November 12, 2015
Many of our colleagues are at the AAMC national meeting this week. AAMC President and CEO Dr. Darrell Kirch and chair of the AAMC Board of Directors Dr. Peter Slavin both delivered addresses on inequality in health care. I encourage you to read their speeches, which are timely and important reminders of our institution’s larger scope in society. It is our obligation to not only provide for all but to provide the highest standard of care for all. As Dr. Slavin said, “The simple truth is that we cannot achieve quality without addressing inequality.”
These same themes were present during my first official meeting at LBJ General Hospital last week, attending the chiefs meeting. I have a strong personal commitment to and a love for public safety net hospitals. I am proud to have been a Grady doctor — serving as an attending physician in Grady’s NICU for over 20 years and overseeing the entire pediatric service during my years as Chair. As you may know, Grady is Atlanta’s historic public hospital, created in 1892 by Henry W. Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, who worried about the lack of quality health care for Atlanta’s poor. Grady has been the city’s safety net hospital since that time and has been an important site for training Emory and Morehouse School of Medicine students, residents, and fellows.
As I reflect on my new safety net hospital, LBJ, I am struck by the amazing leadership of Dr. Carmel Dyer and the hospital service chiefs. They are LBJ and UTHealth’s ambassadors for the underserved. LBJ is important to the Medical School because it is an outstanding site to teach our students medicine, but equally important, LBJ is a site to teach our students about health as a human right, health care disparities, the goal of health equity, and our responsibility to provide the highest quality care to the patients we serve. We have an obligation to serve all patients and address health disparities for our current and future patients.
A very special event this week was the annual Faculty Affairs’ dinner honoring 60 newly promoted and/or tenured faculty. Thanks to the hard work of Faye Viola, Dr. Kevin Morano, and their team, this was a lovely evening with warm camaraderie. Senior faculty and family members were there to celebrate this significant milestone. I particularly enjoyed the personal stories of promoted faculty speakers Dr. LaTanya Love (Pediatrics), Dr. Erin Furr Stimming (Neurology), Dr. Ambro van Hoof (Microbiology & Molecular Genetics), and Dr. George Williams (Anesthesiology).
I was delighted to attend the induction ceremony of the newest class of the Academy of Master Educators last week. These extraordinary faculty represent the leaders and mentors for our educational program, and I applaud their dedication and drive. Please congratulate the AME’s newest members, Dr. Anneliese Gonzalez (Internal Medicine), Dr. Manickam Kumaravel (Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging), Dr. Katherine Loveland (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences), Dr. Katherine Normand (Anesthesiology), Dr. Erin Furr Stimming (Neurology), Dr. Jennifer Swails (Internal Medicine), and Dr. Eugene Toy (Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences). Dr. George Stancel, executive vice president of academic and research affairs, delivered the keynote address on “Reflections,” a look at his career at UT, focusing on his early challenges. Dr. Patricia Butler, vice dean of educational programs, gave special recognition to former dean Dr. John Ribble for his many years of support of education.
I am sure you have heard about Chancellor Bill McRaven’s vision for the UT System, which includes an expansion of UT in Houston. He explained that this will be a decades-long process that will begin next year with a task force convened. We are proud to be a part of the UT System and welcome this growth of educational excellence in our community.
I was honored to be invited to join the Women Faculty Forum, which is supported through the Office of Faculty Affairs. The group has made significant strides since its inception in September. The kick-off event and faculty roundtable were very well attended and focused on networking, steps toward promotion, and work-life balance. Similar events are being planned for spring, including a high-profile lecture.
You may be aware that UTHealth is embarking on a momentous quest to double our endowments over the next year so that we may continue to revolutionize health care long into the future. The university will match 100 percent of all new major gifts of $50,000 to $1,000,000 as part of the Game Changers Initiative. Please contact Sandra Nauert, our new executive director of development for the Medical School, who can provide more details.
Enjoy today’s beautiful weather!