The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:
President Obama on Monday spoke at the Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Science, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the NAS. According to a transcript of his remarks, the President said, “…what’s true of all sciences is that in order for us to maintain our edge, we’ve got to protect our rigorous peer review system and ensure that we only fund proposals that promise the biggest bang for taxpayer dollars. And I will keep working to make sure that our scientific research does not fall victim to the political maneuvers or agendas that in some ways would impact on the integrity of the scientific process. That’s what’s going to maintain our standards of scientific excellence for years to come.” He also said, “…we want to make sure that we are exciting young people around math and science and technology and computer science. We don’t want our kids just to be consumers of the amazing things that science generates; we want them to be producers as well.”
The National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday announced the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
Science Insider on Monday reported, “The new chair of the House of Representatives Science Committee has drafted a bill that, in effect, would replace peer review at the National Science Foundation (NSF) with a set of funding criteria chosen by Congress. For good measure, it would also set in motion a process to determine whether the same criteria should be adopted by every other federal science agency. The legislation, being worked up by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), represents the latest – and bluntest – attack on NSF by congressional Republicans seeking to halt what they believe is frivolous and wasteful research being funded in the social sciences.” The article further reported, “On Thursday, Smith sent a letter to [the Acting Director of the NSF] asking for more information on five recent NSF grants.” Ranking Democrat on the Committee, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) last week wrote to Rep. Smith voicing concerns with his inquiry. Science Insider called the letter a “blistering missive.”
http://tinyurl.com/d5qpnjw <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/20781151:22673529509:m:1:1612442508:F89EE98A255148AD58278C6BDC5039A1:r> (Smith letter to NSF) http://tinyurl.com/d4okt4h <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/20781152:22673529509:m:1:1612442508:F89EE98A255148AD58278C6BDC5039A1:r> (Johnson letter to Smith)
The Caribbean Business newspaper reported on Tuesday that “University of Puerto Rico President Miguel Muñoz tendered his resignation late Monday after repeated calls by Gov. Alejandro García Padilla for his ouster as head of the 11-campus public university system.” On Wednesday, the paper reported that UPR Medical Sciences Chancellor Rafael Rodríguez resigned on Tuesday. The paper further reported, “The shakeup comes against the backdrop of a federal probe into the UPR’s use of National Science Foundation funding. Agents from the NSF’s Office of the Inspector General executed search warrants at the flagship Río Piedras campus last week as part of an investigation into potential misuse of research funds.”
Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine on Monday announced the approval of Highmark’s proposed affiliation with the West Penn Allegheny Health System (West Penn) and the creation of an integrated delivery network. Also on Monday, West Penn named John Paul its new CEO and president, succeeding interim CEO Keith Ghezzi. Mr. Paul has been running what is now the Allegheny Health Network. Earlier in his career he was an executive with UPMC.
NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on Tuesday was interviewed on American Public Radio’s Marketplace program. He discussed the impact of the sequester on biomedical research.
The Orlando Sentinel on Sunday began the first in an occasional series titled “Healthy Returns.” The first article, “Nonprofit hospitals: Do they give back enough?” focused on issues related to defining community benefit. The article also reported on the top grossing nonprofit hospitals in the nation, with two hospitals in Orlando ranked in the top 12.
The Augusta Chronicle on Sunday reported, “After giving $10 million last year to help fund a building that bears his name, the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison and his family topped that by giving $66 million, what is believed to be the largest gift ever to a public university in Georgia, to fund scholarships and faculty at his beloved Medical College of Georgia.” Dr. J. Harold Harrison, a vascular surgeon, died last June.
The Fifth Annual AAMC Integrating Quality Meeting, “Improving Value and Educating for Quality,” will be held on June 6-7, in Rosemont, Illinois. The meeting features a highly interactive, interprofessional program that brings together health care leaders, faculty, educators, trainees and students from teaching hospitals, medical schools, health professions schools, and other health care organizations to share strategies for enhancing the integration of education and clinical care around quality and patient safety. Teams that lead these efforts are encouraged to attend together.
The Internal Revenue Service last week released a report on its multi-year project on tax-exempt colleges and universities. The report focused on the unrelated business income and executive compensation at 34 institutions selected for detailed review. The review found underreporting of Unrelated Business Taxable Income (UPIT) and the report detailed some recurring UBIT calculation and determination issues. Concerning highly compensated officers, directors, trustees and key employees, the report found that 30 percent of the identified individuals were physicians. The university employees with the highest compensation levels were sports coaches and investment managers.
The AAMC recently submitted comments in response to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) request for information (RFI) on the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on the Biomedical Research Workforce. In its comments, AAMC affirmed “that successful outcomes from graduate studies and postdoctoral training reside in a variety of career paths, and agrees with the ACD and its working groups that NIH training programs and policies should reflect that reality.” AAMC also supported “providing the most current and comprehensive data on training experiences and outcomes to the research community so that the design of graduate programs can be informed by these data and young scientists can make informed decisions about career choice https://www.aamc.org/download/334374/data/041913rfiresponsetonihacd.pdf <http://echo4.bluehornet.com/ct/20781162:22673529509:m:1:1612442508:F89EE98A255148AD58278C6BDC5039A1:r>
A recent article highlighted medical student health advocacy activities at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine’s Temple and Round Rock campuses. The initiatives include an elective course on health advocacy and partnering medical students with organizations that develop and propose solutions for public health problems. According to the article, participants in the program and others drafted a resolution asking “the AMA to endorse and develop guidelines for health advocacy as part of the U.S. medical curriculum. The student section adopted it, referring it to the full AMA for consideration.”
