Selwyn Vickers 4 LRI'm pleased to start the new year by sharing some exciting news with you. We recently announced that the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., will present a special talk here at UAB on the future of NIH research funding. The talk will take place Friday, March 6, at 8 a.m. in the Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium (620 19th Street South). The level of NIH funding is a critical benchmark by which an academic medical center (AMC) like UAB can evaluate its academic and research success. Moreover, studies have shown a close relationship between research and clinical excellence—AMCs that are highly ranked in NIH funding also tend to have highly ranked clinical care programs. UAB has experienced tremendous growth in our NIH funding rankings, rising from 31st in 2013 to 21st in 2018, a ranking we have sustained for 2019. Over that same timeframe, UAB joined an elite group of only eight academic medical centers that have experienced growth of more than $100 million in net NIH funding. I invite you to join us on March 6 in person or via livestream on the UAB School of Medicine’s YouTube channel to hear one of the country’s preeminent experts discuss how institutions like ours can thrive in a complex and ever more competitive research funding environment.

I also invite you to join me and other school leaders for the State of the School of Medicine Address on Wednesday, January 29 at noon. You can join us in person at the Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium, or via livestream on the school’s YouTube channel. I’m looking forward to reviewing the School of Medicine’s exceptional growth and highlighting accomplishments from the past year.

Capping a stellar year, UAB Medicine has released a video of highlights from 2019. It includes a few of the many accolades the UAB Health System received in the past year, the introduction of exciting new programs and partnerships, the opening of new clinical facilities, and more. Take a look; I think you’ll be impressed by UAB Medicine’s dynamism and innovation.

The latest issue of our alumni magazine, UAB Medicine Magazine, is now available online as well. The cover feature highlights an innovative program called UAB House Calls that provides in-home care for frail and vulnerable patients, a model of care we think will continue to grow in the future as our population ages.

Lastly, please be on the lookout for an email from me in the coming weeks regarding U.S. News & World Report surveys. These surveys are used to create the annual list of hospitals that provide the highest quality of care for patients in various specialties. I ask that, as you complete this year’s survey, you keep UAB Medicine in mind as you list the institutions you believe are the best in your specialty. Our alumni are the best ambassadors of our training programs, and these rankings help elevate the School of Medicine’s reputation as an integral part of UAB Medicine.