Thomas Jefferson University

Jefferson Humanities & Health

Jefferson Humanities & Health supports student engagement in the arts and humanities to promote essential skills related to healthcare including close observation, critical thinking, communication and empathy.

Throughout the year, our programs highlight the social contexts of health and wellness, lived experiences of diverse individuals and communities, and self-care for health professionals.

Each academic year, Jefferson Humanities & Health explores a thought-provoking theme from a wide range of perspectives. During 2021-2022, the Jefferson Humanities Forum speaker series will bring a handful of multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme Origins.

Throughout the year, forum events will explore aspects of Origins as it relates to: personal origins and family history; origin of the human species, behavior, and society; national and constitutional origins; and origins and the universe. Learn more about the Jefferson Humanities Forum here.

Announcements

Each year, Jefferson Humanities & Health commissions a current student to create a work of art that reflects our programming theme for the upcoming academic year.

This year's artwork—inspired by the theme of Origins—is a series of three digital illustrations by Zoe Wong, a third-year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Zoe uses a letter from her grandmother about Zoe's grandfather and his immediate family's immigration to the U.S. from Hong Kong to explore family origins, immigration and health. Zoe writes, "I hope these works resonate with other families of immigrants, or those with family members battling complicated illnesses, and highlight the importance of passing down stories like these for generations to come." Experience Zoe's powerful family tribute here.

Stay tuned as we explore the Origins theme throughout the year with events including the Jefferson Humanities Forum.

This year's Humanities artist-in-residence is the one-and-only Nazanin Moghbeli, MD, FACC, Iranian-American artist and cardiologist and the director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Einstein Medical Center. Dr. Moghbeli uses art to inspire, decompress, and deepen curiosity about the human body and medicine. Learn more about Dr. Moghbeli on the artist-in-residence page.

This academic year, 2021-2022, Nazanin will offer her coveted introductory drawing workshop Drawing to Decompress and will forge new connections with the Jefferson community. Keep an eye out for opportunities to connect with Nazanin!

You can now register for, and starting attending events to complete, the 2021-2022 Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. Register here! And visit jefferson.edu/asano to learn more. 

Some quick FAQs, asked and answered:

Q: What is this and why should I do this?

A: The Asano Humanities & Health Certificate is a co-curricular program that rewards your engagement in the arts and humanities and complements your formal course of study. Completion of the program signifies your effort toward becoming a healthcare professional who considers how the arts and humanities can cultivate close observation, communication, empathy, and reflection on the social contexts of wellbeing. 

Participating in the Asano certificate program is a great way to motivate yourself to attend some incredible programs on campus, connect with a community of students similarly committed to the humanities, find personal enrichment, and expose yourself to content that you might not find elsewhere at Jefferson.  

SKMC students: You also might want to do Asano because it can count as one of your two Humanities Selective Credits (JMD 152/252). Reach out SKMC Humanities Thread Education Coordinator, David.Meinhart@jefferson.edu, with any questions.

Q: Does it matter what college I am in?

A: NO! The Asano Humanities & Health Certificate is open to all students in all colleges and programs, on all Jefferson campuses.

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: You have the entire academic year (until the end of March) to attend eight programs and complete your reflections. Programs and events are usually one or two hours long, so you’re looking at 12-ish hours of programming plus the amount of time it will take you to thoughtfully respond to the reflection prompts (all of which can be spread out over the academic year).

Second-year SKMC students seeking credit have an earlier submission deadline.

Questions? Reach out to Matilda Ostow, Humanities Program Coordinator, at Matilda.Ostow@jefferson.edu.


September

Schwartz Center Rounds: Journeying through Hope and Ambivalence

Wednesday, September 22, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (register in Canvas, see instructions below)

Presented by the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine (*This is not our event! We are just spreading the word!*)

Join us to discuss the importance of both hope and ambivalence as it impacts spirituality and connection in medicine. Panelists to include: Dr. Andrew Newberg, Sister Cathe Shoulberg and more!

Schwartz Center Rounds are humanism in medicine events developed by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center to support and advance compassion in healthcare. They are named after Ken Schwartz who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and came to realize that what matters most during an illness is the human connection between patients and their caregivers, that “the smallest acts of kindness” made “the unbearable bearable.” These Schwartz rounds create a forum and level playing field where providers from diverse disciplines discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. In our institution they are held monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon, formerly in a large conference room but now in a virtual format. 

