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Vital Signs

News Briefs

Half a Century of Helping
When Rachael Bergeron took her first job at Hitchcock as a typist, it was the summer of 1956 and she'd just graduated from Lebanon, N.H., High School. Soon after, she became one of six medical secretaries who scheduled all outpatient appointments. As the institution grew, she joined the Department of Rheumatology—and is still working there to this day. She is only the second employee in DHMC's history to reach the 50-year milestone. Because she was so skilled at helping patients, Hitchcock even established a "Call Rachael" phone line, which was advertised locally from 1986 to 1991; she would often use her bilingual capability to help French- Canadian patients. "She's just an absolutely wonderful person," says Dr. JamesMorgan, a DHMC rheumatologist who had Bergeron as his secretary from 1975 to 2005. "I think everybody who interacts with her knows that. Hopefully we will have a lot more people who will follow in Rachael's footsteps. I think she's going to work another 20 years. She loves working at DHMC—it's like her second family."


A Fast Boat to China
It's rare for an athlete to participate in Olympic games that are 16 years apart. But Dr. Kristine Karlson, a sports medicine physician at Dartmouth, competed as a member of the U.S. Rowing Team at the Barcelona Games in 1992, and she'll be at the summer 2008 Games in Beijing—not as a competitor but as a team physician for the U.S. Rowing, Canoe/Kayak, and Triathlon Teams. While Karlson is ready to treat anything from sore throats to injuries to infectious diseases, she's especially concerned that Beijing's poor air quality may be a problem for the athletes. She and her medical colleagues have considered packing carbon filtration masks, but they remain hopeful that the city will reduce the pollution sufficiently before the summer. Karlson, who was the first woman to win twoWorld Championship gold medals for sculling and has been a member of the DMS faculty since 1997, will help the competitors cope with mental stress, too. "I can certainly understand the mind of an athlete," she says, "because I've been there."


Back to School: During 2007, DHMC's Office of Continuing Education logged 9,374 attendees from all over Northern New England at continuing medical education programs, as well as 6,923 attendees at continuing nursing education programs.

In a Word: Dartmouth linguist Lewis Glinert studied the names of common cancer drugs and concluded that they often contain sounds associated with lightness, smallness, and speed. He thinks this may have a subtle effect on patients.

Not Bloody Likely: Dr. Larry Dumont, a DMS pathologist, leads the international BEST (Biomedical Excellence for Safer Transfusion) Collaborative; the group recently refuted some questionable research suggesting older units of blood aren't safe.

Sprout's Honor: When a Johns Hopkins study showed that a broccoli sprout extract might ward off skin cancer, DMS's Dr. Michael Sporn, a pioneer in chemoprevention, was asked for his opinion. "It's very important work," he told the Washington Post.

Cruise Control: This summer's issue of Cruise Travel magazine will profile DHMC medical transcriptionist Andrea Peterson. Certified in wilderness emergency medicine, she once lent a hand on a cruise when the weather turned wild.

All That Jazz: Dr. Norman Yanofsky, chief of the Section of Emergency Medicine at DHMC for almost 26 years, plays the keyboard in a jazz quartet; the group performs regularly in several local nightspots.

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