AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2012 September 9

Here are the highlights from the current issue:

An Institute of Medicine panel reported this week, “America’s health care system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual.” The panel states that “Inefficiencies, an overwhelming amount of data, and other economic and quality barriers hinder progress in improving health and threaten the nation’s economic stability and global competitiveness…However, the knowledge and tools exist to put the health system on the right course to achieve continuous improvement and better quality care at lower cost.”
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13444

Michael Milken, chairman of FasterCures and founder of the Milken Institute, authored an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal on the benefits of research. His essay noted that “budget officials count the National Institutes of Health as a $31 billion cost, but they don’t count the net benefit.” FasterCures sponsored “A Celebration of Science” this weekend in D.C. The Celebration featured various policy and research presentations that capture both the excitement and promise of medical research.  Many of the presentations will be available on-line in the weeks ahead.
http://tinyurl.com/9z7c3dr
http://www.celebrationofscience.org/

Earlier this summer, the Research Universities Futures Consortium released a report entitled, “The Current Health and Future Well-Being of the American Research University.” The report “aims to understand the current academic research landscape and to envision the future. This study seeks to first identify common challenges faced by leading research institutions and then to develop and recommend solutions.” The report’s key conclusions include the need for collaboration, shared metrics and a required shift of focus to productivity, rather than size. The Consortium is comprised of 25 research-intensive schools and the report was funded by Elsevier. On September 12 from 1-2pm ET, the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) will host a webinar reviewing the impetus and findings of the report. Pre-registration for the webinar is required.
http://tinyurl.com/cmb5qtg
http://tinyurl.com/ccfvnn5

Nature on Wednesday reported that “…funding cuts by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) are threatening five widely used biological databases, and user communities are now rallying to save them.” The specific data bases are Protégé, BioMagResBank, Repbase, REBASE, and CASP.
http://www.nature.com/news/databases-fight-funding-cuts-1.11347

In an article posted by the journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday, officials of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund report that they will fund a new program to strengthen academic regulatory science by supporting scientists “conducting innovative research or developing methodologies that will inform regulatory decisions.”
http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/150/150fs35
http://tinyurl.com/cq6ktee

The full list of announcements is below.

—–

An Institute of Medicine panel reported this week, “America’s health care system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual.” The panel states that “Inefficiencies, an overwhelming amount of data, and other economic and quality barriers hinder progress in improving health and threaten the nation’s economic stability and global competitiveness…However, the knowledge and tools exist to put the health system on the right course to achieve continuous improvement and better quality care at lower cost.”
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=13444

The San Antonio Express-News on Saturday reported, “With three very different proposals to choose from, San Antonio’s medical school has picked the top-ranked Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the parent company of the Baptist Health System as partners to build a new academic children’s hospital. The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved the choice in a special meeting Friday morning in San Antonio, with most regents joining in by conference call. In the end, University of Texas Health Science Center officials said, they were drawn to the CHOP-Vanguard plan because of the opportunity to build a new, state-of-the-art, $350 million hospital from scratch in the South Texas Medical Center, something the other two plans did not offer.”
http://tinyurl.com/d5ft6sp

Michael Milken, chairman of FasterCures and founder of the Milken Institute, authored an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal on the benefits of research. His essay noted that “budget officials count the National Institutes of Health as a $31 billion cost, but they don’t count the net benefit.” FasterCures sponsored “A Celebration of Science” this weekend in D.C. The Celebration featured various policy and research presentations that capture both the excitement and promise of medical research.  Many of the presentations will be available on-line in the weeks ahead.
http://tinyurl.com/9z7c3dr
http://www.celebrationofscience.org/

Earlier this summer, the Research Universities Futures Consortium released a report entitled, “The Current Health and Future Well-Being of the American Research University.” The report “aims to understand the current academic research landscape and to envision the future. This study seeks to first identify common challenges faced by leading research institutions and then to develop and recommend solutions.” The report’s key conclusions include the need for collaboration, shared metrics and a required shift of focus to productivity, rather than size. The Consortium is comprised of 25 research-intensive schools and the report was funded by Elsevier. On September 12 from 1-2pm ET, the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) will host a webinar reviewing the impetus and findings of the report. Pre-registration for the webinar is required.
http://tinyurl.com/cmb5qtg
http://tinyurl.com/ccfvnn5

