The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
The University of Texas Medical School at HoustonThe University of Texas Medical School at Houston
The University of Texas Medical School at Houston
Oct. 9, 2009 | from the Office of Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo

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

I have a lot to catch you up on since it has been awhile since my last e-mail. This start of the school and fiscal year has been busy, with many important events and opportunities for establishing new goals.

We have some new leadership positions I would like to share with you. Our good friend Craig Cordola from Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital has been named the associate dean for hospital affairs and community partnerships. In this new role, Craig will be bringing his expertise in health administration and be involved in exploring strategies for clinical community services jointly with UT Physicians and Memorial Hermann. I am grateful to Memorial Hermann for allowing Craig to take on these additional duties. Dr. Nancy McNiel is our new associate dean for administration. Nancy has deep roots in the Health Science Center and this school and has provided invaluable contributions to the Medical School and the Dean’s Office. Coming on board later this month is Danny Kahalley, who will be our new alumni relations director.

I was happy to give the introductory remarks at the Medical School’s 10th annual Research Retreat this week. There our scientists shared their fresh discoveries before the largest crowd in the retreat’s history and heard NIH Scientific Review Director Dr. Antonio Scarpa (yes, another Italian). Dr. Scarpa spoke of the massive number of applications received as a result of the stimulus grants, which the Health Science Center is capitalizing on. At the Medical School, we are prioritizing access and support for research and focusing on quality, which we have already proven is very strong.

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated and discussed research at a symposium for the George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Center for Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Brain Disorders. More than 300 attended the citywide meeting, which speaks to the great interest on this topic. Our promise is to translate scientific findings into a clinical center that makes Mr. Mitchell and our community proud.

I want to thank Dr. Mike Blackburn for leading the efforts of the recent student scholarship event. It was great seeing mentors and students sharing discoveries and creating a foundation for successful careers in science and medicine.

Faculty Senate is focused on improving relations this year, and I am happy to help – and need their help in this endeavor. I am looking forward to working with new Senate chair Dr. Don Molony.

I am always appreciative of our President Larry Kaiser attending our Administrative Council and Chairs’ meetings, as he did this week, and I want to thank David Lopez and his leadership team from the Harris County Hospital District for attending and sharing their strategic agenda. I am also grateful to Dr. Gary Rosenfeld for his outstanding presentation on the scholarly concentrations, which will be a very important gift to our students’ education.

I want to thank all of the chairs, assistant and associate deans, and their spouses who attended a special event in their honor this week. I encourage them to wear with pride their “incentives” – their lapel pins and UT Physicians shirts. This is part of our branding. As we represent our institutions, we are delivering a promise to our students, residents, and patients that this is a special place of caring and collaboration, where people are proud and work hard. It is always a pleasure to see busy leaders such as Dan Wolterman and Juanita Romans spending time with our chairs and deans, and more than one attendee told me that the positive energy was palpable.

I attended a special Helping A Hero gala Sunday. This group’s mission is to donate special adapted homes to wounded soldiers and their families. At the event, they spoke about the qualities of a leader: a commitment to values and perseverance to fight for those values. Or, in layman’s terms – to know what to do, and then do it. Some of our leaders go unnoticed, but I want to remind you of a strong leader who is very dedicated, caring, and professional – Andrew Casas, vice president and chief operating officer of UT Physicians. I truly value what Andrew does every day for the benefit of UTP and the Medical School. Andrew – thank you for your invaluable contribution to our mission.

Have a great weekend,


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