Leadership Notes - November 2012
We are pleased to present this inaugural issue of Wilmot Cancer Center Update. This monthly publication is intended to be an important communication link for the physicians, scientists and staff who have helped make the Wilmot Cancer Center the region’s leader in cancer care and research, and share important news and information that is relevant to all. It also reflects our commitment to enhancing all of our communication vehicles, including our website and our donor publication, Dialogue, to create greater synergy and collaboration within the broad array of individuals and teams involved with cancer care and research.
As many of you may already know, we have been working throughout the past several months to re-define the operational structure related to supporting research and delivering high quality cancer care. Since the change in leadership that took place this summer, we have worked to develop a leadership infrastructure that is more decentralized, inclusive and collaborative in approach and one that is responsive to the rapidly changing environment of healthcare reform and research funding pressures. In lieu of the previous Executive Committee, we’ve established two key, multidisciplinary groups – the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) (chaired by Gary Morrow) and the Clinical Advisory Committee (CAC) (chaired by Yuhchyau Chen) - that have started meeting monthly to address both clinical and research issues and ongoing strategy. The membership of each group can be found here, and, importantly, is designed to represent a broad coalition of multidisciplinary expertise.
The RAC is intended to provide assistance in continuous strategic planning, and to be involved in the hiring of cancer-focused investigators. The group will also play a role in the oversight of pilot projects, from RFA’s to the review process to funding recommendations. Additional areas in which this group will provide guidance include our ongoing collaboration with RPCI and enhancing education and visibility of research programs in our community. Key discussions to date have included process for review of our enhanced pilot grant program, and initiating a recruitment of a scientist focused on head and neck cancer.
The CAC has multiple goals as well. One of the most important is to continue to build on our multidisciplinary model of care to enhance a number of clinical programs, and to develop strong leadership within those programs. As healthcare reform continues to evolve and reimbursement becomes more closely tied to quality measures, the CAC will be taking a leadership role in examining ways in which we can further enhance the quality of care we deliver. In our most recent meeting, we have focused on strategy of implementing a clinical survivorship program across the Cancer Center. We anticipate a key focus will be integrating the Pluta Cancer Center into Wilmot as we move forward with that merger.
At the same time, we have deepened our collaborative relationship with Roswell Park Cancer Institute. We have met monthly with Donald “Skip” Trump, MD, Roswell’s CEO, to examine ways in which we can enhance what has been a very promising relationship. One of the fruits of those discussions will be a Symposium, to be held November 9 at the URMC Advancement Center, that will showcase the 16 collaborative studies funded by seed grants. As part of this workshop, the initial eight funded pairs of investigators will present their results.
This is an exciting time for the Wilmot Cancer Center and the patients and families we serve. As you can see, we will have much to talk about in the coming months and we look forward to building a robust level of dialogue with all those within the URMC community who touch cancer in some way, shape or form. We look forward to feedback from all of you on what information you would like to see included as part of this communication tool, and hope to highlight many of your accomplishments over the coming months.
Jonathan W. Friedberg, MD
Hartmut (Hucky) Land, Ph.D.