Penn Medicine News Blog: Posts by Katie Delach

Katie DelachKatie came to Penn Medicine in 2011 with more than five years of experience working in media relations, communications and public relations for a variety of clients in technology and healthcare. In previous positions, she was responsible for content development, media and public relations strategy and outreach on behalf of clients including ForHealth Technologies, HP, and Intel. Her experience includes developing traditional, social media and grassroots campaigns, and conducting press outreach for product launches, thought leadership campaigns, and conferences. Katie received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Science in Public Relations from Boston University.

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CSI: Penn Medicine?

November 14, 2016 // Comments Forensic Nursing

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... Read more

Parents and Teens Learn the Way to Safety

October 19, 2016 // Comments image from

Distracted driving is responsible for more than 3,000 deaths and over 400,000 injuries per year. We all know it’s dangerous – who among us hasn’t yelled at the person who drifts into our lane to “put the phone down!” or “pay attention!”? And how many of us have been that... Read more

Postal Worker Delivers Life-Saving CPR

September 28, 2016 // Comments image from

“They didn’t think I was going to make it at first, and they said it was only because of Gary Booz and his quick actions that I’m alive right now and am doing as well as I am.” That was Lynette Wimer, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service,... Read more

Stop the Bleed

September 12, 2016 // Comments image from

Penn Medicine's Patrick K. Kim, MD, Trauma Program Director for the Penn Division of Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care & Emergency Surgery, answers questions from a group of Philadelphia nurses on wound care and tourniquet application. While students were picking out their outfits and sharpening pencils, and teachers were preparing their... Read more

Who Ya Gonna Call? MERT!

August 15, 2016 // Comments image from

Penn’s MERT Program Celebrates 10 Years of Students Helping Students Should you ever experience a medical emergency, college students on bikes might not be what you’d expect to see pulling up to your house. But, in University City, often times those students on bikes – who are actually highly trained... Read more

Advancing Injury Care for all Americans

August 3, 2016 // Comments image from

John P. Pryor, MD, Penn trauma surgeon and a Major in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps (left), and C. William Schwab. On Christmas Day 2008, Pryor was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq with a forward surgical team in the Army’s 1st Medical Detachment when he... Read more

The Healing Waves of Art

July 8, 2016 // Comments IMG_5553

Earlier this week, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center became home to more than 200 feet of shining, twisting, flowing aluminum. The new “Waves of Healing” sculpture was created and donated by Richard Montelone as a “thank you” to the Penn Medicine care teams who saved both of his parents’ lives. Monteleone... Read more

Itching for Some Sun

June 10, 2016 // Comments Sun

It may have taken awhile, but now that the sun is out and temperatures are rising, it’s time for the annual reminders about sun safety. Usually these consist of the old adages: wear a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses, sit in the shade whenever possible, wear protective, tightly-woven clothing, and of... Read more

Giving Health Care a “Nudge” In the Right Direction

May 23, 2016 // Comments image from

In his book “Nudge,” University of Chicago behavioral economics expert Richard Thaler describes how “small interventions in the environment or incentives can encourage people to make better decisions.” Decision-making of any kind is heavily influenced by how choices are presented and information is framed. While the basic principles of nudge... Read more

Gender Bias and the Leaking Biomedical Pipeline

April 18, 2016 // Comments Pipe

“Another day, another 70 cents!” Those were parting words from my mom every morning as she headed off to work at a cytogenetics lab, and I left for school. I didn’t really get it then – how could I when as a pre-teen my biggest problems were whether people were... Read more

Not Your Mom’s Health Care

March 28, 2016 // Comments Pitch

“What we heard today… it’s not what people think of when they think about the pace of health care.” That was Roy Rosin, MBA, chief innovation officer at Penn Medicine, who earlier this month gave closing remarks at a unique event in which eight teams of health care professionals from... Read more

Pregnancy and Heart Disease – Expanding the SCOPE of our Understanding

February 29, 2016 // Comments Preeclampsia

Today marks the last day of Heart Month, an annual campaign raising awareness about cardiovascular disease, a condition including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure that is responsible for one out of every three deaths, and is the leading cause of death in both men and women. In all... Read more

Is Bowel Leakage the New Erectile Dysfunction?

