News Blog

Blog Topic: Community Outreach

  • guatemala

    Creating New Borders for Clinical Rotations Abroad

    June 26, 2017

    Many clinical rotations abroad only go one way: residents from the United States travel to a foreign country for a few weeks and then they leave, unsure of what, if any, lasting impact their time will have on the community or their medical careers. But four years ago, Jules Lipoff, MD, an assistant professor of Clinical Dermatology and his colleague, Rudolf Roth, MD, a professor of Dermatology, sought to change that dynamic.

  • path blog

    The Path Through Penn Medicine: Halfway There

    June 22, 2017

    In the fall of 2015, as the Perelman School of Medicine celebrated its 250th year, Penn Medicine magazine profiled nine entering medical students who each had an interesting path to medical school. We checked in with a few of these students recently as they approached the halfway point of their four years in medical school.

  • widlml

    When I Die, Let Me Live

    June 21, 2017

    The first two-part episode of Perelman School of Medicine graduate Lauren Kelly, MD’s podcast, “When I Die, Let Me Live,” is not always an easy listen — but that’s kind of the point. Kelly aims to present the listener with firsthand stories from patients, families, and caretakers dealing with the myriad physical, mental, emotional, and moral complexities of end-of-life care.

  • jaw

    [Liquid] Food for Thought

    June 19, 2017

    After a bike accident left me with a broken jaw wired shut, one of my biggest concerns was figuring out how and what to eat when I could only sip it through a straw. After discovering meal replacement shakes weren't going to cut it, I decided to talk with a pro to see what I was lacking and how I could get it.

  • sleep

    The Latest on Sleep Medicine from A to Zzz's

    June 16, 2017

    Each year, many of the nation’s leading sleep clinicians and researchers gather to share recent progress made in addressing sleep apnea, insomnia, circadian rhythm disorders, and other issues plaguing society today. This year’s meeting, SLEEP 2017, gathered such experts in Boston for poster and speaker sessions on the latest ongoing research in sleep and circadian science.

  • alcohol

    Drinking to Blackout: What Happens When Young Brains get Boozed

    June 14, 2017

    Though alcohol has become an integral part of many social functions, especially holidays, few people truly understand the damage that too many drinks can do to your body and your brain. In fact, years of chronic alcohol use can actually contribute to a person developing a serious brain disorder that affects cognition, movement, and memory.

  • NICU nurses demonstrate the switch from manual logging to the new Keriton system

    Breast Milk “Bartending”: There’s An App for That

    June 12, 2017

    Nurses in neonatal intensive care units spend close to 13,000 hours every year “bartending” – monitoring, labeling, printing, and logging – breast milk for the nearly 500,000 babies across the U.S. that require special care. And for moms of these fragile patients, keeping a full inventory can add stress to an already trying time. Enter Keriton, a new breast milk management system designed for nurses and new moms, by nurses and new moms.

  • challenge

    Addressing Adherence: PrEP’s Achilles Heel

    June 09, 2017

    Prevention is still our best weapon against HIV. One prevention method that has gained a lot of public attention in recent years is pre-exposure prophylaxis, also known as PrEP. Daily PrEP use can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent and from injection drug use by more than 70 percent—but the challenge with PrEP, like many other daily medications, is adherence. That’s where Penn Medicine's Helen Koenig and recent Perelman School of Medicine graduate Giffin Daughtridge come in.

  • sarcoidosis

    Rare Disease Revolution: Changing Research Through an App

    June 07, 2017

    Ever since Apple rolled out its ResearchKit framework two years ago, valuable data collected from the iPhones of patients who opt-in has poured into medical centers investigating better ways to study and treat diseases. The latest foray into mobile research technologies comes from researchers in Penn Dermatology, who recently launched a ResearchKit app focused on sarcoidosis.

  • big data

    Mining the Data Mother Lode

    June 05, 2017

    One of the newest entities with the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics, the Health Language Processing Lab combines social media content with other sources of health information in a unique way aimed at understanding how people use language to communicate health needs.

  • pimple

    The Obsession with Pimple-Popping

    June 02, 2017

    There’s no grey area when it comes to the eruption of pimple-popping videos floating around the internet. People either “pore” over them, or burst out in horror just seeing the links. I happen to like them. They’re incredibly grotesque, I admit, but also inexplicably gratifying to me – and many others. That’s why they’re all over YouTube, bubbling up on Facebook feeds, and popping up in news stories.

