State of the Department, 2021

The following is an abridged and edited transcript of yesterday’s State of the Department address. To view the entire presentation, click here (hawkid login required).

Thank you to those of you who braved the pandemic to come and sit in the auditorium as well as those of you who are joining online. So it’s a real privilege and honor for me to give my sixth State of the Department address. And I guess my final State of the Department address here in my role here at the University of Iowa. And what I’m going to cover today in my talk are these topics; I’m going to give some thoughts I’ve been thinking recently about what leadership in academic medicine I think will look like in the future. And then we’ll go through many of the aspects of our work and successes over the past year. And then I’ll also reflect on some things over the prior six years. So I believe that our department should continue to aspire towards remaining a leader in academic medicine.

And this is important because I think if you look at the trends that are happening nationally, there is more and more pressure on academic medical centers to look less like AMCs. And so I want to share some thoughts and perspectives with regards to what does leadership in academic medicine look like in the 21st century. And so I’ve put on some attributes of leading academic departments of medicine. I think we will, and always should remain, hubs of innovation across all missions, including engagement with the communities that we serve. We are the ones who will continue to discover and implement novel and cutting-edge therapies. We really should be at the vanguard of quality and value in terms of the care that we deliver. And ultimately, and I think you all know this, but we will and should remain the trusted providers across the entire continuum of care from general care to the most highly subspecialized and the most highly sophisticated care.

We must never lose our values. And so integrity and respect for all, I think, needs to remain a core value of leading academic departments medicine. Of course, this has to be underpinned by a strong respect for diversity, equity and inclusion, and a very strong commitment to serving everyone in our communities, irrespective of their background or their means. We’re also a training hub. I mean, we really hold the future of medicine. And so we really are tasked with equipping physicians and medical students for the 21st century at a time when there’s an explosion of information and data, but really one that is driven always by rigor, always by the best evidence, but importantly clothed in empathy. I think we lose our souls when what we do becomes a commodity. And so I think it’s very important that we really imbue those qualities in those that we are training and that we should mirror those in the examples that we lead.

So the next couple of slides, I’ve kind of created a dashboard that I’m going to challenge us to use as a template for your future as a department. And at the end of the talk, Lori is going to send you a quick Qualtrics survey with these eight bullets for you to actually rate where you think we stand. And then I will actually blog about that tomorrow. So please respond to the survey this afternoon when you get it. But I think that the areas that we should focus on would include the people: is every member of our team achieving their full potential in their mission of choice or their appointed mission? Secondly, pipeline: are we identifying recruiting, retaining and mentoring those individuals foremost, likely to succeed in each mission? Diversity: does the team reflect the communities that we serve and are the goals of our department aligned with maximizing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. I put physician scientists here, because I believe that, and I identify as one, that we are at risk as healthcare systems become increasingly focused on clinical margins, and that there really is a pressure to do away with the individuals who are at the forefront of science and discovery.

And then we need to also remain a hub of collaboration, because as health systems expand and become more fragmented, oftentimes there’s a risk that they can become more siloed. So across all missions, as a clinical mission continues on the path of growth, which is essential for our survival. I think that successful departments must ensure that all the missions are valued, mentored, and supported, that avenues of collaboration across all missions are optimized.

There are four more bullets here. I think strong academic departments of medicine will identify and prioritize and develop research areas of excellence. It’s impossible to be excellent in everything, and therefore important that a strategic approach is undertaken to leverage departmental strength while aligning, of course, with the most promising areas of extramural funding, and of course, determining discrete new areas for future investment. We need to remain innovators in education. And so, you know, is the department a leader in leveraging opportunities for interdisciplinary education, skills development, and clinical skills to produce innovative leaders of the future who are in demand by any health system in the country? And with regards to clinical excellence, we should be, or a leading academic department medicine should be, the defining attribute of what we do clinically, not only in terms of outcomes, but in terms of efficiency, quality, and patient satisfaction.

