June 2011

June 2011

Welcome to the June 2011 edition of Round Table.

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Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our State of the School meeting last month. As always there was a lot of ground to cover, including approval of the motion to confer Doctor of Medicine degrees on our students. The list of awards to our students and faculty, national recognition, journal editorships, and other recognition of the respect with which our faculty is held nationally were so numerous that we could not include them all in the presentation at the meeting. All, however, are in the presentation of my State of the School message in the Dean's area of the School of Medicine homepage.

Traditionally, the Spring meeting focuses on faculty, staff and student achievements. Our discussion, however, is increasingly focused on our role as part of the broader Health System and the impact market forces and healthcare reform are having on us and other academic medical centers.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, federal and state budget constraints, and an aging population all point to increasing stress on the nation's healthcare system. We will be buffeted more than most because we are expected to find the resources to advance scientific research, educate tomorrow's caregivers and care for patients. The bottom line is we can expect to be competing with more centers and providers for fewer healthcare and research dollars.

As we discussed at the meeting, we should not look to our endowment to save us. Eighty percent of the School's endowment is restricted to specific programs. And we are already using $7 million of the quasi-endowment every year. A quasi-endowment consists of funds that are supposed to be invested over the long-term and over which the Board of Visitors has control. If we continue to spend the quasi-endowment at this rate it will be depleted within the decade.  As stewards of the future of the School of Medicine and the Health System we must attend to this, and fix it for the long term.

To succeed as an academic medical center we must grow our share of the patient care business, in addition to growing and maintaining our research infrastructure, and educating students. Creating a network of providers and alliances in the wider community, and increasing our quality outcomes are at the center of our patient care strategy. With quality measures more widely available to patients, insurers and government agencies, it's imperative we continue our progress.

While the Board of Visitors and the Medical Center Operating Board strongly support our strategy, they also have asked us to engage a nationally-recognized consulting firm to assess our position and strategies. We expect the consultants to deliver their recommendations and a plan to implement them in the Fall. I don't anticipate their recommendations will replace our current strategy. I expect them to complement and build upon our strategy.

The good news is we are seeing progress. But the reality is nearly everyone else is doing the same things we are- witness Sentara's expansion across Central and Northern Virginia. So, we must do better simply to maintain our current market position. To expand our market position we must excel.

I also want to point out areas of progress and pride. The Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, the new bed tower, the groundbreaking for the Battle building at UVA Children's Hospital, our partnerships with Culpeper Regional Hospital and Mary Washington among others, and the acquisition of Hematology Oncology Patient Enterprises (HOPE) all point to a bright future. I look forward to ensuring that our core missions of research, education and patient care play a strong role in our success!

In this edition of Roundtable you will find information on:

  • Cancer Center Director Search
  • UVA Top Ten Center of Biomedical Research
  • UVA Wise's Ann Duesing Receives Harrison Award
  • A call for nominations for the Dean's Clinical Excellence Award


Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP

National Search Underway for Cancer Center Director

You may have heard that we've officially launched the search for a new Cancer Center director. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the search committee's co-chairs, Reid Adams, MD, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Oncology, and John Lazo, PhD, Professor of Pharmacology and Associate Dean for Basic Research. Search committee members are:

  • Reid Adams, Co-Chair
  • John Lazo, Co-Chair
  • Bo Cofield, Associate Vice President Hospital and Clinics Operations
  • Mark Conaway, Professor, Public Health Sciences
  • Jim Larner, Professor and Chair, Radiation Oncology
  • Mary Laughlin, Professor, Hematology-Oncology
  • Norm Oliver, Professor, Family Medicine
  • Susan Modessit, Associate Professor, Obstetrics-Gynecology
  • Sally Parsons, Professor, Microbiology
  • Anneke Schroen, Associate Professor, Surgery
  • Lois Shepherd, Professor, Biomedical Ethics
  • Michael E. Williams, Professor, Medicine

UVA Again Named Top Ten Center of Biomedical Research by Hartwell Foundation

I'm pleased to announce that UVA has been named a national Top Ten Center of Biomedical Research by the Hartwell Foundation for the fifth year in a row. Institutions are chosen as research centers of excellence for the quality and scope of ongoing biomedical research relating to children's health. The Foundation considers the institutional commitment to support collaboration, provide encouragement, and extend technical support to the investigator, especially as related to translational approaches and technology transfer that could promote rapid clinical application of research results.

We stand in good company with other Top Ten Centers – Cornell, Duke, St. Jude Children's, Johns Hopkins, to name a few. I commend our faculty and the support of the University in the continued level of excellence in our research endeavors.

Ann Duesing Receives UVA Wise Harrison Award

Please join me in congratulating Ann Duesing, Health Sciences Librarian, who was recognized with the UVA Wise Harrison Award earlier this month for Outstanding Instructional Support.  The annual award is presented to a faculty member who has provided exceptional service to students and the college with activities that support the academic program.

Duesing also will receive the Friends of the National Library of Medicine Michael E. DeBakey Library Outreach Award later this year.  Duesing is heavily involved in outreach activities for UVA in Southwest Virginia and in the support of UVA Wise science students.  This has been a successful collaboration since 1995.

Call for Nominations for the Dean's Clinical Excellence Award

Please consider nominating junior faculty demonstrating clinical excellence and exemplary service to patients for the Dean's Clinical Excellence Award. The deadline for submissions is July 15. The award winners will be announced at the Dean's Fall Faculty Meeting on September 21.

More information, including eligibility and criteria can be found at: http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/administration/faculty/faculty-dev/awards/deans_clinical-page