News Blog

News Travels Fast: Penn Medicine News in Front of 30 Million People a Day

DSC00596Now that Penn Medicine's new fiscal year, for  2013, is underway, we took a look back at our last year’s worth of media activities to see how our efforts to promote the research and clinical care work by our amazing faculty and staff made an impact from July 2011 through June 2012.  

One of our key jobs is to share the latest news from Penn Medicine and its experts far and wide – that means letting the world know when our faculty publish important studies or are presenting newsworthy research at medical meetings, when Penn launches new interesting new programs, and when Penn faculty are experts on a topic that’s in the news. In the past year, here’s the data on how that work shaped up: Our now 7-person media team facilitated nearly 1,300 interviews and issued 318 press releases, blog posts, media alerts and announcements.  That’s all in approximately 255 business days!

In FY12, Penn Medicine news appeared in media that reached a total of 10.8 billion viewers and readers, resulting from nearly 18,000 news stories mentioning Penn Medicine (including syndicated stories via wire services such as the Associated Press). On average, approximately 30 million people could see – via TV, print newspapers and magazines and online news sources  – stories about Penn Medicine in the news each day.

We’ve ramped up efforts on our News Blog,, making a push to post more news from around the Perelman School of Medicine and University of Pennsylvania Health System that may not have been featured in a press release or elsewhere. As we produce more content that people can access directly online, we've seen a 28 percent increase in traffic to the Penn Medicine News site, which was viewed 848,684 times during the 2012 fiscal year.

It's exciting to see our videos, which highlight Penn Medicine faculty discussing their research, shared by patient advocacy organizations and foundations to shed light on new hope for difficult-to-treat diseases. Media outlets including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Post, Bloomberg News, and the Huffington Post have also run videos with of Penn Medicine experts as components of stories on their websites.

One of the biggest stories last year came out in the summer of 2011, when Penn Medicine researchers published findings in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine detailing a first-of-its-kind gene therapy approach to treat a type of leukemia. On that day, more than 474 million people saw Penn Medicine in the news. Our media work on that study has led to:

  • The studies’ lead investigators have been interviewed by reporters and producers more than 90 times, leading to 800+ national/international print, broadcast and online stories reaching an estimated 265 million readers/viewers.
  • The news release has been viewed more than 50,000 times, and the video remains the most watched Penn Medicine video to date, with nearly 23,000 video views.
  • The news coverage has also had a ripple effect: more than 5,000 patients have inquired about the research.

Additional standout research in FY12 that generated hundreds of media placements each include Penn Medicine's identification of the causes and potential treatment targets for male pattern baldness, research showing sleep actually improves with age, and performance of the first bilateral hand transplant in the region. Innovative programs or initiatives were also covered heavily, such as Penn Medicine’s MyHeartMap Challenge, a crowd-sourcing contest in which Philadelphia residents competed to locate the largest number of lifesaving automated external defibrillators in the city.

We’re glad our news is reaching people, directly or indirectly, and can help point patients to new research and treatments that give them hope. We've pulled together a list of press releases for some of the biggest stories from Penn Medicine last year, below. What story impacted you the most?

2012 Penn Medicine Highlights

Perelman School of Medicine Once Again Ranked #2 in the US

Genetically Modified “Serial Killer” T Cells Obliterate Tumors in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, Penn Researchers Report

First Bilateral Hand Transplant in the Region Performed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Perelman School of Medicine Experts Identify Inhibitor Causing Male Pattern Baldness and Target for Hair Loss Treatments

Cancer Drug Shows Promise in Alzheimer's Mice

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Receives Renewal of Highest Nursing Credential with Prestigious Magnet® Recognition | Penn Presbyterian Medical Center Receives Prominent Magnet® Recognition for Superior Patient Care

Penn Presbyterian Ranked Among 100 Top Hospitals in the Nation, According to Thomson Reuters

Genetically Modified T Cell Therapy Shown to be Safe, Lasting in Decade-Long Penn Study of HIV Patients

Photodynamic Therapy Added to Lung-Sparing Surgery Improves Survival for Mesothelioma Patients

Four-Week Vaccination Regimen Knocks Out Early Breast Cancer Tumors, Penn Researchers Report

Lifesaving Devices Missing Near the Scene of Three Quarters of Cardiac Arrests, Penn Study Reveals

Two Winners Take Grand Prize in Penn Medicine’s MyHeartMap Challenge

Defying Expectations: Penn Medicine Study Reveals Americans Report Improved Sleep with Age

Visual Test Effective in Diagnosing Concussions in Collegiate Athletes

Penn-led Team Develops Microelectronic Device to Map Brain Activity

NSAIDs and Cardiovascular Risk Explained

Block Its Recycling System, and Cancer Kicks the Can: Potent new drug kills tumor cells in mice by clogging up their recycling system

Gut Immune Cells Keep Beneficial Microbes in Their Place

New Penn Study Confirms Two Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Provide Equal Improvements in Vision

Penn Receives $25 Million Gift to Create Basser Research Center for Inherited Cancers

Penn Medicine Named as a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Regional Center for Heart Failure

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Views expressed are those of the author or other attributed individual and do not necessarily represent the official opinion of the related Department(s), University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine), or the University of Pennsylvania, unless explicitly stated with the authority to do so.

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