"Working Together, Bringing Out the Best" was the theme for the 2010 State of the School Address, delivered on September 29, 2010 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.
"We have had an extraordinary year in many ways," said Reece, who addressed faculty staff, students, and university leaders in the Medical School Teaching Facility auditorium. Among all 133 medical schools, the School of Medicine ranked 18th in the Association of American Medical Colleges' (AAMC) rankings of direct grants and contract expenditures, the same ranking as last year. The School of Medicine also held steady in sixth place in this category when compared to the 76 public medical schools in the U.S. According to the AAMC, the School of Medicine is the fourth fastest growing research enterprise in the country.
Faculty's research efforts were especially successful this year, with grants and contracts increasing 12.5 percent in Fiscal Year 2010. A total of $479.1 million was awarded to the School of Medicine, including 145 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grants worth $60 million. "Decades of hard work by dedicated faculty, staff and supporters have brought us to this point and have placed the University of Maryland School of Medicine among the top tier of medical schools in the nation and, indeed, the world," said Reece.
The School of Medicine's total revenue, which includes grants, tuition, state funding, faculty practice, and philanthropic gifts, was $881.5 million, up from $808.3 million in 2009. A 13.8 percent increase in philanthropic funding had much to do with this success, with private gifts and endowments bringing in $61.2 million. Revenue from the faculty practice plan also grew slightly, from $210 million to $212.7 million. Together, the economic impact of the School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center on the state of Maryland is estimated to be $5.1 billion.
Reece compared the School of Medicine to a large machine with many moving gears, which works well only when all the gears are in sync. "Like a gear, each of us has a specific identity and job to perform, but we are coupled together to obtain the best performance," he said. "We all actively worked together to maintain our trajectory of successes and accomplishments. We are greater than the sum of our individual efforts."
Reece recognized that the past year has been difficult with major challenges on multiple fronts. Some challenges were long-standing (such as a third year of temporary salary reductions and a lack of research space), and others were new and unexpected (such as the blizzard that closed the campus for days). "We were able to generate a successful year in spite of the many challenges we faced," said Dean Reece. "This demonstrates that when we maintain our vision and our resolve to achieve our goals, not only do we achieve these goals, but we also bring out the best in all of us."
* The Office of Postdoctoral Scholars was created to support the research training, professional development, and networking opportunities for postdoctoral fellows.
* More than $13 million in research funding has been awarded to participants in the Research Career Development Program's Intensive Grant Writing Workshop.
* The University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute transitioned into the School of Medicine and its initiatives became the Program in the Biology of Model Systems and the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology. These new faculty researchers brought with them $6.1 million in funding.
* Applications to the School of Medicine were up 7.9 percent, with 4,925 students applying for 160 spots in the Class of 2014.
* Our students were published in 149 peer-reviewed publications in FY 2010.
* An Immediate Care Clinic was opened on campus to enable faculty, staff and students to get quick access to non-emergency care during work hours.
* Television coverage about the School of Medicine was up 44 percent, in large part due to the attention given to the development and testing of an H1N1 vaccine here.
* The Mini-Med School celebrated its 10th anniversary. Nearly 5,000 people have learned better health practices through a variety of Mini-Med sessions presented by the School of Medicine throughout the state of Maryland since 2001.
* Faculty members treated more than 1,000 patients in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and they continue to maintain a presence there long after other help has gone.
Where Do We Go From Here?
A strategic plan for the next five years titled "Taking a Quantum Leap Forward" has been created by School of Medicine leaders. "It is an ambitious plan that will serve as our road map for the future," said Reece. "It will be successful if we continue to work together harmoniously and creatively. Institutions that embrace innovations and creative approaches through team effort and collaboration will thrive in the years to come. By working together, we will continue to bring out the best in ourselves and in each other."