June 1, 2007

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


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

(PHILADELPHIA) – Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is a proud sponsor of the third annual Pennsylvania “Sjögren's Walkabout,” which aims to increase awareness of the syndrome while raising funds for the Sjögren’s Syndrome 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 Frederick Vivino, MD, Director of the Penn Sjögren's Syndrome Center, located at Penn Presbyterian. “It is critical that we raise awareness about this devastating syndrome,” added Vivino, who is also Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Penn Presbyterian.

WHERE:

Tyler State Park
101 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940-1151

WHEN:

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m.
The Walk Steps off at 10:30 a.m.

For additional information, contact Sheriese DeFruscio at (518) 469-4984.

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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, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; 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/jun07/sjogrens-walkabout.html