngest brother."
Doctors think a rare virus
may have caused her kidney failure. Wilson is participating in an NIDDK clinical
trial that is testing a new treatment protocol designed to reduce the need for
anti-rejection drugs among transplant recipients. She and her husband think
coming to the NIH Clinical Center was a good idea. "This was absolutely
the right thing to do. We feel like Karen is doing her part for future medical
scientific protocols. She and David are part of a building process. He gave
his kidney to her and she is giving of herself by participating in the medical
research process to in turn help the next person. Our only wish is that this
chance were more universally available and economically accessible," said
After a brief recuperation
Carter is back on the job at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio. Wilson
hopes to return to work there by late February. In the meantime she feels better
about her present quality of life compared to before the transplant when she
had to undergo dialysis four hours a day, three times a week and had difficulty
She will also have the time
to reflect on the generosity of her coworker. Perhaps Wilson's mother, Eula
Paul, summarized it best. "It's amazing when you think of who you haven't
known and then realize that someone reached out like that - an angel in disguise."
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NIH serves as accreditation practice site
NIH went under the microscope for ten days in December and January, when a
team from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection
Programs (AAHRPP), evaluated clinical research programs as part of a pilot to
develop an accreditation process for human subjects research.
AAHRPP is a nonprofit organization that offers accreditation to institutions
engaged in research involving human participants. It was incorporated in April
2001 to ensure that scientific research can continue to grow and flourish under
conditions in which the best interests of research participants will be protected.
"The visit afforded NIH the opportunity to receive a candid, confidential
assessment of the effectiveness of our human subjects research program, and
it enabled AAHRPP to begin to test out its accreditation and site-visit process,"
said Dr. Michael Gottesman, deputy director for Intramural Research.
The accreditation process involves two steps: rigorous self-assessment, followed
by a site visit from AAHRPP accreditors. The voluntary, peer-driven, and educationally
focused accreditation process aims to foster a culture of conscience and responsibility
within institutions seeking its services.
The team sat in on 13 NIH Institutional Review Board sessions and interviewed
senior officials, clinical directors, including CC Director Dr. John Gallin,
investigators, and research staffs of each Institute. The team also met with
CC employees from the Pharmacy Department, Patient Representative Office, and
Protocol Coordination Service Center.
Mark Brenner, vice president for research, Indiana University, Bloomington,
and vice chancellor for research and graduate studies, Indiana University-Purdue
University, chaired the evaluation team. Five other experts in human subjects
protection, a clinical investigator and institutional officials who deal with
clinical research, completed the team.
Highlights of individual practices within the Clinical Center, such as the
standards for clinical research were recognized as being an enhancement to human
"The AAHRPP team concluded that NIH has a vigorous and innovative clinical
research program with a strong culture of support for human subject research
protections to which the NIH leadership and investigators are committed,"
said Dr. Gottesman.
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Coller is newest member of Board of Governors
Dr. Barry S. Coller is the newest member of the Clinical Center
Board of Governors. He has the distinction of being the first endowed David
Rockefeller professor at Rockefeller University in New York City, a position
he was appointed to in December 2000. As physician-in-chief, his laboratory
is devoted primarily to investigating platelet physiology, vascular biology
and adhesion phenomena in sickle cell disease.
A magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College, Dr. Coller
attended New York University School of Medicine, trained in internal medicine
at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and received additional training in hematology
at the NIH.
He was appointed as the Murray M. Rosenberg Professor and Chairman
of the Samuel Bronfman Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
in 1993. Previously, he served for 17 years as a faculty member of the State
University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island, N.Y., where he achieved
the highest academic rank of Distinguished Service Professor. At that time he
was also clinical chief of the Hematology Laboratory at Stony Brook University
Hospital and head of the Division of Hematology in the Department of Medicine.
The CC Board of Governors was established in 1996 by former Department
of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to oversee the management
of the hospital at the NIH. The governing body is comprised of physicians, scientists
and healthcare managers from some of the nationÕs top academic medical centers
and from across the NIH.
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Cultural brokers bridge diverse patient worlds
The Clinical Center has responded to its international patient population
by hiring two multilingual interpreters, a first in Clinical Center history.
