Six UVA Children’s Hospital Specialties Nationally Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

We are pleased to share with you that six University of Virginia Children’s Hospital specialties are ranked among the top 50 nationally in the 2018-2019 “Best Children’s Hospitals” guide from U.S. News & World Report, which was released this week. Our six nationally ranked specialties are more than any other hospital in Virginia.

The six ranked specialties are:

  • Neonatology: 19th
  • Pediatric Diabetes & Endocrinology: 33rd
  • Pediatric Urology: tied for 38th
  • Pediatric Neurology & Neurosurgery: tied for 41st
  • Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery: 43rd
  • Pediatric Gastroenterology & GI Surgery: 48th

According to U.S. News, the rankings are designed to identify hospitals that provide the highest quality of care for children with the most serious or complicated medical conditions. The criteria used to compile the rankings include patient outcomes; a commitment to best practices, including measures to prevent infections; the availability of specialized care and advanced technologies; support services for patients and families; and a national survey of pediatric specialists.

These honors for the Children’s Hospital are an example of our how our constant commitment to improve care through Be Safe is having a significant impact for our patients throughout Virginia and beyond. Please join us in congratulating our Children’s Hospital team for their excellent work.

Sincerely,

Richard P. Shannon, MD
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs

Pamela M. Sutton-Wallace
Chief Executive Officer, Medical Center

David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, School of Medicine

A Special Message from Dean Wilkes

The July 4 holiday begins the most popular time for summer vacations for many of us. I wish for each of you a well-deserved rest. Prior to vacation season, I’d like to share some good news about our School.

Even though we’ve not reached the June 30 end of the current fiscal year, it’s clear that you have knocked it out of park in all areas of our School’s mission.

In education

  • The incoming class of 156 medical students has a mean GPA of 3.86 and a mean MCAT of 518.27 (the 97th percentile!). This year the class is 57% out-of-state and continues to have good diversity. The BIMS PhD programs have recruited a strong new class of graduate students.
  • 99% of our class matched in outstanding post-graduate programs.
  • Richard Baylis, MD/PhD student in the lab of Gary Owens, attended the 68th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in June, where he and other young investigators from around the world had the opportunity to mingle with and get feedback from 43 Nobel Laureates.
  • All of the accrediting bodies that were required to approve the establishment of the School of Medicine-Inova Campus did so without stipulation. Our admissions team is getting ready to start recruiting the class of 2023, which will be the first class to have the option to do their clerkships at the Inova Campus.

In the clinical realm

  • Over 25% of our physicians are included on the 2017-18 Best Doctors in America list. This is phenomenal!
  • Becker’s Hospital Review recognized our hospital as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America in 2018.
  • Our hospital continues to be #1 in Virginia.

And in research

  • SOM funding is poised to exceed last year’s totals, thanks to the continued outstanding efforts of all of our faculty and new strategic hires.
  • We scored a 21 on our CTSA application! Although we’ll know more in August, a number of people outside of UVA have confirmed that this is an extraordinary score.
  • The Hartwell Foundation again named UVA as one of its Top Ten Centers of Biomedical Research.
  • The UVA IRBs received accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP).
  • The U.S. News & World Report rankings were further evidence of the extraordinary work you do. Primary Care rose to 21 (from 24) and Research went to 26 (from 27).

Finally, the School is in a strong financial position with operating revenues exceeding expenditures. Year-to-date through May 2018, the School of Medicine had an operating net income of $8 million. The Dean’s Reserve funded $31 million in strategic investments in all mission areas in clinical and basic science departments, as well as in centers. In addition, with strong financial management at all levels, we are entering our fourth consecutive year of no tuition increase for medical students.

You, our faculty, are the reason we have had such a remarkable year and are in a strong position both academically and fiscally. I am deeply grateful to you for your commitment to our shared vision and for your hard work that has resulted in this banner year for our School.