February 8, 2016 // Comments ABL blog post_image

Millions of men in America suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), but until a decade or so ago, talking about ED was about as taboo as religion and politics at the dinner table. Then, along came those commercials we’ve all come to know so well. You know the ones I’m talking... Read more

The Placenta: Our Least Understood Organ

January 11, 2016 // Comments image from

The placenta, commonly referred to as the afterbirth, is a disc of tissue that connects a mother’s uterus to the umbilical cord, and is ultimately responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen to a fetus. It plays a critical role in fetal development and yet, researchers know very little about how... Read more

Providing PEACE of Mind

December 11, 2015 // Comments Wbaby_smaller

Bleeding and cramping early in pregnancy are common symptoms, which can in some cases signal a serious problem, such as an ectopic pregnancy or the beginning of a miscarriage, a common complication despite often being treated as taboo. In fact, according to the March of Dimes, miscarriage during the first... Read more

Shining a Spotlight on Our Genes, in Our Jeans (photos)

November 13, 2015 // Comments image from

This Tuesday, the Basser Center for BRCA hosted the “Basser Jean Bash – Unzip Your Genes,” an inaugural New York City benefit which raised over $8 million for the Center and included a celebration with special performances by Freestyle Love Supreme and American Authors. Planning for the event took more... Read more

It’s Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day!

October 21, 2015 // Comments BRA Day

It’s BRA Day! Yes, you read that right. While much of October is focused on raising awareness around research and education for patients or families at risk for breast cancer, today is the day we pause to promote education, awareness, and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day... Read more

Fat Busting, Non-Invasive Drug Takes on Double Chins

October 5, 2015 // Comments image from

Individuals lose weight in different areas of the body and at different rates, often leaving some with what they feel are specific "problem areas," where the fat just won’t disappear. Double chins in particular have a tendency to make people feel like they look older or heavier than they are,... Read more

Health Insurance 101

September 4, 2015 // Comments 6146019603_a6964f83ba_o

University of Pennsylvania founder Ben Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” That may have been true back in Mr. Franklin’s time, but today, it seems having questions about health insurance plans and policies is just as certain. Even Penn... Read more

Zion Harvey, and the Future of Transplant Surgery

August 11, 2015 // Comments image from

Chances are you saw eight-year-old Zion Harvey's story somewhere on the news in the past few weeks and already know that a team of more than 40 surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists from Penn Medicine, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and the Shriner's Hospital, came together to do something that had... Read more

Decisions in Breast Reconstruction

July 17, 2015 // Comments image from

Autologous tissue reconstruction (left) and breast reconstruction using a tissue expander (right) are two of the most common reconstruction procedures following breast cancer treatment. Like many cancer patients, those facing a breast cancer diagnosis have a lot of decisions to make, and recovery is a long process. But unlike some... Read more

Beyond Skin Deep: How Scars Affect Psychosocial Well-Being

May 18, 2015 // Comments Laser-for-scars-face-body2

Americans spend more than $12 billion per year on cosmetic procedures to enhance their appearance, whether it’s tanning, implanting, nipping or tucking. That’s because physical appearance influences nearly every aspect of our lives. And it’s not all our own insecurities or judgments, either. Studies show that strangers who observe photographs... Read more

Kidney Transplant Patients Bound by Chains of Love

April 22, 2015 // Comments image from

Four years ago, Matt Crane was devastated when he learned that he was not a kidney donor match for his wife Michele, who was on dialysis after a long struggle with type 1 diabetes. Fortunately for Michele, 52, her brother was a match. But, after only a year and a... Read more

Making Medical Research Mobile

April 1, 2015 // Comments image from

In the laundry list of things you can do with a few swipes or taps of your finger – create a grocery list, conduct banking transactions, and track your daily workout – researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine are partnering with software developers to help create mobile apps aimed... Read more

Spring and Sports are in the Air

March 10, 2015 // Comments image from

We've braved yet another winter of snow, ice and SEPTA delays, and in just a few weeks, we'll be rewarded with the first official day of spring. In fact, spring is so close that we recently celebrated the kick-off of the new Major League Baseball (MLB) season with the beginning... Read more

Transforming Trauma

January 30, 2015 // Comments image from

As we look toward the opening of our new Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC) and the transition of our trauma center from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, throughout the month of January, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest news and... Read more

When 'Sticks and Stones' Break Your Bones, the PAC is Where You Want to Be

January 15, 2015 // Comments Xray1

As we look toward the opening of our new Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC) and the transition of our trauma center from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, throughout the month of January, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest news and... Read more

Achieving Healthy Skin from Within

December 30, 2014 // Comments Fruit_skin

With all the get-togethers, parties, and family dinners, the holiday season can be tough on our waistlines. But, beyond the belt, the food we consume can affect us in other ways, too. What once was a quick and easy trip to the grocery store has now for some become much... Read more