"We're like cultural brokers," said Jose Rosado-Santiago, one of
the newly hired interpreters. "The patient comes here and is unfamiliar
with how NIH and the Clinical Center work and the staff is unfamiliar with how
things work for the patient. It's not that the patient doesn't speak English,
but it's that the staff doesn't understand the language and the culture. It
works both ways."
Rosado-Santiago came to the CC as an intern through the Hispanic Association
of Colleges and Universities. Being fluent in English, Spanish, French, Italian
and Creole, Rosado-Santiago volunteered his services as an interpreter at the
CC before applying for the new position.
"It's more rewarding to be a part of the process and watch these patients
come to the CC not knowing where to go or what to do, and in a matter of weeks,
they can find their way around and go to the market by themselves," he
said. "It's just good to know that you were a part of that process of a
patient becoming independent."
When Mara Rudulovic's husband told her about interpreters being needed in
the CC, she came to volunteer and was put to work immediately. That was in July
2001. Five months later she was hired permanently.
"NIH is a model and strives to be the best at what it does," said
Rudulovic, who is fluent in Spanish, English, French, and German. "We are
striving to be the best model for international patients."
The move to hire two full-time interpreters stems from a federal executive
order passed in August 2000, requiring all federal facilities receiving medical
funding to provide adequate service to those with limited English proficiency.
Those agencies not providing adequate service are in violation of Title VI of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that promises equal access to all federally assisted
programs and activities. According to the Office for Civil Rights, English is
spoken by 95 percent of the people in the United States. However, the remaining
five percent represent millions of people who cannot speak, read, write or understand
"Patients are being brought in from different countries and we are required
to provide good, quality patient care, and that includes interpreters,"
said Andrea Rander, director of Volunteer Services.
Within the past three years, the demand for interpreters has grown six times,
exceeding the capacity of the original program. The interpreter program began
as a volunteer-only program. In 1990, only two volunteer interpreters who spoke
Spanish were needed. Today, the numbers have grown to more than 100 volunteers
and 42 languages.
Yet oftentimes volunteers are not always available. When interpreters are not
provided, then service to patients may be delayed or sometimes denied until
an interpreter can be found.
According to Adrienne Farrar, chief, Social Work Department, that is not how
the CC should present itself to its international patients. In fact, Farrar
sees these new hires as just the beginning of a much larger program. "We
are continuously building the program," she said. "We are establishing
policies and procedures and we are piloting several new systems."
One new system is the CyraPhone, which is currently in use. The phone is a
dual-handset telephone that allows a patient and a physician to be on the line
at the same time while speaking to an interpreter. The interpreter on the other
line is part of the Language Line, a service providing interpreters on-demand.
The service has translators in 142 languages.
Farrar also hopes to incorporate employee training and education into the program.
Many employees don't speak a second language and are also unaware of cultural
differences, which can hinder a relationship with a patient. "We'd like
to see more bilingual employees on staff," said Farrar. "If a nurse
is hired and speaks two or three languages, that nurse should be compensated
for providing a service."
Overall, Farrar said she would like to see the Clinical Center provide more
than just an interpreter to it's international patients. "I see this developing
into an international patient center that can follow patients from recruitment
through discharge," said Farrar. "We want the CC to be seen as an
international resource and we want to have services that support those resources
in order to make our international patients feel comfortable and adjust to life
not only in the Clinical Center, but also in this country."
-by Tanya Brown
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Blood donor couple hits 100 mark
In 1996, Elizabeth Diffley walked into the NIH Blood Bank and gave blood
for the 100th time, entitling her to have her photograph placed on the blood
bank's Wall of Fame. She was the first woman to receive that recognition.
Now, she and her husband John, both of Bethesda, Md., have the distinction
of being the first couple to give blood at the Blood Bank 100 times.
"We are the only couple to have a place on that wall," she said
. Elizabeth and John, both 80, have been blood donors for more than 25 years.
She began in 1974 and, despite having donated to the Red Cross, Elizabeth
developed a fondness for the NIH Blood Bank.
