December 20, 2012
|Steven Stites Acting Executive Vice Chancellor, Acting Dean, KU School of Medicine|
No one is more excited than I am to see Doug Girod, M.D., take over as Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Kansas Medical Center on Feb. 1.
However, by the time you read this, Dr. Girod will have left the country. Not because he's fleeing the responsibilities that lie ahead, but because of his enormous dedication to building healthy communities around the world. Dr. Girod is spending much of this month in India where, among other things, he'll be visiting Christian Medical College in Vellore, where Mani Mani, M.D., professor emeritus in general surgery, created a scholarship to honor his mentor, Dr. David Robinson. Each year, students each from our schools do a clinical rotation at the Christian Medical College, with its 2,800-bed hospital (some of the 2011 Robinson Scholars spoke about their experiences here.
Dr. Girod and I know that you have many questions about his plans for KU Medical Center. So far, we can tell you that he does plan to assume the role of interim executive dean for the School of Medicine until that search is concluded. As he noted in this Q&A last week,that will be a national search, one that we believe should not take longer than six months.
Beyond that, Dr. Girod will spend the next weeks focusing on his international travels. He undoubtedly has thoughts about what will and won't change, but I don't expect him to formalize those thoughts until after he officially takes office on Feb. 1. We do know a few things for certain. Our work on clinical integration will continue uninterrupted. Our work on streamlining our financial and organizational structures so that we can be agile and adaptive in this dynamic landscape will continue uninterrupted. Our work with the Kansas legislature and our philanthropic supporters to secure the resources necessary to educate our students in a state-of-the-art facility, producing the physicians, nurses and other health professionals so crucial to the future health of Kansans - that will continue uninterrupted.
Over the last several months, many of you have worked extra hard to ensure that the transition to new leadership will be smooth - and I can say with certainty that it will be. Meanwhile, Dr. Girod and I both appreciate your patience as we wait for him to return from India and begin communicating his vision for the short-, intermediate- and long-term future of the medical center. Until then, we wish him and all of his companions safe travels, and we send with him our greetings and best wishes to our colleagues on the other side of the world.
The Institute for Community Engagement and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor sponsor four annual awards to recognize KU Medical Center faculty, students and community partners for excellence in community engagement. The deadline for nominations is Dec. 31. More information is available here.
The Reach Out and Read Kansas City program has just received a $50,000 grant from the Hall Family Foundation to help fund its program and operations. Read Out and Read was established in 1997 as a collaboration between pediatricians at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and KU Pediatrics at KU Medical Center. Since then it has grown to a coalition of 50 clinic sites in greater Kansas City, with an emphasis on serving our community's most vulnerable children.