Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 3, 1996

While You
Were Away...

While many members of the Hopkins community took leave of the Baltimore area during the summer, the university did not rest. Here are excerpts from articles appearing in The Gazette while you were away.

Hopkins is online
with InteliHealth

Scott Sherman, an assistant dean at the School of Medicine who oversees the Johns Hopkins Office of Consumer Health Information, was among those who announced in mid-July the formation of InteliHealth, a company created to produce and distribute consumer health information through myriad electronic channels, including the World Wide Web.

U.S. Healthcare is the funding partner, extending up to a $25 million line of credit to InteliHealth in exchange for a majority stock position in the company.

The Hopkins schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, along with the health system, will be responsible for the informational content, lending their names and prestige to the venture. In return, they will be minority stockholders and earn royalties. Faculty will be compensated for their time spent reviewing and editing content.

"Think of InteliHealth as a developer of an extensive, medical multimedia database," he says. "We will slice and dice that information and distribute it in diverse ways for different types of end-users, including our own and other Web sites, major online service providers and media companies."

Nursing's new building
under way

The School of Nursing broke ground for its new $17 million home June 6.

Presently, the school is housed in five different buildings spread from Washington Street to the Bayview Center.

"Our current limited space is restricting growth and threatening the continued excellence of our school's research and education programs in numerous ways," said Nursing Dean Sue Donaldson in a prepared statement. "Not only are class and meeting rooms insufficient, but faculty members must share offices. We are unable to hire new faculty because of insufficient research space."

The five-story structure will be located on the corner of Wolfe and McElderry streets, just across from the main entrance to the hospital. It will house lecture halls, seminar rooms, and wet and dry lab space, as well as offices for faculty and administrators.

The building will sit on a long, narrow lot donated to the nursing school by the hospital. One challenge in the design process was creating a structure that would blend seamlessly with its surroundings while displaying something of the nursing school's unique heritage and culture.

Central Asia new
focus at SAIS

Frederick Starr, former president of Oberlin College and founder of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Wilson Center in Washington, joins the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies as chairman of the new Center for Central Asian Studies. The center will concentrate on the six historically Muslim republics in the region bounded by Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan on the south and Russia on the north, but will also concern itself with neighboring countries, especially in the Caucasus, that impinge on this core area. It also sits on one of the largest known major reserves of oil, fields estimated to be close in size to the entire Middle East.

Charles Fairbanks, a longtime research professor of international relations at SAIS and the newly appointed director for the center, believes five overriding issues will occupy the center's scholars and other participants as the region struggles for some sense of cohesive autonomy in the coming years.

First and most significant is the relationship with Russia now that the Soviet Union is gone. A second issue propelling the republics toward a closer relationship with Russia is the tremendous problem of isolation faced by most of the central Asian countries. The third great issue the region faces, is when -- or if -- its vast energy resources will be fully exploited.

Two final issues--the relative weakness of government and the lack of structures ordinarily associated with Western-style civil society--are in fact issues which, in some degree, plague all the former republics of the Soviet Union, including Russia itself.

How these problems ultimately resolve themselves may well be far beyond the ability of Washington, or any Western nation, to influence. But the Center for Central Asian Studies will at least provide objective, research-driven criteria by which to measure progress -- or the lack of it. It will be the nation's only fully staffed center devoted to the study of geopolitical issues in the region, Starr said.

Alumni, friends
give Hopkins over
$125 million

In mid-August, The Gazette reported that alumni and friends gave The Johns Hopkins Institutions a record $125.9 million in the just-ended fiscal year and also set a one-year mark for new campaign commitments to Hopkins.

Private giving to Johns Hopkins--both the university and the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System--was up one-third in fiscal 1996 from $94.7 million the previous year. It was only the fourth time in the history of the institutions that total gifts topped $100 million. The previous record, $111.8 million, was set in fiscal 1990.

Fiscal 1996 commitments to the Johns Hopkins Initiative, the $900 million campaign now under way at the university and health system, were a record $198.3 million. That's nearly 29 percent ahead of the previous record for new gifts and pledges, $154 million in fiscal 1995. Commitments announced in fiscal 1996 included $55 million from business news entrepreneur Michael R. Bloomberg, the largest gift in Johns Hopkins history.

"We are just about where we should be at this stage of the campaign," said Robert R. Lindgren, vice president for development and alumni relations. "This type of growth is what you look for during a campaign of this size, especially during the early years when leadership gifts and pledges are coming in."

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