We will have to grow, because if we don’t grow, others will grow around us. And so in order for us to sustain the breadth of our missions, we always have to have in the front of our minds, what are the opportunities for us to extend the reach of what we do? And finally what is our community impact? I think that academic departments of medicine can’t be ivory towers with regards to their communities. And so it’s critical that we focus on maintaining close partnership with the communities that we serve so that we make a credible impact in the community, particularly as it relates to health disparities, which I think really became very blatantly obvious throughout the course of this pandemic. And if we do that, then I think academic departments of medicine will have strong support from the community. I think that will be essential or long-term survival. So as I go through the state of the department this afternoon, I want you to kind of look at what I’m going to share with you through the lens of those metrics, which I put up on the earlier side, and I I’ll put it back at the end just to kind of refresh your memory before you get the survey.

So the department has a number clinical goals and I have just framed these goals, which you have all developed, again, through the lens of some of those rubrics, which I summarized earlier in terms of clinical excellence, clinical growth, community impact, people, and pipeline. And we want to continue to see more patients because we know that there’s a demand for new patients. In order for us to do that, there are really relatively few things that we can do. We can recruit more faculty, but we can also be more efficient in how we see these patients. And so a focus on ensuring that our templates are optimized and that we have flexibility within our templates to accommodate these patients remains very important moving forward. And we have to think outside the box and think of other ways that we can leverage our skills and expertise.

And I think that e-consults and telemedicine remain an important future opportunity in many, but not necessarily all, sub-specialties. You’re going to hear more about this from my successor, because I was in a finance committee meeting yesterday, and I heard about it. There’s going to be a big focus on coding and documentation to optimize how much we can squeeze out of the bill. And then of course, you know, we always want to ensure that our patients are happy coming here and would recommend others to come here as well. We need to increase our ambulatory footprint and the space, because that is where the growth is. There is an awareness at the health system level that this is important as part of the capital 10-year strategic plan, that there would be a new ambulatory tower, in addition to a new inpatient tower, in addition to a new research tower.

We just want to make sure that that focus remains. And then of course as many of you know, we have been having ongoing discussions as to how do we grow beyond Johnson County and beyond Linn County to really more of an Eastern Iowa strategy. And I think that this is something that we need to keep our eyes on because many, many colleagues in outlying areas in Eastern Iowa are retiring, closing their practices. Many of the hospitals are having challenges. And so I think there’s a real opportunity for us to put the UI excellence and brand beyond the main counties that we serve. And, you know, I think there’s going to be an area of strategic focus moving forward. And every division will have specific goals, which I won’t go through.

There are clearly going to be challenges and ongoing challenges. I think a big challenge that’s going to be ongoing is we have to finish the planning for the new compensation plan. It’s working, I mean, I’ll explain another way. A lot of work has gone into it up until this point. A lot of work remains to go into it. We think that there’s some issues that we want to address and focus on, or for example, benchmarking many of our academic peers, even within the region because of market pressures are no longer looking at AAMC benchmarks for clinical compensation and really to blend their benchmarks between AAMC and MGMA, which is sort of the private practice benchmark. And we are beginning and will continue to advocate for that as part of our comp, because otherwise, the comp doesn’t work if the rate is wrong.

So if the rate is pegged to AAMC, which lags by two years, when our peers are already blending, then we need to actually ensure that the rate is reflecting what we need to pay in order to both recruit and retain faculty at competitive levels of compensation. There are clearly ongoing, both internal and external, barriers to achieving these goals. You all know about that. You all know about the space challenges in the ambulatory facilities here. We know about the challenges with staffing. We know that a lot of people who are the critical support staff for what we do are leaving the healthcare sector. This is a consequence of burnout during the pandemic. And so I think that there needs to be creativity in terms of how we do that. Do we always need to have a certain type of person in a certain type of job in order to enable that we can continue to operate our clinics efficiently?

We know that infrastructure here is old. I can share with you that the health system is also aware of that, and they are going to be presenting to the Board of Regents in January their 10-year capital plan, which will include significant refreshing of the infrastructure within UIHC. And then of course, finally, as we expand, there has been a conversation about faculty expectations, particularly those faculty who are going to be expanding into the community and how they interact with the more traditional academic faculty.

What I can share with you, moving to another place shortly is that UCLA has recognized this and that if you look at the org chart of their department of medicine, there are really two groups, there is a clinical group that it’s in the community, but they are faculty. And then there’s an academic group that’s sort of, you know, at the university, but there’s interaction across both groups because there’s a recognition that this is essentially what you need to do in a growing academic health system in order to remain competitive and to survive the future.