With warm regards,

David S. Wilkes, MD
Dean, UVA School of Medicine
James Carroll Flippin Professor of Medical Science

Highlights: May MAC Meeting

The School of Medicine’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) met on May 8, 2018, 4-5 p.m., in the Biomedical Sciences classroom. Here are highlights from that meeting:

StandPoint Survey
Susan Pollart, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development

  • In 2015, the SOM had an outstanding 74% response rate to the AAMC Faculty Forward survey. (The survey is now known as StandPoint.) The survey indicated a number of things the faculty wanted from the Dean’s office:
    • more transparency regarding SOM finances;
    • more communication from the dean’s office about the medical school;
    • more opportunity for participation in SOM governance; and
    • improvement in retaining high quality faculty members.
  • Actions were taken at the dean’s office in follow up to these data.
    • In the areas of communication and governance, Dean Wilkes engaged the SOM faculty senators in regular governance discussions, a department annual review programs was implemented, the Junior Faculty Development Program was launched, and new channels of communication were established (e.g., Dean’s Office Blog, social media, senior leadership attendance at department faculty meetings.).
    • Among the actions in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion were the appointments of diversity facilitators and development of diversity plans in every department, sharing of best practices, and system-wide unconscious bias training.
    • To help bring transparency to SOM finances, the Financial Advisory Committee was created, the dean and CMO discussed finances in department faculty meetings, and departments received monthly consolidated financial reports.

3 Cavaliers Program
Melur Ramasubramanian, PhD, Vice President for Research

Ram gave an overview of the “3 Cavs,” a pilot program to stimulate new ideas and cross-discipline and cross-school collaborations. It is designed to minimize bureaucracy and maximize flexibility.

  • Research trios are formed by three faculty members who wish to collaborate on a new idea. The trio must cross at least two disparate disciplines located in different units or schools. A faculty expertise database will help researchers find collaborators.
  • Each member of the trio receives a “token” for $20,000, which provides the trio with a total of $60,000 in seed funds. At least 50% of each project must support a trainee who works with the researcher. The remaining funds may be used for non-salary items to support the project. The funds may not be used to pay faculty salaries. Mini-trios, with $5,000 tokens (total of $15,000) are also possible.
  • Projects are for one year. They are semi-randomly selected without peer review, and funding is provided immediately.
  • SOM full-time tenured and tenure-eligible faculty will be eligible to receive a token. The SOM funds one-third of the expense for each token and the VPR funds two-thirds.
  • The VPR’s office is still building the website with an anticipated go-live date in early July and a submission deadline in September. The SOM will send additional details at go-live.
  • Additional information, a brochure, and FAQs are on the VPR website.

2018 General Assembly Session
Federal Legislative and Regulatory Issues
Carol Craig, Government Relations Specialist
Lynne Boyle, Federal Relations Professional

  • The Health System Office of State and Federal Government Relations (“Government Relations”), headed by Sally Barber, works with Health System leadership to establish legislative and regulatory priorities. It coordinates with the academic division on state and federal issues, maintains relations with government officials, and serves as a resource to leadership, faculty, and staff for state and federal governmental matters.
  • Karen Rheuban, MD, is the SOM liaison to Government Relations.
  • Key legislation of the 2018 General Assembly session included:
    • Nurse Practitioner Pathway to Independent Practice (HB 793)
    • Medicaid expansion
    • Certificate of Public Need
    • Opioid/substance abuse
    • Termination of Medically/Ethically Inappropriate Care (HB 226/SB 222)
  • Health System priorities at the federal level include:
    • Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) 340B drug discount program
    • Medicare and Medicaid hospital and physician payments
    • Funding for the National Institutes of Health
    • Student loan programs
    • Regulatory relief for hospitals
    • Opioid abuse
  • State and Federal Dashboards of laws, regulations, and other activities being tracked are posted on the website,

