A Holiday Thank You
from Senior Vice Dean Gail Morrison, M'71, FEL'76
With holiday plans, preparations, and good will in full swing, it is a perfect time to express my appreciation for an alumni community whose engagement is at an all-time high and whose giving has never been stronger.
From reunion planning to student mentoring to generous scholarship and annual giving, your dedicated philanthropy and sense of community is unparalleled. While Penn Medicine has much to be thankful for this holiday season, I wanted to highlight one accomplishment that especially deserves some bell ringing.
With the $3M goal in sight, the impact of the Jordan Family Scholarship Challenge to support the John Morgan Scholars Program is already visible. This fall, four years after its launch, the inaugural recipients of the Morgan Scholarships were named - Ian Danford, M'16, Nicolette Taku, M'16, and Janqian Zhang, M'16.
Appreciation for our alumni community was best expressed by scholarship recipient Mr. Zhang: "I am incredibly grateful for the Morgan Scholarship," he said. "Without donations like this, I would not have been able to attend Penn Medicine. I just want to express my gratitude for my donors' kindness and to let them know I will not take such generosity for granted; I will work hard every day throughout my medical school career in order to become the best physician I can be."
For more stories on how your giving has impacted students, visit the Future of Medicine Begins at Penn and profiles of our 2011-2012 scholarship recipients.
Thank you again for everything you do to enrich the Perelman School of Medicine. I wish each of you a joyous holiday, and a healthy and prosperous New Year.
Perelman School Students Need More Than Academics to Thrive
"The young doctor should look about early for an avocation, a pastime, that will take him away from patients, pills, and potions." - William Osler, from The Medical Library in Post-graduate Work
Today the Perelman School makes it easy to follow our former dean's words of advice. From sub-specialty interests to rock climbing to clowning, more than 100 student clubs and activities let students explore their talents, blow off some steam, and connect with others outside of the medical setting.
The Penn Med Art Club gives the School's creatively inclined students a space to explore their artistic sides. Jaclyn Gurwin, C'11, M'15, a communications major and fine arts minor as a Penn undergraduate, and Elisabeth Tracey, M'15, an art major from UC Berkeley, were on the committee that ran the annual art show this fall. The show displayed sculpture, photography, and paintings from more than 25 Penn Medicine employees, staff, and faculty.
For Ms. Gurwin, art and helping others have always been a part of her life. She is a student leader of Sight Savers, a group that provides free vision screening to Philadelphians and Health Education through Adolescent Leadership (HEAL), a student organization that empowers Philadelphia youth to be agents for their health. Likewise, Ms. Tracey has participated in the Botswana-UPenn Partnership where she performed research on drug interactions between anti-retrovirals and anti-epileptics in children with HIV and epilepsy.
The Penn Medicine Soccer Team won the 2011 championship, beating out Jefferson Medical School for the glory. The team is a part of the Graduate School League, including teams from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), Temple Medicine, and Drexel Medicine. Past trophies and team memorabilia dating back to the 1990s are on display on the second floor of Stemmler Hall.
Keeper Eli Kupperman, seen in tie dye, is also a member of the Agnew Surgical Society and Leo Leung Orthopaedic Surgical Society. "It is fantastic to have an athletic outlet. The Team gives us an opportunity to meet and become friends with students in some of the other classes." The Penn Med Soccer Team will defend their title during next weekend's Graduate School League Playoffs.
Puentes de Salud is a health and wellness organization that provides social services, comprehensive health care, and community building to South Philadelphia's Latino population. Over 50 Penn Medicine students volunteer at the Puentes clinic.
Among them is Daphne Owen, who in 2010 developed an afterschool tutoring and wellness program that promotes health literacy and self-esteem building through tutoring and mentorship to more than 40 children. "My involvement with Puentes has kept me connected to the issues of injustice and inequality and has taught me how to meaningfully participate in community health by making authentic, lasting partnerships with communities," she said. Volunteer tutors/mentors are always needed, as is financial support to continue to provide healthy snacks, school supplies, and books for the children.
Through arts, athletics, and altruism, Perelman School students grow by exploring the world beyond the classroom. Bringing speakers to campus, planning an outing, or organizing an interest group are special opportunities always in need of more funding.
If you are interested in supporting student activities at the School, please contact Bill Bole at 215-898-9175.
Combat to Care Launched at Penn
Combat to Care, a program to aid returning military service members and train Penn Medicine clinicians in the unique challenges of caring for combat veterans, was launched at a reception held recently at the Smilow Center for Translational Research.
An extension of the national Joining Forces program established by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Penn Medicine's Combat to Care introduced a new web site that will assist veterans in pursuing healthcare careers at Penn.
The event featured a color guard and included a special moment of silence for trauma surgeon John P. Pryor, M.D., RES '01, a Major in the Army Reserves who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2008.
Perelman School of Medicine Dean J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D. hailed the new program, declaring "We live in a dangerous world and owe a great debt to our service members." Dean Jameson remarked that Penn Medicine's special relationship with the military through the VA hospital dates back to World War II, and lauded Penn researchers for their recent work in studying traumatic brain injury.
More than 160 Health System and Perelman School of Medicine employees have served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces in an active duty or reserve capacity.
Combat to Care web site
Joining Forces web site
The Penn Medicine Transplant Team Shines During Sandy
Weather is no impediment when it comes to a chance at a second lease on life. At least, that's the attitude of patients and the Penn Medicine transplant team alike. Transplant coordinator Nicole Platt helped steer two patients to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania during the height of Hurricane Sandy through downed trees and power outages. You can read all about these efforts to work around the storm to save lives here at Philly.com and on the Penn Medicine News Blog.