The chancellor role will retain the full responsibilities as the chief academic officer for all of the health science colleges and programs, which will allow for enhanced collaboration not only on the education and research aspect of the University’s mission, but also on the engagement and clinical care aspects.
Gold answered some questions about his new role.
Can you explain your new title and responsibilities as a result of the partnership between The University of Toledo and ProMedica Health System?
The new title is chancellor and executive vice president of biosciences and health affairs. This title represents the addition of responsibilities to oversee the expansion of the educational and research programs as it relates to our new footprint in the ProMedica Health System and to continue to work hard to bring the health-care academics and delivery systems of our region together. In addition, given the recently passed national health-care reform, numerous regional and university opportunities will need to be managed to avail ourselves and our patients of the very best continued health care. All of this is now embodied under the responsibility of this new title.
What does the new academic partnership between UT and ProMedica mean to the University and the greater community?
This new partnership will allow the University and the ProMedica Health System to expand the quantity and quality of our educational and research programs in myriad health professions. Through this partnership, we hope that we will add to educational opportunities in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and many of the allied health professions, as well as dramatically increase enrollment in and funding for investigator-initiated and corporately sponsored clinical trials. This will help produce an enhanced pipeline of health-care professionals and eliminate the need for patients and families to leave the community for enrollment in clinical trials.
You have spoken about the Club of 100 top academic medical institutions. How will this partnership help elevate UT to that club?
This partnership through the increase of the number of health-care professional education opportunities and through the expansion of our clinical research programs will move us much closer to status as a top-tier academic health center. Through a partnership with a large, highly integrated clinical delivery system, we will be able to expand and enhance learning opportunities for our students and residents in the community and hopefully minimize the need for out-migration for educational purposes, as well as for purposes of enrollment in clinical trials. This should hopefully allow us to recruit the best and the brightest of our students to stay in the northwest Ohio community and form the future generation of health-care providers.
When the partnership was signed on May 17, you said that the real work lies ahead. What has happened since the relationship became official? And what can be expected in the future?
The relationship calls for the development of not only a University of Toledo-ProMedica Health System Academic Health Center Board of Trustees, but also for an operations committee. This board and this operations council have been formed and the individuals have been meeting on a regular basis. The first formal meeting of the board will occur June 28 and it will continue to meet monthly or at more frequent intervals as an overall strategic plan for the enhancement of academic services and relationships is formed. Multiple meetings, tours and other informal sessions on the ProMedica campus have occurred with the senior leadership of the academic teams from the health science colleges in order to begin to build the relationships that will form the basis of moving this agreement forward. While this will no doubt be hard work, it will also be extremely gratifying.
How does this partnership impact the larger issues that has been the topic of conversation at the University for some time regarding graduate medical education in the Toledo area and the anticipated physician shortage that we face?
As many know, the shortage of graduate medical education (residents and fellows) in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and other specialties has a current and increasingly critical impact on the health-care delivery work force of northwest Ohio. We already have substantially fewer physicians and other types of health-care providers than many other parts of the country and many other parts of the state. And as the work force continues to age and the demand for health-care continues to rise due to the aging of the baby boomer population and enhanced ability to treat and prevent disease, the demand will continue to rise by identifying new and better opportunities to educate the next generation of health-care providers. We will hopefully prevent these young men and women from leaving our region and hopefully motivate them to stay in our region and care for our friends and families.