50 Years of Miracles on 34th Street

December 26, 2014 // Comments image from

This year, Penn Fertility Care (PFC) celebrated its 50th anniversary, and as part of that, we’re reflecting on how the program has grown and how our Penn fertility experts have helped couples create and grow their families for decades. Penn's team of reproductive endocrinologists helped pioneer the development of new... Read more

Love in the Laboratory

October 31, 2014 // Comments image from

This week, our internal publications – HUPdate, What’s New, and the Presby Bulletin – all focused on the people who keep hospital operations running throughout the evening and night shifts. Everyone who works an off-peak shift has a different reason for doing it. Some choose it because they enjoy working... Read more

The Future of Telemedicine is Here

October 9, 2014 // Comments image from

Over the past 20 years, advancements in research and the understanding of genetics have created a boom in patient demand for genetic tests. According to the National Library of Medicine, less than 300 genetic tests were available in the 1990s; in contrast, at the end of 2012, almost 3,000 genetic... Read more

The Deafening Silence of Ovarian Cancer

September 10, 2014 // Comments image from

It’s called a “silent killer” because it doesn’t announce its presence. There is no chest pain or difficulty breathing like there is with lung cancer. You won’t have mood swings or nausea like you might with brain cancer. The most noticeable early symptoms of ovarian cancer might be as simple... Read more

Penn Medicine Unveils New University City Facility

August 21, 2014 // Comments image from

Just one month shy of two years since the official groundbreaking ceremony, earlier this month we opened the doors to Penn Medicine University City, our newest outpatient facility that’s taking care delivery to a new level by encouraging patients to be actively engaged in their treatment. A preeminent example of... Read more

Psoriasis: The Heart and Skin Connection

August 6, 2014 // Comments image from

Did you know that psoriasis is more than merely a skin condition? It's a chronic inflammatory disease that increases a patient’s risk for other systemic disorders, such as atherosclerosis and renal damage. In the last year alone, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have... Read more

Lessons Learned from Down Under

July 10, 2014 // Comments image from

At Penn Medicine, we’re fortunate to offer world-class care to our patients, and have facilities that can support groundbreaking research that works to shed light on some of the biggest questions facing medicine today. Often, our faculty and staff are able to take their skills to the far corners of... Read more

Butts Triplets Take Public Health Care by Storm

May 28, 2014 // Comments image from

L to R: Samantha, Sydney and Heather Butts When Samantha, Sydney and Heather Butts were kids, they, like many others, went to school, took piano lessons, and dreamed of what they might become when they grew up. Nothing special, right? Their parents, Dr. Hugh and Mrs. Clementine Butts, raised their... Read more

A Trend Worth Watching: How Increasing Rates of Observation Stays Factor into National Trends in Hospitalizations

April 25, 2014 // Comments image from

As hospitals focus efforts on reducing the number of hospitalizations and patients who are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days to avoid financial penalties from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, so-called “observation stays” have risen. These short-term hospitalizations are typically used when outpatients need to be followed... Read more

Twenty Years Later: How Breast Cancer Risk Genes are Changing Patient Care

April 1, 2014 // Comments image from

In the mid-1990s, scientists for the first time were able to isolate and clone the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, mutations in which were thought to increase susceptibility to early onset breast and ovarian cancers. A new Perspective published last week in Science takes a look back at the last twenty... Read more

New Art Installation Illustrates DNA Repair and Celebrates Hope for Patients and Families Carrying BRCA Mutations

March 13, 2014 // Comments image from

Penn Medicine's Basser Research Center for BRCA Unveils Homologous Hope Sculpture On Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Research Center for BRCA hosted a special event to formally unveil “Homologous Hope,” a new sculpture suspended from the glass atrium in the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. The large-scale piece was... Read more

Forget the Groundhog, Penn Medicine Health Screenings Show Spring is on the Way

March 7, 2014 // Comments image from

PPMC volunteers with Bishop Grant of the Time for Healing Ministries The weather outside might still be pretty frightful, but Penn Medicine faculty and staff have already started holding their annual health screenings and community health fairs, and that’s a sure-fire sign that spring is on the way! This past...

Knee-Deep in the 2014 Winter Olympics

February 20, 2014 // Comments image from

Image courtesy of Alessando Trovati/AP For six days, the world has watched, waited, and celebrated as their countries’ preeminent athletes have competed for medals, records, and ultimately a place in history among Olympic greats. The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have unfolded with every bit of excitement and glory that... Read more

To The Newly Insured: Now What?

