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On the Frontline of Medical Discovery

Clinical Center News

Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical Center Communications

past issues

July 2003


Family Lodge director appointed

Sneak peek at new CRC furniture

Nutrition chief retires after 33 years

New drug prevents fungal infections

Rain couldn't stop Team NIH

Cris implimentation begins in Nutrition Department

Clinical Center online

July calendar


 

 

 

 

 


A program for patients and staff celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Clinical Center will be held on July 9 at 1 p.m. in Masur Auditorium.

The ceremony will include remarks by NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni; Dr. Steven Katz, director, NIAMS; Jerry Sachs, member of the Clinical Center's Patient Advisory Group; Howard Drew, long-time Clinical Center blood donor; and Julie Kohn, Clinical Center nurse. Dr. Harvey Alter, chief, Infectious Diseases Section, and associate director of research in DTM, will provide reflections on his years at the Clinical Center, and Clinical Center Director Dr. John Gallin will discuss research advances of the past 50 years. The program will end with a 50th anniversary video presentation.

A tent reception on the South grounds of the Clinical Center will be held immediately following the program. All guests, patients and staff are invited.

Poster presentations depicting the history of the individual Clinical Center departments will be displayed on the first floor of the Clinical Center. The July 9 program is one of several 50th anniversary events planned for the coming year. A scientific symposium will be held on Oct. 14, and a special Grand Rounds series will begin in September. The events will culminate with the opening of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center next summer. For more information visit http://www.cc.nih.gov/about/news/anniver50.shtml.

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Family Lodge director appointed

Five years ago, The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge was merely an idea. Today the idea is a reality and one person who played a key role in developing the project has been appointed as executive director.

Jan Weymouth, former Space and program management officer, was appointed by Clinical Center Director Dr.


Jan Weymouth

John Gallin, to the position last month. Weymouth said she is expecting the Family Lodge to be a major contributor in the lives of families who are supporting loved ones being treated at the Clinical Center.

"My goal and vision for the Family Lodge is to provide a comfortable, nurturing environment for the caregivers and families of the patients who partner with NIH in clinical research," said Weymouth. "When families enter the Lodge, either from a long day of being in the Clinical Research Center or from the long trip just to reach NIH, we want them to immediately feel a sense of comfort and reassurance."

The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge is designed to provide "a home away from home" on the NIH campus for caregivers of Clinical Center patients. Residents will find amenities that reflect the comforts of home as well as the support and companionship of others facing similar challenges.

The 34-room lodge, currently under construction near the corner of Center and Convent Drives, grew out of the NIH Guest House Program that was piloted by the Clinical Center in 1996. The Guest House was temporarily quartered in the old Apartment House (Building 20), and provided short-term lodging for patients' families. With the demolition of Building 20 in 1998 to make way for the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Weymouth assumed oversight of the program and arranged for the 6-unit Guest House to be moved to a nearby apartment building on Battery Lane in Bethesda, and continues today in a combination of local hotel rooms and two apartments.


Artists' rendering of the Family Lodge

However, plans moved ahead to find a permanent, home-like facility for families while their loved ones received care. Weymouth spearheaded the project and worked with the programming and design of the Family Lodge while the NIH Foundation raised funds to build a permanent facility. Organizations such as Merck Company Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, along with many others, gave generous contributions in support of the Family Lodge. However, a $3 million donation from The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation was the catalyst to begin construction. An additional $1 million has been pledged from The Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation for the exterior garden. The Foundation for NIH hosted a ceremony marking the naming of The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge on April 17, 2002 at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Oct. 29, 2002, which signaled the start of construction that began in February 2003.

The Family Lodge is expected to be completed in summer 2004, to coincide with the scheduled opening of the new Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center, a state-of-the-art clinical research hospital currently under construction and only a short distance from the Family Lodge.

"The Clinical Research Center will be a state-of-the-art facility," said Weymouth, "but the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge will be state-of-the-heart."

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New CRC furniture will be safe and easily maintained

Everyone needs it. Everyone will use it. But few will realize how daunting it was to choose more than 5,000 pieces of furniture required for the patient care, public and office areas of the Clinical Research Center.

For that demanding task, the Furniture Work Group was established as a subcommittee of the Hospital Activation Management Team. Co-chaired by Lawrence Eldridge, assistant to the Chief Operating Officer of the Clinical Center, and Ann Ellis, administrative officer, Office of Facilities Management, the work group was charged with recommending the furniture that would go into the CRC's public and patient areas and offices. Its members reflect the complexity of this issue and included staff from the Housekeeping and Fabric Care Department, the Patient Representative, Nursing and Patient Care Services, the Safety Officer, Space Management Officer, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, a representative from the Division of Engineering Services and a representative from Gilbane, the activation consultant for the Clinical Research Center.