"We have a daughter who was seriously ill when she was younger and
she received marvelous care here," she said. "Everyone was so
nice and professional. We've never had a negative experience giving blood
at the NIH." She especially praises Glorice Mason, R.N., a Department
of Transfusion Medicine staffer who has known the couple for years.
"They're very dependable," Mason said. "They're a sweet
couple who have come here religiously every eight weeks for well over 15
years." Mason, who has been at the Blood Bank since 1970, has personally
tended to Elizabeth through those years and has formed a strong bond. "She
only comes on days when I'm here," she laughed, "but anyone can
do John's blood draws. He's not particular and has big veins."
Besides donating blood, John volunteers for apheresis, a procedure in which
blood is drawn from a donor and separated into its components, some of which
are retained, such as plasma or platelets, and the remainder returned by
transfusion to the donor.
John and Elizabeth were married in Washington, D.C., in 1949. Elizabeth
pointed out John is "strongly motivated" to do things for others,
especially when children are involved. "He's pretty good about that,"
"We're both impressed by the ChildrenÕs Inn at NIH and the services
it provides for the families of cancer patients." She added that when
she sees that level of service provided to those in need, it makes her want
to do her part.
-by John Iler
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Murray to lead microbiology labs
Patrick R. Murray, Ph.D., was recently named as chief of the Clinical Microbiology
Laboratories. Murray earned his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from
UCLA and continued his postgraduate education training as a fellow in Clinical
Microbiology at the Mayo Clinic.
After completing his fellowship, Murray became assistant professor and
later was named as a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pathology
at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. Because of the relatively large
volume of clinical specimens produced from Murray's lab, he was instrumental
in fostering a relationship with diagnostic companies involved in the development
of new test procedures.
Prior to coming to the CC, Murray served as a professor in the Department
of Pathology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he currently
is adjunct professor in the Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics.
"I plan to build on the foundation of excellence that the clinical
microbiology laboratory has enjoyed through the years," said Murray.
He will focus on two primary areas that include expanding the molecular
diagnostic techniques into the areas of epidemiology and routine detection
and identification of micro-organisms, and expanding the postdoctoral training
programs because "these Fellows represent the future of microbiology,"
Murray is editor-in-chief of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology, which
is the most commonly used reference text in the U.S. He is also the author
of Medical Microbiology, a clinical textbook used in medical schools around
Additionally, Murray sits on the editorial boards of the Diagnostic Microbiology
and Infectious Disease and the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology
and Infectious Disease. Murray has a wife, Judith, one daughter, Julie and
two sons, Tim and David.
Back to Top
CC employee saves a child's life
First emergency dispatch call: "child unconscious."
Second emergency dispatch call: "child has stopped breathing."
Deputy Fire Chiefs Michael Kelley, Sandy Spring, and
Jim Wilson, Kensington, at Kensington Fire and Rescue Station Number Five.
Clinical Center Facilities Management Chief Jim Wilson heard those
words over the Montgomery County fire radio communication system while driving
to a meeting after work in December. "When the second vocal call came out
for all units-advanced medical support with paramedics, ambulance, and fire
engine-to respond I was about a block and a half from the incident," he
said. Wilson turned on his vehicle's siren and emergency lights, went straight
to the house, and was on the scene at about the same time as another fire department's
deputy chief, Michael Kelley.
Kelley grabbed a resuscitator, Wilson the first aid bag and radio
and they ran inside the small house. About 10 people were nervously huddled
around a young boy approximately three years of age. The boy was lying down,
face to floor, no pulse, no breathing. Located closest to the child was his
grandfather. Wilson asked the man if the child had been sick. Yes. Wilson asked
if the child had had the flu with a fever and vomiting. Yes. Wilson immediately
concluded the child had suffocated.
He and Kelley turned the boy over, swiped his mouth and put his
tongue in position to perform CPR. After three breaths and chest compression
the boy coughed and his eyes blinked. The grandfather let out an audible sigh
of relief. Wilson then got on the emergency radio to inform dispatch that the
child was breathing and turned the scene over to the emergency medical technicians
who had by then arrived.
