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October 21, 2005

Update Letter

To: Health Center Faculty and Staff
From: Peter J. Deckers, M.D.

My Friends,

One of the great privileges and pleasures of my position is that I am continually made aware of the phenomenal successes achieved almost daily by our very talented workforce. Fiscal year 2005 (July 1, 2004-June 30, 2005) was a seminal year full of real accomplishment. This note is my opportunity to share some of this with you and, yes, to proudly brag a little bit. For clarity I will present this according to a domain (CREAM) orientation.

Clinical (C)

  • UMG unique patient visits exceeded 500,000 for the first time. JDH discharges increased 4.9% to 9,842 and JDH outpatient visits increased 11.1 % to 360,443.
  • JDH received the “Top 100 Hospitals, Performance Improvement Leaders,” designation, an award given for consistent clinical and financial improvement over five years compared to peer hospitals.
  • JDH has continuously been ranked among the best performers in Connecticut when treating heart attack and heart failure patients. JDH recently scored 100% in several clinical outcomes categories referred to as “core measures,” leading the New York Times to refer to JDH as being among the top 10 percent in the country in delivering these treatments.
  • Operations began for the Collaborative Center for Clinical Care Improvement (C4I), dedicated to making JDH the safest hospital in the state by improving patient safety and outcomes in all settings.
  • The combined clinical enterprise (JDH/UMG) finished the year with an $8 million profit on revenues of $360 million.

Research (R)

  • A multidisciplinary team of scientists lead by Leslie M. Loew, Ph.D. was recently awarded a $12.3 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to help build the tools and technologies needed to understand the networking of molecules that make up living cells and tissues. The award, one of the largest ever received by the University, is part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, which aims to support multidisciplinary projects to accelerate progress in medical research. The Health Center is one of only five National Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways in the country.
  • Researchers from the Health Center and Storrs are working together to create a Stem Cell Institute in response to a new state law that provides a 10-year, $100 million commitment for the initiative.
  • Notable research discoveries included a gene that causes late-onset primary open-angle glaucoma, the potential function of a unique protein that may play a pivotal role in heart disease and strokes, and the function of a complex set of proteins linked to enlargement of the heart.
  • Significant progress has been achieved in meeting the mandates for research process and administrative improvement defined by the Research Services Enhancement Working Group (RSEWG) especially in relationship to InfoEd implementation, economic modeling for research cores, the Health Center Research Advisory Committee (HRAC), some Centers and Departments, research (basic and clinical) compliance as well as throughput or process improvement for a very important UCHC customer, specifically our scientific investigators.
  • A successful negotiation for a new Facilities & Administration (F+A) rate for federal grants resulted in a rate increase to 48%, up from 45% in FY04.

Education (E)

  • The SOM class of 2005 was the first cohort required to take the new clinical skills component of the United States Medical Licensing Examination; a 100% pass rate was achieved (nationally there was a 4-6% failure rate).
  • Underrepresented minorities comprise 23% and 26% of the SOM and SODM Classes of 2009, respectively. 2,700 applications were received for 80 SOM positions; 1,122 applied for 40 positions in the SODM.
  • The major teaching space was renovated and all AV and computer equipment in the rooms upgraded including the addition of “smart boards” that allow computer-based archiving of all material written on the board.
  • A record number of graduate degrees were conferred: 27 students received the Ph.D. in Biomedical Science, 52 received the Master of Public Health, and 9 received the Master of Dental Science.
  • The Center of Public Health and Health Policy continues to marshal and carefully steward university-wide resources in public health and has significantly expanded research and educational public health opportunities.

Administration (A)

  • The Health Center achieved an excess of revenues over expenses of $406,266 in FY 2005 despite challenges including a declining trend in state appropriations, declines in federal research funding, increased competition in the clinical operation and the need to fund contractual mandates.
  • The Medical Arts and Research Building (MARB) opened in June with state-of-the-art clinical and research space housing components of the Musculoskeletal Signature Program including orthopedics, rheumatology, osteoporosis and neurosurgery, plus the Farmington Surgery Center.
  • The property at 16 Munson Road was acquired, which will allow relocation of many administrative functions from the ASB so it might be converted to a medical office clinic space.
  • The Academic Merit portion of the School of Medicine Compensation Plan for FY 05 is structured such that “Acceptable Performance” adds 2.5% and “Superior Performance” 5% to base academic salary.

Miscellaneous (M)

  • The David and Rhoda Chase Family Foundation donated $1 million to endow skeletal biology research investigation and core laboratories in the MARB.
  • Health Center employees contributed 10 truckloads of food, water and emergency supplies as part of the Katrina relief drive and participated in a variety of related support efforts.
  • The following charts show the growth of our workforce and earnings by employee category since FY00, important indicators of the Health Center’s improved stability.

illustration showing employee head count

Click on image to enlarge.

illustration showing fiscal year paid fte

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illustration showing fiscal year earnings and paid fte

Click on image to enlarge.

IIn conclusion, fiscal year 2005 was productive in all domains and should be a source of institutional and workforce pride. Constructive critique of this data is always welcome. Let us continue to work together to, thereby, continue to enhance the regional and national reputation of our very fine academic health center.

“Remarkable Care Through Research and Education”