The group's mission was to create criteria for choosing furniture that would not only look good and last long, but also be "state-of-the art." Furniture had to be safe, cleanable, easily maintained, and readily useable by patients and their guests.

"We wanted to use fabrics and types of construction specifically designed to perform well in a health care setting that would make the furniture more durable and easier to repair. What we'll have in the CRC will be up to date," said Eldridge. "We also wanted to have furniture that would be manufactured by companies with a great track record for quality and service and who offered a long-term guarantee," he added.


Some of the furniture that will be placed in the CRC can be seen in the lobby area outside of the second floor cafeteria.

The furniture ultimately chosen from these criteria had to be both practical and attractive.

Standardization a key
To achieve their mission, group members put forth the concept of "standardization." This is reflected in terms of color–each floor will have its own color of furnishings; and style–a blend of traditional and modern design that provides a soft appearance with rounded edges.

The color themes are drawn from three signature colors: forest green, eggplant purple and russet brown. Each floor will have its own signature color and units on that floor will have a variation of that color. These colors will be worked into various textures and designs, including geometric shapes and nature patterns such as leaves. "Within each patient care unit, we limited the use of solid colors. We had patterns, and we played off the color on each floor," said Ellis.

Since wayfinding was also important, the color theme on each floor will serve that need as well.

Assuring practicality
Safety and function were critical ingredients for furniture that would be used by patients and their visitors. Furniture could not tip or move in ways that would be dangerous for people who found it difficult to negotiate movement. Seat height, seat depth and chair arm position also had to accommodate a range of patient needs, allowing for differences in a person's strength and balance.

Site visit helpful
When presented with these rigorous criteria, the CRC design team at the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership Architectural Firm recommended the health-care furniture manufacturer Nemschoff, based in Sheboygan, Wisc. This company also has a track record with the Clinical Center, having supplied some of the Clinical Center's furnishings throughout the years.

To give members an opportunity to see Nemschoff furniture in-person, three members of the work group visited Nemschoff Ôs Wisconsin factory last September. They met with the designers, saw different kinds of furniture and narrowed down their selections.

Bonnie Thornton contributed her knowledge as an occupational therapist with the Rehabilitation Medicine Department to help choose the furniture design. "As an occupational therapist, I am familiar with the physical, mental, cognitive symptoms, and subsequent challenges of many of the populations studied here at the Clinical Center. I was also able to evaluate some of the barriers of the furniture designs and suggest better designs, such as anti-tip suggestions, which were actually incorporated by the furniture manufacturer," said Thornton.

Passing crucial tests
While the furniture's design was paramount, so was its upholstery. Furniture had to survive a variety of spillage from items such as food, coffee and strongly colored substances like the antiseptic, Betadine. In this regard, the expertise of the Housekeeping and Fabric Care Department was pivotal.

"One of the biggest factors for me and my department was to be able to clean the furniture easily and completely. We were able to test many of the materials before they were chosen," said Henry Primas, chief of the Housekeeping and Fabric Care Department.

The results of this testing helped choose upholstery that was not only attractive, but also durable.

Staff input valued
Clinical Center staff had a voice in the patient furniture selection as well. To facilitate their input, the work group hosted a "chair fair" in the Clinical Center during which manufacturers showed their products for hands-on evaluation. Treatment chairs, guest chairs, patient high-back chairs, recliners, and sleeper chairs were among the items displayed. Additional demonstrations of other equipment, such as computer keyboards, were held to enable staff to voice their preferences for office furniture.

Mission accomplished
Hard work and multidisciplinary cooperation paid off handsomely. The work group's painstaking evaluations and the close collaboration with the interior design team assured that the furniture chosen would be physically and emotionally supportive to Clinical Center patients and guests as well as complement the architectural style of the CRC.

"The style, the standardization, the colors, the design, all of what the work group proposed was accepted by senior management with little or no modification," said Eldridge.

For Ann Ellis, serving on this committee was very rewarding. "I was happy to be involved in creating specifications that would be used not only in the CRC but throughout the entire hospital."

–Wendy L. Schubert, Sc.M.

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Nutrition chief retires after 33 years


Alberta Bourne

When Alberta Bourn, chief, Nutrition Department, first came to NIH in 1970 she had only planned to stay for one year and then move on. Thirty-three years later she is retiring from the Clinical Center–a place she said exceeded all of her expectations.

"The management was very nurturing for one who was beginning a career," said Bourn. "There was room for growth, the salary and compensation was among the best and the work was interesting and had a national and international impact."

Bourn began her career here as a clinical dietitian after moving to the Washington area from upstate New York with her husband. Upon graduating from college in Alabama, her home state, she went to Poughkeepsie for a dietetic internship sponsored by New York State.

