Penn Medicine News Blog: Posts by Kim Menard

Kim joined Penn Medicine following nearly four years in the healthcare practice of a leading public relations agency in Chicago, where she specialized in a range of therapeutic areas, including oncology, hematology, neurology, infectious diseases and pediatric obesity. She has broad experience in media, social media and advocacy relations and led medical communications surrounding numerous data publications, medical meeting presentations and regulatory announcements. Kim is a graduate of Northwestern University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Radio/Television/ Film and Communication Studies.

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Penn Dermatology Efforts Help Push Tanning Bed Legislation Through

June 2, 2014 // Comments image from

Tanning in all forms is dangerous. A concerted effort by a cadre of Penn Medicine dermatologists has helped push legislation forward to prevent skin cancers by restricting access to tanning beds, one of the major drivers of the increased incidence of skin cancer in the United States. Current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Breast Reduction Not a Magic Fix for Weight Loss

May 27, 2014 // Comments image from

A new trend has started emerging in an unlikely area: Penn Plastic Surgeons have encountered an influx of women looking for a breast reduction surgery as a primary tool for weight loss. While there may be no magic solution to mastering the scales, experts suggest going back to the basics, and recommend that people dedicate time and energy to taking good care of themselves. Read more

Feeling Confident in Your Skin

April 28, 2014 // Comments image from

As the temperature starts to rise and layers of clothing are starting to be shed, it's time for our annual reminder to think about our skin! This year, Penn Dermatology is offering not one, but two free programs to help everyone feel confident and comfortable in their skin. Free Radiation...

Pocket-sized Medicine: Bringing Real-time Tests to Homebound Patients

April 2, 2014 // Comments image from

Thanks to innovations that have miniaturized medical devices, care providers on the go - from home care visits to busy outpatient practices - can get more and more real-time feedback at the patient's bedside. Read more

Another Wound Bites the Dust - All-Star Team Treats Chronic and Complex Wounds

March 7, 2014 // Comments

The new Penn Center for Wound Healing and Reconstruction – to treat people dealing with unrelenting wounds – aims to simplify the process by bringing a cadre of specialists together, centering around patient needs.

"Nothing About Me, Without Me" - HUP's Patient/Advisory Council Leaders Help Clinicians Reframe Patient Encounters

February 10, 2014 // Comments

The co-chair of HUP's Patient and Family Advisory Council recently opened the eyes of clinicians to a whole new way of looking at interactions with patients. Anita McGinn-Natali recounted her experience as a caregiver during the battle she described as "our cancer journey" during her husband Clark's successful battle with oral cancer. Read more

Obscure Neurologic Diseases Discovered at Penn to be Focus of New Center

January 29, 2014 // Comments

The Penn team that discovered a series of related conditions involving autoimmune responses impairing neurological function is taking the program one step further by opening the Penn Center for Autoimmune Neurology. Read more

Memory May Fade with Dementia, but Artistic Abilities and Benefits Carry On

January 15, 2014 // Comments image from

Since it is possible for Alzheimer's patients to create art, researchers are investigating whether art therapy improves symptoms or quality of life. A new review of studies assessing art interventions from Perelman School of Medicine researchers found that art creation and appreciation activities may improve Alzheimer's disease patients' mood, activities of daily living, quality of life, and even caregiver distress. Read more

Penn Neurologist Inspires India to Screen 230 Million Children for Neurodevelopmental Disorders

December 27, 2013 // Comments image from

Based on the research of Neurology professor emeritus Donald Silberberg, the Government of India has initiated a nation-wide study to identify children with neurodevelopmental disorders and secure treatment and rehabilitation for them. Investing over allocated $400 million U.S. dollars to the program, the program hopes to screen an estimated 230 million children in 630 centers that are being established across the country. Read more

Penn Medicine and Monaco’s Princess Grace Hospital Forge Partnership for Academic and Scientific Advancement

November 8, 2013 // Comments image from

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Philadelphia Mayor Nutter Attend Ceremonial Signing Event at Penn Medicine

The Consequences of Beauty

October 9, 2013 // Comments

More and more people are seeking out medical procedures to improve their appearance - over 12 million facial cosmetic procedures are performed each year in the United States alone - but how does it impact their self confidence, or their quality of life?

