Transition Teams

May 04, 2012

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

As I approach the end of my third week as Acting Executive Vice Chancellor and Acting Executive Dean, I continue to be amazed at the incredible education, patient care, research and community engagement going on here.

I also want to thank so many of you who have stepped up and offered to help during the transition. In that regard, there is much work to be done. One of the most important things we can do during the transition period is to provide our next EVC with an overview of the issues facing all of us - faculty, learners, administrators and employees.

To that end, I have assembled transition teams to develop a summary for our incoming EVC. A list of transition team members is posted here. If you would like to be added to a team - or if you simply want to provide input - please send a note to the leader. Each team's task is to provide a brief document listing the strengths and weaknesses of its particular area of the campus. Where there are weaknesses, I have asked team members to propose solutions. Where there are strengths, I will ask the teams to make note of ways in which an especially strong program or initiative can be enhanced or serve as a model for other programs across campus.

I expect open and honest communication during these team meetings. As everyone in the department of Internal Medicine knows, two of my guiding philosophies are "Do the right thing" and "Ask questions, seek answers." If we always do the right thing - act in a way that conveys our spirit of cooperation and our dedication to reason - we will serve as an example to our colleagues and especially to our patients and to our learners. Asking questions and seeking answers is what broadly defines us as an academic medical center - but the same process is especially practical in this particular instance.

One of the things being a chair in a large department has taught me is to trust the good people we have - when I put issues in the hands of my faculty and staff, I am impressed by how well they respond. That's why I'm confident that, thanks to the work of these transition teams, our next EVC will be well-prepared to meet the challenges ahead and take us to our next level of greatness.

KU this past weekend launched a $1.2 billion fundraising campaign. Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas will advance KU, KU Medical Center and The University of Kansas Hospital, and benefit every corner of the state. You can read more about the campaign and watch an entertaining video featuring several people from our campus here.

Later this summer, KUMC, in coordination with KU, will implement an improved Human Resources/Pay system for all employees. The new system is aligned with KU's Changing for Excellence initiative to enhance business processes for greater efficiency. More details are available here.

Tyler Hughes, M.D., was recently honored as the National Rural Health Practitioner of the Year at the National Rural Health Association’s annual conference. Dr. Hughes was also the subject of a wonderful article by the KHI News Service this week. Please take a few moments and read about how this outstanding physician is mentoring and training a new generation of rural surgeons for Kansas.

Cary Savage, Ph.D., the director of KUMC's Center for Health Behavior Neuroscience, was among a group of eminent researchers invited by the Society for Neuroscience to spend a day meeting with lawmakers in Washington to advocate for support of next year's budgets for the NIH and the National Science Foundation. You can see some photos from the Society's Capitol Hill Day here.

Giulia Bonaminio, Ph.D., associate dean for medical education, has been named a fellow by the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University College of Medicine. The program is dedicated to preparing senior women faculty for positions of leadership at academic health centers. Read more here.

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society holds its annual William Root Lecture on Wednesday, May 9, from noon-1 p.m., at 1015 Orr Major. Colonel Dana Windhorst, a 1981 KU School of Medicine graduate, will deliver a lecture entitled "Expeditionary Aerospace Medicine Some Perspectives."

One of the best ways to keep up with what is happening at KU Medical Center is to "like" our Facebook page. More than 2,000 people already do. If you're not already a KUMC Facebook friend, we recommend joining today.

Last modified: Jun 19, 2012