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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Agenda: Nov. 12 luncheon

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Join the Friends of the Roundtable!

The Albany Roundtable, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) corporation, will celebrate its 30th season in 2009. Our civic luncheon series is open to the public and frequently attracts 60 – 80 participants each month, and attendance fees generally cover the cost of the luncheon. Accordingly, our luncheon sponsorships and “Friends of the Roundtable” memberships are channeled to a modest account which is used to offset the cost of honoraria and travel expenses for occasional special speakers.

Please consider joining at the 30th Anniversary level!

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Monday, November 3, 2008

An Appetizer for 11/12/08

To give guests an idea of some of the topics that may be addressed at meetings of the Albany Roundtable, we'll offer an "appetizer" a week or so before the luncheon. Please let us know what you think! And if this whets your appetite for more civic discussion, please RSVP by Monday, 11/10 by calling 518-431-1440 (the reservations hotline of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce) or by e-mail .

Tell us about the early history of Albany Medial Center
Albany Medical College, one of the nation's oldest medical schools, was founded in 1839 by Dr. Alden March, who later founded the Albany Medical Center Hospital (then named The Albany Hospital) in 1849. In 1982, after several years of failed attempts, Albany Medical College formally united with the Albany Medical Center Hospital to form what we now know to be Albany Medical Center, the region’s only academic medical center.

Can you briefly discuss the role of Albany Medical Center in the Park South Neighborhood?
Albany Medical Center is a vested partner in the revitalization of the Park South Neighborhood, making it a better place to live and work for its 2,000 residents and the nearly 7,000 Albany Medical Center employees. The Medical Center’s investment and commitment to the Park South neighborhood is evidenced by its numerous renovation and expansion projects including:
  • the $15 million, 45,000 square foot Physicians Pavilion unveiled in 2007
  • support of the Hilton Garden Inn at Albany Medical Center, which opened in 2007, through the lease of Medical Center property
  • the leasing of 77,000 square feet of new office space currently being constructed at 22 New Scotland Avenue
  • the recently proposed $360 million expansion of Albany Med’s Patient Tower.

What efforts is Albany Medical Center making to advance the sustainability and create a greener facility?
Albany Medical Center is very proud of its environmental programs and its commitment to reducing waste and preserving natural resources. The Medical Center has received international and national recognition for its effort. Most notably in 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency honored Albany Med with its Environmental Achiever award, referring to the institution as a “catalyst for environmental change” in its community.

Albany Med’s complete environmental program includes a state-of-the-art solvent reclamation system, a SHARPS disposal program (in which used needles and other medical waste is collected in plastic containers), an electronic recycling program, a comprehensive battery-recycling program, a chemical recycling program, and a hazardous chemical waste reduction and reclamation program.

What is the most exciting and promising research going on right now at Albany Medical Center?
At Albany Medical Center, scientists are engaged in many exciting areas of biomedical research including infectious disease, cardiovascular disease, addiction, cancer, and neuropathy. Their never-ending quest for knowledge may one day lead to important discoveries and medical innovations to be used right at the patient’s bedside. Recent grants issued to Albany Med faculty have included:

  • A $1.6 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (National Institutes of Health) to continue studying whether lessening the immune response to a deadly form of bacteria could actually prevent death.
  • A $5.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to explore the development of a “universal” vaccine for flu, including avian flu that would protect individuals from all forms of influenza, regardless of the latest strain or mutation.
  • A $960,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to examine what role the oncogene WWP1 could play in future breast cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and target therapy treatments.

What could be done to enhance the relationship between Albany Medical Center and the community?
Albany Medical Center is deeply invested in the community and committed to serving its wide array of needs. From offering regional programs that are not available elsewhere in the region (HIV/AIDS treatment; heart, kidney and pancreas transplantation; child cancer services and the Children’s Hospital) to actively engaging in promoting public health, health education and conducting various health screenings, Albany Med has firmly established its partnership with the community.