Number 1: December 13th, 2002


             The Kafka Approach by Jerry Lemler

Solidifying our infrastructure has been the battle cry here 
in Scottsdale this fall. Thanks especially go to our (still 
relatively new) Director of Suspension Services, Charles 
Platt, for creating the master plan, and to the Alcor Board 
of Directors for allocating the requisite funds to implement 
it.

Charles's plan is easily the most comprehensive and far-
reaching in the history of cryonics. It calls for a sweeping 
professionalization of our rescue teams for Standby field 
operations, upgrades to our in-house operating room, and a 
fleet of strategically placed, specially fitted transport 
vans. In turn, the Alcor Board, after but a minimum of 
discussion, agreed to appropriate the $342,000 required for 
bringing this plan to fruition. Details will appear in a 
future issue of Cryonics magazine.

Early next year our senior staff will convene a week-long 
training session in Arizona for both our new first responder 
professionals and our Anatomical Donor Recovery (ADR) Team 
members. We expect contingents to be attending from Phoenix, 
northern California, southern California, south Florida, and 
the U.K. The basis for this intense week of training will be 
a newly revised CryoTransport manual. Alcor is truly at a 
crossroads in our development. By rebuilding and 
fortifying our infrastructure, we hope it will be nothing 
less than a metamorphosis.

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                    Who Works for Alcor?

Some of our members have complained that they don't know who 
is working at Alcor anymore, or what the various job roles 
are. Here's a quick update.


The following people are currently full-time employees:

Jerry Lemler, MD    CEO
Jennifer Chapman    Member Services Administrator
Hugh Hixon          Alcor Fellow and Facility Engineer
Joe Hovey           Comptroller and Treasurer
Mike Perry, PhD     Patient Care Associate
James Sikes         Operations Manager
Jessica Sikes       Administrative and Membership Associate
Mathew Sullivan     Director of Suspension Readiness
Katherine Waters    Accounting Administrator


The following people receive retainers or are providing 
regular service as independent contractors:

Russell Cheney      Project Future Bound So.Cal. Coordinator
Bill Haworth        Public Relations Counsel
Paula Lemler        Special Projects Coordinator
Charles Platt       Director of Suspension Services
Michael Riskin, PhD Fund administrator/VP/Chairman of Board 
Steve Rude          Mortician


The following people are unpaid Alcor volunteers:

Paul Garfield       General Services
Lisa Lock           Editor of Cryonics magazine
Judy Muhlestein     OSHA Compliance
Jerry Searcy        General Services


The following people are Alcor directors:

Kat Cotter
Hugh Hixon
Saul Kent
Ralph Merkle
Carlos Mondragon
Michael Riskin
Michael Seidl
Steve Van Sickle

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              Recent Employee Changes at Alcor

Karla Steen, who was active in the public relations 
department, has left the organization. 

Steve Rude, a mortician and former perfusionist, is now an 
independent contractor but is continuing to provide services 
to Alcor on that basis. 

Tom Brown, a mortician who had participated in two standbys 
and hoped to sell cryonics through mortuaries nationwide, 
has left the organization. 

Dave Shipman, who had been Director of Suspension Services 
and then moved to part-time status after he resigned from 
that position, has left the organization.

Fred and Linda Chamberlain do not hold any positions as
officers or directors of Alcor since their resignation in 
mid-2002.

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         Alcor Seeks Professional Medical Personnel

Alcor is initiating a search for a new employee with medical 
training. Ideally, we hope to hire someone who has been a 
hospice nurse, since this profession provides extensive 
experience assessing terminal patients. Salary will be 
$40,000 to $45,000 per year, depending on experience and 
other attributes. 

We are also hoping to find paramedics who can augment our 
volunteer-based standby teams on an as-needed basis. As our 
caseload increases, we will be relying more on paid help. 
Paramedics Unlimited, a Phoenix-based "temp agency" that 
provides paramedics for special events, has expressed very 
strong interest in helping us, but has been slow to finalize 
an agreement. We are still hoping they will follow through.