Highlights: April MAC Meeting

Opening Comments from the Dean
David S. Wilkes, MD

  • UVA School of Medicine Inova Campus: We have received formal approval from the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia to establish this campus. Thanks to Dr. Randy Canterbury for his work in shepherding the work required to earn this approval.
  • U.S. News & World Report Rankings: Congratulations and thank you to our faculty and staff whose sustained work has resulted in an improvement in our rankings. Primary Care moved from 24 to 21, a significant increase. Research also rose from 27 to 26. The credit goes to those who are “in the trenches” carrying out the hands-on work.
  • General Faculty Meeting and State of the School Address: This event will be Thursday, April 19, at 5 PM in the third-floor auditorium of the Medical Education Building. Faculty will vote on the graduating students. This will be the first time the faculty vote on the PhD and Masters candidates.
  • Climate Survey: The Deans Working Group, headed by Risa Goluboff, Dean of the Law School, has developed an extensive survey of 92 questions in the wake of the August 2017 events. This survey may be distributed within the next few weeks. Our clinical staff will be participating in the 2018 HS Engagement Survey that also is going out soon, and which is a priority for us.
  • Personal Safety and Office/Lab Security: Within recent weeks, we have had several break-ins and attempted break-ins, including one in which it appeared that the person was attempting to sabotage a PI’s research. Please adhere to basic safety and security guidelines. The safety and health of our faculty and staff are of primary concern.

Update on Health Information Technology Upgrade
Rick Skinner, Chief Information & Technology Officer
Regina Verde, Chief Corporate Compliance & Privacy Officer

  • As background, Ms. Verde reminded us that in November 2017, the FBI informed us that a form of spyware malware had attacked one provider’s personal devices, compromising Health System information as that individual connected via VPN. She described the steps taken to control and investigate the breach and to inform any individuals whose information was potentially at risk. The perpetrator has been arrested.
  • Mr. Skinner noted that approximately 8,000 personally owned devices are permitted to access HS IT systems. These devices must have protection before accessing the networks. An additional precaution is restricting the ability to download information in attachments, especially from web mail or Outlook email.
  • These network access controls will be retained as HSIT determines the next steps for users to manage email and attachments while maintaining security.

Budget Update
Kathy Peck, Chief Operating Officer

  • The FY19 budget was completed on April 3 and submitted for review. The Board of Visitors must give final approval. The next BOV meeting is in June.
  • Many people contributed to putting the budget together, and Ms. Peck stated her great appreciation for this effort.

Match Update
Susan Kirk, MDDesignated Institutional Official and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

  • The most popular programs that the medical students matched were internal medicine (35); emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics (each 15); and anesthesiology (13). The students are going to well-respected institutions, including Yale, Emory, Penn, Vanderbilt, UPMC, Johns Hopkins, Mass General, Wake Forest, and Chicago.
  • At the national level, 1,410 additional positions were offered in 2018, and 1,078 US seniors were not matched. Dr. Kirk notes that more DOs are competing for slots because of the single accreditation system and because osteopathic residencies are being eliminated.
  • At UVA, all 161 positions were filled through the main Match. Sixteen UVA medical students will complete all or part of their residency at UVA.
  • Our preliminary data indicates that we recruited fewer URM residents in 2018 (9.9%) than we did in 2017 (16.25%). The application opened two weeks after last August’s demonstrations and may have been impacted by those events.
  • Programs that participated in a separate recruitment activity (e.g., institutional Diversity Days or institutional Second Looks) were more successful in recruiting URM residents.
  • Dr. Kirk expects that tracking the percentage of URM physicians, both faculty and GME trainees), will become a common program requirement in July 2018.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in the BIMS Classroom.

iCan. Can You?

A few months ago, we discussed the development of VMED, an integrated learning-, curriculum-, and student-management system. The development team is still working on the first iteration of the product, which we hope to have available in the summer to test.

