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
April 30, 2010 | 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 update of news and items of interest. He also welcomes feedback via e-mail or comments.

By now you have heard about Juanita Roman’s intention to retire as CEO of Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center.  Juanita has given her support and leadership to help the Medical School and Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center make tremendous progress – as evidenced by the hospital’s recent ranking by the University Health System Consortium. Her vision has strengthened the collaborative nature of our organizations and the growth of our reputations. She leaves a solid foundation, and this campus will continue to be stronger because of her leadership. We will miss her dedication to our unified missions of education and patient care and hope to continue working with her in this next stage of her career.

In this time of transition, our good friend Craig Cordola will be named interim CEO of Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center, which shows Memorial Hermann is prioritizing stability and continuity.  I am confident Craig will do an outstanding job, and the campus will thrive as he builds upon the already strong people and programs. I speak on behalf of the chairs, faculty, and residents when I say that Craig has our support, and that we will work shoulder-to-shoulder with him to continue to grow what Juanita has built.

I want to thank Dan Wolterman, with whom I met yesterday, for his support of our school and the TMC campus. It is a great privilege to have Dan involved directly with our school and the Health Science Center, and we appreciate his leadership and vision. He recently shared this vision at the Memorial Hermann Board of Directors strategic planning meeting that I attended with President Larry Kaiser and Kevin Dillon. The partnership of our institutions is important for us to aggressively pursue opportunities together, especially in an environment that will bring significant changes for health care providers and hospital systems. Dr. Kaiser gave an overview of UTHealth at the meeting, and the momentum was palpable.

Congratulations to all of our faculty and staff for making March the best month in the history of the Medical School’s practice plan in terms of charges and collections. With more than $52 million in charges and about $13 million in collections, this growth was carefully planned and executed, and it took a team effort, including that of our hospital partners, to achieve.

March also was a great month for our fourth-year students, who marked outstanding residency Match results, and we are looking forward to the accomplished new class that is being finalized now. 

I am pleased to announce the new members of the UT Physicians Board, which will be actively involved in setting the strategic agenda of the practice plan. The board is now comprised of Dr. Walt Lowe, Dr. David McPherson, Dr. Martin Citardi, Dr. Carin Hagberg, President Larry Kaiser, Kevin Dillon, and Andrew Cases, with Juanita Romans and Dr. Carmel Dyer as ex-officio members. I am also pleased to welcome the UT Harris County Psychiatric Center to our group practice, which comes to us with the strong leadership of Dr. Lois Moore and Dr. Jair Soares. The link of mental health to our other services and with our community is vital.

To keep pace with growth and technology, we are upgrading to version 11 of Allscripts, our electronic medical record (EMR). Please sign up for training with UT Physicians in May.  

We had an outstanding showing of knowledge and commitment at our recent Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) review thanks to the preparation and leadership of Dr. Peter Davies, Dr. Bryant Boutwell and Dr. Max Buja. Job well done.

I am encouraged by a recent feasibility study undertaken by our Office of Institutional Advancement, which reveals the support of our programs has the potential to grow. I want to thank Ralph and Becky O’Connor for introducing new friends to the Medical School at a recent event that involved our students and speakers Dr. Red Duke and Dr. LaTanya Love. It was such a beautiful event – no one wanted to go home; we just wanted to hear more stories from Dr. Duke.

That reminds me of our recent homecoming and reunion, which also was an incredible event. I saw friends and families gathering and reminiscing as Dr. John Green ’79 turned the gavel over to Dr. Kim Dunn ’90 as president of the Alumni Association.  I applaud everyone who made these events so special.

I took to the road last week for two alumni outreach visits – in San Antonio and Austin – where I was able to meet new faces, including many parents of our current students. Dr. Lowell Ku, ’97, emceed both events, and I continue to be impressed by his incredible talents. Among the friends I met were Dr. Mark Chassay, ’92, who is an amazing ambassador of this school, having traveled to the Olympics in Beijing and serving as head team physician for UT-Austin Intercollegiate Athletics; Tom and Jeannine Foster, who gave a scholarship donation in honor of their son and our graduate – Dr. David Foster, who is a pediatrician in the U.S. Navy; and Dr. Mary Kirkendall – the daughter of Dr. Walter M. Kirkendall, the founding chair of our Department of Internal Medicine, who showed us fantastic photos of her father doing what he loved – bedside teaching.

UT Physicians at Sienna Village is just two months from opening. Andrew Casas and his team have been very busy with this additional campus, and the Fort Bend community has been anxious for our specialty services. At any of our UT clinics, we must prioritize quality service and time with our patients and families even though we are in an EMR, technology-focused society.

The new UT Physicians Website is in its final stages. I am confident you will like it – it is fresh and informative, and please provide feedback and information as requested.

I had a nice meeting with Dr. Tom Caskey, director and chief executive officer of the IMM, who shared with me the pride he has for the vision of the IMM and the tremendous success of its programs and faculty. We discussed global relationships, space, tenure, collaborations, and their recent research awards of $6 million. I want to thank Dr. Caskey and the leadership team of the IMM who are working with us to integrate the IMM into the Medical School. These are exceptional times for the scientists at the IMM and the Medical School -- together, we will be unbeatable!

I was pleased to congratulate Dr. K. Lance Gould, the Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished University Chair, and Dr. Kay Bartholomew, from the School of Public Health, as the President’s Scholars for research and teaching, respectively. Dr. Gould is a pioneer of PET scanning, which provides an accurate non-invasive assessment of the blood flow into the coronary arteries. You could say that imaging the heart’s blood flow is Dr. Gould’s passion.  I had the pleasure of sitting at Dr. Gould’s table with his team, which is one of the premier teams for research and clinical care and is comprised of Dr. Rick Kirkeeide, Dr. Stefano Sdringola (another Italian, I know), Mary Haynie, Catey Carter, Susan Hood, Dilip Patel, Kathy Skweres, Victor Cuffee, and Ro Edens. This is just another example of how important it is for teams to stick together. Great job! And Dr. Gould is donating his $5,000 award to scholarships for students, demonstrating his love of this school.

I recently received some revealing data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, which reminds me how incredibly strong our Medical School is in relation to all of the other medical schools in the United States.

Have a great weekend,



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