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June 28, 1995

Silver Anniversary Celebrated for Penn State Heart

JAMA. 1995;273(24):1891-1892. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520480009003

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A TRIBUTE to persistence and delivery of paeans of praise for a man one of his sons affectionately called "the Grand Pooh-Bah of artificial heart surgery" took place at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa, in May. William S. Pierce, MD, was honored at a symposium, "The Artificial Heart: Past, Present, and Future—Celebrating 25 Years at Penn State."

During the 2-day gathering, investigators from around the United States and other countries who have played prominent roles in developing the Penn State Heart (JAMA. 1985;253:2617-2621 and 1993:269:966-973) and other pioneering artificial organ parts and systems looked back at the brave (if somewhat naive) beginnings of their discipline, assessed where they are now, and predicted an expanding future for fabricated bits of human beings.

Currently, the Penn State model is one of two air-driven devices the Food and Drug Administration has approved for use as a bridge to transplantation.

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