Nurses' Week honors pioneering clinical research nurses' work to advance health
|Members of the 3SWS ICU team accepted the 2007 Team Excellence Award on May 11. |
(from left, back row): Connie Kotefka, Melissa Walker, Brenda Wiley, Avril Bertrand, Kim Klapec, Linda Tondreau, Deborah Kolakowski, and Dr. Clare Hastings, chief of nursing and pateint care services.
(from left, front row): Shirley Gorospe, Hyejeong Root, Nancy Ames, Beverly Smith, and Carrie Patricola.
Each year NIH honors the more than 1,000 nurses who are committed to fulfilling the unique needs of the agency's public health mission. This year’s theme, "Nursing: A Profession and a Passion," emphasized how the passion of NIH nurses from all walks of life sustains improvements in patient care.
Dr. Clare Hastings, chief of nursing and patient care services, thanked Clinical Center nurses for their professionalism, pride, and enthusiasm during a year of milestones. CC staff obtained "stellar outcomes" to an unnanounced Joint Commission visit and operational reviews by outside experts, as wella s "accepted the mandate to distribute our shared knowledge" on promoting clinical research nursing to colleagues externally, according to Hastings.
Dr. Patricia Grady, director of the National Institute of Nursing Research and one of the speakers at the week’s opening ceremony, said that patient care at the CC leads the way in how care will be improved for other patients in the future, and the work of CC nurses is different from that of other nurses across the country and world. "This is a pioneering place, and you’re the pioneers," she said.
Rear Adm. Carol Romano, assistant surgeon general, chief nurse officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, and senior advisor for clinical research informatics in the CC's Department of Clinical Research Informatics, opened the celebration with her keynote address, "Nursing: A Journey to Improving the Nation’s Health." Romano saluted nurses’ leadership in promoting health and discussed the Office of the Surgeon General’s perspective on U.S. health challenges and priorities, nurses’ contributions to public health, and nurses’ responsibility for framing the future.
In her remarks, Romano introduced the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health’s Florence Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World, which has been signed by millions of nurses, health-care professionals, educators and other caregivers worldwide. The declaration represents a global commitment to create a healthy world by 2020 by adopting personal practices and implementing public policies to meet that goal. According to Romano, Nightingale once said that "to stand still is to move backwards," and as today’s nurses celebrate Nightingale’s legacy, they are also challenged by her example. More information and an online form to sign the declaration are available at www.nightingaledeclaration.net
A highlight of the opening ceremony, Romano presented seven PHS chief nurses officer awards to Lieutenant Commanders Felicia Andrews and Chad Koratich; nurses Linda Coe, Noreen Giganti, Suzan Parada, and Janet Rowen; and Dr. Gwenyth Wallen.
At the closing ceremony, Dr. David Henderson, CC deputy director for clinical care, said that CC
nurses, who are "connected in a very substantive way to science," exemplify the week’s theme by bringing their extraordinary professionalism and passion to clinical research. "You are the best nurses I’ve ever seen, the glue that holds this place together, as well as the processes of care as we move through our clinical protocols."
|Members of the 7SE behavioral health nursing team accepting the second place award at the Nurses’ Week closing ceremonies included (from left) Donna Owolabi, Roger Brenholtz, Julie Kohn, Sybil Barnaby, and Dr. Clare Hastings.
The 3SWS ICU team received the Team Excellence Award for being "an outstanding team of highly motivated nurses, educators, and practitioners who collaborate with multiple disciplines providing critical care nursing support for complicated medical, surgical, adult, and pediatric patients whose illnesses span the entire spectrum of intramural NIH protocols."
The team was recently honored with a CC Patient Safety Champion Award in collaboration with DCRI staffers. (See story below).
The 7SE behavioral health nursing team received the second place award for team excellence. They were honored for their commitment to the clinical research care of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and mood and anxiety disorders, as well as for extending their expertise into multiple non-behavioral health areas.
