6 The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 9, 1998
Feb. 9, 1998
VOL. 27, NO. 21


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Many employees may be eligible for big tax credit

It may not be quite as big as winning the million dollar lottery, but for those employees who are eligible, Earned Income Tax Credit is like hitting the jackpot.

If you are a full- or part-time employee who is earning less than $29,000 a year and is raising children, you may be able to receive up to $3,500 back from the IRS. Those who have not filed for the EITC can file up to three years back.

The IRS has set up sites where trained volunteers will be able to assist in filling out forms. The money can be returned in an IRS refund check or can be estimated and added to paychecks throughout the year.

WORKlife Programs has made it a goal to find 100 people who have not filed in the past three years in the hopes of returning $1 million in tax money to university employees.

Information about the EITC benefit will be in Feb. 13 paychecks.

Blood drive to begin this week at Homewood

The American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region will need 300,000 pints of blood this year; of those, it is projected that some 18,000 pints will have to be imported because the local supply will not be adequate.

In 1997, Hopkins faculty, staff and students at Homewood donated 698 pints of blood_an above-average percentage--but the university community has 2,236 potential donors.

Peggy Jones, benefits specialist at Homewood, who has managed the university's blood drive since 1979, is hoping to get more of those potential donations this year. As an enticement, several incentives will be offered, including a grand prize of two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines to anywhere the company flies. Anyone who gives blood twice during the '98 campaign will be eligible.

There will also be incentives in each of the five individual blood drives scheduled for the year. The first will be held Feb. 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Feb. 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Glass Pavilion at Levering Hall. Future dates are April 21 and 22, July 15, Sept. 16 and 17, and Nov. 17 and 18. To make an appointment, call Peggy Jones at 410-516-8039.

Annual Brickwedde Lecture scheduled for Feb. 24

Michael E. Fisher, an internationally known theoretical scientist, will be the featured speaker at the Department of Physics and Astronomy's annual Brickwedde Lecture at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, in the Schafler Auditorium of the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy.

Fisher is a Distinguished University Professor and Regents Professor at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology at the University of Maryland at College Park. He was a professor of chemistry and mathematics at Cornell University for many years, serving as chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1975 to 1978. He has published more than 330 scientific papers and was among the 250 most-cited scientific authors from 1961 to 1975.

For the Brickwedde Lecture, Fisher will deliver a talk titled "Pictures, Models, Approximations and Reality: Phase transitions and our understanding of the physical world."

The Brickwedde Lectures, which are open to the public, were established by a contribution from Ferdinand G. Brickwedde and his wife, Langhorne Howard Brickwedde. Ferdinand Brickwedde, who died in 1989, was a physicist and Johns Hopkins alumnus. He was dean of the College of Chemistry and Physics at Pennsylvania State University from 1956 to 1963.

Channels inside the heart may help severe chest pain

Heart specialists at Hopkins are testing laser surgery to relieve severe angina, or suffocating chest pain.

Called percutaneous myocardial revascularization, the procedure uses a holmium-yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser to make tiny channels in the heart muscle from within the heart. The laser is threaded through tubes inserted in the leg until it touches the heart wall. Patients are awake during the procedure.

PMR is less invasive than a similar laser procedure, transmyocardial revascularization, in which patients get general anesthesia and the laser is inserted through an incision in the chest to make the tiny holes.

"It is believed that making these channels relieves symptoms by improving blood flow to oxygen-starved regions of the heart muscle," says Jon R. Resar, principal investigator for the trial and an assistant professor of medicine. "Very early results suggest that within months, the channels may promote the growth of new blood vessels in those regions."

During the procedure, physicians inject a small amount of dye into the heart's blood vessels to locate them. The vessels serve as landmarks during PMR. Physicians also inject dye into the left pumping chamber of the heart to locate the walls. This guides them as to where to make the tiny holes. They then thread the laser up through the patient's leg to the heart.

Patients may require up to 20 channels. They do not feel anything when the laser is fired.

For the study, Resar is accepting up to 30 patients who suffer from terrible chest pain with or without physical activity. Subjects must be on maximum medication and ineligible for balloon angioplasty or other surgical procedures. For more information or to volunteer for the study, call Kathleen Citro at 410-955-7377. --Karen Infeld

Ballentine memorial service set for Feb. 16

A memorial service will be held for Robert Ballentine from 2 to 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, in the Mudd Hall auditorium on the Homewood campus.

Ballentine, a biologist at Hopkins for nearly 50 years, died on Jan. 17. He had suffered from leukemia and was 83.

Memorial contributions may be made to the MSE Library or to the Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences.