On any given day, the range of activity at Penn Medicine is both extensive and extraordinary. Communications archived here highlight key strategic initiatives and issues important to our academic medical center.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day arrives at a critical juncture for Penn Medicine. The extraordinary events of the past year have created a rare opportunity to bear witness to Dr. King’s legacy and address structural injustice in our own institution and in the communities we serve. We are well positioned to do so. We are a community united by science and medicine’s call to service. The generosity, compassion, and drive that exists among our workforce is deeply engrained in every care interaction, discovery, and breakthrough that happens within our institution’s walls every day.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Enrique Fabian Schisterman, PhD, MA, as Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics in the Perelman School of Medicine, effective February 1, 2021. Dr. Schisterman, whose expertise bridges biostatistics and epidemiology, is a national leader in epidemiological methods and reproductive epidemiology. He is currently senior investigator and Epidemiology Branch Chief in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research in the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
As we count down the days to 2021, I can’t think of a time when I have been more eager to turn the page on the calendar – or a time when I was more proud of Penn Medicine. Our response to the historic challenges of 2020 has been amazing. We met the extraordinary circumstances of a year that joined the coronavirus pandemic to the epidemic of racial inequity in our country with exemplary compassion, determination, and imagination.
We are writing to announce that Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, one of the most distinguished and impactful members of our faculty, will be retiring on January 31, 2021. Most recently, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey has served as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation PIK Professor of Health Policy and Health Equity in PSOM, with joint faculty appointments in the Department of Health Care Management in The Wharton School, and the Department of Family and Community Health in the School of Nursing.
To our health care heroes, discovery scientists and laboratory teams, and work-from-home warriors. To our patient and community protectors, and the caregivers who offer support to families and colleagues: You are essential to our Penn Medicine family. Wishing you cherished, peaceful moments, the gift of health and the best of everything in 2021.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Nicolas Plachta, PhD, as the William Richard Gordon President’s Distinguished Professor in Genetics in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, a new professorship supported by George A. Weiss, C'65, Penn Medicine Trustee and Trustee Emeritus of the University.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah J. Culley, MD, as Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at Penn Medicine. Dr. Culley, a neuroanesthesiologist and nationally recognized leader in geriatric anesthesia, is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Executive Vice Chair for the Department of Anesthesiology Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Due to current pandemic, the effective date is still being finalized but will occur in mid-March to allow for a smooth transition at both institutions.
While the Thanksgiving holiday will look different for us all this year, it remains an opportunity to honor and reflect on the tremendous impact we have had on our communities during the pandemic. J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and Kevin B. Mahoney, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, share their thanks and gratitude for our Penn Medicine community.
Today brings exciting news that the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine will contribute $100 million over the next 10 years to the School District of Philadelphia – the largest private contribution to the district in its history – to remediate environmental hazards, including asbestos and lead, in public school buildings. Below, we share a message from Penn President Amy Gutmann, Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia School District leaders with more details on this historic pledge.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Lewis A. Chodosh for a third six-year term as Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology. The reappointment follows a review process that included a survey of departmental faculty about their experiences and perspectives, followed by an Internal Committee Review.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Daniel J. Rader for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Genetics. The reappointment follows a review process that included a survey of departmental faculty about their experiences and perspectives, followed by an Internal Committee Review.
As we draw closer to next week’s election, we are reminded of the ways in which our nation is divided, but that is not the path we choose as an organization. No matter our political beliefs, it is a point of pride – and our constant expectation – that everyone at Penn Medicine treats one another with civility, tolerance, and respect.
I take great pride in announcing this year's recipients of the Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence. The distinguished awardees exemplify our profession's highest values of scholarship, teaching, innovation, commitment to service, leadership, professionalism and dedication to patient care. They epitomize the preeminence and impact we all strive to achieve. The awardees range from those at the beginning of their highly promising careers to those whose distinguished work has spanned decades.
Every election is an opportunity to make your voice heard and support your community. This election is no different, and our faculty, staff, students, and the patients we care for will bring important ideas and perspectives to elections at all levels this year.
Dr. Garret FitzGerald and the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics cordially invite you to the 15th Annual ITMAT International Symposium, which will take place as a free virtual event on Mon. Oct. 12 and Tues. Oct. 13, 2020. This year’s theme is Novel Therapeutics and Democratization of Access: Implementation of Translational Science.
As the election approaches, I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. The COVID19 pandemic may make in person voting difficult. I’m pleased to share the information below from VotER, a national, non-partisan non-profit that aims to help people register to vote and request mail-in ballots so they can vote safely this election.
We are pleased to announce that Erica R. Thaler, MD, FACS, will serve as interim Chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (Oto-HNS) as we begin a national search for a successor to Dr. Bert O’Malley. Dr. Thaler will assume the role of interim Chair on October 1, 2020.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Michael S. Parmacek for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Medicine. The reappointment follows a review process that included an extensive self-study, internal committee review, and external review by three leaders in academic medicine.
