December 2012

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December 2012

Welcome to the December 2012 edition of the Round Table.

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We often get focused on the tasks in front of us and forget to step back and enjoy our successes. As 2012 comes to a close, it is important to take a moment and reflect on the year, to realize exactly how much we, as a team, have accomplished. We started the year by offering a new benefit to many of our employees; we reduced patient co-pays by 50% for most office visits when our employees use a UVA provider. This benefit coupled nicely with UVA Care Connection, a rapid appointment system for our faculty and staff, which to date has scheduled nearly 20,000 appointments. And in the summer we partnered with HealthGrades — a consumer website for those seeking information about physicians and hospitals — which has resulted in over 600 appointments. I look forward to seeing this relationship continue to bear fruit in 2013.

This year we also moved the Clinical Strategy forward into its implementation phase and assembled workgroups for our six focus areas. We designated interim directors and administrators for two of the three Centers of Excellence (Neurology and Cardiovascular) and are currently searching for a candidate for the Cancer Center. We renewed our commitment to being an outstanding institution for research when the Medical Center provided $35 million over the next five years to more quickly develop our clinical research.

Our work environment looks different than it did at this time last year. In 2012, we opened the Hospital Bed Expansion, which added 72 private patient beds to our clinical enterprise. We also finished construction on the climate-controlled stair and elevator tower in the Lee Street Garage, refurbished units, added modular operating rooms to the Outpatient Surgery Center, installed a roof-mounted helipad, and watched the Battle Building rise, level by level, as it moves ever closer to completion.

Despite an increasingly difficult and competitive research funding environment, we increased our NIH funding by $3 million over the last year — an outstanding accomplishment.

In the spring, we matched 146 students to superb residencies — here at UVA and at institutions across the country — and in the fall we welcomed the 156 students of the Class of 2016. For the third year out of four, the class represented the most academically qualified group in the history of the UVA School of Medicine. The Biomedical Sciences (BIMS) Graduate program was revamped by Amy Bouton, PhD, and an amazingly creative and dedicated graduate faculty. An existing space was renovated for those students, the BIMS Education Center. We also started preparing for the LCME visit — work that will continue in the New Year in anticipation for the fall 2014 site visit.

On the national stage, the Supreme Court voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act and the president was re-elected; 2013 will be an important and exciting year for those in the healthcare field as we all navigate the new and evolving landscape.

Those are just a few highlights. Of course, the largest accomplishments at the School of Medicine were yours: your daily commitment to our students, patients and their families, and to the advancement of medical science — these are the school’s greatest achievements. National awards and accolades, new buildings, legislative reform … all of this is framework and background to your everyday excellence. Together, we made it through the challenges of 2012 and together we celebrated. I look forward to working with you to address the opportunities that 2013 will offer.

I hope that you and your families have a wonderful holiday season and a safe New Year.


Steven T. DeKosky, MD, FAAN, FACP

In this edition of Round Table:


Sepsis Best Practice Alert

As part of a multidisciplinary effort to improve sepsis care at UVA, Best Practice Alerts (BPAs) have been built into Epic when the patient meets all four criteria for Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS). The BPA will notify nurses, PCA/PCTs, LIPs, pharmacists, dieticians, and therapists. On Nov. 13, the BPA feature was turned on for Acute Care Units only. It will now fire upon opening a patient’s chart when criteria are met during documentation.

When you see this alert for one of your patients, call the MET team at 4-2012 and indicate that you have received a “Sepsis BPA.”

Michael O. Thorner, MBBS, DSc, Receives Fred Conrad Koch Award

Congratulations to Michael O. Thorner, MBBS, DSc, David C. Harrison Medical Teaching Professor of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, for being selected as the 2013 recipient of the Fred Conrad Koch Award. This award is the highest honor bestowed by The Endocrine Society in recognition of exceptional contributions to endocrinology and unmatched accomplishments in a broad spectrum of activities that have transformed the science and practice of endocrinology.

This is a well-deserved honor for Dr. Thorner who is one of the world’s foremost physician scientists and a leader in neuroendocrinology. He discovered growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), cloned its receptor and clarified its actions in humans. He pioneered the medical treatment of prolactin-secreting pituitary tumors with normalization of prolactin and gonadal function, reduction in tumor size, restoration of normal vision, and elimination of the need for pituitary surgery, making a real difference in the lives of numerous patients who suffer from prolactinoma. The Koch award will be presented to Dr. Thorner at the 95th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in June 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. Congratulations, Dr. Thorner!


