Safer Travel

Life Sciences Financing

Aid for Entrepreneurs

Parity for Disabled

Medical Center: Business Partner

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Michele Alperin were prepared for the May 29, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Videoconferencing: Making It Work

There was a lot of interest in videoconferencing following

the attacks of September 11, and with Vice President Cheney and other

government officials ratcheting up terrorism warnings again, interest

is bound to grow even more.

Nevertheless, says Doug Murray, New Jersey sales representative

for Haverford Systems, adoption of this travel meeting alternative

is still in early stages. "We had a lot of people asking about

video conferencing right after 9/11," he says, "but not a

lot of people buying." In his opinion, "some people are still

scared about the technology."

Haverford Systems, a 15 year-old company with headquarters in Downington,

Pennsylvania, and a New Jersey office in Elmwood Park (201-796-8499),

specializes in display technology for corporate boardrooms and training

rooms. Videoconferencing can be integrated into these high-tech displays.

Haverford, and similar companies, can put together the whole package,

and Murray predicts that within a year or two such set-ups will gain

greater acceptance. He warns, however, that videoconferencing is not

for every company.

On Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marriott Courtyard

in Mt. Laurel, Haverford holds a free "road show" to demonstrate

display technologies, system control, audio systems, and custom integration

and installation. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions

on integrating video conferences into a display technology system.

Call 800-486-5276, ext. 37.

"If you are a small or mid-sized company with a number of offices,

you will get use out of videoconferencing," says Murray. This

is particularly true if frequent meetings among far-flung staff are

common. "For the company with a single office, it doesn’t make

sense," he adds.

Videoconferencing, of course, can also be used to connect with clients.

The advantages are cutting down on travel and increasing productivity

while keeping in touch. But this technology is not without hazards.

"Buy the wrong thing," says Murray, "and you look worse

in the client’s eyes." Common mistakes, he says, are poor lighting

and poor audio. Television and movie shoots, he points out, use lots

of lights coming from every direction. Skimping on light in the videoconferencing

room by, for example, having it shoot down only from the ceiling,

"can make you look bad," he says. As far as audio goes, some

companies like to put microphones on the ceiling, giving the videoconferencing

room a nice, clean look, but delivering awful sound quality. "The

microphones really need to be on the table," advises Murray.

Of course, there doesn’t have to be a dedicated videoconferencing

room. Sometimes, visual contact with a colleague or a client is made

through a desktop PC. Wherever the virtual meeting originates, Murray

urges that attention be paid to the room and to attire. In terms of

clothing, "avoid stripes," he advises. And keep away from

solid, dark colored clothing. As for the walls, white can be harsh,

particularly if it is a high gloss paint. (For other tips, see sidebar

above.)

Murray, a 2001 graduate of Drexel, says that the resolution of videoconferencing

feeds has improved markedly. Resolution of attire, decor, and technophobe

issues can not be far behind.

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Safer Travel

Friday, May 31, is Bike to Work Day in Princeton. Come

to Kopp’s Cycles at 38 Spring Street in downtown Princeton from 7:30

to 9 a.m. to get free refreshments and blood pressure screening courtesy

of the Medical Center of Princeton. Giveaway items for bicyclists

will be distributed at 8 a.m. Among those contributing goodies are

the Whole Earth Center, Small World Coffee Shop, and Wild Oats. Call

609-452-1491 if it pours rain to get rescheduling updates.

As for auto travel, Greater Mercer TMA invites employers to schedule

brown bag lunch programs to help employees improve their driving skills.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety provides the statistic

that 40 percent of the workers in any business have been affected

by a traffic accident involving themselves or a member of their family.

Such an accident might just decrease productivity, but it could also

cause the loss of a valuable employee. Call Linda Lieberman,

community relations manager, at 609-452-1967 for either program.

Top Of Page
Life Sciences Financing

While much of tech is down the tubes, investment in

life sciences remains a bright spot. Obtaining financing is not easy,

but it’s not impossible either. Providing details, strategies, and

real-life case histories is the "Venture Financing for Life Sciences"

breakfast conference. Taking place on Wednesday, June 5, from 8 to

10 a.m. at the Princeton Marriott, it is sponsored by the Biotechnology

Council of New Jersey and Dechert. Cost: $45. Call 609-890-3185 or

visit www.newjerseybiotech.org.

Among the speakers is Ting Pau Oei, vice president of Johnson

& Johnson Development Corporation, the pharmaceutical’s venture capital

and private equity subsidiary. Oei is responsible for JJDC’s venture

capital and strategic investments for pharmaceutical and diagnostics’

opportunities.