"My husband's company transferred him to the Washington area and one day we were traveling down Rockville Pike and my husband said to me 'maybe you could get a job there,'" said Bourn. "I looked at my husband as if he had gone crazy. I said 'me, work there? I can't imagine.'"

Eventually, she placed her name on a register for federal jobs and received a call to come in for an interview. "I told them I would come for the interview, but I wasn't interested in the job," said Bourn. "Needless to say, I came and the director had a whole day mapped out for me. It was a pleasant experience. So I left the interview with the plan to return as an employee, but only for one year."

By year 13, Bourn had moved up from a clinical dietician to mid-level management and then promoted to chief of the Nutrition Department.

Under her leadership, the department has developed and evolved. Bourn was successful in managing the computerization of food production, the diet office and nutritional analysis functions. She also redeveloped the role of the clinical dietitian to be more focused on patient care and research support, and established a successful dietetic internship. Yet with all of her accomplishments, Bourn said the highlight of her career was being trusted with the management of the nutrition department, and serving in the U.S. Public Health Service as Chief Dietitian Officer under Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

"The Clinical Center is really a good place to work. There are so many things," said Bourn. "The resources are great; there is never a dull day. The research brings such variety and all kinds of experiences in my profession, whether it be management, people relationships, or working with the technical partÉthose are the things that keep you here."

During her retirement years, Bourn said she plans on taking graduate courses and using her nutrition background in some capacity. She also hopes to spend more time with her crafts –particularly quilting – and probably take a quilting course and join a club.

"I will miss many of my wonderful co-workers and friends," said Bourn. "And I will probably miss the daily challenges of managing and leading people to perform their best for medical research and patient care."

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New drug prevents fungal infections

A new antifungal drug developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been found to effectively prevent fungal infections in children suffering from chronic granulomatous disease, or CGD, an inherited disorder that frequently leaves its sufferers with severe bacterial and fungal infections.

"The addition of prophylactic antifungals to the standard regimen of antibiotics should markedly reduce a significant cause of death from this rare disease," said Clinical Center Director Dr. John Gallin, who is a researcher at NIAID and lead author of the paper published in last month's edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The drug, itraconazole, is well tolerated and effectively prevents fungal infections in children who have CGD, report NIAID scientists. About 25,000 people worldwide have the disease, which frequently leaves sufferers prone to severe bacterial and fungal infections.

This 10-year-long study is the latest contribution by NIAID researchers to a better understanding of CGD. Forty years ago, Dr. Gallin noted, children with CGD rarely lived past adolescence. More than 20 years ago, doctors began administering prophylactic antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections, and the number of annual hospitalizations for the average CGD patient dropped greatly.

Then, in 1991, Dr. Gallin and his colleagues in NIAID's Laboratory of Host Defenses published clinical trial results showing that an immune-boosting substance called interferon gamma reduced serious bacterial infections in CGD patients by 70 percent. Prophylactic interferon gamma was soon added to the treatment regimen for children with CGD, and the quality of their lives improved further, said Dr. Gallin. "Now people with this disease are living long enough to marry and start families of their own. In fact, I'll soon be attending the wedding of a patient whom I've followed for 30 years."

Over the term of the study, the investigators recorded 12 cases of fungal infection, seven severe and five superficial. When the study was "unblinded," researchers saw that 11 cases occurred in patients who were receiving a placebo medication when the infection arose. One case of severe fungal infection occurred during itraconazole treatment; however, that patient, according to Dr. Gallin, was probably not taking the drug daily.

Including the 12 cases of fungal infection in their data analysis, the scientists found that patients on itraconazole had a statistically significant reduction of fungal infection risk. "We suggest that itraconazole prophylaxis should be added to the treatment regimens for all patients over five years of age who have chronic granulomatous disease," concluded the paper's authors.

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said, "In their laboratory and clinical research, Dr. Gallin and his colleagues combine excellence in basic science and medicine. The dedication and skill of these researchers has led directly to healthier lives for the children they treat."

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River of rain couldn't stop Team NIH


Team NIH members gather on the Mall.

Even the rainmaker couldn't deter the 400-member Team NIH from participating in the 14th edition of the National Race for the Cure. As one runner put it, June 7 event participants met with a "river of rain" as water fell from the sky. The steady downpour presented challenges in the form of puddles,


umbrellas and plastic coverings for all runners and walkers as they made their way through the 5K, or 3.1 mile, race course on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Members of the Department of Health and Human Services staff led by HHS Deputy Secretary Claude Allen bolstered Team NIH or what everyone began calling "Team Umbrella." At least 50 individuals from DHHS joined Team NIH at the corner of 15th and Constitution Avenues before the race start.

