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Dr. Nepo Joins Children’s Hospital

Anne Groves Nepo, MD, a pediatric oncologist/hematologist, has joined the staff of the Children’s Hospital as associate professor of clinical pedi- atrics in the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders. With more than 25 years of experience treating childhood cancers, Dr. Nepo comes to Albany Med from Livingston, N.J., where she worked as chief of the section of pediatric hematology/oncol- ogy in the department of pediatrics at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

“We are delighted that Dr. Nepo has come on board. Dr. Nepo brings vast experience and a compassion for working with children that is crucial to our success,” said Richard Sills, MD, section head of hematology/oncology in the department of pedi- atrics and professor of pediatrics.

Dr. Nepo’s particular areas of interest include childhood leukemia and abnormal hemoglobins.

Along with the other members of the division of pediatric hema- tology/oncology at Albany Med, she will continue to participate in the clinical research protocols of the Children’s Oncology Group, an international consortium of medical institutions that helps to develop protocols for patient care with the goal of advancing the treatments and technologies to fight childhood cancers.

Dr. Nepo received her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and completed her pediatric residency and fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, where she also served as chief resident in pediatrics.

In the past, Dr. Nepo was an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the New Jersey Medical School. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Pediatric Hema- tology/Oncology.

The Grapevine

  • Jeffrey Orlowski, executive director of the Center for Donation & Transplant, has been appointed vice chair of the United Net- work for Organ Sharing (UNOS) organ procurement organization (OPO) committee. He will serve as vice-chair for two years before assuming the chair position in July 2008. The OPO committee considers issues relating to organ procurement organizations and increasing organ procurement efficiency and effectiveness to include medical, scientific, and ethical aspects of organ dona- tion. “To say that I was honored to be selected for this duty would be an understatement. I will endeavor to represent the CDT and AMC in an outstanding fashion,” says Orlowski.

  • Midtown Home Ownership Program—AMC is making available ten $5,000 forgivable loans toward down payment and closing costs to full-time AMC employees purchasing a home (must be owner occupied) within the Midtown Homeownership Zone Phase I boundaries. There are no income restrictions. For further information about this exciting new employee program, please contact HomeStore Director, City of Albany, at 434-2532, ext. 12.

  • Volunteers needed for research study—Simon Spivack, MD, of both the human toxicology division of the Wadsworth Center, NYSDOH, and the Albany Medical Center division of pulmonary/ critical care medicine, is conducting a research study to develop a new screening test for early detection of lung disease. Healthy volunteers over 21 who smoke are needed to participate in this study. Volunteers will meet with a research nurse at AMC and will be compensated $30 for completing the study. Day 1 (approx. 40 minutes) - After signing an informed consent form, volunteers fill out a short, confidential health question- naire. Blood, exhaled breath, saliva, and cheek cell samples will be collected. Subjects will be taught how to collect cheek cell samples (3 times/24-hour period) and keep track of their smoking times while in the study. Day 2 (approx. 10-15 minutes) - Subjects return cheek cell samples and have final blood and cheek cell samples collected. If you are interested in more information about the study, or you would like to volunteer, please call to speak with a research nurse at 262-6608 or e-mail Paula Malone at malonep@mail.amc.edu

  • The Outpatient Pharmacy will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4 in observance of Labor Day.

Faculty News Ellis Tobin, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases was elected as a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Fellowship in the society honors individuals who have achieved professional excellence and provided significant service to the profession. According to the ISDA president, “It is an honored rank that the society reserves for its highest achievers.” Dr. Tobin is a physician with Upstate Infectious Disease Associates.

Myron Gordon, MD

Professo , Obstetrics and Gynecology was elected to the “Wall of Fame” of the department of gyne- cology-obstetrics at SUNY Buffalo, an award that recognizes lifetime achievement in the field. Dr. Gordon is a 1948 graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Medicine.

Dana Crawford, PhD

Assistant Professo , Center for Immunology &

Microbial Disease has received a $10,000 grant from The Bender Scientific Fund of the Community Foundation for the Capital Region in support of his research on Adapt78 in Alzheimer’s disease and Down Syndrome.

Edmund Gosselin, PhD

Associate Professo , Center for Immunology &

Microbial Disease served on the National Institutes of Health “Non-HIV Microbial Vaccine Development Study Section” in Washington, DC, in July.


Editor’s Note: In June, parts of Montgomery County were devastated by floods that displaced many families, leaving them without food, wate , clothing, and shelter. The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce responded with an emergency relief effort. This letter is from the Chamber’s tourism director and recounts her positive experience in reaching out to Albany Med for assistance. The employees she refers to are Annette Arduini, ASA III group leader (Information Desk), and Janis Keehan, administrative coordinator for the department of pediatrics.

Dear Albany Medical Center,

On Friday, June 30, I was referred to Albany Medical Center by St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam when I called to ask if they had any liquid baby formula that they could donate to the flood relief effort in Montgomery County.

