AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2013 January 6

The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:

Friday’s issue of AAMC Washington Highlights provided detailed news stories on the ‘fiscal cliff’ legislation, featuring detailed summaries of various aspects of interest to academic medicine.

The Associated Press on Saturday reported, “The University of Iowa has hired a lawyer to fight criminal charges against two top administrators filed in Jordan, where a troubled former professor is seeking revenge against officials he blames for his firing. The university’s former medical school dean, Paul Rothman, and associate dean Lois Geist have been charged with making a death threat to Malik Juweid, who was fired in August and has returned to his native country of Jordan. A university spokesman called the charges—which are based solely on Juweid’s statement to a prosecutor— baseless and part of a long-running harassment campaign by Juweid.” Dr. Rothman is now dean at Johns Hopkins University. According to the AP, “The headache is the latest for the university after years of problems with Juweid, who was fired after sending repeated unprofessional and harassing emails to colleagues. Juweid was banned from campus and placed on administrative leave in January 2011. A faculty panel concluded that he violated policies on harassment, disruptive behavior and ethics, among others.” Dr. Juweid is a radiologist.

NIH on Friday posted the report of the NIH LGBT Research Coordinating Committee (RCC) related to the IOM report, “The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding.” NIH also has released its plans for advancing LGBT health research, based on the findings of both the RCC and the IOM panel. The RCC has been reconstituted under the leadership of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The new LGBTI RCC will serve as an established trans-NIH coordinating committee “to facilitate and coordinate collaborations and other activities related to LGBTI health across the NIH ICOs as well as with other HHS agencies.”

Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, has posted new data concerning FY 2012 NIH success rates and application submissions. The overall success rate for research project grants (RPGs) remained at 18 percent, the same as in FY 2011. The success rate for R01s also was stable at 18 percent. The number of research grant applications received by NIH increased to 62,524, the highest level ever and an increase of 2 percent over the FY 2011 level. The number of R01 application increased by 3 percent.

The New York Times on Sunday reported, “Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, …” The article reported that there is significant state variations in rate increases, in part due to variations in the authority of state regulators to reign in price increase proposals. The article also reported, “The double-digit requests in some states are being made despite evidence that overall health care costs appear to have slowed in recent years, increasing in the single digits annually as many people put off treatment because of the weak economy.”

In November, NIH issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (PAR-13-029), “Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01).” This new opportunity is intended to foster NIH intramural-extramural research collaborations. The NIH has announced it will host a pre-application webinar about this U01 grant on Friday, January 11th, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM, EST. The webinar will provide an overview of the initiative and address questions pertinent to those preparing applications.

Victor R. Fuchs, PhD, of Stanford, wrote a viewpoint essay in the new issue of JAMA titled, “How and Why US Health Care Differs From That in Other OECD Countries.” He highlighted three basic differences between the US and most of the other OCED countries that might explain the differences: the distrust of U.S. citizens in government, the heterogeneity of the U.S. population, and the difference in political systems. Dr. Fuchs suggests that these differences must be considered in any efforts for further health care reform.

NIH has published, “NIH Policies and Procedures for Promoting Scientific Integrity.” According to NIH, “this document consolidates summaries of and references to existing NIH policies and procedures so that interested members of the public can easily access vital information regarding NIH’s commitment to scientific integrity.”

Sunday’s Washington Post featured a Kaiser Health News story about provisions in the ‘fiscal cliff’ bill preserving special payments to rural hospitals.

Dr. Jeremy Berg, associate senior vice-chancellor for science strategy and planning in the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, has authored an essay in ASBMB Today that discussed “the long-term impact of basic research that uncovers fundamental cellular mechanisms when coupled with creative efforts to translate this basic knowledge into clinical interventions.” Dr. Berg is the current president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The application deadline for the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering program (ELATE) – modeled after ELAM but tailored to women in the STEM fields – has been extended to February 6th.

Dr. Jack Lord’s resignation as COO of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was the subject of an article in Friday’s Miami Herald. The article also reported that the head of human resources at the school has been reassigned.

Dr. Jacqueline “Jacki” Crawley has retired from the National Institute of Mental Health to take a position as the Robert E. Chason chair in translational research at the UC, Davis MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute.

Drs. Marc Kahn and Hugh Long of Tulane have published an article in the recent issue of the Journal of Health Care Financing, discussing the use of the option theory model to analyze the salary structures of clinical faculty in an academic medical center practice plan. The authors “suggest that such analysis is superior to empirical methods for setting clinical faculty salary structure in the academic practice plan setting.”

According to a CDC report released on Friday, there were more than 48,000 cases of whooping cough in the U.S. in 2012, more than any year since 1955. According to an AP summary of the CDC data, “Last year, cases were up in 48 states and outbreaks were particularly bad in Colorado, Minnesota, Washington state, Wisconsin and Vermont. The good news: Despite the high number of illnesses, deaths didn’t increase. Eighteen people died, including 15 infants younger than 1.”

The Washington Post has collected a several articles it has published over the past few months into a collection titled, “Can Medical Research be Trusted?” The most recent article appeared on December 30th and was titled, “Rising painkiller addiction shows damage from drugmakers’ role in shaping medical opinion.”

A Michigan news service recently interviewed Dr. Marsha Rappley, the dean of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, concerning key health care issues for the coming year, along with her personal and professional goals.

Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC has announced two new Chief Medical Officers. Denice Cora-Bramble, MD, MBA, FAAP, has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Ambulatory and Community Health Services. David Wessel, MD, has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Hospital and Specialty Services. Both are internal appointments. Dr. Cora-Bramble, a pediatrician will continue her former responsibilities as Senior Vice President of the Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health. Dr. Wessel will continue his former responsibilities as Senior Vice President of Hospital Based Services.

Dr. Scott Ransom’s recent termination as president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth was the subject of an article in Saturday’s Dallas Morning News.

In a column in Friday’s New York Times, Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., of Penn, discussed end of life care and wrote that, “It’s a myth that most of our spending goes to the final year of life.” He suggested four actions that the health care system should do to improve care for the dying, even if they don’t save money.

Martin G. Sanda, MD, has been appointed chair of the Department of Urology at Emory University School of Medicine and service chief for Emory Healthcare. He will also serve as director of the Prostate Cancer Center, which will be established within Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute. Dr. Sanda joins Emory from Harvard Medical School, where he is professor of surgery in urology, and from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he currently serves as director of the Prostate Cancer Center. He is also co-leader of the Prostate Cancer Program at the Dana Farber Cancer Center. He will begin at Emory on Feb. 28, 2013.

Rick Gannotta, NP, DHA, FACHE, has been named the next president of Duke Raleigh Hospital (DRAH), effective Jan. 1, 2013. He has served as the chief operating officer at DRAH for more than six years. He succeeds Doug Vinsel, MHA, who announced his retirement as president several months ago.

And finally…A staff columnist for Forbes last week published a listing of “The Least Stressful Jobs Of 2013” and led the list with “university professor.” She has since posted an addendum backing off a bit after hearing opposite viewpoints. Forbes also has posted a fuller response from Dr. David Kroll, titled, “Top 10 Reasons Being a University Professor is a Stressful Job.”

Tony Mazzaschi

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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+AAMC Second Opinion, news and perspectives from AAMC’s Chief Public Policy Officer
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