The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:
Dr. Regina Benjamin announced on Wednesday that she will step down as Surgeon General next month. In a notice to staff, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that Dr. Benjamin will continue to serve as Surgeon General until July 16. RADM Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Surgeon General, will serve as Acting Surgeon General while a search is underway for the next Surgeon General. Before her appointment, Dr. Benjamin directed a primary care medical clinic in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.
The AAMC and BMJ on Monday announced a collaboration to create innovative online learning resources that will support clinical teams and health systems in their transition to new payment models. As part of this collaboration, the AAMC and BMJ will produce a series of online educational products, entitled “Maximizing Value: Payment Models and Care Redesign,” that will prepare health care organizations and providers facing any type of payment system reform, as well as the quality, cost, and efficiency mandates attached to them. The initial online course from the Maximizing Value suite of e-learning resources, “Bundled Payments Essentials,” will include online modules (accredited for category 1 CME) that can be viewed individually or as an integrated course.
Cooper University Health Care and MD Anderson Cancer Center on Monday announced they have signed a letter of intent “to form a partnership that will provide cancer patients in the region with access to the most advanced cancer treatments available. The institutions have agreed to create a joint Cooper-MD Anderson Cancer Center and co-branded centers in New Jersey. The partnership includes exclusivity for MD Anderson and Cooper in New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania for any future centers.” Cooper and MD Anderson also announced they “will open a new, state-of-the-art, freestanding cancer center this October on the Cooper Health Sciences Campus in Camden. The $100 million, four-story, 103,050 sq. ft. building is designed to provide patients with one facility that houses all outpatient cancer care services in a multidisciplinary approach to oncology care.”
The Stanford University School of Medicine announced it will gradually increase the size of its faculty. According to the school, “The changes come in response to goals set out by the medical school’s leadership to recruit more faculty, whose numbers must increase to meet the needs of Stanford Medicine’s burgeoning clinical operations, and to foster growth in clinical research.” The school currently has close to 900 faculty members. According to Stanford, “…the provost will allow that number to increase to as many as 1,200 over the coming years.” The school also announced, “As part of the school’s push to promote clinical research, clinician-educators can now request principal-investigator status on a range of clinical studies.”
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported, “BJC Healthcare began on Wednesday laying off 160 employees, the first layoffs in the company’s 20-year history.” According to an institution official, “…reimbursement changes, at the state and federal level, as well as family budget constraints among the reasons that BJC, and other health care companies, are feeling the pinch.”
The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday reported, “The University of Maryland Medical Center will send layoff notices to employees at the end of the month as it looks to cut costs in the wake of federal budget cuts and what it and other state hospitals have called inadequate rate increases.” According to the article, “…the number of people who will lose their jobs still is being finalized…”
The Associated Press on Monday reported, “The Civil Service Commission reversed course Monday and agreed to privatization plans for four LSU hospitals, with nearly 4,000 layoffs set to take effect June 23. The commission’s 3-2 vote was the final step needed for Gov. Bobby Jindal to turn over management of university-run hospitals in New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles to private hospital operators in the local communities. The decision changed course from less than a week earlier, when the commission stalled the plans.” The article further reported, “[Gov.] Jindal is seeking to privatize nine of the 10 LSU hospitals and affiliated clinics that care for the poor and uninsured and that provide training sites for many of Louisiana’s medical students. Contracts have been signed for seven such arrangements, with the Civil Service Commission agreeing to five deals so far.”
Tufts University School of Medicine has announced a reorganization of its basic science departments.
Reuters on Tuesday reported, “In an emergency session on Monday, members of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s executive committee adopted a new, temporary policy to allow children under 12 to be classified as adolescents, putting them in the running for adult organs. The decision was based on new data presented to the committee that suggested that some younger patients were receiving fewer offers of organs than adults, and that some older children may be suitable candidates for an adult organ. The new classification for adolescents will be in place until July 1, 2014, giving the group time to review its policies to ensure that all organs are allocated fairly.” The move follows litigation filed in Pennsylvania by the families of two children awaiting organs.
Al Hunt, a columnist with Bloomberg, on Tuesday wrote that the cuts to Alzheimer’s research show the folly of the sequestration cuts.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has posted a vacancy announcement for the position of Chief Research and Development Officer. The position is listed as being open through August 31, 2013.
UCSF has posted an article about its current curriculum reform effort. Titled the “UCSF Bridges Curriculum Redesign,” Catherine Lucey, MD, vice dean for education at UCSF School of Medicine, said, “The curriculum is being redesigned from the perspective of what kind of doctor we need to meet the demands of practice in the 21st century…We’re looking specifically at education to address some of the pressing and unmet needs that have been vexing us as providers and as institutions.”
The Omaha World-Herald reported on Wednesday that the search for a new chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is down to three finalists. The candidates, all of whom are external, are visiting with faculty over the next few weeks.