Nominations Open for the Anne L. Brodie Teacher’s Teacher Award

School of Medicine clinical faculty members are invited to submit nominations for the annual Alpha Omega Alpha – Anne L. Brodie Teacher's Teacher Award. This is a medical education faculty-mentoring award that recognizes University of Virginia School of Medicine faculty who model excellence in the mentoring of clinical faculty educators.

If you know someone worthy of such an award, I encourage you to submit a nomination letter. Nomination letters from clinical faculty are due by Dec. 21, should be no more than one page in length, and describe how this nominee has influenced your clinical teaching. Please submit your letter to Mary O’Leary at

Award selection will be performed by a committee comprised of the student and faculty leadership of the UVA Alpha Omega Alpha Chapter and the Brodie Medical Education Fund Committee. The award will consist of a framed certificate and an honorarium of $1,000, to be given at the annual AOA dinner next March. Please consider nominating a peer who you believe models this excellence!

2012 Mini-Med School a Resounding Success

For its 18th year, The Mini-Med School has brought an abridged version of medical school to those in our community who would like to learn more about the medical profession. The recently completed, free, seven-week program had an amazing 305 applications. Director Sean Reed, MD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, and his team led the 150 participants in an active, hands-on learning environment, mimicking our own successful NextGen curriculum. The main goal of Mini-Med School is to promote greater health literacy and an improved understanding of healthcare delivery.

This year’s agenda included “Medical Reasoning: Thinking Like a Physician,” “Faces of Anatomy,” and “Research Lab Night,” as well as sessions on AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. There is even a faux “Match Day” for participants. An important part of the program’s success are the many medical students and faculty who volunteer their time to participate in the program and we are grateful to them for generously giving their time.

For more information on Mini-Med School, go to


Kenneth S. Tung, MD, Elected AAAS Fellow

Congratulations to Kenneth S. Tung, MD, Professor of Pathology & Microbiology, for being elected as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow. AAAS also publishes the journal Science, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide. Each year, the AAAS elects members whose “efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.” This honor was bestowed upon Dr. Tung for his contributions in groundbreaking research in the fields of immune tolerance and mechanisms of autoimmunity. Congratulations, Dr. Tung!

Grant Funds Battle Against Deadly Childhood Diarrhea

The Center for Global Health has won a $1.7 million, five-year grant to train researchers to battle the spread of deadly diarrhea among young children in rural South Africa. The money, from the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center, will support UVA’s Water in Limpopo Innovations fellowship program. The program enlists postdoctoral fellows — from both the United States and southern Africa — to address the water and sanitation issues that contribute to the severe diarrhea that kills or impairs many young children in the Limpopo region in northern South Africa.

The program benefits both Limpopo — giving its disadvantaged children a fighting chance at a healthy life — and the postdoctoral fellows, equipping them with vital skills that will be of value throughout their careers, says Rebecca Dillingham, MD, the Center for Global Health’s director. “This new grant,” she says, “will allow us to help fill the pipeline of future global health leaders.”

“The reason we have this focus on diarrhea is that it happens to be the world’s biggest health problem since it may have lasting consequences for children's development,” says Richard L. Guerrant, MD, the founder of the Center for Global Health.

The Center for Global Health is now accepting applications for the fellowship program. The program is open to untenured researchers of any nationality and of any discipline, but applications for 2013 are particularly desired from researchers in the fields of African studies or history, anthropology, demography, economics, nutrition science, psychology, and sociology. Selected postdoctoral fellows will be expected to do meaningful research, but it is not necessary to have a research project in mind to apply. Applicants should, however, demonstrate a serious commitment to the effort’s cross-disciplinary and multinational approach to innovation in global health. For more information, visit the center’s site at

Research Retreat Registration Now Open

Registration for the 2013 School of Medicine Research Retreat, at the Boar’s Head Inn, Feb. 8-9, is now open. Please go to and click on “On-Line Registration Form” to register and to view the final schedule. The deadline to register will be in early January.

The keynote speaker at the retreat, William N. Hait, MD, PhD, Global Head, Research and Development, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Johnson & Johnson, will be discussing “Emerging models for effective interactions between academic and industrial scientists and clinicians.”

