The Year In Review: Celebrating Our Achievements in 2013 Part 1
2013 was a tremendous year of growth and progress for UF Health. In this issue of OTSP, we highlight achievements in each of the colleges and take a peek at the year ahead. Next week, we’ll do the same for our centers and institutes, as well as our hospitals.
College of Dentistry
Interim Dean: Boyd Robinson, D.D.S., M.Ed.
Transitions: On June 30, Teresa A. Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H., retired after serving as dean of the college for 11 years and a faculty member for 23 years. Boyd Robinson took over as interim dean on July 1, and will serve until a permanent dean is chosen through a national search launched in December. Robinson, who joined the college in August 2002 after retiring from a 26-year naval career, has pledged to be “All In” during his tenure, doing everything he can to continue the college’s tradition of excellence.
The year ahead: During the upcoming year, the College of Dentistry will be strongly focused on preparing for an accreditation site visit that will occur in February 2015. In addition, the COD will move forward on fundraising efforts toward Phase I of its much-needed Dental Science Building expansion and renovation project. Another priority is the creation of a centralized patient call and scheduling center to improve appointment times and streamline the intake process for patients. Also during 2014, the COD will be building on its successful 17-point financial action plan, which included strategies to enhance revenue, decrease expenses and generate funds that will fund strategic initiatives.
Patient care:The COD provides high-quality dental care in UF-owned and partnership dental centers located throughout Florida. In fiscal year 2012-13, the college completed 116,000 patient visits in the four UF-owned dental centers in Gainesville, Naples, Hialeah and St. Petersburg. During the past year, clinical space on the first floor was significantly remodeled and upgraded to form a new home for a combined periodontal and prosthodontics advanced-care center – UF Health Periodontics and Prosthodontics. The renovations were partially funded by gifts from alumni and friends of the COD to create this space, where residents from both specialty programs provide comprehensive care to patients in this state-of-the-art facility. The move also finalizes a shift in the dental building so that all dental specialties (endodontics, general dentistry, oral surgery, orthodontics, pediatrics, periodontics, prosthodontics and radiology) are located on the first floor to provide ease of access for patients, especially those who require services from more than one area of dentistry.
Education: For the fifth year in a row, 100% of the D.M.D. class taking Part I of the National Board Dental Exam passed the exam. The Class of 2014 also achieved a 100% pass rate on Part II of the NBDE. In addition, summary reports from the American Dental Association showed that the college’s D.M.D. classes of 2009 to 2012 outperformed the national average on all parts of the NBDE Part I. In July, 100% of pediatric dentistry residents passed the qualifying exam of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. During the past year, the COD enrolled its second candidate in the joint D.M.D./Ph.D. degree program that integrates D.M.D. education with a comprehensive Ph.D. in the College of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences. This dual-degree program allows participants to establish both clinical and research identities, ultimately allowing pursuit of an academic career that applies modern research methods to clinical problems.
Research: The COD is working on a growing number of interdisciplinary research projects, including two included in UF Rising preeminence funding. We took the lead on the proposal to enhance research in mucosal immunology, leading to the possible hiring of three investigators for the colleges of Dentistry, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Although a relatively small college, we have two longstanding, successful training grants: The Comprehensive Training Program in Oral Biology, which is one of the largest training programs at UF, with 14 pre-and postdoctoral trainees, and The Comprehensive Center for Pain Research’s NIH-sponsored T-32 training grant “Integrative and Translational Training in Pain Research,” an interdisciplinary program funded through 2015. Oral cancer research and its associated programs continue to be important, high-profile activities for the college. Critically important programs include the nine centers operated by the college, including the NIDCR-funded Southeast Center for Research to Reduce Disparities in Oral Health led by Dr. Henrietta Logan, and Dr. Ed Chan’s basic research and his collaborations with our clinical departments, the UF Health Cancer Center and the Moffitt Cancer Center.
College of Medicine
Dean: Michael L. Good, M.D.
