s it provides care of the highest quality to patients today, the University of Virginia Health System keeps its eye on the future. It is doing its part to
develop and introduce new therapies and diagnostics. It is envisioning fresh approaches to the training of physicians, nurses, and researchers. And it is planning and building new facilities that will support these innovations.
Combining superb care with sound financial management, the University of Virginia Medical Center is the only hospital in Virginia named one of the nation’s 100 top hospitals by Solucient this year. As an institution that has received this distinction six times, the Medical Center has been designated one of Solucient’s "best of the best" benchmark hospitals.
The School of Medicine and the School of Nursing are also highly regarded. In its 2005 rankings, U.S. News & World Report places the School of Medicine at twenty-sixth in research. It was the only medical school in Virginia included in the survey and one of six schools in the
mid-Atlantic to make the top thirty in the research category. The School of Nursing also has won high marks from U.S. News. When last ranked, three of its programs—psychiatric/mental health nursing, clinical nurse specialist training, and pediatric nursing—were listed in the top ten. The School of Nursing ranks sixteenth in support from the National Institutes of Health.
Field, 2005 (Detail).
Oil on canvas.
Richard Crozier, McIntire Department of Art.
In 2004–05, the U.Va. Health System earned a number of accolades for its teaching, research, and patient care. For the third consecutive year, the cardiology and heart surgery program was included in Solucient’s 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success study. Forty-eight University physicians were listed in America’s Top Doctors, based on a survey of 250,000 of their peers.
U.S. News & World Report’s most recent "America’s Best Hospitals" issue awarded high rankings to the programs in endocrinology (sixth); ear, nose, and throat (twentieth); urology (twenty-second); cancer (thirty-second); gynecology (thirty-fourth); digestive disorders (thirty-seventh); and neurology and neurosurgery (forty-eighth). Of the 6,007 hospitals in the United States, only 176 are ranked in at least one specialty.
Introducing New Treatments
As a leader in academic medicine, the U.Va. Health System has a duty to provide new and promising therapies to its patients as quickly as they become available. It is living up to this obligation. Capitalizing on its expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, the University moved rapidly this year to deploy a number of new lifesaving technologies, including a sophisticated graft implant for treating potentially deadly aneurysms in the thoracic aorta without open surgery.
In the area of cancer treatment, the U.Va. Medical Center is the first hospital in Virginia to install a TomoTherapy Hi-Art System. The $2.7 million device applies radiation to a tumor from all directions, reducing exposure of healthy tissue and limiting side effects. The manufacturer has named the U.Va. Medical Center a clinical center of excellence, authorizing the University to conduct research to find new uses for the TomoTherapy system.
Leaders in Health Care
Providing all the services the public expects of an academic medical center requires dedication at every level of the organization. It also requires clinicians and researchers with bold vision. This year the University celebrated its first Nobel Prize in
medicine. Dr. Barry Marshall, professor of research in the School of Medicine, won the honor for challenging conventional wisdom by pursuing the link between Helicobacter pylori bacterium and peptic ulcers and gastric cancers. Now living in Australia, he remains a member of the faculty.
Nobel Prize Winner
Dr. Barry Marshall
Cato T. Laurencin, Edward R. Laws, Jr., and Jonathan Moreno were chosen as new members of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. With these additions, sixteen University faculty are now members of the prestigious institute. Dr. Laurencin is the Lillian T. Pratt Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery as well as a professor of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering. Dr. Laws is the W. Gayle Crutchfield Professor of Neurosurgery. Mr. Moreno holds the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation Professorship in Biomedical Ethics and is director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics. Author of a new book, Is There an Ethicist in the House? On the Cutting Edge of Bioethics, he has served as president of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.
Many of our faculty lead their professional organizations. Dr. David A. Peura, professor of internal medicine and associate chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, became president of the American Gastroenterological Association, the oldest medical specialty association in the United States. Pamela Kulbok, associate professor of nursing, became president of the Association of Community Health Nursing Educators.
Other faculty singled out for special recognition this past year include the following:
• James Childress, the John Allen Hollingsworth Professor of Ethics and professor of medical education, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities.
• Dr. Robert M. Carey, the Harrison Distinguished Professor of Medicine and former dean of the School of Medicine, received the 2005 Distinguished Physician Award from the Endocrine Society. He and his research team recently won a five-year, $2.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a cellular defect in the kidneys that may be linked to high blood pressure.
• Jeanette Lancaster, the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing and dean of the School of Nursing, received the Maes-MacInnes Award from the New York University Division of Nursing. It recognizes her outstanding contributions to the nursing profession. She also received the 2005 Distinguished Nurse Award from the Beta Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International, the honor society for nursing.
• Dr. Margaret A. Shupnik, professor of medicine and physiology, received the 2005 Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Award. The award honors a female faculty member from the School of Medicine who has demonstrated excellence in leadership, scholarship, and mentoring and has fostered a better research environment for women and minorities.
Dr. Margaret A. Shupnik received the Sharon L. Hostler Women in Medicine Award
• Catherine Kane, associate professor of nursing, received the Melva Jo Hendrix Lectureship Award from the International Society of Psychiatric Nurses.
• Dr. John F. Hunt, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Dr. Benjamin M. Gaston, the Ivy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, were awarded the Edlich-Henderson Inventor of the Year Award by the U.Va. Patent Foundation for research that has led to several inventions for diagnosing and monitoring asthma and other lung diseases in young patients.
