Executive Vice Chancellor Search

April 27, 2012

Steven Stites, MD
Steven Stites, M.D. Acting Executive Vice Chancellor Acting Executive Dean, KU School of Medicine

In my new role as acting executive vice chancellor, I've been honored to meet so many new people and learn things I'd never known about our extraordinarily complex operation. I know that the last few weeks have seen an unusual level of change on our campus, and I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone at the University of Kansas Medical Center for your hard work and dedication to our mission. I hope to meet many more of you in the weeks ahead. But if I don't get a chance to personally thank you between now and the arrival of a permanent executive vice chancellor, please know that I am so impressed by the work that all of you are doing.

When might that permanent EVC arrive? It's too soon to tell, but we are moving quickly. The executive dean search committee has now been charged with recruiting an executive vice chancellor first; the new EVC will then assist the chancellor in recruiting a new executive dean for the School of Medicine. New members representing the School of Nursing and School of Health Professions have joined the committee; a list of those members is here. New job descriptions have also been written, clearly delineating the different responsibilities for the EVC and the executive dean (the job descriptions are posted here.)

We believe many of the candidates we've identified for the executive dean position will also make strong EVC candidates. Essentially, the EVC will have primary responsibility for the strategic vision and mission of KUMC, reinforcing our overall strategic goal: Provide leadership to shape the future of health and health care. The executive dean will work with the EVC to implement a strategic vision and mission for the school of medicine.

In the weeks ahead, I will continue to work with all of you to maintain momentum, to stay focused on our priorities and meet the challenges ahead, and to leave our medical center in the best possible shape for new leaders - whenever they arrive. Until then, I would ask all of you to consider one of my guiding philosophies: "Be the bridge." We are here to build bridges, not silos. We are more successful when we foster a spirit of collegiality and collaboration. By strengthening our connections to others throughout the university and in our community, we make ourselves stronger.

Thank you for your support and your hard, important work.

The American Indian Health Research & Education Alliance (AIHREA), directed by Christine Makosky Daley, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine, has just completed its first annual report to the community. AIHREA is also inviting the entire KUMC community to its 6th Annual "Our Nations Energies" Health and Wellness Pow Wow, May 4-5 at Johnson County Community College.

All researchers participating in studies requiring human specimens or histology expertise are encouraged to make use of the Biospecimen Repository Core Facility. Accrual and biospecimen banking has nearly tripled over the past year under the supervision of Andrew Godwin, Ph.D., whose goal is to continue building this valuable resource. Please contact the BRCF office, G001 Wahl Hall West, 8-4766.

Leaders from the KU School of Nursing and Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., are collaborating on an innovative new program that allows registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing to earn bachelor of science in nursing degrees through KU's online RN-to-BSN program. Both schools celebrated the agreement on Thursday, April 26. Read more here.

The Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA), headquartered at KU Medical Center, is pleased to announce its newest member: St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center in Great Bend, Kan. The MCA now has 16 members, including cancer centers, research institutions, and health care organizations. The goal of the MCA is to ensure that Kansans can access the latest advancements in cancer care close to home.

Congratulations to newly promoted and tenured faculty, whose appointments become effective July 1, 2012. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Acting Executive Vice Chancellor Steven Stites, M.D., will host a dinner for the faculty and their department chairs at the Beller Conference Center on May 2. New promotions are listed here.

Congratulations to Edward Ellerbeck, M.D., M.P.H., chair of preventive medicine and public health, and Prateek Sharma, M.D., professor of medicine, division of gastroenterology and hepatology in the Department of Internal Medicine and at the Kansas City Veterans Administration Hospital, recipients of this year's $50,000 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) Health Outcomes Research grants. Information about the grants can be found on the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute's (KCALSI) website.

The following KU School of Medicine-Wichita faculty member and third-year medical students were elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Medical Society: Lindall Smith, M.D., pediatrics assistant professor; Katie Grelinger, Erin Locke-Nilhas, Caitlin Palko, Paul St. Romain, and Aaron Thiessen. Election to AOA is an honor signifying a lasting commitment to scholarship, leadership, professionalism, and service.

Congratulations to Joshua Freeman, M.D., chair of family medicine, who is the newly elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Read more about the organization and its new board of directors here.

KUMC in the news

The Salina Journal ran a feature article this past Sunday about how our Salina first-year medical students are doing.

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