Biostatistics Faculty Meeting

Date: September 5, 2012

Time: 3 PM

Location: MCN C-2303 (Pathology Conference Room)

Meeting Guest: Jeffrey R Balser, Vice Chancellor Health Affairs and Dean, DOM

GOOD NEWS
  • Chris Fonnesbeck has been promoted to Assistant Professor. Congratulations Chris.
  • Graduate Program begins its second year.
  • GI Spore has been funded.

PEOPLE
  • Patrick Arbogast
    • Condolences will be collected and forwarded to Patrick’s parents.
GROWTH & FINANCE

The remaining are Dean Balser’s remarks.

I have begun a “Rounds” column in the Reporter and MyVUMC to better communicate with our 21,000 + employees at the Medical Center, (not counting students.)
  • NIH Funding:
    • Biggest risk we have with the NIH is sequestration (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/budget/report/2012/06/18/11751/how-sequestration-would-work/) which would be a 10% cut that would occur on January 1, 2013 across the board.
      • We hope that there will be congressional votes to delay sequestration- “kick it down the road.” We hope for a six month delay.
      • If this does not occur:
        • Likely they would send a letter that states your budgets have been cut by 10%
        • This means roughly 25 million for Vanderbilt and we have put 12 million in the budget for a 6 to 9 to 12 month’s coverage until PI’s can right size their staff, (i.e. reduce their workforce.) This is what we are preparing for.
      • Fortunately, Biostatistics is “pretty indispensable.”
      • Writing Congressional Representative
        • “We manage the Federal Delegation very closely” When we do a letter writing campaign, we do it in a systematically planned way.

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA) Ramifications:
    • Important Realities
      • Vanderbilt is providing $400 million in uninsured care; half of the charity care in Davidson County
      • 10% or 1 in 10 patients admitted to the adult care hospital have no insurance
      • Rate is only 2% at Children’s Hospital because most children have insurance.
      • Collectively, 100 hospitals nationally are doing half of the country’s uninsured care in 5% of the hospital beds in the United States.
      • The Country is floating the uninsured care on the backs of University Hospitals
      • Affordable Care Act will help compensate us for this expense.
      • We hope that the Governor of Tennessee will opt in.
        • We won’t know until after the election
      • This is important for Science because “we transfer about 200 million dollars a year from the health system margin into research and education.” It totally “floats the boat.”
      • “The Basic Science Departments are funded by the Healthcare system.”
      • We have an advantage because we own our hospital.
      • AAMC lobbies Congress in our interest. The problem is that all academic medical centers are not alike. Smaller medical schools do not share our views and often disagree with us on some issues.
      • I have helped develop a group of like-minded academic medical centers that can lobby and address issues relevant to us collectively.
      • I get meetings easily with congressional and White House representatives and staff because we employ a large group of their constituents as Vanderbilt is one of the largest employers in TN
  • The legislation (Affordable Care Act)
    • Has limitations
    • Readmission penalties against academic medical centers
    • Team Building: How can the Department of Biostatistics benefit by making use of new team building resources. (Planned Research Building Project and Collaborations)
      • What does Team Building mean for Biostatistics
        • Does not change the size of your research space on the medical center campus.
        • Put out a request for application (RFAs) for Faculty Groups that think they can make good use of space.
        • Create Teams through Faculty Members interested in working with a Multidisciplinary Group.
        • Most departments only have one or two people applying
        • The Building has 100k sq. Feet.
          • Engineering has 25K sq. Feet
          • Medical School has 25K sq. Feet
          • 50K will be in response to the RFA.
            • Only internal teams can qualify for the space
            • Modeled after Stanford’s Clark Center http://biox.stanford.edu/clark/
            • Capitalizing on information about the admitted mistakes made by Stanford.
            • RFA process has been a positive experience for them.
  • David Afshartous involved with the Biomedical Engineering Department with visualizing massive data sets.
  • As Teams become established, I can envision Biostatistics faculty members getting more and more involved and moving over there.
    • The Power of Biostatistics
    • Clinical Buildings in Williamson County
      • 22 acre parcel of land in Williamson County
      • We would like to have a facility like 100 Oaks
      • Behind Academy Sports is the Cool Springs Life Sciences Center
        • 25k space for Drug Discovery
        • Jeff Conn’s moving a team there
  • Williamson County is a great place to grow.
  • But no separate University Medical Campuses are planned
  • Shared Resources
    • Shared Cores can never have enough money
    • Vanderbilt has one of the most sophisticated Shared Core facilities in the country
    • More resources should go to computational analytics
    • There is “more and more a need for endowed chairs.”
    • Animal Research
      • Animal researchers unlike clinical researchers underutilize Biostatistics
      • This is linked with the mechanism of funding for clinical vs. animal research
      • Huge difference in the economic pressure
      • We can be reviewers on Basic Science Journals
        • Do they have enough impact?
  • Push getting on study sections at NIH
    • You have the topical expertise
    • Change the way science works by the way it’s funded.

-- AudreyCarvajal - 30 Oct 2012
Topic revision: r1 - 30 Oct 2012, AudreyCarvajal
 

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