Co-facilitators: Lisa Capparella, MSS, LCSW, OSW-C and Kathleen Mechler, MD. 

To access the registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas, or email Matilda Ostow, and visit the Schwartz Rounds page in the Event Links module. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Drawing to Decompress

Wednesday, September 22, 5-6 p.m., Online via Zoom (register here)

Open to Jefferson students, faculty, and staff

Explore the ways in which a drawing practice can bring balance to your healthcare studies or career. Artist and cardiologist Nazanin Moghbeli, MD, FACC, uses art to inspire, decompress, and deepen curiosity about the human body and medicine. Join Dr. Moghbeli for a workshop that will build on this wisdom to expand participants’ observational skills, promote self-care, and encourage burnout prevention. All drawing abilities and experiences are welcome! This workshop will discuss basic drawing techniques, composition, subject matter, three-dimensionality, and tips for forming a daily sketchbook practice.

Materials will be available for pick-up prior to the workshop, including: a small sketchbook and portable pocket version, drawing pencils, eraser, and two printed images. This workshop is open to all Jefferson faculty, staff, and students.

About the instructor: Nazanin Moghbeli, MD, FACC is an Iranian-American artist and cardiologist, and the director of the Cardiac Care Unit at Einstein Medical Center. Dr. Moghbeli is the current Humanities artist-in-residence. Learn more here.

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Penn Live Arts presents Ten Thousand Birds at the Morris Arboretum: Student Ticket Giveaway 

Saturday, September 25, 1 p.m., Morris Arboretum (register here)

The “unusually versatile, reliably exhilarating new-music ensemble” (The New York Times) Alarm Will Sound makes its Penn Live Arts debut, returning to our city after a 12-year hiatus with the local premiere of Ten Thousand Birds by Pulitzer Prize and Grammy® Award-winning composer John Luther Adams. This experiential, open-ended collection of pieces is based on native birdsong, encompassing a range of colors and instrumentation and newly informed by actual migration patterns tracked at the Morris Arboretum. The audience roves freely around the space and the performers, experiencing the music from many perspectives as human creativity and natural phenomena blur. Learn more here.

Please note: Tickets are for Jefferson students only: supplies limited; first come, first served. Students will be responsible for their own travel to the Morris Arboretum.

Drum It Out with Josh Robinson

Wednesday, September 29, 5-6 p.m., Online via Zoom (register here)

Open to Jefferson students, faculty, and staff.

Percussionist and Humanities visiting instructor Josh Robinson invites you to "Drum It Out!" This interactive workshop uses drumming as a coping tool, a vehicle for healthy expression and emotional release, and a fun way to connect with others in an authentic and engaging way. A pair of drumsticks will be available for pick-up leading up to the workshop. Alternatively, participants can use found objects such as wooden spoons, dowels to make noise on buckets or trash bins.

About the facilitator: Josh Robinson is a professional percussionist, teaching artist, and drum facilitator. He has been a visiting instructor in the Humanities at Thomas Jefferson University for the past four years and the former Humanities artist-in-residence. For the past 19 years, Josh has used his skills, expertise, and life experience to share drumming and the many gifts it brings with thousands of people each year around the country. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

October

Fairmount Water Works Tour: Student Ticket Giveaway

*PLEASE NOTE: This has been postponed due to damage from Hurricane Ida. Please stay tuned for a rescheduled date*

Join a guided tour of Fairmount Water Works, former water-pumping station for the City of Philadelphia, and presently a hub of innovative water and watershed education programming in the region. The tour will provide an overview of the history of water systems, water treatment, and Philadelphia’s water and sewer systems. The experience will also highlight themes from the current exhibition on display at FWW: Pool: A Social History of Segregation (POOL), a multi-disciplinary museum exhibition exploring the history and contemporary implications of segregated swimming in America. POOL will investigate the role of public pools in the United States with the goal of deepening understanding of the connection between water, social justice and public health.

