AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 July 18

Here are the latest news updates from the AAMC.  Among the highlighted stories:

  • Newly posted minutes of an NIH Institute and Center Directors meeting highlighted a discussion of NIH’s grant application submission policy. According to the minutes, Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research “provided a brief background of the resubmission policy history; the October 8, 2008 guide notice announced that NIH would only accept a single amendment to an original new or competing renewal application. Since that time, the percentage of A0 awards has increased at a greater rate than the increase in A1 awards; A0 awards are now more frequent than A1 awards. Additionally, the time to the award from the original submission has decreased significantly over the past several years. Dr. Rockey noted that there is no evidence that any major subgroups have been differentially affected by this policy change. IC Directors were generally supportive of this policy; however they noted a major concern from the community regarding what constitutes a new application.”  http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/foia/icdirminutes/icdir05242012.htm
  • The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on Tuesday posted a new Research Funding Opportunity titled, “Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Students in Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences.”  http://tinyurl.com/87scsug
  • The National Institutes of Health Common Fund has announce the 2013 funding opportunity for the NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (EIA) (RFA RM-12-018). The EIA initiative allows exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their transition to an independent research career by “skipping” the traditional postdoctoral training. By hosting these talented junior investigators, institutions will be able to invigorate their own research enterprises through the investigators’ fresh perspectives. Each institution (as defined by a unique DUNS identifier) may submit only up to two applications in response to this funding opportunity announcement. To facilitate the “matching” that must occur for a prospective candidate to find a suitable host institution, the NIH Common Fund has created a matching portal website. Letters of intent to NIH are due Dec. 30, 2012 and applications are due Jan. 30, 2013.
    http://tinyurl.com/6lgndzx
    http://commonfund.nih.gov/earlyindependence/matchingportal/

The complete list of stories is available after the jump.

Lloyd B. Minor, MD, provost of Johns Hopkins University, has been named dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Minor will transition to Stanford this fall and assume his position as dean on Dec. 1. He will succeed Philip Pizzo, MD, who has led the School of Medicine as dean since April 2001. Prior to his appointment as Johns Hopkins provost, Dr. Minor served as Andelot Professor and director (chair) of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and otolaryngologist-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/july/medical-school-dean-071812.html

An Institute of Medicine panel on Tuesday reported, “Changing the way that Medicare payments are adjusted to account for regional variations in the cost of providing care as recommended by a previous report from the Institute of Medicine would result in payment increases for some hospitals and practitioners and decreases for others.” Geographic adjustments should be used to ensure the accuracy of payments, said the committee that wrote the report, but they are not optimal tools to tackle larger national policy goals such as improving access to care in medically underserved areas.
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13420

In January 2012, the AAMC and 110 medical schools announced their participation in the Joining Forces initiative, a White House program for improving the lives of military service members, veterans and their families. Each of the 110 participating schools pledged several commitments, including participating in a survey to understand their educational efforts related to the initiative. Completed survey results are now available. Based on these survey results, the AAMC is initiating new activities to support and enhance our institutions’ work in this area.  Specifically, we have begun new collaborations with key experts to identify best practices that will focus on diagnosing and treating PTSD and TBI and new ways to work with family members dealing with these tragic illnesses.  Part of achieving these steps are enhancements to iCollaborative, a curriculum repository that contains material for the Joining Forces initiative. In addition, AAMC is planning a week-long effort called Joining Forces Wellness Week (JFWW) to coincide with Veterans Day that includes a Patient Simulation Day, a webinar series and other educational activities.
https://members.aamc.org/eweb/upload/ServingThoseWhoServeAmerica.pdf
https://www.mededportal.org/icollaborative/

The National Science Board (NSB), the policy-setting body for the National Science Foundation, issued a white paper on Monday concerning current research and development trends. The NSB said that “between 2008 and 2009, in the midst of the most recent recession, American businesses cut funding for research and development by nearly five percent, or $12 billion. The science board said these cuts coupled with government budget constraints at all levels are reasons for concern.” The report did find, however, that total national R&D expenditures reached a record high of 2.9% in 2009.
http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=124863&org=NSB&from=news
http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/07/upbeat-us-research-trends-buck.html

Dr. Lana Skirboll has been named Vice President, Scientific and Academic Affairs at Sanofi. She joins Sanofi’s Corporate Affairs Leadership Team from the Zerhouni Group. Earlier, Dr. Skirboll was the long-time Director of the NIH Office of Science Policy.

