University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, School Board President Joyce Wilkerson, and Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia William R. Hite Jr., today announced that Penn will contribute $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia, representing an unprecedented commitment to the City and its public schoolchildren. This is the largest private contribution to the School District in its history.Read more on Penn pledges $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia
Blog Archives: 2020
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the reactivation of the University of Pennsylvaniaâs 20th General Hospital, deployed in summer 1940 as part of the World War II ChinaâBurma campaign. The hospital's commissioning, preparations, and staff training took place in Philadelphia over a 2-year period. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the hospital was organized and ready for its mission to serve troops in the BurmaâChina Theater. The 20th General Hospital entered active service on May 15, 1942, with a large and enthusiastic send-off from a supportive crowd at 30th Street Station.
The 20th General Hospital deployment has an…Read more on In Honor of Veteran's Day
As four top policy experts convened in an LDI virtual seminar on November 6 to discuss health care reform in a new administration, Joe Biden was leading the race to capture the White House; but Democrats did not appear to gain majority control of the Senate â an event with major implications for health care. With an eye on the confines of this potential reality, panelists discussed the kinds of things that could be done by a new President without Congressional legislation.
The panel included four LDI Senior Fellows who are leading authorities in the fields of health policy, health law, health economics and…Read more on LDI: Looking Ahead To The New Era of Biden Health Care Policy
Yesterday at 4PM, a young man lost his life in West Philadelphia. According to reports, he had a history of mental illness and was brandishing a knife, as he walked towards police. As I view the video which documented this occurrence, I see a young man, younger than my nephew, who is indeed, walking towards police. He was not running towards the officers but was simply walking. Why is it that the initial response to such a circumstance is to release a flurry of bullets? Why is it that the deadliest display of force is the first response? Why…Read more on How Can We Go Forward as a Community and as a Society?
It is hard to believe, just within nine weeks following the death of Congressman John Lewis, we have lost another social justice icon. In the midst of continued daily assaults on the fragile fabric of our democratic ideals and aspirations, it is almost too much to bear.
Just one week ago, the world was shocked by the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG). Although short in stature, she cast a long shadow, effectively shaping the legal framework affirming gender equality in our nation. Her six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court in the early 70s…Read more on In Memory of Ruth Bader Ginsberg 1933-2020
As we continue to mourn the death of Congressman John Lewis, it is important to recognize the lessons he taught us during his lifetime. Three quotes come to mind which we should consider as we launch a series of virtual town hall meetings related to our initiative, ACT: Action for Cultural Transformation.
The first quote is the following: âWe will stand up for what is right, for what is fair and what is just. Health care is a right and not a privilege.â As we search for improvements to the care of our patients, this quote should be our…Read more on In Honor of Congressman John Lewis (1940-2020)
Today Friday, June 19, marks Juneteenth - a commemoration of the âfreedomâ of all people living in the United States.
The history of slavery in the United States is a complicated one and very much impacts the current predicament we find ourselves in. Interestingly, Juneteenth relates back to Abraham Lincoln and the conversation that I had with my daughter Lena about the abolition of slavery.
In the history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million Africans survived the dreaded Middle Passage,…Read more on Celebrating Juneteenth – Continuing Our Movement
As two-thirds of the 50 states began relaxing their anti-COVID-19 restrictions, a May 15 virtual seminar convened by the University of Pennsylvania's Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) brought together scientists who have created different simulator models to predict the economic and health changes various levels of policy relaxations may bring.Read more on LDI Model Simulations Point to Key Concerns for Reopening the Economy
The “outbreak of pneumonia of an unknown cause” was first reported in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019, and was in the U.S. by mid-January. Since then, the virus named COVID-19 has resulted in nearly 90,000 deaths and 1.5 million stricken in the United States. The economic burden on the country has also been staggering. More than 36 million Americans filed unemployment claims in two months, numbers unseen since the Great Depression of 1929.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Georges Benjamin
Due to long standing inequities, the devastation caused by COVID-19 is falling more heavily on the shoulders of already vulnerable people. Families living in tight quarters cannot effectively distance themselves if a member of the household becomes infected, and “staying home” is not economically feasible for low-income undocumented immigrants who are currently being denied access to social safety net programs including the CARES Act stimulus checks.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Catherine Raney
On February 11, the World Health Organization officially named the 2019 novel coronavirus as COVID-19. At that time the virus felt like it was a world away from our doorsteps. Few could have predicted that less than two months later we would be facing a public health crisis here in our local community that is impacting communities of color disproportionately. Originally it was assumed that that first US fatality was in late February, but recently learned COVID-19 was present prior to that.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Brandon Grant
The COVID-19 pandemic has required major changes to where we work and how we communicate at work. Many of us are adapting to challenging online meeting environments: poor-quality calls with background noise, video chats with colleagues required to wear facemasks, and pre-recorded lectures with limited interaction. For those of us who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing, however, those types of virtual interactions are not just challenging – they can make our equal participation impossible.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Hannah Anderson
There has been a continuous outcry for increased testing during this pandemic and unfortunately, the absence of a nationally coordinated system of testing has not emerged. In the state of Pennsylvania, the number of tests per million is reported to be 15,029 which is less than half than other states such as New York, Massachusetts, and Louisiana and 33% less than New Jersey.Read more on Too Much to Lose: Lives and Livelihoods - Eve Higginbotham
