The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:
The AAMC released a statement on Wednesday urging Congress to restore NIH and health professions funding. The statement also expressed disappointment about various Medicare and Medicaid provisions in the final budget agreement passed by the Senate on Wednesday.
The Office of Management and Budget on Thursday released its Final Guidance on “Uniformed Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.” The Guidance, termed the Omni-Circular, supersedes the requirements of various other OMB cost circulars, including OMB Circular A-21, “Cost Principles for Educational Institutions.” It continues the cap on the reimbursement of administrative costs to 26 percent of modified total direct costs. The OMB posting, at the Federal Register inspection desk, is 759 pages in length. It is scheduled to appear in the December 26 Federal Register. The effective date of the new guidance document is December 26, 2014. OMB will hold a webcast on the Final Guidance on Friday, Dec. 20 at 11:45 a.m. ET (register at https://cfo.gov/cofar/).
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday announced that Dr. Karen DeSalvo, who currently serves as the City of New Orleans Health Commissioner and Senior Health Policy Advisor to Mayor Mitch Landrieu, will be the next HHS National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. She will start on January 13th. Dr. Jacob Reider has been serving as Acting National Coordinator.
NIH Deputy Director Dr. Sally Rockey reported on Wednesday that the success rate for research project grants (RPG) in fiscal year 2013 was 16.8 percent, a decline from the 17.6 percent reported in FY2012. In a blog posting, Dr. Rockey wrote, “One might have expected a bigger drop in the success rates since we made about 8 percent fewer competing awards this year, but the reduction in the number of applications explains part of it.” She reported that NIH “received 49,581 competing RPG applications at NIH in fiscal year 2013, slightly declining compared to last year (51,313 applications in FY2012).”
The NIH Scientific Management Review Board on December 13 accepted the final report of their “Working Group on Approaches to Assess the Value of Biomedical Research Supported by NIH.” The Working Group was chaired by Gail Cassell, Ph.D. The panel concluded that “at the present time, the essential tools, techniques, and data systems required for developing comprehensive measurements of value at an aggregate NIH level are in early stages of development.” The panel called for a sustained NIH investment in strengthen its data infrastructure and to provide a dedicated funding stream or mechanism to support assessment projects. It said, “NIH should intensify its efforts to systematically, comprehensively, and strategically assess the value of biomedical research for the purposes of accountability, effective management, and public awareness.”
The Research in Medical Education (RIME) Call for Research and Review papers is now open. The deadline for submissions is February 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm. The RIME Program Planning Committee is charged with the design of components of the AAMC Medical Education meeting that focus on medical education research. The AAMC Medical Education meeting will be held on November 5th and 6th, 2014 just prior to the AAMC Annual Meeting in Chicago. Although the format of presentations at the Medical Education meeting has not yet been established, the RIME Planning Committee is committed to maintaining a high quality program that facilitates the dissemination of research that advances educational practice and expands the body of work upon which additional research can be built. The sessions will emphasize opportunities for discussion of scholarly work and the engagement of all attendees to promote continued innovation and implementation of best practices that enhance teaching and learning across the continuum of medical education.
The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), with support from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, has published, “Interprofessional Care Coordination: Looking To The Future.” The volume “shares a series of recommendations from national experts on care coordination from across the health professions convened over a two-year period as part of the NYAM Initiative on Interprofessional Care Coordination. The recommendations address the issues of how to operationalize effective interprofessional care coordination practice models in new and future health care delivery systems, and how to incorporate interprofessional educational and team training for care coordination into pre-clinical and clinical training.”
A new study, “Journal Usage Half-Lives,” has been posted by the Association of American Publishers. The study by Philip M. Davis, Ph.D. , is based on a review of article downloads from 2,812 academic and professional journals in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The author reports, “Measuring usage half-life—the median age of articles downloaded from a publisher’s website—just 3% of journals had half-lives shorter than 12-months. While journal usage half-lives were typically shorter for journals in the Health Sciences (median half-life: 25-36 months), they were considerably longer for journals in the Humanities, Physics and Mathematics (median half-life: 49-60 months). Nearly 17% (475) of all journals had usage half-lives exceeding six years.”
University of California President Janet Napolitano announced on Tuesday that she will ask the UC Board of Regents to approve UCSF School of Medicine Dean Sam Hawgood as interim UCSF chancellor while a search is under way for a permanent successor to Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann. Dr. Desmond-Hellmann announced on Tuesday she will become the CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on May 1.
The National Institutes of Health on Tuesday released six funding opportunity announcements “to build a new arsenal of tools and technologies for unlocking the mysteries of the brain. The NIH action is in support of President Obama’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.” The six opportunities announced were developed in response to high priority areas identified by the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director’s BRAIN Working Group in September 2013. According to NIH, “Awards are expected to be announced in September 2014 and will constitute NIH’s initial investment of $40 million in the initiative.”
The Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday published separate articles concerning, “An increasingly popular method of removing common uterine growths is coming under assault by some doctors worried about the risk of spreading a potentially deadly cancer. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a prominent Boston medical center, said Tuesday it plans to impose new limits on the procedure, called morcellation. And Massachusetts General Hospital said it expects to change what it tells women about possible risks from the technique. The Harvard University-affiliated hospitals said they believe the dangers remain very small.”