The strengths of our academic community are never more apparent to me as Dean than at the beginning of a new academic year. It is an opportunity for me to welcome new faculty, students, and house staff to Penn -- and to reflect on the talent and passion of these newest members of our community, and the strengths of the community that brought them here. This year those welcoming events were virtual, but the excitement was real. And it gives me great pleasure to tell you that the new academic year is off to an excellent start.
Penn Medicine hospitals have once again been ranked among the top hospitals in the nation. The scope and magnitude of what we have faced together thus far in 2020 has reshaped the way we live, work, and care for our patients. Even in our most challenging hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was nothing more important than keeping our patients, families, colleagues and communities safe and healthy, and the creativity and commitment our team brought to this task was a daily inspiration.
It is with mixed emotions that we announce that after 17 years of exceptional, impactful leadership as the Gabriel Tucker Professor and Chair of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (HNS) at Penn Medicine, Bert W. O’Malley, Jr., MD, will be stepping down from this role to become President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). His new position begins November 1.
Join us. Add your voice to the Action for Cultural Transformation (ACT) and be part of efforts to strengthen our culture. Today we want to brief you on the progress of this important work and remind you that this will not succeed without your input. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, who sadly passed away last week, once said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”
It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Richard C. Wender, MD, as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Dr. Wender, who was Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University for 12 years and formerly served as the Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society, is currently Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Jefferson.
To make real our commitment to actively address all forms of racism and bias at Penn Medicine, we are pleased to announce the steps we are taking beginning in July to create a more inclusive and just community. As promised in our June 15 message to the community, a framework for taking action has been developed by the Penn Medicine Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) in partnership with Penn Medicine Academy and leaders and representatives throughout our institution. This plan, called Action for Cultural Transformation (ACT), has been posted on the OID website.
It is with pride mixed with sadness that we write to announce that Lee A. Fleisher, MD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, has accepted a new role as Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He will also serve as Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, which serves as the focal point for all quality, clinical, medical science issues, survey and certification, and policies for CMS programs.
The past few weeks have been traumatic, especially for Black faculty, students, and staff who live every day with the burden of racism. The recent protests for racial justice have inspired unprecedented solidarity and the opportunity for our entire community to commit to actions that will have a lasting effect.
Please join University Provost Wendell Pritchett, Dean J. Larry Jameson, Vice Dean for Penn Medicine Office of Inclusion and Diversity Eve Higginbotham, UPHS CEO Kevin B. Mahoney and CHOP President and CEO Madeline Bell today for a Community Dialogue on Racism, Racial Justice and Social Equity
Words can seem hollow when the same, or similar, messages are conveyed following seemingly endless tragic events. Yet, we still need words as well as action. George Floyd now joins the growing, and horrifically long list of African Americans, mainly men, who have been killed by those charged to protect us, or in other cases, by their neighbors.
We are writing to announce that John Glick, MD, the founding chair and guiding spirit of The Academy of Master Clinicians, will be stepping down as chair July 1 and will be succeeded in that role by Jody Foster, MD, MBA. Election to the Academy is the highest clinical honor for a Penn Medicine physician.
You are becoming doctors at an exciting time for medicine. The tools we have for discovery, diagnosis, and treatment have never been more powerful. As you enter medical practice, the use of imaging, minimally invasive surgery, new medicines, informatics, and artificial intelligence will allow you to make diagnoses earlier and treat diseases with ever-increasing precision and better outcomes.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Elizabeth A. Howell, MD, MPP, as Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn Medicine. Dr. Howell, a nationally recognized leader in quality of care and racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and child health, is currently a tenured professor and institutional leader at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Her appointment as Department Chair at Penn takes effect September 1.
We write to announce that Lee A. Fleisher, MD, who is completing his third and final term as Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, has agreed to accelerate the search for his successor, in order to allow for a significant period of transition at a critical time in the history of the Department.
By the end of this week, the Employee Assistance Fund will have processed more than 6,000 applications, providing emergency grants totaling over $3 million – beyond our initial commitment of $1 million – to assist staff with needs such as childcare, housing, and food. We’ve already supplied these much-needed funds to 1,600 employees. The remaining applications are being processed and will be paid within the next week.
Dear Penn Medicine Colleagues:
The creativity, collaboration and stamina on display throughout our organization is heroic. Together, we have acted with resourcefulness and resolve to rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have arrived at another critical stage that will require our continued work as a unified team to care for the expected increase in patients needing care in our hospitals, emergency departments and virtual clinics.
A few weeks ago, we announced the creation of the Penn Medicine Employee Assistance Fund– $1 million in emergency grants to support the members of our team who are most in need of help. Penn Medicine staff, including full-time, part-time, per diem, and those employed through third parties, who are in significant financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a $500 grant.
