October 17, 2018

Dean’s Message: Becoming nationwide leaders

Written by

RS21542 Selwyn Vickers 32 scrMany medical centers have the goal of becoming one of the top twenty NIH-funded research programs in the country, and our institution is no different. As we approach the release of the 2018 updated rankings and information, I want to expound on why we’re seeking to push UAB into that top tier and how it will benefit not only our city and state, but our entire region as well.

As I’m sure you’re aware, becoming a top twenty NIH research program brings a great deal of prestige to a school of medicine’s reputation. It provides clear evidence that the institution is producing bench to bedside studies that will alter the future of health and medicine and create better outcomes for patients. It also establishes the school as an obvious leader in the field of medical research. As UAB’s position in those rankings has continued to grow over the last several years, our national reputation has as well. In order to catapult UAB into the highest level of academic medical centers, we need to be vocal about our strengthening standing.

It’s no secret that Birmingham has a complicated history. When people from other parts of the country think of our city, they sometimes leap to negative associations. But here in our community, we know that the real picture is a very different one. Our city is thriving due in large part to the success we’re having here at UAB. Not to mention, we’re working hard to ensure that all Alabamians have hospitals, an adequate number of physicians and access to top notch care. On a regional level, we’re attacking diseases that are endemic to the Deep South—like heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

The truth of the matter is that UAB’s medical community is helping turn Birmingham into a destination, and securing top twenty funding will only aid in solidifying that status. I know that for many of us, the city is a bit of a well-kept secret, but if we want to take our impact to highest possible level, it’s time for us to start telling the nation (and the world) what UAB is all about.

I encourage you all to share news about our latest studies, discoveries and treatment options with your friends and family. Let’s celebrate one another as well as how the trailblazing work at UAB will impact our broader communities for the better. Thank you, as always, for all that you do on a daily basis. I look forward to experiencing our growth and innovation alongside each of you.