Related to VMED is the Interactive Clinical Assessment Navigator (iCan), a tool through which we can assess entrustable professional activities (EPA). EPAs cover basic skills a physician should have, such as taking a patient history, documenting an encounter, performing basic procedures, collaborating as part of an interprofessional team, and interpreting lab values. In terms of use, we have seen dramatic expansion of iCan’s use in the past few months. It was first implemented in part of the clerkship class, then moved to all of SMD19, and is now also being used by SMD20. By the fall, SMD21 and SMD22 will be using it as well. It’s exciting to see a product we developed being implemented so widely and quickly.

But this is about more than a new tool and who is using it. This is about using the lean methodology and continuous process improvement to make our systems better. Better for faculty and better for students. It’s about asking, “Is this the best way to assess our students’ clinical performance?” If it’s not, we stop the process and collaborate to find a solution. The key word here is “continuous.” There’s no finish line in our improvement journey.

iCan is a part of the larger VMED system and, thus far, has been well received. The team is continuing to meet with system leaders, clerkship directors and coordinators, faculty, and staff to discuss what to expect from iCan and to understand how it will help facilitate preparation for the next academic year.

I offer my thanks to Maryellen Gusic, MD, who has been a champion for EPAs and iCan, and is one of the reasons its expansion across the cohorts of students is going so well. For more information on VMED — a timeline, progress dashboard, and other documentation — visit the website here. If you have questions, please contact Kim Holman. Keep an eye on the Dean’s Office Blog in June for the next VMED update.

R.J. Canterbury, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Education
Wilford W. Spradlin Professor

Making Virginia Medicine Better: (l-r) Dr. Megan Bray, Dr. Mary Kate Worden, Kim Holman, Dr. Maryellen Gusic, Robert Pastor, Dr. Randolph Canterbury, and Mark Moody.

Highlights: February MAC Meeting

Opening Comments from the Dean
David S. Wilkes, MD

  • The Data Science Institute is exploring the possibility of offering graduate degrees. This will allow us to provide training to people we can then recruit as faculty members.
  • Strategic hires update
    • Since February 2016, we have hired 19 strategic recruits who are bringing an estimated $49.5 million total over five years.
    • Dr. Imre Noth, Division Chief for Pulmonary and Critical Care, is the most recent hire.
    • Currently we have five active recruitments underway with 11 grants totaling $8.1 million over five years.
  • Cyber Security
    • Rick Skinner sent a memo on Sunday, 2/11/18, informing everyone who uses Health System email that upgrades are required to continue to access devices through the VPN. Upgrades must be made by Monday, Feb. 19, or access will be cut off. If you need help, call the Help Desk at 434.924.5334.

Updates from Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development
Susan M. Pollart, MD

  • 360 Feedback to Chairs
    • At the last MAC, there were questions about who can be included in the 360 feedback to chairs. Chairs can identify anyone they would like to provide feedback. Input is provided anonymously, which protects trainees who might otherwise feel vulnerable giving feedback.
    • Over the next few months, we will spend time deciding what to focus on (e.g., leadership). We will also determine which instrument to use for the survey, which will be administered in 2019.
    • In the fall of this year, we will repeat the Faculty Forward Survey that was offered in 2015. That survey, now renamed the StandPoint survey, had a high response rate and thus provided robust data. As a result, a number of concrete steps were taken. In the lead up to this fall’s survey, we’ll help you to remind your faculty of what was accomplished as a result of the 2015 data.
  • Role of Faculty Diversity Facilitators
    • Thank you for nominating a great group of individuals as diversity facilitators!
    • This year they will be working on cultural change and unconscious bias. They will be using tools to help people recognize biases and how they impact behavior.
    • We are moving forward with the recruitment of a Chief Inclusion and Wellness Officer.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in the BIMS Classroom. 