I’m writing on behalf of six other leaders of large academic health systems in some of America’s Covid-19 “hot spots” to urge our national leadership to resist pressure to lift tough social restrictions intended to subdue this outbreak and save thousands of lives. While some say the economic damage of these measures will cause more harm than the disease itself, these steps will actually ensure our economic health, since commerce cannot thrive until we have substantially contained the virus.
In this time of unprecedented crisis, we are mindful of the ongoing disruptions in the personal and professional lives of our Penn Medicine colleagues. For faculty who are assistant professors in the Tenure, Clinician-Educator, and Research Tracks, and associate professors without tenure, we recognize the impact of COVID-19 on the ability to perform the academic responsibilities on which the evaluation for promotion will be based.
Dear Class of 2020,
I am so proud of each of you! You are ready to be residents, taking responsibility for patients and continuing the steep learning curve that is an inherent element of our profession. Today, you will learn your match results – I am super-excited to see these!
The Class of 2020 celebrated their accomplishments on Match Day today at noon using a virtual process. We join our students in the joyous reflection of great achievements during their time at the Perelman School of Medicine. We congratulate the Class of 2020 on their success in the Match and share the results of their hard work with our academic community.
Dear Penn Medicine Colleagues,
Together, we must lead by example in the effort to fight COVID-19. Personal responsibility – in both our work and professional lives – must be our absolute commitment in these challenging and anxious times.
There have been several healthcare providers diagnosed with COVID-19 across our health system this week. Consistent with experiences elsewhere, these individuals conferred potential exposures to both patients and other staff, resulting in quarantine for those employees.
As you are no doubt aware, the extraordinary circumstance of the COVID-19 outbreak has meant enormous shifts in normal operations across both Penn Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania. We are writing to let you know about some of the extra precautions being taken to provide the safest environment possible for students, patients, faculty, and staff during this unique and rapidly evolving challenge. This included three significant announcements, made Friday morning:
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel Yoshor, MD, as Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery in the Perelman School of Medicine and Vice President of Clinical Integration and Innovation for the Health System. Dr. Yoshor, a nationally recognized neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, is currently the Marc J. Shapiro Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His appointment as department chair at Penn takes effect July 1.
We stand with you! As we prepare for the week ahead, we must continue to work together to fight COVID-19. The steps we’ve taken in recent days – including a restricted visitation policy for our hospitals, prohibiting business travel, curtailing our on-site workforce to maximize social distancing, and cancelling non-essential outpatient appointments and surgeries – are what we must do as an institution to slow the spread of this virus in our community.
The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has underscored the crucial role of health care organizations. For nearly two months, leaders and staff from around the health system have come together and devoted countless hours of creativity and dedication to ensure that we are prepared to care for patients with this disease. We have been inspired by your efforts, and want to thank you for your commitment as this outbreak continues.
It is our pleasure to invite you to join us as we celebrate Commencement on May 17, 2020, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and recognize the outstanding achievements of our graduating medical class. We are privileged this year to welcome back to Penn as commencement speaker Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE. A distinguished member of the Penn faculty and Penn Medicine leader for many years, Dr. Armstrong now serves as Chair of the Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Joseph St. Geme for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine. The reappointment follows a review process last year that included an extensive self-study, joint Penn/CHOP internal committee review, and external review by three international leaders in the field.
We are pleased to announce the inaugural awards from the Clifton Faculty Well-Being Fund, established with a $1million gift from Catherine Roberts Clifton and Anthony J. Clifton to support research projects focused on faculty well-being that mitigate physician stress and burnout. Two projects – one focused on optimizing use of the myPennMedicine (MPM) patient portal and the other on improving the wellness of critical care faculty -- were selected in the first round of funding.
On January 22, we will gather for the 6th annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Equity Symposium. The program, which has become one of our academic community’s finest traditions, honors Dr. King’s legacy and underscores Penn Medicine’s devotion to his vision of social justice. His message is as urgent as ever, and at Penn Medicine we hear it clearly.
We are delighted to announce the election of 11 new members of The Academy of Master Clinicians, which is the highest clinical honor to be bestowed on a Penn physician. The Academy was launched in 2013 to recognize those Penn Medicine clinicians who exemplify the highest standards of clinical excellence, humanism and professionalism.
We are pleased to announce that, in addition to his current role as Director of the Abramson Cancer Center, Dr. Robert H. Vonderheide has been appointed as Vice President for Cancer Programs for UPHS and Vice Dean for Cancer Programs in the Perelman School of Medicine, effective January 1, 2020.
With the holidays upon us and 2019 drawing to a close, we’re proud to take time to reflect on our year and thank the people who dedicate their work and spirit to our shared mission every day throughout Penn Medicine.
