Casino celebrates first anniversary, hopes to add 500 jobs to region
SugarHouse Casino is gearing up for a large-scale expansion project.
Casino officials marked the first year anniversary by announcing preliminary plans to significantly expand the gaming operation.
The expansion would include 700 construction jobs and bring an estimated 500 new permanent full and part-time jobs to SugarHouse, bringing the total workforce to 1,500 personnel.
“This will bring our total investment in Philly’s first and only casino to over $500 million,” SugarHouse General Manager Wendy Hamilton said in regards to the expansion project.
“These expansion concepts are essential for realizing the ultimate vision of having SugarHouse serve as a full service gaming and entertainment destination here on the Delaware River Waterfront.”
The expansion plans — which are pending regulatory approval — would more than double SugarHouse’s complex to approximately 250,000 gross square feet. The project calls for an attached seven floor parking garage that allows for more than 500 additional spaces, the expansion of the gaming floor from 51,000 square feet to approximately 90,000 square feet, and a poker room.
The expansion would include space for up to four new waterfront restaurant concepts. The casino’s public river walk will also increase in size to allow for a longer bike path and more landscaped waterfront access. The new construction will also include space for a second-story ballroom, with riverfront views.
Construction on the project is slated to begin in the summer of 2012, with anticipated completion by fall 2013.
When SugarHouse was gearing up to open its doors in September 2010, it faced opposition from community groups who were concerned that the casino would negatively impact their neighborhoods.
City politicians, representatives of community and business groups turned out to mark SugarHouse’s first year anniversary.
Councilman Darrell Clarke, whose district includes an area across from the casino, noted the challenge of bringing SugarHouse to North Delaware Avenue.
“Through it all, there were a special group of people who said we need to have a conversation. They understood that when you are talking about 1,000 jobs, we need to have a conversation,” said Clarke.
“As a result of those discussions, we have the best casino on the East Coast.”
Clarke noted that he hasn’t received any complaints from constituents about the casino.
The press conference also served to highlight SugarHouse’s successes during its first year in operation.
Since it opened, SugarHouse has generated millions of dollars in tax revenue for the city and the state. The revenue includes nearly $53 million in state tax, more than $6 million in local share assessment, approximately $7.7 million for the Economic Development and Tourism Fund and approximately $18 million for the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development Fund.
During the anniversary program, Hamilton presented the Penn Treaty Special Services District with a contribution of $500,000. This brings SugarHouse’s total contribution to SSD to more than $1 million.
The SSD is a municipal authority established in 2010 that provides services, security, planning and maintenance to the Penn Treaty area of Philadelphia, which includes the neighborhoods surrounding the casino — Fishtown, South Kensington, Old Richmond and Northern Liberties.
SDD Chairperson Joseph Raftner says SugarHouse’s contributions have enabled the district fund programs for children, seniors and veterans in their neighborhoods.
The casino was recently named one of this year’s “Best Places to Work” in the eighth annual ranking presented by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
Located at 1001 North Delaware Ave., SugarHouse is one of 10 operating casinos in Pennsylvania.
A higher incidence of secondary breast cancer is seen among Black women regardless of age, research has found.
The findings were highlighted during a press call from the fourth American Association for Cancer Research conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities held September 18–21 in Washington, D.C.
The teleconference was hosted by Chanita Hughes-Halbert, director of the Center for Community-Based Research and Health Disparities at the University of Pennsylvania.
When cancer is diagnosed in women younger than 45 years old, the incidence of primary breast cancer is higher among Blacks than among whites — and the cancer tends to be more aggressive.
“While the incidence of breast cancer is generally higher among whites for first-time diagnosis, we found the incidence of the second contralateral diagnosis was higher among Blacks,” said lead researcher Nsouli Maktabi Hala, Ph.D, graduate of George Washington University.
“Our findings were unexpected, since Blacks have a higher mortality rate than whites from the first cancer, so you would expect Blacks to have lower rates of second cancers.”