  • youths

    18 to 30: The Under-Recognized At Risk Patient Population

    May 31, 2017

    Today’s uncertain health care climate is a source of confusion and anxiety for many—and while there was an uptick in Millennials who cited health care as a key concern during the 2016 Presidential campaign, many young adults might be more at risk for gaps in coverage than they realize.

  • women surgeons

    #ILookLikeASurgeon and the Push for Gender Equity in Surgery

    May 26, 2017

    What women experience when working as surgeons is different from what male surgeons experience — not necessarily in the specific acts of wielding a scalpel and other instruments, but in virtually every other area of their working lives. Over the past year, female surgeons across the country and world have reinvigorated a push toward visibility and toward changes to empower equitable success for women in a persistently male-dominated field.

  • kelly

    The Three Careers of Kelly Parsons

    May 24, 2017

    Surgeon, professor, novelist: It’s a lofty trio of career choices, each particularly demanding in its own way. Certain pairings among the three do fit together rather well — plenty of professors have written a novel or two, and certainly plenty of surgeons are also professors — but it’s a rare individual that looks at those three choices and says, “Yeah, sure, I’ll take ‘em all.”

  • abuse

    A Sexual Abuse Survivor Speaks Out to Help Others Heal

    May 22, 2017

    At the start of his one-man show, Michael Broussard points to a blown-up photo of himself with his grandmother, whom he adored. “That’s me at 6. I was a happy, outgoing child who loved everything, everyone…. My favorite thing was to dance.” A year later, that child didn’t exist. “I have no memory of that kid. I can’t remember ever feeling that free.” Broussard had become a victim of sexual abuse.

  • nurses week

    Unity in Community

    May 19, 2017

    After a winter that felt like it could last forever, spring is in full swing. For some, spring means flowers (and sometimes allergies), baseball, and rain showers, but for Penn Medicine, it’s one of the busiest seasons for health fairs, 5K fundraisers, and other community events. One of those 5K fundraisers held earlier this month was the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s inaugural “Nurses Week” 5K.

  • abc

    Facing Our Fears: Why it Works

    May 17, 2017

    Everyone fears something. In fact, it is estimated that more than 19 million Americans suffer from specific phobia. But the things that we fear and the extent to which we fear them can vary greatly from person to person. In his role as the associate director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, David A. Yusko, Psy.D., sees dozens of patients living with a variety of debilitating phobias.

  • acupuncture

    Opening Up the Playbook

    May 15, 2017

    The Abramson Cancer Center is the only cancer center in the region offering acupuncture. Penn has been offering the service for years, after research made the benefits clear—but the man currently leading the therapy brings his own unique background and approach.

  • dwayne

    Managing Body Donations Can Be Quite the Undertaking

    May 12, 2017

    Unlike with organ donation, people who elect to donate their bodies do so in the name of science. For those who donate their bodies to the Perelman School of Medicine, the first person to receive this generous gift is Dwayne Hallman, manager of PSOM’s morgue, who prepares the donations for students and researchers.

  • nursing

    From the Rain, There Comes a Rainbow

    May 10, 2017

    It rained hard on Thursday, March 10, 2011. So hard that track practice at Saucon Valley High School was cancelled, leaving sophomore Amanda Illingworth a bit stranded and looking for a ride home. Little did she know the ride she accepted would change the course of the rest of her life.

  • hts

    Hands-on Chemistry Course Has Students Taking on Rare Cancers

    May 08, 2017

    With graduation just around the corner, a few undergraduates finishing up a hands-on chemistry course will be taking very useful skills with them to the next stop on their career and education path. With robotic arms and moving trays to run automated chemical analyses, measured how effective dozens of cancer drugs are against cells found in a rare type of cancer.

  • insurance

    The Health Problem That's Not Going Away

    May 05, 2017

    Define “co-insurance”. What about “premium”? If you’re struggling with answers, you’re not alone. Ever since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rolled out and brought 20 million more people into the fold, health insurance literacy has been a glaring issue – one that needs constant attention, experts say, no matter what direction health care heads in.

  • soccer

    Hormonal Changes Affect Female Athletic Performance. Period.

    May 03, 2017

    Over the past year, several notable female athletes have publically discussed the impact of their menstrual cycles on athletic performance. While the stories caused a bit of a stir, with people questioning the validity of the claims, science may indicate that performance can be impacted by a woman’s menstrual cycle.

