February 09, 2017
It was great having the world shine its attention on Houston last week. I was proud to see my newly adopted city get such good national press. I received a number of emails and calls from friends from Atlanta who were here for the game—and were impressed by the city. Enough said. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
This past month we said farewell to some outstanding and longstanding employees of the medical school – thank you to Dr. Herbert Fred, Walter Humbird, Shirley Mayes, and Shari Galletti for their dedicated service. Goodbyes are always bittersweet. We wish them well as they move on to the next chapters of their lives.
I want to give a big THANK YOU to principal investigators Dr. David McPherson, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, and Dr. Daniel Karp, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, who with their co-PIs Dr. Robert Bast, of MD Anderson, and Dr. Jiajie Zhang, Dean of the School of Biomedical Informatics, put in untold hours preparing our NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award grant renewal – all 1,810 pages. Tremendous efforts by all of those involved, including component and special component directors Drs. McPherson, Zhang, Karp, Bast, Elmer Bernstam, Funda Meric-Bernstam, Belinda Reininger, Maria Fernandez, Eric Thomas, Loran McNeill, Janis Yadiny, Eduardo Salas, Sujatha Sridhar, Dianna Milewicz, Mohammad Rahbar, Donald Berry, Kim-An Do, Holly Holmes, Joseph McCormick, Jon Tyson, Miguel Escobar, John Foringer, Susan Fisher-Hoch, Ruby Benjamin-Garner, Eric Boerwinkle, Ponnada Narayana, Jennifer Sanner, Trey Miller, Michael Blackburn, Andrew Futreal, and Michelle Barton! Now fingers crossed.
I’m delighted to be a part of today’s Women in Leadership Seminar Series, introducing Dr. Vivian Pinn, former director of the NIH Office of Women’s Health Research, senior scientist emerita of the NIH’s Fogarty International Center, and a true pioneer in medicine. Julianne Cenac, director of Learning and Development, has done a great job organizing and running this series. I urge faculty and staff to attend one of these special events.
I always enjoy visiting our colleagues at LBJ General Hospital and learn from my visits. Julie Page, associate dean for clinical business affairs, and I try to attend the monthly service chief meetings. Dr. Carmel Dyer, professor of internal medicine and Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Chair in Gerontology, has served as associate dean for Harris County Programs and chief of staff at LBJ for the past four years. On behalf of the medical school, a big thanks to Dr. Dyer for a job well done. We wish her well as she now turns her attention to lead the Consortium on Aging as the Nancy P. and Vincent F. Guinee, M.D. Distinguished Chair. Thanks also to all of the chiefs, faculty, residents, and staff who are always there for our LBJ patients and for each other.
I have missed being an active clinician—so had a special treat this week when I spent time at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital rounding with Dr. Keely Smith, assistant professor of pediatrics. Dr. Smith has been a member of our faculty for the past 10 years. She is an outstanding clinician and teacher. We are delighted that she has taken on the role of overseeing our new pediatric hospitalist service.
I was honored to be asked to join the Board of the Houston Chapter of the March of Dimes. We already have great UT presence on the Board, with Dr. Jose Garcia, professor of Pediatrics, and Rose Hochner, vice president for marketing and communication and chief of staff to the president, serving on the board. I met this week with Darcie Wells, Greater Houston Market Leader of the Houston chapter, to learn more about the Houston initiatives and to thank her for our recent grant to Dr. Kuojen Tsao, associate professor of pediatric surgery. The annual March for Babies Walk is the biggest national fundraiser for MOD. We anticipate strong UT participation again this year.
The CDC is sponsoring the 6/18 Initiative to improve health and help control healthcare costs with a focus on six areas (reduce tobacco use; control blood pressure; prevent healthcare associated infections; control asthma; prevent unintended pregnancy; control and prevent diabetes) and 18 interventions (https://www.cdc.gov/sixeighteen/6 conditions). Our School of Public Health is hosting a listening session with CDC Feb 24 at the SPH. Clinicians are invited to be a part of this event. For more information and to register, please see the website.
To end on a sweet note, you are all invited to enjoy some sweet treats at our Valentine’s Day Social February 14 from 2:30-4:30 PM in the Leather Lounge at the medical school at in Rm 1D02 at LBJ. This is a thank you to all of you—my special Valentines!