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Take Your Child to Work Day connects earth, health
by Jenny Haliski
|Laetitia Sangwa, and her brother Dan in the background, loved looking through the microscopes in the CC’s Department of Laboratory Medicine|
NIH's combined Take Your Child to Work Day and Earth Day observances on April 26 gave children and their grownups the opportunity to explore biomedical research, environmental awareness, and the connections between the two.
Considering that it's a day for children, I invited three kids—Laetitia, 11, Dan, 9, and Loick, 8—whom I mentor, to help me tell the story of the day through their eyes.
All three love math and science. Laetitia wants to be a doctor, Dan a "specialist doctor," and Loick a pilot. From the time I told them about the event, they have counted the days until they could come see where I work as editor of CC News and learn about the research and patient care that occurs at the Clinical Center.
The kids’ favorite part of the day was the Department of Laboratory Medicine’s demonstration of blood specimen collection, chemical analysis, and the use of various equipment including microscopes to view
blood cells, bacteria, and parasites. Dan enjoyed finding out how bacteria infects you and learning what happens when you don’t wash your hands: "It’s all brown like chocolate with germs." Laetitia astutely observed that learning about handwashing was the part of the day that most prepared her for becoming a doctor. "Sometimes you forget to wash your hands and don’t realize that you could spread germs," she said.
|CC DLM phlebotomist Kelly Smith (right) shows Loick and Dan how to draw blood.|
Laetitia thought working with a fake arm with a needle to draw pretend blood was "the best part because it felt like you were a real doctor, working with a patient." So realistic, in fact, that her brother Loick thought he was about to get a shot. It was scary, but still his favorite part "because we got to do lots of fun things and see new stuff."
Several of the events we attended emphasized sickle cell disease. At the DLM, the group saw the difference between healthy and sickle cells under a microscope. "When a red cell is healthy, it looks like a doughnut, and when it's not healthy it looks like a banana. That was cool," Laetitia said. At the "Interview with a Mouse" in Lipsett, kids learned about how mice are involved in looking for a cure for sickle cell disease with gene therapy.
"The mouse stuff was interesting. I never knew that mice and humans could get the same diseases, like asthma and cancer," Laetitia said. Dan said he liked seeing their beds and food, "especially what they're made of, like wood."
We also stopped in at the new Metabolic Clinical Research Unit, where the kids received pedometers from NIDDK staff and learned about the importance of physical activity to stay healthy. Checking to see who racked up the most steps soon became a competition throughout the day.
|Dan learns about the medicinal qualities of plants and the importance of protecting biodiversity at the Earth Day celebration from Dr. David Newman, chief of NCI’s Natural Products Branch.|
At the Earth Day tent in front of Building 1, we met Barry Stevens, who performs a characterization of scientist Benjamin Franklin. He explained how he created the Franklin wood-burning stove. "Benjamin Franklin was interesting because we saw him in the bank commercial and then we saw him for real," Laetitia said. "He also told us how he discovered electricity and I never knew that." The kids also learned about green roofs, composting, watershed protection, forest restoration, waste management, and energy conservation. This was where Dan encountered his other favorite part of the day: the Frisbee toss at the Earth Day celebration.
|CC DLM hematologist Jenna Protzko helps Timmothy McKeeby and his dad, CC CIO Dr. Jon McKeeby, at the microscopes. Timothy might well be the child who traveled the longest distance to attend the special day at the CC: He and his dad came from Michigan.|
The kids made some keen observations about NIH during their visit, which was their first trip to a federal agency. "The campus is so huge! And every parking space was full," Dan said. Laetitia agreed, saying, "The CC is the biggest building I’ve ever seen, or been to, since I came to the U.S."
And my favorite part? Hearing all three kids say, "I would love to come back next year."
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MRI cluster a milestone in improvement project
Installation of three new MRIs in Diagnostic Radiology in early May signaled a major milestone in a multi-year project to enhance the department’s physical space and technological capability. Plans for later this year call for delivery of a fourth new MRI to support protocols focused on obesity and relocation of an existing MRI from its current location to space near the new ones.