Penn Community Comes Together for 2nd Annual 5K for the IOA and Memory Mile Walk

September 26, 2013 // Comments _db17305

It was a perfect fall morning - sunny and 62 - for the second annual Penn 5K for the IOA and Memory Mile Walk on September 22, 2013. Nearly 300 walkers and runners, ranging from 3 years old to 90 years old, turned out some fast times on the new race course through Penn Park, with skyline views of Center City. Read more

Every Story Counts

August 20, 2013 // Comments NBC Nightly News Melissa Livney Penn Memory Center

Ever wonder what it's like to work in a media relations office at a busy academic medical center? Much like other aspects of medicine, it’s fast-paced – and there’s something new and often unexpected to work on every day. To give you a glimpse of the velocity and variety of topics we cover in a given year, we're pulling out some interesting stats from our 2013 fiscal year end media wrap-up report to share with you. Read more

Teaming up for Neuroscience Innovation

August 5, 2013 // Comments IMG_3527

Following a briefing on the current state of neuroscience research across the United States, held in Philadelphia's University City Science Center and hosted by Congressman Chaka Fattah, we had the opportunity to take the morning's featured speaker, Dr. Philip Rubin, Principal Assistant Director for Science at The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), on a whirlwind tour of brain-related research here at Penn Medicine. Read more

5 Things to “Remember” About Alzheimer’s Disease

June 28, 2013 // Comments

Neurological diseases are a bit intimidating to talk about – the last time most of us thought about axons and neurotransmitters, we were in high school biology – so in an effort to make the science a little easier to digest, we're going to make an effort to start trying... Read more

Tackling the Cancer and Aging Conundrum

June 4, 2013 // Comments IMG_9365

Penn’s Institute on Aging recently co-hosted its annual Sylvan M. Cohen lecture and poster session. This year, in partnership with the Abramson Cancer Center‘s Tumor Biology Program, the event focused on “protecting the genome in the longevity revolution: cancer and aging.” Brian Duke, Pennsylvania Secretary for Aging, set the stage... Read more

Smiles Break Past Sorrow at Camp Erin - Philadelphia

May 24, 2013 // Comments 8787883558_28f375609f_o

"Imagine the sound of this gong is like a rocket ship that can send messages up to your loved one," said drummer Josh Robinson, "take 10 seconds to think of your message, and when I ring the gong, it'll reach your loved one." This therapeutic music class was one of... Read more

Summer To-Do List: Stock Up on Sunscreen and Get Checked for Skin Cancer

May 6, 2013 // Comments

It's Monday afternoon after another warm, sunny weekend here in Philadelphia, and that familiar reddish tint of sunburn is on faces all around me. As we emerge from a particularly gloomy and cold winter, people have been embracing every opportunity to spend time outside, but we're apparently out of practice... Read more

Gadgets to Seamlessly Integrate Health Apps Into Daily Life

April 16, 2013 // Comments David-bill-intouch

In early April, Penn Medicine hosted a fast-paced lightning round of presentations highlighting new and emerging technology being used inside and outside the Health System that may help patients and medical professionals alike. “Connected health” is about continuous sensing and monitoring to enable early detection, diagnosis and intervention, and improving outcomes at lower cost. Alternating between internal and external projects, the presenters brought their best ideas and applications to share, explaining how these new devices fit within the existing health care system and, in some cases, how they stretch the boundaries and may change the way healthcare is delivered. Read more

Community Health Workers Deployed to Support Vulnerable Penn Medicine Patients

March 26, 2013 // Comments

Last week, a fleet of community health workers fanned out to help patients in need of some extra support, as part of an ambitious new Penn Medicine program that brings relatable neighbors and peers on board to help vulnerable Penn Medicine patients navigate the medical system and address underlying causes of illness. Read more

Preparing Students for Success on Medical Career Paths

February 25, 2013 // Comments MLK Interfaith award57E9F

Roy Hamilton, MD, assistant professor of Neurology and director of Pipeline Initiatives for the Perelman School of Medicine's Council for Diversity and Inclusion, has cultivated a handful of education and outreach programs that extend from high school through medical school and residency. Through exposure, mentorship, and education, his efforts are helping to prepare students before they get to the next step, so they can anticipate and succeed along the way. For all his efforts to educate and help young people advance to next stage of their career , Dr. Hamilton recently was awarded the 2013 University's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Award for Community Service.

New Procedure Aims to Lower Treatment-resistant Hypertension

February 1, 2013 // Comments Heart stethescope via stock.xchange

Penn Medicine is the first in the region to begin testing a new procedure to help people whose high blood pressure can't be controlled using currently available medications.

