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November 12, 2009

Budget Update

With the recent passage of the state budget, the Health Centerís Board of Directors and the Universityís Board of Trustees approved the Health Center spending plan earlier this month.  Here are the highlights and the most recent developments regarding the Health Centerís 2009-2010 budget.

First, the Health Center is on target to reach its break even financial goals for the year. We ended the first quarter with revenues exceeding expenses by $2.3 million. This is the Health Centerís first favorable quarter in several years. In fact, we closed the first quarter of last year with a $5.2 million loss. In other words, we have achieved a $7.5 million improvement in first quarter performance compared to 2008.

I am grateful to our elected officials and to our employees and their representatives for their support and encouragement.  Their efforts brought much needed and welcomed new state investment to Health Center.  But most of all, I am grateful to all of you whose hard work during the first 90 days of this new fiscal year made these results possible.

That said, we can only sustain this success by continued focus and discipline for the remainder of the year. We still have significant challenges in attaining profitability in the hospital and medical practice group. We are addressing this through faculty groups working on the practice plan, and hospital-based groups working on improving patient access, patient volume, and clinical quality.

Iím cautiously optimistic that we will look back on these first-quarter results as the beginning of a financial turn around for the Health Center. Please continue to share your ideas with me via my blog, or by email. Thanks.

Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, School of Medicine