Clustering the MRIs on the first floor of the Magnuson building will centralize MRI clinical research in one section, facilitating sharing of tools and exchange of information. This clustering helps limit the need for costly new steel shielding, extra structural fortification, and potential displacement of other functioning units. It also will be easier to replace equipment in future upgrades.
The recently delivered MRIs—weighing 10,000 pounds each—arrived on Saturday, May 5, in an elaborate logistical ballet involving a team of more than 20 from NIH and the manufacturer. Special permits and road closures were required for travel to campus.
Once here, the 8 foot-tall MRIs were painstakingly maneuvered and rotated through the CC’s 7 foot-tall doors and ceilings, requiring even temporary relocations of walls.
The P1 construction work, which began in April, temporarily blocks 54 parking spaces to accommodate installation of a cinder block wall to cordon off the area where the MRI cluster’s magnetic field will extend from the first floor through the P1 ceiling. The radiology department will use this space for dry storage once construction is complete later this month. Although 39 parking spaces will be permanently removed on P1 as a result of the project, patients will always be able to find a space to park with the assistance of attendants.
|The delivery of three MRIs in one day set a record for the machines' manufacturer and created a logistical ballet around the CC.|
|Staff rotated and maneuvered the 8-foot tall MRIs through the CC’s 7 foot-tall doors and ceilings.|
|Dr. Elizabeth Jones, acting co-director of diagnostic radiology, stands by one of the new MRIs.
|Inside the construction area on P1, temporary beams support the path of the MRIs as they are moved into their new positions on the unit above them. Workers are building a cinder block wall to contain the magnetic field of the MRI suite.|
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A first-grade dream comes true
|Lisa Hancock, clinical research nurse on 3NW|
Lisa Hancock wanted to be a nurse since first grade. Her high school guidance counselors encouraged her to study computers in college instead, but she hated it so much that she soon dropped out. She spent 24 years raising her two daughters and working for her father in the family printing business.
When he decided to retire, Hancock enrolled at Montgomery College’s nursing program. Hancock and her oldest daughter, Kellie, were both college students at the same time. A CEU requirement brought Hancock and several classmates to the CC for a workshop and tour, and they heard how great it was to work here.
"What thrilled me beyond everything is the research that’s being done here and nowhere else in the world," Hancock said. "The atmosphere in this department, floor, and hospital is amazing. The support and teamwork is so different from anything else I’ve seen in my clinical work. Here I can actually give real patient care. I’m not just a medicine dispenser."
The CC customer-service ethic also made a big impression on this newcomer. "Everywhere people say good morning, and you can’t walk 10 feet looking lost without someone stopping to help you," she said.
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Pharmacy seminar packs Masur Auditorium
|Tim Ames, chief of the review support branch of FDA's office of Generic Drugs, spoke to a full house at Masur Auditorium.
The CC Pharmacy Department’s 13th annual Pharmacotherapy Frontiers symposium packed Masur Auditorium on April 21, a sunny Saturday morning, with about 350 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians seeking accredited pharmacy continuing education (CE).
Although accredited pharmacy CE is widely available online at no cost, it is unusual for a live program to be free, without commercial sponsors, and feature a high-level of expertise provided by speakers from NIH and FDA. "It would be difficult for any other organization to offer this type of expertise every year at no cost," according to Captain Chris Chamberlain, organ transplant clinical pharmacy specialist and one of the program organizers.
The symposium's four speakers for 2007 included Jerry Overman, clinical pharmacy specialist for NIMH and the CC's Inpatient Pharmaceutical Care Section, and Ayana Rowley, ambulatory care pharmacotherapeutics and research fellow in the CC's Ambulatory Pharmaceutical Care Section.
Two former CC pharmacists—Bona Benjamin, now director of medication use quality improvement for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Tim Ames, now chief of the review support branch of FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs—also spoke.
Ames provided an overview of FDA’s role in the generic drug approval process, including the Abbreviated New Drug Application review process, and how it assures that generic drugs are safe and effective.
"Because very few individuals—those directly involved with our office or academia, including many health-care professionals—understand what is involved in approving a generic drug product, this type of presentation is important in dispelling misperceptions about generic drugs" Ames said.