The research also found that when cancer is diagnosed at an older age, the incidence is higher among white women. Since most breast cancers are diagnosed in older women, the overall incidence is higher in whites, said Maktabi.
Maktabi said about four percent of all breast cancer patients will present with a second primary cancer.
“Collectively our findings should urge physicians to watch patients carefully for the second breast cancer in the contralateral breast, especially in the first six to 10 years following the diagnosis of the first time,” Maktabi said.
The researchers used the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results Registry 9 data to determine breast cancer incidence among 415,664 white women and 39,887 Black women diagnosed with primary breast cancer at age 19 or older and possible development of a second cancer in the opposite breast.
Results showed that 22,290 (40 percent) developed a second breast cancer, of which 18,142 (four percent) occurred in the opposite breast. Incidence of second primary cancers of the opposite breast was higher among Black women and 15,101 (83.2 percent of second cancers developed in those who were diagnosed with first breast cancer at age 45 or older.
Maktabi joined three other researchers in highlighting their studies during the teleconference.
According to study results, an association has been found between stress and breast cancer aggressiveness.
“We found that after diagnosis, Black and Hispanic breast cancer patients reported higher levels of stress than whites and that stress associated with tumor aggressiveness, said Garth H. Rauscher, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology in the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago.
Rauscher and colleagues studied patient perceptions of fear, anxiety and isolation, together referred to as psychological stress and associations with breast cancer aggressiveness.
The study included 989 breast cancer patients who were recently diagnosed. Of those, 411 were non-Hispanic Black, 937 were non-Hispanic white, and 181 were Hispanic. Results showed that psychosocial stress scores were higher for both Black and Hispanic patients compared to white patients.
“Those who reported higher levels of stress tended to have more aggressive tumors. However, what we don’t know is if we had asked them the same question a year or five years before diagnosis, would we have seen the same association between stress and breast cancer aggressiveness?” Rauscher said in a release.
Depression affected preventive health screenings among Latina breast cancer survivors according to data presented during the conference.
“Depression can make people more inattentive to potential risks to their health and more likely to ignore recommendations to reduce their risk,” said lead researcher Amelie G. Ramirez, professor and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Ramirez and colleagues examined the extent of depression among a group of 117 Latina breast cancer survivors to assess the barriers to preventive health screenings for colorectal and ovarian cancer.
“The most important thing we found was that Hispanic breast cancer survivors were more depressed than Hispanics in the general population and that they were not following recommendations to continue other cancer screening behaviors.”
Research also indicated that U.S. immigrants are still less likely to have undergone breast cancer screenings than native U.S. women.
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University believe that lack of access to health insurance and a regular source of health care are important factors related to the lower percentage of mammography screening among U.S. immigrants.
“There is progress, overall, in use of mammography among foreign-born women in the United States, but there is still a lot of work to do to improve their use of recommended breast cancer screening,” said lead researcher Nengliang Yao, a doctoral student in health policy and administration.
$20M complex provides community needed building space, jobs
North Philadelphia is now home to the new Beech International Complex at Temple University.
Located at 1520 Cecil B. Moore Ave., the $20 million, four-story, 80,000 square foot building features 100 housing units, a Mugshots café, conference space, an international market place and space for lectures, meetings and theater.
The modern green structure was designed to accommodate 200 international students, students studying international affairs, visiting scholars and international researchers.
The complex, which was completed September 2011, created 200 construction jobs and 50 permanent jobs.
Elected officials, Temple University representatives and community leaders packed the complex’s central garden plaza to mark its official opening on Friday morning.
Beech Companies President and CEO Ken Scott opened the ceremony by recalling when they broke ground on the complex on October 1, 2010.
“Imagine that just one year ago, we were standing on a cloudy, rainy day in a bunch of mud having a dedication,” Scott told attendees. “The building is completed, which a lot of people don’t believe. It’s open and ready.”
“This is a wonderful enhancement to the community, to Temple, to the city. It’s something of which we can all be very proud,” said Richard L. Bazelon, Beech Interplex chairman, board of directors of the new complex.