January 16, 2014 // Comments Visits-a-country-doctor-1947.jpg!Large

Since the official launch of the Affordable Care Act in late 2013, millions of previously uninsured or underinsured Americans have selected plans affording them better access to health care. With all the controversy around the new legislation and questions surrounding the launch of the enrollment web site, little attention was... Read more

Ho-Ho-Holiday Round-Up

December 24, 2013 // Comments image from

Throughout the year, Penn Medicine employees volunteer their time, money, and resources to help members of local communities, but outreach across the Health System always kicks into overdrive around the season of joy and giving, and 2013 was certainly no exception. Today, as many of us are at home surrounded... Read more

Out of the Exam Room, and Into the Classroom

October 14, 2013 // Comments Picture 004

In an effort to continue raising the bar on our quality of care and help faculty to refine their leadership and development skills, Penn Medicine’s Center for Clinical Ethics Mediation is providing courses aimed at arming clinicians with the skills necessary to facilitate conflict resolution at the bedside. In the health care setting, “conflict” can arise when there are miscommunications over a patient’s medication regimen, differing opinions regarding a course of treatment, cultural differences, etc. The courses offered through the Center for Clinical Ethics Mediation take faculty and staff out of the exam room and into the classroom where, through a series of role-playing exercises, they are able to experience firsthand what it’s like walking in their patients’ shoes. Read more

Could an Ounce of Prevention Actually Cause Harm?

July 26, 2013 // Comments Mehta & Stanton

David Stanton, MD, DMD, and Samir Mehta, MD, principal investigators on Penn Medicine's Bisphosphonate Biomarkers Trial We’ve all seen the TV commercials in which a fabulous Hollywood-mom actress talks to us about the dangers of weakening bones, and the small pills or chewable capsules we can take to avoid common...


June 12, 2013 // Comments Zach sobiech

Doctors search for new ways to solve the puzzle of a rare bone cancer Zach Sobiech (Image courtesy of YouTube) Recently, the world watched as 18-year-old Zach Sobiech transformed from a high school student living with cancer, to a rock star, living his dream of recording music and embracing his... Read more

Wining and Dining for Women’s Health

April 12, 2013 // Comments Wine and Dine 1

From left: Janet Rocchio, RN, MBA, Danielle Burkland, MD, Catherine Salva, MD, and Celeste Durnwald, MD, attend last week's first annual Wine and Dine for Women's Health event On Tuesday, April 9, local residents, sponsors, and 16 of Philadelphia’s best-known restaurants joined forces in the city’s first ever Wine and... Read more

Focusing Attention on Heart Health: Good News for Adults Taking ADHD Medication

February 22, 2013 // Comments Heart-pills1

To celebrate February as American Heart Month, the News Blog is highlighting some of the latest heart-centric news and stories from all areas of Penn Medicine. Research studies have shown that medications commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – such as Adderall, Dexedrine and Ritalin – have a... Read more

A New Venue for Healing: Out of the Hospital and Onto the Stage

January 7, 2013 // Comments The Healing

Later this week, a cast of 15 local actors and actresses will take to the stage at The Playground @ The Adrienne Theater in Center City to share a story of one woman’s journey through life, and cancer. The Healing, billed as “a story of love, fame, hurt, and healing”,... Read more

Giving New Life to Dead Bones

December 14, 2012 // Comments IMG_0102

While most artificial hip joints in use today will last 10-20 years, like all devices, the artificial hip joint – which replaces the natural hip bone with a metal ball and resurfaces the hip socket with a metal shell and plastic liner – wears out over time. For younger patients, this means a second surgery (and maybe even a third) will be required to replace the artificial joint. Fortunately, a rare procedure now being offered by specialists at Penn Medicine provides a long-term alternative for younger patients with chronic hip pain. Read more

Collaboration Does a Body Good

October 5, 2012 // Comments Vitruvian-man

During the first Presidential debate of the 2012 election season earlier this week, President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney went to the mat to discuss – among other topics – the future of health care in the United States. Though the two have opposing views on how to... Read more

Blinded by the Light

September 14, 2012 // Comments EJ_running

One man’s refusal to let choroideremia slow him down Image courtesy of E.J. Scott Earlier this year, the world paused to watch its greatest athletes take center stage and compete for the gold in the Games of the XXX Olympiad. The United States’ Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian... Read more

Penn Medicine Takes a Leading Role in Training Nurses; Receives $36 Million Grant

August 1, 2012 // Comments Nurse image

On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, along with four other hospitals across the nation, have been selected to participate in an initiative to train additional advanced-practice registered nurses (APRN). Nurses with this designation generally have post-graduate training and are able to diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication and treatment regimens, and perform procedures consistent with their scope of practice. Read more

