Selected Speeches

PATIENTS Day 2019

May 31, 2019
University of Maryland BioPark

Good afternoon, everyone. And thank you so much for joining in this special day.

I’m so glad to hear Dean Eddington speak about the PATIENTS program as a bridge, because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a bridge between our research and the community it’s meant to serve. It’s a bridge between our biggest problems of human health and well-being and the patient-centered solutions that our neighbors deserve. It’s the best manifestation of our belief that research projects designed without the input and partnership of patients themselves are destined to fail—our belief that our research priorities must align with the values of our patients and with the outcomes they want the most.

For far too long, we’ve divorced the process of health research from the people who have the biggest stake in it.  And that makes no sense. Dean Eddington knows that. Dr. Mullins knows it. The entire PATIENTS team knows it. Our community knows it. And I know that we’re going to spread the good news of patient-centered research even farther and wider.

Dr. Mullins and his colleagues head up the Community and Collaboration Core of our Institute for Clinical & Translational Research. They freely provide their expertise and resources to any faculty members at UMB who want to engage patients, families, and communities in their research. And now that we’ve joined with Johns Hopkins University in securing a coveted NIH Clinical and Translational Research Award, that expertise and those resources will be opened up to Johns Hopkins’ investigators as well.

This is huge. Faculty at Hopkins will be able to partner with the PATIENTS program and take full advantage of our two biggest strengths: our considerable experience—our leadership—in patient-centered research; and our deep and longstanding connection to the residents of West Baltimore, where we work in partnership with neighbors on problems of health, well-being, equity, opportunity, and justice. 

Because just like the PATIENTS program is a bridge, UMB is a bridge, too. In our research, our scholarship, our education, our clinical care, our service, we are working with our neighbors to identify community priorities, to design solutions, and to be their allies and advocates in addressing barriers to progress.

Unless and until we are ALL a part of this conversation, we won’t see the change that ALL of us know is needed. And I thank the PATIENTS program being a pioneer in this space, for helping us align our interests with those of our neighbors, and for giving us a vehicle that allows the community’s goals and perspectives to shape our own.

It’s an ethos—a commitment—that’s now suffused throughout UMB. And if this is our institutional legacy—bridging the University and the community—then that’s all the legacy I need.

So now I’m going to introduce you to a woman who knows a little something about bridges. She was instrumental in the building of this very BioPark, the University’s first foray over Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. This BioPark was our bridge into the West Baltimore community, and it’s one of the best bridges we’ve ever built. Please welcome Jane Shaab, UMB’s assistant vice president for economic development and executive director of the University of Maryland BioPark. Jane?

 


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