Philips integrating schools in Holland; Millennium update; Puritan-Bennett unit goes to Airgas; World Tour: Maritime Provinces of Canada

Philips integrating schools in Holland

Philips Medical Systems International B.V. (Best, Netherlands) is closing its service training center in Shelton, Conn., and moving all of its technical schools to a new facility at its headquarters in Best.

The company has no manufacturing plants in the U.S. and recently completed a $6 million upgrade of its Professor Holst Center for Training and Education in the Netherlands. Previously, classes in Philips’ CT, MRI and networking products were held in three facilities in southern Holland, while Shelton was home to classes for R&F, surgery, vascular and cardiovascular equipment. Now the 22-classroom center in Best will be used for almost all product and application technical schools.

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NASA Completes 3,260,000 Mile Service Call

Astronaut Steven L. Smith during the final space walk of the 
mission with Astronaut John M. Grunsfeld in the background.
Talk about travel charges! A recent space shuttle mission was a field service call to install new parts in an ailing — and orbiting — Hubble Space Telescope.

A flight to perform preventative maintenance and install hardware upgrades was originally scheduled for later this year, but when four of Hubble’s gyroscopes failed in November due to corroded wires, shutting the spacecraft down, a call for immediate service was placed.

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Millennium update

Healthcare has a Happy New Year

It came and went like a thief in the night — an inept thief who forgot to steal anything. While most of the country rang in Y2k with fireworks, hundreds of committed engineers, technicians and managers stood by their posts and watched the Year 2000 date change pass with limited effect on medical devices. Some called it a “non-event,” but most biomeds know it was the culmination of many months of work.

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Puritan-Bennett unit goes to Airgas
Medical gas distributor Airgas Inc. (Radnor, Pa.) agreed to buy Mallinckrodt Inc.’s (St. Louis) Puritan-Bennett gas products division for an undisclosed amount.

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Schwarz in charge at Acceletronics

Steven Schwarz officially became the new president of Acceletronics Inc., a rad therapy and oncology ISO based in Lake Bluff, Ill. James McKenzie was 
elevated to vice president.

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Reihl advances at NovaMed
David J. Reihl was promoted to vice president of operations at NovaMed, the independent technology management and service organization based in Trumbull, Conn.

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Waiting for the Sun: one more worry

It sounds like just another panic attack from the doomsayers who gave us Y2k hype, but then again, “Be prepared” could be the motto of healthcare’s Boy Scouts, the biomeds.

The list of technology threats to monitor now includes the Sun. During the first several months of 2000, electrical and electronic equipment faces a serious threat from solar flares, a well-documented but little understood phenomena that has the potential to turn off the lights in hospitals around the world.

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Maritime provinces of Canada
“We’re not quite at the end of the earth, but you can see it from here,” said Brent MacKinnon, a biomed in Prince Edward Island, one of Canada’s Maritime provinces. PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are adjacent to New England on a map, yet they are remote from Canada’s population centers, and that makes the biomed’s job in Canada’s easternmost provinces quite different than other parts of North America.

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