Dr. Phillip Pizzo School of Medicine Dean 2001-2012

The Dean's Newsletter:
July 9, 2001

Table of Contents

 Summer Schedule
 Medical School Class Entering 2001
 New Appointments in the Office of the Dean
    Special Assistant to the Dean
    Standing Committee on Women in Medicine and Biomedical Research
    Standing Committee on Diversity
 Noted Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeon to Join Stanford and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
 Update on Hospital Issues
    CEO Search
    Budgets
    Clinical Initiatives Advisory Committee
    Shifting Public Opinion
 Important Changes in Benefits for Faculty and Staff
 Notable Events
    Department of Surgery Faculty Meeting
    Diversity Summer Pipeline Program
    Bioethics Steering Committee
 Appointments and Promotions

Summer Schedule

Commencement has passed. Medical students who graduated two weeks ago have now begun their internships at Stanford or around the country. In addition, new interns and residents are beginning their training at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and our affiliated programs. It is a time of transition in teaching hospitals and despite the "summer season" is a period that is hectic, frenetic and exciting. I want to extend a warm welcome to all who have joined our community in the past two weeks.

Summer is also the season for the final steps of the Medical School budget planning. The next 6-8 weeks will bring to closure the results of months of intense planning by Department Managers, Chairs and staff regarding their FY02 budgets. During the next weeks we will be meeting with each of the basic and clinical science department chairs to review their budget projections as well as their programmatic plans for this next fiscal year which begins on September 1, 2001.

In addition to the completion of the Medical School budgets, our two major hospitals, SHC and LPCH, are also completing their budget planning for FY02. An additional part of this process will be to address the various intersections of this budget between the School and the Hospitals.

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Medical School Class Entering 2001

According to Dr. Gabriel Garcia, the work is nearly complete in identifying the members of the medical school class who will enroll in September 2001. This year the Admissions Committee reviewed over 6000 applications and currently has 86 students holding a position with Stanford. Dr. Garcia and the Committee are thrilled with the quality of the students who will be joining Stanford this Fall. Our new medical school class will include 16 students from Stanford. The remaining 70 students come from 40 other schools. The average age of this year’s incoming student is 23 (range 20-32) and 16 students (19%) already have a graduate degree. Nine of the incoming students will join the MSTP program and pursue both an MD and PhD degree. Women comprise 55% of the class and 28% of the new students are underrepresented minorities.

Finding outstanding students from such a large pool of highly qualified applicants is an awesome and daunting responsibility. I want to thank Dr. Garcia and the members of the Admission’s Committee for their outstanding work.

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New Appointments in the Office of the Dean

Special Assistant to the Dean. I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Beverly A. Simmonds to the position of "Special Assistant to the Dean", effective Monday, July 9, 2001. In this role Beverly will be responsible for providing administrative management and programmatic assistance, managing the coordination and implementation of special projects, and acting in a liaison capacity for the Dean. It is my hope that with Beverly's special assistance we will be able to respond even more promptly to the many important issues which come to the School's attention. In addition, Beverly will staff our Executive Committee and Medical Center Trustee meetings.

Beverly has been the Director of Finance and Administration for the Department of Biochemistry since November of 1998, where she directed all administrative and financial functions within the Department. Prior to this position Beverly was the Manager for Research Administration in the Department of Medicine at UCSF, where she managed operations for the Department’s Research Services Unit, including oversight of all Departmental research funds and management of a 15-person research administration team. From 1989 to 1993, Beverly held a Project Director position at SCRDP, where she worked with investigators from Medicine, Psychiatry and Pediatrics on adolescent health promotion and disease prevention research projects.

I am confident that Beverly will make strong and meaningful contributions to the School in her new position. Please join me in welcoming Beverly to her new role in the Dean’s Office. Beverly may be reached via phone at 724-7233, via fax at 725-7368, or via email at simmonds@stanford.edu.

New Standing Committees in Academic Affairs. Dr. David Stevenson, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs has invited Dr. Mary Lake Polan, Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology to serve as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Women in Medicine and Biomedical Research. I am extremely pleased that Dr. Polan has agreed to assume this responsibility and I look forward to sharing with you her goals and plans in the very near future.

In addition, Dr. Fernando Mendoza has agreed to serve as the Chair of the Standing Committee on Diversity. He and his colleagues are developing a proactive agenda to improve diversity, especially in our faculty, and I am happy to share his plans as they become further established.

