Communication and Public Affairs posts displayed by tag

The President’s Message

Check out the September issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on workplace wellness and Launch Your Life, a look ahead to UMB Night at Oriole Park and Dr. Perman’s quarterly Q&A, a recap of the YouthWorks and CURE Scholars summer programs, a story on a patient’s kayak journey to honor the late Dr. Brodie, a safety tip concerning personal property, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

 

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, University Life, USGASeptember 11, 20170 comments
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Pecha promoted to full captain

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Police Force has promoted Erik Pecha to the full rank of Police Captain for Public Safety. A University employee since 2015, Pecha had served at UMB as a lieutenant, a security shift commander, and an acting captain before his promotion July 10.

Capt. Martinez Davenport, MS, the UMB Police Force’s interim chief, said Pecha scored the highest among all candidates interviewed for the captain’s post. “I am very proud of him,” Davenport said. “He will be a great help to me and to the University.”

Pecha joined the University after serving for 21 years in the Baltimore Police Department, where he handled narcotics investigations and other criminal probes, earning promotions to sergeant, lieutenant, and captain before his retirement. He also received a Bronze Star for valor, three unit citations, and a commendation for putting his life in danger to assist others.

A 1993 graduate of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., Pecha and his wife, Stephanie, have five children, ages 19 to 4. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and gardening.

— Lou Cortina

  
Lou Cortina People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 31, 20170 comments
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Brady Art Exhibit Has Gala Opening

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) was honored to have Francine Brady’s art exhibit open on Aug. 14 at the Weise Gallery in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library.

This captivating exhibit is sponsored by UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture. Students, faculty, and staff attended the opening along with other artists and guests, including Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan, honorary chair of UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture. She and UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, hosted the art exhibit opening.

Brady, a resident of Frederick, Md., since 1999, describes her artwork as contemporary, narrative, and symbolic. She prefers that each person who views her art interpret the pieces instead of her providing an interpretation for them.

Her artwork covers a wide range of subjects and textures. Her current work mostly focuses on drawings and acrylic paintings. Unique, vibrant, and expressive are just a few of the words used to describe Brady’s art.

Every visitor to her exhibit at the Weise Gallery is sure to find a piece of interest. Be sure to stop by before the exhibit closes on Oct. 1.

Read more about UMB’s Council for the Arts & Culture. See more pictures from the event.

— By Sonya Evans

  
Sonya Evans Community Service, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 29, 20170 comments
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Founders Week Award Winners Named

Every fall, we dedicate one week to commemorating UMB’s rich history and to celebrating the future we’re building together. Among the highlights of Founders Week is recognizing the extraordinary work of our faculty and staff. Four awards are given every year, each signifying outstanding accomplishment in one facet of our mission. We’re delighted to announce the recipients of our 2017 Founders Week Awards.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Bartley P. Griffith, MD
School of Medicine
Thomas E. and Alice Marie Hales Distinguished Professor in Transplant Surgery
Founder, Breethe, Inc.

A world-renowned heart and lung transplant surgeon, Dr. Griffith struggled for decades to develop an artificial lung — one that wouldn’t tie patients to a breathing machine in a hospital bed.

After 20 years, he achieved his goal, creating a portable, at-home device for artificial respiration.

To market this technology, which should help hundreds of thousands of patients each year, Dr. Griffith in 2014 worked with UM Ventures, the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s commercialization arm, to found the company Breethe, Inc.

Based at the BioPark, Breethe, Inc. is deep into product development, funded to date through three rounds of equity capital with Dr. Griffith playing an active role.

Dr. Griffith, who came to the School of Medicine in 2001, has performed more than 1,250 heart transplants and nearly 700 lung transplants.

In 2010, when he was named UMB’s Researcher of the Year, Dr. Griffith was credited with having “the most heavily funded cardiac surgery program in the United States” with $25 million the previous decade.

In addition to his lung breakthroughs, Griffith was one of the early surgeons to implant a Jarvik heart, and he developed a pediatric heart pump.

Previously chief of cardiac surgery at the School of Medicine, Dr. Griffith recently raised funding to endow a joint chair between the SOM Department of Surgery and the Department of Bioengineering in College Park. The chair helps to create new medical devices.


Public Servant of the Year

Susan M. Antol, PhD, RN
School of Nursing
Assistant professor, Department of Partnerships, Professional Education and Practice
Director, Wellmobile and School-Based Programs

During the past 19 years at the School of Nursing, Dr. Antol has developed innovative approaches for meeting the needs of underserved individuals throughout the state. Applying her community health nursing expertise, her organizational skills, and her perseverance, she has brought health care services to at-risk children, the homeless, immigrants, migrant workers, veterans, and victims of human trafficking.