An article on page one of Monday’s Philadelphia Inquirer discussed the work of translational research teams at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. Several recent research successes were discussed in the article, along with the environmental factors that advance translational research and researchers.
http://tinyurl.com/cqly8zb

Stanford University Medical Center has enacted a policy for evaluating late-career practitioners. As of Sept. 1, physicians age 75 or older who practice at Stanford Hospital & Clinics or Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital will be required to undergo a physical examination, cognitive screening and peer assessment of their clinical performance. These evaluations must be completed every two years to retain hospital privileges. The policy also applies to practitioners with a PhD, such as psychologists. Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, said he hopes the move will encourage other academic medical institutions to follow suit. The Stanford release noted that “The focus is not on retirement but on helping to optimize the effectiveness of physicians to care for their patients.”
http://tinyurl.com/d8aczdn

Forbes reported on Monday, “It is common knowledge that primary care physicians are among the least well-paid medical professionals in the U.S., but among them female internists and pediatricians seem to have it worst, according to a new study that shows most women primary-care doctors would almost certainly have been better off financially had they become physician assistants instead.” The report was based on research conducted by two Yale economists and published this month in the Journal of Human Capital. The study “…factored in the economic and time costs of completing medical school and residency training versus a typical two-year physician assistant program, the existing gender gap in post-degree earnings, and the tendency for women doctors to reduce work hours when they have children.”
http://tinyurl.com/6o2udj3
http://tinyurl.com/7mhwpfb

USA Today on Tuesday reported on a new study it conducted concerning how many individuals really will be affected by the tax provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Less than 10 percent of taxpayers will be touched, even including minor provisions, such as the tanning bed tax. Many more people will get tax credits than will pay anything, according to the USA Today analysis.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/story/2012-07-16/health-care-tax/56256676/1

The Houston Chronicle on Tuesday reviewed the management of potential conflicts of interest concerning a cancer clinical trial involving the University of Texas M.D. Anderson. Some confusion concerning M.D. Anderson’s role apparently was caused by an imprecise corporate press release.
http://tinyurl.com/ctpb8sg

An animal rights extremist has been jailed in Michigan in an investigation of threats against a Wayne State University researcher. The same individual is under separate investigation for alleged threats against a University of Florida researcher.
http://tinyurl.com/77kcfco

Newly posted minutes of an NIH Institute and Center Directors meeting highlighted a discussion of NIH’s grant application submission policy. According to the minutes, Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research “provided a brief background of the resubmission policy history; the October 8, 2008 guide notice announced that NIH would only accept a single amendment to an original new or competing renewal application. Since that time, the percentage of A0 awards has increased at a greater rate than the increase in A1 awards; A0 awards are now more frequent than A1 awards. Additionally, the time to the award from the original submission has decreased significantly over the past several years. Dr. Rockey noted that there is no evidence that any major subgroups have been differentially affected by this policy change. IC Directors were generally supportive of this policy; however they noted a major concern from the community regarding what constitutes a new application.”
http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/foia/icdirminutes/icdir05242012.htm

The Associated Press reported on Monday that Monongalia Health System “is dropping its challenge to a $248 million expansion of West Virginia University Hospitals. In exchange, WVU Hospitals will reduce the number of beds in its new patient tower from 139 to 114, shaving about $20 million off the price tag.”
http://tinyurl.com/6vm3xbo

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on Tuesday posted a new Research Funding Opportunity titled, “Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Students in Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences.”
http://tinyurl.com/87scsug

