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
September 11, 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.

I hope you all had a nice Labor Day holiday and have gotten off to a great start of a new academic and fiscal year. We had impressive performance in all areas of our mission in fiscal year 2010, highlighted by an overall clinical growth of 11 percent. An increase in our patient visits and charges is looked upon very favorably in light of increasingly tightened budgets.

During his visit to campus this week, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently cautioned us about the financial challenges the state faces. However, he also reassured us that Texas is one of six states with a balanced budget. Health care and education are key for the future of any state with such robust growth as ours – we add over 1,300 people a day, according to the lieutenant governor.

We have many elected officials and special visitors to our medical school, but we are always happy to welcome Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and were especially proud to have him at our Student Salutation, where he could be engaged with those who will care for our state’s population and lead our state’s future health efforts.  He said he was extremely impressed by not only our students but also the outstanding people he met on his tour, which included Dr. Carmel Dyer and her ACE Unit, the regenerative medicine program led by Drs. James Grotta and Sean Savitz, and Dr. John Holcomb and his trauma team. We are grateful to the support he has given us, which benefits all of our patients.

Speaking of Dr. Dyer, I want to congratulate her and her team, including Dr. Nasiya Ahmed, for the launch of the UT Center for Healthy Aging, which recently opened at the UT Physicians Bellaire location. This center is the result of remarkable dedication to a susceptible population and provides state-of-the-art and compassionate care.

I had a very nice meeting recently with Dr. Eric Thomas, who is professor of medicine and director of the UT Houston – Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety. He has spent his career focused on improving patient safety. By broadening this work with Dr. Jon Tyson and his teams and engaging the housestaff, I am certain we will see unprecedented outcomes.

We continue to interview spectacular candidates for faculty positions in our school. It is satisfying that our goals to provide the best academic program and patient care are clearly visible to the talents around the country. We will not reject any opportunity.

I had a nice drive to LBJ General Hospital with Julie Page (happy that the exit from Loop 610 is working) to meet with Dr. Steve Brown and the faculty and staff. We visited the surgery area and saw a very friendly, busy team dedicated to service. Dr. Tien Ko gave us a tour and even demonstrated the technology of the video conferencing system. It was great to see the positive environment and the drive of the chiefs eager to hear the updates from Fannin Street.

Lately I have participated in several meetings to discuss information technology issues at the Medical School and at UT Physicians. It is reassuring to see people with such experience and knowledge like Rick Miller, Bill Weems, and Bassel Choucair, dedicated to moving technology and ideas forward. It is important to define goals and expectations while respecting the value of individual talents, and I thank them for their leadership.

It had been a long time, so I was glad to meet with the co-chairs of our Medical School Advisory Council, Drew Kanaly and Barry Lewis, last week. We met to discuss the present and future direction of the Medical School and will work together to strengthen the council’s role in the school.

I also had an enjoyable meeting with Dr. Tim Garson, UTHealth senior vice president for health policy and health systems.  We had a lot to talk about as he is the former dean of the medical school at the University of Virginia. I am fascinated by his work to innovatively address the health care shortage.

On behalf of Dr. Patricia Butler, her team, and all of the program directors, I am proud to tell you of two recently accredited residency programs – orthopaedic surgery and otorhinolaryngology. It takes so many people working hard behind these scenes to bring these programs up to the highest standard, and I thank each of you. Now get ready for all of the competitive applicants who will be coming your way.

I hope you have seen your copy of the first Medical School’s Year in Review. My thanks to everyone who contributed to this project to provide a snapshot on paper of our fiscal year 2009.

This week I discussed the global hypothesis of “improving everything” with Eric Rasch and the Office of Communications. While this concept may appear “unfocused," it has value if we are able to promote a culture of improvisation and teamwork as we prioritize our focus for the success of our school. I leave you with this quote by marketer Simon Sinek: “Success always takes help. Failure you can do alone.”

Have a great weekend,


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