The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:
A new survey report from the National Science Foundation found, “Science and engineering (S&E) research space at the nation’s research-performing colleges and universities increased 3.5% from FY 2009 to FY 2011…The biological and biomedical sciences continued to account for the bulk of growth, increasing by 8.0% during this period. This follows a 12.3% increase for this field from FY 2007 to FY 2009. In 2011, the biological and biomedical sciences accounted for 26.8% of research space, measured as total net assignable square feet (NASF). This was three percentage points higher than the share from FY 2007.” Space for “health and clinical sciences research” declined just slightly.
Carnegie Mellon University has named Dr. Subra Suresh as its new president, effective July 1. Dr. Suresh is currently director of the National Science Foundation. He will succeed Dr. Jared L. Cohon, who has led Carnegie Mellon for 16 years. Dr. Suresh is the former dean of the School of Engineering at MIT.
At the urging of several deans, the AAMC and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response have organized a joint meeting, “Partners in Preparedness: A Critical Relationship for Successful Healthcare Preparedness.” The meeting begins on the afternoon of March 1, and concludes at 5pm on March 2, 2013 and will be held at Tulane University School of Medicine. This conference is geared toward medical school deans, hospital CEOs, and their staff who have responsibilities related to preparedness. There is no registration fee for this meeting, however the reserved hotel block will be released on Monday, February 11. Please consider attending and/or sending a team of individuals to this important, focused, and timely conference. The benefits to your institution and community could be immeasurable. For more information, contact Heather Sacks at email@example.com.
There are several interesting new posts to the Wing of Zock innovation web site. Dr. Ann Bonham, AAMC’s Chief Scientific Officer, wrote an essay about the evidence base needed to support patient centered care. Dr. Joanne Conroy, AAMC’s Chief Health Care Officer, wrote an essay concerning consumer directed healthcare and its role in transforming health care delivery. Marna Borgstrom chair of the AAMC’s Council of Teaching Hospitals; president and CEO of Yale-New Haven Health System; and CEO of Yale-New Haven Hospital, authored an essay about implementing a system-wide cultural integration initiative among the health system members and partners in an effort to define and align the current and desired cultures across organizations.
The AAMC has updated and released its popular guide. “Medicare Payments for Graduate Medical Education: What Every Medical Student, Resident and Advisor Needs to Know.” Available to AAMC members and non-members as a free PDF on our website, the brochure briefly describes how Medicare pays teaching hospitals for GME. It also discusses the possible impact of the payment system on individual residents.
Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine on Thursday announced that the LCME has granted the school full accreditation. The school is scheduled to graduate its first class of students this spring.
National Public Radio’s Morning Edition on Monday featured a segment concerning brain tissue shortages hampering autism research.
On Thursday, President Obama renominated Marilyn B. Tavenner to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She has been serving as Acting Administrator since December 2011. AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., issued a statement, which said, in part, “Marilyn Tavenner is an outstanding choice for CMS administrator, and the AAMC applauds the Obama administration for this nomination. She brings a wealth of experience to this position. Throughout her career she has been a strong advocate for public health, and also possesses a deep understanding of the vital role that America’s teaching hospitals play in the nation’s health care system.”
The February 2013 issue of Academic Medicine is now available online. Highlights include, “Being the Best We Can Be: Medical Students’ Reflections on Physician Responsibility in the Social Media Era,” by Désirée Lie, MD, MSED, Janet Trial, EdD, Pamela Schaff, MD, Robert Wallace, MD, MBA, and Donna Elliott, MD, EdD; “A National Survey of Academic Emergency Medicine Leaders on the Physician Workforce and Institutional Workforce and Aging Policies,” by Kevin M. Takakuwa, MD, Michelle H. Biros, MD, MS, Richard M. Ruddy, MD, Michael FitzGerald, PhD, and Frances S. Shofer, PhD on behalf of the Aging and Generational Issues Taskforce of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine; and “Creating a Virtual Pharmacology Curriculum in a Problem-Based Learning Environment: One Medical School’s Experience,” by Kelly Dowhower Karpa and Kend Vrana. Articles and research reports from the March 2013 issue also are now available online in the “Published Ahead-of-Print” section of the web site.
The Texas Tribune on Thursday detailed the efforts of the American University of the Caribbean, a for-profit medical school owned by DeVry Inc., to be approved to operate in Texas. So far, the company’s efforts have failed.
The Academy for Healthcare Improvement (AHI) is sponsoring a conference entitled “Doing Research at the Front Line of Improving Healthcare,” April 25-26, 2013, in Arlington, Virginia. The goal of the conference is to engage and educate the workforce required to advance QI research to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of healthcare. The abstract submission deadline for the meeting is February 27.
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has announced the winner of its inaugural competition, Stand Up for Science. The competition solicited entries to demonstrate how federal research funding improves the health, quality of life, or economy of local communities in the United States. The winning entry was submitted by ‘Stand With Science,’ a group of graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their video, “What’s Next,” underscores the importance of federal funding to science and technology and highlights the adverse consequences that across the board spending cuts, also known as sequestration, could have on future, innovative research.