Wilson turned to his co-rescuer and said, "Well Mike that's
one save for us." The family thanked Wilson and Kelley. "They felt
the fire department saved the boy's life. One person told me, "as soon
as we called, you were there. It doesn't always happen like that," added
The creed that command-level fire and rescue officers such as
Wilson and Kelley follow - if you are closer to an emergency than the first
available responding units, you go! - is one that Wilson intimately knows. He
has 40 years of fire and rescue training and work experience. During the majority
of that time he served as deputy chief of the Kensington Volunteer Fire and
Rescue Department along with four years as department chief. With 200 volunteer
and 100 career status employees, 40 pieces of apparatus, four stations, and
a coverage area of 35 square miles, Kensington Fire and Rescue is the largest
in Montgomery County and the State of Maryland.
Wilson is matter of fact when he talks about his strong ties
to fire and rescue work. "You do what's necessary. There's a call, not
always of this magnitude, about once a week. It could be an auto accident, a
building fire or an injured person. If I'm close, I go," he said. Noting
the motivation for doing this work he added, "It's a good feeling that
you get when you return something to people - their life, their dog, bring a
child their burnt up doll. It's the closest type of human relations."
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Senior administrative officers named
A new senior administrative officer will work with the clinical departments
that report to CC Deputy Director David Henderson. Colleen McGowan joined
the CC staff after completing her final assignment in the Air Force as Director,
Regional Joint Venture and Director of Managed Care at the David Grant Medical
Center in Fairfield, Calif. McGowan attained the rank of Major while serving
in the Air Force from 1991 to 2001. She earned her B.S. degree in Business
Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where she
received the Chancellor's Award for Leadership. McGowan is a diplomat of the
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and received the ACHE Early
Career Regent's Award in 1999 and 2000.
Robert Mekelburg will serve as senior administrative officer with the Operations
Department. Mekelburg worked at the University of Maryland Medical System
in Baltimore as the Vice President of business development before coming to
the Clinical Center. He earned his M.B.A. in health administration from Temple
University, managed clinical services at Southern Maryland Hospital Center,
Clinton, Md., and served as administrator of Anesthesiology Associates within
the University of Maryland Medical System. Mekelburg's accomplishments include
the establishment of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Baltimore, implementing
new cardiac catheterization labs and revamping a community psychiatry program.
Back to Top
Managers attend customer service meeting, hear employee
"We are committed to ensuring that customer service is a priority and
is at the core of all we do," Clinical Center Director Dr. John Gallin
said in opening remarks to senior managers who gathered January 15 for the
leadership installment of the Center's customer service initiative. In the
half-day session, "Contact: You Make the Difference - Management's Role,"
department heads and office chiefs heard presentations on a customer service
model for managers, collaborative communication, bridging the gaps in customer
service, and leading teams.
Senior managers listen as Dr. King Li (second from left)
emphasizes the important role all employees play in customer service.
An intense dialogue ensued throughout the session as members of senior management
discussed various topics such as patient expectations. As a unique hospital-based
setting involved in biomedical research the Clinical Center faces many challenges
in satisfying its diverse patient populations. Referencing plans to conduct
a patient survey, managers agreed that it would be a good idea to hold focus
groups that will further clarify patient responses in the survey.
Attendees talked about leadership and its relationship to customer service
- that leadership's role in customer service is to inspire with competence,
courtesy, and compassion and that a leader is someone who sets a positive
example with these traits, not just the individual holding a management position.
Dr. King Li, associate director, Radiology and Imaging Sciences, gave an example
of how one receptionist in his office purchases candy to make it easier for
patients to drink contrast agents for imaging tests. "These are the kinds
of actions that point out how important we are to each other," he said.
Managers learned that if employees feel valued by their supervisors and are
treated thoughtfully, they would pass this type of relationship on to their
customers. Meeting facilitators emphasized that 80 percent of problems arise
from systems and processes while 20 percent of problems stem from people.
The full second half of the agenda was spent on employee perceptions of barriers
to excellent customer service in the Clinical Center. Feedback collected from
1,258 individuals, clinical and non-clinical front-line employees, and supervisors,
during 68 customer service-training sessions was shared with management. Meeting
facilitators noted that the employee comments were "delivered in heartfelt
conversations during customer training."
