"Leading Innovation and Discovery: Changing Lives Worldwide" was the theme for the 2011 State of the School of Medicine address, delivered Sept. 27 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 Medical School Teaching Facility auditorium, Reece said the School of Medicine continues to thrive, even during a challenging year full of economic uncertainty, state funding cuts, and proposed reductions in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. "Despite these challenges and uncertainties, our research enterprise has grown, patient care revenue is up, and we continue to educate and train outstanding physicians, basic scientists and allied health professionals," said Reece.
Even though NIH funding remained relatively flat, and the flow of stimulus money from the federal government has declined, research funding to the School of Medicine increased from $479.1 million in FY10 to $486.3 million in FY11. "The increase was not as robust as it was last year, but under the circumstances, our growth in research funding should be viewed in a positive light," said Reece. "It reflects the high caliber of excellence of our research faculty and staff."
The continued growth in research funding helped the School of Medicine to maintain high rankings with the Association for American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Among all 134 medical schools, the School of Medicine remained in the top tier, ranking 17th in direct grants and contract expenditures. The School of Medicine is ranked seventh among all 76 public medical schools, and remains among the fastest growing research enterprises in the country.
The school's total revenue, which includes grants, tuition, state funding, faculty practice income, and philanthropic gifts, was nearly $1 billion. Fifty-three percent of total revenue came from grants and contracts, while clinical revenue accounted for 40 percent. The performance of our practice plan was impressive. Total clinical revenues increased nearly 7 percent to a record high of $227.2 million and total patient volume increased 3.5 percent.
Reece gave credit to the School of Medicine's outstanding clinical faculty, which treated well over 1 million patients last year. "This exceptional growth is made possible by the strong partnership between the School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System [UMMS]. Together, the School of Medicine and UMMS generate an economic impact of nearly $6 billion for the state of Maryland," said Reece.
Despite the challenging economic landscape, philanthropic funding for the School remained strong, thanks to generous private gifts and endowments, which increased 8 percent to $66.1 million in FY11. These gifts included more than $15 million in gifts from private donors, and gifts to fund endowed professorships in anesthesiology, trauma, and neurology.
Highlights from the last year include:
*The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) received $23.4 million from a consortium of funding sources to support the next phase of research into a promising HIV/AIDS preventive vaccine candidate.
*The Maryland General Assembly approved $4 million in matching funds for the preliminary design of Health Sciences Facility III.
*The University of Maryland School of Medicine is one of only two universities working with IBM to test the advanced analytics of the company's "Watson" computer for potential health care applications.
*Thanks to the outstanding clinical faculty, the University of Maryland Medical Center has been designated by the Leapfrog Group as a Top Hospital of the Decade for patient safety and quality of care.
*School of Medicine graduates went on to nationally acclaimed residency programs throughout the country, including Yale, Stanford, Duke, and the University of Maryland Medical Center.
These accomplishments kept the School of Medicine in the public eye and generated a tremendous amount of media coverage. More than 20,000 news stories related to the School of Medicine were placed in print publications, on the web, and in the broadcast media around the world.
"For more than 200 years, and especially in the past year, our faculty, staff, and students have worked diligently to enhance and expand clinical care, medical and allied health education, biomedical research, and community outreach," said Reece. "I am delighted and humbled by the sheer magnitude of our collective achievements."