The University of Texas Medical School at Houston The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
May 25, 2009 | from the Office of Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo

Distributed on Fridays via e-mail to all Medical School employees, students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows, UT 2 Me is Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo's weekly update of news and items of interest. He also welcomes feedback through this two-way communication.

I hope you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. In the spirit of transparency and improved communication, updates were  provided this week at the Annual Faculty Meeting on such important areas as finance, business operations, and graduate medical education.

To give you a brief synopsis of the highlights, Dr. Henry Strobel talked about our strong and improved numbers related to faculty recruitment and retention; Julie Page reminded us of the value and contributions of our DMOs, who create and maintain a positive environment in our departments; Angela Hintzel showed us our positive financial margin, despite “difficult” times and an aggressive growth strategy; Jorge Zambra discussed our new clinical billing structure and relationship with McKesson; Dr. Steve Brown described the great success and growth at LBJ General Hospital; Dr. Patricia Butler gave us an update on accreditation and resident duty-hour violations; Dr. Margaret McNeese showed us the trends of our students’ educational performance; Andrew Casas revealed the expansions of UT Physicians; and Dr. Brent King spoke of the importance of compliance issues.

The handout and video are located via secure link (user name and password) on the Medical School homepage, so that you can see all of the updates.

In addition to Medical School reports, we also had a presentation from President Larry Kaiser, who gave us the latest on legislative issues, and from Dan Wolterman, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, who talked about strengthening the partnership between the Medical School and Memorial Hermann.

I want to congratulate Memorial Hermann on their receipt of the 2009 National Quality Forum’s National Quality Healthcare Award. This award is presented annually to health care organizations that achieve meaningful, sustainable quality improvement in health care. I want to thank those of you who contribute to this work, which is nationally recognized. Through hard work and our clinical partnerships, we truly have unlimited opportunities.

I was pleased to attend the Dental Branch’s commencement ceremony last week, where I learned that in addition to his many talents, we can now call upon Charlie Figari for all of our dental needs!

I want to remind our faculty that I expect an outstanding showing from them (including each department chair) at our Medical School commencement ceremony Thursday. We are fortunate to have Dr. Henry Strobel as our guest speaker, and I invite all of our Medical School community to attend this important Medical School tradition.

At the clinical chairs meeting this week, Dr. Susan Ramin presented an update on the expansion of obstetrics and gynecology. I am pleased to see more than 20 clinical locations now served by our faculty, a 10 percent increase in deliveries at LBJ General Hospital, the new women’s service on the second floor of UT Professional Building, and the new maternal-fetal assessment center. This growth could not be possible without the strong work of Dr. Ramin and her faculty.

At the monthly meeting of the basic sciences chairs, we had a very nice update on faculty recruitments and educational activities. Just as the clinical chairs have done, I am asking all basic science chairs to present a three-to-five year plan outlining themes of research they plan to develop.

I had a nice meeting with Brad and Jill Deutser about creating a full-service diabetes center to provide the best comprehensive experience for patients. Brad is a member of our Medical School Advisory Council and Health Science Center Development Board, and Jill is a special friend of our School who has already inspired our physicians and administrators with her passion for discovery, compassionate and personalized approach to medicine, and her search for the right balance between evidence-based approach to clinical medicine and the quick translation of highly relevant investigations focused on promotion of health. I am certain Jill and Brad will enrich our overall intellectual environment in many ways.

I was sorry to have missed the opening of the Center for Visual Rehabilitation, part of the Department of Ophthalmology. New faculty have been recruited for this center – one of just a handful in the nation. Our Department of Dermatology also celebrated a great achievement this week by being named in the top 10 of dermatology training programs, according to a survey from DermatologyTimes. This speaks to the caliber and competitiveness of our specialty programs.

Bringing this good message of the Medical School to the business community was the goal of my presentation this week to the Tejas Breakfast Club at River Oaks Country Club. The audience was very impressed by our good work but have a hard time identifying us in this large, complex medical center. I am committed to sharing our stories with the community, and I hope you will, too.   

Entertainment expenses were discussed this week by both Kevin Dillon, at the Faculty Senate meeting, and by President Larry Kaiser, at the department chair meeting. With another state institution in the news on this topic, I feel confident we are following university policies and are in compliance with UT System guidelines.

This week President Kaiser honored three faculty members with the President’s Scholar Award in Teaching and Research -- Dr. Frank Arnett, Dr. Cheves Smythe, and Dr. Herbert DuPont. During his acceptance speech, Dr. Arnett spoke about the wonderful qualities of the Medical School, noting that everyone here has the opportunities to succeed. I agree and congratulate these three faculty on the tremendous success they have achieved here.

Have a great weekend,


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