New head of medical affairs to enhance clinical education, care quality, safety

December 6, 2011 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk


As part of its ongoing efforts to improve health-care quality, enhance safe patient care, and integrate advances in both areas into educational curriculum, The University of Toledo has appointed Dr. Carl A. Sirio its new vice president for medical affairs and associate dean for clinical affairs.

Sirio, who also will serve as chief medical information officer, said the multiple titles are symbolic of the need to eliminate silos that can exist between clinical education, patient care and medical information technology.

“Those in health-care organizations that continue to offer outstanding clinical care and education in the future will do so because they have effectively integrated health information technology into their patients’ care and students’ curriculum,” Sirio said. “Technology’s importance is only increasing and for today’s clinical students, comfort navigating electronic medical records will be an essential skill.”

During his career, Sirio has focused on the organization and delivery of health-care services, medical education, patient safety, quality of care, evaluation of clinical performance, process improvement, and health-care management and financing.

“The University of Toledo has made a commitment to excellence in the area of information technology, and the importance of IT and electronic medical records is only going to grow in the years and decades ahead,” Sirio said. “Our job is to ensure the interface between the clinician and the technology is as natural, logical and efficient as possible.”

Sirio comes to UT from the Temple University School of Medicine Pittsburgh Campus. Prior to that, he spent 17 years as a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was elected to the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees in 2010 and serves in a variety of national positions of leadership, including the Joint Commission and the National Residents Matching Program. In addition, he has had multiple roles both in Pennsylvania and nationally in promoting a quality and safety agenda in clinical care and medical education. He has had a successful research career, securing more than $6 million in federal support.

“A few decades ago, Pittsburgh was in a very similar place to where Toledo is today, transitioning from a manufacturing base and looking for a new industry to help form the foundation of regional economic development,” Sirio said. “Today the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is the largest employer in the state. I don’t see any reason The University of Toledo couldn’t lead this region along a similar path.”

Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, chancellor, executive vice president for biosciences and health affairs, and dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said that Sirio’s arrival signals a great focus on eliminating any remaining artificial barriers between technology and student learning or patient care in the health sciences.

“As medical schools and the health-care industry work to determine how they will integrate information technology advances into clinical care, Carl has played a leadership role in this area through his work at the AMA and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education,” Gold said. “Added to his time as a professor of medicine and his countless hours working to advance health-care quality, safety and outcomes through the implementation of cutting-edge technology, the result is an individual who will dramatically advance The University of Toledo Medical Center as one of the top academic medical centers in the nation. His appointment reaffirms our quest for national distinction in patient safety, health-care quality and patient centeredness.”

Completing his undergraduate and medical school training at Columbia University and Rutgers Medical School (now the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine), Sirio received postgraduate medical training at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University, the National Institutes of Health and George Washington University.

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