January 21, 2016
I am sending you greetings today from Washington, D.C., where I am in town for the AAMC’s Executive Development Seminar for Deans. Basically, it’s Dean 101. I am hoping to gain a wealth of information that will benefit us all.
Earlier this month I hosted my first Dean’s Lecture. Our speaker, Dr. Richard Sidman, Harvard University researcher and educator, spoke on “Small Peptide – Great Therapeutic Value.” The Cheves Smythe Distinguished Lecture will be March 30. Dr. Linda Fried, dean of the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, a nationally known expert on aging will speak on “The Science of Frailty.” I have heard Dr. Fried speak – we are in for a treat.
As a pediatrician and member of the Department of Pediatrics, I’ve been attending the Department’s faculty meetings and grand rounds. This month we heard from Dr. Jennifer Feldmann, assistant director for pediatric and adolescent medicine at Legacy Community Health, who gave a very thoughtful talk on gender non-conforming children—a complex topic. We are in the midst of a severe respiratory virus season—Dr. James M. Stark gave a terrific grand rounds this week on RSV, the most common respiratory virus causing disease among young children.
I also attended my first Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy faculty meeting, where I learned more about the department, its superb scientists, and its important role in teaching our medical students.
I enjoyed some fun student activities over the past week. The medical school’s chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association sponsored a talent show and silent auction. Organized by students Christina Canzoneri and Anna Anderson, the event was judged by faculty members Diane Bick, Christi Blakkolb-Munz, Claire Hulsebosch, and Joanne Oakes. Michael Torano, MS1 was crowned Mr. Mangeant 2016; runners-up were Dylan Carroll, MS2, and Brady Goldberg, MS1. Proceeds from this fundraiser went to support the Houston Area Women’s Center. This past Friday, my husband and I attended the Class of 2019’s annual winter semi-formal. The elegant evening of music, dancing, roulette, and blackjack (not real money) benefitted Doctors without Borders and raised over $13,000.
I had the opportunity to meet with Ann Stern, president of the Houston Endowment, last week. Established in 1937 by Jesse and Mary Gibbs Jones with a goal of improving the lives of the people of Greater Houston through grants to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, the Houston Endowment has made a tremendous impact on our city.
Last week, I was honored to attend a very special celebration. Many of you will remember Dr. Marnie Rose, a remarkable young woman who graduated from our medical school. Dr. Rose was a first-year pediatric resident in our program when she was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. She bravely shared her story with the nation, appearing in Houston Medical, which aired on ABC in the summer of 2002. After her tragic death, the Rose family started the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation to raised money to fight cancer and to support children. The Rose family and the foundation recently established the Dr. Marnie Rose Professorship in Pediatric Neurosurgery. I am delighted that Dr. David Sandberg, a nationally known pediatric neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, is the inaugural Dr. Marnie Rose Professor. We are very grateful to the Rose family for their generosity and their vision.
Speaking of special celebrations, I want to invite the entire McGovern Medical School community for a New Year’s cookie reception, which will be held noon – 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27, in the Leather Lounge. This will be a great opportunity to share in some treats and conversation with your colleagues. I hope to see you there.
It’s very cold in Washington, with a major winter blizzard forecasted for this weekend. I look forward to coming home to the balmy winter weather of my newly adopted city.