Pulse: A Message from Chancellor Joel A. Kaplan
I have no doubt that this issue of Medicine magazine will be the most warmly embraced edition the UofL School of Medicine has ever produced.
Not because our alumni and friends are anxious to read about our newsworthy advances in research -- we just received an $11.1 million COBRE grant and a $7 million Program Project Grant to support cancer research and environmental cardiology, respectively.
The cover subject of this issue is what makes it special.
The nearly 5,500 UofL medical school graduates, surgical residents and faculty members who have had the pleasure (and pressure) of studying under and working with Hiram C. Polk, M.D., over the past 32 years are sure to recognize the familiar description of surgical rounds with our longest-sitting Department of Surgery chair.
I certainly count myself among the fortunate legions of those who have been positively influenced by Dr. Polk.
He has been an invaluable friend and resource to me over the past five years as we have charted a new course of education and research preeminence at UofL.
And even though my tenure here as dean is officially entering the twilight years (as measured by the longevity of most medical school deans), I'm still likely considered "the new guy" by Hiram.
Of course, longevity is probably the least important aspect of Hiram's tenure at UofL.
Under his leadership, the University of Louisville Department of Surgery has become one of the most sought-after programs in the country by top residents.
His dedication to research built the Price Surgical Research Institute and spawned countless studies that have improved the quality of patient care at UofL and around the world.
Although he'd never tell you himself, his groundbreaking work in the prevention of surgical infection and quality-care indicator development have changed how each of us cares for our patients.
Dr. Polk's influence can be felt throughout every division in the department and well beyond Louisville, Ky.
In these pages you'll read about the astonishing work ofKelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., who, with Dr. Polk's leadership and support, is running an NIH-funded laboratory, a full surgical oncology division and the world's largest melanoma study.
Meanwhile, Laman Gray Jr., M.D., and his team in theDivision of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery continue their ride on the leading edge with their latest surgicalimplant of a LionHeart ventricular assist device and the development of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute in partnership with UofL's J.B. Speed School of Engineering,Jewish Hospital and Kentucky's Office of the New Economy.
In other news, the University of Louisville is preparing to launch a $40 million capital campaign to support the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
The first phase, dubbed the "family" campaign, is expertly chaired by Drs. Larry and Christine Cook. The campaign will provide the programmatic support needed to apply for and maintain National Cancer Institute designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Finally, I'd like to add my personal thanks and congratulations to Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., who will begin her service as interim dean of the School of Medicine on Dec. 15.
Dr. Schweitzer has been instrumental in guiding the entire Health Sciences Center community through many of our growing pains over the last few years.
As I complete my transition to executive vice president and chancellor of the Health Sciences Center, her steady hand will ensure that the momentum in the School of Medicine continues to accelerate.
Joel A. Kaplan, M.D.
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
and Chancellor for the Health Sciences Center