I want to thank you for making 2019 a year of exciting advances at Penn Medicine. We can all be very proud of our academic medical center’s comprehensive impact -- whether translating discoveries into better health, providing exceptional care for our patients, or training the next generation of physicians. In this message, I will highlight a few examples of our progress over the past year and also underscore the impact and durability of our success.
We are delighted to announce that through the generous philanthropy of Rod Wong, M’03 the Penn HealthX innovation program has been endowed for the future. Established in 2013, Penn HealthX is one of the preeminent student-led organizations within the Perelman School of Medicine and supports medical students interested in health care management, entrepreneurship, technology and business. Over the past six years, it has grown into a nationally recognized program that provides medical students with real-world opportunities to explore, experience, and contribute to innovation.
As Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season approaches, I want to take this opportunity to share with you some reflections on what we have to be grateful for at Penn Medicine. First, I am grateful to each of you for your hard work and often selfless contributions to Penn Medicine. I also want to highlight our culture, arguably the most enduring and impactful feature of our academic medical center.
Along with my colleagues from the FOCUS program, I am delighted to announce that Eydie Miller-Ellis, MD, is the recipient of the 2019 FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine. Dr. Miller-Ellis is a Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs and Diversity at the Perelman School of Medicine and serves as the Chief of Glaucoma Service and Director of the Glaucoma Fellowship Program at the Scheie Eye Institute and Director of Glaucoma at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center.
I am writing to remind you that Penn Medicine and the University have launched our annual workplace charitable giving campaign. Penn's Way will run until November 15. We can all help Penn Medicine and the University achieve our goal.
We are delighted to share the news that Penn Medicine graduate Gregg L. Semenza, M’82, GR’84, this morning was among three investigators awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology. He is part of a proud tradition of excellence among our alumni and faculty, becoming the ninth individual affiliated with Penn to receive the prize.
We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Penn Center for Genome Integrity (PCGI), under the leadership of founding director Roger Greenberg, MD, PhD. The PCGI will integrate cutting-edge research in our basic and clinical sciences to advance our fundamental understanding of genome integrity and its contributions to human biology.
There is still time to register for the ITMAT 14th Annual International Symposium -- “Translational Targets and Precision Medicine: Taming Inflammation and Improving Resilience as We Age.” The symposium will take place October 14-15, 2019, in the Arthur Rubenstein Auditorium of the Smilow Center for Translational Research.
I take great pride in announcing this year's recipients of the Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence. The distinguished awardees exemplify our profession's highest values of scholarship, teaching, innovation, commitment to service, leadership, professionalism and dedication to patient care. They epitomize the preeminence and impact we all strive to achieve. The awardees range from those at the beginning of their highly promising careers to those whose distinguished work has spanned decades.
Each of you will have your own story in medicine. My goal over the next 10 minutes is to highlight decision points in my own career and to emphasize that there is great flexibility and joy in medicine that touches every mission. I have found joy in clinical practice, research, teaching, and mentoring, and will share with you an example of each.
We are pleased to announce that Susan S. Ellenberg, PhD, will serve as interim chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (DBEI), as Dr. Harv Feldman completes his six-year term and we begin a national search for his successor. Dr. Ellenberg will assume the role of interim Chair on October 1.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Samuel Parry will serve as the interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He will assume this role beginning October 1st, as Dr. Deborah Driscoll transitions into her new leadership positions as SVP for the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania and Vice Dean for Professional Services.
We are writing to share two exciting leadership transitions that will serve as cornerstones of our strategy for both inpatient and ambulatory care as we prepare for a series of transformational clinical facility openings over the next several years. Dr. Deborah A. Driscoll will become the Senior Vice President for the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania (CPUP) and Vice Dean for Professional Services in the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Peter D. Quinn will be transitioning from his current role to become Chief Physician Executive for the Penn Medicine Medical Group (PMMG).
This summer, the exterior façade of the Pavilion was locked into place, serving as a key milestone for our most ambitious building project and symbolizing Penn Medicine’s momentum as a leading academic medical center. When it opens in 2021, the Pavilion will be the most advanced inpatient facility in the world. However, important as the capital projects are to our future, it is timely as a new academic year begins to reflect on Penn Medicine’s most important asset – our people.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Kevin Foskett for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Physiology. The Department is highly regarded internationally for discoveries at the forefront of modern physiology.
We are excited to announce the creation of the Penn Center for Global Genomics and Health Equity (Penn Global Genomics, PGG), under the leadership of founding director Sarah Tishkoff, PhD. The PGG will position Penn as an international leader in research and training in global genomics, genomic diversity and health disparities.
As we mark the one-year anniversary of the Perelman School of Medicine’s Professionalism Campaign, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on what the Campaign has accomplished, the positive impact it is having on our culture, and what we still hope to achieve.
We are delighted to announce the formation of the Chronobiology and Sleep Institute (CSI), which will continue the advancement of research and collaboration in circadian biology and sleep at Penn. Under the direction of Amita Sehgal, PhD, the new CSI will bring together researchers in multiple disciplines to bridge the basic and clinical sciences, promote educational activities, and increase awareness of the health relevance of daily rhythms and sleep.