Let me go to research. And again, this has been an area of, I think, tremendous pride in the department. So let’s go to the bottom line in blue. You can again see what has happened for total research funding from FY16 to FY21. And you can see that we have really grown by almost $25 million over that period of time. Some interesting things to kind of point out in terms of, you know, where that growth has been.

It’s been broad based across many divisions, but I want to kind of call out Hem-Onc that has really had almost a doubling of their research portfolio from FY16 to FY21. But again, I want to celebrate and to congratulate really all the faculty across multiple divisions who have driven this growth in research funding. The next slide breaks it down in a little bit more detail, next few slides. So this is just looking at the number of awards year over year. You can see that a lot of the awards that come to the department are non-federal, and I’ll show you a table later on to actually show you how substantial that is. And if you look at this again, looking over the years, so in yellow, our federal awards, so that will count NIH grants VA grants, DOD grants, HRSA grants, for example, and then everything else as non-federal is in gray.

So you can see we’re almost 50, 50 federal and non-federal. But again, the message here is that over the course of this time, there has been growth. Now it’s broken out a bit further in this slide where the green is NIH, or federal, taking the VA out. The VA is in yellow. And again, you can see that there has been a significant increase in clinical trials revenue to compare, for example, that’s in the blue from FY16, which was $18 million to FY21, which is almost $35 million.

With regards to the NIH, so the thing that everybody looks at, which hasn’t come out for this year yet is this thing called the Blue Ridge rankings. And you may recall that last year, you know, we celebrated an additional 10% increase in our NIH portfolio in federal FY20 relative to federal FY19, but our rank remained the same. And that occurred because our peers were kind of moving up a little bit more than we were moving. So, you know, we’ve optimistically projected we stay the same, because essentially we’re more or less going to tread water over the last fiscal year in terms of the NIH portfolio.

I don’t know what that’s going to mean for rankings because it really will depend on what peers do. If they move ahead, then we will fall. If others fall more than we kind of tread water, we might stay the same. We might even go up. But I think the point I want to make here is that, and I’ll talk about this a little bit later on, to grow there has to be a strong commitment, not only by us, cause I know that everybody in this department is very committed to the academic mission, but there hasn’t been an institutional commitment to support the department in ways that will actually enable us to grow by both recruiting talented faculty, as well as ensuring that we have a pipeline that’s robust to then grow our own successful investigators over time.

And I think I showed an example before of how we have done that, so this is just a graph of what I just showed you on the prior slide that we have seen growth in our NIH portfolio. We haven’t really seen a growth in our rankings. Again, that’s in part because others are growing at rates that might exceed the rates at which we are growing.

We published well over I think 1200 publications in the department over the last year. And you can see we published in just amazing journals. The next graph kind of does it by impact factor. So impact factors five and above represent at least 50% of the publications. The unknowns are just because there are some new journals which are going to probably be good journals with good impact factors that just take three years before they actually get into that impact factor range, like, you know, Nature and Metabolism, for example, which is a good journal that just doesn’t have an impact factor yet. I publish there so I’m like talking it up, but having said that, so don’t view this unknown as necessarily a negative thing, but I think the point being though that, you know, we are publishing well and publishing in very good places.

So what are the goals then for research, again, through those domains of people, pipeline, physician scientists, and research areas of excellence? So I think that tenure track recruitment is critical. We have to bring people onto the tenure track, if we are going to grow the research establishment. We have to mentor our current trainees so that they can then get their career development awards to then enter that pipeline to then be competitive for R01s. And we really have to even start earlier in terms of physician scientists.

And I want to give a shout out to Dave Stoltz, who is the co-PI of the R38 StARR program, which actually allows internal medicine residents and pediatric residents to take a year or two, but at least a year from their residency supported by this grant. So their salaries will, should be supported, you know, by the grant, but they would actually have time to actually begin to develop a research interest that can then form the basis of their long term career. And then I think as I pointed out earlier that, you know, a lot of our growth has been in clinical research and clinical trials. And so there has to be a focus on ensuring that the clinical trials infrastructure enables us to continue to sustain and to continue to maintain that growth trajectory.