2013 was a phenomenal year for the UF College of Medicine). Clinical quality at UF Heath was again awarded four-star recognition from the University Healthcare Consortium, placing us in the upper second quintile among peer health systems. Our UF COM clinical faculty, working in teams with many health professionals, care for some of the sickest patients in the country. UF Health's "case mix index," which reflects clinical complexity, places us among the top 10 institutions nationally.
Patients recognize the exceptional expertise of UF COM clinical faculty, and clinical growth in the faculty practice continues in an impressive manner. After activating nearly 200,000 square feet of ambulatory care space last year, outpatient visits are increasing by more than 8% year-over-year. UF COM clinical faculty now admit more than 45,000 patients to UF Health Shands Hospital annually, perform more than 30,000 major surgical procedures, and care for nearly 90,000 patients in our emergency rooms.
The discoveries and scientific investigations of UF COM research faculty are increasingly recognized by peers nationally. In 2013, the UF COM maintained its upward momentum in NIH funding during what was a most challenging NIH budget year. While the NIH budget suffered a 5% decrease ($1.5 billion less than FY 2012), the UF COM posted a year-over-year increase of 1% in the NIH funds awarded to COM principal investigators. Impressively, UF COM research faculty have achieved an increase in research funding for each of the last five consecutive years, nearly a 40% increase since 2008. This increase in funding from NIH is reflected in the impressive climb in the Blue Ridge national rankings from 62nd to 45th. The UF COM now ranks in the upper third of medical schools with regard to NIH funding.
The UF COM continues to develop and implement a new and innovative medical education curriculum emphasizing patient-centered care, active learning methods and competency-based assessments. Thanks to nearly $30 million of philanthropic support from alumni and friends, the college broke ground on Nov. 22 for the new George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building. This new facility will facilitate full implementation of the new curriculum. It will also support not only the COM’s medical education and physician assistant programs, but also educational and training programs in all health science colleges and UF Health Shands Hospital. Learning studios, small-group learning spaces, a Clinical Skills and Assessment Center, a Clinical Simulation Center and an Experiential Learning Theater are core elements of the building as the UF COM continues to educate and train the health care providers of tomorrow.
Efforts to enhance faculty professional development now include monthly professional and educational development seminars, sponsorship of leadership programs within the HSC, and support for attending national professional and leadership opportunities through the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. The COM also co-sponsored the development of the Mentor Academy for Clinical/Translational Research, with the UF CTSI. The UF COM was one of six medical schools featured by the AAMC in a December publication, “Promising Practices for Promoting Faculty Engagement and Retention at U.S. Medical Schools.”
COM finances have improved. We thank our friends in the Florida Legislature, who in 2013 restored over $10 million in state funding to the UF COM following a rather severe $8 million cut in the prior year. This restoration, along with the high levels of accomplishments by our clinical and research faculty, enabled the college in 2013 to generate a positive margin in challenging economic times.
The momentum achieved in 2013 propels us forward into 2014 with enthusiasm and optimism. Despite the turbulence surrounding national health care reform, national funding for biomedical research, Florida’s Medicaid transformation and numerous changes in higher education, the University of Florida College of Medicine continues to advance noticeably as a national leader in patient care, research and education.
College of Medicine-Jacksonville
Dean: Daniel R. Wilson, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Services: UF Health Jacksonville broke ground on a new campus on a 70-acre North Jacksonville property located near the Jacksonville international airport across from the burgeoning River City Mall. Phase One is anchored on the first two floors by a freestanding emergency room, imaging center, laboratory and an ambulatory surgical center – the core of a future bed tower. Construction is ahead of schedule and four floors of medical offices for faculty and community physicians are rising above the core facilities.
Primary care locations have been consolidated into patient-centered medical homes, and UF Health Jacksonville is the first academic center in the Southeast to have its entire primary care network certified at the highest level. The newest PCMH is our “Total Care Clinic” in renovated clinic space on the 8th Street campus. The UF Health Total Care Clinic addresses the needs of patients whose care is rendered through the City Contract. On-site case managers coordinate and track care of patients, especially those who have complex and/or chronic medical conditions. The TCC continues to evolve and mature but has already achieved a higher quality of care for its patients at less cost even as it freed capacity for our 27 other regional primary care network clinics to grow commercial insurance by nearly 5%. Meanwhile, new primary care clinics are opening across the region but with a focus on the area around our north campus.