  • garden

    Then and Now: The Healing Power of an Urban Garden

    May 01, 2017

    Originally proposed in 1774 and intended as an on-site location to grow healing medicinal plants to be eaten or brewed into tea, the Physic Garden was finally built in 1976 — and now offers therapeutic benefits in a less direct fashion, as green spaces continue to emerge as a potential tool to improve population-level health in urban settings.

  • 13rw

    "13 Reasons Why" and the Difficult Subject of Teen Suicide

    April 28, 2017

    Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" has received significant attention, not all of it positive, for the graphic way it portrays suicide, sexual assault, and bullying. For Steve Berkowitz, MD, director of the Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery, the show fails to adequately handle the subject of teenage suicide in a number of ways — some all too common.

  • baby

    Making a Big Impact Doesn’t Always Take a Lot

    April 26, 2017

    Some of Penn Medicine's smaller – but no less important – global outreach endeavors target populations that have little or no access to basic health care. Such was the volunteer effort that six HUP staff undertook earlier this year, working 12- to 14-hour days to help members of Guatemala’s indigenous populations get the health care they need.

  • diversity

    Charting the Course for Inclusion and Diversity

    April 24, 2017

    We hear about disparities and discrimination nationally both in healthcare and in many aspects of society at large so frequently improvements can feel slow and cumbersome. At Penn Medicine, words of inclusivity and diversity have been followed up with progressive actions, and the benefits are experienced throughout the institution.

  • books

    Rare 19th Century Notebooks Reveal New Lessons in Neurology

    April 21, 2017

    The crinkly pages filled with elegant script, a dispatch from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Dispensary in the late 19th century, are a window into medical history. Geoffrey Aguirre, MD, PhD, an associate professor of Neurology, recently received the notebooks after they were discovered by a colleague. Now, they’re getting fresh life as an official Penn historical artifact.

  • oncolink team

    The Little Care Plan That Could

    April 19, 2017

    In April of 2007, OncoLink—the first cancer information website (and still one of the largest)—launched the OncoLife™ Survivorship Care Plan, a user-generated service that creates care plans for patients who have survived cancer. As that plan marks 10 years, OncoLink’s Managing Editor, Carolyn Vachani, looks back on the program’s origins.

  • yellow jack

    Could Yellow Fever Rise Again?

    April 17, 2017

    Many people might not have heard of the Aedes aegypti mosquito until this past year, when the mosquito, and the disease it can carry – Zika – began to make headlines. But more than 220 years ago, this same breed of mosquito was spreading a different and deadly epidemic right here in Philadelphia and just like Zika, this epidemic is seeing a modern resurgence, with Brazil at its epicenter.

  • fallopian

    Ovarian Cancer: A Master of Disguise No More

    April 14, 2017

    Experts in the Penn Ovarian Cancer Research Center and the Basser Center for BRCA are developing new detection and prevention strategies for high-risk patients—and, at the same time, offering a one-two punch birth control and cancer risk-reduction method for average-risk women who do not have, do not want, or are done having children.

  • ff2017

    A Matter of Facts

    April 12, 2017

    The 2017 edition of Penn Medicine's Facts & Figures is now available. Facts & Figures is a pocket-sized publication that keeps faculty, students, staff, the media, government officials, and others, informed about the latest expansion projects, rankings, at-a-glance statistics, and much more.

  • drinks

    Effects of Smoking and Alcohol on Smell and Taste (It’s Not What You Think)

    April 10, 2017

    Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can wreak havoc on the organs, but what do these two vices do to the senses? Considering what's known, overdoing it presumably damages a person's sense of smell and taste—however, the work of Richard Doty, PhD, the director of the Penn Smell and Taste Center, along with colleagues at Harvard University, suggests it may be more nuanced.

  • organs

    10 minutes. 22 people. 54 percent.

    April 07, 2017

    One single person can potentially save the lives of more than eight others, if they are an organ donor. And if someone is also a tissue donor, they can save or change the lives of nearly 75 people. But, according to Donate Life America, while 95 percent of U.S. adults support organ donation, only 54 percent are actual registered donors.

  • psf

    Penn Medicine Poised for Strong Showing at 7th Philly Science Festival

    April 05, 2017

    The Philadelphia Science Festival kicks off on April 21st and Penn Medicine will again play a leading role in the seventh annual city-wide event that highlights science and technology from the entire region.