Mayor Michael Nutter hailed Temple University for its investment in the community.
“This university continues to invest, not only in its own infrastructure but in the community — putting people to work, educating young folks and revitalizing this part of North Philadelphia,” Nutter said.
“I could not be more excited about this development. It is in fact beautiful, but it also is functional and will support the goals of Temple University.”
The complex was lauded as a facility that not only houses Temple international students, but also serves to help revitalize North Philadelphia.
“We’re very excited to have our students here in an organized way, where they can learn and grow together,” said Ken Lawrence, Temple’s senior vice president for government, community and public affairs of the new complex.
“Temple University looks forward to continuing working with Beech Companies, working with our elected officials. There’s great things happening in North Philadelphia. This is just one of them.”
Congressman Chaka Fattah highlighted the link between Temple students and the impact of a global economy.
“To see the growth in international students, I think, will really allow our students from Philadelphia and nearby suburbs to engage with people who come from places which will play a role in their lives. The reality is that our young people are going to have to live in a global economy,” said U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.
Eleventh Street Family Health Services of Drexel University has been bolstered by a $100,000 grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.
The facility is one of 15 nonprofit community health clinics throughout the Philadelphia region serving 70,000 people that have received $1.04 million in grants from the IBC Foundation.
The foundation expects to award an additional $1 million in grants to community health clinics before the end of the year, bringing IBC’s support for the program to more than $2 million for 2011.
“We are proud to support these clinics, which for many people is their only source of primary care,” said foundation president Lorina Marshall-Blake.
“Tens of thousands of people depend on these clinics. The regular treatments and checkups they receive keep them out of emergency rooms and help them avoid costly specialty care that is often needed when chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart disease, go untreated. Supporting clinics not only keeps people well and out of the ER, but it also saves our region millions of dollars by preventing unnecessary and expensive care.”
The Eleventh Street Family Health Services of Drexel University joins 14 other facilities in receiving IBC grant funding including: Congreso de Latinos Unidos; Covenant House Pennsylvania, Esperanza Health Center, Inc., Family Practice and Counseling Network Abbotsford/East Falls Center, PHMC Health Connection, and St. Catherine’s Laboure Medical Center, all in Philadelphia; Adult Health Center of Gwynedd-Mercy College, Lansdale, Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic, Doylestown; ChesPenn Health Services, Inc., Chester.; The Clinic, Phoenixville; Community Volunteers in Medicine, West Chester, and VNA Community Services, Inc., Ginny Coombs Children’s Health Center, Abington.
“We are grateful to the IBC Foundation for recognizing how important local clinics are to the health and well-being of our communities,” said Patricia Gerrity, director of Eleventh Street Family Health Services of Drexel University.
“The IBC Foundation’s support helps us offer services such as dental and behavioral health care, as well as a fitness center and nutrition training, which have become an integral part of what we offer and what our patients appreciate and need to stay healthy. IBC has been an extraordinary partner in helping us grow our facility and better serve our patients.”
The grants, which were made through the foundation’s Blue Safety Net initiative, is one of three areas the foundation is targeting in an effort to help transform health care in the region through innovation.
In an event launching the IBC foundation on Oct. 6, IBC president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty said IBC would make an initial commitment of $10 million to fund the foundation’s work. The foundation will target two other areas: leading innovative approaches to health care and developing the health-care workforce of the future with an intense focus on nursing education.
The foundation’s support for clinics expands upon IBC’s commitment to improving health care access for the under and uninsured. Since 2005, Independence Blue Cross has contributed nearly $15 million to help support 36 private, nonprofit health clinics that serve nearly 120,000 patients and provide 400,000 visits annually in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Four years ago, Florcy Morriset launched Vivant Art Collection with a focus on showcasing Haitian art.
The Old City-based gallery now features art from Cuba, Haiti, Africa and the Middle East.
“It’s been an organic transition. I think when I first started the gallery I wanted to dispel this whole myth of Haiti being a poverty-stricken country. It quickly became a place to celebrate art from all over the world,” says Morriset.