Not knowing who to contact at such a large hospital, I was directed to patient services on the first ring. A friendly voice by the name of Annette answered. I told her the reason for my call and she graciously stayed on the line with me for about 20 minutes checking department after department until she found someone who could help me. I was so impressed how she took time out of what was obviously a busy day for her to help us over here in Montgomery County. I am convinced that if it weren’t for her, we would not have been able to reach someone who was able to assist us. I could not believe that I was receiving this kind of service from such a large hospital!

Annette then got in touch with Janis from Dr. Clark’s office. I was transferred over where I was greeted with the same hospi- tality as patient services. Janis also tried every effort and avenue that she knew of to help me. She gave me the phone number for your Mead and Johnson sales representative, a gentleman by the name of Rich DelSignore. I left a message then he called me back about an hour later even though he was just starting his 10-day vacation. He graciously offered to meet me halfway so I could pick up the donations of baby formula.

Since the tragic flooding, we have seen the best and the worst. It is people like the three mentioned above who have kept many people going in this county. While the effects have been on a much smaller scale than some disasters that have occurred in our country, we still have a long way to go in clean-up and resuming life as it once was.

I would like to personally thank Annette, Janis, and Rich for putting in the extra effort.


Erika Squillace Tourism Director, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce

On the Job

Karen Clement-O’Brien, RN

The pursuit of knowledge is a vigorous, unending journey and education does not stop when a student graduates, especially in the health care profession. Educa- tion is what gives dedicated professionals a sense of accom- plishment and enlightenment, and is what keeps them passion- ate about patient care. A 29-year education and nursing veteran, Karen Clement-O’Brien, RN, possesses a breadth of knowledge and experience that supports the education element at the Medical Center and helps health care pro- fessionals continue to excel in their field.

As director of the Center for Learning and Development, Clement-O’Brien is behind the scenes of several key internal and external education programs. As the coordinator of academic affil- iated school programs, she oversees the clinical rotations of hun- dreds of new nurses. She works closely with the clinical instructors to ensure that rotations make sense and are effective for nursing students, so they are well-prepared for the field upon graduation.

The Center also is an American Heart Association Training Center offering a variety of programs for all health care profes- sionals including advanced lifesaving and CPR courses, manager development classes in collaboration with human resources, the Annual Mandatory (safety) Education Required program for all staff, and many clinical competency programs for staff.

Continuing education programs that serve employees as well as the professional community are developed and coordinated with many hospital and college departments as well as the AMC office of Continuing Medical Education. Albany Medical Center Hospital is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing educa- tion by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC). The ability to coordinate and provide contact hours, or CE as it is referred to, is a drawing card for many health professionals.

In addition, department personnel counsel staff members on career advancement opportunities and offer information on local and regional colleges. “We provide education and programming to assist clinical staff in maintaining their competency in an ever- changing health care field,” says Clement-O’Brien. “That’s how we best serve patients and families. That’s why we’re here.”

Earlier this year, Clement-O’Brien instituted Nursing Grand Rounds, a monthly seminar that recognizes the impact nurses have on the health care industry and offers nurses another opportunity for professional advancement. Clement-O’Brien over- sees the series and invites Albany Med advanced practice staff as well as guest speakers and experts from around the country to present on a variety of subjects—from new technology in patient care to bioethical ramifications of procedures and medicine. The

AMC Team Rides in ‘Tour de Cure’

Some members of the Albany Medical Center Cycling Team pose just prior to the annual Tour de Cure in Stillwater. The team had a great ride and raised $11,000 for the American Diabetes Association. Albany Med’s Goodman Diabetes Service was a major sponsor of the event and donated $3,000. In all, about 1,000 people participated in the event in which cyclists rode distances up to 100 miles. Albany Med’s team was made up of employees, patients, and friends and family members. A total of $420,000 was raised at the event. Dr. James Desemone is the team captain.

lectures draw nurses, nurse practitioners and other health providers from AMC to listen and receive credit for participation.

“One of the challenges in staff development is creating pro- grams that are interesting and are good use of a busy nurse’s time. It’s encouraging to see standing-room-only at some of these seminars. It shows that we’ve developed something impor- tant to our employees,” Clement-O’Brien says.

Clement-O’Brien was also a key driver behind the successful “Growing Our Own” program, a work-study program that offers eligible Albany Med employees the opportunity to become registered professional nurses. The program, a response to a nursing shortage, allows employees who want to pursue a nursing career to receive full tuition payment and full-time pay that allows for study and class time in exchange for committing to work for a fixed period of time at the Medical Center immediately following graduation.

The program has graduated 17 nurses since its inception and enrolls approximately 20 students each year. “Karen was able to turn a critical situation into an opportunity for advancement for entry-level staff. In doing so, she developed a program that has become a model for several hospitals throughout New York State to use in their own recruitment efforts,” says Mary Ellen Plass, RN, senior vice president and chief nursing officer.

In addition, scholarship programs have been developed for potential employees pursuing careers in radiology, respiratory therapy, echocardiography, and nursing. The department assists in the coordination of these programs.

“It’s encouraging to see standing-room-only at some of these seminars. It shows that we’ve developed something important to our employees.”