  • thumb

    The Creative Scientist, the Scientific Creative

    April 03, 2017

    Before starting here, I didn’t put much thought into the fact that the lady who performs joint replacements by day could also be performing Spanish guitar at open mic nights. My experience here has, of course, taught me otherwise: Creative minds are everywhere. In retrospect, though, it’s a lesson I could have learned without such experience. History has shown us creativity and medicine make good bedfellows.

  • wasp

    Proudly Parasitic: Penn Scientist Highlights the Positives in “Research Parasites”

    March 31, 2017

    It may sound like an insult, but “research parasite” is a label that Casey Greene, PhD, wears with pride—and so do many other scientists like him. Greene is helping to reclaim that seemingly ugly title by granting an annual set of awards for two scientists, one junior and one established, for research that finds novel insights from reusing and analyzing other people’s data.

  • colon cancer teaser

    When it Comes to Colon Cancer Screenings, Trust Your Gut

    March 29, 2017

    Colon cancer is considered one of the most preventable but deadly illnesses; it’s the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women in the United States. Screening tests like colonoscopies can prevent cancer or detect it at an early stage, when treatment can be highly effective. Even with these well-known facts, few people get the recommended screening.

  • han

    Half a world away, he feels his parents' presence on Match Day

    March 28, 2017

    Jason Han, who will soon graduate from medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, recently wrote about how his experience as an immigrant inspired his path to a medical career. Here, he shares what happened on Match Day, when he learned where he is headed next.

  • ribbon

    New Proton Center Research Room Will Have an Impact Near and Far

    March 27, 2017

    The new Albert Chadwick Research Room inside the Roberts Proton Therapy Center is no ordinary laboratory space. In fact, there’s nothing else quite like it anywhere else in the United States, and whether it’s treating patients with cancer or helping NASA with its plans to send astronauts to Mars, the discoveries that could propel scientists forward will happen right here.

  • matchday

    A Lot of Hard Work and a Little Luck O’ the Irish Pay Off for PSOM’s Class of 2017

    March 24, 2017

    On Friday, March 17, while most people were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, soon-to-be graduating students in the Perelman School of Medicine were hoping that in addition to a little “luck o’ the Irish, ” their years of hard work would pay off as their residency placements were revealed during Penn’s annual Match Day ceremony.

  • baby

    Solving the Riddle of Preterm Birth

    March 22, 2017

    Nearly 15 million babies in the world are born prematurely every year, and recent data show the number is on the rise, but the exact cause of premature birth remains one of Mother Nature’s best kept secrets. Doctors simply can’t explain why an otherwise healthy woman might go into labor early, making it difficult to treat—but perhaps there is a key.

  • meili

    Mind Your Brain: Closing the Gap for Brain Injury Survivors

    March 20, 2017

    In 1989, Trisha Meili was viciously attacked, leaving her with a severe traumatic brain injury. Doctors didn’t think she’d survive. But Meili did more than survive: She thrived. What kept her going is part of the message she’ll share with attendees at this week’s annual Mind Your Brain @ Penn Medicine conference, all of whom are brain injury survivors, families, and caretakers.

  • ai doc crop

    Could the Next Doctor You See Be a Robot?

    March 17, 2017

    Understanding how to work with new artificial intelligence may be the key to innovation and growth in medicine in the years ahead. Here at Penn Medicine and other academic medical centers, robotic surgery is already used in performing low-risk outpatient surgeries—but how did we get here, and what technology is ahead for care providers?

  • mintz1

    Match Day 2017: A Childhood in the Alaskan Wilderness Comes Full Circle

    March 16, 2017

    Each year, soon-to-be graduating medical students count down to the third Friday in March, also known as “Match Day,” when they find out where they will continue their medical training. Fourth-year PSOM student Joe Mintz shares how his passion for science intersects with his love of the outdoors as he prepares for a career in anesthesiology.

  • silfen

    Making the Impact of the Cancer Moonshot Understandable

    March 15, 2017

    "My commitment is not for the next 12 months," Vice President Joe Biden said while visiting the Abramson Cancer Center to kick off the "Cancer Moonshot" a year ago. True to his word, as a private citizen Biden remains actively engaged. On Penn’s campus again on Feb. 28, he was one of several distinguished panelists who spoke at the David and Lyn Silfen University Forum.

  • graff1_large

    Guam's Brain Teaser

    March 13, 2017

    I fell down the internet rabbit hole last summer researching my new home, Guam, and came across the disease that mysteriously appeared and then disappeared on the tiny island. The potential culprits behind lytico-bodig included bats, prehistoric palm trees and cursed fruit. Who wouldn’t be intrigued?