I am writing to share the news that Zeke Emanuel will be taking a one-year leave of absence from his position as Chair of Medical Ethics and Health Policy in the Perelman School of Medicine, effective July 1, 2019, to focus on several exciting new initiatives. Zeke will continue to serve as the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy PIK Professor, and as Vice-Provost for Global Initiatives, two key areas of focus which are closely aligned with the new work he’ll be taking on.
We are excited to announce the creation of the Penn-CHOP Lung Biology Institute (LBI), under the leadership of founding director Edward E. Morrisey, PhD. The LBI will position both Penn Medicine and CHOP at the forefront of pulmonary research, developing novel approaches to prevent and treat human lung disease.
Good morning. I am Larry Jameson, Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine. It is great to see this huge turnout – and everyone is here to celebrate YOU, the Class of 2019. This ceremony is a wonderful occasion for each of you, and we couldn’t have hoped for a more talented, hard-working group of graduates.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. John Dani for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Neuroscience. The Department is well-positioned to excel over the next six years. We look forward to working with Dr. Dani during his second term to foster continued progress and innovation, and ask that you join us in congratulating him on this reappointment.
We write to announce that after more than two decades of exceptional, impactful leadership as the Charles Harrison Frazier Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, M. Sean Grady, MD, will be stepping down from this role effective June 30, 2020. This transition will begin a new chapter in his distinguished career at Penn Medicine and as a national leader in the field.
It is with a sense of great appreciation that I write to inform you that Harv Feldman, MD, MSCE, will be stepping down from his role as Chair of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology & Informatics (DBEI) at the end of his term on September 30, 2019.
We are pleased to announce our appointment of Kevin B. Mahoney as Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), effective July 1, 2019. A well-known and universally well-respected member of the Penn and Penn Medicine communities, Kevin currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for UPHS, as well as the Executive Vice Dean for Integrative Services for the Perelman School of Medicine.
I’m pleased to share the news that the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has been ranked #3 among the nation’s medical schools by U.S. News & World Report in its annual survey of best graduate schools. This marks 22 consecutive years the school has garnered honors among the top 10 research-oriented medical schools.
It is our pleasure to invite you to join us as we celebrate Commencement on May 19, 2019, at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and recognize the outstanding achievements of our graduating medical class. We are privileged this year to have two exceptional speakers – Reed V. Tuckson, MD, who will deliver the Commencement Address, and Edward T. Anderson, MD, who will serve as the Class of 1969 50th reunion speaker.
I’m pleased to announce that Patrick Norton will be assuming new roles as Secretary to the Penn Medicine Board of Trustees and my Chief of Staff, effective March 1, 2019. He will continue to serve as Vice President for the Health System, with oversight responsibility for Public Affairs – communications, media relations, and government & community affairs – also reporting to the CEO of UPHS.
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that Caryn Lerman, PhD, the John H. Glick, MD, Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Psychiatry and Vice Dean for Strategic Initiatives in the Perelman School of Medicine, will be leaving Penn to become Director of the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Keck School of Medicine.
The arrival of Martin Luther King Day is an opportunity at the beginning of every year to renew our academic community’s vital commitment to advancing health equity. On January 23, we will mark MLK Day with the fifth annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Health Equity Symposium. This year's theme is “Achieving Population Health through Health Equity.” The symposium will feature keynote speaker Jonathan Woodson, MD, former Assistant Secretary of Health Affairs for the U.S. Department of Defense. I was fortunate to learn from Dr. Woodson as a medical intern on his team at Mass General Hospital. He has been an eloquent champion of the Military Health System, and his talk is sure to be stimulating and inspiring.
Today, Penn Medicine is mourning the loss of Raymond G. Perelman, one of its most significant and committed partners in improving health — here on our campus, throughout the City of Philadelphia and beyond. Through his peerless generosity and deep and abiding engagement, Penn has become an even greater global force in patient care, research, and medical education.
As we prepare to turn the page on 2018, I want to thank you for making this another year of significant impact at Penn Medicine. Together, we continued along the path of Shaping the Future of Medicine, advancing Penn’s leadership in academic medicine, translating discoveries into better health, providing exceptional care for our patients, and training the next generation of physicians and scientists.
The Academy of Master Clinicians was launched in 2013 to recognize those Penn Medicine clinicians who exemplify the highest standards of clinical excellence, humanism and professionalism. We are proud and delighted to announce the 2018 class of inductees.
Along with my colleagues from the FOCUS program, I am delighted to announce that Judith Long, MD is the winner of the 2018 FOCUS Award for the Advancement of Women in Medicine. Dr. Long is the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) at the Corporal Michael J. Cresenz VA Medical Center.