She has led nurse-managed school-based programs providing direct care to children and has served on key statewide committees such as the Maryland Assembly on School-Based Health Care and the Governor’s School-Based Health Center Policy Advisory Council.

As director of the Governor’s Wellmobile Program since 2009, Dr. Antol has overseen nurse-managed primary care services in underserved areas ranging from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and Western Maryland. When Wellmobile funding was cut in half in fiscal year 2010, she pursued grants and partnerships, securing three years of funding from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and in 2017 partnered with other University schools in a $1.2 million grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission.

An advocate for interprofessional practice, she received $1.04 million in 2015 in Health Resources and Services Administration funding to expand the Wellmobile’s interprofessional practice. In collaboration with the schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Social Work, Dr. Antol and her team have implemented an interprofessional practice that serves as a clinical education site and is examining new methods of providing care through the Wellmobile.


Researcher of the Year

Robert K. Ernst, PhD
School of Dentistry
Professor, Department of Microbial Pathogenesis

Dr. Ernst and his colleagues are engineering rationally designed mimetics based on bacterial surface molecules that will inhibit the body’s immune response to sepsis, a condition that causes a death every two minutes in the U.S.

In particular, he is at the forefront of innovative research studying the molecular basis by which bacteria modify the lipid component of their membrane, specifically lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and how these alterations affect or circumvent normal host innate immune system responses, potentially resulting in septic shock. Additionally, these modifications can promote resistance to host innate immune-killing mechanisms by antimicrobial compounds.

Therefore, altering the biosynthesis of LPS can render the bacteria more susceptible to host cell killing and/or antimicrobial intervention and serve as novel components or adjuvants required for the development of more effective vaccines.

The work of Dr. Ernst, a member of the School of Dentistry faculty since 2008, has attracted ongoing funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), MedImmune, as well as University of Maryland Ventures Seed Grant Funding and the state of Maryland Technology Development Corporation.

An advocate of interprofessional research, he has four colleagues from the School of Pharmacy on the NIH sepsis proposal. One of them, David Goodlett, PhD, co-founded a startup diagnostic company with Dr. Ernst called Pataigin. Its patented test “BACLIB” inexpensively identifies bacteria- and fungi-caused infections in less than an hour.


Teacher of the Year

Fadia Tohme Shaya, PhD, MPH
School of Pharmacy
Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs

Dr. Shaya leads by example and is an inspirational educator, teacher, and mentor to predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty.

She engages her students in research very early on, and includes them in publications. Under her mentorship, her trainees have been awarded prestigious research and training grants. Her courses — Medication Safety, Drug Abuse in the Community, and Formulary Management — are highly sought after and often referenced by graduates as among their most influential. Fluent in five languages (including her native French and Arabic), Dr. Shaya has trained visiting scholars from many countries, including Armenia, France, Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey, and is a popular guest speaker, nationally and internationally.

Along with her School of Pharmacy appointments, she is on the School of Medicine faculty (Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine), director of the Behavioral Health Research and Policy Program, associate director of the Center on Drugs and Public Policy, and adjunct faculty at the American University of Beirut.

Committed to interprofessional education (IPE), she organized an inter-school IPE program on training students to counter the opioid epidemic and how to administer naloxone.

Dr. Shaya also has supported the training of minority students and junior faculty, under the NIH minority supplement mechanism. She serves as a mentor to inner city high school students through the UMB Bioscience Summer Program.

As vice chair for Academic Affairs, Dr. Shaya has helped introduce population health and health services research-based courses in the PharmD curriculum and expand dual-degree options for pharmacy students.


For more on the Founders Week events, including the awards presentation at the Founders Gala on Saturday, Oct. 14, visit The Elm and Founders Week websites in the weeks to come.

  
Chris Zang Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University LifeAugust 28, 20170 comments
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Gamez Shows High Fiber In Carpeting Crisis

Pedro Gamez went two floors up in the Saratoga Building for what he thought was a staff picture with his Maryland Poison Center colleagues. But when University President Jay A. Perman, MD, entered the conference room on July 27 and asked for him by name, Gamez went into defense mode.

“Wasn’t me!” he exclaimed, getting a laugh from his co-workers.

“I don’t know why I have this effect on people,” Perman joked. “You’re not in trouble but you did do something — something that makes us want to honor you as UMB’s Employee of the Month!”

