AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2013 Aug. 12

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

The Oregonian newspaper reported on Wednesday, “Doctors who get paid by makers of artificial implants for using their product must let patients know about it, according to a first-of-its-kind legal action by the Oregon Department of Justice.” The article further reported, “The case could ripple nationwide, exposing a little-known but common practice of payments to doctors from implant manufacturers.”


A new blog entry by Sally Rockey, Ph.D., deputy director of NIH for extramural research, reports that The NIH Data Book has been updated on-line.  Dr. Rockey highlighted some of the recently updated workforce data in the report.  The data shows that total graduate student enrollment in areas funded by NIH has leveled off, largely due to trends in the behavioral and clinical sciences.



The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has issued a new report that “highlights the motivating factors, challenges, and planning strategies faced by 15 of the newest U.S. medical schools and offers important lessons learned as they begin to enroll classes and implement academic programs.” The report provides an update on eight of the new medical schools, which were showcased in a 2009 report, and describes in detail the circumstances that led to the development of seven additional schools. The report was written by Michael Whitcomb, MD, Flinn Visiting Scholar at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. Dr. Whitcomb is the former senior vice president for medical education at the AAMC and a former editor of Academic Medicine.


The Knight News Challenge, which opens Aug. 19, will offer a share of more than $2 million for innovative ideas to harness information and data for the health of communities. The challenge is a collaboration between Knight Foundation, a funder of news and media innovation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation, the Clinton Foundation and the Health Data Consortium. The News Challenge calls on participants to answer the question: “How might we harness data and information for the health of communities?” The collaborating organizations will be active during the opening “inspiration” phase of the challenge from Aug. 19, when anyone can identify needs, share success stories, post data sets, contribute ideas and more at newschallenge.org. The challenge will be open for entries Sept. 3 through 17. We understand that some schools are organizing campus kick-off events related to the challenge.


ProMedica and the Cleveland Clinic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding “to develop a health system affiliation that will better position both organizations to anticipate and proactively respond to the evolving healthcare landscape.” The institutions report, “As a result of this relationship, Cleveland Clinic and ProMedica will work together to create a clinically aligned network that will provide high-quality, cost-effective and technologically advanced clinical services in a framework of comprehensive population management.” ProMedica is a nonprofit healthcare organization serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Among its 11 member and affiliate hospitals is the Toledo Hospital.


An Associated Press article distributed on Wednesday reported that the “Management of two LSU hospitals in north Louisiana is being turned over to a nonprofit research foundation that has never run a patient care facility, raising concerns about whether it has the experience and the financing needed to oversee the public hospitals. The privatization of the university-run hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe is in contrast to the approach Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration took in south Louisiana, where nearly all of LSU’s facilities are being overseen by companies that run other private hospitals in the area.”


The National Public Radio affiliate in Austin, KUT, last week broadcast a lengthy news segment titled, “How Central Health, Seton & UT’s Medical School Want to Change Health Care Forever.”  The feature discussed how the proposed new medical school in Austin is being organized and is driving health care changes in the 11th largest city in the U.S.


The Kansas City Star reported this week, “Civic leaders want Jackson County taxpayers to approve a 20-year, half-cent sales tax to recruit top medical researchers to Kansas City area hospitals and campuses. The goal: to generate new therapies and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development.”  The paper on Sunday posted an editorial on the initiative.



NIH last week issued a notice to all PHS awardee institutions and applicants regarding the implementation of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s recently revised Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals (2013 Edition).  According to the notice, “After September 1, 2013, the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) of grants and contracts must be consistent with the 2013 Guidelines.” AAALAC has also issued a notice that the AVMA’s guidelines are currently under review by its Council on Accreditation.



The Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced the establishment of two joint research consortia, at a combined investment of $107 million. The consortia will undertake research on the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) over a five-year period. The Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP), a collaborative effort between the University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio, San Antonio Military Medical Center, and the Boston VA Medical Center will focus on PTSD issues. The Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium (CENC), a collaborative effort between Virginia Commonwealth University, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and the Richmond VA Medical Center will examine the factors which influence the chronic effects of mTBI and common comorbidities.