There are challenges. I just put three here. I think the big awards to institutions that sort of rise up rapidly in the ranks are big team science kinds of grants. And so we really need to focus on that. I think historically in Iowa, we’ve been very good at getting individual R01s, but those are budget limited. And really, you know, the big prizes now are these big team consortium grants. And I think it’s important that there’s a focus on that. Infrastructure is a problem, as I said, there’s at least a strategic plan for the next 10 years here that has a new research tower. So I think it’s being addressed, but it may take some time for that to be ultimately realized. But the point I want to make here for all those who are listening, is that any vision, particularly a bold vision, to significantly increase our ranking will require significant levels of investment by the health system and the college of medicine in our department.

Let’s go to education. So these are the happy people. When we did the survey of general happiness in life, the happiest group were the education group. They were like really sort of, you know, 95th percentile. And I think there’s a reason for that. Our educational mission is really second to none. And that’s because of the tremendous leaders. There is a broader group of leaders in our education mission, as you can see here, again, under the amazing leadership of Dr. Suneja, But they’re really a team, our APDs, our chief residents are really incredible.

Of our four chief residents, of the three who are going into subspecialties, all three are staying here, all three are going into Pulmonary. And so I know that they’re already kind of fighting it out who’s going to be the chief Pulmonary fellow, but I will stand on the sidelines and watch to see who wins that arm wrestling. But we’re incredibly proud that our chief residents have chosen to stay here for their training.

I want to also underscore some innovations in our team. So, many of you are not aware that an app has been developed here in Iowa called qUIckcoach, which actually allows trainees and learners to interact with each other contemporaneously so that the feedback loop can be shortened. And so then progress can grow. So, many of you already have this on your phones, many of you are already using it, and I’ve already told Manish, that the way that we will kind of, you know, dig out of our kind of fiscal hole in order to then have enough resources to invest in all the other missions, is to monetize this, and you put it on the app store and although they give it out for free here at Iowa. Top dollar, everybody else.

The other innovation I want to point out is that, you know, we are right now in the middle of recruiting and it’s really inspiring just, you know, meeting the individuals who are choosing to come here to Iowa to train. But we don’t take anything for granted when they come here. We want to ensure that everybody is level set and that we want to be sure that we know what everybody’s skill is so that we can ensure that the training recognizes any potential deficiencies that we can address very quickly and very efficiently. And this has been open published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education. And I think it’s going to become the standard across the country in terms of onboarding of house staff. And again, I want to give you know a shout out to Jane Rowat of course, Manish, and, you know, Sheena CarlLee, who was a former chief resident who’s now a program director, at I think Arkansas to really have shepherded this innovation in education.

Our trainees publish. And I want to put this slide in, cause I wanted to really recognize those of our residents who actually published peer reviewed manuscripts over the last year. A couple published two, at least everybody’s published one, and then the fellows also published. And so I want to put this up as well. So you can see the faces of the fellows who actually published peer reviewed manuscripts over the last year. I don’t know what Doosup is doing. I mean, you know, he published like eight.

So, you know, he set the high watermark, but again, you know, the point being that we really encourage and support and ultimately expect scholarship of our trainees. And I think that then becomes a big draw to the quality of trainees who will choose to come here for their training. So the education goals really are to continue to maintain our national reputation, to continue to increase training diversity, to develop leaders in education. And of course to always be, you know, laser focused on the pipeline, because this our future. And I think the statistics speak for themselves that 50% of our residents choose to stay here for their fellowships. So that says that they probably can also choose to stay here as faculty, and therefore, as we recruit trainees here, we need to focus on them as the future of our department.

So here’s the future. This is the 2021-22 incoming class of house staff, an amazing group of individuals. And, you know, when I look at these faces, I feel that the future of internal medicine is bright. We recruit nationally coast to coast, north to south. And so we have tremendous diversity in the draw from where we pull applicants into a program that I would say that, you know, the east coast and the west coast, they actually recruit narrowly. They kind of recruit from each other’s coasts and, and a few pickings from the middle. But we recruit very, very broad. And I think that this speaks, you know, very highly of both the quality of what we have to offer and our ability to recruit very, very well.