  • aging

    Is Living Longer, Living Better?

    March 10, 2017

    With the potential for repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the health care safeguards that help care for the aging and those with chronic disease could be in jeopardy. Research has shown there is a correlation between access to care and health–and perhaps by association, lifespan—and the risks are becoming more profound over time, with the increasing number of people who need care for serious illnesses throughout their lives.

  • kelly1

    Match Day 2017: How her grandma’s end inspired this young doctor’s new beginning

    March 10, 2017

    Each year, soon-to-be graduating medical students count down to the third Friday in March, also known as “Match Day,” when they find out where they will continue their medical training. Lauren Kelly, a fifth-year MD/MPH candidate in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, describes how caring for her family members informed her own path.

  • nowell teaser

    A Memorial for Peter Nowell, MD

    March 08, 2017

    In the spring of 1938, a teacher at a small progressive grade school in Rose Valley, Pa., wrote of one young pupil: “Might well go far with science.” That child was Peter Nowell, who was honored and celebrated last week at a memorial event held at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania following his death Dec. 26, 2016, at age 88.

  • jason han

    Countdown to Match Day: Jason Han

    March 07, 2017

    Each year, soon-to-be graduating medical students count down to the third Friday in March, also known as “Match Day,” when they find out where they will continue their medical training. Jason Han, a fourth-year student in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania who recently wrote about medical errors from both sides of the stethoscope, shares his story here.

  • facebook

    Staying 'Present' in a Smartphone World

    March 06, 2017

    At the beginning of last month, I did the unthinkable and deleted Facebook and Twitter from my trusty iPhone. I found myself increasingly glued to my device, pulling it out every time I was walking to the water cooler or waiting in line to buy lunch. The modern struggle against the smartphone overload is one Penn’s Michael Baime, MD, director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness, is all too familiar with.

  • jensen teaser

    Putting the ‘Plastic’ in ‘Synaptic Plasticity’

    March 03, 2017

    We’ve all seen 'em: Children displaying prowess far beyond ours in areas we considered ourselves capable. They make up for a lack of experience with the ability to learn at an extraordinary pace, surpassing their elders quickly. You may be relieved to know there’s a term, and full scientific explanation, for this phenomenon—beyond just your being out of touch.

  • marjorie

    Preventing Delirium in the Hospital: Simple Solutions Can Work Best

    March 01, 2017

    Older adults are at extremely high risk of experiencing delirium and functional decline when hospitalized. And it’s easy to see why: Patients are often confined to a bed with a catheter or IV, are sleep deprived, and suffer emotional distress. Now, a partnership between nurses at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and students at Penn’s School of Nursing (SON) is helping these patients get the attention and support they need.

  • pc

    When to Watch: The Complicated Choice of Prostate Cancer

    February 27, 2017

    Understandably, most patients diagnosed with cancer feel the faster they can get treatment, the better. That’s generally true, and the idea of putting off treatment in favor of “keeping an eye” on the disease is counter-intuitive to everything most people believe about cancer. Watching and waiting may seem scarier—but could it be the right move?

  • mobilevan

    Crowdsourcing for CPR

    February 24, 2017

    The chance of a bystander stepping in to perform CPR on someone who goes into cardiac arrest out in public hovers around 40 percent. In Philadelphia, the numbers are far worse. Nonprofits like the American Heart Association are working hard to help turn that around with more CPR outreach, training, and better technological approaches. Yes, there’s an app for it.

  • dickens_medium

    Helen O. Dickens: A Figure Who Was Anything But Hidden

    February 22, 2017

    Helen O. Dickens, was never comfortable being called a trailblazer. For her, it was only ever about achieving her dream. Along the way, however, she left an indelible imprint on her community and played a vital role in transforming women’s health care.

  • epstein_medium

    New Ways on the Horizon to Fix a Broken Heart

    February 20, 2017

    During a heart attack, blocked arteries cause the heart muscle to become starved for oxygen, and eventually some muscle cells die. Many of the more than one million Americans who have heart attacks annually will survive—but the damage done to the heart is permanent, and causes survivors to be at increased risk for further maladies. We need new ways to repair and protect a broken heart.