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ICU CRIS team wins CC Patient Safety Champion Award
|ICU CRIS team members and additional ICU and CC staff at the award presentation included (Back row, from left): Brad Moriyama, Dr. James Shelhamer, Dr. Naomi O’Grady, Connie Kotefka, Dr. Peter Eichacker, Dr. David Vitberg, Deborah Kolakowski, Christine Callahan, CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin, Gina Ford, Susy Postal, Dr. Henry Masur, Dr. John Beigel, Carrie Patricola, and Lauren Stringi. |
(Front row, from left): Therese Kent, Nancy Ames, Pamela Horwitz, Parvin Safavi, and Gloria Cruz.
The ICU CRIS interdisciplinary team on May 8 received the CC’s third Patient Safety Champion Award, which is given annually to individuals or teams demonstrating a sustained commitment to a safe patient environment.
The team, created in 2004, identified and implemented several initiatives to benefit patients in the ICU and throughout the CC. These included a CRIS medication start time alert; the ability to view results in some order forms to avoid duplicate blood draws; 18 computers on wheels for bedside nurse access to patient data; a critical care assessment flowsheet to standardize ICU patient information; and the ICU profiles and continuous venous-venous hemofiltration order sets.
|Rosane Suleiman, clinical research nurse on 3SWS, reviews patient data using a computer on wheels, one of the initiatives developed by the team.|
Susy Postal accepted the award on behalf of the CRIS team and Peter Eichacker accepted the ICU team’s award.
Congratulations to team members: Allison Adams-McLean, Nancy Ames, Deborah Kolakowski, and Connie Kotefka, nursing; John Beigel, Eichacker, Therese Kent, Henry Masur, Nancy Munro, and James Shelhamer, CCMD; Gina Ford, OD; Jon McKeeby and Postal, DCRI; Brad Moriyama, pharmacy; and Richard Sherry, NCI surgery branch.
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Iron-deficient NIH blood bank donors receive something extra
by Shana Potash
Some donors at the NIH blood bank are getting something extra at the end of their visit—a packet of oral iron supplements as part of a novel protocol.
|Dr. Barbara Bryant gives Maureen McDonnell her pack of iron supplements when she comes to donate.|
Clinical Center researchers are giving iron supplements to donors with low iron and low hemoglobin levels. Researchers want to know if this could help treat and prevent iron deficiency in people who donate regularly or would like to donate regularly.
Dr. Barbara Bryant, a clinical fellow in the CC Department of Transfusion Medicine, is the principal investigator of the study known as IRON, which stands for Iron Replacement or Not. She says the NIH blood bank may be the only blood bank doing a large-scale study on iron replacement for donors.
"If we prove that iron replacement for donors can be done safely and efficiently in blood banks, it has the potential to increase the blood supply by decreasing the number of donors who are deferred," explains Bryant.
When people donate blood, they lose about one-quarter of the storage iron in their body. Some people rebuild their iron stores quickly, through diet, and are ready to donate again in about two months. But other people do not rebound as quickly. If people are iron depleted or deficient, it will show up during the donation screening process, when a fingerstick blood test is done to measure hemoglobin levels. People who do not meet the required hemoglobin level for giving blood are temporarily deferred from donating—sent home and told to come back and try again in a month or two.
At the NIH blood bank, people who do not pass hemoglobin screening are invited to talk with Bryant and colleagues about participating in her study. But before passing out iron pills, Bryant does an extensive screening questionnaire and more blood work to make sure there is no serious underlying problem causing the low hemoglobin levels. If nothing abnormal is found, people are then asked to be part of her protocol. Participants take supplements for 60 days, return for follow-up, and if they pass their hemoglobin screening, they are allowed to donate.
Maureen McDonnell, a management analyst in the CC Office of Workforce Planning and Development, says she had low hemoglobin during her three pregnancies so she was not surprised by her fingerstick test result at the NIH blood bank. She now is taking iron supplements as part of the study and says she is experiencing the benefits of the boost in iron. "I don’t feel as tired mid-day. I am much more energetic. And, I’ve been able to donate again, so that feels good too."
