March 15, 2017

Updates on OFS, Precision Medicine and celebrating diversity

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Organizing for Success

As you I’m sure you have all heard by now, UAB Medicine is undergoing a leadership restructuring as part of the Organizing for Success initiative, a catalyst for intentional and transformational change in our institution to help us reach our goal of becoming the Preferred Academic Medical Center. I wanted to share a quick update on where the initiative stands today and where it will be in the upcoming weeks.

Recommendations from the OFS transition committee were presented to the UAHSF Board in January and the UA System Board of Trustees in February. It is customary with the board that matters presented at a meeting will be considered for a vote at the following meeting.

I will have more updates about OFS in the upcoming months. You can read previous communications from myself and Dr. Ferniany, about OFS, including the recommendations from the transition committee, online on ONE.

Valuing clinical faculty

UAB, as any academic medical center, is a complex institution with three core mission areas: medical education, research and patient care. I’ve often spoken about education and research missions in the School of Medicine, but our foundations in being able to provide top-notch medical education and conduct productive scientific and clinical research is based on providing outstanding clinical care. Faculty whose primary responsibility is providing clinical care are a vital to our success and are a critical part of our institutions value and fundamental to our culture and success.

Making UAB a leader in precision medicine

I’m thrilled to share the news of a new leader joining UAB who will strategically guide precision medicine at UAB. Dr. Matt Might will join UAB on July 1 as the inaugural director of the Hugh Kaul Personalized Medicine Institute. He comes to us from the University of Utah, where he’s an associate professor in both computer science and pharmaceutical chemistry, and from Harvard Medical School, where he is a visiting professor of biomedical informatics. Dr. Might has had a hand in shaping precision medicine strategy at the federal level, having been recruited former President Barack Obama to serve as an adviser—and later, White House official— to the then newly launched Precision Medicine Initiative.

I believe that his drive and strategic vision will make UAB a national leader in precision medicine. You can read more about Dr. Might’s recruitment from UAB School of Medicine News.

Celebrating diversity with food and fellowship

The School of Medicine hosted its inaugural Diversity Fair in early February, and I’d like to thank all of you who made it an incredible success. Faculty, staff and their families filled the Wallace Tumor Institute lobby as they came to enjoy booth exhibits and food samples from representatives from departments and centers throughout the School of Medicine. Local artists, singers and musicians entertained the crowd throughout the fair.

This event was a great reminder that UAB is made of individuals from all over the world and that the commitment to diversity is the key to UAB being a vibrant and outstanding community.

Congratulations to Dr. Mona Fouad and her team in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion for creating such a wonderful event and thanks again to all of you who participated in what will certainly be an annual event.