GUMC Community Meeting, Monday, June 20, 2016

Posted in GUMC Stories

May 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

I remain energized by the engagement work we have been undertaking together since the fall, and the strong turnout at our April 4 Community Meeting. For those who were unable to attend, I provide the link to the site we have established that also will have the narrative and slides from my presentation for your reference.  I also want to invite you to stay engaged and plan to attend our next Community Meeting on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in the Research Building Auditorium, which will feature discussion of our priority areas of focus and long-term facilities planning process.

In the spirit of ongoing engagement, transparency, support and mutual accountability, I want to take this opportunity to update you on the status of some of the specific actions we discussed at the April 4 Community Meeting that will move us toward building strategic collaborations, enhancing performance and enriching our work environment:  

1.  Prioritize Medical Center areas of focus.  Through the work groups, five priority areas were identified for the Medical Center:  aging and age related diseases; brain and behavior; cancer; population health; and global health.   We will discuss this more at the Community Meeting in mid-June, and we will begin a series of organized interactive small group meetings to further discuss your ideas and views about establishing these areas.

2. Review Medical Center Organizational Structure.  Multiple work groups identified the need to consider the optimal organizational structure for the Medical Center. Later this month, I will appoint a committee comprised of faculty and staff to work with me to review the current structure as well as alternative models, and then make recommendations about the most appropriate configuration to position the Medical Center for continued future success.   This committee will seek periodic input to ensure that many perspectives are included in the work.

3.  Expand health professions education.  The market demands and education requirements for the breadth of health professions is increasing. We anticipate launching a structured planning process in July.  To provide initial guidance for that process, we will be eliciting the views of faculty, Medical Center and University leadership over the next several weeks.

4.  New Joint Research Development Position.  On April 11, we announced the appointment of Sandy Swain to the new jointly managed position of Associate Dean for Research Development. Sandy will begin her new role on July 1 and will report to me and to Steve Evans (Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, MedStar Health). She also will work closely with Bob Clarke and Neil Weissman (President of Medstar Health Research Institute), and together we have started discussions about the initial research development goals. We also will be scheduling a series of planning and “get acquainted” meetings across the Medical Center for Sandy over the next several weeks.  

5.  Create a consolidated research support structure.  Building stronger support for and linkages between GUMC and MedStar is important to advance our research agenda. Together with MedStar leadership, we will review organizational models for a joint support structure for clinical-translational research.  We also will provide an opportunity to discuss these alternative models with the community.  At the conclusion of this process, we will make a recommendation to the University and MedStar senior leadership about the most effective model for a possible combined structure.  

6.  Review Centers and Institutes.   Centers and Institutes have become an increasingly important organizational framework for our interdisciplinary research programs, and we need to ensure that they are adequately supported and productive.  We will begin our Centers and Institutes reviews later this month, with the Institute for Reproductive Health.

7.  Space.   Space is critical to how we define and perform our work.  At our Community Meeting in June, our facilities planning firm, Payette Associates, will make a presentation about their previous work with other Medical Centers and their approach to developing a long-term facilities plan for the Medical Center.  Following that meeting, we will establish an overall Steering Committee and several faculty/staff work groups focused on specific topics to begin the long-term facilities planning process in partnership with Payette.

8.  Chairs reporting relationship:  Several working groups emphasized the importance of the role of the Chairs to the work we need to do as a Medical Center. As we discussed at the Community meeting, in order to most effectively accomplish those goals, the SOM Chairs will report to the EVP beginning July 1, and I will begin meeting with them this month.  

9.  EVP Pilot Awards.   In response to the recommendations of two working groups, the EVP Research Pilot Awards were established to provide seed funding for interdisciplinary and cross campus research studies.  The funding cycle for these awards (up to $25,000 each, 4 per year, with cross campus given a priority) will begin in September.  Bob Clarke and I will meet with the Research Committee on June 14th, and also with Provost Bob Groves and Janet Mann (Vice Provost for Research on the Main Campus), to seek their advice about the guidelines we are developing for these awards.

10. Philanthropy Faculty Advisory Committee.  The Philanthropy Work Group identified the importance of faculty involvement in GUMC philanthropic activities, and recommended the creation of a Philanthropy Faculty Advisory Committee.  I am very pleased that John Marshall and Elissa Newport have agreed to Co-Chair this Committee.  We will appoint the remaining members over the next few days, and the Committee will begin its work with Advancement in June, focused initially on the advancement goals and opportunities for the coming year. 

11.  Work environment.  Two work groups made significant and immediate recommendations regarding our work environment.  We will re-engage the Co-Chairs of the Staff Career Support & Mentoring and the Work Relationships work groups to advise us on the implementation of their work group recommendations.   

I want to emphasize that we are continuing to review the entire body of work group recommendations, many of which have longer-term horizons for implementation.  We will provide periodic updates on related actions we are taking as we go forward. I also invite you to visit the GUMC Community engagement website  for continued updates and additional information.

As we approach the end of the academic year and our graduation ceremonies, I just want to pause and offer my personal thanks to all our faculty and staff across the Medical Center for their commitment to education and their exceptional performance. In my 10 months as EVP, I have had many opportunities to experience the passionate engagement of our faculty and staff with education and with education-focused research.   As just a few examples, I have had the great pleasure of participating with other faculty judges in the SOM Research Day; touring the Simulation laboratory and talking with educators in SNHS; listening to faculty lectures in our graduate programs; and learning about very creative resident focused education research at the recent Department of Surgery retreat.  I know I speak for the Medical Center leadership when I offer my thanks and gratitude to all of the teachers, and educators across our Community.  In the same spirit, I also would like to thank our research faculty for their many important contributions to our education programs.   

Congratulations also to all of our soon to be graduates in the SNHS, the SOM, and our BGE programs.  We celebrate their many accomplishments and wish them all the very best in the next chapter of their careers.  

I hope that I see many of you at the SOM, SNHS, and Graduate School graduations, as well as at the June 20th Community Meeting.

All the best,


Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President
Georgetown University Medical Center 
Executive Dean
Georgetown University School of Medicine