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NIH Director's Town Meeting, June 18

The NIH Director's Town Hall meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 18, from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Natcher conference center's main auditorium. Dr. Elias Zerhouni will address issues of importance to the broad NIH community, and be available to answer questions. Sign language interpretation will be provided, as will other reasonable accommodation. The meeting can be viewed from desktop computer at http://videocast.nih.gov. For more information about the event, contact Carol Jabir at jabirc@od.nih.gov, or 496-1776.

2003 NIH Director's Awards Ceremony

All employees are invited to the 2003 NIH Director's Award ceremony on Friday, June 27 at 1 p.m. in the Natcher Bldg. main auditorium. Awards will be presented in four categories: The NIH Director's Award, mentoring awards, Commissioned Corps awards and EEO awards. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters will be provided. Reception will be held following the ceremony in the Natcher cafeteria. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in the event should contact their IC award coordinators.

Credit Union Formally Opens New Branch

Photos by Ernie Branson

The NIH Federal Credit Union formally cut the ribbon opening its newest branch, on the B1 level of the Clinical Center, on May 22. The credit union has taken over space that had been previously occupied by private banking concerns ever since the Clinical Center opened in 1953. On hand for the ceremony were (from l) Lindsay Alexander, NIHFCU CEO/president; Dr. Philip Chen, Jr., senior advisor to the NIH deputy director for intramural research; John Jarman, executive officer, OD; Charles "Chick" Leasure, Jr., NIH deputy director for management and CFO; James Norris, vice president of delivery systems, NIHFCU; Cassandra Hairston, NIHFCU branch operations manager; and Sharyn Hartsfield, manager of the new branch. At right, Janet Stephens of ORS's Medical Arts and Photography Branch exults over winning one of the day's many door prizes.

Women's Health IG Meets, June 11

The women's health special interest group will meet on Wednesday, June 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Wilson Hall, Bldg. 1. Guest speaker will be Dr. Nancy Olsen, professor of medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her topic will be "Autoimmune Disease — Why Female?"

Employee Needs Organ Donation

An NIDDK employee with type A blood is in need of a kidney transplant. If there is anyone interested in being tested as a possible donor match that has either type A or O blood, call Wanda at (301) 524-7432. Federal government donors can use up to 30 days of donor leave, which is not associated with your sick or vacation leave.

Salutaris Noons-in-June

This year, the NIH Salutaris employee group will celebrate Gay Pride Month by sponsoring two lunchtime programs focusing on health disparities within the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community. The speakers are former HRSA administrator Dr. Claude Earl Fox, and Dr. Katherine O'Hanlan, an OB/GYN from California, specializing in gynecologic oncology.

On June 20, Fox will discuss GLBT health disparity initiatives and the federal government. The program will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Bldg. 40, Conf. Rm. 1201.

On June 23, O'Hanlan will address how civil rights impact GLBT health disparities. Her talk will be in Bldg. 40, Conf. Rm. 1201 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sign language interpretation will be provided. For reasonable accommodation, contact Shannon Bell at 594-3767.

FAES Announces Concert Schedule

The Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences has announced the performers and dates in the 2003-2004 season of its Chamber Music Series. This is the series' 36th year. The concerts are held at the Landon School's Mondzac Performing Arts Center and all performances will be Sundays at 4 p.m.

Date   Location
Oct. 12   Boris Pergamenchikov, cello, and Kirill Gerstein, piano
Oct. 26   The Brentano String Quartet
Nov. 16   Stephen Hough, piano
Nov. 30   Imogen Cooper, piano
Dec. 14   Concertante
Jan. 11, 2004   The Trio di Parma
Feb. 1   Viviane Hagner, violin, Adam Nieman, piano
Feb. 15   The Takacs String Quartet
Feb. 29   Louis Lortie, piano
Mar. 28   Mihaela Ursuleasa, piano

Tickets for individual concerts may be purchased 2 weeks before the performance, or on the day of the concert. Cost is $25 for adults; $10 for students and fellows. A 10-performance subscription costs $220. For more information call 496-7976 or visit www.faes.org.

Anticonvulsant Tested for Fibromyalgia

A new study funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases will measure the effectiveness of gabapentin, an anticonvulsant medication, in reducing symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. Gabapentin has been found to relieve chronic pain caused by nervous system disorders, and was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of persistent, severe pain that can follow an episode of shingles.

The new study will be conducted by Dr. Lesley M. Arnold and her colleagues at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and two Boston-area sites, McLean Hospital of Harvard University and Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

Approximately 150 study participants with FMS will be assigned randomly to take either gabapentin or placebo for a 12-week period. The medication's effectiveness will be measured using questionnaires that assess the participants' fatigue, stiffness, sleep, mood, "tender-point" pain threshold and quality of life. Tender points are specific places on the body — located on the neck, shoulders, back, hips and upper and lower extremities — where people with fibromyalgia often feel pain in response to slight pressure.

Treatment of fibromyalgia usually requires a comprehensive approach. Patients may benefit from a combination of exercise, medication and physical therapy.

Currently, there are no medications specifically approved by the FDA for the treatment of FMS. Many people with FMS take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and some physicians prescribe muscle relaxants and antidepressants to treat the symptoms of FMS. Depending on the results of this study, gabapentin may become another treatment option.

Available data suggest that 3 million to 6 million Americans are affected by FMS. It primarily occurs in women, but children and men also may be affected.


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