A Top Fundraising Year - from Vice Dean Gail Morrison, M’71, FEL’76
As our fiscal year comes to a close, I am proud to announce that FY10 will be one of our strongest fundraising years by many measures. Before final counting, our total for the year is approximately $20 million. Thank you for your extraordinary support and generosity.This year, increased alumni participation and continued support from Penn Medicine’s loyal friends have helped us finish strong. A 20 percent overall increase in participation in giving, as well as several generous gifts and bequests, have all helped make this a memorable year.
One of the year's significant gifts came from the Gamble family. With their additional funding of 12 new full scholarships this year, Walter, M’57, and Anne Gamble now support over 50 Gamble Scholars annually as part of the 21st Century Scholars Program. By funding such a critical area of need, they help Penn attract more talented students, allow those students to freely select a career, and serve the nation by creating more top doctors.
In addition, the influence of the late Henry A. Jordan, MD’62, GME’67 continues strong to this day. The Jordan Challenge has raised more than $850,000 for scholarships in gifts and matches, and more than $500,000 has been recently given to scholarships in his honor. Thank you for your outpouring of generosity in memory of one of our most exemplary graduates.
Two substantial estate gifts from the Raffensperger and Weaver families are also part of this year’s fundraising success. It is wonderful that all of these contributions and many more have created new resources to provide deserving students with a Penn Medicine education.
Innovations at the Annual Fund
Two new features in Annual Fund giving this year changed the way alumni contribute: “going green” and recurring gifts. In keeping with President Gutmann and the University’s commitment to sustainability, donations can now be made online, which saves paper and reduces our cost per mailing.
The option of online recurring gifts makes a big impact in smaller increments – a gift of just $20 per month is an easy way to contribute $240 to Penn Medicine for the year. Preliminary totals show that the Annual Fund is $100,000 ahead of last year, and Thistle Society membership has increased by nearly 50 members.
Our new Chair of the Campaign for Penn Medicine, Rosemary Mazanet, GR'81, M'86, is certainly starting out with a great foundation, thanks to your generosity. I am confident that she will help us meet our remaining critical campaign priorities: scholarships and renovations to the Medical Education Center.
Again, thank you for your outstanding support. I look forward to working with each of you to build upon this year’s strong momentum and continuing to demonstrate our Penn Medicine pride.
Summer at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; MS1 Students Take on Local and Global Challenges
After a busy first year, the class of 2013 is getting involved in summer research, community-based projects and learning experiences—at locations near and far.
In Our Backyard
On the home front, students are volunteering through non-profit organizations, such as Puentes de Salud. “Working with patients in a community reenergizes students,” said Ariel Bowman, M’13. Ariel is a student coordinator at Puentes, where Penn Medicine faculty, staff, and student volunteers provide free, high-quality medical care to Latino immigrants in South Philadelphia.
“When the difficult basic science coursework has seemed endless, Puentes has only made me more excited about the work of being a doctor,” agreed Austin Kilaru, M’13, who is also serving as a volunteer coordinator.
In addition, the Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship program has placed students at 17 different sites, including community health agencies, children’s therapeutic programs, and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Other students staying in the Philadelphia area this summer are getting hands-on experience with positions, fellowships, and preceptorships at local hospitals. Several are working at HUP and CHOP in departments including Radiology, Rheumatology, and Plastic Surgery.
The Away Team
Nearly 30 first-year students are venturing abroad for summer learning opportunities. Destinations include China, to participate in an acupuncture training program, Botswana for immersion field experiences, and New Delhi for an internship with an NGO called Sahara Centre for Residential Care and Rehabilitation.
Sheriff Akinleye, M’13, and four of his classmates have been enthusiastically preparing for a Spanish immersion program in Nicaragua. For seven weeks, starting in July, they will help provide physical therapy to special needs children. They will also contribute to the community by cleaning up the village and improving plumbing. Sheriff is looking forward to gaining cultural competency and honing his Spanish language skills, in addition to making a positive impact in the community. Looking ahead, he commented, “I’m going to get a lot more out of the experience than I can put in.”
M’13 follows in the tradition of previous classes, whose members have traveled to Ghana, Thailand, El Salvador, Cambodia, and Austria, among other destinations.
“The Global Health experience is life-changing for many students,” said Nancy Biller, MA, MPH, Administrative Director of Global Health Programs, “No matter what their initial reason for participating.” According to Ms. Biller, while some students begin at Penn with the long-term desire to return home or to a particular nation to practice medicine, others change their whole thinking about their career path after their experiences.
The Class of 2013 is sure to return from its summer commitments with broader medical experience and memorable stories to share.
Overheard at Medical Alumni Weekend: Orthopaedic Surgeon Liebe Sokol Diamond, M’55, HUP’s First Female Resident
Firsts seem to come naturally to Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania students, and even casual conversations can reveal surprising accomplishments. One pioneering woman who The Pulse met by chance at Medical Alumni Weekend is Liebe Diamond, M’55. Dr. Diamond was the first female resident at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and one of only 5 women on the house staff of 200 in the mid 1950s. In 1957, she became HUP’s first female orthopaedic surgical resident.
How did she break into this male-dominated field? The short answer is that Dr. Diamond - unlike her 6 male competitors for the residency - correctly answered the question, “What is the difference between a crosscut saw and a rip saw?”
The long explanation is that she achieved the position through her education and experience. She studied at Smith College before attending the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. There, following her mentor’s advice, she trained first as a pediatrician, then as an orthopedic surgeon. She brought a really exceptional academic background and medical education to the role of resident.
And a full answer would include the fact that Dr. Diamond was exposed to medicine at a young age. As a result of a congenital abnormality, she was born missing several fingers and was in and out of the hospital for multiple surgeries throughout her childhood.
Dr. Diamond said, “I never saw it as a problem, and neither did any of my patients.” In fact, parents would bring their children with abnormal hands to meet Dr. Diamond to show what can be accomplished.
Years after her own surgeries, Dr. Diamond even had the opportunity to perform an operation with the surgeon who had operated on her. She says she doesn't know who was more touched.
Over her career, Dr. Diamond has worked with patients at the Curtis National Hand Center in Maryland and she helped found the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America.
One of Dr. Diamond’s principles is still taught to surgical residents today. As Dr. Diamond asserts, “It is not what the hand looks like, it’s what it can do. The most skillful hand is the most invisible one.”