Both men and women can become iron depleted or deficient. But Bryant says the problem is more common in women, particularly those who are pre-menopausal. Women have smaller iron stores than men to begin with, plus they lose iron with their monthly menstrual cycle and they require a lot of iron during a pregnancy.
Feeling tired, or craving unusual things like ice or dirt, are some of the symptoms of low iron. Sherri Gollins, a dental hygienist in NIDCR, says there was a time when she preferred to chew ice rather than eat food. She says her iron deficiency was detected when she went to donate blood. Her desire for ice dissipated within the first week of taking iron supplements and after about three weeks, she noticed her energy level was improving. "I’m honored to participate in the study," Gollins says. "Now that I’m better, I want to do what I can to help other people."
This is the first time both McDonnell and Gollins have participated in an ongoing CC trial. Both say it’s been a positive and educational experience. "I was pretty excited to see first-hand what this place is all about, and very glad to be able to contribute to somebody’s research," McDonnell says.
Bryant is in the second year of a three-year study. She is recruiting both patients with low hemoglobin levels as well as patients with good levels who would be part of the control arm of the protocol.
"I like studying blood," Bryant says of her career in blood banking, first as a technologist and now a clinician. She says having a good supply of blood is a huge challenge and deferring donors is frustrating to donors and blood centers.
"The practice of giving iron replacement to donors is probably a good thing," Bryant says. "The blood banking community has acknowledged it, but nobody has had the resources to do this study. That’s where we came in. This is a fabulous opportunity here at the NIH."
Dr. Barbara Bryant gives Maureen McDonnell her pack of iron supplements when she comes to donate.
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Parris retires after 30 years at the CC
Martha Parris, housekeeping aide in the CC’s Housekeeping and Fabric Care Department, retired on April 30 after 30 years of service. Parris worked with pediatric cancer and cystic fibrosis patients on 9D and the eleventh and thirteenth floors. Her most recent role was to supply the labs on the first, third, fifth, and seventh floors in teh Magnuson building and to stock closets near patient care areas.
| Martha Parris, CC housekeeping aide, retires.
After leaving the CC, Parris will move from Washington to Waldorf, Md., to "do nothing but rest and enjoy" her children, Michelle and Jason, and her grandchildren, Dij and Dominique.
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Interim chief wins pharmacists' society fellowship status
Robert DeChristoforo, interim chief of the Clinical Center Pharmacy Department and CC employee since 1979, will be granted fellowship status with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) at the society’s June 26 meeting in San Francisco.
|Robert DeChristoforo, interim chief of the Clinical Center Pharmacy Department
Only three other CC pharmacists currently on staff, as well as two former department chiefs, have earned the designation, which recognizes a high standard of practice excellence of the recipients.
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CC staff take the "U" out of cancer fatigue
|(Back row left to right) Sue Johnson, Julie Hoehl, Kathy Farrell, Georgie Cusack, Rachael Drabot, and Kieu Vu (Front row left to right) Ashley Rodenbach, Laura Wall, and Judy Lowitz were among CC staffers facilitating the event.
More than two-thirds of cancer patients undergoing therapy experience cancer fatigue. How cancer fatigue affects patients was the focus of Cancer Fatigue Awareness Day on April 17.
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Research volunteers needed for studies
To participate in any of the following studies, call 1-866-444-2214 or TTY: 1-866-411-1010.
Volunteers between the ages of 20 and 90 who have trouble swallowing needed to participate in studies (06-N-0212 and 06-N-0120) on swallowing. Transportation available.
Turner Syndrome study
Girls and women with Turner Syndrome, a disorder of the female X chromosomes, needed for a study (00-CH-0219) involving comprehensive evaluation, including cardiac and ovarian function.
An NIH study (06-H-0072) seeks adults with pulmonary sarcoidosis.