I was inspired to create a piece of X-ray art once it became evident that the best thing we all can do to fight the spread of COVID 19 is to remain at home. I am an associate professor of radiology at Penn Medicine/Pennsylvania Hospital and have seen a significant change at my hospital and in the radiology department as a result of this pandemic. As a breast and body imager, I had been reading mammograms and doing breast biopsies 4 days a week and reading CT scans, ultrasounds and radiographs of the abdomen one day a week.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Susan Summerton
Dr. Polite, Chief of the Division of General Obstetrics and Gynecology discusses her experiences during COVID-19 in Amsterdam News. On the Frontlines as an OBGYN Turned Crisis Doctor. Florencia Polite, MDRead more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Florencia Polite
I'm a dermatologist, so I'm not on the front lines of this pandemic. And thanks to public health measures, I may never be called to work at coronavirus drive-thru testing sites because we are flattening the curve of infections. Nevertheless, my clinic is reserved as a hospital “surge unit,” so I’ve converted to telemedicine to keep caring for patients—it’s easy to forget amidst a pandemic that other diseases persist and worsen if untreated.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Cory Simpson
Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford; The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Penn Program on Race, Science, and Society (PRSS) Postdoctoral Research Associate Ezelle Sanford III, and his colleague anthropology Doctoral Candidate Chelsey Carter have written an essay for the award-winning African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) blog, Black Perspectives. In, “The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic” Carter and Sanford draw on historical and anthropological analyses to respond to the initial racialization COVID-19.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford; The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, has taken the world by storm, leading to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) pandemic declaration. The novel virus, never encountered before in human history, has laid bare our failings as a society. It has exposed significant systemic vulnerabilities and vulnerable populations—including the unhoused, the incarcerated, hourly-wage workers, and caregivers—to name just a few. We cannot close schools because food insecure children depend on them. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have long existed on the margins of our healthcare system and there, COVID-19 thrives.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Ezelle Sanford
Reviewing scientific evidence collected from the country's last century of economic downturns, LDI Senior Fellow and Penn Medicine Assistant Professor Atheendar Venkataramani painted a sobering picture of the likely long-term impact of the intertwined health disasters of coronavirus and the economic downturn it spawned.Read more on LDI The Intersecting Health Disasters of the Pandemic and Its Economic Meltdown
Can We Detect SARS-Cov-2 More Efficiently and Effectively in the Near Future? In the midst of this pandemic, Penn Medicine continues its history of innovation by leading the way in finding solutions to fight COVID-19. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity had the opportunity to learn more about one new approach to detect SARS-Cov-2.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Robertson Lab & OID
In his daily briefing, when noting the disproportional impact that the COVID-19 has delivered to communities of color, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “It always seems the poorest people pay the highest price?” He restated this same question more than once, as if to ask this question to this world, not necessarily seeking an immediate answer, but to challenge all of us to seek answers.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Eve Higginbotham
I have a bag of lapel pins that I like to wear on my white coat. Three weeks ago, I came across a pin that I bought from the Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture in 2019. The pin is black with gold lettering that says: "Keep Going". After a week of working in the hospital, this message was something that I needed to hear. At that time, the number of COVID positive patients was increasing by the day and the level of anxiety on the units was palpable. We had several "close calls" with patients who were…Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Claiborne B. Childs
My feet hurt. My heart aches. My hands are cracked. My brain is in a fog. My eyes are dry. My ears are sore. I'm tired. We're tired. It's just the beginning. I'm back in the ICU. I'm pulled from training in the OR. It's okay though. These patients need me. The floor needs me. We need each other. We go into rooms together with our double PPE. 2 gowns, 2 pairs of gloves, scrub hat, hair net, N95, surgical mask over that, glasses, face shield. We knock on doors from inside the room if we forgot something. We leave…Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Samantha Cauley
The headline "Two SEPTA Workers Die of Coronavirus" took my breath away, because it was the first local heading foreshadowing which populations were going to be hardest hit here in Philadelphia.Â Before becoming one of the privileged ones working from home, my routine commute from Old City to Penn always involved SEPTA. Particularly in the morning the train was packed with people wearing some sort of health care garb or ID, but also people dressed for a myriad of mostly service jobs. In Philadelphia one of the poorest large cities in the US, public transportation and therefore the people who…Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Risa Lavizzo-Mourey
A physician-scientist's pandemic puzzle. They say it is times like these where priorities become so apparent. Fear of losing yourself, of your family, of your friends, of your colleagues---it definitely makes everything that much more transparent.Read more on Blog Series – Covid-19: Stories, Insights and Perspectives Michal A. Elovitz
Most hospitals have general contingency plans for resource allocation in times of medical scarcity — like the current COVID-19 pandemic. But they don't have detailed guidelines for the process of actually making those allocation decisions in a fast moving and often conflicted crisis environment. Penn School of Arts and Sciences political scientist and LDI Senior Fellow Julia Lynch, PhD, has now created those guidelines.Read more on How Can Hospitals Address Scarce Resources During Covid-19?
A realistic timeline for the development of a COVID-19 treatment and vaccine, long-term social distancing options, and the plight of small businesses, hourly workers and vulnerable children were some of the topics covered in the University of Pennsylvania Leonard Davis Institute's first virtual seminar.Read more on First Penn LDI Virtual Seminar Tackles COVID-19 Conundrums