September 2011

September 2011

Roundtable Header

Welcome to the September 2011 edition of Round Table…

Thank you to all who attended the Fall State of the School address last week. It was gratifying to see so many faculty and staff in attendance, as well as colleagues from the Medical Center and the UVA Physicians Group (formerly known as HSF). The address is available on the School homepage.

In addition to recognizing several faculty for outstanding clinical care and teaching, I was pleased to highlight several areas of success in our teaching programs, including the three-fold increase in extramural awards to our PhD students, and our Summer Research Internship Program, which currently sees more than 70 percent of its graduates enter MD or PhD programs. Importantly 75 percent of the students are from groups that are underrepresented in medicine.

We also celebrated several major external faculty awards -- important because they recognize faculty for their research and in the case of competitive grant renewals, their work is judged by NIH, peers and others to be both productive and deserving of continued support.

On the financial front, I shared the news that the Medical Center recently reported increased operating income for the previous financial year.  Several factors contributed to the increase, including more patients coming to UVA for surgery, a decrease in the average length of stay, and a reduction in total supply costs. The most important factor is the hard work and dedication of the Health System’s faculty and staff. The increased margin resulted in an $18 million share to the School of Medicine, funds we will utilize to address our annual deficit, recruit faculty, and support research and clinical growth. I also gave an update on the Health System’s capital projects status. These include the Battle Building construction, our new clinic at Zion Crossroads, and further Cancer Center investments. Medical Center capital projects total over $96M for FY 11. These projects enable our overall success, and I am grateful to our colleagues for their commitment to our research and clinical environment.

In this edition of Round Table you will find information on:

  • The School’s Online Literary Journal, Hospital Drive
  • Dean’s Seminar Series- Introducing New Faculty
  • Insight into Medical Philanthropy Seminar
  • Employees of the Month
  • National Recognition for Peter Netland, MD
  • Eugene Corbett, MD Selected to Academy of Teaching
  • Health Sciences Library Hosts Historical Price Fixing Exhibit
  • Medical Center Hour Celebrates 40th Anniversary



Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP

Hospital Drive Releases Sixth Edition

Hospital Drive, the School’s on-line journal that encourages original creative work examining themes of health, illness and healing, has released its sixth edition. Editor-in-Chief Daniel Becker, MD, MPH, MFA, reports that the journal’s reach continues to grow, noting that the journal is now receiving submissions from Europe and Australia.

For the first time, Hospital Drive includes a piece of original music, "Patient G," written by a medical student as part of a reflections assignment.

Each issue now links to a display from the historical archive of the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. In this issue there are letters to an 8th Evacuation Hospital nurse from the families of soldiers who died in action. The hospital was staffed by UVA physicians and nurses during World War II. The display is a collaboration with the Historical Collections and Services of our library.

Submissions are open to all; preference is given to those involved in providing, teaching, studying, or researching patient care. I encourage everyone to submit their original work for consideration in the seventh edition.

Dean’s New Faculty Seminar Series

Thank you to everyone who attended the first in our new faculty seminar series. Our presenter, Kyle Hoehn, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, gave his audience fascinating insights into his laboratory’s innovative research and identified specific opportunities for collaboration with other faculty members across the Health System. The seminars also are an opportunity for presenters to introduce themselves and their research programs to other faculty and to make contacts with others in their field and around the School of Medicine. All faculty, students, and staff are welcome to attend the seminars, which are held in Jordan Hall Auditorium. As a reminder upcoming speakers this Fall are:

  • Thursday, October 20, 4pm.
    Presenter – Hui Li PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology in the Cancer Center.
    Topic - Chimeric RNAs and Their Implications in Cancer.
  • Wednesday, November 16, 4pm.
    Presenter – James Stone MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Radiology.
    Topic - Neuroimaging correlates of repetitive blast exposure in human military service members.
  • Thursday, December 15, 4pm.
    Presenter – Adrian Halme, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology.
    Topic -- TBD.


It is my hope that this merit-based series will speed the introduction of exciting new research ideas, and accelerate collaborations and interactions between our new faculty and all of our established colleagues!

Insight into Medical Philanthropy Seminar

Fall is a busy time of year, but I strongly encourage you to save Wednesday, November 16 at 5pm for our next Insight into Medical Philanthropy session. The session will be held in partnership with Health System development colleagues. Approximately 70 of your colleagues already have attended this highly successful and meaningful seminar, which addresses the appropriate role that physicians play in encouraging grateful patient philanthropy. I have attended this program and found it to be well worth the time. Your colleagues agree; feedback from past attendees has been uniformly positive, from physicians who have established successful relationships with grateful patients to colleagues who are just beginning to explore these opportunities. An additional workshop specifically geared to clinical nurses entitled, “Nursing: Continuing the Care,” is planned for Thursday, November 17. If you have additional questions, would like to recommend individuals to be invited (including individuals for the nursing session), or would like to reserve your place for November, please contact Nancy Scogna at 4-2220 or

Employees of the Month

Congratulations to Mary Jean Thiele, Caroll Yowell, Lea Becker and Tony Herring, our School of Medicine Employees of the Month for April, May, June and July, respectively.