“New car?” Gamez asked, causing his cheering co-workers to laugh some more. But despite Gamez’s jokes, it was his serious attitude and work ethic that won him the July honor.

As one of 55 poison centers across the United States, the Maryland Poison Center, part of the School of Pharmacy, receives approximately 44,000 calls per year, from the routine to the life-threatening. It is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operation, keeping Gamez, who has been a LAN (local area network) administrator at the center for four years, and his colleagues on their toes.

When the center, which is on the Saratoga Building’s 12th floor, needed new carpeting in May, it wasn’t an easy undertaking. It’s not like the work could be done nights or weekends. Gamez, who maintains the servers, computers, and phone systems of the center, prepared the call center’s hardware to be moved during the install, and configured temporary work stations allowing staff to continue work as they moved from one location to another within the center for a week to accommodate the carpeting work.

Asked whether the carpeting guys hated him by the end of the week, Gamez replied, “The first day they did. I just kept asking them ‘how long is it going to take?’ because I wanted to move the portable system for the next day.” Gamez also came in early, stayed late, and even helped move furniture.

It wasn’t the first time Gamez and senior IT specialist Larry Gonzales had been forced to make Poison Center communications more portable. When power went off in the Saratoga Building in July, during the unrest following Freddie Gray’s death and during several snowstorms, the center stayed operational even though the University was closed.

In his nomination form, Poison Center director Bruce Anderson, PharmD, DABAT, wrote “no caller to the service had any idea that there was anything out of the ordinary happening to the physical plant of the Maryland Poison Center,” during the carpeting upgrade. “The service continued uninterrupted in large part because of Pedro’s efforts.”

Even before the award, Gamez felt blessed to be working at UMB. “Before coming here, the job that I had went away,” he said. “So it was a blessing to come here … my daughter goes to school [at College Park] for free and I’m continuing my education.”

And now $250 wealthier, with a new plaque on his wall, Gamez is grateful — to his colleagues and to his “mentor” Gonzales.

Asked what the award meant to him, Gamez said, “I’m one of those quiet guys. I just come here and I’m happy. I’m just proud that I did a good job.”

It wasn’t his first such award. Gamez won Employee of the Month in the Marine Corps decades ago. Now the challenges are different.

On the Fourth of July, he was about to take his three kids to the movies when the Poison Center called. “They lost internet and we couldn’t connect to the servers,” Gamez recalled. “So I had to reroute the connections.”

Ninety minutes later, his family went to see Despicable Me 3.

Which certainly doesn’t describe Gamez. As Perman said to him in closing on July 27 “we need more like you.”

— Will Milch and Chris Zang

  
Will Milch Contests, Education, People, UMB News, University LifeAugust 8, 20170 comments
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May President's Message

May President’s Message

Check out the May issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on changing our logo from “The Founding Campus” to “Baltimore,” a story on Malinda Hughes, who gave her $1,500 Employee of the Year prize to the UMB CURE Scholars Program, an invitation to Dr. Perman’s State of the University Address on May 10 and commencement on May 19, a National Mental Health Awareness Month reminder about UMB’s Employee Assistance Program, a safety tip on the UMB Police Force escort service, and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements, including a special section on global health interprofessional projects.

  
Chris Zang Clinical Care, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAMay 8, 20170 comments
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President's Message February

February President’s Message

Check out the February issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on UMB joining Johns Hopkins in the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, a story on Spirit Day, a new philanthropy feature, a safety tip on not walking and texting, CURE Corner, and a look ahead to our next speakers in the Core Values Speaker Series and President’s Panel on Politics and Policy.

  
Chris Zang Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Contests, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAFebruary 6, 20170 comments
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Carter-Center-Rendering

What Is Going in Carter Center Space?

Why is the former Walter P. Carter Center being demolished and what will take its place? Amid the recent demolition schedule updates and pedestrian detours at UMB, this is the first story to address these questions.

The building at 630 W. Fayette St. will be razed to make room for a nearly 300-space parking lot that will be paid for by the University of Maryland Medical Center for use by hospital staff. The current demolition process will be completed in July with the surfacing and landscaping of the parking lot finished by the end of 2017.

“It’s a win-win,” says Dawn Rhodes, MBA, chief business and finance officer and vice president at UMB, who pointed out that the medical center’s use of the land is only temporary. “We are removing a building that had gone unused for years, at no cost to us, with the opportunity to buy back the property as long as we reimburse the medical center for the unamortized portion of the demolition costs. It benefits us both. The medical center has use of the property for what their uses are right now and we have access to get it back and later use it for what we determine to be the highest and best use for the land.”