The LCME has listed the College of Hericopolis School of Medicine in Martinsville, Virginia, as an Applicant School. Other currently listed Applicant Schools are California Northstate University College of Medicine (Rancho Cordova, CA), Palm Beach Medical College (Palm Beach, FL), and King School of Medicine and Health Science Center (Abingdon, VA). No schools are currently listed as Candidate Schools.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram on Thursday reported, “Dr. Michael Williams, who has been serving as interim president at the UNT Health Science Center, was named the lone finalist for the job on Wednesday by unanimous vote of the university system board of regents.” The paper reports that Dr. Williams, “…earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, which is part of the UNTHSC. He also has an M.D. from Ross University, a Caribbean medical school founded in 1978. Williams said he became an M.D. after he experienced prejudice in the medical community because he had an osteopathic degree.” Dr. Williams has voiced support for creating an allopathic medical school at UNT.
Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences’ Board of Trustees on Monday announced the appointment of Marc B. Hahn, D.O., as the University’s 14th president and chief executive officer, effective July 1. Dr. Hahn has served as executive vice president for academic and medical affairs, provost and dean of the KCUMB College of Osteopathic Medicine since October 2012.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) this week announced plans to categorize all chimpanzees as an endangered species, including purpose bred chimps for research. The proposal, issued in reaction to a petition from animal rights groups, will be open for comment for 60 days.
In a essay in Wednesday’s New York Times, Dr. Jerry Avorn discussed issues regarding clinical practice guidelines.
Mike Duggan, the former Detroit Medical Center CEO running for mayor of Detroit, was kicked off the ballot on Tuesday over a residency issue. He will appeal the decision.
The Business Journal on Wednesday reported on Wake Forest Baptist’s on-going recovery from disruptions from the installation of Epic, the electronic medical records system. According to the article, the medical center is reporting “an operating loss of $62.8 million three-fourths of the way through the fiscal year.”
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP) on Wednesday posted the results of their annual benchmark metrics survey.
The University of Missouri System on Tuesday announced the appointment of Henry C. “Hank” Foley as executive vice president for academic affairs for the UM System. Dr. Foley has served since 2009 as vice president for research and dean of the graduate school at Penn State. Also on Wednesday, University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton announced he will retire Nov. 15.
Oakland University President Dr. Gary D. Russi announced his retirement on Wednesday, effective August 1, 2013. The Board of Trustees announced that it will appoint Associate Vice President for Outreach Betty J. Youngblood, Ph.D., interim president at its next formal session.
J. Renee Navarro, MD, PharmD, vice chancellor of Diversity and Outreach at UCSF, has been appointed interim vice provost of Academic Affairs while an internal recruitment to fill the position is underway. Dr. Navarro, an anesthesiologist, will fill the position that is being vacated by Sally Marshall, PhD, who is retiring from UCSF effective July 1.
The Board of Directors of the Milbank Memorial Fund in April announced that Christopher F. Koller will become the next President of the Fund. In July, he will succeed Carmen Hooker Odom. Mr. Koller is currently Health Insurance Commissioner for the State of Rhode Island. The Fund has also announced that Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., will become Editor-in-Chief of The Milbank Quarterly on October 1, succeeding Bradford H. Gray, Ph.D. Dr. Markel is the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine and Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, where he also holds professorial appointments in psychiatry, public health, history, English literature and language, and pediatrics and communicable diseases.
Howard J. Silver, Executive Director of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), has announced he will step down from his position at the end of 2013. At that point, he will have been at COSSA over 30 years and served as its leader for more than 25 years. COSSA is an advocacy organization promoting attention to and federal support for the social and behavioral sciences.
The Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have appointed Ravi V. Bellamkonda, PhD, to chair their joint department of biomedical engineering. He will begin as chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in July. He currently serves as the Georgia Tech associate vice president for research, and is the new president-elect for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
Dr. Ignazio Marino, a former UPMC transplant surgeon, has been elected mayor of the Eternal City — Rome, Italy. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted that Dr. Marino was a key figure in the opening of UPMC’s satellite transplant unit in Palermo, Sicily in the early 2000’s.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH, on Wednesday posted an essay on his blog concerning one of his mentors, Dr. Henry Neil Kirkman, Jr. Dr. Kirman died last week. He was a Kenan Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and chaired the Division of Genetics and Metabolism of the School’s Department of Pediatrics from 1965 to 1991. Dr. Collins’ essay concluded, “I was saddened to hear of Dr. Kirkman’s passing a few days ago. I will miss him, and I will always be grateful that I had a chance to tell him what a profound impact he had on me. Do you have mentors that have given you gifts of inspiration and encouragement? I hope so. And if you do, and if you have never told them how much that meant, this would be a great day to write a note.”
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