February 2011

February 2011

Welcome to the February 2011 edition of Round Table.

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Thank you to everyone who attended the State of the School address last week. Once again, we had standing-room-only attendance. The presentation is on our homepage at http://www.medicine.virginia.edu, under “State of the School” in the Dean’s area.

It’s clear that we are in a time of change, anticipation and some anxiety. State and NIH funding is in decline, and, there’s no reversal in sight. At the same time, expected decreases in reimbursement and aggressive marketing from increased regional competition mean that our continued financial success will have to be earned every day.

On a positive note our fundraising campaign has surpassed its goal of $500 million, and continues to attract donors. In addition, the Medical Center is doing well despite the recession. This is important for many reasons, not least of which is that 50 percent of the School’s income now comes from Medical Center operations.

A central tenet of our success is our ability to incrementally increase our patient volumes – therefore, much of the State of the School address revolved around our outreach efforts in concert with the Medical Center and HSF (shortly to be renamed UVA Physicians Group). While the outreach strategy has a leadership and oversight structure in place, every single one of us has a stake and a responsibility in making it a success. For instance, one of the strategy’s goals is to meet patient needs with high quality, integrated care. We also have set the goal of being in the top quartile of the University Health Consortium clinical quality metrics. As every hospital in the nation also is engaged in a race to the top, the goal is not static- the bar is getting higher every day. Please play your part. Quality ranges all the way from surgical outcomes to the cleanliness of the bathrooms. It is a job for all of us in the Health System.

I also discussed the Department of Medicine. Dr. Robert Strieter has resigned as department head and will vacate this position at the end of the academic year. Thank you, Bob, for your leadership. This, of course, is a difficult time for the department. There is an able leadership team in place and they are working with an expert consulting firm. Together they are charged with reorganizing the department’s operations and finances in order to steady the ship and build a successful future. The Department of Medicine is the conscience and the heart of any great academic health center. We are determined to get it right – which will require the support and efforts of everyone.

We have many successes and opportunities to celebrate -- one of which is just around the corner. On February 26 the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center will be dedicated with a series of events. I invite everyone to visit the Center during the dedication celebrations. It is among the most impressive clinical buildings I have toured nationally and one that builds upon the outstanding program we already have in place. There is no doubt in my mind that there is no better place for patients to get their care. This new facility greatly enhances the resources we will bring to an application for NIH Comprehensive Cancer Center status.

In this edition of Roundtable we report on:

  • The reaccreditation of our overall GME program;
  • The seasonal flu vaccination requirement;
  • A number of Faculty Honors and Awards;
  • A day to celebrate the power of compassion and empathy in healthcare;
  • Announcements about our Administrator of the Year for 2010 and Employees of the Month.



Steven T. DeKosky, MD

GME Earns Reaccreditation

In late December our Graduate Medical Education (GME) office learned that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has favorably reaccredited UVA’s overall GME program for the next four years. Susan E. Kirk, MD, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, reports that the UVA SOM was commended for being in substantial compliance with national accreditation standards.

The ACGME, however, also noted several areas of concern -- most notable was a citation for duty hour violations. With new duty hour standards to be enacted in July 2011, Dr. Kirk believes there is an even greater need for the institution to find ways to help its trainees remain in compliance.

Dr. Kirk extends her gratitude to all members of the GME community, particularly the GME office staff and GME committee members. “I am pleased that we’ve been able to create and implement several key educational programs, and our administrative and operational areas have undergone continued substantial growth and improvement.”

Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

The SOM is requiring all employees to obtain seasonal flu vaccinations, as have HSF and the UVA Medical Center of all of its employees. We thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring the health of our patients and fellow employees. For those SOM employees who have not yet received their mandatory vaccination, Work Med is offering a Flu Vaccination Clinic on Tuesday, February 15 from 1:45pm to 5:00pm in Jordan Hall Conference Center Meeting Room #1 (first floor).

Faculty Honors

Kodi S. Ravichandran, PhD

Many congratulations to Kodi S. Ravichandran, PhD, the Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor and Chair of Microbiology, on being named one of four Virginia Outstanding Scientists of 2011. Dr. Ravichandran and his fellow honorees recently received their awards at the Science Museum of Virginia’s General Assembly Reception. Dr. Ravichandran is recognized internationally for his ground-breaking research into the mechanisms of cell clearance.

In just the past year his laboratory has identified a new type of “find me” signal released by dying cells, identified the cell membrane gate through which the find-me signals are released, defined the importance for an engulfment protein called ELMO1 in cell clearance, and identified several new players within the phagocyte important for digesting the dying cells. Dr. Ravichandran is the eleventh UVA faculty member to receive the award since 1985. If you haven’t already congratulated him, please do so when you see him.

Mani Mahadevan, MD

It is my pleasure to announce that Mani Mahadevan, MD, Associate Professor of Pathology, has been honored with the inaugural Harold A. Schaitberger Research Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The MDA presents the award annually to an investigator whose groundbreaking research is advancing treatments for neuromuscular diseases.