Highlights: January MAC Meeting

Opening Comments from the Dean
David S. Wilkes, MD

  • Budget Construction
    • As the budget season gets underway, we will all have to consider the significant implications of the recent tax bill. We expect immediate restrictions that will be ongoing. Just two examples (changes in 340B reimbursements and the loss of automatic inpatient status for Medicare total knee replacements) result in an annual decrease of $14 million. We anticipate an additional annual decrease of $10 million due to the impact of the repeal of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
    • These reductions will hit the Medical Center’s bottom line and, clearly, will influence what it is able to pass through to the School of Medicine.
    • Although we must plan for financial restrictions, we must not compromise on excellence.
    • We must prioritize and focus on what is strategic and necessary, and we must determine what we will not do.
  • DAR Feedback
    • Several chairs noted that the DAR does not provide a mechanism for faculty to offer feedback on the chair’s performance.
    • The 2015 Faculty Forward Survey had robust data (due to high faculty participation) to share with the chairs. The survey will be administered again in the fall of 2018, and, as in 2015, it will be helpful if the chairs encourage their faculty to participate.
    • In the fall of 2019, we will conduct a 360 feedback survey that focuses exclusively on the chair.
    • Thank you to those who provided feedback on the DAR process.

February Medical Alumni Gathering
Anne Watkins

  • The Medical Alumni Association’s winter retreat will be held February 16-17 at the Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg.
  • Now that the graduate degrees have moved to the School of Medicine, the MAA is actively interacting with our graduate students. The retreat will feature a Friday evening poster session that will feature the work of about 40 graduate and medical students.
  • All faculty and students are invited to attend.
  • org/event/2018-Winter-Retreat/

New Business

  • Dr. Nataro asked about unexplained variances between RVUs and collections. Susan Rumsey will bring administrators together to discuss this further.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in the BIMS Classroom.

Highlights: December MAC Meeting

Opening Comments from the Dean
David S. Wilkes, MD

  • Implications of HR 1, Tax Cut and Jobs Act, on Graduate Student Stipends
    • Negative impact upon our students, UVA, and nation
      • College will be less affordable
      • Discourages participation in higher education
      • Discourages employer investment in employee learning
      • Decreases US competitiveness
      • Brightest minds will go outside of the US to advance
    • Elimination of Section 117(d) provisions
      • Devastating to research programs
      • No longer able to provide tax-free tuition for graduate students
        • Example: stipend of $24K and tuition waiver of $29K – student’s tax bill triples to $4,920
      • Erodes progress made in developing strong interest in STEM programs
        • Puts STEM education out of the reach of many students
      • Our legislators
      • Themes of Incoming UVA President Ryan
        • Community: opportunity to interact with and learn from a broadly diverse group of students, faculty, staff
        • Discovery: new knowledge that solves problems, leads to practical application, and brings new perspective to enduring questions
        • Service: public universities serve the public, starting with their own states
      • New Strategic Hire: Ken Walsh, PhD. Professor of CV Medicine and Director, Whitaker CV Institute, at Boston University SOM. Starts January 25, 2018. $.9M year one, $3.5M over five years.

Overview of Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights Policies and Reporting Options
Catherine Spear, AVP Equal Opportunity & Civil Rights
Emily Babb, AVP for Title IX Compliance & Title IX Coordinator

  • Presentation addressed:
    • Notice of non-discrimination and equal opportunity
    • Policy of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (Title IX Policy)
    • Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment (PADH Policy) and Preventing and Addressing Retaliation (PAR Policy)
    • Why reporting is important
    • How to report prohibited conduct under these policies
    • How to address prohibited conduct
  • See presentation.

December Health System Board Update
A. Bobby Chhabra, MD, Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • Dr. Chhabra shared highlights from the December 6, 2017, HSB meeting. The HS goals dashboard showed notable improvement in solid organ and bone marrow transplants and addition investments by Seed & Venture Funds, moving these two indicators to green. All other categories are yellow.
  • FY18 first-quarter financial results were shared.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in the BIMS Classroom.

2018 Pinn Scholars Named

2018 Pinn Scholars (l-r): Alison K. Criss, PhD; Scott K. Heysell, MD, MPH; Benjamin W. Purow, MD; and Jeffrey J. Saucerman, PhD.