Concurrent session topics include:· Brain, Immunology, and Glia: the New Frontiers in Translational Neuroscience· The Pathogenesis of Asthma: from Epidemiology to the Single Cell· Infectious Diseases: New Challenges and Frontiers· Collaborations Leading to Innovations: Cardiovascular Research at UVA· New Frontiers of Genetics and Epigenetics in Human Disease· Collaborative Approaches to the Study of Complex Disease: Hypertension and Stroke· Translating Mathematics into Medicine: Systems Biology at UVA· Translational Imaging at UVA: From Bench to Bedside· New Frontiers in Neuro-Oncology

There will also be lunchtime roundtable discussions designed to stimulate collaborations around focused scientific topics. Watch your email for more details on these topics. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Piedmont Regional Science Fair Needs Mentors

The University of Virginia and the Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair ( have partnered to create a program intended to support junior and high school teachers’ efforts to guide students in developing science fair projects. This presents the scientific community at the University of Virginia with a significant outreach opportunity. By mentoring these students, we can have a real and powerful impact on a local student’s interest in the sciences.

Our community is filled with a myriad of potential mentors: faculty, post-doctoral students, and graduate students. This is a wonderful opportunity to help our community, to encourage and inspire the next generation of scientists, and to help shape how the public views science. Please consider offering your time to mentor a local student and their science fair project. You can visit an area school or invite the student to present a project in one of our laboratories. This small donation of time can yield huge results for tomorrow’s scientists.

You can see the flyer for the UVA Mentoring Program at If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Daniel Gioeli at


Celebrate the Holiday Spirit

I hope you will join us for the first Celebrating the Holiday Spirit event held on the loading dock and main cafeteria of the Medical Center on Dec. 6. Continuing celebrations will occur for employees off-site during the week of Dec. 10, with Care Packages being delivered on Thursday, Dec. 13.

These holiday events are to recognize our valued employees and to celebrate together as a Health System family, including all employees of the Medical Center, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, and the UVA Physicians Group.

Reminder: Update External Financial Disclosures

As you know, School of Medicine and Public Health Service conflict of interest policies require that you disclose within 30 days any newly acquired significant financial interest to the University via our online system ( Significant financial interests include total income plus equity over $5,000 for a single company, any ownership interest in a nonpublicly traded company, and sponsored/reimbursed travel as defined in the SOM policy (summed among you, spouse, and dependents) (The policy can be found here: Please direct any questions to Dr. Steven Wasserman at

Volume 2 of Innovation Arrives

I am pleased to announce that the second issue of Innovation is arriving this month. Innovation is a glossy, large-size magazine showcasing the School of Medicine on the national stage. It’s being mailed to academic medical centers across the country, as well as UVA faculty, to better inform our colleagues about our leading-edge research, innovative teaching methods, and pioneering clinical trials. Innovation comes out twice a year, and this second issue features stories about our clinical-research investment, a streamlined approach to cancer treatments as well as our groundbreaking cancer research, the new neuroimmunology center, our telehealth model, the new BIMS curriculum, school news, and much more.

If you have story ideas or news for future issues, I encourage you to contact Josh Barney, editor of Innovation, at

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Clinical Experience Opportunity

Thank you to everyone in the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing who participated last January in our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations. The event was the highlight of an all-year mentoring effort for those interested in a career in medicine. We once again are asking for volunteers to act as mentors to local students and others, both for the remainder of the academic year and for MLK Day 2013. If you are interested in either the year-long mentoring or mentoring on Jan. 21st — the MLK Day of Celebration — please contact Judy Pointer, Program Manager, Office for Diversity, at if you would like to volunteer. This is a great opportunity to educate and enlighten future healthcare professionals, and I urge you to consider contributing your time to this program.

We also will continue to honor the legacy of Dr. King with a range of events designed to reach out to local community members, high school students, undergraduates, graduates, and others to inform them about the challenges and successes that minorities face in the field of healthcare. Details on these events will be forthcoming via email.

This Month: Uteam Meetings

It is important for UVA to foster a culture of engagement through communication and recognition. To that end, Uteam meetings are continuing this month. For your convenience, the presentation is offered at multiple venues and times and will provide an opportunity to share your thoughts with senior leaders. Ed Howell, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, UVA Medical Center; Brad Haws, Chief Executive Officer, UVA Physicians Group, Senior Associate Dean and Chief Administrative Officer, School of Medicine; and I will present at several of these meetings.