The gallery at 60 North Second St. became known as a meeting destination for community organizations.
Making inroads with the community has held Morriset’s business in good stead.
“I think that community connection has given me the opportunity to survive this economic downturn. To survive in this time as an art gallery is a big deal,” says Morriset.
In order to survive in today’s economic climate, Morriset changed her business model. In addition to offering the gallery as a place to host fundraisers and receptions, Morriset now offers consulting services to artists.
She wants to help artists learn more about the business side of selling art.
“I really get the opportunity to empower artists and work with institutions that are trying to diversify their programming by doing more cultural programs,” Morrisett said.
When Morriset launched Vivant, she started out with a collection of 100 pieces of art. She has since expanded the collection to the point where she’s sold 1,000 pieces of artwork.
She’s added a new vibe to the mix by launching a new exhibit titled “Cuba Librè – A Toast to Cuba’s Artistic Freedom.”
The exhibit features an array of paintings Morrisett purchased during an October trip to Cuba. The artwork offers a canvas’ view into Cuba’s daily life and culture.
“What I find so special is even through their political strife … their art and their culture is so bold. Through all of the oppressions that they have had, they are still allowed to be artistic,” Morriset says of the Cuban artists.
“You see the influence of Africa. You see the influence of jazz. You see the influence of daily life. You see the influence of the people.”
Morriset is marking her fourth anniversary with a four-day celebration at Vivant.
“I’ve done a lot with women business owners, young professionals and musicians. These networks have really been the bones and structure of the gallery in terms of events,” she says.
“This is a way for me to say thank you to them and really honor some of the leaders and women business owners who have come before me. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.”
“Vivant’s Anniversary: 4 Years – 4 Days of Celebration” kicks off with a Lyrics and Cocktails mixer on November 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. The social mixer will be hosted by Elizabeth Wellington, fashion columnist, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Jenice Armstrong, columnist, Philadelphia Daily News.
A celebrity art auction will be held November 17 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Vivant. Sponsored by Philly 360, the signature art auction will benefit the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Fresh Artists, a Philadelphia nonprofit.
The celebration continues with “Vivant Spotlights: Young Professionals” on November 18. This two-part affair serves to spotlight young professionals across Philadelphia. A luncheon will be held from noon to 2 p.m. and a networking event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guest speakers include E. Steven Collins, director of Urban Marketing and External Affairs for Radio One; Deirdre Childress, Film and Entertainment editor, The Philadelphia Inquirer; Sheinelle Jones, Fox 29 news personality and Bobbi Booker, lifestyles writer.
The celebration wraps up with the “Vivant Salutes: Women in Business” event on November 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year’s honorees include Kimberly S. Reed, Melinda Emerson, Cecil Rahman, Karen Robinson, Tracey Lynn, Karen Taylor Bass and Rosalyn McPherson.
For Morriset, 2011 has been a banner year. She was recognized by City Council as the Next Generation of Leadership, Rising Star and by the Philadelphia Tribune as one of the 10 People to Look Out for in 2011. She was also selected as a 2011 cultural ambassador for Philly 360.
“This year has been a culmination of all the work that I’ve been doing since I started the gallery,” Morriset said.
Melvin McKeiver has benefited from a half-match bone transplant procedure at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
Bone marrow or stem cell transplants are performed in order to replace a patient’s diseased immune system with that of a healthy donor. A fully-matched donor has been associated with the best results in bone marrow transplant, however many patients lack a fully-matched or unrelated donor.
After a waiting 10 years for a bone marrow transplant, McKeiver underwent the half-match procedure to battle both leukemia and lymphoma in April 2010.
“I’ve been waiting for 10 years and if I hadn’t gotten it, I wouldn’t be here now,” says the 42-year old resident Northeast Philadelphia.
Prior to the undergoing the procedure, McKeiver had been receiving chemotherapy treatment at another cancer institution for nine years.
“I was in so much pain because it got to the point to where the chemo stopped working,” said McKeiver, who was placed on numerous opiates due to the pain.