Nature on Wednesday reported that “…funding cuts by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) are threatening five widely used biological databases, and user communities are now rallying to save them.” The specific data bases are Protégé, BioMagResBank, Repbase, REBASE, and CASP.
http://www.nature.com/news/databases-fight-funding-cuts-1.11347

The New York Times on Thursday reported on a dispute between a neurosurgery professor at the University of Saskatchewan and a device manufacturer about reporting on negative clinical results. According to the article, the device firm has filed a complaint charging the faculty member with “scientific misconduct and violating ‘research ethics’ by failing, among other things, to follow the study’s original protocol and by independently deciding to follow his patients for added time without seeking agreement from Vertos,” the manufacturer of the device intended to help treat spinal stenosis.
http://tinyurl.com/cm96xrd

The University of Miami late Friday announced, “Based on information provided by law enforcement, the University of Miami Health System conducted an investigation into the activity of two University of Miami Hospital employees. The investigation revealed that these two individuals were inappropriately accessing patient information from registration ‘face sheets’ and may have sold the information to a third party. Once discovered, these two employees were terminated immediately. We have no indication that medical records are at risk.”
http://www.umhdataincident.med.miami.edu/

In an article posted by the journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday, officials of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund report that they will fund a new program to strengthen academic regulatory science by supporting scientists “conducting innovative research or developing methodologies that will inform regulatory decisions.”
http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/150/150fs35
http://tinyurl.com/cq6ktee

The Boston Globe on Thursday reported, “Nine months after scooping up 150 doctors from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s physician group, fast-growing Steward Health Care System has lured away more than 110 other health care providers affiliated with the giant Partners HealthCare System. Hawthorn Medical Associates, the largest multi-specialty practice in the New Bedford area, disclosed Wednesday that it has signed a 10-year affiliation deal with Steward, a Boston-based chain of 11 hospitals and other medical care facilities across Eastern Massachusetts. The agreement takes effect Jan 1. At the end of this year, Hawthorn will let its 14-year affiliation with Partners Community Healthcare, the chain’s physician network, expire.”
http://tinyurl.com/c5j5367

Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an oncologist and a vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote an essay in Thursday’s New York Times on health care innovation in Arkansas. He wrote, “The state has a vision for changing the way Arkansans pay for health care. It is moving toward ending ‘fee-for-service’ payments, in which each procedure a patient undergoes for a single medical condition is billed separately. Instead, the costs of all the hospitalizations, office visits, tests and treatments will be rolled into one ‘episode-based’ or ‘bundled’ payment. ‘In three to five years,’ John M. Selig, the head of Arkansas’s Department of Human Services, told me, ‘we aspire to have 90 to 95 percent of all our medical expenditures off fee-for-service.’ ” Dr. Emanuel noted that Arkansas “may seem an odd place for such a bold experiment” but also reports that it “also has certain advantages.”
http://tinyurl.com/ce6rarp

The New Orleans Times-Picayune on Wednesday reported, “Louisiana State University’s chief medical officer will temporarily oversee the state’s public hospital system in the continuation of a leadership shake-up that began at the end of August. Dr. Michael Kaiser will serve as interim CEO of the LSU system’s Health Care Services Division. He replaces Dr. Roxane Townsend, who also was removed from her leadership roles over public hospitals in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.” The paper also reported, “Townsend’s demotion is the second time in two weeks that a major health-care official within the system has been ousted. Dr. Fred Cerise, the former head of LSU’s health division who spoke against some of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s health-care decisions, was stripped of his leadership roles Aug. 24, when interim LSU System President William Jenkins appointed Dr. Frank Opelka to a position above him.”
http://tinyurl.com/c6r58uy

Dr. Stephen Blacklow has been named chair of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (BCMP) at Harvard Medical School, effective Oct. 1, 2012. He has been on the faculty for the last 14 years and is currently a member of both BCMP and the Department of Cancer Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Blacklow succeeds Dr. Steve Harrison, who has served as acting BCMP chair since 2009.
http://hms.harvard.edu/content/blacklow-lead-bcmp