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Noted Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeon to Join Stanford and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

On Thursday, July 5th, Dr. Frank Hanley, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCSF announced his decision to join the Stanford faculty and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Dr. Hanley is internationally recognized as among the very top tier of pediatric cardiac surgeons in the world. His coming to Stanford and LPCH will help launch the Heart Center, and a major component of the Children’s Health Initiative. I believe that Dr. Hanley’s recruitment will play a significant role in moving LPCH into the group of leading children’s hospitals in the nation.

I want to thank Dr. Bruce Reitz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, for the important role that he played in the recruitment of Dr. Hanley. In addition to his role in the Department, Dr. Hanley will surely play an important leadership role at LPCH and I fully anticipate in the School of Medicine. I look forward to working with Dr. Hanley and offer him a very sincere welcome.

I also want to acknowledge the very fine job that Dr. Michael Black, Associate Professor, has done in caring for children with congenital heart disease during the past several years. I am very appreciative of his efforts and know that the leadership at LPCH and Stanford is most grateful as well.

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Update on Hospital Issues

CEO Search. The Search Committee for the next CEO of Stanford Hospital and Clinics is working closely with Korn Ferry to identify the next incumbent of this incredibly important position. During the past 2-3 weeks, the Committee (which is comprised largely of members of the Board of Trustees, in addition to the VP of the Medical Center, Dean and a Department Chair) has reduced the "short list" of 6 candidates down to 2-3 lead individuals. The Committee hopes to present the final candidates to the President within the next weeks. We all hope that the next CEO can be named during the summer and begin her/his responsibilities in early Fall.

At the same time I want to acknowledge the impressive work that our interim CEO, Mr. Mike Peterson, is performing during this transition period. He has become an integral member of the team and we are all very pleased by his many excellent contributions.

Budgets. The Turnaround Committee continues meeting 2-3 times each week to address operational improvements for both Stanford Hospital & Clinics and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. With the FY01 fiscal year drawing to a close, the dominant focus is completing the budget plans for FY02. Although considerable work remains, and intense efforts will be necessary to assure that the recommendations are followed with discipline and precision. I am very pleased to say that the financial forecasts are significantly improved from where they were just a couple of months ago. Many individuals have been working very hard throughout the Medical Center to make expense reductions or improve sources of revenue. Those efforts are paying off and we are most appreciative. However, the message is still clear — much remains to be done in order to sustain these financial improvements during the months and years ahead.

Clinical Initiatives Advisory Committee. Dr. Eugene Bauer is chairing a new committee to examine opportunities for new ventures between the School and the Hospital. The goal is to create new creative partnerships that will permit us to achieve new areas for success consistent with our missions in clinical care, research and education. Careful attention is of course being given to all legal and ethical guidelines. However, seeking improved financial performance is an important goal, especially during these very difficult and challenging times.

Shifting Public Opinion. It should not be missed that the last weeks have also given evidence of a rising tide of public opinion about the financial impact of managed care on both patients and institutions. The debate in the US Congress and passage of a "Patients’ Bill of Rights" by the Senate represents an enormous step forward and a hopeful swing in public opinion. Certainly this is well reflected in the reports, editorials and op-ed pieces that have appeared in newspapers across the country. Next will be the debate in the House and engagement with the White House. Almost regardless of the immediate outcome it now seems clear that the elected officials, almost surely because of the input they are receiving from their constituents, are finally beginning to address the enormous inequities that have emerged as a consequence of managed care. While the final solutions are likely still years away, it seems likely that a shift toward a more rational health care policy and financing is now more visibly underway. Clearly we still have much work to do to help inform the public and the important debate over health care reform and the enormously important role of academic medical centers.

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Important Changes in Benefits for Faculty and Staff

Ms. Cori Bossenberry, Director, Human Resource Group, School of Medicine, shared proposed changes in the benefit plans for faculty and staff at the Dean’s staff meeting on Thursday, July 5th. Because I felt these were important to share with our community now, I asked Ms. Bossenberry to summarize them for Newsletter readers. The following is her summary:

Child Care Grant Subsidy Program - A project of BenefitSU and the Stanford WorkLife Office:

The University will be sending information to faculty and staff between July 15 and July 31 regarding this new grant pilot program. Up to $5,000 in tax free child care assistance grants will be provided to all eligible employees based on a need-based formula with defined income ceilings. The program applies to children who are less than 6 years old at the time of application. The program will be administered via the Dependent Care Spending Account. Applications must be submitted not later than AUGUST 15, 2001 to be considered for the grant - which will be effective January 1, 2002. Contact Anne Klug at 5-6293 or klug@stanford.edu for more information.