U.S. News & World Report ranked UF Health Jacksonville as high-performing in 11 specialties, including cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, ENT, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, pulmonology, and urology.
The Jacksonville Business Journal recently lauded seven faculty members from the University of Florida in Jacksonville as Health Care Heroes for 2013 for their extraordinary efforts to save lives and improve the quality of health care. The Chest Pain Center and Acute Cardiac Care Recognition Program received the prestigious Platinum Performance Achievement Award from the American College of Cardiology Foundation. UF Jacksonville has engaged the community in an extraordinary “Take Heart First Coast” initiative. This program teaches the public the now standard two-minute, hands-only CPR. UF faculty and staff are training in churches, schools and even large sporting venues such as River Run. An astonishing 12,000 people were trained by UF Health Jacksonville this past year.
A signal achievement was that UF Health Jacksonville maintained a superb Four Star rating by the University Healthsystem Consortium. It is great to see UF Health Jacksonville honored as one of the best academic medical centers in the country, especially in a year of significant fiscal challenges and, by some measures, a patient population with the highest disease burden and lowest insured status among the 120 academic health centers in the Consortium.
Education: With respect to education, overall the College of Medicine-Jacksonville continues to thrive as a major venue for UF Health Science training. Linda R. Edwards, M.D., was named senior associate dean for educational affairs in July. In addition to overseeing all medical education on the Jacksonville campus, Edwards serves as the Designated Institutional Official responsible for oversight of graduate medical education.
Because the patient population and, therefore, student experience, varies between Gainesville and Jacksonville, the Jacksonville campus continues to serve as an important complement to Gainesville in medical student education, as faculty work closely with colleagues on the main campus in all aspects ranging from admissions, curriculum development, teaching and evaluation of undergraduate and graduate medical education. At any given time, 60 medical students are on the Jacksonville campus, which is also the third-largest site for graduate medical education in the state of Florida (after Miami and Gainesville), with some 365 residents and fellows spanning 32 programs. The University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville received approval for four new fellowship training programs: hospice & palliative medicine, pediatric hematology & oncology, pediatric maxillofacial & craniofacial surgery, and child abuse intervention. Also, Health Science Center faculty based in Jacksonville provide the primary teaching for the 200 graduate pharmacy students and nearly 100 graduate nurses whose training is carried out in Jacksonville.
Michael C. Lewis, M.D., joined the college as a professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology in July. Dr. Lewis is already advancing development of our patient-centered surgical home in perioperative services. David Wood, M.D., M.P.H., was honored as a UF International Educator of the Year. Dr. Wood directs the Program for Global Health Education, and is the first professor from Jacksonville so honored since the award was established in 2004.
The UF-Jacksonville Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, orCSESaR, continues to thrive and is one of the nation’s largest non-military simulation training centers in the country. During the past five years, the UF COM Jacksonville team of emergency medicine residents has been crowned the national champions in the resident “Clinical Simulation Wars” three times!
Research: Scholarly work in Jacksonville also continues to blossom, both in conventional investigator-driven studies and also in the growing area of larger-scale collaborative projects in collaboration with colleagues from Gainesville and elsewhere. Jacksonville is a key venue for broader UF work in population-based research and community engagement, notably, in anticipation of the renewal application for the UF Clinical and Translational Science Award. The past year also saw HealthStreet initiatives in Jacksonville began to facilitate engagement of the general public in UF studies that advance medical care and social services. The Center for Health Quality and Research, or CHEQR, became the statewide coordinating center for the Florida Public Health Practice Based Research Network, providing administrative support for this major public health research initiative. Significant new funding was also awarded to address major health disparities focusing on reducing obesity, treatment of breast cancer, management of HIV patients and the impact of palliative care.
Jacksonville faculty joined College of Medicine-Gainesville researchers to help win UF’s first PCORI award. A related effort is to expand research partnerships with faculty in the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and the College of Public Health and Health Professions.