The Pinn Scholars program, which started last year, is an initiative born from strategic planning to support and recognize our mid-level faculty. Pinn Scholars are selected on the basis of their scientific expertise and contributions to the School of Medicine and to the greater research community. Pinn Scholars are expected to develop a new project or direction in their research and share their results at the annual symposium.

I am excited to share with you the 2018 class of Pinn Scholars. They are:

  • Alison K. Criss, PhD
    Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology
    Neutrophilic inflammation due to Neisseria gonorrhoea infection
  • Scott K. Heysell, MD, MPH
    Medicine/Infectious Diseases and International Health
    Novel, integrated approaches to improve outcomes of tuberculosis therapy
  • Benjamin W. Purow, MD
    Neurology
    A staged, multi-modality approach with focused ultrasound to maximize its immunotherapeutic potential for glioblastoma
  • Jeffrey J. Saucerman, PhD
    Biomedical Engineering
    Systems biology of cardiac regeneration

The inaugural Pinn Scholars — Drs. Isakson, Laurie, Peirce-Cottler, and Zimmer — recently presented updates from their research at the School of Medicine Symposium on Research Excellence. I look forward to next year’s symposium and in hearing about the results from the newest batch of Pinn Scholars’ work.

The Scholars program is named in honor of Dr. Vivian Pinn who was a graduate of the UVA School of Medicine Class of 1967. She is a member of the National Academies of Science, a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and past president of the National Medical Association.

Please join me in congratulating the incoming class of Pinn Scholars.

Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD
Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology
Professor of Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Research

2017 Pinn Scholars with the scholarship’s namesake, Dr. Vivian Pinn (left) at the School of Medicine’s Symposium on Research Excellence: (l-r) Brant Isakson, PhD; Gordon W. Laurie, PhD; Shayn Pierce-Cottler, PhD; and Jochen Zimmer, PhD.

New Chairs Receive Standardized Onboarding

With the arrival of several new chairs this year — Dr. Park (Otolaryngology), Dr. Saavedra (Dermatology), Dr. Zeiger (Surgery), Dr. Gampper (Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery), Dr. Hoard (Dentistry), Dr. Goodkin (Neurology) and myself (interim in Family Medicine) — the Dean’s Office has implemented a new onboarding process.

Each chair meets regularly with Dean Wilkes and me during their first three months. These meetings are essential in orienting chairs to their new role and the institution itself. They also provide an opportunity for regular check-ins and for us to develop a strong partnership with these new leaders. We offer advice on strategies for success and point out pitfalls to avoid, and connect the new chair with stakeholders within the Health System and across Grounds.

We also hold three monthly, half-day sessions for the new chairs and their administrators with focused topics such as clinical affairs, the education and research missions, finances and budgeting, promotion and tenure, faculty development, and HR-related items (recruitment, hiring, annual reviews, employee relations).

Why Standardize the Onboarding for Chairs?
We’re doing this for two reasons. The first is that we want the chairs to have a formal path to connect early with colleagues and to develop relationships with those with whom they’ll be working as department chairs. This onboarding fosters that network creation. The second is that departmental leadership is a demanding role essential to the success of the medical school. We want to offer the new chairs quick access to the information they need to get acclimated to their new role. “What do I need to know about the department’s finances, or the physical environment, or my responsibilities or …?” We help chairs answer those questions before they become issues.

A better-prepared chair — one who understands their responsibilities and establishes a strong, professional network within the Health System — will be able to better support the development and advancement of faculty as well as lead the department to advance the education, clinical, and research missions.

Thank you to Troy Buer, PhD, and Ashley Ayers who were crucial in launching this initiative.

For more information on department chair leadership, visit the Faculty Affairs and Development site.

Susan M. Pollart, MD, MS
Ruth E. Murdaugh Professor and Chair (interim) of Family Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development