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Health Benefits Fair, Nov. 7

In conjunction with the 2000 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program open season, which runs from Monday, Nov. 13 through Monday, Dec. 11, the Retirement and Benefits Service Center is sponsoring a Health Benefits Open Season Fair. The fair will be held in Bldg. 1's Wilson Hall (3rd floor), on Tuesday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Representatives from most of the plans that are available to NIH employees will be on hand to answer employee questions on their 2001 benefits.

Employee Flu Shot Program Delayed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this past summer that distribution of influenza vaccine would be delayed and that fewer doses of the vaccine will be available this year. Although some influenza vaccine was delivered to the Clinical Center, the first priority to receive immunization were patients and the staff caring for them.

As of Oct. 17, a delivery date had not been established for additional doses of influenza vaccine needed to ensure an adequate supply for other NIH staff as part of the usual "Foil the Flu" vaccination campaign. If and when more vaccine is delivered, the Occupational Medical Service will announce an influenza vaccine program via global email and on the web (

New FAES Chamber Series Under Way, Saffotti Honored

At the first concert of the 33rd season of the FAES Chamber Music Series at NIH, a bouquet of roses and an award were presented to Mrs. Paula Saffiotti (r) for her volunteer work assisting Dr. Giulio Cantoni, music director of the series. The audience, which almost filled Masur Auditorium, responded with applause after Dr. Jacob Robbins (l), president of FAES, thanked both Saffiotti and Cantoni for their 33 years of hard work that have resulted in the NIH community's having many Sunday afternoons of beautiful music performed by world- renowned artists. This season's opening concert, performed by the Brentano String Quartet (at right), measured up to the usual excellent standard of the series. Anyone interested in having more information about the music series should call FAES at 496-7975 or visit the web site at

Forum on End-of-Life Issues

A new NIH Special Interest Group, formed Oct. 4 to address issues related to end-of-life research, got off to a fast start and is already launching its first event. An open forum, "The End of Our Lives: Guiding the Research Agenda," will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. NIH employees, the public, scientists, clinicians and interest groups are invited to participate.

The recently aired PBS series On Our Own Terms, by Bill and Judith Moyers, serves as an impetus for the meeting. Short clips from the series will frame each speaker's remarks. Four speakers who are experts in end-of-life and palliative care will address key issues: Dr. Richard Payne, chief of the pain and palliative care service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, will discuss ethnic and cultural dimensions. Dr. Ann Berger, chief of the new pain and palliative care service at the Clinical Center, will examine the role of palliative care. Dr. Christine Grady of the Clinical Center's department of clinical bioethics will speak about ethics issues. Dr. Thomas Smith, professor and chair of the division of hematology/oncology at the Medical College of Virginia, will look at the place of technology during the last phase of life. An open dialogue between the speakers and the audience will follow the presentations.

The National Institute of Nursing Research coordinates end-of-life research at NIH and has helped form the special interest group. For more information about the event, contact Ann Knebel at

Yamada To Give Guroff Lecture

Dr. Masashi Yamada, assistant professor at Osaka University, will give the Gordon Guroff Memorial Lecture on Neuroactive Growth Factors on Friday, Nov. 3 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. His talk is titled, "Neurotrophin-induced Intracellular Signaling in Neuronal Cells."

Dr. Gordon Guroff

Guroff, who died in July 1999 in an automobile accident in New Hampshire, had been deputy scientific director of NICHD since 1982. He was best known for his groundbreaking research on neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that brain and nerve cells use to communicate.

Guroff began his NIH career at what was then the National Heart Institute in 1959. He is most well known for discerning the molecular mechanism by which certain amino acids are converted to the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. This mechanism, which involves a molecular process known as hydroxylation, eventually became known in professional circles as the "NIH shift."

Annual Leave: Use It or Lose It

Annual leave in excess of the maximum carryover balance (in most cases 240 hours) is normally forfeited if not used by the end of the current leave year. If you have not already planned to take those excess hours of annual leave, you should discuss your leave with your supervisor now while there is still time to schedule it. Your biweekly Earnings and Leave Statement tells you how much annual leave you must use so that you will not lose it when the leave year ends on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2001.

In spite of planning, circumstances sometimes arise that prevent you from taking leave that has been scheduled and approved earlier during the leave year. In such cases, you and your supervisor are jointly responsible for ensuring that any "use or lose" leave is officially rescheduled. This year, your use or lose leave must be scheduled not later than Saturday, Dec. 2, 2000.

Should you or your supervisor have questions regarding use or lose leave, contact your human resource office or other appropriate program official designated by your institute or center.

Mobile Mammography Screening Set

Mobile mammography screening will be offered at several locations for NIH employees, their families and others associated with NIH such as IRTA's, visiting scientists, contractors and volunteers. The screening dates and van location are:

Nov. 1 Bldg. 10 parking lot 10H
Nov. 9
& Jan. 11
EPN/EPS parking lot behind EPN
Nov. 15 Rockledge visitor parking lot behind RKL1
Nov. 22 NSC parking lot next to 6003 Executive Blvd.
Dec. 13 Bldg. 45 front of building

The van will be at each site from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call (202) 994-9999. Refer to the web site at for any updates or changes in schedule or location.

The screening program is conducted by the George Washington University Breast Care Center. Screenings are conducted by female technologists; a board-certified radiologist specializing in mammography will interpret the films. The results will be reported to you and your doctor.

Each screening should take about 20 minutes and will cost $138. GW will bill some insurance companies directly; check with your insurance company to see if yours will apply. If your insurance plan is not set up for direct billing, you can pay by check or credit card at the screening and submit a request for reimbursement to your plan. (HMO members, check with your plan manager to ensure that your mammogram will be covered).

Deaf Awareness Program, Nov. 9

NIH's 2000 Deaf Awareness Program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10. For more information, visit

Open Season for FAES Insurance

The FAES Health Insurance Program is holding open season from Nov. 1-30. The program is open to those who work for or at NIH in full-time positions but are not eligible for government benefits. This includes NIH fellows, special volunteers, guest researchers, contractors and full-time temporary personnel. The minimum enrollment period is 3 months.

Open season is for those who did not enroll when first eligible and for current subscribers to make changes. Appointments are required. FAES offers two health insurance plans: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Blue Preferred PPO, and CIGNA HealthCare, a health maintenance organization (HMO). Also offered is a voluntary dental insurance plan.

Information about rates and benefits that take effect Jan. 1, 2001, may be obtained from the FAES website at, or from the FAES business office, Bldg. 10, Rm. B1C18.

Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

The Wednesday Afternoon Lecture series — held on its namesake day at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10 — features Dr. Nancy L. Craig on Nov. 8, speaking on "Tn7: A Smarter Transposon." She is professor, department of molecular biology and genetics, and HHMI investigator at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

On Nov. 15, Dr. Dennis Selkoe, professor of neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, will discuss "Presenilins, Notch and the Genesis and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease."

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 594-5595.

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