COM-Jacksonville researchers made key contributions to the scientific literature in 2013, such as documenting benefits of a novel intravenous antiplatelet drug in patients having percutaneous coronary interventions, investigating the relationship between an osteoporosis drug and heart attacks, and co-creating a lifesaving children’s dosing system. COM-Jax researchers also led cutting-edge investigator-initiated clinical trials and participated in novel multicenter studies in the areas of age-related macular degeneration, telemedicine in the care of ALS patients, comparative studies of therapies for acute respiratory distress syndrome, and investigational drugs for symptoms associated with menopause. Participation in the NIH-funded National Children’s Study concluded this year, having exceeded study deliverables for recruitment, retention and data management and with an integral involvement in writing groups and other study centers’ research activities. Dr. Robert Wears was honored with a UF Distinguished Research Career award for his work as an internationally acclaimed pioneer in patient safety.
Administrative: Amid significant Shands Jacksonville budget challenges, the Jacksonville faculty dealt with a $5 million decrease in funds-flow from the hospital that actually occurred after FY2013 had begun and a budget had been approved. The faculty met this challenge with a remarkable “esprit de corps” and not only met the amended budget but, exceeding all expectations, achieved a positive variance to budget of $830,000.
Jacksonville also not only continued to install Epic, the massive electronic record for all of UF Health, but also was recognized by Epic as one of the top three academic institutions implementing electronic patient scheduling, fiscal management and revenue cycle. The practice also actively worked Pay-For-Performance plans such as CMS’s PQRS and ePrescribe as well as BlueCross BlueShield similar program to earn $1.2 million. We also vigorously met federal “Meaningful Use” Stimulus Funding criteria to earn $4.5 million.
To serve UF better as a key venue for increasingly critical work in population health and community engagement, the resources of the Center for Health Equity and Quality Research ere combined with the Clinical Informatics Group to establish the region’s first clinical analytics group. This group is dedicated to integrated analysis of multiple large data sources to identify best practices, track and manage population health, and apply clinical and administrative data to continuous quality improvement across the entire spectrum of care provided by UF Health Jacksonville, notably in our network of patient-centered medical homes.
Significant strides were made in making better known the major presence of UF in the region as was evident in series of strongly supportive editorials in the local media and, even more tangibly, with the first increase in financial support for our vast burden of indigent care. For the future, we aim to no longer be “Jacksonville’s Best Kept Secret” but instead an increasingly valued pillar of community health and well-being.
College of Nursing
Dean: Anna M. McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.
Leadership: 2013 was a year of major change for the College of Nursing (CON). Kathleen Ann Long, Ph.D., R.N., retired after 18 years of service to UF, serving as the longest tenured dean in the College of Nursing. Her successor, Anna M. McDaniel, Ph.D., R.N., began in July following a nationwide search. Dean McDaniel came to UF from the Indiana University School of Nursing, where she most recently served as associate dean for research. With an accomplished career in nursing science and education, Dean McDaniel is eager to seize new opportunities to further enhance the college’s educational excellence and strengthen its research and clinical missions.
Dean McDaniel appointed Debra Lyon,Ph.D., R.N.,> executive associate dean and the Thomas M. and Irene B. Kirbo Endowed Chair, effective this month. She comes to UF from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she served as associate dean for research and was the Judith B. Collins and Joseph M. Teefey Distinguished Professor. Lyon will replace M. Dee Williams, Ph.D., R.N., who is retiring in February. Dr. Lyon has years of experience in nursing education administration, having previously served as a department chair prior to her tenure as associate dean.
Education: The CON continues its tradition of excellence in education as the flagship nursing college in the state and one of the top programs nationally. In 2013, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program averaged a 93 percent pass rate on the national licensing examination, again surpassing state and national averages. The 2012 advanced practice nursing graduates also attained high pass rates on their national specialty certification examinations — on average, over a 93 percent pass rate. Those taking the neonatal nurse practitioner, psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner and clinical nurse leader exams all achieved 100 percent pass rates.
