Johns Hopkins Gazette | May 18, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 18, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 35
In Brief


Preliminary results gathered from 2009 Climate Survey

In 2006, the Diversity Leadership Council conducted the first Climate Survey for faculty and staff at Johns Hopkins. This spring, the council again provided all Johns Hopkins employees an opportunity to complete a survey. As was done previously, separate surveys were developed for APL, the Johns Hopkins Health System, the School of Medicine and a fourth for all other schools and divisions. The statements/questions for the JHHS, SoM and JHU surveys were similar but not identical.

This year, more than 12,000 employees completed the survey. The response rates for JHHS and JHU were up, SoM was down, and APL was similar to the 2006 survey.

Results show that, at least for those who have completed a survey, the work climate has improved. The satisfaction percentages increased overall and for many subgroups (ethnic minorities and women); however, some disparities remain for African-Americans and for women faculty.

Vice presidents, deans and directors have received their divisional/school data, along with participants' written comments, and have been encouraged to organize focus groups to better understand the preliminary results from the employee's perspective. In addition, they will be asked to select the three to five issues/concerns that warrant attention and provide action plans to address these issues/concerns in their 2009 Diversity Plan.

In the fall, the DLC will provide a summary report of the 2009 Climate Survey noting successes and problem areas.


Applied Physics Laboratory names top inventions for 2008

A "smart" polymer that automatically releases medicine into the bloodstream and a super-thin flexible microchip share the honor as APL's top invention for 2008.

The winners were selected from the 129 inventions reported by 193 APL staff members last calendar year. A panel of 30 representatives from industry, the high-tech sector and patent law selected the top inventions based on their benefit to society, improvement over existing technology and commercial potential. APL Director Rich Roca and Kristin Gray, director of Technology Transfer, presented plaques and cash awards to the inventors during the Lab's 10th annual Invention of the Year ceremony, held May 7.

Lance Baird, Jason Benkoski, Andrew Mason and Jennifer Sample conceived the Physiologically Responsive Polymers, self-regulated polymers that would sense a physiological change (such as an allergic response) and release an appropriate therapeutic (such as an antihistamine) in proportion to the physiological condition. The polymers would remove the need for expensive implant devices and, in some cases, mitigate the need for continuous medical supervision.

Harry Charles, Shaun Francomacaro, Allen Keeney and John Lehtonen developed Ultrathin, Flexible Multichip Modules for making rugged, lightweight and compact microelectronic assemblies about half the thickness of a human hair. The assemblies can be inexpensively mass-produced, use little power and can be mounted or laminated to curved surfaces, leading to potential uses in smart cards, active circuit appliques, implantable biomedical devices and even fabrics.

In addition, APL engineer Jack Roberts received a Master Inventor award, joining 21 other past and current APL staff members who hold at least 10 patents.

Since APL opened its Office of Technology Transfer in 1999, Lab technologies have been transferred to companies in 37 states and abroad.


Institute for JH Nursing receives AANP four-year accreditation

The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing — created in 1996 as a partnership between The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and The Johns Hopkins Hospital — has received a four-year accreditation from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners to continue its commitment to providing nurses with excellent continuing education.

Nurse practitioners must remain on the cutting edge of clinical and professional information to stay abreast of the rapidly changing science of medicine and nursing, according to Jo Ann Coleman, coordinator of the Pancreas Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic at the hospital.

The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing is "an ideal forum to provide excellent continuing education programs," she said. "Having a four-year accreditation from the AANP demonstrates to the [nurse practitioner] looking for a quality CE program that IJHN has met rigorous requirements and will present excellent and quality programs."


Swine flu-related automatic travel screening lifted

The Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response last week lifted the automatic travel screening requirement for faculty, staff and students returning from H1N1 (swine) flu "hot zones" such as Mexico. Now, the only people who need screening before returning to school or work are those who already have an influenzalike illness, including a fever. For updates on H1N1 flu, go to the CEPAR Web site at:


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