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Death of Dr. Battistini

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the untimely death of Dr. Michelle Battistini, who died earlier this morning [September 5] in a motor vehicle accident.

Michelle was a 1983 graduate of the Medical College of Pennsylvania. From early in her career she was a remarkably dynamic, competent and committed physician. I distinctly recall identifying her as a "star" during residency interviews. Michelle chose to remain at MCP for residency. My persistence in trying to recruit her eventually won out, and she joined our faculty in 1994 to start a comprehensive women's health program.

Known as Penn Health for Women, the fledgling program was one of the cornerstones for the opening of Penn Medicine at Radnor. The multi-disciplinary program quickly grew to become the largest initiative at Radnor and a primary entry point for many women and their families into our health system. Michelle's passion for the highest quality of health care and service for women enabled her to recruit a fine team of physicians and support staff. Her personal charisma and reputation for menopause care led to an enormous demand from patients for her services. Her program became the clinical arm of our NIH Center of Excellence for Women's Health and a model that has been emulated by others.

Michelle earned the Sylvan Eisman Outstanding Primary Care Physician Award in 1999 from UPHS; and the 2001 Excellence in Teaching Award from the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO). In addition to her commitments to clinical care and education, Michelle had a growing national and international academic reputation as an expert in menopause care. She most recently lectured to the Japanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology on menopause management of women who are survivors of breast cancer.

Michelle and her family lived in Northfield, NJ, a suburb of Atlantic City. Her arduous commute was a testament to her commitment to her family and her energy and commitment to her work and her patients. Her family, her colleagues, and her patients are shocked by this terrible tragedy and their loss. It is difficult to find words to express our deepest sympathy to her husband, Gary and her two young children, Jackie and Dominic. Michelle was also a deeply religious person, who strived to integrate an element of spirituality into her day-to-day life and her work. I am sure your prayers at this time will be appreciated.

--Michael T. Mennuti, M.D.,
Chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 3, September 11, 2001


September 11, 2001
Volume 48 Number 3

Dr. Afaf Meleis--a prominent medical sociologist and specialist in women's health issues--will become the Dean of the School of Nursing in January.
Dr. Richard Gelles--a leading researcher in the study of family violence has been named Interim Dean of the School of Social Work.
Lucy Momjian is now Associate Vice President for Finance and Treasury Management.
Jack Shannon is named Associate Vice President in the Office of the Executive Vice President.
Dr. Battistini, director of Penn Health for Women, dies in a motor vehicle accident.
Convocation 2001: President Judith Rodin and Provost Robert Barchi welcome the Class of 2005.
Council Year-end Committee Reports: Admissions and Financial Aid as well as Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics are both on the agenda of this week's Council Meeting.
Penn moves up in the latest U.S. News rankings of the nation's best universities to its highest ever ranking.
A noisy night in the neighborhood prompted a Speaking Out letter and two responses.
Code Red Alert: Preventing a computer worm is possible with these steps.
The Models of Excellence program wants nominations to recognize staff achievements from the previous academic year.