The National Institutes of Health announced on Tuesday that it “is fully implementing a plan to prohibit the expenditure of funds for the acquisition of dogs for NIH-supported research from USDA Class B vendors.” Class B dealers acquire dogs from individual owners, small hobby breeders, dog pounds and animal shelters. All ongoing NIH-supported research in FY2014 involving dogs from any legal source may continue. FY 2015 noncompeting and competing awards issued on or after October 1, 2014 are prohibited from using NIH funds to procure or support the use of dogs from Class B dealers. Dogs used in NIH-supported research may only be from USDA Class A (purpose bred) dealers.
JAMA has posted a new report on medical communication companies (MCCs). The report found that “Medical communication companies receive substantial support from drug and device companies. Physicians who interact with MCCs should be aware that all require personal data from the physician and some share these data with unnamed third parties.” A related editorial appears in the same issue.
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs on Tuesday announced that it has awarded accreditation to five more organizations, including North Shore-LIJ Health System. AAHRPP also announced that its 2014 Annual Conference will be held in Salt Lake City on April 23-25, 2014.
A viewpoint in the new issue of JAMA is titled “Rethinking Reanalysis.” The authors define reanalysis as being when “a new team uses previously collected data to answer a question previously addressed by the same data. Reanalysis is different from replication, in which new data are used to answer an old question, and from supplemental research, in which previously collected data are used to answer a new but related question.” The authors propose a set of core principles of study reanalysis.
An editorial in last weekend’s Salt Lake City Tribune discussed efforts by the University of Utah Health System to identify its true costs.
Dr. Rainu Kaushal has been named chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research at Weill Cornell Medical College and physician-in-chief of healthcare policy and research at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Formerly known as the Department of Public Health, the refocused Department of Healthcare Policy and Research “will analyze health care delivery and find innovative ways to optimize the value and quality of health care for patients in New York and across the country.” Dr. Kaushal is currently executive director of the Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy and chief of the Division of Quality and Medical Informatics in the Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Alice Bell, a research fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, published an interesting essay in The Guardian, titled, “Beyond Open Access: Understanding Science’s Closures.” She wrote, “Rather than simply demanding more open science, we should remember closure is a quite normal part of science, and instead look in detail at what’s closing, when, why and to whom?”
The Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women is now accepting applications for its 2014-2015 class through an online application process. Established in 1995, ELAM offers an intensive one-year program of leadership training with extensive coaching, networking and mentoring opportunities aimed at expanding the national pool of qualified women candidates for leadership in academic medicine, dentistry and public health. Applications are due by January 16, 2014.
The January 16 application deadline for the 2014-15 Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering program (ELATE at Drexel) is rapidly approaching. The program, launched in 2012, is an excellent opportunity to enhance the professional skills of woman leaders in the STEM fields.
Applications for the new AAMC Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Certificate Program are being accepted through Jan. 13, 2014. Designed for early to mid-career faculty, this two-year, cohort-based program provides a firm foundation in leadership best practices and recognized theoretical models that are key to advancing as an educational leader within academic medicine.
Gustavo Heudebert, M.D., has been appointed the Designated Institutional Official at the University of Alabama, giving him authority over, and responsibility for, the 80 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited residency programs at UAB Hospital and UAB’s residency programs in Huntsville, Montgomery and Selma. Dr. Heudebert is assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education and a professor in the UAV Departments of Medicine and Medical Education.
Janet D. Rowley, MD, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, died from complications of ovarian cancer on December, 17, 2013, at her home. She was 88. Dr. Rowley, a pioneer in connecting the development of cancer with genetic abnormalities, was the recipient of the Lasker Award, the National Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dr. James S. Goodwin, the George and Cynthia Mitchell Distinguished Chair in Geriatric Medicine at UTMB, has been appointed vice president and chief research officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Dr. Alex Dehgan, science and technology adviser to the Administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development and as head of USAID’s Office of Science and Technology, has stepped down.
The Van Andel Institute has named Dr. Peter A. Jones, as director of research and chief scientific officer. Dr. Jones, a University of Southern California professor, will succeed Jeffrey Trent and George Vande Woude when he joins VAI on Feb. 17. Dr. Jones joined the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine at USC in 1977 and was director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center from 1993 to 2011. Located in Grand Rapids and founded by Jay and Betty Van Andel, the Institute’s goal “is to have an impact world-wide on medical science and education.” The Institute supports the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and the Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI). Mr. Van Andel was a co-founder of Amway.
The Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) has announced the appointment of Wendy A. Naus as the next COSSA Executive Director. Ms. Naus will assume her position on January 1, 2014, succeeding Howard J. Silver, who will retire from COSSA at the end of the year after 30 years of service to the social science community. Ms. Naus joins COSSA from Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a lobbying and public affairs firm.
And finally…The annual Christmas issue of BMJ has been posted. The issue features, among other stories, a systematically assessment of “whether it is better to be right than happy;” a study on “the pros and cons of celebrity health advice;” and a study on whether sporting success affects birth rates. The issue also contains a study of “virgin births.”
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