• Suzanne Burns, associate professor of nursing, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, recognizing her outstanding contributions to health care.
At the Forefront of Discovery
Over the last decade, scientists have gained a highly detailed understanding of how the human body regulates and sustains itself and how disease alters and undermines these processes. Physicians in the U.Va. Health System are striving to translate this knowledge into new, more effective therapies.
The Digestive Health Center of Excellence won renewal of a $6.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the cause of Crohn’s disease. According to Dr. Fabio Cominelli, the David D. Stone Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of gastroenterology, the grant will fund multidisciplinary research on the chronic condition, characterized by ulcerations and inflammatory lesions throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
A multidisciplinary research team led by Dr. Dan Theodorescu, the Paul Mellon Professor of Urology, will use a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate a cell-signaling process that may help explain how prostate cancer spreads. The growth of a prostate tumor usually depends on the level of male hormones, called androgens, but the cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as bones, without such hormones. Understanding the cellular and molecular signals involved in this process could lead to new therapies and clinical trials.
Dr. Jerry Nadler, the Kenneth R. Crispell Professor of Internal Medicine and chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, has received a $1.2 million grant from NIH to test the effectiveness of an immunosuppressant drug in preventing the rejection of transplanted islet cells. The U.Va. Medical Center has built an active program in islet cell transplantation, directed by Dr. Kenneth Brayman. The technique enables patients with Type 1 diabetes to forgo daily insulin injections. The University Health System is part of an NIH consortium now developing protocols to improve the safety and long-term success of the technique.
In another area of clinical research, the University unveiled a $2 million magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner dedicated to studies in cardiovascular disease. University physicians will use the technology to develop new diagnostic techniques for heart failure and peripheral artery disease.
With a $2 million grant from Pfizer Inc. and the Pfizer Foundation, the University’s Center for Global Health will expand efforts to bring quality care and disease-prevention strategies to the developing world. Directed by Dr. W. Michael Scheld, the Bayer Corporation/Gerald L. Mandell Professor of Internal Medicine, the Pfizer International Health Initiative will support exchanges of faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students with global partners in such countries as Brazil, Uganda, Ghana, Mexico, the Philippines, and China.
In 2004-05, the School of Nursing received an unprecedented $3,938,357 in research funding, nearly double the total five years ago. Among recent awards, the Virginia Tobacco Commission granted $248,828 to the Nursing School to deliver baccalaureate and master’s degree programs to registered nurses in Southside and Southwest Virginia.
New Faces, New Roles
Among the distinguished clinicians and researchers joining the University this year is Dr. Michael D. Dake, the Harrison Medical School Teaching Professor and chair of the Department of Radiology. Dr. Dake, who comes to the University from the Stanford University Medical Center, is renowned for advancing noninvasive treatments of heart and blood vessel disease and for developing a stent-grafting technique for artery disease in the leg. One of his primary research goals is enhancing molecular imaging.
Dr. Lawrence W. Gimple has been appointed the new chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and co-director of the Heart and Vascular Center. Dr. Gimple, a highly regarded interventional cardiologist, is co-founder of CardioVillage, an award-winning online education program in cardiology. He has been associate director of the University’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory since 1991 and director of Inpatient Cardiology Services since 1994.
|building for our future
COMPLETED THIS YEAR
The Carter-Harrison Research Building will help address a pressing need for laboratory space on Grounds.
The U.Va. Medical Center opened fourteen new operating rooms, the midpoint of a four-year, $89.6 million expansion effort that will significantly increase surgical capabilities and keep the University at the forefront of advanced technologies for imaging and robotics. As part of the expansion, the hospital’s core lab was relocated to a new 12,000-square-foot facility.
In addition, Phase I of the renovation of the Food Lion Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the U.Va. Children’s Hospital has been completed. Enhancements include overnight rooms and counseling spaces for families, improved service areas, and new isolets for babies. Funding for the renovation came from Food Lion, with Klöckner-Pentaplast providing support for the family rooms.
On September 16, 2005, the School of Medicine broke ground for the Carter-Harrison Research Building, which will house research teams in such areas as cancer, immunology, vaccine therapy, and infectious diseases. The building has been made possible by a combination of funds from a bond issue approved by Virginia voters, generous support from donors, and other University resources.
The School of Medicine is planning a $30 million medical education building with innovative features designed for various learning styles and new methods of instruction. The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has made a $12.5 million challenge gift for the building, which will bring together programs currently scattered throughout the U.Va. Health System. Generous medical alumni are helping to move the project forward by responding to the Claude Moore challenge.
This year, the Commonwealth endorsed the School of Nursing’s plan to construct a $12 million companion building near its current home, McLeod Hall, by appropriating $6 million for the facility. The remaining funding will come from private donors. The expansion will enable the school to increase its enrollment and help address a national shortage of nurses. The school is also raising funds to renovate McLeod Hall.
A new clinical cancer facility will accommodate advances in genetic diagnosis and analysis, informatics, and molecular biology. The $50 million building will be organized so that all disciplines and services easily can be brought to the patient to provide individualized and integrated care.
Plans are taking shape for a new U.Va. Children’s Hospital facility designed specifically for children and their families. It will consolidate the hospital’s outpatient care and rehabilitative services in a central, convenient, and child-friendly environment.