Saturday, July 11, 2015

Dr. Henri Ford Separates Conjoined Twins in Haiti

In a lengthy procedure in May, pediatric surgeon Henri Ford separated conjoined twins, the first such surgery performed in Haiti. The chief medical correspondent of CBS News, Dr. Jon LaPook, observed the surgery and filed this report on CBS, which includes a video segment:

There's nothing unusual about twins holding hands. But 6-month-old infants Marian and Michelle Bernard share much more: They were born joined at the abdomen. 
When we saw them, they were minutes away from one of medicine's rarest and riskiest operations. Improbably, the 2010 earthquake that brought so much death and destruction to Haitialso helped bring Michelle and Marian a shot at a normal life. 
Their future was in the hands of Dr. Henri Ford. Born in Haiti, he and his family left a Port-au-Prince neighborhood in 1972. He became an ivy-league-trained pediatric surgeon, now Chief of Surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He rarely returned to his home country, but that changed when the earthquake struck. 
"I arrived the second day that the airport opened and pretty much went to work and spent two absolutely grueling weeks, the toughest ones of my life," said Ford. "When it came time to leave, I recognized that I couldn't just say, 'Yes I did my share and it's over.' It wasn't a one and done thing." 
When Michelle and Marian were born, their doctors asked Dr. Ford if this risky operation could be done in Haiti for the very first time. The procedure would require sophisticated medical care in a country where millions still lack even basic health care.

Beth Cobert Steps in at Hack-Wracked OPM Agency

Beth Cobert become the interim director of the federal Office of Personnel Management today, Saturday, following the resignation of the OPM's director after hackers gained access to over 22 million personnel files. Cobert has been the U.S. chief performance officer and a deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. The White House's OMB website said this about Cobert's career:

Beth Cobert is the Deputy Director for Management. She was confirmed on October 16, 2013. Cobert previously served nearly thirty years at McKinsey & Company as a Director and Senior Partner. During her tenure, she worked with corporate, not-for-profit and government entities on key strategic, operational and organizational issues across a range of sectors, including financial services, health care, legal services, real estate, telecommunications, and philanthropies. She led major projects to generate performance improvements through process streamlining, enhanced customer service, improved deployment of technology, more effective marketing programs and strengthened organizational effectiveness. Within McKinsey, Cobert held multiple leadership roles in people management including recruiting, training, development and performance management of staff. She has been a champion for professional development and initiatives to support women's advancement to leadership positions. Cobert also previously served as a board member and chair of the United Way of the Bay Area and as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. Cobert received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Princeton University and a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University. She and her husband Adam Cioth have two children.

Jennifer Daly Maienza Featured in PAW Podcast, on Her Triangle Days

Jennifer Daly Maienza was featured in a PAW podcast recorded at the 2015 Reunions, looking back on her experiences with the Triangle Show. The interview is avaliable on iTunes, and PAW provides a transcript of Maienza's comments, including this excerpt:

Triangle I stayed with all four years. I sang and danced my way through high school and continued it on and loved it. It meant a lot to me. For a shy girl with a stutter, that’s where I could come alive, on stage. I did the Reunions shows, I did the “ding” shows, I did the tours, the whole kit and caboodle. 
There was one show, I think it was my junior year. We were driving to Buffalo in the bus, and a girl who had the lead in the dance — the dance solo in the big 20-minute very serious and meaningful as only Triangle can be dance number, on, I think the poor in New York City, something ridiculous like that — she sprained her ankle. So I had to step in, because I can dance, and I learned the entire thing dancing up and down the center aisle on the bus. It was kind of weird — it was the only practice I had because we got there and got changed and did the show. But somehow we pulled it together and I pulled it off.

PAW's Brett Tomlinson interviewed other classmates, and those comments will be posted as they appear on the PAW site.