The purpose of the feedback is to understand what employees see as hurdles
to delivering the very best customer service and to enable Clinical Center
leadership to respond to employees' input. Feedback in the form of the highest
to lowest perceived barriers, was categorized as follows:
1) Interpersonal/Teamwork: focuses on people with both intradepartmental and
interdepartmental issues represented;
2) Intradepartmental Standard Operating Procedures: identifies the impact
of individual department processes on patients and internal customers;
3) Systems/Policy: focuses on requirements and structures that are organizational
in nature; and
4) Material Resources: relates to how resources are managed and provided.
Senior managers were clearly impressed by the fundamental barrier statements
provided by rank and file employees. They will use the employee data as the
basis for the first step in identifying areas that require attention from
either a management or process redesign standpoint.
At the leadership customer service training session management acknowledged
and clarified the employee perceptions of barriers to delivering customer
service. Clinical Center Director Dr. Gallin has charged each department with
formulating a customer service plan this year. Next steps in the customer
service initiative focus on processes that need redesigning to improve outcome
measures. At their retreat in early March managers should be prepared to present
department-level customer service plans. Managers must also make customer
service a part of each employee performance plan.
"Customer service is an endeavor that leadership takes very seriously,"
said Dr. Gallin. "Our efforts in managing an organization as complex
as the Clinical Center are thoroughly enhanced by this initiative."
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Needham new deputy of communications
Dianne L. Needham is the new deputy director in the Office of Communications.
She comes to the NIH Clinical Center from the National Cancer Institute, where
she served as a program official in health communication and informatics research.
Needham holds a Master's degree in Political Economy with a health sector
research emphasis from the University of Texas at Dallas' School of Social
Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Life Sciences from Ohio
The NIH recruited her from the prestigious Presidential Management Intern
program. Prior to joining the NIH, Needham was a professional journalist,
working in radio news as a reporter and producer. The recipient of numerous
writing awards, she has extensive experience as a communications practitioner
in both the health and medical fields and the financial and computer services
Back to Top
African American history
The NIH Annual African American History Month Observance will be held on Monday
February 25, at 1:30 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. Roger Wilkins,
LL.B., writer, historian and civil rights activist, will be the keynote speaker.
For more information contact Kay Johnson Graham at 301-402-6419.
Applications for training in clinical research from the University of Pittsburgh
will be available beginning November 1 in Building 10, Room B1L403. The program
requires that students spend 8 weeks in residence at the University of Pittsburgh,
beginning in July 2002. The 8-week summer program is then supplemented by
additional courses offered at the Clinical Center via videoconferencing. Tuition
for the 2002-2003 academic year is $480 per credit, with partial tuition waivers
for some courses. The room charge for the 8-week summer session is $800. Prospective
participants should consult with their institute or center regarding the official
training nomination procedure. For more information please send an e-mail
to email@example.com or call (412)
692-2686. Deadline for applying is March 1, 2002.
The deadline for applying to the 2002-2003 NIH-Duke Training Program in Clinical
Research is March 15, 2002. Designed primarily for clinical fellows training
for careers in clinical research, the program offers formal courses in research
design, statistical and decision analysis, research ethics and research management.
Courses for this program are offered at the CC via videoconferencing from
Duke or onsite by adjunct faculty. Academic credit earned by participating
in this program may be applied toward satisfying the degree requirement for
a MasterÕs of Health Sciences in Clinical Research from Duke University School
Commute to NIH
Beat the Beltway Blues is a bus service that runs from Glenarden, Landover,
Riverdale, College Park, and Greenbelt to the NIH Metro Station. The coach buses
run every 30 minutes and cost $1 each way. NIH employees can use their Transhare
Metropasses to ride. For more information visit the website at http://www.mtamaryland.com/schedules/beltwayblues/beltwayblues.cfm.
Nursing database available
The NIH Library now offers convenient access to the Cumulative Index to Nursing
and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), through any campus computer desktop.
CINAHL provides authoritative coverage of all aspects of nursing and allied
health disciplines, and indices more than 1,000 publications.
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Editor: Dianne Needham
Writer: John Iler
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.
more information about the Clinical Center,
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Clinical
Center Communications, 301-496-2563.
Grant Magnuson Clinical Center
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7511
The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.