I am pleased to announce an exciting new partnership with Wharton to offer an executive education program designed for leaders in health care and academic medicine. Leadership in a New Era of Health Care is intended to equip physicians, nurses, scientists and executives with the skills they need to drive change in their organizations.
The past 96 hours of news has included a series of hateful acts: bomb scares, a mass shooting in a synagogue and a shooting at Kroger’s. These tragedies affect us all deeply. Some of you may have personal connections to these terrible events. We regret to inform you that the Perelman School of Medicine has a connection to the tragedy in Pittsburgh as we lost a loyal Penn family member - one of the Pittsburgh victims, Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, was a Penn alumnus: C'73 and M'77.
We are excited to announce creation of the Penn Center for Nutritional Science and Medicine (PenNSAM), a partnership between Penn Medicine and CHOP that will position Penn at the forefront of nutritional biology research to prevent and treat disease. Under the direction of Gary D. Wu, MD, PenNSAM will focus on integrating human clinical metadata, traditional dietary assessments, and standard nutritional biomarkers with data generated using the latest high throughput molecular profiling technologies analyzed through the use of advanced biostatistical and computational algorithms.
It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that Daniel E. Polsky, PhD, the Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management in the Department of Medicine and the Wharton School and Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI), will be leaving Penn to join Johns Hopkins University in the spring in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Carey Business School.
I am writing to remind you that Penn Medicine and the University have launched our annual workplace charitable giving campaign. Penn's Way will run until November 16. We can all help Penn Medicine and the University achieve our goal.
Penn Medicine faces a new opportunity and a new challenge, and we need your support. We are writing to announce an initiative to transform the way we use electronic health records (EHRs) and other digital media, to make them serve our patients better by helping them support our clinicians better.
I take great pride in announcing this year's recipients of the Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence. The distinguished awardees exemplify our profession's highest values of scholarship, teaching, innovation, commitment to service, leadership, and dedication to patient care. They epitomize the preeminence and impact we all strive to achieve.
As we begin a new academic year, it is timely to reflect on the changing educational landscape. Within our thriving academic medical center, education remains our defining mission and is a pillar of our five-year strategic plan, Shaping the Future of Medicine 2.0. In this brief message, I will share with you some of the ways we are advancing medical education at Penn to adapt to the rapidly changing healthcare environment and to meet the needs of future physicians and biomedical scientists.
It is our pleasure to announce that Penn Medicine hospitals have once again been named among the top hospitals in the nation and #1 in the state of Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report in the magazine’s annual “Best Hospitals” rankings.
It is with appreciation that we write to inform you that Chyke Doubeni, MD, MPH, FRCS, will be stepping down from his role as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, effective August 1, 2018. Continuing as a faculty member in the Perelman School of Medicine, Dr. Doubeni plans to take a sabbatical to develop exciting new areas in population health that build upon his robust research program.
We write to share the exciting news that Penn this week entered into a formal alliance with the Vingroup to improve health care and to create new undergraduate and graduate medical training programs in Vietnam. The alliance is positioned to extend our global reach through the creation of a new Center of Regional Engagement in Southeast Asia.
I am delighted to announce the appointment of E. John Wherry, PhD, for a six-year term as Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics (SPATT), effective July 1. Dr. Wherry is the Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor in the Department of Microbiology and an international leader in the study of T cell exhaustion, which prevents optimal control of infections and can hamper anti-tumor immune responses.
I am delighted to announce the appointment of Jody J. Foster, MD, MBA, as the first Assistant Dean for Professionalism in Penn Medicine. Dr. Foster’s appointment to this newly created position advances the Campaign for Professionalism, which is being led by Dr. Lisa Bellini, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.
In this season of renewal, we celebrate the graduation of students, welcome back our alumni, and begin a new Capital Campaign -- The Power of Penn. In this brief communication, I want to express my admiration and gratitude to all of you who make Penn Medicine the best place in the world to learn, discover, or receive care. Below, I share a few highlights from the past year to justify this statement.
We are pleased to announce that Benjamin Sun, MD, MPP, FACEP, has been appointed chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Sun is an emergency physician and federally funded health services researcher who is nationally recognized for his expertise in the areas of safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness in health care.
We are pleased to announce that the Blavatnik Family Foundation is directing a $2 million gift to create the Blavatnik Family Fellowship in Biomedical Research in the Penn Biomedical Graduate Studies Program.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Frances Jensen for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Neurology. Under her leadership, the Department has thrived, with robust clinical activity, excellent research programs, and highly competitive educational programs.
We are writing to inform you about an exciting new Wharton-PSOM partnership to co-create and deliver non-degree granting Executive Education in the areas of healthcare management and delivery, leadership development in academic health centers and health systems, and healthcare innovation.