Thanks to urging from members of the UMB team involved in the project, the new surface parking lot will have trees on its perimeter as well as strips of greenery throughout it.

“The original design was just a sea of asphalt,” says Anthony Consoli, AIA, UMB’s campus architect. “With the help of the medical center we adjusted the design to integrate some green areas not just on the perimeter of the parking lot but internally as well. Increasing the tree canopy and reducing the urban heat island effect is part of UMB’s Resilience Commitment component of the University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, signed by UMB in December 2015, that guides us on such projects.”

Rhodes applauded the change. “On an urban campus it’s always pleasant to have components of green space and flowers. It just makes for a more welcoming campus environment.”

She and Consoli also were glad to preserve Arch Street as a pedestrian walkway when the project is complete. Arch Street is an important north-south pedestrian artery within the campus. Until the end of this calendar year alternatives to Arch Street will detour pedestrians to Pine and Pearl streets. The corner of Arch and Fayette was not captured as part of the construction zone at the insistence of Bob Rowan, associate vice president for facilities and operations, who recently retired after 32 years at the University. “Bob Rowan and others really worked hard to keep that corner out of the construction zone,” Rhodes says. “People will still be able to cross the street there.”

Other streets affected during the demolition include:

  • The north side sidewalk on Fayette Street between Arch and Pine streets will be closed. The south side sidewalk currently closed for Health Sciences Facility (HSF) III construction should open before the north side closes.
  • The east side sidewalk on Pine Street between Fayette and Lexington streets will be closed. The Fayette Street crosswalk at Pine Street will be usable.
  • The Vine Street Alley will remain open for vehicle traffic only until June when construction of the new parking lot will begin.

Pedestrians are encouraged to cross Fayette Street using the crosswalks at Greene, Arch, or Pine streets. Directional signage is being installed in the coming weeks near the demolition area to help pedestrians. Two new crosswalks will be installed to shift pedestrians to the west side of Pine Street for safety.

“We appreciate the patience and cooperation of those inconvenienced by the Carter Center demolition, especially the dozens of people whose parking spots are affected,” says Rhodes. “We’ve done our best to accommodate them. On campus, there is lots of construction going on in a consolidated area of space between the duct bank project, the Carter Center, and finishing up HSF III. We urge people to be mindful of the construction areas and exercise caution.”

Those at UMB have continued to call the building at 630 W. Fayette St. the Carter Center even though officially the name was moved to the 701 W. Pratt Street Building years ago when the last of the mental health services was transferred there. The 701 building, which is owned and operated by the medical center, also contains a portrait of Carter and some historical artifacts that once resided in the building slated for demolition.

Walter P. Carter was a champion for change as a civil rights leader, serving as Baltimore head of the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in the 1960s, organizing freedom rides in Maryland to desegregate public accommodations. In a speech on the day in 1971 he died of a heart attack, Carter, 48, said, “I will commit the rest of my life to make this city a fit place where our kids can live.”

Rhodes, who created an office to promote diversity and inclusion in her previous role at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, is pleased that Walter P. Carter still is being remembered so near the UMB campus.

“The vacant building on Fayette Street had fallen into disrepair in recent years and no longer was becoming of the Carter legacy,” says Rhodes. “I’m glad his many contributions are still being remembered at the Carter Center just a few blocks away on Pratt Street.”

  
Chris Zang Collaboration, Education, People, UMB News, University Life, USGAJanuary 18, 20171 comment
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Karen-Fisher

Fisher to Launch President’s Panel on Politics and Policy

The President’s Panel on Politics and Policy speaker series will kick off on Jan. 31 with an address by Karen Fisher, JD, chief public policy officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

As UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, noted in his December President’s Message, there is much at stake in terms of health and higher education policy, federal budget priorities, and issues of civil rights and social justice as the administration changes in Washington.

“We’ll invite noted experts and thought leaders to weigh in on how the new president and his administration and the new Congress could alter the country’s course in each of these areas and how such changes could affect institutions like UMB,” Perman said in introducing the new speaker series.

Fisher’s breakfast lecture and Q&A session, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the SMC Campus Center, will focus on health. She leads the AAMC’s public policy initiatives on medical education, health care delivery, and medical research, providing strategic guidance to advance the association’s legislative and regulatory priorities and developing policy proposals that support the work of academic medicine.

