Another milestone: CHOP celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Neonatal Infant Intensive Care Unit on November 28, 2012. In 1962, C. Everett Koop, CHOP’s surgeon-in-chief, designated 12 beds for surgical infants where they could receive special attention during critical times of their recovery. Currently, there are 83 active beds occupied by infants facing major diseases of all sorts, cared for by 35 neonatologists under the leadership of the division chief, Phyllis Dennery. The neonatologists work hand- in-hand with members of the Department of Surgery in the pre- and post-operative management of many of the infants. In addition, 45 neonatologists care for infants in 9 area community hospitals as part of the CHOP Care Network Newborn Care partnerships.

Stephan Grupp presented a paper at a recent American Society of Hematology meeting, describing the use of a patient’s own immune cells to kill cancer. T-cells are removed from the patient, genetically engineered to attack leukemia cells, and returned to the patient. These cells grow within the patient and can attack a large amount of cancer cells.

The December 24 issue of Time magazine, featured Ian Krantz and Nancy Spinner, a husband-and-wife team in the Division of Genetics at CHOP. They are working on a federal grant to understand what genomic information patients and parents want to know about the possibility of future diseases.

Tom James III has informed us that he has returned to Philadelphia as the corporate medical director for medical policy at AmeriHealth Mercy Family of Companies (AMFC). He completed the pediatric section of CHOP’s med/peds program in 1978 and, in addition to being in clinical practice primary for many years, he has served as medical director for several insurance and local health plans.

Congratulates to Roger J. Packer, former member of the Division of Neurology and currently senior vice president of the Center for Neurosciences and Behavioral Medicine at National Children’s Hospital, for receiving the Bernard Sachs Award from the Child Neurology Society. He was honored for his research in neurosciences with relevance to the care of children with neurological disorders.

If you have information about yourself or other CHOP alumni, contact Barrie Nussbaum at You can find more information about fellow alumni on our alumni website at

C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, 1916 – 2013

Many of us were deeply saddened to learn of the death of C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, CHOP’s first surgeon-in-chief, who died February 25. A pioneer in the field of pediatric surgery, Dr Koop made an immeasurable impact on health worldwide. He transformed the relatively new field of pediatric surgery into a significant specialty in its own right. And later, as Surgeon General, he applied the same energy and vision to a much broader spectrum of health issues.

Dr Koop’s contributions included advances in complex surgical procedures, such as the separation of conjoined twins, establishment of the nation’s first newborn surgical intensive care unit and the implementation of Children’s Hospital’s surgical fellowship training program. Dr Koop served as CHOP’s surgeon-in-chief from 1946 to 1981, before taking on the role of Surgeon General.

CHOP will be forever indebted to Dr Koop for the imprint he left upon the institution and upon all of pediatric healthcare.

Contributed by: Patrick S. Pasquariello, MD