What’s on my mind this month is all we have to look forward to—from our capital projects, to our research program goals, to our new education initiatives—in the calendar year ahead. As I contemplate my personal goals for 2013, I also reflect on the priorities for the School of Medicine. I see us achieving key milestones in a number of areas.
What’s on my mind this month is how heavily Maryland, with its high concentration of bioscience and federal employees, relies on federal research and development funding. As I contemplated what to share in this issue of SOMnews — recognizing that this would go to press before the White House and Congress had, hopefully, reached an agreement on a budget — I was struck by the potentially ominous consequences of the impending fiscal cliff for the State of Maryland. If the “sequestration” clause of the Budget Control Act of 2011 was allowed to kick in, it would trigger an approximately eight percent across-the-board cut in federal discretionary spending. Although all states would be negatively impacted, perhaps no state in the U.S. would be more adversely affected than Maryland.
What’s on my mind this month is the need for enhanced federally-funded clinical research. We are currently witnessing an evolution in medical and scientific research at the national level. There are vast increases in biological data from the human genome project. Advanced technologies are being used for molecular discovery. There are developments in more personalized approaches to care. As part of this transformation, we are seeing a growing emphasis and embrace of both clinical and translational research by federal and state funding agencies. One needs to look no further than www.clinicaltrials.gov and the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH as evidence of the scope and magnitude of federally-funded clinical trial research.
What’s on my mind this month is the health status of citizens in our state and how we are taking a lead role in introducing initiatives to help improve the health and well-being of the people of Maryland.
As Marylanders, we have an interesting paradox. On one hand, our state is among the nation’s leaders in several important measures. Maryland has the fourth-highest per capita income in the U.S. We rank third in the nation in median household income. Maryland is home to the world’s premiere biomedical research institute, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, as well as some of the nation’s top hospitals and two top-tier medical schools.
"Forging Ahead: Defining New Pathways in Challenging Times" was the theme for the 2012 State of the School Address, delivered by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland and the John Z. and…
What’s on my mind this month is our partnerships with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System—and how these partnerships reflect the full alignment of our academic health center (AHC). From the School of Medicine (SOM), to Faculty Physicians Inc. (FPI), to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) and the Baltimore VA Medical Center, we are working together better than ever.
What’s on my mind this month is the School of Medicine’s Class of 2012 and their extraordinary achievements, which we celebrated last month in a wonderful convocation ceremony at the Baltimore Hilton. One-hundred fifty-two students took the solemn Oath of Hippocrates, signifying their commitment to the ancient tradition of healing, and pledging to serve humanity. This oath has stood the test of time, and represents the gold standard of moral and ethical behavior to which all physicians are bound.
What’s on my mind this month is our unwavering commitment to cancer care and our dedication to expand fundamental research that will drive the discovery of future treatments and cures. Our comprehensive cancer program is world-class, recognized for its scientific excellence and outstanding patient care. We have some of the best scientific minds working to unravel the mysteries of cancer, and we continue to recruit the best and brightest faculty in order to have the greatest possible impact. It is important that we continue to invest heavily in cancer care and research because the return on investment (ROI) is so extraordinary.
What’s on my mind this month are our youngest and most vulnerable patients, their families, and the extraordinary care they receive at the University of Maryland. Our new fetal medicine and pediatrics programs are tackling the most complex conditions, and providing families with hope where there was little chance for survival only a generation ago. Our very accomplished faculty places us at the very forefront of women and children’s care. These programs were featured in a remarkable video by Medschool Maryland Productions, which was shown at the 2012 Fund for Medicine Gala: Building Beyond Tomorrow.
What’s on my mind this month is a series of bold innovative initiatives that have been proposed to reduce and eliminate health disparities in Maryland. The recommendations come from a 13-member Health Disparities Workgroup that I chaired at the request of Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. The workgroup is a diverse panel of experts in health disparities, physicians and scientists, and leaders in public health, government and business.