Our residents also have done very well in terms of where they go for a fellowship. So you can see that we have populated the Midwest and someplace on the east coast, we’re gradually kind of heading out west in terms of where our residents are going for their fellowship training. Here is a result of the most recent fellowship match, 50%, as I said before, of our residents are staying here at the University of Iowa to train, and then it looks like we kind of have a Wash U thing going where, you know, that’s like three people that are going down to Wash U and a few going elsewhere. So this is again, you know, speaks volumes and everybody here are just amazing house staff. And so I think that those fellowships here that match these individuals with their programs are just going to have a wonderful time with them as members of their fellowship cohort over the next few years.

I also want to recognize and celebrate those incoming fellows for who match here at the University of Iowa this year. And again, a very accomplished and talented class from across the country, and all of our programs except for nephology, which is in a national crisis in terms of interest in the field, filled. But I know that Chou-Long, is going to identify people to come here to train in nephology and I know you’re working it very hard right now, so I think we’ll, be okay and with all of our fellowship programs filled.

So I put a slide up just to just remind all of us of kind of our size and scope. We’re a large department, the largest department on campus. We have significant numbers of trainees, significant numbers of faculty.

I want to talk a little bit about the issue of recruitment. So these are the new faculty who have joined our department over the last year. And you can see that the majority of recruits are on the clinical track. However, you know, I’m really proud of the fact that we were able to recruit six faculty on the tenure track. Let me speak about the five who were new, newly appointed tenure track assistant professors, all of those five individuals trained here. They came here as postdocs, did well, got independent NIH funding, got R01s, and got recruited. So I think that there is a pattern that we should just note here and really pay attention to those that we’re training in our research groups and in our labs with a view to ensuring that we can recruit and retain them here because many of these individuals had offers and opportunities to go elsewhere as well.

This is a slide showing that the department has grown, although the growth kind of slowed a little bit in the pandemic year. This is just a net gain in faculty over the period of time.

This is always a tough slide to be on because this has been a challenging year for us as a department to have lost many members of our family, some too soon, others who have had long and distinguished careers, but I just wanted just have a brief moment of silence as we just reflect on the life and legacy of Dale, Richard DeGowin, Elizabeth Kuo, James Martins, and Phil Schmid, who passed away just a couple days ago.

I want to acknowledge the leaders within the department. Again, people across the country, look at our department and see many things at they admire. And really, it really is a reflection of the stellar team of vice chairs that work great together in a very collaborative way to advance all of the missions of the department. Also on the steady hand and guidance of our fearless administrator, Denise Zang. And division directors clearly are another important pillar of leadership within our department. And it gives me great pleasure to airbrush out Joe Zabner and welcome – no Joe, if you’re watching, you know, I’m just teasing you, right? But it’s a pleasure to also acknowledge our newest division chief, David Stoltz, who is going to be leading the pulmonary division.

We have a very strong relationship with the VA. And I just wanted to summarize that the VA is an integral part of our mission and our department, and I’m very grateful for the collaborations with the VA. You can see the numbers, the statistics there, in terms of the number of physicians that are supported, the number of dollars that come across to support the missions, the number of trainees that are supported, and the really nationally recognized quality scholars program. That’s a competitive program that we have renewed that really has been a very important pipeline for junior faculty into many divisions within our department. And then a quick shout out to Jack Stapleton, who was the inaugural winner of the DiBona Award for a faculty who made significant contributions to our department, but at the VA.

This is just a slide summarizing both the section heads, as well as the senior leadership within the VA. So I’m going to shout out to Brad and Dan who I have worked very closely with over the years, and airbrushing out Steve McGowan to welcome Lakshmi, who is now taking over the Pulmonary section at the VA.

And the number of notable achievements at the VA, in terms of national recognition. So the hospitalists really set a very high bar in terms of hospital readmissions that was nationally recognized. Our telehospitalists got a grant from VISN23, telenephrology was also recognized by a VA-wide award, our chief residents and the quality program is nationally recognized. As I mentioned before, our quality scholars program. And very recently, we had a new award for a health services research fellowship, which I think will very nicely complement the quality scholars program. So yet again, yet another pipeline mechanism to take talented individuals and give them the training to then ensure that they have the skills to succeed as they remain here on the faculty.

