News briefs

Lifesaver

Can playing a computer game prevent someone from having a heart attack? Thanks to Barry G. Silverman, professor of systems engineering and creator of the Heart-Sense game, it can. The 15-minute game begins with a conversation between an emergency worker and an individual experiencing severe chest pains. Players then enter a fictitious village to witness people with chest pains and symptoms of heart attack. In follow-up questionnaires, those who played the game said they are now more likely to seek help in the event of heart attack symptoms. The game has been favorably reviewed by the American Heart Association, which expects to offer it on the Web at www.americanheart.org once testing is completed.

Skills builder

Not everyone is comfortable in front of a computer screen. That’s why Penn’s National Center on Adult Literacy has created Workplace Essential Skills (WES), a free on-line program that teaches computer and basic work skills to adults who read at the sixth- to eighth-grade level. By logging onto www.pbs.org/literacy, adult learners can simultaneously develop essential skills such as math, reading, teamwork and customer service and overcome their fear of computers in the comfort of their own home.

There’s still time…

...to nominate the best staff on campus for a Models of Excellence Award and make them proud. Whether you nominate an individual staffer or a team of staffers for their can-do, will-do and did-do efforts, your deadline is Nov. 12. For information, visit www.hr.upenn .edu/quality/models or call Quality of Work Life Manager Marilyn Kraut at 215-898-0380.

Originally published on October 25, 2001