August 15 , 2008

CONTACT: Kim Guenther
(215) 662-6183

Invitation to Cover: Incoming Class of University of Pennsylvania Medical Students Receive White Coats to Mark Start of Medical Careers

Woman Who Spearheaded Effort to Provide Power and Water to Gambian Hospital
Joins Entering Class of 2008

PHILADELPHIA – Upset and inspired by a firsthand look at medical care delivered without electricity and running water, Kathryn Cunningham Hall started Power Up Gambia! and has raised $300,000 to install solar panels that will provide clean water and constant electricity to a hospital in West Africa’s Gambia. She is one of the 155 individuals in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s new class of 2008 who share a passion for driving change and progress in the medical community. Representing 30 states and 61 colleges from around the country, these students will officially start their medical careers today, as they receive their white coats and recite the Hippocratic Oath in front of family and friends.


Zellerbach Theatre [directions and map]
Annenberg Center
University of Pennsylvania
3680 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Friday, August 15, 2008
3 - 5 PM


  • Kathryn Cunningham Hall, Founder and Honorary Chair of Power Up Gambia!, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Entering Class of 2008
  • Keynote Address, Professionalism: An Imperative for Medical Practice, presented by Henry W. Foster, MD, Professor Emeritus and former Dean at Meharry Medical College and Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • On Being a Doctor, presented by Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Dean of the School of Medicine
  • White coats presented by Gail Morrison, MD, Vice Dean for Education and Director of the Office of Academic Programs and Stanley Goldfarb, MD, Associate Dean for Curriculum



PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in 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 currently ranked #4 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. 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 — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s top 10 “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