There were a lot of things to celebrate as a department. We had four people promoted up to full professor, this last year. They’re shown here, Drs Dillon, Dowden, Ince, and Liu. I’m not going to read everybody’s name, but we had a number of people who also were promoted to associate professor this year as shown on this slide. A lot of the faculty members really were distinguished in multiple areas of leadership. I’ll just leave this here for a second. I’m not going to read every single one, and this is not necessarily totally exhaustive, but really just to celebrate that we are leaders here in the department of medicine on the national scale.

I do want to sit on this side just a little bit because when we talk about leadership, I think it’s important to recognize the long legacy in medicine of really excluding certain classes of people. And for many decades, medicine was the domain of white men in the United States. And if you now look at the trends in terms of medical school admissions, it’s actually more women going into medicine now than men, but there’s the lag in terms of women coming into leadership within the structure of organized medicine and every woman on this slide has a leadership role either in the department or in the college or in the health system. I think it’s very important that we, as a department, honor and recognize the women who are leading in this department more on that to follow in a few moments.

We are also leaders clinically. This year, we kind of swept many of the clinical awards that the UIP gives out annually. Andy Bryant, Caryn Berkowitz, Kevin Doerschug, and Dilek Ince receiving awards for service excellence, quality, excellence in the workplace, as well as the best consulting provider.

This is again, a strong year for extramural grants. This just a list in alphabetical order of PIs and the NIH awards that they received in the first year. So this is this first year direct amounts. And you can see that there’s really a broad swath of achievement in terms of NIH funding. And this one is hard to read, but it’s hard because there’s so much on it. And so these are the non-federal, the clinical trials awards that we received last year, and I had to that break it down into like, you know, more than a million, 500,000 to a million and so on, and this is one year costs, right?

As a department, we have been very active and successful in garnering clinical trial grants. And I’m quite convinced that we are really going to see ongoing growth in that arena. I want to recognize all of these individuals who successfully brought these awards to the university.

So the next few slide, I want to summarize at a very high level various notable achievements. And again, I’m not going to read through everything, I going to leave it there. So you can just kind of, you know, bask in the fact that we could have probably a lot more slides on this one slide, but then you couldn’t read it. So we just took a sampling of individuals who really had notable research achievements during the course of the past year, whether in terms of discoveries or in terms of grants or in terms of national recognition.

Similarly, in terms of clinical care, again, following the same format, this slide has really a few examples of individuals whose activity was particularly noteworthy over the course of the year. And all of these have been either written about, posted on, blogged on, or something like that over the course of the year. So once again, just to highlight and to recognize that we are leaders and innovators in clinical care. As I alluded to before with regards to education, again many kudos summarize here on, on this slide in term of achievements in our training and, and education. Again, I won’t read through everything. I leave it there for a second for you to, to take a look at that.

We recruited significant numbers of faculty. This is the entire class of new faculty who joined our department this year, quick breakdown by division. So we welcomed five new faculty into cardiology or cardiovascular medicine, three new faculty into endocrinology as shown here, three into GI as shown here, too many to count in general medicine as shown here, seven new faculty joined the Hem-Onc division this year, one new faculty member joined in immunology, two in infectious diseases, one in nephrology.

All right. Let me talk briefly about a focus on diversity. I think it’s important that as we work towards being a more diverse department, we actually have to look and see how are we doing in with regards to diversity? So this is across all, all ranks and you can see that we are, you know, trying to address this at the front of the pipeline, but you can see that there is obvious work that still remains to be done to diversify departments in the higher ranks. So that will change soon because your diverse chair is not, not going to be your chair much longer, but there’s more diversity to that, because now this is a gender diversity slide. And so the chair will be a woman. And so we at least are making progress in that regard, in terms of diversity in the leadership of our department.

It is important to recognize that many of the missions that we undertake as a department require support from the community. And so I wanted just to underscore that we received almost 11 million in philanthropic gifts over the course of the past year, and I want to give a shout to members of the foundation who work very closely with us in the department to work with donors across the spectrum. But lastly, grateful patients who really want to give something back to the missions in our department.