Please note: Tickets are for Jefferson students only: supplies limited; first come, first served. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Health Humanities Reading Group: Henrietta Lacks

Monday, October 4, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (Registration in Canvas, instructions below)

Open to all Jefferson students, faculty, and staff

Reading/Listening:

This week, the Health Humanities Reading Group explores the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks, whose cervical cells, taken and used without her knowledge, have played a role in modernity as we know it: from vaccines to medicine to space travel. Lacks’ story is unique but also representative of the pervasive mistreatment of Black people by institutions of medicine, science, education, and healthcare.

Special guest discussant: Ana Mari­a Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, Professor and Vice Chair, Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Chief of Cancer Services, Jefferson Health New Jersey, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

To access the registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas, or email Matilda Ostow, and visit the Event Links module. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

^This workshop counts as credit towards the Anti-Racism in Health Focus, a subset of the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. Learn more here.

Well, What Were You Wearing? Photography Exhibit

Eakins Lounge, Jefferson Alumni Hall

Monday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 5 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Wednesday, October 6 and Thursday, October 7 | 12 – 4 p.m. 

Open to Jefferson students, faculty, and staff

Jefferson Humanities & Health is partnering with Jefferson College of Population Health to present “Well, What Were You Wearing?”, an exhibition of photos by MPH graduate Kat Cambareri exploring victim-blaming and sexual assault. Cambareri’s ongoing project has been featured in Time Magazine and HuffPost. Attendees will be invited to share anonymous reflections on the work.

Panel Discussion

On Wednesday, October 6, 6 p.m., join a virtual panel discussion exploring the Well, What Were You Wearing? exhibit and the themes it raises with the artist, experts in the field, and researchers. The panel discussion is free and open to the public; register here.

Anti-Racism in Health Focus Discussion - Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology

Wednesday, October 6, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (Registration in Canvas, instructions below)

Open to all Jefferson students, faculty, and staff

Join a conversation with Deirdre Cooper Owens, PhD, the Charles & Linda Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine and Director of the Humanities in Medicine Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Director of the Program in African American History at The Library Company of Philadelphia. Professor Cooper Owens is the author of Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology (University of Georgia Press, 2018). In her book, she investigates the relationship between chattel slavery and modern gynecology in the U.S., retelling the stories of Black enslaved women and Irish immigrant women whose lives were shaped by exploitative medical research. Professor Cooper Owens highlights the role of structural racism in the achievements of pioneering American doctors including James Marion Sims, who received a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1835. 

Materials

Discussion group participants are asked to watch Prof. Cooper Owens’ recorded lecture in advance (Total length: 1 hr to view recorded lecture; begin at approx. 8 min, after introductions, and end at 1 hr 07 min).

  • Watch: Deirdre Cooper Owens, PhD, on "Medical Bondage: Race, Gender and the Origins of American Gynecology" at UC Berkeley on Feb. 21, 2020. Watch here
  • Optional Reading: Read Chapter 1 of Medical Bondage, available on Canvas. To access the reading, visit the Anti-Racism and Racial Justice Resources page in the DEI Resources Module in the Jefferson Humanities Health Canvas page. Instructions to access Canvas below.

To access the registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas, or email Matilda Ostow, and visit the Event Links module. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

^This workshop counts as credit towards the Anti-Racism in Health Focus, a subset of the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. Learn more here.

Well, What Were You Wearing? Panel Discussion

Wednesday, October 6, 6 p.m., Online via Zoom (register here)

Open to the public

Join us for a panel discussion exploring the Well, What Were You Wearing? exhibit, victim-blaming, and supporting survivors of sexual assault. 

The panel will be joined by:

  • Kat Cambareri, MPH, Jefferson College of Population Health, Class of 2019 
  • Steve DiDonato, PhD, Associate Professor, Jefferson College of Nursing, Co-director, Jefferson Trauma Education Network
  • Monique Howard, EdD, MPH, Senior Director of Women’s Health Initiatives, Center for Global Women’s Health, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
  • Susan Sorenson, PhD, Director, Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse 
  • Katie Vodzak, JD, Title IX Coordinator, Thomas Jefferson University 

Moderated by Rosie Frasso, PhD, Director, Master of Public Health Program, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University. 

