June 1, 2006

CONTACT: Kate Olderman
(215) 349-8369
kate.olderman@uphs.upenn.edu


Invitation to Cover
“Sjögren's Walkabout” To Raise Awareness About Debilitating Syndrome

WHAT/WHO: Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is a proud sponsor of the second annual “Sjögren's Walkabout,” which aims to increase awareness of the syndrome while helping to raise money to support the Foundation’s research and education programs.

Sjögren's (“SHOW-grins”) syndrome is a devastating disease, affecting mostly women, in which the body’s immune system attacks the moisture-producing glands. Along with symptoms of dryness of the eyes, mouth and other body parts, it can affect any body organ or system, causing severe joint pain and failure of major organs such as the lungs and kidneys. It is the second leading autoimmune rheumatic disease, striking as many as four million Americans.

“Since the symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome are often misdiagnosed as other conditions, the average time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is over six years,” said Dr. Frederick Vivino, Director of the Penn Sjögren's Syndrome Center, located at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. “It is critical that we raise awareness about this devastating syndrome,” added Vivino, who is also Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Presby.

WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 2006
9 a.m. - Registration, Kids Activities, Moon Bounce, Relay Races & Prizes
10:30 a.m. - Ceremonial Walk steps off with a non-competitive scenic stroll
WHERE: Tyler State Park
101 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940

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PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which is consistently ranked one of the nation's few "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/jun06/SjogrensITC.htm