Morning Sessions

  • Dec. 10 (7:30 – 8:30 a.m.) – Sandridge Auditorium
  • Dec. 17 (7:30 – 8:30 a.m.) – Sandridge Auditorium
  • Dec. 19 (7:00 – 8:00 a.m.) – Old Medical School Auditorium

Lunchtime Sessions

  • Dec. 3 (noon – 1:00 p.m.) – Sandridge Auditorium
  • Dec. 7 (1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.) – Jordan Hall Auditorium
  • Dec. 17 (noon – 1:00 p.m.) – Sandridge Auditorium

Night Shift Sessions

  • Dec. 17 (8:00 – 9:00 p.m.) – Wooten Conference Room (PCC G103)

Off-Site Sessions

  • Dec. 6 (1:30 – 2:30 p.m.) – Lynchburg Dialysis (Conference Room)
  • Dec. 7 (noon – 1:00 p.m.) – Orange (MC Conference Room)
  • Dec. 7 (noon – 1:00 p.m.) – KCRC (KCRC Gymnasium)
  • Dec. 7 (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.) – TCH/Northridge (TCH 3rd Floor Dayroom)
  • Dec. 19 (2:30 – 3:30 p.m.) – Fontaine (UPG Board Room, 3rd Floor)

Sign Up Today: Alert Systems

In order to stay safe during an emergency it is important for faculty, staff, and trainees to be aware of any events as soon as they happen. To that end, there are two communication systems for which I strongly urge you to sign up.SOM Alerts is an incredibly fast way for us to notify School of Medicine employees of emergency situations. Users can sign up to receive SMS texts on their mobile device(s) and/or e-mails to their account(s). Please visit today to activate your UVA Alerts account and automatically be signed up for SOM Alerts.

Alertus Desktop is a great software application that enables a full-screen alert message to display on your desktop or laptop. It will take over the whole screen of your computer with a warning that is impossible to miss. Alertus Desktop works if you are using your computer (laptop or desktop) on Grounds and on the UVA network, or off Grounds if you're connected to UVA via virtual private network (VPN). Health System Computing Services (HSCS) computers should already have Alertus pushed to them. Please double-check that yours is running Alertus. For non-HSCS computers, download this program from ITS Software Central and install it on your PC or Mac.If you have questions or problems downloading or installing, please contact the Help Desk at, 924.4357, or send email to

Please take a few moments today to sign up. Much of your ability to respond to an emergency relies upon the timely information distributed by these systems.

SOM’s Employees of the Month Are …

Amanda Harris

Amanda Harris (September)As Business Manager for the Department of Otolaryngology, Amanda was nominated for preparing the department for its upcoming site visit in addition to her regular responsibilities.

Brad Kesser, MD, Associate Professor, says, “Unless you have been through the process of a site visit, you cannot imagine how much work, organization, time, and energy goes into preparation of the Program Information Form and the visit itself — Amanda has been a model of efficiency and organization.” He added that her facilitation in planning for the site visit gave her colleagues complete confidence that the visit would run smoothly.

Paul Levine, MD, Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology, offered that Amanda “truly stepped up to be an administrative leader.” And Joe Cardella, Director of Finance and Administration, Department of Urology, says that Amanda “exceeded in every way the type of support I thought I would be receiving, particularly her efforts on the Otolaryngology residency review and promotion and tenure for Neurology and Otolaryngology.”

Rita Powell

Rita Powell (October)Rita, Senior Fiscal Technician, Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging, was credited by her colleagues for her diligence, attention to detail, remarkable work ethic, and outstanding customer service.

Specifically, James Carnes, Departmental Chief Operating Officer, Radiology, says, “Rita’s diligence is also one of the chief reasons that the Department of Radiology & Medical Imaging received a 100% clear and clean result from a thorough departmental audit that was undertaken by UVCA Audit — a stellar accomplishment.”

Liz Molina, Director of Finance and Cassie Bourne, Sr. Fiscal Analyst, Radiology, in a collaborative nomination, said, “There is not one specific event or action that prompted this nomination. Rather, it is the ongoing and consistent support and dedication that Rita has given to her department, school, and university, throughout the 14 years that she has worked in the Health System.” Mark Golub, MD, Assistant Professor, Radiology, says, “Rita has been a dream … she always offers to reach beyond expectation to assist in any way possible to make things easier and seamless for all of us.”