“I had no idea that I had an option for a half-match. The only option I was led to believe was that I had to get a full-match. If I had known that I had an option for a half-match, I would have gotten that done years ago.”
Since he received the procedure, McKeiver says his cancer has been cured. Follow up testing has not detected any sign of the cancer.
“There are so many people walking around who don’t know this is an option. People don’t need to be walking around pumped full of drugs and pacified, they need a cure,” he added.
McKeiver’s procedure was done under the direction of Dr. Neal Flomenberg, Chair, Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
McKeiver’s success with the half-match bone transplant comes at a time when a clinical trial at Jefferson has shown that the procedure yields promising results for blood cancer patients.
The study by Flomenberg and nurse practitioner Dolores Grosso, co-principle investigator was reported in the journal Blood.
In the clinical trial, 27 patients were treated in the phase I/II trial with diagnoses that included leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplasia.
The patients received their transplant in two steps. First, after receiving radiation therapy to treat their disease, the patients were given a specified dose of T cells — an immune cell that fights infection — from their half-matched family donor. The donors were parents, siblings or children of the patient.
Then the patients received the drug cyclophosphamide to help the newly infused donor T cells become more tolerant to the patient’s body. The second step of the transplant occurred when the patients received a dose of their donors’ stem cells to help their blood cells counts return to normal and further strengthen their new immune system.
The clinical trial conducted at Jefferson showed that the probability for overall survival was 45 percent in all patients after three years and 75 percent in patients who were in remission at the time of the transplant.
“Our half-match bone marrow transplant results open up many doors for different types of patient who can’t find an exact match,” said Flomenberg.
“It also justifies recommending that patients at high risk for relapse should consider having a half-match transplant early in the treatment of their disease.”
Fromberg and his team found that after a follow up of 28–56 months, overall survival for patients after one year was 54 percent and 48 percent after three years. Patients in remission at the time of remission fared better with an overall survival of 75 percent. Seventeen of the 27 patients — with a median age of 52 years old — were alive six months after their transplant, which alive six months after their transplant, which was the official end point of the trial.
“We figured out a way of doing a half-match transplant, where if your disease was under control we could probably save you,” said Grosso.
“Up until we developed this new transplant program, survival rates after a half-match program was dismal because the half-matched cells had to be overly treated so that there wasn’t rejection of the cells,” she said.
“Once you treat the donor cells they become less effective in fighting infection and fighting relapse, so when they half match graft went in, patients would either reject the graft of they would die of infection.”
The half-match procedure holds special implications for minority patients who are suffering from blood cancers and need a transplant at a time when the bone marrow registry does not have a diverse pool of donors.
“The problem is that the registry has a lot of people of European ancestry and the registry does not contain a lot of minority patients so its very difficult for African Americans or Hispanics or anyone of mixed race — which a lot of our patients are — to find a complete match,” says Grosso.
According to Grosso, approximately 100 patients have been treated with the procedure at Jefferson.
Albert Einstein Healthcare Network is appealing a punitive damages verdict in a negligence and wrongful death case.
On Sept. 21, a jury issued a $500,000 punitive damages verdict in a case against the Philadelphia-based Willow Terrace Nursing Home and AEHN.
The bulk of the award — $400,000 — was against Willow Terrace with the remaining $100,000 against AEHN.
This marked the second phase of a trial that began in July. In the first phase, the jury awarded Philadelphia resident Camay Williams, who sued on behalf of her father, Marcel Mackey, a $2.287 million verdict in compensatory damages.
“The family was satisfied that they were able to present evidence before a jury of their peers that agreed with our interpretation, with the facts and the evidence and awarded a significant verdict,” said Krisztal, who served as lead counsel.
Methodist Hospital and St. Agnes Continuing Care were the other defendants in the case, but the jury’s verdict excluded those two, focusing instead on Willow Terrace and both Albert Einstein Medical Center, and its parent, AEHN.
