Academic health center a focus at national conference

October 7, 2011 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

The unique clinical education and research relationship between ProMedica and The University of Toledo returned to a national audience for its one-year checkup Sept. 24 as Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold presented some of the lessons learned in northwest Ohio to academic medical center leaders at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Health Centers in Chicago.

“This was a national opportunity to convey our successes and our challenges. UT and ProMedica have positioned ourselves in a leadership role as academic health systems across the nation search for new and more sustainable care delivery models,” said Gold, chancellor, executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

The presentation came following a request to UT and ProMedica leaders at the association’s meeting last year to return and give an update on how the clinical education and research alignment between a University and an integrated health delivery system was progressing.

“It was a great conversation and the questions came from some of the best minds in academic health care,” Gold said. “Like ourselves in northwest Ohio, I think many of the executives and physicians in the audience were surprised at how far we have advanced in just over a year.

“But at the same time, this is a very sophisticated audience that understands the magnitude of where we still need to go,” he said.

“In the year since we established the academic health center, this relationship has exceeded expectations,” said Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica. “Having said that, we are focused on creating and further enhancing relationships within education and research that will continue to strengthen both organizations.”

Gold said he was pleased by the detailed, challenging questions asked following the presentation because it showed how engaged these national health-care leaders were in the possibilities the UT-ProMedica model represented.

“We still need to work to increase residencies and fellowships, we still need to increase clinical research and clinical trials, and perhaps most importantly, we still need to work on creating a new culture that ingrains these goals for the future in our daily activities.

“When you are living this every day, it can be difficult to stand back and take an objective look at what has been accomplished and what needs to be prioritized moving forward,” Gold said. “This conference helped provide some clarity about where we should focus our efforts, but it also showed that the hundreds and hundreds of people working on this relationship have really created something to be proud of. Everyone I spoke to was impressed by what UT and ProMedica employees have been able to accomplish.”

Gold said that several academic health center leaders approached him following the presentation hoping to visit northwest Ohio in the future and witness firsthand the results of the UT-ProMedica Academic Health Center.

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