Adoption Assistance Program:

Pending final approval - if approved, effective September 1, 2001, employees will be eligible to receive $5,000 in tax-free assistance to adopt a child (benefit is paid per child).

BenefitSU Announcements:

Open Enrollment Preview: November 1 through November 19th; Web and IVR (interactive voice response) enrollment; Benefits Fairs - November 5, 6, 7

Focus on Medical Plans: Employee contributions for most plans will increase. Stanford may not continue contracting with all HMOs. With SHC discontinuing most HMO contracts there is the likelihood of adding another PPO that continues to provide access to SHC - employees will have to pay more.

Retirement Contributions - MasterRecordkeeper - coming soon - one consolidated statement per month; partnership with Fidelity to provide single interface to participants with Vanguard and TIAA-CREFF.

Retirement Plan Changes: Good news! Increase in tax-free sheltered savings limits over the next several years:employee maximum contribution increases to $11,000 in 2002; caps at $15,000; total maximum contribution (Stanford and employee) increases to $40,000; employees over 50 can make "catch up" contributions.

Enhancements to Tuition Programs, effective 9/1/2001: The STAP (Staff Training Assistance Program) maximum benefit will increase to $1200 per year (from $800) and will also be applicable to certificate programs. The STRP (Staff Tuition Reimbursement Program) maximum benefit will increase to $5250 (from $2,000) in tax-free tuition reimbursement.

Effective 1/1/02, graduate course work will also be reimbursable on a tax-free basis.

More information will be distributed to departments from the School's Human Resources Group along with standard communication from Stanford's Benefits Office.

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Notable Events

Department of Surgery Faculty Meeting. On Monday June 25th I had the opportunity to meet with the Faulty in the Department of Surgery. I am currently in the midst of holding meetings with departmental faculty across the School in order to learn more about the issues facing both the clinical and basic science faculty. These meetings also provide an opportunity to meet individual faculty members. I plan to meet with departmental faculty, generally during one of their regularly scheduled sessions, throughout the year. Naturally, if there are pressing issues that arise at other times, please do not hesitate to contact my office or me directly.

Diversity Summer Pipeline Program. On Monday evening June 25th, during an uncommon summer rain, I had the pleasure of attending the Welcome BBQ for minority or disadvantaged students who are participating in the Stanford Careers Opportunity Program, the Stanford Program in Biological Sciences and the Stanford Early Matriculation Program. Although the weather was unwelcoming, the students were bright and excited about their participation in their programs and the opportunities that stood before them. I want to thank Drs. Ronald Garcia and Fernando Mendoza for inviting me to visit and speak with the students. It was wonderful to do so.

Bioethics Steering Committee. Also on June 25th I attended the Steering Committee meeting for the Center of Biomedical Ethics. Two notable presentations were given. The first, by Dr. LaVera Crawley, a Soros Faculty Scholar, reviewed her ethnographic as well as quantitative data regarding the role and education needs of African American Physicians in the end-of-life care of their patients. Importantly, Dr. Crawley’s studies are demonstrating the important need for end-of-life training and education that is culturally diverse and includes both the providers as well as patients and families.

In addition, Dr. Maren Monsen described some of the remarkable work she is doing by combining her skills as a filmmaker and physician. Her 1998 award winning documentary "The Vanishing Line" that chronicles a physician’s exploration of how to meet the needs of dying patients with the right balance of technology, compassion and care. This remarkable film is used in medical schools, universities and hospitals around the country. Dr. Monson also described her current project entitled "Worlds Apart" which will explore the impact of culture on medical decision making.

One of the joys of being at Stanford is learning about the wide range of important studies and projects being carried out. I want to thank Drs. Crawley and Monsen for sharing their important studies with me.

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Appointments and Promotions

I am pleased to announce that the Advisory Committee has approved the following appointments and reappointments.

Congratulations to all.

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A downloadable Microsoft Word version of the newsletter is available. If clicking on this following link does not initiate a download, right-click (Windows) or click-and-hold (Mac), then use the command most similar to "Download Link To Disk" or "Save This Link As" and save the Word file to your disk.

Microsoft Word version: DeanNews07-09-01.doc

 

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