The National Institutes of Health Common Fund has announce the 2013 funding opportunity for the NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (EIA) (RFA RM-12-018). The EIA initiative allows exceptional junior scientists to accelerate their transition to an independent research career by “skipping” the traditional postdoctoral training. By hosting these talented junior investigators, institutions will be able to invigorate their own research enterprises through the investigators’ fresh perspectives. Each institution (as defined by a unique DUNS identifier) may submit only up to two applications in response to this funding opportunity announcement. To facilitate the “matching” that must occur for a prospective candidate to find a suitable host institution, the NIH Common Fund has created a matching portal website. Letters of intent to NIH are due Dec. 30, 2012 and applications are due Jan. 30, 2013.
http://tinyurl.com/6lgndzx
http://commonfund.nih.gov/earlyindependence/matchingportal/

In June, the Des Moines Register ran an article concerning the solicitation of patients as part of a philanthropy campaign organized by the UI (University of Iowa) Foundation. The State of Iowa Board of Regents and UI Foundation officials met late last month on the matter and issued a joint statement. In part, the statement said, “The Foundation reemphasized its strong commitment to the protection of patient privacy and its steadfast compliance with federal HIPAA privacy regulations. Additionally, to further assure the confidentiality of the patient-physician relationship, no direct marketing solicitations on behalf of UI Health Care will be made by the physician who is providing care to the patient.”
http://tinyurl.com/cr8gxs6
http://tinyurl.com/6snztts

An article posted by Forbes on Tuesday discussed physician shortages and the efforts of medical schools to address the crisis.
http://tinyurl.com/7aec4jv

Linda Bilheimer, Assistant Director for Health, Retirement, and Long-Term Analysis at the Congressional Budget Office, recently made a presentation concerning the budgetary impact of policies aimed at preventing disease and promoting health. Her slides have been posted on-line. A video and podcast of the entire event, sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, are also available on-line.
http://tinyurl.com/c9nkmhq
http://www.kff.org/ahr071312.cfm

The Cleveland Plain Dealer on Tuesday profiled Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Dr. Murat Tuzco, vice chair of clinical operations in the Department of Cardiology. The article and interview stress Dr. Tuzco’s collaborative style and the research and clinical successes that have resulted.
http://tinyurl.com/6tawyro

Dr. Michael T. Ellison has been appointed associate dean of admissions for the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University.  He comes to Quinnipiac from Chicago State University, where he was assistant dean of student affairs and admissions.
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/17/4636291/michael-t-ellison-named-associate.html

Dr. Fredric A. Gorin, a neuropharmacologist, has been appointed chair of the Department of Neurology at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Gorin’s appointment became effective July 1. He has been on the faculty of the UC Davis Department of Neurology since 1985.
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/6781

Dr. Pasquale Casale has been appointed chief of pediatric urology at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and professor of urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Most recently, Dr. Casale was the director of minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery, as well as co-director of the surgical simulation and training lab, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
http://tinyurl.com/cbx4wy5

Dr. Edmund F. Funai has been named chief operating officer of The Ohio State University Health System. Dr. Funai will be responsible for the operations of all clinical areas within the Health System, which includes the patient care services of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Prior to coming to Ohio State in 2011, Dr. Funai was chief of obstetrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The Boston Globe reported on Tuesday that Dr. Terry Garfinkle has been named vice president of medical affairs at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. According to the paper, “He was most recently medical director at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers and chief of head and neck surgery at North Shore Medical Center in Salem.”
http://tinyurl.com/83fsntn

Dr. Ambika Mathur has been named Interim Dean of the Graduate School at Wayne State University. She will continue to serve as Director (Academic) of the M.D./Ph.D. Program in the School of Medicine and as Director (Academic) of the Postdoctoral Office. Dr. Mathur is currently Associate Dean of the WSU Graduate School and professor in the Department of Pediatrics. She succeeds Dr. Hilary Ratner, Vice President for Research, who has been serving as Interim Dean.

Tony Mazzaschi
AAMC
PS: Feel free to email <cas@aamc.org> if you have a problem accessing any article or resource mentioned in this summary. Also, have colleagues email <cas@aamc.org> if they would like to receive these news postings. We also welcome news tips and corrections.

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