Kathryn Serkes has stepped briefly from her accustomed role as public affairs counsel for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons to launch a personal crusade in the wake of last week's terrorist bombings in New York and Washington. In an e-mail, Serkes, based in Washington, calls on friends to join her in "Operation Resolve," a simple, grass-roots project to help show the world-terrorists in particular-exactly "what we're made of in this country. They can bomb our buildings but they can't break our resolve." Her suggestions: Open for business, go to work-and fly the Stars and Stripes.
...A man charged with calling in a bomb threat to 169-bed Horton Medical Center in Middletown, N.Y., shortly after the terrorist attacks promised a nurse that she hadn't "seen nothing yet," authorities said. Samuel S. Shorter Jr., 55, of Middletown, was arrested within an hour of the threat and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, a felony, police said. The incident began when Shorter, who had accompanied his mother to the emergency room, lost his temper when asked by security to move his car. Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minn., received two bomb threats at its facilities last week. But both proved to be hoaxes, said Mayo spokesman Chris Gade. He said no buildings were evacuated, and no arrests had been made.
...An Ardmore, Okla., woman was arrested and charged for posing as a volunteer and soliciting donations that she claimed were for victims of the terrorist attacks. Ardmore police arrested Melissa Minarik on a complaint of obtaining money by fraud after getting reports of a woman collecting money door-to-door and from motorists waiting in lines at local gas stations.
...A snake handler in Miami near death after a bite by one of the world's most poisonous snakes was on the mend after military controllers opened restricted air space for a San Diego-to-Miami air ambulance antivenom delivery. At deadline, Lawrence Van Sertima, 62, was still in critical condition at Baptist Hospital of Miami but doing much better after getting the antivenom product hospital officials called antivenin for the bite by a rare and deadly Taipan snake. "He's responding well. He's awake and alert," said hospital spokeswoman Anne Streeter. The snake handler almost certainly would have died without the extra antivenin, said Capt. Al Cruz, a paramedic with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Venom 1, a special rescue squad. Only the most qualified snake handlers are permitted to handle Taipans, Cruz said.
...Security has been increased at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., where a blind Egyptian cleric is serving a life prison term for being part of a conspiracy that included the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson said the presence of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman in the city was noted when heightened security provisions were made after last week's attacks.
...Hospitals in New York and the Washington area found themselves doing more than caring for broken, burned bodies. They also handled thousands of calls from people frantically searching for their loved ones. Inova Alexandria (Va.) Hospital received a call from a 6-year-old girl who was looking for her parents, both of whom worked at the Pentagon, she said. Hospital staff worked to comfort the girl until her uncle came on the phone, thanked the hospital phone counselors for their help and hung up. "We don't know if that girl's parents came home last night," said Administrator Kenneth Kozloff.
...The Greater New York Hospital Association has established an emergency disaster-relief fund through its charitable arm, the Greater New York Hospital Foundation, to set up crisis and post-traumatic stress counseling services throughout the New York metropolitan area's healthcare facilities. To donate to the fund, make checks payable to Greater New York Hospital Foundation and send to the GNYHF, 555 W. 57th St., 15th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10019.
...Airplanes provide a vital link for patients served by the specialty pharmaceutical division of Gentiva Health Services, Melville, N.Y. Bob Nixon, the division's president, said Gentiva identified about 200 patients who would urgently need supplies within the first seven days of the attacks. The patients take either Flolan, the trade name for a continuously infused hypertension therapy, or are hemophiliacs taking coagulation therapies, he said. Gentiva relies on overnight deliveries of the drugs to its 37 distribution centers nationwide, but a crisis plan was put in place to switch to ground delivery where possible, he said.