Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Patient Care

The Dickens Tradition

By John Shea | May 6, 2016 | Comments Helen Dickens

Helen O. Dickens, left, in 1975 Trailblazer. Heroine. Exemplar. These are just some of the descriptive names that can be applied to Helen O. Dickens, MD, who joined Penn’s department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1956 and was the first female black board-certified OB/GYN practitioner in Philadelphia. Among her other... Read more

When Your Care Team is Just an Emoji Away

By Paul Foster | April 25, 2016 | Comments image from

In an effort to cut down on some patients’ return trips to the emergency room, some discharged patients now go home armed with a new tool, one you’d expect to see with a college student, rather than a patient leaving the hospital: a tablet. Often when heart failure patients are... Read more

Penn Medicine’s New Issue: The Power of Partnership

By John Shea | April 8, 2016 | Comments image from

Although Penn Medicine magazine has often run articles on the work of physicians and researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who are associated with the Perelman School of Medicine, this issue’s cover story is perhaps the first to look more broadly at the longstanding relationship between the two institutions.... Read more

Board of Women Visitors Funds Transplant House Updates, Kick-Starts Sustainability

By Abbey Anderson | March 30, 2016 | Comments Transplant.House_Front

In 2015, Penn’s transplant surgeons performed 488 solid organ transplants, including heart, lung, liver, kidney, and pancreas. Of these patients and their families, 150 traveled a great distance for their care at the Penn Transplant Institute – coming from places like Florida, Texas, and California. But while the news of... Read more

Not Your Mom’s Health Care

By Katie Delach | 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

Hips Don't Lie; Neither do Radiologists (pt. 3)

By Robert Press | March 14, 2016 | Comments Hip_mri

On this blog, we frequently write about what it’s like to work for — or experience life at — Penn Medicine. What we don’t get the chance to write about very often is what it’s like to see the University of Pennsylvania Health System from the other side: as a... Read more

Penn’s Newest Lab Looks to Human Motion for Answers on Musculoskeletal Injuries

By Abbey Anderson | March 4, 2016 | Comments

People with an interest in exercise, or “human performance,” as some would call it, may have seen the recent experiential reporting done by Dan Childs from ABC News, as he “hit the wall”. Childs, in full workout gear, set out to test the capabilities of his body, which included a... Read more

Saving a Life ... in 24 Hours

By Sally Sapega | February 17, 2016 | Comments Kim Pimley cropped more

Saving a patient’s life can take days, weeks or even months. But, in the case of Kim Pimley, a patient with a rare, deadly heart disease, a combination of teamwork, solid clinical knowledge, and lifesaving technology administered over 24 hours made the difference between life and death. The clock starting... Read more

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

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