I think we are leaders in communication and you know, I had to do this. So, so this is Suneja’s debut on TikTok. And you know, it’s gone viral many times, many times, many times over, but we are, you know, national leaders in our strategy of communication, actually. I’ve been to quite a few places and nobody has it down like we do. So I want to give a shout out to Trevor, but also to realize that is a tremendous talent pool in our department.

So, I want to give a shout to the Design Center because you don’t actually realize that just down the hall here. You know, there are like three doors and those individuals behind those doors are supporting tremendous need within not only the department, but within the college and the university at large. And this slide just really summarizes all of the areas which they have actively supported. And so I, I view the Design Center as a tremendous departmental resource.

So again, I alluded to the fact that strong academic departments of medicine need to remain engaged with the communities that we serve. And this side really just, again, I want to, just to reemphasize that. And so, you know, as I said before, this is my last state of department. And so I was just reflecting back on, you know, six years of this amazing achievements across multiple missions. So this is in research. This last slide says ROI to R01, and there’s one person is missing. So Alejandro Pezzulo should be on here too, but I put the slide here to submit the point that these are individuals who for the most part were grown here and now have established, successful independent research programs and research programs that are national recognized here within the six year period that I was privileged to serve you.

Similarly, really, many clinical innovations have also taken place. And I just, just kind have these just kind of flashing up one after the other. There are really too many, but just really just to impress on you, the extent to which our faculty have really excelled across multiple clinical missions. And similarly you know, multiple examples of the way in which we have excelled in education over this period of time. And also multiple ways in which we have really served our community as a department.

I’m going to, again, put up the dashboard as there’s going to be survey, going to email out to you. So as you look at our department in the domain of people, are the members of our department, the people of our department achieving their full potential in their mission of choice or appointment? The email will have a little scale, zero to one is red, two to three is yellow, four to five is green. So that’s, that’s the scale. And then you can just check the boxes on these domains

But the questions on the people, on the pipeline are we identifying recruiting, retaining and advancing the individuals who most succeeded in each mission? Does our team reflect the communities that we serve and are we maximizing diversity equity inclusion in the workplace? Are we building a bench of physician scientists and are we a collaborative community? So please respond to the survey when it comes in a few minutes. Because I want to find out what you all think about your department and similarly, are we developing research areas of excellence? Are we innovating in education? Are we innovating and really driving clinical excellence? And do we have a strategy of clinical growth that will secure our future and now we having the impact on the community. So those are the questions that that will be on the survey that will come out to you at the end of my talk.

So then I want to make a couple acknowledgements. I’ve been here for almost nine years and obviously the department is a partnership with our senior leaders. So I want to acknowledge them and their contributions to our mission on this slide. I want to acknowledge our division administrators who work tirelessly behind the scenes to really support all the missions of our department. I don’t enjoy airbrushing Pat Hession out, but Pat just recently retired and was succeeded by Ann Tvedte. Who is now the new administrator in Hem-Onc.

I also want to credit a number of people who supplied data and graphics and TikTok videos and the like for this presentation. So I want to acknowledge Denise, Trevor, Ann, Lori, Jackie, Amy, Cory. And then Tom Callahan did not want his photograph taken. I’m going to get back at you, Tom, but just watch – we posed together for a photograph at my reception, so keep an eye out for where that might pop up at some point in the future. And then Girish, Teresa Ruggle, and Lori of course.

So with regards to the road ahead I had in my last post, I remain optimistic because of the team that my job and those of my predecessors, was to clear a path for you so that you could take care of everything else that makes us shine. And so even though this is my kind of my exit interview in a way, I think that there is an amazing team here that will continue to ensure that the future of our department will remain bright.

And so with that, I really want to welcome our interim chair, Isabella Grumbach. Thank you, Isabella, for stepping into my small shoes, size 10. And really you know, I want to encourage all of us to give Isabella all the support that you can give her and all the support that she will need to continue the trajectory that we have done together over this last half a decade plus a year.

So it takes a village to have a strong department. And so in closing, I really want to, again, thank all of you for making the past six years, some of the best years of my life. Thank you.

About E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD

E. Dale Abel, MD PhD Francois M. Abboud Chair in Internal Medicine John B. Stokes III Chair in Diabetes Research Chair, Department of Internal Medicine Director, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center Director, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering

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