Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Patient Care

Who Is the Cookie Doctor?

By John Shea | January 29, 2016 | Comments Cookie Doctor cover

Peter T. Pugliese, MD, a member of the Class of 1957 of what is now the Perelman School of Medicine, has had a varied career. Becoming a doctor was, he says, “a long and arduous trip.” Along the way, “I found God, lost him, and found him again. . .... Read more

What’s the Big Idea? Cancer Leaders to Talk Precision Medicine

By Steve Graff | January 6, 2016 | Comments Lab

In a few weeks, top minds in the city and state will gather to discuss one of the hottest cancer topics in healthcare: precision medicine. It’s a term many have heard, seen on a billboard, or even experienced, but what does the omnipresent buzzword really mean today—and for tomorrow? For... Read more

Does Your Infant Have a Safe Sleep Environment?

By Sally Sapega | December 18, 2015 | Comments SIDS pic

Each year, approximately 4,500 infants in this country die in their sleep, from SIDS (sudden infant deaths) or other sleep-related causes. Although some of these deaths can’t be explained, studies have shown that in nearly 90 percent of these cases, the infant was in an unsafe sleep environment, which led... Read more

Expanding Care for a Growing Population

By Abbey Anderson | December 14, 2015 | Comments Scale

Over 78 million adults and nearly 13 million adolescents. These staggering numbers represent the number of Americans who are obese. With these individuals making up nearly one-third of the country’s population, many of whom live here in the Philadelphia area, the need for effective, durable, and safe obesity treatment—like bariatric... Read more

The Family and Lab Behind a ‘Precious’ Donation to Basic Research

By Karen Kreeger | November 20, 2015 | Comments image from

In 2009, Sarah Gray found out during a routine ultrasound that one of the twins she was carrying had anencephaly, a fatal genetic condition where the brain and skull don't fully develop. After his death, she and her husband donated Thomas’s organs and tissues and since then, have been tracking how they've been used. Read more

Communication Doesn't Always Require Speaking

By Sally Sapega | November 4, 2015 | Comments IMG_3614

Effective communication between patients and their health-care providers is an essential part of care but communicating is not always as easy as it sounds. For example, language differences can interfere with communication, as can cultural backgrounds. A lack of health literacy is another significant stumbling block. If a patient doesn’t... Read more

Abramson Cancer Center Raises $3.5 Million – and Takes a Selfie (Photos)

By Steve Graff | October 15, 2015 | Comments Selfie

We put together a slideshow of photographs to give a glimpse inside the Abramson Cancer Center’s (ACC) first “Philly Fights Cancer” fundraiser, but perhaps the best picture of the night was snapped Ellen-Degeneres-at-the-Oscars-style on an iPhone during the program. “Everyone get ready," said Tracy Davidson, NBC10 anchor and emcee for... Read more

The Professional Image of Nursing

By Olivia Fermano | October 13, 2015 | Comments PAH SON 1940

Since 1999, nurses have topped the annual Gallop poll that rates 11 professions on honesty and ethical standards, with the exception of 2001, when firefighters were recognized for their tremendous contributions during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That’s higher than medical doctors, police officers and clergy. Nurses in front... Read more

A Weekend Inside the Pope-rimeter at Penn Medicine (Slideshow)

By Robert Press | October 2, 2015 | Comments

So the Pope came to town. Dunno if you heard. Pope Francis's historic visit to Philadelphia was an uneventful kind of eventful — which is to say that based on crowd estimates for the historic event, we here at Penn Medicine were prepared for an enormous surge of patients speaking... Read more

24 Hours and Counting

By Sally Sapega | September 25, 2015 | Comments PAH inflating of 500 airmattresses

Pope Francis arrives in Philadelphia tomorrow, the last stop on a multi-city visit to this country. While his stay in the city will only be for two days, preparations at each of Penn Medicine’s hospitals in the city – Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH), and... Read more

Battling Antibiotic Resistance

By Sally Sapega | September 11, 2015 | Comments Antibiotic resistance

Since the 1940s, antibiotics have significantly reduced morbidity and mortality, but their widespread – and sometimes excessive -- use have come at a price: an alarming rate of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Indeed, in this country, at least two million people become infected annually with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics; more... Read more

Great Expectations: The Primary Care Experience of Low-Income, Chronically Ill Patients

By Anna Duerr | July 24, 2015 | Comments Pt Staff blog photo

Hopefully, we’ve al l had the experience of being a patient who leaves a doctor appointment feeling like we’ve been heard, we’ve received attentive care, and we know what the next steps are. However, some of us have probably also experienced a less-than-stellar visit to our primary care doctor’s office,... Read more

A Mutation, a New Drug, and a New Life

By Steve Graff | July 10, 2015 | Comments IMG_2462_large

Lois Hahn couldn’t have been happier on Tuesday. The 71-year-old wife and grandmother was back at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, with her son and husband by her side, for a follow-up visit with her medical oncologist, Alexander Perl, MD, an assistant professor of Hematology/Oncology in the ACC. She’s feeling and... Read more

Clean Hands Save Lives

By Sally Sapega | June 19, 2015 | Comments image from

For the past several years, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania – along with many other U.S. hospitals -- has focused on lowering the rate of HAIs (health-care associated infections), using team work and many proven strategies to prevent the infections before they start. But studies show that the... Read more

Buzz Around Immunotherapy Continues at ASCO

By Steve Graff | June 5, 2015 | Comments Twitter

I read a very witty and apt tweet at this week’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting—the medical conference attended by over 30,000 oncologists and others in the field from all over the world: “Immunotherapy is like the hashtag—it’s here to stay.” The pithy 100 or so characters—replete... Read more

250 Years of Progress, Here's to 250 More

By Robert Press | May 26, 2015 | Comments

A whole lot can happen in 250 years. That’s partially because — and I guess this isn’t much of a surprise — 250 years is a long time. Long enough for a standard snail to circle the globe about 2.64 times (seriously, I did the math). Long enough for Niagara... Read more

Hold Your Preemie Close: It’s Just the Right “Medicine”

By Sally Sapega | May 25, 2015 | Comments IMG_2788

While advanced technology saves the lives of many preemies, studies have shown that the most basic of all care -- simply holding the baby –may have the biggest impact of all. New moms of full-term babies at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania are strongly encouraged to hold their... Read more

Beyond Skin Deep: How Scars Affect Psychosocial Well-Being

By Katie Delach | 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

Penn Medicine’s Global Reach to the Far East

By John Shea | May 4, 2015 | Comments image from

John Morgan, MD, whose passionate advocacy for establishing the first medical school in America swayed the trustees of the College of Philadelphia back in 1765, did not lack for ambition. As we look back to where and when the Perelman School of Medicine began, however, it’s likely that even Morgan... Read more

Roberts Proton Therapy Center Celebrates 5 Years (Photos)

By Steve Graff | April 23, 2015 | Comments 15

Congratulations to the Roberts Proton Therapy Center on its five year anniversary! On Wednesday night, the department of Radiation Oncology held an event in the Smilow Center for Translational Research to celebrate this significant milestone with faculty, staff, Penn Medicine leadership, patients and their families, and the Roberts family, including... Read more

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