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             Reassessing Operating Room Protocol

When Alcor acquired the capability to vitrify patients using 
a cryoprotectant developed by an independent laboratory, 
this prompted concerns about cost, since the vitrification 
solution is more expensive than traditional glycerol-based 
cryoprotectant that we used in the past. To address these 
concerns, Alcor Fellow Hugh Hixon developed a new procedure 
for neuro patients in which the head alone is perfused via 
blood vessels in the neck with vitrification solution. Neck 
perfusion consumes about 7 or 8 liters compared with 
approximately 40 liters that we estimate were used in the 
procedure that existed formerly, which consisted of opening 
the chest (a surgical operation known as median sternotomy) 
and perfusing via major vessels near the heart, while 
clamping the descending aorta and the patient's limbs to 
restrict perfusion of the body.

Hugh has made many major improvements in the neck perfusion 
process, but it still takes longer than we would like, and 
requires cannulation of four blood vessels instead of two. 
Recently our supplier of critical ingredients in our 
vitrification solution suggested various cost-cutting 
measures that could make the solution more affordable. 
Consequently our Director of Suspension Services made a 
formal proposal to revert to median sternotomy as the 
procedure of choice, and Dr. Jerry Lemler, our CEO, has 
approved this request. More details about this topic will 
appear in a future article for Cryonics magazine.

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        Alcor Vehicles and Local Response Capability

The Alcor Board has allocated funds to buy and convert a 
panel truck (generally speaking, the kind of truck that UPS 
uses for making deliveries) as our new patient transport 
vehicle, which will replace our aging ambulance. In the 
meantime Hugh Hixon has serviced our ambulance and Alcor has 
purchased an almost-new Chevy Suburban to deal with routine 
local journeys such as runs to the airport to collect 
visitors. The Suburban can also provide patient transport 
backup when necessary. James Sikes has welded a rigid 
framework for a noncollapsible portable ice bath which will 
fit in the back of the Suburban, and we will be using an 
inverter (modified by Alcor Southern California team member 
Keith Dugue) that provides sufficient power to run a 
recirculating pump in the ice bath. 

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   Alcor Patient Scott Yesberger Enters Cryopreservation

As reported on CryoNet, Alcor conducted a successful local 
standby/transport of its seventh patient this year, on 
Thanksgiving Eve. Scott Yesberger, Alcor patient A-1235, had 
been diagnosed with a malignancy in the right side of his 
mouth which spread to his neck. After we suggested that 
Scott relocate near the Alcor facility, his wife made 
special arrangements and heroic efforts to accomplish this. 
We followed Scott's condition closely and asked Tanya Jones, 
who has participated in 15 Alcor standbys and 18 cases in 
the operating room, to assist us. Tanya arrived on Sunday, 
November 24th. With her assistance we began a formal standby 
in the Yesberger home on November 27th. Our patient 
experienced cardiac arrest just four hours later, was 
transported to the Alcor facility, was perfused 
successfully, and is now in longterm cryopreservation. This 
case taught us a lot about doing a local standby. A full 
description will be in the next issue of Cryonics magazine.

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                     Alcor's Real Estate

Alcor occupies five units of a large commercial building, 
and can expand into additional units when current tenants 
move out. We have been discussing how much space we need and 
can afford. Currently Alcor has some unused or partly 
utilized space in the section of the building which was 
devoted to our public relations activities during 2002 and 
was previously used by Cells4Life, until that project was 
terminated and Alcor took over the cell samples. Also we 
have access to a unit at the far end of the building which 
is empty right now. Operations manager James Sikes has been 
modifying a plan of the building to show internal features 
that have changed since the plan was originally drawn. James 
will make preliminary usage recommendations to a steering 
committee established by our CEO, Jerry Lemler MD, to decide 
on the best way for Alcor to use available space. The 
committee members are former Alcor president Steve Bridge, 
Director of Suspension Services Charles Platt, and Alcor 
Director Steve Van Sickle.

Our wish-list includes a greatly enlarged laboratory area, a 
larger patient storage area (the current space is almost 
fully utilized), and a crew room where team members may 
sleep during a local standby or following all-night work in 
the operating room. 


Alcor News is written primarily by Charles Platt.
Contents are copyright 2002 by Alcor 
Foundation but permission is granted to reprint any whole 
news item, so long as Alcor is credited as the source and 
the reprint includes our URL at http://www.alcornews.org.