  • grants

    Philly’s Opportunity to Address Health Disparities Through Research Funding

    February 17, 2017

    Last month, Gary H. Gibbons, MD, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, delivered a keynote address to explain existing opportunities in funding, and outlined the institute’s vision for future funding of research.

  • global_heart

    Tackling Heart Disease on a Global Scale

    February 15, 2017

    Seventeen million people worldwide die from cardiovascular disease each year. Globally, it's the number one cause of death. Seventy percent of the U.S. population will experience it or have a family member experience it—and the numbers only get worse in low- and middle-income countries. So what can be done?

  • running_large

    Is Running Really Good for the Heart?

    February 13, 2017

    Running season is just around the corner—and for many people, from avid runners to weekend warriors, that means it’s almost time to lace up your shoes and dust off those training plans. But recent news stories about runners suffering sudden cardiac arrest and other heart-related complications mid-race might leave some wondering if there may actually be a risk to running.

  • therapy2_tease

    Notes and Tails of Patient Therapy at HUP

    February 10, 2017

    From tiny dogs making adorable bedside visits to massive harps contributing to bedside concerts, patients at Penn Medicine experience a wide array of therapies designed to help make their stays more comfortable.

  • mlk_tease

    Legacy of MLK Held High at Health Equality Symposium

    February 08, 2017

    Antonia Novello, the 14th Surgeon General of the United States, spoke to a nearly packed crowd last month and asked them a hard question: "At this moment, 53 years after [the signing of the Civil Rights Act] I have to ask you, is the glass half empty or half full?"

  • mossell_title_new

    Nathan Francis Mossell, Penn Medicine's First Black Graduate

    February 06, 2017

    Nathan Francis Mossell’s is a figure which looms large in Philadelphia medical history, not just for the barriers he broke but for those he helped others break throughout his life—and the tale of his rise to prominence in the field started right here in the fall of 1879.

  • millar_tease

    Wake-Up Calls for Women’s Equality, from Academic Medicine to Washington

    February 03, 2017

    Penn Medicine's Sarah Millar has recognized a need to take action and began actively working more to address barriers to women’s equality in academic medicine.

  • heart_teaser

    The Little Algorithm That Could

    February 01, 2017

    The Penn Medicine Heart Failure Solution has come a long way over the last two years; what started as an equation involving 30-some patient characteristics has been whittled down to an almost exact science. Today, that little algorithm has developed into a whole new strategy for managing heart failure patients—and it’s keeping them healthier and out of the hospital longer.

  • orch_teaser

    Playing an Instrument: Better for Your Brain than Just Listening

    January 30, 2017

    While research has long suggested listening to an orchestra’s performance of such well-known pieces as Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro may boost the audience’s brain power – a hypothesis aptly named The Mozart Effect—Penn Medicine experts suggest those playing in the orchestra may derive the most benefits of all.

  • er_tease

    Can Big Data Help Cancer Patients Avoid ER Visits?

    January 27, 2017

    What if doctors could look into a crystal ball and predict which of their patients might be at risk of getting sick enough to go to the emergency room—and use that prediction to help patients get treatment more quickly, with a greater chance of returning home? For at least one group of patients, that’s exactly what researchers at Penn Medicine are trying to do.

  • bigdata_teaser

    PennSeek is the "Google" of EMRs

    January 25, 2017

    Genetic sequencing technology has generated a vast amount of biomedical data in the past ten years. Along with that, the technology has become cheaper, faster and more accurate. This month, the Penn Center for Precision Medicine Accelerator Fund awarded its first grants to eight research teams for personalized medicine projects across a gamut of clinical specialties, from lung cancer to infectious disease to knee surgery, each making use of “big data” in different ways.

  • hiv_twitter_thumb

    Twitter’s Role in the Fight Against HIV

    January 23, 2017

    Twitter isn't just a platform to read news, engage with like-minded individuals, launch insults or give praise. It's also a far-reaching and revealing digital "petri dish" to study human behavior that may help predict disease outbreaks, like HIV, and inform public health efforts, as several studies and social media experts have shown over the last few years.

  • podcast_tease

    Getting a Medical Education from Your Headphones

    January 20, 2017

    Stacks of textbooks and medical journals may soon go the way of the Dodo for many physicians looking to stay updated on latest medical research and breakthroughs. Digital learning tools, such as podcasts, are the way of the future—at least, according to Penn Medicine resident physician in Neurology, James Siegler, MD.