At Penn Medicine, professionalism is a core value within our institutional culture, fostering an environment of trust and teamwork. Penn Medicine is committed to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism. We should always aspire to continuous improvement. In pursuit of this goal, I am pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative, the Campaign for Professionalism, which is being led by Lisa Bellini, MD, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Mitchell Schnall for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Radiology. The reappointment follows a review process affirming that, under Dr. Schnall's leadership, the Department is on an exceptional trajectory, with strong nationally recognized programs across all areas of the academic and clinical missions.
Protecting patient information is a top priority at Penn Medicine and one that requires all of us to play our part. Indeed, a key component of delivering top quality care to our patients is also taking care to protect the privacy and security of their information. We all must know the "do's and don't s" for keeping data secure, the services and tools available to assist, and where to direct any questions or concerns.
The Academy of Master Clinicians was launched in 2013 to recognize those Penn Medicine clinicians who exemplify the highest standards of clinical excellence, humanism, and professionalism. We are proud and delighted to announce the new members of the Academy and look forward to continuing to expand this group with additional outstanding individuals in the coming years.
As you may recall, we have chosen to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., with an annual symposium on Health Equity. Our program this year is especially significant, and we write to remind you that we will come together as a community on next Wednesday, January 24, as we welcome Dr. Howard Koh, former Assistant Secretary of Health, as our fourth annual MLK Speaker. In our professional lifetimes, we cannot remember a more pivotal moment in our journey for health equity.
We’re delighted to announce that the Princeton HealthCare System has officially joined Penn Medicine. Completion of this effort, which included a series of regulatory approvals over the past year, has further solidified Penn Medicine’s position as the leader in providing comprehensive care on both sides of the Delaware River.
The New Year is an appropriate time to resolve to promote clinician vitality and foster well-being. To that end, we write to share a statement submitted at the close of last year in support of the National Academy of Medicine’s Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.
With 2017 coming to a close, I want to thank you sincerely for the great work you have done to make this a truly memorable and impactful year at Penn Medicine. Together, we have reached some remarkable milestones.
The gene therapy developed by Dr. Jean Bennett and her team for treatment of a rare, inherited form of retinal blindness -- Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) -- was approved today by the FDA. This milestone marks the nation's first gene therapy approved for the treatment of a genetic disease and the first in which a new, corrective gene is injected directly into a patient.
The 2018 Penn's Way campaign officially drew to a close on November 10, and we are proud to announce that this year's effort raised nearly $1.8 million -- including a record $1.1 million through the generosity of Penn Medicine employees -- to support the crucial work of charitable organizations and community service initiatives throughout our region. We are grateful to be part of a community with such an inspiring spirit of giving.
We are proud to share that thanks to the dedication, commitment, and industriousness of students in the Perelman School of Medicine, the student-led effort to help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria raised more than $27,000. These funds have been matched by Penn Medicine, totaling more than $55,000 in contributions.
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Suzanne (Suzi) Rose, MD, MSEd, will assume the role as the Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education at the Perelman School of Medicine, effective February 15, 2018. This search process and appointment follows several years of collaborative succession planning with Gail Morrison, who has led the Perelman School of Medicine to its current position of eminence.
I take great pride in sharing with you the wonderful news that five of our colleagues in the Perelman School of Medicine have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine: Lewis A. Chodosh, MD, PhD (Department of Cancer Biology); Christos Coutifaris, MD, PhD (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology); Maria A. Oquendo, MD, PhD (Department of Psychiatry), Michael S. Parmacek, MD (Department of Medicine); and Flaura K. Winston, MD, PhD (Department of Pediatrics).
I am pleased to share with you Penn Medicine's new Strategic Plan -- Shaping the Future of Medicine 2.0: The Next Era of Innovation and Impact (2018-2023). As each of you appreciate, academic medicine faces dynamic change in each of our mission areas. While much of this change is induced by the external environment, we are in a unique leadership position to shape the field and insure that we adapt proactively to new opportunities and challenges.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of Dr. Timothy R. Dillingham for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The reappointment follows a review process that included an extensive self-study, followed by an internal committee review and an external review by three leaders in the field.
This week Penn Medicine and the University launched our annual workplace charitable giving campaign, Penn's Way, which will run until November 10. We can all help Penn Medicine and the University achieve its goal.
I take great pleasure and pride in announcing this year's recipients of the Penn Medicine Awards of Excellence. The distinguished awardees exemplify our profession's highest values of scholarship, teaching, innovation, commitment to service, leadership, and dedication to patient care.
The literature is replete with evidence of high rates of burnout among physicians, scientists, students, and staff who work in healthcare. While Faculty at Penn Medicine have contributed to this literature, we are certainly not exempt from the factors that lead to burnout. At Penn Medicine, we are deeply committed to engaging faculty with innovative programs that maximize well-being, enhance productivity, and make us a preferred place to work.
The CAR T-cell therapy developed by Dr. Carl June and his team recently took a giant step forward at the FDA, where it was supported unanimously by an expert panel as the first-ever genetically targeted, cell-based therapy for the treatment of cancer. This achievement has been hailed as opening a new era in medicine.