J&J has made investments in over 250 emerging companies since 1973.

Since joining the company in 1992, Oei has directed investments in

over 35 emerging biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and healthcare information

technology companies. A graduate of Union College, Oei received his

M.B.A. from Columbia Business School

Also speaking is Mark Ostro, a co-founder of the Liposome Company,

which was sold for $700 million in 1999. Ostro has experience as a

researcher, entrepreneur, executive, Wall Street analyst, and financial

advisor.

A graduate of Lehigh University, Ostro received a Ph.D. in biochemistry

from Syracuse University. As a post-doc student and assistant professor

of immunology at the University of Illinois Medical School, he was

the first person to use liposomes as vehicles to deliver genetic material

into cells. In 1981, he commercialized his discoveries by co-founding

Liposome.

In 1993 Ostro, the holder of 12 patents, became the first biotechnology

equity analyst.

Another speaker, Eric Aguiar, has over 15 years experience in

the biopharmaceutical and venture capital industries. Now heading

up Healthcare Ventures, he was CEO of Genova, a company specializing

in gene delivery and gene regulation, and managing director of Philadelphia

Ventures, a venture capital company with $123 million under management.

Aguiar graduated from Cornell and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical

School.

Rounding out the roster of speakers is Jesse Treu, who has been

a general partner and managing member of Domain Associates since it

was founded 17 years ago. He has been a director of over 20 early

stage health care companies, 13 of which have gone public. These include

Biosite Diagnostics, GelTex Pharmaceuticals, Inspire Pharmaceuticals,

OraPharma, Sepracor, and Trimeris.

Prior to the formation of Domain, Treu spent 12 years working in health

care at GE and Technicon in research, marketing management, and corporate

staff positions. He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

and received his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University.

Top Of Page
Aid for Entrepreneurs

New Jersey has money and services available for the

right businesses, says Randy Harmon. In his job as head of New

Jersey Small Business Development Center’s Technology Commercialization

Center, he helps technology entrepreneurs secure equity financing

and develop grant proposals for SBIR, STTR, and other R&D grant programs.

"Leveraging Your Resources," is the title for a program he

has assembled for the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network on Wednesday,

June 5, at noon at the Doral Forrestal. Cost: $45 at the door. Call

609-279-0010.

Harmon will be among the speakers allotted five minutes to tell about

the resources they offer. Also speaking will be Al Spiewak of

the Trenton Business and Technology Center, and Ellen Sandles,

of the Tri-state Private Investors Network. She works with the NJSBDC

to bring angel investors to small, promising companies.

Two of the people that Harmon has successfully helped will be the

main speakers: Abhay Joshi of Discovery Semiconductors on Princeton

Hightstown Road and Harris Goldberg at Hillsborough-based Inmat

LLC. Both have successfully negotiated different state and federal

programs to generate funds for their businesses.

Joshi (www.chipsat.com) has used grant funding to build his optical

receiver manufacturing company into one of the 50 fastest growing

high tech companies in New Jersey (U.S. 1, May 9, 2001).

Goldberg (www.Inmat.com) has raised significant funding through the

programs of the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology. His

nanocomposite coating is being used in Wilson Premium tennis balls

— the official balls of the Davis Cup — and he is ready to

begin moving into tire markets.

Goldberg and co-founder Carrie Feeney had been employees at

Hoeschst, Herberts, and DuPont when they worked on what could improve

the air retention ability of rubber without decreasing its flexibility

— and is less expensive than the current butyl-based technology.

They licensed the technology and equipment and turned to the Technology

Commercialization Center for help.

Harmon helped InMat get a $250,000 interest free loan from the Commission

on Science & Technology and a $200,000 Seed Capital loan from the

NJ Economic Development Authority; he also helped find an initial

angel investor. Through NJSBDC-sponsored conferences on SBIR proposals,

InMat learned how to salvage a rejected grant proposal. Now the firm

has an Army contract to develop chemical protective gloves.

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Parity for Disabled

Now that mental health benefits are supposed to be dealt

out more like payments for physical ailments, many people are wondering

if the new deal is really working. That hot topic will be the subject

of a workshop for a conference on Law and Disability Issues, sponsored

by the Community Health Law Project and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation

on Thursday, June 6, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Law Center in

New Brunswick. The morning is free by mail or fax reservation to 732-828-0034.

Call 800-FREE-LAW for a brochure.

