University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Experts Available to Discuss Aspects of NASA Shuttle Tragedy

(Philadelphia, PA) - The following experts in post traumatic stress at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, are available to be interviewed regarding the psychological and emotional issues related to the NASA space shuttle Columbia crash, as well as how those problems should be treated:

Sheila Rauch, PhD
Sean Cahill, PhD
David Riggs, PhD
Elizabeth Hembree, PhD

Also available for comment is David Dinges, PhD, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry; Chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, and Director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry. Dr. Dinges works in research for human psychology and sleep during space flight for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, which was founded by NASA to reduce the health risks associated with space travel.

These experts may be reached by calling Press Officer Ellen O'Brien in the Department of Public Affairs at 215.349.5659.

PENN Bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe, PhD, who is also the Chief of Bioethics (Care & Protection of Research Subjects and Patients) for NASA.

Senior Vice President and Corporate Chief Medical Officer for the University of Pennsylvania Health System David Longnecker, MD, who also chairs the Institute of Medicine 's 'Committee on Aerospace Medicine and Medicine for Extreme Environments' -- which advises NASA on the health care of astronauts, both long-term and in space flight -- is available for comment. Dr. Longnecker was a guest of NASA for the STS-107 launch, and was briefed by the flight surgeons and NASA regarding the scientific mission.

To interview these two experts, please call Rosann Thompson, Director of Media Relations, at 215.662.2560.


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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $6.7 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $392 million awarded in the 2016 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2016, Penn Medicine provided $393 million to benefit our community.

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