Joint Penn Medicine and CHOP Program Helps Patients Bridge the Gap from Childhood to Adulthood

July 13, 2012 // Comments Bridgingthegap

When you turn 18, life can change overnight. At 18, you can apply for a credit card, register to vote, and sign your own legal documents asserting that you are officially an adult in charge of your own care. It might even be time to head off to college, or... Read more

Taking a Broad Look at Cancer

May 4, 2012 // Comments Broad_street_run2

This Sunday, more than 30,000 runners from around the world will gather in the athletic field at Philadelphia’s Central High School to take part in the 32nd annual Blue Cross Broad Street Run, one of the largest ten-mile road races in the United States. This year, the event that takes participants on a course past the varied neighborhoods of Philadelphia will also jump start the enrollment process for a new nationwide cancer prevention study (CPS). In partnership with the American Cancer Society, representatives from Independence Blue Cross and the City of Philadelphia are encouraging all eligible race participants, friends and family to enroll in the study, which aims to help researchers better understand the factors that cause cancer. Read more

Bridging the Gap in Cancer Care: Penn Congratulates Oncology Nurses in Tanzania, the First Graduates of the OncoLink Cancer Nurse Education Program

April 13, 2012 // Comments Tanzania graduates

On March 27, 2012, 20 nurses from the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) in Tanzania graduated from the first ever OncoLink Cancer Nurse Education Program, a pilot program started in February 2011 that aims to provide oncology nursing training in via e-learning courses. The program was created by oncology nursing experts at OncoLink®, a free cancer information website developed by experts at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center. Read more

Genomic Study May Help Halt Rising Health Care Spending

March 23, 2012 // Comments

In the face of rising health case expenditures, Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, chief of the division of General Internal Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, suspects that the fast-growing field of genomics may be a source of meaningful cost savings. Genomics is the study and testing of one person’s genes, as well as the interactions between those genes and with the subject’s environment. Writing in the March 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Armstrong notes that despite being a new technology – and therefore often associated with higher health care costs – genomics can also be used to identify individuals who will show little or no benefit from a medical intervention, possibly because they have a low risk of suffering harm without the intervention, or because they will not benefit from the intervention. In either case, genetic testing could reduce the use of treatments that are unnecessarily expensive or that are unlikely to yield a benefit. The result is an overall cost reduction. Read more

Baby Boomers Feel the “Kneed” for Speed

March 2, 2012 // Comments Knee2

New research indicates that in recent years orthopaedic surgeons have seen a dramatic surge in the number of Baby Boomers suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or injury to the joint – often resulting from increased activities such as marathon running, swimming, or even power walking. According to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, knee replacements nearly tripled in people ages 45 to 64 between 1997 and 2009. Though still less common in younger patients, current estimates suggest that more than half a million Americans in their 50s have had the procedure. Based on current trends, operations in that age group are expected to increase. Read more

Multi-Organ Transplantation Gives Hope for Patients with Complex Heart-Liver Disorders

February 8, 2012 // Comments Pochettino_Alberto_2

Due to the complex, interdependent nature of the human body’s internal organs, transplant specialists are constantly working to develop new procedures for disorders that extend beyond a single organ. Increasing success with single solid-organ transplantation over the last 50 years has helped propel the field into the more complicated realm of multi-organ transplantation. The first dual-organ transplant, which provided a 6-year-old Texas girl with a new heart and liver, took place on Valentine’s Day in 1984, but just over 100 heart-liver transplants have been performed in the nearly three decades since. Penn Medicine transplant physicians are at the forefront of this work, performing 19 of these combination transplants since 2002 – the second largest number of any transplant center in the U.S., most of whom have only done one or two of the procedures. Read more

Navigating the Way to a Healthy Colon: How Septa Tokens and Crystal Light Can Help Save Lives

January 10, 2012 // Comments West-Philly-Outreach-Team

For many people, feeling healthy is reason enough to put off scheduling a preventive exam, even when it’s doctors orders. For others, a busy schedule often gets in the way and there’s just no time. Still other patients put off exams because of cultural and socioeconomic barriers. Some patients, for... Read more

Missed Opportunities: College Websites Should Provide A Health Care Information Safety Net for Students

November 3, 2011 // Comments

Now, a study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine is providing a different twist on how using the Internet can make a difference in the health and well-being of college students. The new study, published in this month’s issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, examines the websites of 426 colleges, including both small and large, 2- and 4-year institutions, in an effort to characterize how colleges use their web sites to educate about and promote health. Read more

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