I know that it is impractical for most of you to attend the graduation ceremonies. For that reason, I want to take this opportunity to share some lessons I learned from our speakers, and express my appreciation to all of you for all that we have accomplished in the last year
I am writing to share with you a recent Grand Rounds presentation to the Department of Medicine. The talk, which is titled "Shaping the Future of Medicine 2.0," focuses on the tremendous momentum Penn Medicine has achieved over the past five years and our planning process for the future. Owing to the quality of our faculty, students, and staff, the breadth and depth of our accomplishments are truly remarkable. I hope you will take a moment to reflect on them.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Daniel P. Kelly, MD, as the new Director of the Penn Cardiovascular Institute, effective August 2017. Dr. Kelly, a longtime faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, joins Penn from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona, FL, where he has served as the founding Scientific Director. Dr. Kelly is nationally renowned for his work on mitochondrial function, with emphasis on heart failure and diabetes.
We are pleased to announce the reappointment of George Cotsarelis, MD, for a second six-year term as Chair of the Department of Dermatology. Under Dr. Cotsarelis's strong leadership, the Department has evolved from being a leading department to arguable one of the top Departments of Dermatology in the country.
As the New Year begins, I want to express my aspirations for Penn Medicine and highlight some of the reasons I am optimistic about 2017. As an Academic Medical Center, we are facing forces of enormous positive change. Scientific discoveries are disrupting traditional paradigms for how we understand circadian biology, epigenetics, the microbiome, neuroscience, immunology, and cancer metabolism, among other areas.
As I reflect on the recent election and events that have unfolded in the subsequent days, I want to reach out to the Penn Medicine community and express my understanding of the many reactions, emotions, and concerns of our faculty, students, staff, and patients. I am keenly aware of the stress that many of you feel as we face a time of uncertainty and digest many months of often bitter dialogue and the accompanying acrimony that has persisted in the days since the election.
As the new academic year begins, I want to highlight the power of big ideas, and especially their ability to forge common purpose and spur long-term thinking.
During our 250th anniversary celebration last year, we highlighted Penn Medicine's impressive history of transformative discoveries that have changed science and health care. In recent years, with the…
Innovation, inclusion, and impact are fundamental features of our culture of discovery at Penn Medicine and have been key themes in our strategic plan. With the excitement of graduation fresh in our minds, it's timely to reflect on how your creativity helped make for a truly outstanding year.
Activities involving global health have accelerated dramatically on campus over the past several months. This momentum is the direct result of the formation last July of the Center for Global Health under the leadership of Glen Gaulton. I am writing to share with you the steps we are taking to create new opportunities for our faculty and students in this domain.
MLK Day arrives this year as our national conversation about social justice and the frustrating persistence of barriers to inclusion has intensified. It is therefore even more timely to remind ourselves that the pursuit of social justice, and by extension health equity, is deeply embedded in the core values of professionalism..
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher D. Masotti, CPA, MBA, as Vice Dean for Finance and Operations in the Perelman School of Medicine. Chris brings a wealth of experience in medical school finance and administration, higher education leadership, and public accounting in the corporate sector.
I write to announce that after 17 years of impactful and excellent leadership as the founding director of the Penn Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), James A. Hoxie, MD, will be transitioning from this role. CFAR Co-Director Ronald G. Collman, MD, has been appointed as the new director.
I take great pride in sharing with you the wonderful news that our colleagues Frances Jensen, MD, FACP, and Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD, have been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). Drs. Jensen and Hennessy bring to 66 the number of current and emeritus members of the Penn Medicine community who are NAM members.
As the summer begins, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on the yearlong celebration of our medical school's 250th birthday, which culminated last month with the dedication of the Jordan Medical Education Center, Medical Alumni Weekend, and the commemorative activities of our Gala celebration at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
I write to announce that after more than two decades of exceptional and impactful leadership at the Perelman School of Medicine, currently as Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer, Glen Gaulton, PhD, will transition from this role in July 2015.
The core values and character of our scientific community were established 250 years ago by John Morgan and his colleagues, who in founding our medical school established the template for academic medicine in the United States.
The beginning of each academic year is always energizing. But two things set this year apart: 1) our medical school’s 250th celebration of the founding of the school in 1765 and 2) the momentum that has been building as we approached this milestone, especially the great progress we have made across Penn Medicine in the past year to advance each of our mission areas.
Penn Medicine has been a national leader in our effort to accelerate the translation of basic research into clinical applications. The creation of ITMAT, along with a number of other Centers and Institutes, has had the desired effect of catalyzing translational research, and this is reflected by remarkable growth in high impact publications. This exciting pace of discovery creates a predictable need to streamline and make as effective as possible the natural outlets of translational work in technology transfer and clinical trials.