Mackey was a diabetic and double amputee when he had a stroke that left him unable to speak or move. He was a resident at Willow Terrace Nursing Home in Philadelphia from June 4, 2007 until Jan. 28, 2008. Williams’ lawyers argued while there, Mackey needlessly suffered from a gaping pressure wound that ate away at most of his backside, an eroding penis, multiple infections, contracted limbs, dehydration and malnutrition. Mackey’s family lawyers alleged that he died as a result of those problems.
Mackey, a married father of five from North Philadelphia, was 68 years old when he died in May 2008 from a blood infection. According to the lawyers, he amassed $287,000 in medical bills.
Damien Woods, director, public relations, AEHN issued a statement on behalf of the network.
“First and foremost, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Mackey’s family. Mr. Mackey was a patient at Willow Terrace and Albert Einstein Medical Center from June 2007 to March 2008 with multiple, chronic medical conditions.”
“In March 2008, he was discharged from Albert Einstein Medical Center and transferred to another nursing facility with ventilator support capabilities that were not available at Willow Terrace. Mr. Mackey’s health was compromised prior to his arrival at Willow Terrace and we intend to appeal the verdict.”
Through this litigation, the family learned the importance of constantly questioning the care their loved one receives, Krisztal said.
Krisztal says he’s been advising families about the importance of conducting extensive research on the backgrounds of nursing homes.
Giglione said they also hope the verdict sends a message to companies.
“The family hopes that the corporations that own and operate nursing homes and medical facilities in southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond take notice of this verdict and operate their facilities the right way so that other people are not harmed,” Giglione said.
Actor Grizz Chapman, whose severe hypertension led to kidney failure, has taken a leading role in raising awareness about kidney disease.
Chapman, who is part of Tracy Morgan’s entourage on the NBC show “30 Rock,” is serving as a spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation.
Chapman received a transplant from an altruistic donor, 19-year-old Ryan Perkins of Phoenix, Ariz., last June and had previously managed to shoot “30 Rock” while undergoing dialysis treatment three times a week, and now has a powerful message for the public.
“Take care of your health, even when you feel good. Especially keep your blood pressure under control and pay attention to your urine. If it’s foamy, that’s not a good sign and you need to check out your kidneys,” Chapman said in a release.
The alarm was sounded for the father of an 18-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, when he began spilling protein in the urine a little over two years ago. It wasn’t long before he spiraled from there to congestive heart failure and kidney failure.
“I should have been more conscious of my health, but since kidney disease can be silent, I felt fine — so I kept up with my regular life, traveling all over the country and eating the wrong things,” Chapman said.
Chapman says most people have no clue what the kidneys do in the body and whether they’re at risk. With that in mind, he’s spreading awareness by being involved with the NKF. Over the course of the year, Chapman has made personal appearances at seven Kidney Walks sponsored by the organization.
Now he’s gearing up to join thousands of Delaware Valley residents for the upcoming 2011 Kidney Walk in Philadelphia.
Hosted by the NKF Delaware Valley, the walk will be held Oct. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Philadelphia Zoo. More than 5,000 participants are expected to turn out for the event that is regarded as the second largest Kidney Walk in the country.
“Kidney disease affects so many people. Those who have a history of kidney disease in their family, high blood pressure and diabetes are at risk and that’s a really big population of people. It’s really important that people who are at risk can be aware,” Clare Herlihy, NKFDV development manager.
“Nationally, one in nine people are at risk for kidney disease, here in the Delaware Valley, it’s one in six.”
The NKFDV has set a goal of raising $500,000. Proceeds from the event will be used to fund the foundation’s patient programs and kidney disease screening outreach events. Through its signature Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) program, the organization hosts screening at churches and community organizations.
For information about the walk call (215) 923-8611 ext. 22 or visit www.nkfdv.org.
Another new medical facility for children is coming to West Philadelphia.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently broke ground for the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Primary Care Center at 48th and Market streets.
Established with a $7.5 million gift from Nicholas and Athena Karabots and the Karabots Foundation of Fort Washington, the $30 million, 52,000-square-foot facility will offer top-quality pediatric care and community programs for children and families in the surrounding community.