In addition, the CON added the Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner track and a post-master’s Wound Care Certificate program to its graduate program offerings, responding to demands in the health care system. The CON also expanded access to its Doctor of Nursing Practice program by partnering with the University of West Florida to offer the program online for nurses in the Panhandle.
The CON continues its program with MammaCare to teach breast self-examination and clinical breast examination in its graduate curricula. The National Science Foundation has provided funds to evaluate the use of MammaCare Clinical Breast Examination Simulators and online clinical breast examination training in undergraduate and graduate nursing program education. UF was one of four schools in the nation chosen by MammaCare to pilot this program.
Research: Clinical Assistant Professor and nursing researcher Leslie Parker, Ph.D., A.R.N.P., received two National Institutes of Health grants to study nutritional outcomes and breastfeeding in very low birth weight infants. Parker, who also maintains a clinical practice in the neonatal intensive care unit at UF Health Shands Hospital, will use a $1.4 million grant to determine how to best and most safely nourish infants who weigh less than 3.3 pounds. The funding will allow researchers to study a standard clinical treatment used to assess an infant’s nutritional status to determine whether it is beneficial or risky to the baby.
A second $400,000 NIH grant will fund a study to assess the best time to initiate breast milk expression in mothers of very low birth weight infants in order to ensure adequate breast milk production. Parker’s hope is that her long-term program of research can improve short-and long-term health outcomes for these infants.
Associate Professor Jeanne-Marie Stacciarini received a Research Scientist Development Award (K series) from the National Institute of Nursing Research. The grant will support her three-year study, titled “Health Inequalities: Social Isolation Among Rural Latinos,” to explore the complexities of social isolation. Using community engagement research principles, Dr. Stacciarini will develop an intervention to promote mental well-being among rural Latino immigrants and advance nursing science at the nexus of culture, mental health and rurality.
Assistant Professor Hyochol “Brian” Ahn was named a fellow of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation, which will allow him to continue his research on pain and dementia.
Outreach/Patient Care:Archer Family Health Care , the UF College of Nursing’s comprehensive, nurse-managed health center, remains a nationally recognized model, partnering with a local rural community to expand access to high-quality care for the underserved. During the 2013 fiscal year, AFHC clinicians provided approximately 2,201 hours of charity and Medicaid care. AFHC was awarded more than $100,000 for demonstrating meaningful use of an electronic health record, provided by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. The health care center was also designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid as a federal Rural Health Clinic, which now qualifies its practitioners for enhanced reimbursement for services provided to Medicare and Medicaid patients and will contribute to continuation of services for underserved residents. In addition, AFHC recently became the only nurse-managed health center to participate in First Coast Advantage Central—a UF Health provider network for Medicaid patients in Alachua and neighboring counties.
College of Nursing faculty and students volunteered 19,476 hours in various community health improvement services throughout the year. The services included community health education, health screenings and support groups as well as active participation in the Alachua County school-based FluMist program.
Recognition: : Three University of Florida College of Nursing faculty members were selected as part of the Great 100 Nurses in Florida by the Florida Nurses Association. Clinical assistant professors Jane Gannon, D.N.P, C.N.M, C.N.L, and Rosalyn R. Reischman, D.S.N., ARNP, were named Great 100 Nurse Educators, and associate professor Ann Horgas, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, was named a Great 100 Nurse Researcher. Gannon was recognized for development of the UF College of Nursing’s Clinical Nurse Leader curriculum and clinical partnerships. Reischman was recognized for her contributions to the development of UF’s first acute care nurse practitioner track, the first in Florida. Horgas is internationally recognized for her work in gerontological nursing, including more than $7 million in research grants.
College of Pharmacy
Dean: Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D.
In 2013, Dean William H. Riffee stepped down after 17 years of service and Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D., a distinguished professor of pharmacy and medicine, was appointed the seventh dean of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy. A member of the college’s faculty since 1998, Dean Johnson also holds the distinction of being the first woman to lead the college in its 90-year history. She served for nine years as chairwoman of the department of pharmacotherapy and translational research, and was named a 2013 UF Research Foundation Professor earlier in the year. Internationally renowned for her research leadership in personalized medicine, Dean Johnson has received more than $35 million in research funding, largely from the National Institutes of Health. In addition to her new duties as dean, she continues her research focus and directs the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program.