One of the nation’s leading experts on Medicare, Fisher has more than 20 years of experience in legislative and regulatory health care policy. Most recently, she served as senior health counsel for the Senate Finance Committee where she played a key role in drafting the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the new Medicare physician payment system.

Before moving to the Senate, Fisher spent almost a decade as senior director in health care affairs at the AAMC after serving as senior health policy analyst and general counsel for the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission — the precursor to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

“We’ll seek Ms. Fisher’s advice on how we at UMB can help shape U.S. policy to ensure health care access for those historically underserved,” Perman said. “We’ll also discuss proposals for such urgent issues as cutting health care costs, stimulating innovation in health technology and treatment delivery, and assuring quality care for all.”

Future speakers in the President’s Panel on Politics and Policy series include Frank Bruni of The New York Times on social justice and Goldie Blumenstyk of The Chronicle of Higher Education on higher ed. To learn more about this UMB speaker series and to register, visit umaryland.edu/politics-panel.

— Chris Zang

  
Chris Zang Education, People, University LifeJanuary 17, 20170 comments
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President's Message

January President’s Message

Check out the January issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on the progress of the MPowering the State: University of Maryland Strategic Partnership; stories on improved UMB crime statistics in 2016 and the Snap! Photo Contest; invitations to Spirit Day on Jan. 18 and our Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1; a look ahead to the Core Values Speaker Series presentation on accountability by Wes Moore on Feb. 14; and CURE Corner.

  
Chris Zang ABAE, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Community Service, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Administration, USGAJanuary 17, 20170 comments
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Heart-Attack

Beware of ‘Silent Heart Attack’ Symptoms

When asked the symptoms of a heart attack, many at UMB would respond chest pain, shortness of breath, shooting pain in the arm.

But jaw pain? That was a lesson Mark T. Van Ditta, MS, senior enterprise application developer in the Center for Information Technology Services (CITS), learned firsthand recently.

Not recognizing his primary symptom — dental pain — to be an indicator of coronary problems, Van Ditta experienced what is called a “silent heart attack” and did not realize it until weeks later.

Now after open-heart surgery and back to work in CITS, where he has worked for the past 15 years as a systems professional, the past three managing the technical side of student information systems, Van Ditta is eager to tell his story so that others can protect themselves, too.

An active 55-year-old, Van Ditta spends lots of his free time biking, lifting weights, and trying to eat healthily, especially in light of his diabetes and low HDL (high-density lipoproteins).

In August, he began to experience jaw pain about five minutes into his bike rides starting with a particularly rigorous outing where he had trouble catching his breath after putting his bike away. At the time, he thought maybe he should consult a dentist.

Days and weeks passed, and still the jaw pain persisted. He Googled his symptoms, which pointed to angina, defined by the American Heart Association as “chest pain or discomfort caused when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood,” oftentimes presenting as jaw pain. Van Ditta’s concern skyrocketed, even though only 10 years prior, he had had a nuclear stress test that showed his heart to be in tiptop shape. But he did appreciate that, as a diabetic, heart attacks often register differently than they do for a “normal” person, so he saw a cardiologist.

Van Ditta describes late September as a blur. In a matter of 10 days, his visit to the cardiologist revealed his heart attack, he had a cardiac catheterization that showed three of his main arteries were blocked between 80 and 95 percent, and he underwent triple bypass surgery.

After five challenging days in the hospital, life slowed down significantly and gave Van Ditta time to reflect on the realization that this condition could have ended his life. The blockage in his left anterior descending artery is often referred to as the “widow maker” because many people do not survive this extensive obstruction.

Van Ditta reflects, “The first thing I remember when I woke up was a nurse asking me to cough. Cough, I thought? I cannot even breathe!”

Undeniably, Van Ditta admits that an experience like this changes a person. He now has a mission to spread the word about the silent killer. In September before his surgery he sent a letter to the Office of the President that read in part: “It would mean a lot to me if Dr. Perman would take time to mention the signs and dangers of silent heart attacks in one of his future newsletters. … I ignored the signs that I had experienced a silent heart attack for six weeks because I did not experience the textbook symptoms of a heart attack.”

Those symptoms include:

  • chest pressure/heaviness
  • shoulder, arm, neck, jaw, and/or back pain
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • extreme fatigue
  • dizziness
  • nausea

“If you do not pay attention to the symptoms,” Van Ditta adds, “you could follow in my footsteps or fare worse. I finally felt relief when my 16-year-old twin daughters were able to see me up and moving again. It was scary for all of us!”

  
Dana Rampolla Bulletin Board, Education, People, University LifeDecember 13, 20160 comments
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