Dear CHOP Alumni Family,

I think we are seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel—I sure hope so! It’s been a long slog, but I hope all of you are safe and happy and well. As always, when I write this column, I think of our CHOP Alumni Motto: Keep … Tradition, Keep … in Mind, Keep … in Touch! So, let’s get to it!

Keep … Tradition: The spring is filled with many traditions here at CHOP—some older and some new. We will soon celebrate the amazing research accomplishments of our trainees by inviting three residents and three fellows to present their research at Grand Rounds. This 5-year-old tradition is one I look forward to each year. We will celebrate the graduation of our wonderful and talented pediatric residents and fellows, and we will award the annual Richard D. Wood Distinguished Alumnus Award at the annual meeting of the medical staff. This year, we honor Paul Offit, MD, with this award. Dr Offit has been a fearless champion for vaccines during his impactful career and, especially this year, has been on the front lines working to evaluate COVID-19 vaccines for government approval and providing accurate information to the public. Perhaps you saw him on CNN … multiple times? We look forward to celebrating Paul’s incredibly successful career.

Keep … in Mind: Getting involved with the Alumni Organization has never been easier, more rewarding, and impactful! I hope you’ll consider making a gift, as well. Visit today.

And finally, Keep ... in Touch! In normal times, I would mention that Joe St. Geme and I hosted a fabulous reception at the PAS meeting, and I would include some cute tidbits from some of our CHOP family. But alas, PAS 2021 was virtual. That did NOT stop us, as we held our very first PAS virtual cocktail hour on May 1. I’m not sure there were many cocktails, but we did have a great turn out.

After some welcoming remarks by Dr. St. Geme and me, we broke out into smaller rooms by “decade of training.” We thank Steve Ludwig and Fred Henretig for hosting the 1970s and beyond years (!), Jane Lavelle and Dan Hyman for hosting the ’80s, Tina Master for hosting the ’90s, Joanne Wood for hosting the ‘00s, and Katie Lockwood and Tara Bamat for hosting the ’10s! For those who joined us, it was so nice to catch up with old and new friends. Those of us in the ’80s could have gone for another hour, but alas, our time was dictated by technology. Let’s hope that next year we will be all together again in person, and we can celebrate with some good food and drink. Thanks to everyone who participated.

We mourn the passing of 2 CHOP family members, Robert Zimmerman, MD, and Richard Gesser, MD, both of whom died in February. Dr Zimmerman (or “Z” as we called him) was an institution at CHOP for 46 years. As a pioneer in neuroradiology and the long-standing Chief of Neuroradiology at CHOP, he was an inspiring teacher and mentor to generations of radiologists both at CHOP and internationally. Z was passionate about the arts and liked to make wine, putter around the garden, and read with his family. He had a joyful sense of humor and was always gracious with his time and knowledge. Rich completed his pediatric residency at CHOP in 1989, followed by a CHOP fellowship in Infectious Diseases and post-doctoral research at the Wistar Institute. From 1997-2010 he worked at Merck Research Laboratories until joining Sanofi Pasteur in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, in 2010. Richard loved the Pocono Mountains and spent every moment possible enjoying the woods, lakes, and views around his home.

Until next time, enjoy, work hard, but not too hard, and keep in touch! I hope you all find time for a summer getaway.

Cindy W. Christian, MD
President, CHOP Alumni Association

Side by side screenshots of PAS alumni virtual happy hours

(L) The annual alumni happy hour at PAS had to go virtual this year. (R) Steve Ludwig and Fred Henretig hosted the 1970s and beyond group.

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