The University of Florida MTM Communication and Care Center provides telephone-based communication services, with a primary focus on medication therapy management and medication adherence nationwide through its Gainesville and Orlando-based centers. The MTMCCC’s growth continued in 2013, with contract and award funding of more than $2.5 million. Employing more than 50 individuals, the center’s staffing includes faculty, clinical pharmacists, pharmacy residents, pharmacy technicians, nurses, administrative support and students. In 2013, the center covered more than 75,000 patient lives through MTM and adherence services by conducting an average of 28,000 calls per month to Medicare members. To accommodate this growth, in December, the Orlando (Lake Nona) and Gainesville centers each doubled their workspace capacity.
Research & Education Milestones
- In 2013, the COP received new research funding totaling more than $12 million over the total period for the newly awarded grants. The 41 new grant awards were made to faculty in each of the college’s five departments. The top five awards, totaling more than $9 million, came from two institutes at the National Institutes for Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Army, and Sideris Pharmaceuticals, and were awarded to Julie Johnson, Hendrik Luesch, Guenther Hochhaus, Folakemi Odedina and Ray Bergeron.
- The college established the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development to foster early-stage drug discovery by providing infrastructure, chemical libraries and expertise to screen for disease-relevant targets. The chemical focus of the CNPD3 is on unique natural products to fully exploit the biosynthetic and therapeutic potential of untapped biodiversity for drug discovery. Directed by Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., the CNPD3 will work in concert with other biomedical centers at UF to drive forward preclinical and clinical drug development. Allocations for hiring of senior faculty from the UF Rising initiative will help to further build the strength of this center
- In 2013 the COP had the largest graduating class of Ph.D. students in college history, with a total of 21 students completing their doctoral studies and representing each of the college’s departments: medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical outcomes & policy, pharmaceutics, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacotherapy & translational research.
- Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) graduates in 2013 included 280 entry-level Pharm.D. graduates, of which 30 percent were accepted for residency positions in ambulatory care, institutional pharmacy practice, community pharmacy practice and executive training in administration. The college also had 135 graduates across the United States from its Working Professional Pharm.D. program, in which pharmacists with a bachelor’s degree receive clinical training in their own cities combined with distance education to earn a UF Doctor of Pharmacy degree.
- Raymond J. Bergeron, Ph.D., a distinguished professor emeritus in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, continued his success in moving his discoveries forward during 2013. Ferrokin Biosciences, a company based entirely on one of his iron chelators, was acquired by Shire for $100 million, with $225 million further in milestone payments. This year, Shire is in phase II clinical trials with this drug. In addition, a second company, Sideris, was formed based on another chelator technology. Key to the agreement is that Novartis will acquire the company at the end of phase II for $300 million.
- Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of pharmaceutics, was awarded the V. Ravi Chandran, Ph.D. Professorship in Pharmaceutical Sciences. He has been teaching biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics and clinical pharmacokinetics at the College of Pharmacy since 1983 and has supervised more than 40 Ph.D. students. Dr. Derendorf also received the International Society of Pharmacometrics Leadership Award for 2013.
- Maureen Keller-Wood, Ph.D., a professor and chair of pharmacodynamics, was awarded the CVS/Pharmacy Inc. Professorship. Her research interest is focused on the physiologic adaptations to pregnancy and effects of maternal physiology on fetal maturation and growth. She first joined UF in 1983 as a postdoctoral scholar.
- Carole Kimberlin, Ph.D., received the 2013 APhA Wiederholt Prize for best paper published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.
- Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., an associate professor of medicinal chemistry was named the Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development. His multidisciplinary research program includes drug discovery from collection of marine organisms, mechanism-of-action studies and pharmacology, leading up to potential drug development to treat cancers and other diseases.
College of Public Health and Health Professions
Dean: Michael G. Perri, Ph.D.
