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September 11, 2003

People of the Times

Neil Resnick, chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Pitt’s School of Medicine, has received the John J. Humpal Award from the Simon Foundation for Continence, the world’s largest non-profit educational organization for people with urinary incontinence.Resnick received the award in recognition of his leadership and long interest in the field of incontinence; for his research, which has furthered the understanding of the causes of incontinence, and for his development of novel approaches to diagnosis and treatment of incontinence.
The Simon Foundation, formed in 1983, is devoted to aiding those afflicted with incontinence and their families, creating public awareness, reviewing relevant legislation and encouraging medical professionals’ interest in this area of health care. John J. Humpal, for whom the award was named, was the founding chair of the foundation’s board of directors.

At Pitt, Resnick co-directs UPMC’s Institute on Aging, which focuses on enhancing clinical and basic research on issues related to aging.

His main research interests include bladder physiology and age-related changes and the epidemiology, pathogenesis, evaluation and treatment of geriatric incontinence. He was one of the first to suggest that incontinence is not a normal part of aging, the first to identify its most common cause and a leader in developing the field of geriatric voiding dysfunction and incontinence, syndromes that lead to significant disability.

In addition, Resnick devised a nurse-administered incontinence management strategy, which now is mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for use in nursing homes in the United States. The strategy has been adopted by more than 20 other countries.He has contributed to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference on Incontinence, and served as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s first international consultation on incontinence. Resnick’s expertise has been recognized by inclusion in both national and local “Best Doctor” lists.

He received his medical degree from Stanford University Medical School. In 1983, he founded the Continence Center at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the first of its kind in North America. Before coming to Pitt he was chief of Brigham and Women’s geriatrics and gerontology division.
Pittsburgh native Kathryn Spitz — producer, director, teacher and actor in some of television’s most popular programs — has been named the new director of the Department of Theatre Arts Shakespeare-in-the-Schools (SITS). The program introduces children to Shakespeare through productions specifically designed for them.

In addition to serving as director, Spitz, along with theatre arts faculty member Doug Mertz, will be one of two performers featured in this year’s production of “Hamlet,” which will tour elementary, middle and high schools throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. The one-hour adaptation will allow students to experience Shakespeare’s classic from a fresh perspective.

Spitz majored in theatre at Northwestern University, where she earned a B.S. in communications.

She has had a recurring role in “The Young and the Restless.” She also appeared in “Mad About You,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Designing Women,” “L.A. Law” and a number of television movies.

Since returning to Pittsburgh in 1994, she has taught acting at Pitt, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Actors Theatre of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Musical Theatre. She also has worked as a private drama coach.


Barbara W. Reagle has been appointed director of athletics at Pitt-Titusville.

Since 1990, Reagle served as director of student development at Clarion University, Venango campus. Prior to that, she was supervisor of student teachers at Allegheny College; dean of students at Villa Maria College and Gannon University, 1987-90; director of student development at UPT, 1986-87; director of student activities, counseling and learning skills at UPT 1984-86; assistant professor in physical education at Goucher College 1980-84, and supervisor of student teachers at Slippery Rock University, 1978-80.

Reagle earned both her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Slippery Rock University. She earned her Ph.D. in higher education from Pitt in 1986.

Ping Furlan, associate professor of chemistry and adviser of the Chemistry Club at the Pitt-Titusville campus, recently was appointed to the American Chemical Society (ACS) student affiliates (SA) chapter annual report review committee.

According to the ACS student affiliates program and the society’s committee on education, Furlan was chosen to participate in this review process because she is a model mentor and adviser to undergraduates in the chemical sciences.

The purpose of the review process is to select the award-winning chapters based on the annual reports submitted by more than 900 ACS SA chapters nationwide. The comments provided by the reviewers accompanying the review of the reports also will be helpful in providing feedback to chapters that are seeking to improve upon club activities. There are 30 faculty advisers participating in the process.

The Pennsylvania Society of Hospital Pharmacists (PSHP) has named Pitt pharmacy faculty member Michael Romano 2003 Pharmacist of the Year.

Romano serves as faculty adviser for the Academy of Students of Pharmacy and coordinator of the pharmacy school’s continuing education program. He is the sole hospital pharmacy school representative on the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy.

He also has served as president of PSHP and the western chapter.

Before his move to Oakland hospitals 30 years ago, Romano was pharmacy manager at West Penn Hospital.  Then, as director of pharmacy at Montefiore Hospital, he developed state-of-the-art services, implementing a total parenteral nutrition compounding service and unit-based clinical practices.

According to Robert Weber, executive director of pharmacy, UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside, “Mike’s career has mirrored the philosophy of the Pharmacist of the Year Award, excelling in hospital pharmacy practice, teaching and scholarly activities.”

Nicole Ansani, Pitt assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics and associate director of the Drug Information Center, will receive the Community Service Award for her numerous contributions to the Rx Council of Western Pennsylvania, which provides medications to indigent patients, and for her involvement with local shelters.

Ansani will be recognized at the Pennsylvania Society of Hospital Pharmacists awards banquet on Oct. 16 at Seven Springs resort.


Joel S. Schuman has been named the Eye and Ear Foundation Professor and chairman of ophthalmology at Pitt’s School of Medicine and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Eye Center. He also has been named professor of bioengineering at Pitt.

Schuman and his colleagues were the first to identify a molecular marker for human glaucoma, publishing their findings in the March 2001 edition of Nature Medicine. This discovery likely will lead to significant advances in the treatment and diagnosis of glaucoma, a disease that affects 17 million people and is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Currently, Schuman is the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study novel methods of glaucoma diagnostics, and is a co-investigator of an NIH grant for research into optical diagnostics and short pulse laser surgery. His other research interests include laser-tissue interactions, aqueous outflow and clinical pharmacology.

He also serves as program chair of the American Glaucoma Society and co-chair of the International Glaucoma Symposium.

Schuman received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, served his ophthalmology residency at the Medical College of Virginia, and completed a two-year clinical fellowship in glaucoma at the Howe Laboratory of Ophthalmology, part of Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, whose faculty he joined in 1990.

He co-founded the Tufts University School of Medicine’s New England Eye Center in 1991. He was professor and vice chair at Tufts University School of Medicine, and director of the Glaucoma and Cataract Service of the New England Eye Center at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston.

Schuman was a member of Tufts medical faculty from 1991 to 2003, and he also was a research professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Tufts main campus in Medford, Mass.


Schuman has written or edited five books and has contributed numerous book chapters.
In 2002, Schuman received the Alcon Research Institute Award as well as the New York Academy of Medicine’s Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize.
In 2003, he received the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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