Monthly | Pulse

Nov/Dec '13

An Update from the Perelman School of Medicine

Thank You!

Gifts to Annual Fund Mean $1.3 Million More to Support Our Students

Whether it was your first gift or your fifty-first, one figure or five, your annual fund contribution directly benefited our students and helped our Penn Medicine community thrive in fiscal year 2013.

To say thank you for your generosity, we are pleased to share our online honor roll, Partners in Giving, along with this video (click to view on YouTube), celebrating the tremendous difference that annual fund gifts make. Your support helps to ensure that today's students have access to critical financial aid, cutting-edge technology, and exceptional mentors and faculty.

This online publication recognizes donors to the Annual Fund whose gifts were received during fiscal year 2013 (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013). Every effort is made to ensure accuracy in this publication, but if you notice an error or oversight, please do not hesitate to contact us at 215-898-5164 or

United Community Clinic

Student-Run Program More Vital than Ever

"It's a unique experience. You really know the patients - their stories, and their community. You get a lot of responsibility really fast and can play a big role." - Kyra Jefferson-George, M'16, UCC Volunteer


"It's my first time here, and I love it already." - Veronica Samuel, UCC Client


Helping neighbors find greatly needed medical services - at no cost. That's the purpose of the United Community Clinic.

UCC was founded by a handful of medical students 17 years ago. This year students from five Penn schools will handle hundreds of client visits during clinic hours -- 6:00 to 9:30 every Monday night at the First African Presbyterian Church in East Parkside.

Dr. Brian Work, medical students Rebecca Abelman and Harrison Kalodimos, nursing student Jennifer DeVirgiliis, and Dr. Eric Goren."When I was a resident, we had one table, and our staff was only a couple of medical students and residents," says Faculty Advisor Brian Work, MD, MPH, Department of General Internal Medicine, PPMC.

In obvious contrast, on a recent Monday, eight carrels provided space for medical, nursing, and dental students to take histories and see clients, while undergraduates staffed and took vitals at the busy intake desk. Social work masters students connected clients with programs for ongoing medical support. Advocacy to make sure people get needed ongoing care is a key priority.

Down the hall, people with hypertension were seen by medical, nursing, social work, and pharmacy students in the clinic's Bridges to Heart Health program. Bridges provides no-cost blood pressure medication, lab monitoring, and behavior change counseling to patients with no insurance and no other major cardiovascular disease.

Despite its growth, UCC is definitely NOT moving. The First African Presbyterian Church, the first in America, is a trusted and comfortable environment for visitors often making first contact with the health-care system.

"UCC fills the gap for people who need care for a short period of time. We provide low-cost, effective interventions essential to the community," said Faculty Advisor Eric Goren, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, HUP.

Dr. Goren became involved with UCC as a Perelman School resident -- and has helped lead its growth into the efficient, student-run clinic it is today.

 "Penn's interdisciplinary culture is key," said Dr. Goren. "In one visit, people can receive a medical and dental assessment, see an optometrist, and have basic screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure. We can give out pregnancy tests, and we administer flu shots and rapid HIV testing." Patients are also screened for mental health needs and connected with UCC's counseling program led by clinical social work students or referred to other community-based providers.

UCC makes the most of its volunteers. Students and trainees at every level step up to new responsibilities. Health profession students review histories and their assessments with attending residents and physicians, who will go over the results with the patients. Faculty are always available, but rarely intervene.

All this came about through the partnership of the First African Presbyterian Church, the East Parkside Residents' Association and other community organizations, and Penn. UCC is funded by Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice, and the Penn Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, as well as intermittent support received from the Penn Medicine CARES fund. These and other community organizations guide the clinic through an advisory board.

The Bridges program was added about seven years ago, and within the past year, a mental health program addressing depression and anxiety has begun.

"The commitment of our board and funders to growing an effective program at UCC is wonderful. Our volunteers are amazing. It's remarkable how much they accomplish for this community," said Dr. Goren.

"It's always a challenge to find funding for even the basic tests and services we provide, and there is always more to do. We depend on philanthropy, and we welcome your interest and support."

To make an online gift, click here. Or send a check made out to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and noting "United Community Clinic" to:
Penn Medicine Development and Alumni Relations
3535 Market Street, Suite 750
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309

For more information, please visit the UCC website.

Law Brothers, M'73 - M'86, Make $3 Million Naming Gift

Contribution Honors Parents and Alma Mater

Dennis K. Law, C'69, M'73; Ronald K. Law, C'71, M'75; Christopher K. Law, C'78, M'82; and Jeremy K. Law, M'86, PAR'14Colorado-based brothers Dennis, Ronald, Christopher, and Jeremy Law have donated $3 million to establish the Joseph and Loretta Law Auditorium in the Jordan Medical Education Center. Made in honor of their parents, the gift is the second largest from an alumni family to support the Jordan Center. Please see the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Denver Business Journal, the Penn Medicine news release, and the University of Pennsylvania Almanac for more details on this significant naming gift.

Marcelle Shapiro Honored

Marcelle J. Shapiro, M'80, INT'81, RES'86, FEL'87, Receives 2013 Women in Medicine Award

A Penn-educated interventional radiologist for much of her career, Marcelle Shapiro, M'80, INT'81, RES'86, FEL'87, has long been giving to her patients. She has also given back to her alma mater as a dedicated advocate for female graduates of the Perelman School and very active leader in alumni service.

Dr. Shapiro is a 2005 recipient of the Alumni Service Award, has served on the Penn Medicine Alumni Society Executive Committee as well as the Medical Alumni Advisory Council. As co-chair of her reunion committee, she played an instrumental role in establishing the Class of 1980 Small Study Area in the Jordan Center.

In early December, Dr. Shapiro was honored as the 2013 recipient of the Elizabeth Kirk Rose, M'26 Women in Medicine Award. Dr. Rose championed the cause of female medical students and alumnae throughout her career. She organized an annual picnic in 1962 to bring alumnae back to campus to share their common experiences, and encouraged them to counsel and mentor female medical students. These productive picnics evolved into an annual event named in her honor in 1998.

Dr. Shapiro with family, friends, students, and alumnae at the Women in Medicine LunchAs a HUP resident, Dr. Shapiro was inspired by Women in Medicine and continued her involvement throughout her career. Dr. Shapiro said: "The Women in Medicine program has personally provided me with practical learning from other women physicians' life and career experiences and continues to provide an important networking opportunity. Just as Dr. Rose envisioned, I too feel it is imperative for us to share our experiences, to listen to the voices of young women in medicine, to guide them and show them how it is possible to evolve, find fulfillment, and continue to practice medicine while mindfully juggling personal life issues. My own career path has taken many turns and has provided learning opportunities, most recently as a result of being a gravely ill patient."

In 2010, Dr. Shapiro was diagnosed with acute leukemia. This harrowing experience, which included being treated by her colleagues, provided a unique perspective from "both sides of the bed" and deeply reacquainted her with the true meaning of compassion and empathy for patients. She told her remarkable story in the Pennsylvania Gazette and at the 2011 White Coat ceremony, and continues to draw from it in her teaching.

Now retired from practice, Dr. Shapiro currently serves as a preceptor in the Doctoring I and II class in the Perelman School. She said: "This new 'hat' allows me an opportunity to engage with our incredibly bright, talented medical students, to learn about the current state of medical education, to share my own personal and professional life experiences, especially as a physician-patient, and to stay connected with our Perelman School of Medicine. It has been a truly rewarding and gratifying new chapter in my career."

Congratulations to Dr. Shapiro, with many thanks for your exceptional service to Penn Women in Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine.

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