  • data_tease

    Big Ideas for Big (ish) Data

    January 18, 2017

    I sat down with Mike Draugelis, former Lockheed Martin missile defense engineer turned Penn Medicine’s Chief Data Scientist, to learn a bit more about the topic, the use of big data in health care and beyond, and the future of the industry.

  • LGBT_teaser

    Easing Transitions Every Step of the Way

    January 16, 2017

    At Penn Medicine, the new Transgender Patient Advocate Program pairs volunteers with trans patients who may benefit from help connecting to providers and making appointments, minor insurance questions, ensuring care providers and frontline staff are respectful, and any other issue they may face along the way.

  • opioid_tease

    Some Patients Grow Wary of Opioids as Epidemic Looms

    January 13, 2017

    Nearly all of the cancer patients Erin McMenamin, MSN, CRNP—a registered a nurse in Radiation Oncology—speaks with are afraid of opioids, citing shocking statistics they’ve read about in the newspaper, tragic stories they’ve seen on the evening news or downright incorrect information they’ve read online.

  • cdiff_teaser

    Walking the Tightrope

    January 11, 2017

    All drugs have benefits and risks, and researchers have to study both sides to quantify them and map out the best, safest uses. This balancing act is part of a constant quest within the medical community.

  • cares_teaser

    Raising Spirits Throughout the Holiday Season

    January 09, 2017

    Reaching out into our communities to improve the lives of those less fortunate is one of Penn Medicine’s highest priorities. But giving back takes on a special significance during the holiday season.

  • tugger_teaser

    The Give and Take of Health System Social Media

    January 06, 2017

    Just about everything on the Internet carries with it an inherent polarization—the highs are extraordinarily high, the lows extraordinarily low—and social media hasn’t proven any different. Thankfully, working for a health system that’s continually finding new and interesting ways to utilize the medium means I get to experience more of those extraordinary high points.

  • cope_1960s_thumb

    An Instrumental Figure: The Legacy of Constantin Cope

    January 04, 2017

    After serving as a longtime faculty member in the department of Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Constantin Cope died peacefully in November 2016—yet his impact is still unfolding and shaping the future of medicine, and his story, even the parts that are known, is widely underappreciated.

  • shelat_teaser

    A Look Back at 2016's Biggest Medical Science Revolutions

    January 03, 2017

    In the grand scheme of things, it can seem like progress in science and medicine moves pretty slow—but in reality, when you put science and medicine under the microscope, you find that a single year can bring big, meaningful gains and exciting advances. So, as we welcome a brand new year, let’s pause to reflect on some of Penn Medicine’s biggest newsmakers from the last 12 months.

  • flu_teaser

    What’s in a Flu Vaccine

    December 28, 2016

    If you’re a person that gets a flu shot every year, chances are you have received it by now, along with the millions of others in the United States who have also been vaccinated. According to Centers for Disease Control survey data collected through early November 2016, forty percent of people have received a flu vaccine so far this year. Although getting the shot is simple enough, what goes into the vaccine, from a biological perspective to a policy point of view, is anything but.

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    Santa’s Biggest Health Issue Isn’t Cookies

    December 23, 2016

    Santa Claus is coming to town, which means he'll be on a very long flight around the globe that ends with lots of toys for kids—but a terrible case of jet lag. Most sleep experts would agree it's a recipe for disaster.

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    Harnessing Big Data to Count Calories in the ICU

    December 21, 2016

    Even immobile patients burn calories through normal biological functions like breathing and thinking—and the average patient only receives about 50 percent of their daily calorie needs, meaning many patients in the ICU are at risk for malnutrition. That’s where David Do, MD, and his fellow researchers come in.

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    Hacking Your Holiday Eating

    December 19, 2016

    More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, another 86 million are classified as pre-diabetic, and one-third of the United States population is considered obese, which means a significant number of Americans should be keeping an extra close eye on their holiday eating habits.

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    The Season of Giving Lasts 365 Days a Year

    December 16, 2016

    Twenty-six percent of Philadelphians live in poverty—the highest among the 10 most populous cities in the United States. Seeing this need, Penn Medicine staff and students work year-round to support the communities in which Penn Medicine calls home. Here, we review a few of the programs that change the lives of our patients, neighbors, and shape our communities for years to come.

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    Creating Innovation, From Hollywood to Penn Medicine

    December 14, 2016

    Brett Beaulieu-Jones, a doctoral student in genomics and computation biology in the Perelman School of Medicine, has had an interesting few years, to say the least.