New clinical research protocols
The following new clinical research protocols were approved in April:
A Phase 1, Multicenter, Dose-Escalation Study of CAT-8015 in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL), 07-C-0130, Robert J. Kreitman, MD, NCI
Phase 1 Study of Topical Romidepsin in Early Stage Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma, 07-C-0133, Maria L. Turner, MD, NCI
A Phase II Study of Combination Oral CC-5013 Lenalidomide (Revlimid ®), Oral Sunitinib, (Sutent) and Low Dose Oral Metronomic Cyclophosphamide for the Treatment of Stage IV Ocular Melanoma, 07-C-0134, Steven K. Libutti, MD, NCI
A Phase II Trial of GW786034 (Pazopanib) in Subjects with Recurrent Glioblastoma, 07-C-0138, Howard A. Fine, MD, NCI
Pilot Study of the Incidence of HLA Class I and Class II Antibodies in Platelet Donors and their Effects on the Transfusion Recipient, 07-CC-0125, David F. Stroncek, MD, CC
Pilot Study of the Metabolic Effects of Betahistine Hydrochloride (Obecure) in Overweight Women, 07-CH-0126, Lisa B. Yanoff, MD, NICHD
Gadofosveset Imaging of Chronic Total Peripheral Artery Occlusion (CTO), 07-H-0128, Robert J. Lederman, MD, NHLBI
Selective Depletion of Alloreacting T Cells Using a Photodepletion Technique to Prevent GVHD after HLA-Matched Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation for Subjects with Hematologic Malignancies, 07-H-0136, Stephan Mielke, MD, NHLBI
Pilot Study of a Multi-Drug Regimen for Severe Pulmonary Fibrosis in Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome, 07-HG-0132, Thomas C. Markello, MD, NHGRI
Functional Neuroanatomy of Emotion Perception, Recognition, Learning, and Memory, 07-M-0127, Peter A. Bandettini, PhD, NIMH
PET Evaluation of Brain Peripheral Benzodiazepine Receptors Using (11C)PBR28 in HIV-Seropositive Patients with (MCMD), 07-M-0129, Amira K. Brown, PhD, NIMH
A Study to Evaluate and Characterize the Ex Vivo Effect of Pharmacological Chaperone Therapy in Blood Cell Lines Derived from Patients with Gaucher Disease, 07-N-0131, Raphael Schiffmann, MD, NINDS
Expanding the Phenotype of the LRRK-2 Mutation in Individuals with History of Parkinson’s Disease and their Relatives: a Prospective Study, 07-N-0137, Grisel J. Lopez, MD, NINDS
Cross-validating NIRS with fMRI, 07-N-0139, Eric M. Wassermann, MD, NINDS
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June 6, 2007
Mechanisms of Fibrotic Tissue Remodeling in Chronic Infectious Disease
Thomas A. Wynn, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, NIAID
Using Medicare Data in Health Services Research
Leighton Chan, M.D., M.P.H.
Chief, Rehabilitation Medicine Department, CC
June 13, 2007
Modifying Anti-Beta Cell Immune Responses to Preserve Insulin Production in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
David M. Harlan, M.D., Chief, Diabetes Branch, NIDDK, Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Leptin Signaling Pathway Genes in Pediatric Overweight
Jack Yanovski, M.D., Ph.D.
Head, Unit on Growth and Obesity, Developmental Endocrinology Branch, NICHD
June 20, 2007
Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers
John Laws Decker Memorial Lecture
The Microscope as a Tool for Disease Discovery
Elaine S. Jaffe, M.D., Chief, Hematopathology Section, Acting Chief, Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer Research, NCI
June 27, 2007
Chemokine Control of West Nile Virus Infection
Philip M. Murphy, M.D., Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, NIAID
West Nile Virus: Clinical and Therapeutic Aspects
Amy Guillet Agrawal, M.D., Director of Simulation, Critical Care Medicine Department, CC
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Clinical Center News, National
Institutes of Health, Building 10, 10 Center Drive, Room 12C440, Bethesda, MD 20892-1504. Tel: 301-496-6787.
Fax: 301-402-2984. Published monthly for CC employees
by the Office of Communications, Patient Recruitment, and Public Liaison. News, article ideas,
calendar events, letters, and photographs are welcome.
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