The Texas Medical Center has appointed Robert (Bobby) Robbins, M.D., as its new president and CEO. Dr. Robbins currently is professor and chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford and director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute. He will succeed Dr. Richard Wainerdi, who has served as TMC president for the past 28 years. Dr. Wainerdi will retire Jan. 1, 2013, at which point his title will become Texas Medical Center president emeritus.
http://tinyurl.com/cxd3vvv

Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi has been named Executive Director of the American Society for Cell Biology. He is currently the Director of the Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications at the National Institute of Mental Health.
http://www.ascb.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=925&Itemid=216

Dr. Ira R. Horowitz has been appointed chair of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University School of Medicine, and section head of Gynecology and Obstetrics for the Emory Clinic, effective immediately. Dr. Horowitz has held the position of interim chair of the department since the fall of 2010.
http://tinyurl.com/dyzch2q

The Arnold P. Gold Foundation announced this week that Dr. Richard I. Levin has been selected as the first external President and CEO of the Gold Foundation. A cardiologist, Dr. Levin is currently a Senior Scholar in Residence at the Association of Academic Health Centers, and was previously Vice Principal for Health Affairs and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, as well as Vice Dean for Education, Faculty and Academic Affairs at New York University.
http://tinyurl.com/9eluccn

Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, chair of the University at Buffalo’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, has been named the inaugural senior associate dean for inclusion and cultural enhancement in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She will continue to serve as chair of the UB Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
http://tinyurl.com/d6jl2cg

Patrick Concannon, Ph.D., has been named the new director of the University of Florida Genetics Institute. Dr. Concannon will succeed Kenneth Berns, M.D., Ph.D., who is retiring after almost a decade as director of the UF Genetics Institute. Dr. Berns is a former chair of the AAMC and the AAMC’s Council of Academic Societies. Dr. Concannon joins UF from the University of Virginia, where he is the associate director of the Center for Public Health Genomics, the Harrison professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics and a professor of hematology and oncology.
http://news.ufl.edu/2012/09/06/genetics-institute/

Jae Sung Cho, MD, FACS, has been named the new chief of vascular surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Cho joins Loyola from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), where he was chief of vascular surgery at UPMC Mercy and a professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.
http://tinyurl.com/9clszo9

On September 1, Warner Thomas assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Ochsner Health System.  This week he announced numerous leadership appointments, including:
+Patrick Quinlan, MD, who has served as Ochsner’s CEO for 11 years, will become CEO, Ochsner Clinic Foundation and Ochsner International Services and Executive Director, Center for Community Wellness and Health Policy.
+William Pinsky, MD, who is currently Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health System, will continue in that position and also serve as Executive Vice President, Clinical Affairs International Business.
+Richard Milani, MD, FACC, FAHA, who is currently Vice Chairman, Department of Cardiology, will serve as Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Ochsner Health System.
+Michael Hulefeld, who is currently CEO, Ochsner Medical Center and New Orleans Region, will now serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ochsner Health System.
+Rob Wolterman, who is currently CEO, New Orleans Community Hospitals, will become CEO of Ochsner Medical Center, Ochsner’s flagship hospital.
http://www.ochsner.org/about/visionary_leadership/

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.

PPS: Other news, policy, and innovation products from AAMC may be of particular interest to subscribers:
+AAMC STAT (Short, Topical and Timely), a weekly news email highlights news related to academic medicine
http://www.aamc.org/newsroom/aamcstat/aamcnews.htm (note subscription box on right)
+AAMC Washington Highlights, a weekly summary of legislative & regulatory developments affecting academic medicine
http://www.aamc.org/advocacy/washhigh/subscribe.htm
+AAMC Second Opinion, news and perspectives from AAMC’s Chief Public Policy Officer
Subscribe by emailing: SecondOpinion@aamc.org
+Wing of Zock, a blog about innovation and change in medical schools and teaching hospitals
http://wingofzock.org/ and its Twitter feed @wingofzock
+AM Express, the journal Academic Medicine’s free monthly issue announcement service
Subscribe by emailing: acadmed_online@aamc.org

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