Lois L. Krieger of the Community Health Law Project will lead

one of the three concurrent workshops on the New Jersey Mental Health

Parity Act. The other workshops are on Social Security work incentive

programs, and equal access to public accommodations — New Jersey

and federal law.

"The Human Services Priorities and Commitments of the McGreevey

Administration" is the topic for keynoter Kevin M. Ryan,

chief of staff, NJ Department of Human Services. Panel moderators

include Krieger, Stuart H. Weiner, and David P. Lazarus,

all of the Community Health Law Project. Also participating are the

NJ Developmental Disabilities Council, Cerebral Palsy of New Jersey,

Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, National Alliance for the Mentally

Ill, and the New Jersey Psychological Association.

Top Of Page
Medical Center: Business Partner

Twenty-two years into his tenure as executive vice president

of the Princeton Medical Center (PMC), Joseph Bonanno is still

excited about working with people in a hospital environment. Yet in

his vision the hospital walls do not limit what PMC can do to serve

the health needs of Princeton area employers and their employees.

Bonanno speaks on "The Medical Center at Princeton: A Partner

with the Community," on Thursday, June 6, at 1:30 p.m. at the

Doral Forrestal. The event is sponsored by the Princeton Chamber of

Commerce, which will award the Medical Center its Business/Education

Partnership Award. Cost: $31. Call 609-520-1776.

Since PMC’s Corporate Health Services department was created in the

mid-1980s, it has grown and reshaped itself in line with changing

corporate needs. Today it contracts with about 300 area businesses

to provide services that support health and well-being on the job.

It also offers the Confidential Advisory Program, an employee assistance

program (EAP) that provides a range of counseling services.

The Corporate Health Services contract staff includes two board-certified

physicians in internal medicine, one of whom is also certified in

occupational medicine and has a master’s in public health. Potential

contract services include:

Pre-placement physicals .

Drug screenings .

Travel medicine for international travel. The PMC is a

yellow fever center, certified by the NJ Department of Health, which

supports travelers to Latin America.

Employee treatment and follow-up for workers’ compensation

claims. PMC also ensures that individuals move back into the job at

a rate satisfactory to both employer and employee.

Immunizations for hepatitis and influenza, either on site

or at PMC.

Surveillance programs for persons who are required to

wear respirators. PMC provides an initial examination that tests a

person’s ability to wear a respirator and then an annual or biennial

check-up to ensure that lung function has not been reduced. (OSHA

requires surveillance programs for employees exposed to airborne chemicals

or even odors, as they are in area fragrance companies.)

Health fairs in which representatives of hospital departments

come to employer sites to provide a range of services including massage

therapy, body fat analysis, cholesterol screening, stress management,

diabetes awareness, Lyme disease education, vision and hearing screenings,

and pulmonary function testing.

Sessions and seminars . The employer hosts a lunch-and-learn

or a brown bag, and hospital staff or PMC-hired professionals address

topics requested by employers or employees, for example, sexual harassment,

stress management and healthy eating, and anger management.

Maintenance of profiles in the PMC emergency room for

all contracted companies.

PMC’s Confidential Advisory Program is an employee assistance

program (EAP) offering short-term, confidential counseling to help

employees deal with stressors at work as well as with family and parenting

issues.

For substance abuse problems, the EAP helps employees identify treatment

programs and community resources. The EAP can also provide very short-term

access to an attorney for quick legal questions. The program has three

fulltime counselors who are master’s-level EAP professionals certified

by the state. Employees can access them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,

365 days a year, either face to face or by phone. For companies that

have employees outside the area, PMC has recruited professionals with

similar credentials throughout the country.

Bonanno learned about hospitals from the bottom up. He worked summers

during college at the Hackensack Medical Center in housekeeping and

then as an orderly and honed his people skills as a leader of various

clubs and sports teams. After receiving a bachelor of psychology degree

from Rutgers University in 1968 and a master’s in hospital administration

from Duke University in 1970, he got his feet wet in grants funding

for HEW. Two years later he became an administrator of a division

at Mercer Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia, leaving eight years

later as a VP at the corporate level.

Bonanno sees the relationship between PMC and the business community

as a two-way street. The PMC tailors its Corporate Health Services

to the evolving needs of the area business community, and, in fact,

Bonanno will soon be soliciting the input of business leaders during

the PMC’s upcoming long-range strategic planning process. Bonanno

also acknowledges the substantial financial support that businesses

continue to provide to PMC: "Businesses have been so helpful —

both in terms of direct donations and in-kind support."

— Michele Alperin


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