In a new blog postings, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH, discusses the contribution of gut bacteria to malnutrition and the availability of NIH sponsored clinical trials.
NIH on Wednesday posted “Notices of Intent” to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for “Planning Grants for the NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative” and a FOA for “Planning Grants for the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).” Both FOAs are expected to be published on February 28th with applications due April 30.
The new issue of Wired features a story about the effort to track the lethal bacterium that was running rampant at the NIH clinical center last year.
Thursday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article on the expanded use of “Hospital at Home” programs in an effort to reduce hospital readmissions.
The new issue of American Medical News discussed sloppy cutting and pasting in the electronic health record, sometimes leading to confusion and endangering patients.
A recent article in Politico, a newspaper popular on Capitol Hill, discussed Congress’s failure to fund the National Health Care Workforce Commission. Although appointed in September 2010 by the US Comptroller General, the panel has never met.
The Denver Post on Monday reported that University of Colorado Health is considering creating its own HMO.
An inquiry report into care at a hospital in Staffordshire in the United Kingdom released on Wednesday detailed “…a story of appalling and unnecessary suffering of hundreds of people. They were failed by a system which ignored the warning signs and put corporate self interest and cost control ahead of patients and their safety.” According to the chair of the inquiry panel, “We need a patient centred culture, no tolerance of non compliance with fundamental standards, openness and transparency, candour to patients, strong cultural leadership and caring, compassionate nursing, and useful and accurate information about services. The evidence at both inquiries disclosed that patients were let down by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. There was a lack of care, compassion, humanity and leadership. The most basic standards of care were not observed, and fundamental rights to dignity were not respected.”
An article in Thursday’s New York Times highlighted a program at Temple University Hospital aimed at reducing gun violence. According to the article, “The unusual program, called Cradle to Grave, brings in youths from across Philadelphia in the hope that an unflinching look at the effects that guns have in their community will deter young people from reaching for a gun to settle personal scores, and will help them recognize that gun violence is not the glamorous business sometimes depicted in television shows and rap music. The program is open to all schools in the city, but about two-thirds of the participants were referred by officials from the juvenile justice system.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered a “major policy address” on Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute. According to his prepared remarks, he said, “Long term, controlling health care costs will require smarter federal investments in medical research. Many of today’s cures and life saving treatments are a result of an initial federal investment. And much of it is spent on cancer research and other grave illnesses.” He also said, “There is an appropriate and necessary role for the federal government to ensure funding for basic medical research. Doing all we can to facilitate medical breakthroughs for people like Katie [a cancer survivor he mentioned earlier] should be a priority. We can and must do better. This includes cutting unnecessary red tape in order to speed up the availability of life saving drugs and treatments and reprioritizing existing federal research spending. Funds currently spent by the government on social science — including on politics of all things — would be better spent helping find cures to diseases.”
Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) in Seattle recently announced the appointment of Thomas D. Brown, M.D., MBA, as its new executive director. Dr. Brown will join SCI March 16. He joins Swedish from the University of Arizona, where he served as professor of medicine and chief operating officer of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Prior to that, he was a professor and vice president at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix has named Dean Coonrod, MD, as chair of the executive committee of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for the downtown Phoenix medical college. He is replacing Dr. John Mattox in this role, who recently stepped down as chairperson of obstetrics and gynecology at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital.
University of Maryland School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., has named Barney J. Stern, M.D., to serve as interim chair of the Department of Neurology. Dr. Stern has served as vice-chair of the Department of Neurology since July 2012, and as a professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 2004. William Weiner, M.D., who had been chairman of the Department of Neurology since 2001, having joined the University of Maryland in 1990, died of multiple myeloma on December 29th.
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) on Thursday announced that Stephen Ondra, M.D., has been named senior vice president and chief medical officer. Most recently, Dr. Ondra was senior vice president and chief medical officer for Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He also served as interim chair for the Department of Neurological Surgery. Health Care Service Corporation is the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 13 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Sharon K. Hull, MD, MPH, FAAFP, FACPM, Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and Director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Collaborative at Summa Health System in Ohio, has been named Chief of the Division of Family Medicine, within the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. She will start on April 1.
The UMass Memorial Health Care Board of Trustees has appointed Eric W. Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP, as the health care system’s new president and chief executive officer, succeeding John O’Brien, who retired after serving in the role for 10 years. Dr. Dickson is currently the president of the UMass Memorial Medical Group; his new role becomes effective on Monday, Feb. 25.
Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., FACP, has been appointed Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Kimmel Cancer Center (KCC) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals. He also will serve as Deputy Director of Translational Research at the KCC. Prior to joining Jefferson, Dr. Cristofanilli served as chairman of the department of medical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center and head of the center’s Inflammatory Breast Cancer Clinic.
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