Incremental Clarity in Neurodegenerative Diseases

January 9, 2013 // Comments

In December and early January, years of neurological research unfolded in a few weeks time as papers published the work of Penn researchers and were able to deepen our understanding of a variety of conditions, both rare and common, hopefully getting closer to refining or finding effective treatments as a result. Read more

After Carving the Turkey, Remember to Carve out Time for Your Health

November 23, 2012 // Comments image from

Whether you indulged on Turkey Day, are watching your calories, or trying to avoid an annual weight gain during the holidays, Thanksgiving can be an important time to stay in control of your health. And the day after Thanksgiving can be a great opportunity to reinvest your energy and set... Read more

140 Miles of Grace

October 9, 2012 // Comments

On October 20th, 2012, HUP traumatic brain injury survivor Candace Gantt will participate in an Ironman Triathlon in Wilmington, North Carolina called Beach to Battleship to raise funds for brain injury research in Penn’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair (CBIR).

From Flip Flops to Stilettos, How Heel Height Impacts Feet

August 30, 2012 // Comments High heel photo for blog

Al D'Angelantonio, III, DPM, looks at feet as the foundation for the rest of the body. Like the structure of a house, if support isn’t there, the structure will start to fail. As such, everything from precariously high heels to unsupported flip-flops can have short- and long-term consequences on your joints, bones and quality of life.

Football Season Begins as Study of Retired NFL Players Looks for Symptoms and Biomarkers of Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury

August 24, 2012 // Comments Concussion football for blog

The fear that athletes who suffer repeated blows to the head may end up with a preventable cause of dementia called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is leading neurodegeneration researchers at Penn to join in a collaborative study of retired NFL players, to see if there are any clinical symptoms (such as depression, disinhibition, cognitive or motor impairment) and biomarkers present that can be measured and tracked over time. The ultimate goal is to use the clinical symptoms and biomarkers to be able to diagnose CTE during lifetime, as the only way to diagnose CTE currently is through an examination of brain tissue after death.

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

August 3, 2012 // Comments DSC00596

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

Collective Hope for Alzheimer’s at Annual Meeting

July 16, 2012 // Comments

It's becoming more and more common to find out a relative or friend has to leave his/her job to care for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. Just yesterday, I heard about a colleague who is facing this difficult situation. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates in 2011, 15.2 million...

To Play, or Not To Play

June 22, 2012 // Comments 89

I love sports. Football, hockey, wrestling, gymnastics, soccer. You name a sport, chances are, I love it. I'm counting down until the London Olympics (35 days!). As a die-hard sports fan, it's tough for me to imagine significant changes in the way sports are played, to prevent brain injuries. Can...

Penn Medicine Team Investigates Novel Immunotherapy Techniques for High Grade (Grade IV) Brain Tumors

June 5, 2012 // Comments

Neuro-oncologist researchers at Penn are investigating ways to help patients diagnosed with the most aggressive type of brain tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme. Building on the Abramson Cancer Center's previous success with research designed to attempt to treat cancers using novel immunotherapies, and Penn's neuro-oncology expertise, researchers will be studying two different...

Who Pays for Personalized Medicine? Supreme Court Decision Plays Out in Biomarker Era

May 23, 2012 // Comments Supreme-court-building

In a new Perspective piece published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, Jason Karlawish, MD, professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-author Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, delve into a series of high profile court cases testing the limits of patent protection.

Investigating Subset of People Resistant to Alzheimer’s Plaques and Tangles

May 9, 2012 // Comments Plaques and tangles

People can have a brain full of Alzheimer's disease, but not have the dementia that typically goes along with it. By the numbers, this subset of people can have many plaques and tangles in the brain, enough to qualify them for a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, but in reality, they...

The Fast and the Favorable (Outcomes) for Brain Diseases 

April 24, 2012 // Comments Aan-logo

A diverse team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is in New Orleans at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting, sharing the latest data aimed at enhancing the speed of diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately helping people with neurologic conditions. Read more

Filling Drug Discovery Niche, Penn Team Helps Move Alzheimer’s Drug Into Clinical Trials

March 30, 2012 // Comments

In a layer cake of research labs nestled on separate floors in a remote corner of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a new use for an existing drug was uncovered. The drug, epothilone D (EpoD), stalled after original tests as a cancer treatment, but Perelman School of Medicine... Read more

