Thursday, September 25, 2008
"Moving Higher and Higher: Creating Building Blocks for the Future." That was the theme for the 2008 State of the School Address, delivered by E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. Speaking to a standing-room-only crowd in the MSTF Auditorium, Dean Reece emphasized the building blocks that enable the School of Medicine remain a tower of success.
The School of Medicine currently ranks 19th out of all 129 medical schools in the country in direct grants and contract expenditures. The School of Medicine jumped up to 7th place when compared to all 76 public U.S. medical schools. The school's total revenue, which includes grants, tuition, state funding, faculty practice revenue and philanthropic gifts, was $734.5 million. Its economic impact on the state of Maryland was an impressive $1.5 billion, or a $24 return for every $1 of state investment.
Despite stiff competition for federal funding, grants and contracts to the School of Medicine increased an astounding 9.7 percent in fiscal year 2007 to 2008. Much of the credit for this achievement goes to a 19 percent increase in the number of grant requests submitted. The dean remarked that the quality of these requests has also improved, thanks to new training initiatives for faculty and fellows.
Despite uncertainty in the U.S. economy, philanthropic gifts to the School of Medicine also increased dramatically. Private gifts to the school increased 6.7 percent, to $49.1 million, and endowments have increased 5.7 percent to $173.8 million. "This is something important," said Dean Reece. "I'm very excited for our faculty, who have been able to secure these funds during this difficult time."
Another high point was a 10.7 percent increase in revenue for the Clincal Practice Plan, which collected more than $194 million. Dean Reece said University Physicians, Inc., is operating more efficiently than ever, with a net collection rate of 99 percent.
The State of the School Address was also an opportunity to look back on an historic year of discovery, success and national recognition for the accomplishments of faculty, staff and students. For example, the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center earned the prestigious NCI Cancer Center designation, one of only 64 centers in the U.S. to do so. Faculty members at the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development received important research awards. Christopher Plowe, MD, PhD, professor and chief of the maleria section, was named a 2007 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Kirsten Lyke, MD, assistant professor of medicine, and Miriam Laufer, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, each received the Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development award. Jonas Nelson, Class of 2010, became the School of Medicine's first recipient of the Doris Duke Student Award - one of only 60 students in the country selected for this honor.
Among the Other Highlights:
• Thanks to the hard work of faculty and staff, the School of Medicine won a successful eight-year reaccreditation Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).
• The University of Maryland School of Medicine now has a presence in 23 countries around the globe, thanks in large part to its Center for Vaccine Development and Institute of Human Virology.
• The School of Medicine established a new organized research center for Trauma and Anesthesiology Research.
• The Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) boasted 42 new NIH grant proposals from its trainees: 26 from students and 16 from postdoctoral fellows.
• National media coverage of the School of Medicine increased 85 percent. The total number of story placements increased 55 percent, while print and wire service placements increased 150 percent.
• The total workforce at the School of Medicine continues to grow, increasing 3 percent over the past year. That workforce is a loyal one, with the retention rate for our faculty holding steady at more than 90 percent.