January 15, 2019

Dean's Message: What's on the horizon?

Written by

RS21542 Selwyn Vickers 32 scrLast month we discussed all the progress and success the School of Medicine has experienced over the past five years, and I remain deeply proud of all of you for your efforts in helping us reach so many significant goals. But the question now is how do we frame the next five years to produce even more accomplishments and growth? I believe the foundation of that answer lies in something we already do very well here at UAB: collaboration. We need to continue supporting one another in our shared endeavors. Beyond that there’s an exciting list of challenges we’re ready to tackle. Many of them are a continuation of tasks we’re already doing effectively, but remaining committed to them will ensure our persistent growth.

  • Constantly grow resources: Each NIH dollar requires an additional 53 cents to sustain our growth.
  • Continually create scale for our clinical enterprise to impact more lives in Birmingham, Alabama, the U.S. and beyond.
  • Build infrastructure that creates value for our researchers to both challenge them and to show them appreciation for their accomplishments.
  • Provide Cores that set us apart and give us an advantage.
  • Effectively manage and provide attractive space.
  • Provide services that give us the flexibility to be competitive and to create accountability.
  • Increase our number of clinical trials and translational research endeavors.
  • Attract bright and diverse talent (faculty, trainees, students, staff) who want to positively impact the world.

Moreover, this past fall at our retreat, the Dean’s Leadership Team came up with three “game changers” or transformative goals for the SOM. While they may appear somewhat lofty, I believe they are achievable and will transform the future of the SOM as well as our state. To reach them, many of our smaller goals and initiatives will purposefully support these larger ones:

1. Establish a statewide academic health system.
2. Secure a naming gift for the School of Medicine.
3. Create recognition of Birmingham as a place for the nation’s best talent to live and thrive.

Goal-setting is vital, and it’s one of the best ways to help the SOM develop into one of the nation’s most distinguished academic medical centers. But the truth is that the work to get there happens hour-by-hour and day-by-day. I know this is the season for New Year’s resolutions, so I’d like to challenge you to create one specifically for your role in the SOM’s advancement. How can you lend your talents and abilities to help support the opportunities listed above? I know with united dedication there is very little limit to what we can reach. Let’s work together to create better outcomes for all.