About the Exhibit

Jefferson Humanities & Health is partnering with Jefferson College of Population Health to present Well, What Were You Wearing? This exhibition of photos by MPH graduate Kat Cambareri explores victim-blaming and sexual assault. Cambareri’s ongoing project has been featured in Time Magazine and HuffPost. The exhibit is on display for Jefferson students, faculty, and staff in Eakins Lounge: Monday, October 4 & Tuesday, October 5, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Wednesday, October 6 & Thursday, October 7, 12-4 p.m. Attendees will be invited to share anonymous reflections on the work. 

About the Panelists

Kat Cambareri, MPH, is a JCPH graduate living and working in Philadelphia. She currently works as a clinical research coordinator and is enjoying working on clinical trials in the pediatric population. Outside of work, she spends time with friends and family, and loves cooking, creating art, hiking, and exploring Philly.

Stephen DiDonato, Phd, is an Associate Professor in the Jefferson College of Nursing and the co-Director of the Jefferson Trauma Education Network (J-TEN) at Thomas Jefferson University. He holds his Master’s Degree in Counseling from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and his Ph.D. in International Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. DiDonato has extensive experience in training and consulting with behavioral health and medical departments to enhance the health and vibrancy of the workforce. Dr. DiDonato’s clinical expertise working with children, families, and communities who have been exposed to potentially traumatic events, with a primary focus on child sexual abuse victims. Dr. DiDonato’s research is primarily focused on how providers and students adherence to myths, implicit stereotypes, and restricted stereotypes influence engagement with clients/patients and families. Dr. DiDonato also focuses his scholarly inquiry on program evaluation (higher education and training models).

Monique Howard, EdD, MPH, is the Senior Director of Women’s Health Initiatives at Penn Nursing’s Center for Global Women’s Health (CGWH). Dr. Howard has been a public health practitioner with a focus on women’s health for over 25 years. She has led a statewide female specific AIDS service organization in New Jersey, a maternal and child health organization in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the New Jersey Department of Women’s Health, and most recently, WOAR, Philadelphia’s only rape crisis center (formerly known as Women Organized Against Rape). Dr. Howard is a thought leader on issues that impact women and communities. Throughout her career, Dr. Howard has advocated for consumers and service providers and promoted systems to increase access and quality of care for women. She is committed to providing programming and services that increase the health and well-being of women and their families.

Susan B. Sorenson, PhD, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has devoted her career to the topic of violence against women. She was part of the research team that first documented that the person most likely to sexually assault a woman is a man she knows, often one she cares about. Sorenson, with over 150 publications to her credit, taught the first violence prevention course in a school of public health in the nation. Her most recent work, After Campus Sexual Assault: A Guide for Parents (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021), is a book for students as they are deciding whether and what to tell a parent about having been assaulted, parents who have received the news, helpers (therapists, campus staff members, etc.), and parents who are all-in on preparing themselves for their daughter going off to college.

Moderator

Rosemary (Rosie) Frasso, PhD, is the director of the Master of Public Health program, and a professor in Jefferson's College of Population Health. Her expertise in qualitative methods focuses on traditional and alternative data sources and data collection approaches, including, but not limited to, arts informed research, walking interviews, photo-elicitation, and consensus-deriving group approaches. Her recent work focuses on the intersection of art and research as a tool for advocacy and education. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Jefferson Humanities Forum “Origins” presents Yaa Gyasi

Tuesday, October 12, 7-8 p.m., via Zoom (register here)

Open to the public

Yaa Gyasi is the author of Homegoing, one of the most celebrated debuts of 2016. A riveting, kaleidoscopic novel, Homegoing is a story of race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America. Born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Gyasi is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and lives in Berkeley, California. She is the winner of the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Novel, and was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.

Forum Scholar: Marcella McCoy-Deh, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Humanities and Sciences, Director, Honors Institute, Thomas Jefferson University. 

New this year, each Forum event will have an accompanying Forum Scholar, a Jefferson faculty member with a relevant focus of academic inquiry, who will generate resources to contextualize and complement the Forum speaker. Explore the contextual resources compiled by Dr. McCoy-Deh on the Jefferson Humanities Forum page.

Co-presented with the Philadelphia University Honors Institute, Thomas Jefferson University.