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    Training the World: Proton Therapy Course Draws Global Interest

    December 12, 2016

    Walk into one of the treatment rooms at Penn Medicine’s Roberts Proton Therapy Center, and the first thing you’ll notice is the massive machine in the middle.

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    HEADstrong Brings “Home” to HUP for the Holidays

    December 09, 2016

    For those visiting family members in the hospital this day – and others coming up in just a few weeks -- the holiday spirit can be sadly missing.

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    Melding Music and Medicine

    December 07, 2016

    Music plays a huge part of what we do at Penn Medicine. You just have to be on the lookout for it, is all. You’re not going to mistake our hallways for the stage anytime soon, but we utilize music around here in some subtle, entertaining, and/or wonderful ways.

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    Tough Questions and Creative Thinking in Times of Crisis

    December 05, 2016

    Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” The famous line adapted from poet Robert Burns’s To a Mouse conveys the likelihood of unexpected changes in even the most detailed and carefully planned projects. While the phrase might...

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    Filling the Diversity Pipeline, One Student at a Time

    December 02, 2016

    Minorities in biomedical education are growing, but draining away once they get farther along in their careers, according to a study covered this month by The Atlantic. Kenneth Gibbs Jr., an immunologist and science-policy expert at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, looked at the number of graduates and...

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    World AIDS Day 2016: The Search for a Cure

    November 30, 2016

    When the AIDS epidemic first took hold in the United States more than 30 years ago, doctors were at a loss for how to treat or prevent this mysterious and deadly illness that seemed to primarily affect gay men. Today, HIV/AIDS is a worldwide global health crisis that has claimed...

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    Antibiotic Stewardship: Preventing Too Much of a Good Thing

    November 28, 2016

    Antibiotics are vital to the practice of modern medicine. They make many things that we take for granted today possible. But, like anything else, too much of a good thing, can be bad. Over the last several decades, over-prescribing has played a large role in an increase of antibiotic-resistant strains...

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    Giving Thanks and Talking Options

    November 23, 2016

    Every year, Thanksgiving tends to ignite conversations with family members and friends in a way no other Holiday can. “So how about this election?” “Is Michael really applying to college as a philosophy major?” “Should we really be watching a sport that irreparably destroys the brains and bodies of young...

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    The Dangers of Workplace Snackage

    November 21, 2016

    It’s one of those things that just kind of happens. Maybe someone in your department is getting married, or it’s someone’s birthday, and one of your coworkers decides to commemorate the day with treats. Maybe they leave those treats sitting out in the open, where anybody can walk by and...

  • Keeping the Faith: Med Students Explore Spirituality in Health Care

    November 18, 2016

    Spiritual and religious beliefs not only play important roles in many people’s lives but, as research has shown, they also have an impact on physical and mental health. A new Certificate in Spirituality and Health at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania will help up-and-coming doctors...

  • Painkiller Study Sparks Controversy at National Meeting of Heart Experts, Penn Expert Questions Results

    November 16, 2016

    Earlier this week at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016 in New Orleans, researchers presented data – which was simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine – from the PRECISION trial, which evaluated the impacts of celecoxib – commonly known as Celebrex – on risk of heart...

  • CSI: Penn Medicine?

    November 14, 2016

    Rhonda Browning doesn’t play a forensics expert on TV, but she is training to be one in real life. With the proliferation of crime dramas like Law & Order SVU, NCIS, and the CSI franchise, forensics has become a big topic – people are interested in it, self-declared Sherlocks around...

  • Healing the Invisible Wounds of War

    November 11, 2016

    U.S. Army Sargent Kyle White is only the seventh living veteran of America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest decoration for battlefield valor. He is also one of the millions of veterans who experienced struggles with mental health once he returned home...

  • Beating Cancer Cells at Their Own Game

    November 09, 2016

    Most cells do metabolic somersaults to survive under stressful a condition – which is to say, they enlist the most expedient biochemical pathways to produce essential molecules in order to survive. By comparison, cancer cells perform high-wire cartwheels to recruit alternative pathways to thwart cancer drugs. As cancer cells do...

  • LGBT Health Program Creates Generational Chains of Mentorship

    November 07, 2016

    Since Penn Medicine launched its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health Program in 2014, the group’s numerous initiatives have tackled diversity and inclusion in the workplace, classroom, and clinical settings, educated students and staff on LGBT health topics and disparities, and participated in community outreach, among other efforts. Now,...

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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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