“We are grateful that Nicholas and Athena Karabots are so passionate about ensuring all children, regardless of socioeconomic background, receive high quality care,” said Mortimer J. Buckley, chair of the board of trustees at CHOP.
“Their generous gift makes it possible for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to better serve the families in West Philadelphia. We are honored to continue the Karabots’ tradition of helping children in need and will fulfill the promise of excellent care.”
As the chairman of the Spartan Organization, Nicholas Karabots has achieved prominence in the printing and publishing industry. The Karabots family is known for supporting projects focused on youth and inner-city causes.
“My wife and I are delighted to be able to support the creation of this facility that will help so many in need. The West Philadelphia community will benefit enormously with the opening of this state-of-the-art center,” said Karabots.
“I feel strongly that all children, especially those living under difficult circumstances, deserve the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life. To do this, they need to have access to good health-care services.”
Located on a four-story site, the two-story building will contain 56 child-friendly examination rooms; rooms dedicated to radiology, hearing and vision testing, and a phlebotomy laboratory.
The facility will also house community programs offered by Children’s Hospital including Early Head Start, Reach Out and Read, domestic violence education and asthma education.
The center plans to accommodate more than 45,000 outpatient visits annually.
“We are proud to create additional economic and community benefits to Philadelphia at the same time we provide a higher level of care for children,” said Dr. Steven M. Altschuler, chief executive officer of CHOP.
“This generous donation from Nicholas and Athena benefits our community on so many levels.”
Construction of the building is projected to finish in late 2012, with an opening planned for early 2013.
The principal architect for the center is Brawer & Hauptman Architects and the contractor is INTECH Construction. Stanley, Beaman and Sears are the interior design consultants and Medequip International is the medical equipment consultant. The Procz Group is serving as the building systems engineer, while the civil/structural engineer is Klein and Hoffman.
The existing CHOP Pediatric and Adolescent Care Centers at 39th and Chestnut streets and 3550 Market St. will relocate to the Karabots Center. The centers in South Philadelphia and Cobbs Creek will remain in their current locations.
Dr. Wayne P. Weddington Jr. was an otolaryngologist with the Albert Einstein Medical Center.
He died May 6, 2012, following a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
He was the second of four children, born to the Rev. Wayne P. Weddington Sr. and Amanda Lee Weddington on Dec. 24, 1936, in McGehee, Ark.
In 1954, following graduation from Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Ark., Weddington was awarded a full, eight-year, medical scholarship from the Reliable Life Insurance Company of St. Louis, Mo.
He married Dolores Jean Johnson in December 1957.
Weddington enrolled at what was then Arkansas AM&N College in Pine Bluff (now University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff) and graduated in May 1958. He enrolled in the Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and graduated with his medical degree in 1963.
He enlisted and completed his medical internship as a member of the United States Air Force. After completing tours of duty in Vietnam and Thailand, he was honorably discharged with the rank of captain in 1968.
Weddington and his family moved to Philadelphia in 1968 as he completed his residency at Temple University Hospital.
He established a board-certified ear, nose and throat practice in Philadelphia, which he maintained for decades until 2005. He became chair of the department of otolaryngology at Germantown Hospital. In 2005, he joined a medical group at Einstein Medical Center.
Weddington was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and past commodore of the Northstar Yacht Club. He was an avid fisherman and hunter.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Emaluise Weddington Cann and Gwendolyn K. Bailey.
He is survived by his wife; three children, Pamela, Wayne III and Brian Weddington; grandson, Perrin Weddington B. Tomlin; sister, June Weddington Fucles; and nephew, Clement Cann.
Services will be held May 15 at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson St. Viewing will be at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. The service will be followed by a Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity ceremony. Burial will be in Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown.
In memory of Weddington, donations can be made to the Howard University Alumni Association, 2225 Georgia Ave. NW, Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20059 or the American Cancer Society.
Louise E. and William W. Savin Funeral Home handled the arrangements.