How'd They Do That? Using Computer Designs to Rebuild a Face

March 7, 2012 // Comments

Jesse Taylor, MD, assistant professor in Plastic Surgery, is using 3D computer-aided design (CAD) to plan out a surgery to restructure someone's face. Dr. Taylor walks through a recent surgery, one of the most complicated cases he's done, of a patient whose facial structure was significantly impacted by a rare genetic condition called Saethre-Chotzen syndrome (SCS). Read more

Hybrid Neurologists Care for Crossover Neurodegenerative Diseases

February 13, 2012 // Comments CBD - Rachel Gross photo 2edited

For diseases historically considered in the domain of distinct neurological sub-specialties - movement disorders, neuromuscular conditions, and dementia - the steady increase in our understanding of their overlapping causes and symptoms, as well as their co-existence in the same individual, has led to a shift in how care is delivered. Physicians, nurse practitioners, therapists, and other care-team members are cross-training and collaborating more than ever.

Teaching Grandma and Grandpa New Technology Tricks

December 21, 2011 // Comments 100-year-old-iPad

If you're getting not-so-tech-savvy loved ones of any age new gadgets for holiday gifts this year, take a page or two from the Penn Memory Center's Cognitive Fitness program lessons. Here's what they recommended for anyone teaching a loved one to use a new gadget -- memory issues or not.

MARS 520 Simulation Successful, Penn Team Collects 75,000 Hours of Data on Fatigue, Stress

November 8, 2011 // Comments

520 days ago, in June 2010, a team of six astronauts embarked on a simulated Mars mission, conducted by the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation – Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. On November 4, 2011, the hatch was opened in Russia and...

The Art of Medicine: Coming to the Hospital for a Tattoo to Restore Breast Appearance

October 27, 2011 // Comments Pink-ribbon

If you wind up going to the hospital to get a tattoo, you're not the only person to be surprised by the intersection of art and medicine. We're very fortunate at Penn to have a skilled tattoo artist who specializes in 3D nipple tattoos along with tattoos for scar camouflage or cosmetic purposes - Mandy Sauler, a micropigmentation specialist in Penn's Plastic Surgery Division. Read more

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Size Doesn't Matter - Breast Reconstruction Options Available for Women of All Sizes

October 5, 2011 // Comments Microsurgery Photo

For years, breast reconstruction options have been limited for women depending on their size. Now, thanks to research from the team of breast surgeons and plastic surgery breast reconstruction experts at Penn, there are options for women of all sizes. Read more

Penn Alzheimer’s Researchers Return from Paris

July 29, 2011 // Comments

Experts from the Penn Memory Center are back from the 2011 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held in Paris, where they presented new data and discussed the ongoing challenges in Alzheimer’s diagnosis, treatment and care and some of the ethical struggles associated with newly developed tests to predict and diagnose the disease. Read more

Penn Team Shines at International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders

June 21, 2011 // Comments Congress11banner

Penn Medicine’s Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders team was well represented last week at the annual International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Toronto. The Penn team presented data from the Parkinson’s Associated Risk Study (PARS), and found that people with diminished ability to smell were more likely to have lower levels of dopamine transporter. Beyond the research, Matthew Stern, MD, Professor of Neurology and director of the PDMD Center, is now the president-elect of the Movement Disorder Society and will take over as president in the next term. Read more

Reports Show Stark Picture for Families with Children with Autism

May 23, 2011 // Comments ASERT_color_lores

Two new reports out recently provide further evidence of the hurdles facing families with a child on the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Using data from the largest population-based survey to date of individuals and families living with autism, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Autism Services’ statewide Autism Needs Assessment identified several... Read more

Behind the Scenes at Penn's Neuro-Intensive Care Unit

April 14, 2011 // Comments IMAG0459edited

Part of the group from the Association of Health Care Journalists meeting being held on Philly this week continued their tour of Penn Medicine at the new state-of-the-art Neuro-Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-ICU). The Neuro-ICU experts worked as a team to describe this burgeoning sub-specialty and walk the reporters through the... Read more

A Decade of Penn Medicine Research Translates into a New Drug for Depression

February 17, 2011 // Comments

Tucked away in two separate labs at the Department of Psychiatry at Penn Medicine, researchers have spent more than a decade researching and testing a new treatment for depression. The drug became the first new medicine to treat depression in more than a decade when it received FDA approval in January. Read more

If water is so great, why don’t we drink it?

January 11, 2011 // Comments Water-juice-dshingadia-flickr-cc

We’re in the midst of the Year of Water here at Penn, but I can’t help but think there is a water disconnect – the water that we’re trying to save and protect is the same thing we’re rejecting as a drink. I, like many Americans, drink water only if... Read more

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