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Jeffrey Romoff

Jeffrey Romoff
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President Bush Visits University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

PITTSBURGH, February 5, 2002 — President George Bush today led a high level delegation that included Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Dr. Anthony Fauci, viral expert from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Dr. Donald Henderson, Presidential Advisor on Bioterrorism (and the person who led the work to isolate and abolish smallpox) on a visit to the University of Pittsburgh and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where they learned first hand about efforts to combat terrorism.

The President then spoke to an audience of health care professionals and community leaders. His speech praised the University and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as being on the forefront on the war against terrorism and said that the city that used to be called "Steel Town," should now be referred to as "Knowledge Town." A group of UPMC physicians joined the President on stage as he presented his remarks.

As part of the visit, the delegation heard remarks from Michael Allswede, D.O., Division of Emergency Medicine, Special Emergency Medical Response, who discussed hospital, emergency medical and law enforcement integration in emergency preparedness. They then toured a microbiology lab where he learned from A. William Pasculle, Sc.D., Associate Professor of Pathology, Director of Clinical Microbiology about efforts to detect anthrax. He also heard from Mike Wagner, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and Intelligent Systems, and Andrew W. Moore, Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University about a real-time outbreak and disease surveillance system called RODS, which they developed.

The tour was followed by a private meeting with Jeffrey Romoff, president, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, John Paul, executive Vice President, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Arthur Levine, M.D., Senior Vice Chancellor of the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Mark A. Nordenberg, Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh, Jared L. Cohen, Ph.D., president of Carnegie Mellon University and Loren Roth, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president, Medical Services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Roth, who coordinated the visit with Dr. Levine, leads UPMC's Bioterrorism Task Force.

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