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MacDiarmid Wins Nobel Prize
This award, I think, is an award to Penn, and it’s an award to interdisciplinary science throughout the world,” Dr. Alan G. MacDiarmid, the Blanchard Professor of Chemistry, was saying. “It is also an award to the teaching of young persons and to the teaching of older persons. Because all of us here are students.” Continued...

P2B Hopes to Help Hatch Businesses
It has a cutting-edge—and cute—name: P2B, which in the shorthand of the New Economy stands for Penn to Business. It’s an untraditional concept: a not-for-profit holding company, owned by the University, that will create a series of on-campus business incubators. And the philosophy behind it is to help develop the entrepreneurial ideas of students, faculty and staff—and to juice up the local economy. Continued...

Perelman Quadrangle:
Back to the Future

“We are very excited by this project because it unites past and present,” said Dr. Judith Rodin CW’66, president of the University. She was speaking at the September grand opening of the Perelman Quadrangle, a project that was many years in planning and quite a few semesters in execution—but, in her words, “incredibly worth the wait.” Continued...



Highly Rated (Again)
Penn was ranked sixth in U.S. News & World Report's most recent annual ranking of national universities, tying with Stanford and finishing behind only Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cal Tech and MIT. the Wharton School was once again ranked first among the nation's business schools by Business Week.

Opening Convocation:
Taking It From the Top
A shining Mylar balloon, shaped like a star, drifted up over the tables of incoming freshmen in the Philadelphia Civic Center’s Convention Hall. Giant ribbons of red and blue soared up to the drop-ceiling, framed by spotlights. Flags and signs in the aisles, bringing to mind a political convention, identified Penn’s different College Houses. And some 2,200 young men and women, all members of the Class of 2004, sat talking to their new classmates, finishing their catered dinner and waiting for Penn’s president to give a speech. Continued...

Hitting Pay Dirt—er, Mud—in the Black Sea
Though we never did catch up with Fred Hiebert this past September, it wasn’t hard to find out what he was up to. While the Robert H. Dyson Assistant Professor of Anthropology was on a ship named Northern Horizon in the Black Sea, 12 miles off the coast of Turkey, his name was splashed across newspapers around the world. Continued...

photo by Harvey FinkleLECTURE
Who’s Dependent Now?
The vast majority of Americans agree with the statement that anyone willing to work hard should be rewarded with the means to get by. But if they think that’s what’s happening under welfare reform, they are greatly mistaken—and have been misled by those who stand to benefit from the 1996 federal legislation that famously ended “welfare as we [knew] it.” Continued...

Patient’s Family Sues Over Gene Study

The family of Jesse Gelsinger, the 18-year-old who died at Penn’s Medical Center last fall while participating in a much-scrutinized gene-therapy study, is suing the University for wrongful death, assault, battery, lack of informed consent and fraud. Continued...

Wistar Scientists Cleared of Hatching AIDS
After years of being dogged by accusations that its top scientists had unwittingly created the AIDS virus while preparing a vaccine against polio, the Wistar Institute—and specifically Dr. Hilary Koprowski, professor laureate and director of the institute from 1957-1991; and Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin, emeritus professor of pediatrics and microbiology—were exonerated by the findings of three independent laboratories. Continued...



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Copyright 2000 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 10/31/00


Big Bucks for New
Building at Vet School

The School of Veterinary Medicine received an $18 million matching grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a planned teaching-and-research building adjacent to its current facility in West Philadelphia. The 100,000-square-foot building will house two new lecture halls, laboratory modules, an expanded new library, a student-computer area and a student lounge. It is expected to cost $43 million.
  “The facilities will enable the school to attract and retain the new generation of research and clinical scientists who will train the veterinarians for the new century,” said Dr. Alan M. Kelly, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “We now have a lot of work to do to raise the balance so this building can become a reality quickly.”


Health System to Pay
$12 Million for Medicare Fraud at Presbyterian

As the result of a four-year federal investigation into an alleged case of Medicare fraud in a program designed by Presbyterian Medical Center, the University of Pennsylvania Health System has agreed to pay more than $12 million and make “reasonable efforts” to identify and reimburse any Medicare beneficiaries who made payments to the program.
  The investigation covered the years 1993-1997. Although the Health System did not own Presbyterian when the program was designed and implemented, assistant U.S. attorney Margaret L. Hutchinson said it should have been aware of the problem when it acquired Presbyterian in 1995. “This sends the message that, in this era of mergers and acquisitions, health-care providers need to be mindful of their due diligence,” she added.
  The investigation began in 1997 when John J. Saunders, a Health System employee who had worked at Presbyterian, filed a civil lawsuit over the Medicare-funded Partial Hospitalization Program, which was designed to treat mental and emotional disorders in nursing-home patients who were at risk of being moved to psychiatric hospitals. Saunders claimed that program administrators directed the staff to bill Medicare for therapy sessions that included watching television programs and attending birthday parties, even though some patients were too impaired to participate.
  After the suit was filed, the Health System voluntarily stopped all billing under the Partial Hospitalization Program, and initiated a self-audit to determine the extent of the problems. By the time the settlement was announced this past August, the Health System had already paid approximately $3 million to the government, and agreed to pay another $9 million, out of which came $2,173,113 to Saunders and his attorney.
  Lee Dobkin, Penn’s deputy general counsel of compliance, said that since the program was “established and guidelines instituted prior to our acquisition of Presbyterian, we believe the penalty is largely the responsibility of the Presbyterian Foundation, the former owners of the Presbyterian Medical Center.” The Presbyterian Foundation has declined to comment.