A recent Boston Globe blog posting discussed a dialogue between some pediatricians and child psychiatrists about the scope of their fields.  Quoting a British pediatrician cited in the discussion, the blog entry is titled, “Should pediatrics and child psychiatry marry for the sake of the children?”


An article in Sunday’s Buffalo News discussed how the new Niagara Medical Campus, now under construction, also is expected to strengthen the school’s residency programs.  Of the school’s 60 programs, two (general and pediatric surgery) were placed on probation earlier this year and one program (dermatology) was recently closed.


The Association of University Technology Managers has released highlights of their annual U.S. Licensing Activity Survey. The comprehensive AUTM Licensing Activity Survey FY2012 will be published in late 2013. According to the highlights document, “Analysis of our FY2012 survey indicates that university and research institute licensing and startup activity remained very strong. The number of licenses and options executed showed healthy increases over FY2011, as did the number of startups that remained active at the end of the fiscal year. FY2012 also saw a modest increase in total research expenditures and another significant rise in the number of issued patents on top of last year’s record numbers. License income, particularly that from product sales, was also up sharply.”


The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) is accepting nominations for the 2014 Lurie Prize in the Biomedical Sciences, an annual award recognizing outstanding achievement by a young scientist in biomedical research. The deadline for nominations is October 1 at 1:00PM EDT. The $100,000 prize is made possible by a generous gift from Ann Lurie, FNIH Board Member and distinguished philanthropist.  Information and links to the nomination form and FAQ’s may be found on the FNIH website and questions should be directed to LuriePrizeInfo@fnih.org<mailto:LuriePrizeInfo@fnih.org>.


Dr. Andrew R. Zinn, a geneticist and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, has been named the eighth dean of UT Southwestern Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, effective August 1. Dr. Zinn will continue to direct the Medical Scientist Training Program at the school.


A new report from the CDC finds that obesity among low-income, preschool-aged children in the US has dropped slightly.


Saturday’s issue of the Cleveland Plain Dealer profiled Dr. Akram Boutros, the new chief executive of MetroHealth Medical Center.  He became leader of Cuyahoga County’s public safety-net hospital about ten weeks ago.


Karl Kieburtz, M.D., M.P.H. has been named director of the University of Rochester Medical Center Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the senior associate dean for Clinical Research. The appointment will be effective on September 1. He is succeeding Thomas Pearson, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. who has accepted a position at the University of Florida. Dr. Kieburtz, the Robert J. Joynt Professor in Neurology, is currently the director of the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics (CHET), a position he will retain.


The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PSSHE) has named Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the State University System of Florida, to serve as PASSHE’s next chancellor. Prior to serving as chancellor of Florida’s 335,000-student public university system, Mr. Brogan was president of Florida Atlantic University, lieutenant governor of Florida and Florida’s Commissioner of Education.


Various media in Dallas reported this week, “Federal officials notified Parkland Hospital Wednesday that it had met the requirements of its Systems Improvement Agreement and is in substantial compliance with the Medicare Requirements for Hospitals, pulling the Dallas hospital back from the brink after two years of improvements and safety inspections.”


The St. Louis Post Dispatch this week featured a story about Wash. U. medical students participating in “a weeklong program aimed at raising awareness of the disparities in health care based on race, income and geography.” The article reported, “The voluntary program is now in its 14th year. When it began, 10 students participated. This year, 85 of the 122 incoming medical students signed up.”


A study in the new issue of Tobacco Control found, according to a media summary of the article, that “Smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more each year annually than their non-smoking co-workers, according to recent research.”  The costs involve lost productivity due to smoking breaks ($3,077 each year for their non-working time) and excess health care expenses (at $2,056 a year).


Tony Mazzaschi


PS: Feel free to email <cfas@aamc.org<mailto:cfas@aamc.org>> if you have a problem accessing any article or resource mentioned in this summary. Also, have colleagues email <cfas@aamc.org<mailto:cfas@aamc.org>> if they would like to receive these news postings. We also welcome news tips and corrections.

PPS: Registration is now open for the 2013 AAMC Annual Meeting, November 1-6, in Philadelphia.



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