  • April - The Department of Neurology’s Residency Coordinator Mary Jean Thiele, was nominated for her commitment and work with the Neurology Residency Program, which received the longest available renewal term of five years and zero citations. This is a most impressive accomplishment. In nominating Mary Jean, Karen Johnston, MD, Professor and Department Chair, said, “Mary’s work has been critical to our successful training program.”
  • May - Caroll Yowell, Grants Specialist in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics, was nominated for her ability to problem-solve and work toward the best interests of the Department. “While others are in a frenzy, Carol remains calm and goes about solving problems with a smile,” said Avril Somlyo, PhD, Professor in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics.
  • June - The Department of Emergency Medicine’s Advanced Clinical Research Coordinator Lea Becker represents the University with a high level of integrity and professionalism, say her colleagues in their nomination. “Lea is a highly motivated self-starter who is always certain things get done correctly and promptly,” said J. Stephen Huff, MD, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine. “At a recent site visit, Lea was not only prepared but responded to the inspector’s queries above and beyond expectations insuring continuation of our research relationship with the company.”
  • July - Tony Herring, Laboratory and Research Specialist Sr., in the Department of Surgery, was nominated for his dedication to the entire Department, his direct team and animal care. His kindness and wealth of knowledge contributes to a positive, inquisitive lab atmosphere that promotes sharing and cooperation. “He made the transition of moving a very complicated laboratory research program here far less complicated. Tony does everything with a ‘can do’ attitude,” said Gilbert Upchurch, MD, Professor of Surgery.

National Recognition for Peter Netland, MD

Congratulations to Peter Netland, MD, on his selection by Becker’s ASC Review as one of the 135 leading Ophthalmologists in America. Since his appointment as Chair in late 2009, Dr. Netland has worked to expand the Department to meet a growing patient demand. He has added three new faculty positions and overseen the addition of new space in the West Complex. His ongoing interests include clinical trials of new glaucoma treatments and stem cells, and new investigations into the genetics of congenital eye disease.

Selection was based on a survey of peers. Becker’s also cited Dr. Netland’s five textbooks, the most recent being Pediatric Glaucomas and the second edition of Glaucoma Medical Therapy. Congratulations, Dr. Netland!

Eugene Corbett, MD Selected to Academy of Teaching

Congratulations to Eugene Corbett, MD, FACP, on his selection to the University Academy of Teaching, a new UVA program that brings together master teachers who have helped others reach a higher level of excellence, and who are interested in offering their expertise to colleagues across Grounds. The overall goal of the Academy is to bring greater recognition to the value of excellent teaching, and in turn retain and recruit outstanding faculty.

Among his many appointments, Dr. Corbett is a professor of both medicine and nursing and has been teaching medical and nursing students, as well as postgraduate medical residents, since 1985.

Faculty members were chosen to join the Academy based on their many contributions to the University and their respective schools and disciplines. Most have received University-wide teaching awards. Academy members will meet regularly to discuss teaching and student learning. They also will select an assistant professor each year to serve as an Academy Associate. Congratulations to Dr. Corbett for this recognition of his many contributions to teaching.

Health Sciences Library Hosts Historical Price Fixing Exhibit

I invite you to visit a new online exhibit, Physician Price Fixing in the 19th Century, presented by the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library Historical Collections. The inspiration for the exhibit was a document that dates back to 1848 called the “Agreed Rate of Medical Charges.” Twelve Charlottesville physicians – most with strong ties to the University -- signed the document to keep charges for medical services to an agreed-upon minimum. A one dollar charge for a house visit? Ten dollars to set a broken arm? Fifteen to have tonsils removed. How things have changed in the profession! The exhibit is a fascinating look into medical practice and life in Charlottesville in the mid-nineteenth century. Many thanks to our Library and Historical Collections for such an interesting view into the past.

Medical Center Hour Celebrates 40th Anniversary

With Medical Center Hour’s 2011-2012 Season, the School of Medicine celebrates the 40th anniversary of this venerable and lively public forum on medicine and society. A program of the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, Medical Center Hour is held throughout the academic year on Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30 pm, usually in the Jordan Conference Center Auditorium.

Medical Center Hour’s fall semester lineup includes programs on medical confidentiality in the age of social media, how better medicine helped the Union Army win the Civil War, new understandings of Down syndrome, and UVA resident dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones’s work on mortality, Still/Here. The full program list is available on the Center’s website.

The brainchild four decades ago of former medical school dean Dr. Thomas H. Hunter and visiting ethicist Joseph Fletcher, Medical Center Hour is a vital School of Medicine outreach activity, with programs open to the entire university and the community. Health professionals who attend may apply for continuing education credit. Weekly programs are video-recorded and posted on a dedicated YouTube channel, UVAMCH (