Dr. Mahadevan’s lab was the first to show that one of the most common neuromuscular disorders, myotonic muscular dystrophy type 1 (DM1), is potentially treatable and perhaps reversible. His work has been continuously funded by the MDA since 1998.

Debra Perina, MD

I am pleased to announce that Debra Perina, MD, has been awarded the 2011 Ronald D. Stewart Award from the National Association of EMS Physicians – an award given annually to a professional who has made a major and lasting contribution to the EMS community nationally.

This honor is widely considered a lifetime achievement award. Dr. Perina has been instrumental in EMS becoming a subspecialty of the American Board of Emergency Medicine last year. Her work is widely acknowledged within the EMS medical community. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Perina on her notable accomplishments.

John S. Lazo, PhD

Congratulations to Associate Dean for Basic Research John S. Lazo, PhD, on his selection as the new President-Elect of The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. In congratulating John on his appointment, ASPET’s president cited John’s tremendous leadership experience and prior involvement in so many aspects of the Society.

ASPET was formed over 100 years ago in order to further the growth of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics in the U.S. The appointment is an affirmation of the respect John has earned from his peers and their confidence in his leadership. Dr. Lazo is one of the editors of the iconic pharmacology textbook, Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics.

Gold Humanism Honor Society

Gold Humanism Honor Society Celebrates Arizona Trauma Surgeon in Day of Solidarity On Monday February 14, the School of Medicine will join with dozens of medical schools around the country in a Day of Solidarity to demonstrate the power and importance of compassion and empathy in healthcare.

The Day will honor Randall Friese, M.D., triage physician at the University of Arizona Medical Center. Dr. Friese was the trauma surgeon in charge of triage as the Tucson, Arizona shooting victims arrived at the emergency room on January 8, 2011. U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was one of the seriously wounded. Everyone is invited to attend a screening of the film “Rolling” by Gretchen Berland, which will be followed by a panel discussion.

The showing is sponsored by the SOM Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS). The screening will be at noon in the Medical Education Building auditorium- room 3110. Contact Christine Peterson, M.D., faculty advisor to the SOM GHHS Chapter, at cmp8x@virginia.edu for more information. More information is also available on our homepage at http://www.medicine.virginia.edu.

James Carnes

James Carnes Named 2010 Administrator of the Year Please join me in congratulating our 2010 SOM Administrator of the Year, James Carnes, who is Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Radiology. Among his many accomplishments last year, James was recognized for implementing a team-based management approach resulting in better communication and greater overall accountability among employees; leading both the departmental and medical center radiology activities with a collaborative, inclusive and customer service approach; and being involved actively in institutional committees as well as professional organizations.

The contributions James has made to his department, his employees and the entire Health System were best summed up by his nominating colleague. “It’s because of people like James, who give selflessly and care genuinely, that I am still here. It is rare to have a boss that has the traits of not only being competent, caring and supportive, but someone who is passionate about the upward mobility of our department and who is a dynamic leader who sets a great example for us all. Above all he is a man of integrity and honor and strongly deserves to be recognized….” Congratulations James!

Administrator of the Year

SOM Employee of the Month Awards

I’m happy to announce our latest SOM Employees of the Month are Robin Clatterbuck (September 2010), Elaine Day (October 2010), Diane Payne (November 2010) and Lisa Mackey (December 2010).

Thanks to each of you for giving your colleagues, patients, students, and others your best.

Employee of the Month

Robind Clatterbuck

In nominating Robin Clatterbuck, her colleague, Selina Noramly, PhD, wrote, “Robin is always cheerful, never says no, has a can do attitude and is very professional.” A Program Coordinator in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Robin was recognized for her vigilance and willingness to step in to help whenever needed.

Elaine Day

The Fellowship Coordinator in Infectious Diseases, Elaine Day was honored for her dedication to the success of the division’s educational program. “Elaine’s command of the program and its intricate workings [is] demonstrated by her timely and professional response to very question and concern that is raised,” wrote Tania A. Thomas, MD, Fellow in Infectious Diseases and International Health. “Diane [Payne] truly exemplifies the ‘Move as One’ spirit within the department to accomplish what needs to be done,” said Joe Cardella, Administrator in the Department of Neurology, of his colleague. Diane, Program Coordinator, was nominated for her seamless and professional manner and her dedication to the success of the Health System’s quality patient care mission.

Lisa Mackey

Lisa Mackey, Executive Secretary in Hemotology and Oncology, was honored for her diligence, professionalism, and willingness to help ensure the success of daily operations in the division. “Lisa makes the department a better place to work, has strong customer service orientation, works well with others, and is a role model for her peers,” wrote Christiana Brenin, MD, Professor and Fellowship Director, Division of Hematology and Oncology. Congratulations Robin, Elaine, Diane and Lisa!