During 2021-2022, the Jefferson Humanities Forum speaker series will bring a handful of multidisciplinary scholars and thinkers to investigate the theme Origins. Learn more here.

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

Creative Approaches to Self-Care: Connection through Expression

Monday, October 25, 5-6 p.m., Online via Zoom (register here)

In this virtual workshop, we will use writing and art in the service of self-expression and empathic connection. Facilitated by Sondra Rosenberg, ATR-BC

About the Creative Approaches to Self-Care series

In order to care effectively for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves. This interdisciplinary series, led collaboratively by an arts therapist and music therapist, is designed to engage students in self-care practices that promote healthy stress management and burnout prevention. Workshops will address topics including how to cope with stress and anxiety, cultivate relaxation techniques, find balance and develop self-compassion. 

Co-presented with the Student Counseling Center (SCC). Pre-registration required. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

A Step Forward: Moving from Awareness to Anti-Racism in Healthcare

Tuesday, October 26, 4-5:30 p.m., Connelly Auditorium, Hamilton Building (register here)

Open to all Jefferson students, staff and faculty; light refreshments provided.

Join us for the fifth annual Interprofessional Story Slam!

Over the past year and a half, many of us have become more aware of the manifestations and impact of racism in our society. We have struggled to begin to dismantle and transform the systems that uphold racism, which can feel overwhelming, angering and painful. During the Story Slam, Jefferson faculty, students and alumni will share five-minute stories exploring the theme “A Step Forward: Moving from Awareness to Anti-Racism in Healthcare” and help us consider how we can create change and move forward during a time of growing attention to racism and disparities; stand with each other for social justice and health equity; and ultimately, care for our patients, our communities, our families and ourselves. Following the stories, attendees will be invited to join brief small group discussions and share reflections and goals for the future.

Featured Storytellers

  • Renea Berry, BSN, RN, Nurse Clinical Coordinator, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Family and Community Medicine, Jefferson Family Medicine Associates
  • Iris Burns, Occupational Therapy Doctorate ’22, Jefferson College of Rehabilitation Sciences 
  • Steven Herrine, MD, Professor of Medicine, Vice Dean, Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Medical Education, Sidney Kimmel Medical College
  • Amber E. King, PharmD, BCPS, FNAP, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Jefferson College of Pharmacy 
  • Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, MACP, FRCP, Professor and Vice Chair, Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Chief, Cancer Services, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center 
  • Danielle Snyderman, MD, CMD, Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Moderated by Nethra Ankam, MD, Wellness Thread Director, JeffMD Associate Professor, Rehabilitation Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Medical College.

Co-presented by Jefferson Humanities & Health, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and the Jefferson Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education (JCIPE).

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.

^This event counts as credit towards the Anti-Racism in Health Focus, a subset of the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. Learn more here.

Schwartz Center Rounds

Wednesday, October 27, 12-1 p.m., Zoom (register in Canvas, see instructions below)

Presented by the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine (*This is not our event! We are just spreading the word!*)

Schwartz Center Rounds are humanism in medicine events developed by the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center to support and advance compassion in healthcare. They are named after Ken Schwartz who was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and came to realize that what matters most during an illness is the human connection between patients and their caregivers, that “the smallest acts of kindness” made “the unbearable bearable.” These Schwartz rounds create a forum and level playing field where providers from diverse disciplines discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. In our institution they are held monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon, formerly in a large conference room but now in a virtual format. 

Co-facilitators: Lisa Capparella, MSS, LCSW, OSW-C and Kathleen Mechler, MD. 

To access the registration link, participants may self-enroll in the Jefferson Humanities & Health organization on Canvas, or email Matilda Ostow, and visit the Schwartz Rounds page in the Event Links module. 

*If you would like to receive credit for the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate, please fill out this attendance form after the event. All event attendance forms can be found in their respective event listings or on Canvas. Learn more about the Asano Certificate program, and register here.


*Events marked with an asterisk can be counted toward the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate for Jefferson students. Learn more and register here.

^Events marked with an upward arrow can be counted toward the Anti-Racism in Health Focus, a subset of the Asano Humanities & Health Certificate. Learn more here.

Please note: Events are added to the calendar as they are confirmed. Please check regularly for additional events. 

Review the list of past events here.


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