Penn Sleep Centers Newsletter

Spring 2006

Sleep in the Elderly
History of Penn Sleep Centers
Sleep in Women: A New Perspective
Finding the Cause of Residual Sleeplessness in Sleep Apnea
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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 of Neuroscience).

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 developments.


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