Teaching: The past year witnessed continued expansion of PHHP’s academic, professional and certificate programs. The college launched a 2+2 bachelor’s program, enabling students from two-year colleges to obtain a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders and to pursue professional studies in audiology and speech/language pathology. In the fall of 2013, PHHP’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program was expanded (from 55 to 68 students) with the inclusion of a self-funded option that allows qualified out-of-state students to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy. In 2013, PHHP’s Master of Science in Epidemiology program was redesigned and reactivated, and the first student was enrolled in the Fall semester. PHHP also fully implemented a variety of new certificate programs, providing students with opportunities for education and training in Forensic Vocational Rehabilitation, One Health, and Psychiatric Epidemiology. Collectively, the college’s educational offerings now include 10 doctoral, eight master’s, two bachelor’s and nine certificate programs, and the 560 degrees awarded by PHHP in 2013 represents a growth of 4.5% over the prior year.
Research: PHHP has continued to compete successfully for extramural support of its research programs. During FY12-13, annual awards for research and training rose by 5%, from $20.7 million to $21.8 million. Moreover, in the face of sequestration and decreased federal support for research, PHHP faculty members increased their efforts to obtain grants, submitting more than $42.2 million in new proposals, an increase of 8.2% over the prior year. The college has also successfully expanded its portfolio of training programs with new funding from NIH’s Fogarty International Center to train multidisciplinary teams to mitigate zoonotic diseases in Mongolia. Extramural support has enabled PHHP to make important contributions to understanding, treating and preventing a broad array of health and public health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, cholera, chronic pain, environmental toxins, HIV/AIDS, insomnia, malaria, muscular dystrophy, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted infections, smoking, stroke, substance abuse and zoonotic diseases.
Service: PHHP has embraced the principle of “Service Plus,” emphasizing the college’s commitment to provide service to individuals and communities, while simultaneously providing educational opportunities for students and conducting research to solve important health problems. During the past year, the college’s Rural South Public Health Training Center expanded its statewide contributions to developing the public health workforce. In collaboration with state agencies and county health departments, the center has provided training to more than 1,100 health professionals on HIV/AIDS prevention and management and on public health foundational skills building. In 2013, our community-based HealthStreet initiative (supported jointly with COM and the CTSI) relocated to a new facility on Archer Road. HealthStreet’s goal is to reduce health disparities by improving access to health and social services for local residents and by increasing the participation of minority group members in research. HealthStreet has established contacts with more than 4,000 residents in the Gainesville area (80% of whom are of minority group status), has enrolled more than 1,400 people in research studies at UF, and recently has expanded to provide services to residents of the Jacksonville community.
College of Veterinary Medicine
Dean: James W. Lloyd, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Administration: The administration at the College of Veterinary Medicine underwent a key change in leadership with the hiring of Dr. James W. Lloyd as the college’s sixth dean. Dr. Lloyd began his new job in July following the retirement of Dr. Glen Hoffsis, who served the college for seven years as dean. Dean Lloyd quickly reached out to multiple constituent groups, both statewide and locally, to develop a college-wide strategic plan that will move the CVM to greater national prominence. This plan will focus on elevating and expanding all of our academic missions, with the vision of achieving pre-eminence.
Research: Over the past year, the CVM has placed a greater emphasis on the research mission, with strong buy-in and effort by its faculty. One research area of strength is the development of animal models of disease, including osteosarcoma, acute dermatitis, mild brain trauma, IBD/Crohn’s disease, autoimmune exocrinopathy, and arthritis, among others. The college is also proud of being home to a unique microengraving laboratory (Dr. Nguyen) and a state-of-the art flow cytometry and confocal microscopy core (Drs. Mohamadzadeh and Pascual); the CVM has also played a major role in establishing both the germ-free zebrafish and germ-free mouse facilities for use by the university’s researchers. These two facilities have just recently come on-line after considerable planning. CVM faculty, especially Dr. Mohamadzadeh, has awakened the HSC to the important role of the gut microbiome in health and disease, leading to several new collaborative projects and extramural grants. Vaccine development has taken on new heights, as well, with vaccine-development research in breast cancer (Dr. Mohamadzadeh), FIV/SIV/HIV (Dr. Yamamoto), anthrax & brucellosis (Dr. Pascual) and autoimmune diseases (Drs. Mohamadzadeh, Pascual and Nguyen). National recognition has also come to the CVM through its stem cell research for treatment of cardiomyopathy (Dr. Estrada) and chronic arthritic conditions (Dr. Pozzi), as well as gene therapy for joint arthritis (through collaboration with the College of Medicine).
