Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast



Dr. Dickens | Mr. Huang | Ms. Green | Mr. Majumdar

Dr. Helen O. Dickens: A Pioneer in Women's Health

Dr. Helen Octavia Dickens, a distinguished emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynecology and former associate dean of medicine died on December 2, at the age of 92.

Dr. Dickens was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1909. She graduated from the University of Illinois School of Medicine, in 1934, and was the only African-American woman in her class. After graduation she worked at Provident Hospital in Chicago then practiced with Dr. Virginia Alexander in North Philadelphia. In 1943 she attended the Penn Graduate School of Medicine for one year concentrating in obstetrics and gynecology. In 1945, she became the first female African-American board-certified ob/gyn in Philadelphia.

In that same year, Dr. Dickens became director of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Mercy Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia. She joined the courtesy staff of Women's Hospital in 1951 and became a member of the staff and faculty in the department of obstetrics and gynecology in the School of Medicine in 1956 when Penn acquired Women's Hospital. At that time she was the first African-American woman to serve in this position. She was also professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

In 1967, Dr. Dickens founded the Teen Clinic at Penn for school-age mothers in the inner city. The clinic's services included counseling and group therapy, educational classes, family planning assistance, and prenatal care. She also initiated a project that brought temporary cancer detection facilities into Philadelphia's inner city. Additionally, Dr. Dickens implemented a program funded by the NIH that encouraged doctors to perform Pap smears to test for cervical cancer.

In 1969 Dr. Dickens was named associate dean for minority admissions. She helped recruit African-Americans to the medical school In her first fiveyears she was responsible for increasing minority numbers from three students to 64.

In 1982, Dr. Dickens received an honorary degree from Penn. She also received one from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1979.

The Helen O. Dickens Center for Womens' Health at HUP was named for Dr. Dickens in 1999 (Almanac May 18/25 1999) in honor of the 50 years she "dedicated to healing, helping and guiding women of all ages."

A portrait of Dr. Dickens by Charlotte Franklin was hung in the School of Medicine in 1985; then, in 1992 another portrait of her was unveiled, this one by her colleague Dr. Burnett L. Johnson, professor and vice chair of dermatology.

Dr. Dickens was a member of the Pan American Medical Women's Association and its president from 1968-1970. A member of the board of directors for the American Cancer Society, the Children's Aid Society, the Devereaux Foundation. She was also the recipient of many awards including the Gimbel Philadelphia Award for "outstanding service to humanity," the Medical Woman of the Year, Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania; Daisy Lumpkin Award; the Mercy Douglass Hospital Award; and the Sadie Alexander Award for community service by Delta Sigma Theta.

In 1991, she received the faculty/staff award at Penn's Women of Color celebration where their most prestigious award was named for Dr. Dickens. Known as the Dr. Helen O. Dickens Lifetime Achievement Award, it is awarded to exemplary candidates with a long history of service to Women of Color in the Penn and Delaware Valley communities.

She also received the Family Planning Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania Award for her "lifelong contributions to women's helath care both as an outstanding teacher-clinician and as a pioneer in programming to assist teen-aged mothers in the region to complete their education" in 1995.

Dr. Dickens is survived by her daughter Jayne Brown; son, Norman S. Henderson; and three grandchildren.

Dr. Dickens | Mr. Huang | Ms. Green | Mr. Majumdar

Mr. Huang: Psychology Student

Abraham Huang, a junior in the College majoring in psychology, died December 5, in a motorcycle accident. He was 20 years old.

Mr. Huang had transferred to Penn in September from Purdue University in Indiana. He was from Framington, Connecticut.

He is survived by his parents, and a sister.

Dr. Dickens | Mr. Huang | Ms. Green | Mr. Majumdar

Mrs. Green: Retired Lecturer in Human Sexuality

Mrs. Sally Green, a retired lecturer in psychiatry, died on November 23 at the age of 71.

Mrs. Green came to Penn in 1948 as a student and received a B. A. in architecture in 1952. She earned her master's of science in education from Penn in 1974. She began teaching at Penn in 1973 and retired as a lecturer in Academic Support Staff in the School of Medicine in family study in psychiatry. She taught a course on human sexuality which was very popular. She also conducted family therapy at the Penn Council for Relationships, the then Marriage Council.

Mrs. Green is survived by her husband, Rodney; sons, Jesse and Anthony; and four grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El's Educational Endowment Fund, 1001 Remington Rd., Wynnewood, PA 19096.

Dr. Dickens | Mr. Huang | Ms. Green | Mr. Majumdar

Memorial Service for Mr. Majumdar

A memorial service for Anirban Majumdar, the recently deceased SEAS graduate student, will be held on December 11, from 4:30-5:30 p.m., in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall. A reception will follow.

Mr. Majumdar, was a first year Ph.D. student in computer and information science from Calcutta, India. His mother will be in attendance.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 15, December 11, 2001


December 11, 2001
Volume 48 Number 15

More SAS endowed chairs: Dr. Randall Wright, is appointed to the Ronald Lauder Endowed Term Chair, and Dr. Richard Schultz is the Patricia Williams Term Chair.

Provost Robert Barchi and Executive Vice President John Fry will be part of an Open Form for the University's Strategic Plan on January 15.

Dr. Helen O. Dickens, a pioneer in women's health has died at the age of 92.
UPHS Bond rate has been revised to stable by Moody's Investors Service
Ben Financials begins its countdown to launching of new services on January 2.

Women of Color Scholars Awards applications are due on January 21

Penn Press has a collection of books just right for the holiday gift giving season. If you prefer there are Gifts of Involvement or ideas in the neighborhood from the Holiday Shopping Guide.
During the holidays, there are simple Safety Tips to keep in mind while you work and shop.
As always volunteer opportunities abound available throughout the community.
Researchers receive $1.26 million to study microfluidic systems; Penn has received $2.84 million to improve reliability of computers; the Center on Adult Literacy has received $2.4 million for technology; are part of Research Roundup in this issue.