Dr. Thomas Nasca of the ACGME and colleagues authored a Viewpoint in a recent issue of JAMA titled, “The Clinical Learning Environment: The Foundation of Graduate Medical Education.” The authors discussed the Clinical Learning Environment Review (CLER) program, the first component of the Next Accreditation System (NAS) to be operationalized nationally.
The Tulsa World reported on Wednesday, “The Oklahoma State University Medical Center is considering a public-private partnership with Mercy Health Systems in Oklahoma City, officials said. OSU says the move would provide greater financial stability to the Tulsa hospital, which is seeking a state appropriation of $18.25 million. The partnership also would provide professional management of the teaching hospital and would help OSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine recruit students, who would practice there.”
Several interesting commentaries have been published this week on the medical response to the Boston Marathon bombing. In JAMA, Ron M. Walls, MD, and Michael J. Zinner, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discussed the reasons behind the astoundingly high survival rate of victims who made it to the hospital. In the New England Journal of Medicine, Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., and Kobi Peleg, Ph.D., M.P., wrote a Perspective essay that also considers the remarkably low mortality rate of the attack, noting the excellent care received by the injured. They also detailed six factors that favored the rescuers.
Wednesday’s Toledo Blade featured an article on budget cuts facing the University of Toledo. The paper reported, “Reduction targets for the Health Science Campus, the former Medical College of Ohio, range from a low of $3.3 million to as much as $6.4 million. The college of medicine and life sciences could potentially receive the largest cut at UT, with a reduction target between $1.5 and $3 million.”
The AAMC has announced an award to highlight innovative ways to create and sustain institutional partnerships in research and research-focused training. Submissions will be evaluated based on creativity, collaborative partnerships, and impact on institutional practices. Submissions must describe an existing or developing collaborative partnership between two or more departments, centers, or programs within a school; schools within an institution; or unaffiliated institutions. One or more awards to institutions for a total amount of $5,000 will be awarded and announced at the 2013 GREAT Group Annual Meeting, Sept. 19-21, in Atlanta. The application deadline is May 31, 2013.
The deadline for nominations for 2013 AAMC Awards is May 3. Each year at its annual meeting, the AAMC presents awards honoring individuals and institutions that have made significant contributions to the academic medicine community. There is no limit to the number of nominations one can submit, and there is no submission fee.
Geneviève Moineau, M.D., has been appointed president and CEO of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), effective June 1. Dr. Moineau currently serves as vice president of education at the AFMC and is secretary to both the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools and the Committee on Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education. She will continue in these secretarial roles on an interim basis. Dr. Moineau, a pediatric emergency medicine physician, previously held various leadership positions at the University of Ottawa.
Sally Howard has been named Deputy Commission for Policy at the Food and Drug Administration. She had most recently been Chief of Staff at HHS. Andrea Palm will succeed her in that position. Before joining HHS, Ms. Palm was chief health legislative assistant to Senator Hilary Clinton.
Dr. Susan C. Fagan, Assistant Dean for the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy campus at Georgia Regents University, has been named founding Director of the Center for Pharmacy and Experimental Therapeutics at the Medical College of Georgia at GRU. Dr. Fagan, Jowdy Professor at the UGA College of Pharmacy, also has been named MCG’s Assistant Dean for Pharmacy and Experimental Therapeutics. She will continue her leadership role at UGA.
Robert C. Lieberman, a political scientist and currently the interim dean of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, has been named the 14th provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins University.
W. Scott Gould, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced his resignation on Monday.
Raphael E. Pollock, MD, PhD,, has been named professor and director of the division of surgical oncology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center College of Medicine’s department of surgery. Dr. Pollock will also serve as the chief of surgical services of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James). He comes to Ohio State after 31 years at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he held several leadership roles, the most recent being head of the division of surgery.
Dr. Thomas H. Lee will join Press Ganey as chief medical officer. Dr. Lee, a cardiologist, has been at Partners Healthcare where he was network president and chief executive officer for Partners Community HealthCare, Inc. Dr. Lee also serves as co-chair of the Committee for Performance Measures of the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Press Ganey is a consulting and performance improvement analytics firm.
The Bermuda Hospitals Board has appointed Dr Michael Weitekamp M.D., M.H.A., as Chief of Staff. Most of Dr. Weitekamp’s career has been spent at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. An internist and infectious diseases specialist, Dr Weitekamp was the Medical Director of the Penn State Geisinger Health Plan, Chief Medical Officer, Vice Chair of Medicine for Community Engagement and Professor of Medicine. Last year he was on sabbatical as a Robert G Petersdorf Scholar-in-Residence at AAMC.
Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) announced last week that its founding executive director, Joan Rachlin, will be stepping down in early 2014 from the position she has held since 1975. PRIM&R is in the forefront of educating and engaging the public and the research community on the ethics of biomedical, social science, and behavioral research. During Ms. Rachlin’s nearly 40-year tenure, PRIM&R has grown in both stature and size. A search is being opened to identify Ms. Rachlin’s successor.
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