During her 14 years at Albany Med, Clement-O’Brien has served as an education specialist to assess and evaluate the educational needs of the staff, and she became director of education and development in 2001. She received her master’s in nursing degree with a concentration in teaching from Russell Sage College in 1984. She previously focused on the arithmetic needs, problem–solving skills, and medication dosage calculation skills of returning adult learners to the college setting and published the textbook, Applying medication math skills, A dimensional analysis approach, in 1999.

Clement-O’Brien also coordinates a number of programs for affiliating school student experiences, quality assurance, and stan- dard preparedness. She develops strategies to build managerial and leadership skills and to support the academic and professional development for the staff. For her, education is the process through which employees can grow.

“Education exists for the purpose of changing behavior,” Clement-O’Brien says. “There’s so much opportunity available to health care professionals here.”

AJOB Recognized as the Leading Journal in Bioethics

The American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB), with both its editors and editorial offices at the Alden March Bioethical Institute at Albany Medical College, was recently rated as the leading journal in the field of bioethics by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), the acknowledged authority on the impact of research in medicine and science.

According to the most recent ISI rankings, when published in AJOB, research about ethical issues in such topics as assisted suicide, stem cell research, health disparities and even face transplantation are cited almost twice as often as articles published in any other journal that deals with such issues. The ISI ranking is used by medical schools and academic researchers, as well as the media, government and industry, to identify the leading sources of information in science and medicine.

As a result of its success, says Sean Philpott, PhD, executive managing editor and the associate director of AMBI, the journal will be expanding from six to 12 issues in 2007, and will spawn a spin-off journal dedicated to neuro- ethical issues, AJOB Neuroscience. In addition, the institute will add several new sections to AJOB focusing on ethical issues associated with clinical cases.

“The presence of a highly ranked medical journal is one of the hallmarks of every top medical school,” said Glenn McGee, PhD, director of AMBI and editor in chief of AJOB. “But more important than the prestige of the journal is its impact. I’m often told by our medical students that AJOB comes up frequently in conversations with peers and mentors. This is both encouraging and rewarding, given the strong emphasis our institution places on professionalism and medical ethics.”


AMC Events

September 8 Anatomical Gift Memorial Service

1pm, Albany Rural Cemetery. Medical students and faculty will pay tribute to those who donated their bodies to the College's Anatomical Gift Program.

September 8 Designer Sunglasses Sale

7am-4pm in Choices Café. To benefit the AMC Auxiliary.

September 14

American Health Information Management Association Audio Seminar

1-2:30pm in MS-169. “ICD-9-CM Updates for FY 2007.” Develop an in-depth understanding of the new 2007 ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes and learn to use the new ICD-9-CM codes appropriately to avoid coding errors. RSVP to Janet Nguyen at 262-6529 or via e-mail.

September 18 Controlled Substance Training

9-10am in ME-100. Victoria Hanson, pharmacy con- sultant, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, NYS Dept. of Health, will present a training session for anyone at AMC in clinical or basic research who will be using protocols requiring purchase of or use of controlled substances.

September 19 and 20 Dynamic Funding (outerwear and Timberland boots) Sale

7am-4pm in Choices Café. To benefit the AMC Auxiliary.

September 28 Open House, Department of Radiation Oncology

4-6pm, Buffet in Baxter Library. Come see the department’s new linear accelerator.

September 29 Medical Student Investigations Day

9am-4pm, Upper Level of Choices Cafe. Medical students will share their research on various medical topics including community involvement, biomedical research and issues in health care management.

ALBANY MED TODAY Vol. 1, No. 14 • August 30, 2006

Albany Med Today is published twice a month by the Public Relations Department for the employees, staff, students, alumni, board members and volunteers of the Albany Medical Center.

Comments and story suggestions can be directed to the Albany Medical Center Public Relations Department, 43 New Scotland Avenue (Mail Code 125), Albany, N.Y. 12208 or by faxing to (518) 262-3880, or by calling (518) 262-3421.


James J. Barba President and Chief Executive Officer

Louis Filhour, RN Senior Vice President for Clinical Quality

Steven M. Frisch, MD Executive Vice President of IDS and Hospital Systems General Director

George T. Hickman Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer

William C. Hasselbarth Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Gary J. Kochem Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Vincent Verdile, MD Dean and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs

Robert A. Catalano, MD Vice President, Medical Affairs and Medical Director of AMCH and SCC

Catherine Halakan Senior Vice President for Human Resources

Lee R. Hessberg Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Bernadette Pedlow Senior VP for Hospital Business Services and Hospital Chief Operating Officer

Mary Ellen Plass, RN Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer

Henry Pohl, MD Vice Dean for Academic Administration

Richard M. Cook Senior Vice President for Polic , Planning and Communications

Fardin Sanai Senior VP for Development and Foundation Operations

Timothy W. Duffey Hospital Director - AMC South Clinical Campus

Ferdinand Venditti, MD Chai , Dept. of Medicine and President, FOC

Beth Engeler Editor

Willow Graphics Graphic Design

Walter Snyder Printer, Inc. Printing Services

Contributors Sue Ford Jean DerGurahian Karen Pirozzi


Gregory J. McGarry Vice President for Communications

Nicole Pitaniello Assistant Vice President for Public Relations

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