The History of Penn Sleep Centers
This, the first newsletter of the Penn Sleep Centers, is a natural development of our expanding programs. In 1991, the University of Pennsylvania established the first Medical School-wide center committed to sleep research: the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology (CSRN). While the Center is administratively within the School of Medicine, members of the Center also include faculty from the School of Nursing, School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Arts and Sciences. This new Center led to rapid development of sleep research at the University of Pennsylvania.
We recruited key faculty, such as Dr. Gary Aston-Jones
(Department of Psychiatry), Dr. Norma Cuellar
(School of Nursing), Dr. Marcos Frank (Department
of Neuroscience), Dr.
Sam Kuna (Department of Medicine), Dr. Carole
Marcus (Department of Pediatrics), Dr. Ann Rogers
(School of Nursing) and Dr. Amita Sehgal (Department
In addition, several of our
trainees, such as Dr.
Nalaka Gooneratne, Dr. Indira Gurubhagavatula, Dr.
Grace Pien, Dr.
Richard Schwab, and Dr.
Sigrid Veasey (Department of Medicine),
Dr. Alex Mason (Department of Pediatrics)
and Dr. Terri Weaver (School of Nursing)
joined our faculty and developed their
own reputations. Indicative of the success
of the CSRN is the fact that the University
of Pennsylvania is now the number one
institution in the United States with
respect to the number of grants awarded
by the National Institutes of Health
for sleep research.
While our academic program, with participation of a broad cross-section of University faculty, was flourishing, development of our clinical program lagged. Our structure did not reflect the multidisciplinary nature of sleep medicine. Hence, in 2001, we established the first multidepartmental clinical Sleep Division in the United States. In addition, we developed a very productive partnership with Neurocare Inc., a New England based company experienced in operating networks of sleep centers. These two initiatives have unleashed the heretofore constrained resources within the sleep program and have led to rapid development of our clinical services, directed by Dr. Charles Cantor (Department of Neurology).
We now have vibrant clinical sleep medicine programs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center (Dr. Sharon Schutte-Rodin), Pennsylvania Hospital, the VA Medical Center (Dr. Sam Kuna), Phoenixville Hospital, the Pavilion at Doylestown Hospital, and at our Radnor multi-specialty practice. American Academy of Sleep Medicine accredited clinical centers for testing of patients during sleep are now present at all of these sites (apart from the Radnor facility that is served by our center at Phoenixville Hospital) as well as at the Sheraton Hotel in University City.
Over the last three years, our outpatient practice
and sleep laboratory have experienced substantial
growth in activity. We have been able to achieve
this growth while maintaining or improving high
standards of clinical quality and patient care.
Our vision of a comprehensive clinical sleep
center network that provides prompt service to
referring physicians, focuses on outcomes of
patient management and allows a rapid transfer
of our research findings into clinical practice,
has become a reality. This new newsletter will
provide a mechanism to inform our patients, referring
physicians and academic colleagues about our
exciting existing programs and planned future