With more than 60,000 people signed up, at least 40,000 turned out on race day. The National Race is the largest such event of its kind in the world growing from one race in Dallas in 1989 that attracted some 7,000 runners to this year's 1.4 million entrants in races held nationwide. These events raise awareness of, and support for, research of breast cancer and related women's health diseases.

Teams represented schools, embassies, corporations, government offices, congressional offices, and churches. Team NIH members' comments when asked why they were doing this were representative of all Race participants–"a friend, a relative, someone they knew or were close to had been affected by breast cancer."

–by Dianne Needham


Six-year old Brady Cusack by the pink Team NIH signs Ômelted' by rainy downpour on race day.

NIAID and NCI staff members and family at pre-race start.

 

 

 

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CRIS implementation begins in Nutrition Department


Department members looking over a bulletin board that's part of new system training for staff are (from left) Robin Bell, Alberta Bourn, Judith Bowman, Shaololing Eddie, and Amanda Krawchuk.

The Nutrition Department introduced phase one of its new information system on July 16. It is one of the ancillary systems that will be part of CRIS, the Clinical Research Information System now in development.

Nutrition's first phase is a Food Services Suite that will handle such tasks as purchasing, inventory management and food-production management. "This new system will support streamlined and more efficient purchasing and inventory control," explained Alberta Bourn, department chief. That's important in a department responsible for more than 2,700 meals a month. Nutrition's Food Services Suite, which will handle such work as menu selection, tray service, nutrient analysis for patient care and research, and internal and external requisitions for foods and supplies, will debut in October.

The CRIS project is in high gear this summer, and work over the next few months will focus on designing, building and testing the largest component of CRIS, the core that replaces MIS. Two priorities drive core development: to provide a new system that will keep the hospital running smoothly during the CRC move and beyond and to make sure it is a system that will encourage and support innovation and future growth. For more information, go to http://cris.cc.nih.gov.

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Clinical Center Online

Scheduled Power Outage
The Clinical Center's Data Center will have a scheduled power outage from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Saturday, July 26. During that time an input power cable will be replaced on the Data Center's Uninterruptible Power System or UPS. The Clinical Center purchased the UPS in 1986 and it has been in continual service since that time. During the last service of the UPS, it was discovered that one of the electrical cables that recharge the three banks of batteries needed replacement. To accomplish this, electrical power to the UPS must be shut off. A decision had to be made to shutdown all the computers in the Data Center. This will impact the e-mail servers, CITRIX servers, file and print servers, the lab system, the transfusion medicine system and the Medical Information System or MIS along with other clinical IT systems. All in all, more than 100 systems will be involved during the scheduled July 26 Data Center power outage. To efficiently orchestrate a scheduled outage or 'down' of this magnitude a Clinical Center IT group met with department representatives to discuss when would be the best time to schedule this event and how to best communicate the down to the entire Clinical Center community. The IT group meets every Friday until the scheduled down. Clinical Center IT representatives will be available to all system owners to ensure that their systems are powered off in the correct manner and restarted so all systems are correctly 'talking' to each other. For information about the July 26 Data Center scheduled power outage, contact Steve Groban at sgroban@cc.nih.gov.

Updated Web Information
In preparation for the October 2003 Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations or JCAHO survey visit, the Clinical Center's JCAHO Work Group provides current information at: http://intranet.cc.nih.gov/od/jcaho/. The Clinical Center celebrates 50 years of clinical research in 2003-04. To learn more about the 50th Anniversary schedule of events visit: www.cc.nih.gov/50th, or contact Elaine Ayres at eayres@cc.nih.gov. Send news items and ideas for Clinical Center Online to dneedham@cc.nih.gov.

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July calendar

2
Grand Rounds
noon-1 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater

No Grand Rounds

Wednesday Afternoon Lecture
3 p.m.
Masur Auditorium

No Wednesday Afternoon Lecture

9
A Salute to Staff and Patiients on the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of the Clinical Center
1-2 p.m. Ceremony in Masur Auditorium
2-4 Reception

16
Grand Rounds
noon-1 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater

No Grand Rounds

Wednesday Afternoon Lecture
3 p.m.
Masur Auditorium

No Wednesday Afternoon Lecture

 

23
Grand Rounds
noon-1 p.m.
Masur Auditorium

No Grand Rounds

30
Grand Rounds
noon-1 p.m.
Masur Auditorium

No Grand Rounds

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Editor: Tanya C. Brown
Contributing writers: Colleen Henrichsen, Dianne Needham, John Iler, Pat McNees
 

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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For more information about the Clinical Center,
e-mail occc@cc.nih.gov, or call Clinical Center Communications, 301-496-2563.

Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7511

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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09



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