The CVM faculty have also increased their activity in One Health with Dr. Dame participating in the malaria program in Haiti and Dr. Hernandez establishing a food-production program in Senegal. In addition, it is important to point out the outstanding research and service contributions made by the Aquatics Animal Health (Drs. Walsh, Waltzek and Wellehan), the Environmental Toxicology (Dr. Denslow) and the Wildlife (Drs. Wellehan and Reuss) programs in identifying infectious and toxic entities involved in marine mammal die-offs and newly discovered zoonoses. Lastly, Dr. Bolser, who was awarded the CVM UF Research Foundation professorship award this past year, received a UF Office of Research Opportunity Seed Fund grant to conduct his pioneering work in cough and airway protection, a project that not only received NIH funding, but also has led to establishment of a new BioTech company. Not surprising, then, research funding (as determined by research expenditures) increased 12 percent this past year from year 2011-2012.
Education: Eighty-eight D.V.M. degrees were awarded to students this year, with 26 of our new graduates choosing to further their studies in internships or residencies. Seven members of the Class of 2013 also received dual D.V.M./M.P.H. degrees. A new Professional Development course introduced first-year students to communications exercises using simulated clients in the College of Medicine’s Harrell Center. We intend to repeat this approach again in the spring. We had 813 applicants for the Class of 2017 and accepted 112 students. In March, our college hosted the national Pre-Veterinary Medical Association Symposium, drawing more than 600 pre-veterinary students from around the country to our campus. These students participated in lectures and labs that were coordinated by UF’s pre-vet club in conjunction with college administration, and conducted by college faculty. The event was a huge undertaking and deemed hugely successful by all involved. We are hopeful that our hosting of this event will lead to an increase in out-of-state applications to the college. The Veterinary Business Management Association student group organized a successful continuing education symposium last spring that was open to private practitioners and students. The event will repeat this year with different speakers. A new Veterinary Business Management externship debuted last summer with great success and will become a regular 2-credit clerkship offering in the curriculum. We are in the process of building a Clinical Skills Teaching Laboratory to aid students in refining many technical skills. In addition, we have embarked on curriculum review and revision, with plans to involve freshman students in the new Clinical Skills lab and in patient care starting in the first semester for the Class of 2018.
Patient Care: The new UF Pet Emergency Treatment Services, or PETS, after-hours emergency veterinary clinic, which opened in the summer of 2012 in Ocala, exceeded revenue and caseload goals in its first year. The UF Veterinary Hospitals have continued to increase revenue and caseload. A new Wellness Plan program was launched at the UF Small Animal Hospital, providing pet owners with financial incentives to keep pets healthier through regular examination schedules. The hospital also achieved “Cat Friendly” status from the American Association of Feline Practitioners, in alignment with the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Partners for Healthy Pets campaign. We continue to enhance the client/patient-centered care concept as part of the Pinwheel 2.0 plan, which has enabled us to capture new methods of communication with referring veterinarians; implement improved hospital efficiency; and launch innovations in clinical teaching.
Development: This past fiscal year marked the best year for fundraising in college history – raising $14.7 million in charitable gifts – an increase of 140% in dollars raised since the previous fiscal year. The expansion of the development team into the hospitals added considerably to that success, providing $1.28 million in gifts from grateful clients – an increase of nearly 50%. The Dean's Circle of Excellence continues to grow, having now raised more than $1.35 million - a 58% increase in dollars raised since the previous fiscal year.
It is humbling and awe-inspiring to consider these extraordinary achievements across the colleges that comprise the University of Florida Health Science Center. Here’s to continued success in 2014!
David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, Health Affairs
President, UF Health