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Hope Rings Eternal for Patients at the Abramson Cancer Center Pennsylvania Hospital

In 1733, the English poet Alexander Pope penned the famous line, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast,” in "An Essay on Man, Epistle I." Over three and a half centuries later, Pope’s words still resonate with profound meaning. No matter the circumstances, humankind continues to have the capacity to hope for the best – to believe that, despite how bad things are, there is still the potential for them to get better.

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is one of the most difficult experiences anyone can face.  Yet cancer patients, caregivers, clinicians, and scientists all around the world continue to fight every day in the war against cancer. Together they fight to keep hope alive and ensure there is always the potential for “things to get better.”


Last month, Bonita Ball, MSN, RN, the nurse manager of the inpatient oncology unit at Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH), was making her usual daily rounds. That’s when she met 37-year-old Quintine Burgess, who was finishing her last day of treatment after six longs months of chemotherapy. Burgess smiled widely as she said the following words to Ball: “I’m finally finished.” Burgess then proceeded to tell Ball of her journey since she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “She demonstrated a strong sense of faith and hope – a story of a single mother who had so many obstacles to overcome while going through her treatment,” said Ball. 

During their conversation, Burgess admitted to Ball, “I made it to this day and I just wish I could ring the bell.” Then she sadly remarked, “I was told you don’t have a bell for me to ring.” 

That was all Ball needed to hear.

She immediately called a staff huddle and together they immediately got to work to give Burgess the closure and hope she needed. Determined, Ball and staff started making inquires and investigated until, surprisingly, they actually located a dinner bell in the hospital.  


Quintine Burgess, center, is shown here in front of the Hope Bell with the inpatient oncology unit staff of PAH.

Bearing bright balloons, the bell, and a festively decorated cake, the staff gathered in Burgess’ room on her last day of treatment as she was preparing to go home with her teenage daughter. Together the staff read aloud a poem Ball wrote especially for Burgess.

“The rest is hard to place in words,” said Ball.

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Regina Linehan 2014 Hubschman Award Recipient

Congratulations to the 2014 Lynn and Emil Hubschman Award recipient,Regina “Jean” Linehan, RN, MS, CDE, director of the Diabetes Education Center at PAH. The Hubschman Award annually recognizes an individual who exemplifies the Pennsylvania...Full story

The Patient Experience…

The following letter of gratitude was sent to PAH Executive Director, R. Michael Buckley, MD: I am writing to you regarding expressing my gratitude for the special care that was given to my wife at Pennsylvania Hospital… All of the hosp...Full story

Join the 2014 Penn Medicine Heart Walk Team

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease annually; that’s one in every four deaths! Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting...Full story

Nurses Leading Change: Making “Cents” of the Budget Process

The Budget Conference – “Nurses Leading Change: Making Cents Out of the Budget Process” – is quickly approaching! Tuesday, July 29 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pennsylvania HospitalZubrow Auditorium Hosted by: Mary Del Guidice, MSN, BS, RN, CENP C...Full story

Discounted Summertime Fun Only a Click Away!

Looking for some summer fun for the whole family? All PAH employees to have access to discounted tickets to the following amusement parts and events: Clementon Park Splash World Dorney Park Hershey Park Moreys Piers, Wildwood PA Ren...Full story

What’s Happening – Your resource for events and happenings throughout PAH and Penn Medicine

Summer 2014 Penn Program for Mindfulness Special Events NEW! July 28Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan NEW! August 10Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week with the Phillies August 12-17 National Veterans Wheelchair Games September 21 Pe...Full story

Rare Incision-less Brain Surgery at PAH Gives Reading Man His Life Back

When 28 year-old Jonathon Haas was too tired to go shopping with his wife last February, he had no idea what was about to follow. The Reading native had only been married for about four months and all was going well. But that day, his arm s...Full story

Brian S. Englander, MD, Named Chair of Radiology

Brian S. Englander, MD, has been named Chair of the Department of Radiology at Pennsylvania Hospital, effective July 1. “Dr. Englander has served as the Interim Chair of Radiology since September 2013. We are grateful to him for taking on...Full story

Nancy and Robert S. Blank, Esq., 2014 Good Samaritan Award Recipients

Nancy and Robert S. Blank, Esq., Pennsylvania Hospital’s 2014 Good Samaritan Award recipients, were honored at a formal reception at PAH on May 14. Since its inception in 1985, the Good Samaritan Award has been given annually to an individ...Full story

From Gridirons and Ice Rinks to the Orchestra Pit: PAH Doc Gary Dorshimer, MD, Official Physician of The Philly POPS®

This spring, Frank Giordano, president and CEO of The Philly POPS, announced that Gary W. Dorshimer, MD, FACP, was named the Official Physician of The Philly POPS. Accustomed to the role of being a medical resource for high profile Philadel...Full story

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