Hope Katz Gibbs


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Search for bone marrow donor [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
Sept. 13, 1998

When 30-year-old Michelle Crosby of Falls Church, Va., then six-months pregnant, returned home from a weekend getaway in April, she felt terrible.

“I was really dehydrated and exhausted and I just didn’t think it was normal,” she says.
After a slew of blood tests, her obstetrician found Crosby had a dangerously elevated white blood cell count. At 35,000, it was more than three times what’s considered normal.

More tests followed and other specialists were consulted. Finally, on May 6, the diagnosis was delivered.

Crosby has leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow characterized by uncontrolled growth of blood cells. The fact that she was pregnant made the situation perilous. It also may have saved her life.

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Birthing Buddies: Midwives’ delivery success rate better than physicians [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
Aug. 16, 1998

Janis Guyot of Alexandria, Va., is alternately squatting on the floor, wiggling on the bed and panting in the shower. The pain of labor is so unbearable that nothing helps. Except, maybe, midwife Catherine Armstrong.

For hours, Guyot suffered through contractions during the birth of her second child, a 9-pound son named Parker, born Aug. 2. Armstrong, one of five midwives working with four physicians at the Physician and Midwife Collaborative Practice in Alexandria, was down on the floor beside Guyot, holding her hand and talking her through the painful contractions.

“Having Catherine there with me made giving birth a more positive experience,” says Guyot, 37. “When my friends have used physician-only practices, they say the doctors came in to the labor room to check on them periodically but never stayed for long and left the hand-holding to the labor and delivery nurse.

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Mainstream Alternative: Medical community warming to alternative care [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
July 26, 1998

A small revolution is taking place on the
second floor of the Ambulatory Care Center on the campus of the George Washington
University Medical Center in Washington.

Down the hall from the Department psychiatry, four examination rooms and a reception area have been set aside for the George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine. Since April, an acupuncturist, chiropractor and massage therapist have been aligning chakras and soothing sore muscles, as well as using guided imagery, nutrition counseling, meditation and spirituality to help heal patients. About 60 people have used the center’s services, so far.

The Center for Integrative Medicine may be a small step for George Washington, but its mere existence represents a big change in the attitude toward unconventional medical therapies.

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Getting the word out [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
May 24, 1998

Aesop stuttered. So did Moses, Lewis Carroll and Charles Darwin.

So do actors James Earl Jones, Anthony Quinn and Bruce Willis and singer Carly Simon. They’re among the 3 million Americans who are disfluent. That clinical term simply means that speech has been disrupted by either the inability to start a word or frequent interruptions of that first syllable that seems to say, “No, I don’t want to get out.”

“Much of the stuttering phenomena is underground, in the sense that it isn’t as overtly seen by listeners as is the repetitions, blocks, grimaces and so forth [that a stutterer makes],” says Mary Weadon, 45, of Reston, VA.

She ought to know. She’s been stuttering—and trying to cover it up—since she was 4 years old.

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Med students get eye-opening crash course [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
Nov. 9, 1997

Sixteen-year-old Laura Bruno may not have understood everything the lecturer explained, but she did get an experience most never will have in a lifetime. She held a human heart.

Bruno was among an unusual group of 150 “medical students” who never plan to put the initials M.D. after their names. They just want to know how to best communicate with one.

“On the first night we got to see the anatomy lab,” she says of Georgetown University’s new mini-medical school—a part public relations effort / part public education program designed to improve patient-physician relations.

Adapted from similar programs offered at medical schools across the country, this one is an eight-week abbreviated medical school curriculum. Participants get crash courses in anatomy, pharmacology, immunology, physiology, rheumatology, endocrinology, and ethics. All are taught by doctors and professors affiliated with Georgetown Medical School.

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Gymboree class caters to the cradle contingent [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
March 10, 1997

Northern Virginia families sometimes feel like they are stuck in a centrifuge—spun around and pulled apart. Two-income households, 10-hour workdays, and impossible traffic jams, are all to blame.

One area business—imported from California—seeks to counter some of the stress of the nonstop’ 90s. And it’s just the tonic Hilary Brandt needed.

The new mom just signed up 7-week-old son William for the class. “Until now, I was too scared to drive alone with him,” she said. But Brandt summoned her courage and headed for CradleGym, the newest program in the Northern Virginia branch of Gymboree play programs for newborns to 3-month-olds.

“I am here to learn how to play and interact and to see what I can be doing at this stage of the game,” said Brandt. “I’ve come to learn to be a better mother. I still feel very green at this. Every day it gets a little easier, but still, if I can learn tips on helping him stop crying, to sleep, I’d feel a lot better.”

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Silver Diner: Potential gold mine? [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
Jan. 23, 1997

It’s Saturday night at the Silver Diner in Clarendon. Rob, a 55-year-old Arlington resident, is sitting quietly at the diner counter reading a newspaper as a waitress named Janis places before him a platter of hot pot roast, potatoes, gravy, com, and a buttermilk biscuit. Rob gives her a quick smile then picks up a fork and digs into the mashed potatoes.

How are they?

“Not bad,” says Giaimo. “I’m old enough to remember the classic diner, and this one is close to what I remember. I probably will come back.”

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Doughboys: Sharing bread and philosophy [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
Nov. 13, 1996

A slice of bread for you?” asks Bill McKeehnie, the baker / businessman behind the counter at Great Harvest Bakery in Alexandria.

“Absolutely,” says Sue Lawrence. She has driven all the way from her Baltimore home for a loaf of Great Harvest’s honey whole wheat. “I plan my sales trips for Metro Feed [a pet food chain] around being able to come to Great Harvest. This bread is amazing. It is really worth the trip.”

Three years ago, McKechnie opened the doors of his bakery and ever since the down-to-earth baker has found quite a following for his soft-crusted chewy bread. About 3,000 loaves, which sell for $3.25 to $5.70 each, leave his store each week.

“It is worth the extra money and an extra stop),” says Alexandria resident Matthew Howe. “I want real bread. Some people don’t care, but bread is a staple in my diet. Bakeries are big these days and there is a reason why. This stuff doesn’t have a shelf life of 50,000 years like Twinkies.”

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Surf’s Up: Is productivity down? [The Journal]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal
Nov. 16, 1996

Are your computer-savvy employees threatening your company’s productivity?

Yes, according to the majority of executives polled by Robert Half International, a job placement service for accounting, finance and information technology.

Earlier this year, the firm polled 150 executives at 1,000 companies asking, “Is employee time spent accessing the Internet for non-business purposes considered a threat to productivity today.”

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said, “yes.”

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Protocall Answers a Need [The Journal Newspapers]

by Hope Katz Gibbs
The Journal Newspapers
Thursday, December 5, 1996

EVERYONE IS TALKING AT ONCE at Protocall Communications in Bethesda, MD. That’s because 24 hours a day, 25 operators are answering the 10,000 calls ringing in to dozens of 800-numbers. A call to a political campaign, or Jose Cuervo tequila, or Michelin, is actually a call to Protocall. “A lot of people think they are dialing direct to a company, when they call an 800-number,” said Ellen Kleinknecht, who founded Protocall in 1990 with her husband, Scott. “Actually, companies hire us to take the calls. It frees them up to produce and market their products or services.”

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"I get by with a little help from my friends," says Hope, who gives special thanks to:

• MICHAEL GIBBS, website illustration and design: www.michaelgibbs.com
• MAX KUKOY, website development: www.maxwebworks.com
• STEVE BARRETT, portrait of Hope on Bio page: www.stevebarrettphotography.com

Contact HOPE KATZ GIBBS by phone [703-346-6975] or email.