As spring dawns, in addition to enjoying the warmer weather (today not withstanding), I am taking time to reflect on the department’s major accomplishments of the past year and goals for 2015. Now that I’m over halfway through my first year in the department I’m happy to report being your director continues to be an amazing opportunity and with lots of wonderful interactions and occasional challenges.  The department is strong, and I see a path forward that makes us even stronger. I want to thank all of the faculty and staff whose hard work and collaborative interactions led us to the number one ranking amongst departments of medicine by US News and World Report this year. However, we can do better, and one place to start is by improving our employee ‘engagement.’  I strongly encourage you to participate in the engagement survey being administered by Gallup through March 29th. I pledge to take seriously the results of this survey and create an action plan that is responsive to the desires of our faculty and staff to make the department an even better place to work.

The department’s leadership structure continues to develop with the appointment of new vice chairs, our director of nursing and division directors and ongoing searches for the final vice chair positions, additional division directors and other JHM searches with important ties to Medicine.

Recently appointed

Executive Vice Chair – Dr. Sherita Golden

Vice Chair for Basic & Translational Research – Dr. Brian O’Rourke

Vice Chair for Clinical & Translational Research – Dr. Gregory Kirk

Associate Vice Chair for Quality, Safety & Service – Dr. Stephen Berry

Associate Vice Dean for Research at Bayview – Dr. Nadia Hansel

Director for Clinical Pharmacology – Dr. Craig Hendrix

Director for Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine – Dr. Jonathan Orens

Director of Nursing – Mr. Ron Langlotz

Ongoing recruitments

Vice Chair for Innovation & Commercialization

Vice Chair for Data Integrity & Analytics

Vice Chair for Faculty Development

Director for the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism

Director for the Division of Allergy & Clinical Immunology

Recruitment for our strategic partners

President of Johns Hopkins Medicine International – Ms. Pamela Paulk

Director of Surgery – ongoing

Director of Pathology – ongoing

Chief Financial Officer for JHM -- ongoing

The annual science retreat was held March 10th, and I think it was a great success. I would like to issue a personal thanks to each person who presented a poster, moderated a session or served as a keynote speaker. I also want to extend congratulations to all of our award winners. In the next week photos from the event will be posted, so please check back to see photos of the award winners and you and your colleagues during the poster session. During the working lunches, each group was asked to develop actionable plans for improving our science environment, and the results of each will be highlighted throughout April. Our new vice chairs, Drs. Kirk and O’Rourke, will be meeting with Dean Rosen to understand the school’s goals to support discovery and to coordinate our department’s efforts with the broader agenda. They will also be visiting each division to learn about your research programs and begin to assemble a research committee that will tackle issues such as creation of a standard, transparent bridging policy.

Our education leaders continue to innovate in how we engage our trainees and maintain our prominence in developing the next leaders of academic medicine. Both our Osler training program and the internal medicine residency program at Bayview are participating in the iCOMPARE study. This study (Comparative Effectiveness of Models Optimizing Patient Safety and Resident Education) seeks to provide evidence to help policy makers evaluate the current duty hour framework through a randomized trial comparing the current duty hour regime against a one that is more flexible.  Johns Hopkins Medicine Programs will play both sides of this important issue: The Osler program is randomized to the flexible regime that allows for staffing innovations beginning July 1, 2015 while the Bayview program is randomized to the control group. I look forward to the important results this study will produce. In addition, Drs. Desai and Cayea are leading a yearlong strategic planning effort to continuing to improve our education programs for our trainees, faculty and staff. Initiatives they are tackling include, but are not limited to, better coordination between our two campuses and creating tracks that align trainee career goals and foster a more diverse residency program.

Finally, as we already prepare for the next academic year, our division leaders and administrators have been busy negotiating next year’s budgets. As is constant in healthcare, there must be diligence towards expense management in a climate of shrinking reimbursement and reform. However, we are in a position to use our highly specialized clinical expertise to consider the diverse revenue opportunities of a broad referral base. Other important initiatives I promised during my own recruitment process such as a careful analysis of compensation equity, an examination of our definition for a clinical FTE and the development of a broadly representative compensation committee are still under development. I have been working with my administrative team behind the scenes to curate the data necessary to start these important projects, and you can expect to begin to see results later this spring.

Thank you for your continued support and patience and enjoy warming temperatures and growing daylight of the new season.

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