Vital Signs - November 2003

July 2004

School of Nursing Jumps in NIH Rankings

The School of Nursing moved to 13th in the nation for grants and fellowships funded by NIH.

The School of Nursing has made a dramatic leap in its ranking for grants and fellowships funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), moving from 23rd in the nation last year to 13th. Annual rankings are based on a combination of research grants, training grants and fellowships.

"That combination is especially important for students because it creates opportunities to take part in the latest scientific advances and apply those advances to nursing care," says Patricia Chiverton, dean of the School of Nursing. "Ultimately, that means nurses can apply the most up-to-date, innovative methods of care to patients in our community."

The rise in rankings is fueled by the School's aggressive research strategic plan, which bolstered its research infrastructure and resources, and also emphasized strong mentoring from senior faculty. Since the start of that plan in 1999, funding received for research and training has increased 500 percent.

The School of Nursing houses several research centers, including the Center for Clinical Research on Aging, Center for High-Risk Children and Youth, Center for Clinical Trials and Medical Device Evaluation, Center for Research and Evidence-Based Practice, and Advancing Research and Clinical Practice Through Close Collaboration (ARCC).

In October, the School will break ground on a new, 19,500-square-foot education wing and the new Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship, which among other things will help researchers develop their inventions and market them.


New Surgery Chair to Start July 1

Jeffrey H. Peters, M.D.
Jeffrey H. Peters, M.D.

Jeffrey H. Peters, M.D., an international authority on esophageal disorders, has been named chair of the Department of Surgery, Seymour I. Schwartz Professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and surgeon-in-chief of Strong Memorial Hospital. Peters, who assumed the position on July 1, replaced Arthur Hengerer, M.D., who provided leadership to the department as interim chair since late 2001.

"I am very pleased to welcome a nationally prominent surgeon to this post," C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., Medical Center CEO, said. "Dr. Peters has exciting plans to transform the department, creating centers of excellence in several disciplines."

Peters previously was chief of the Division of General Surgery at the University of Southern California (USC) Healthcare Consultation Center in Los Angeles, and professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. He is a respected surgeon, teacher and NIH-funded researcher who developed at USC a nationally prominent Division of General Surgery, and is interested in replicating that success at the Medical Center.

"I've long been aware of the positive reputation and outstanding history of the University of Rochester's surgical program, and I've had good experiences with surgeons and residents who've trained in Rochester," Peters said. "This program has the foundation and potential to be great. That opportunity to build plays to my personal interest."

David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, said that Peters impressed the Search Committee and Senior Leadership Team with a preliminary plan to capitalize and build on the core talents that currently exist here in Surgery.

"He is an energetic and strategic leader who is committed to making this University's Surgery Department one of the finest in the country," Guzick said. "We're very excited that he plans to have several recruits in place by this fall."

New Surgery Structure

Over the next decade, Peters plans to restructure surgical care into multi-specialty teams that are "disease focused" rather than "technically based" to give patients the full advantage of gastroenterologists, pathologists, surgeons, radiologists and others. He also plans to establish new divisions, such as divisions of colorectal surgery and surgical oncology, and a program in minimally invasive surgery.

Within his first year, Peters expects to appoint a new full-time surgery educator who will re-energize the Department around learning at all levels—students, residents and faculty. In building the Department's research reputation, Peters plans to focus closely on clinical research, following both the NIH Roadmap and his own personal interests.

Peters is an international authority on the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of esophageal disorders, and has published more than 160 scientific papers and 70 book chapters. A graduate of Ohio State University School of Medicine, Peters completed internship, residency and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins Hospital where he also did graduate work in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. In addition, Peters completed a second fellowship in esophageal surgery at Creighton University. He is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing excellence in research and teaching.

He, his wife, and three teenage girls have relocated from California, and live in Pittsford.


UR Medical Faculty Group Wins National Quality Seal

Quality Seal
UR Medical Faculty Group Wins National Quality Seal

An exhaustive, two-year effort to create strict processes for credentialing physicians has earned the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group (URMFG) certification by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The coveted certification was awarded to URMFG following a formal NCQA audit earlier this spring.

The University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group, an organization of 850 physicians, serves as a central resource for credentialing physicians and negotiating payment rates with third-party payers.

According to Karen Crotinger, associate director of Physician Services for URMFG, the physician organization underwent a comprehensive, two-day survey designed to evaluate its performance against high national standards. NCQA surveyors thoroughly examined physician files, interviewed Strong Memorial Hospital and URMFG administrative leadership, and fully reviewed all policies, procedures and quality processes.

The NCQA is an independent, non-profit organization that certifies physician organizations, and accredits managed care organizations and preferred provider organizations. NCQA's accreditation program represents the most rigorous standards of their kind.


Guzick Elected to Hopkins Society of Scholars

Dean David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, recently was inducted into the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, one of only 15 scientists selected from around the country and world to be inducted this year.

The Society of Scholars was created by Hopkins in 1967 to recognize significant accomplishments of clinicians and researchers who have spent part of their careers at Hopkins. Former postdoctoral fellows, residents and junior faculty who have gained marked distinction in their fields make up the exclusive membership, which numbers 460.

Guzick, who was an intern and resident at Hopkins from 1979 to 1982, was recognized for his work in reproductive endocrinology. He is internationally renowned as an expert on the epidemiology, pathogenesis and management of endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome among infertile women. Guzick also was cited for his contributions to the analysis of infertility data - which are widely used today - and his studies demonstrating increased cardiovascular risk among women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Prior to being named dean, Guzick was the Henry A. Thiede Professor and Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


New HRMS System To Go Live July 6

After years of research and planning, the new Human Resources Management System (HRMS) is set to go live July 6. The new system is a dramatic upgrade to the processes previously used to manage information for all University faculty and staff.

As faculty and staff begin navigating the new system, several resources are available to answer questions. A comprehensive FAQ list and other training materials are available at In addition, the HR Service Center will be staffed to answer questions via phone, ASK-URHR (275-8747).

Please remember that in order to access the system, all employees need a NetID. If you have not already done so, please log onto to get your NetID.


Medical Center Names General Counsel

Christine Burke, J.D.
Christine Burke, J.D.

Christine Burke, J.D., a 15-year veteran of the Medical Center's legal team, was recently named General Counsel for the University of Rochester Medical Center. As General Counsel, Burke provides advice to administrators, faculty, and staff on a wide range of legal issues, and manages both in-house attorneys and outside counsel. Prior to joining the University of Rochester, she served as first deputy county attorney with the Monroe County Attorney's Office. An undergraduate of Denison University, Burke received her Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School. Her areas of professional expertise extend from contract and business negotiation, health care issues, and higher education issues, to legal issues related to scientific research, and regulatory compliance.



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Last updated: 06/23/2009 10:05 PM