Integrated Disease Program (IDPs)
The Medical Center will organize itself around five major disease areas – focusing research, teaching, and patient care services on some of the world's most prevalent and deadly illnesses. These Integrated Disease Programs (IDPs) reflect not only disease prevalence, but also represent disciplines in which the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry already has built considerable research and clinical expertise.
In each of these IDPs, the emphasis will be on translating basic discoveries to patient care, and developing novel therapies that extend and improve health. Doing so will expand both the breadth of services and reputation of the University of Rochester Medical Center. And, achieving that will require a more integrated, more streamlined organizational structure that more closely aligns with the way patients seek care. Thus, the IDPs must create environments that span traditional Medical School and hospital departmental boundaries.
The Medical Center’s five Integrated Disease Programs include:
- Cancer. Already the second leading cause of death in the U.S., cancer incidence is on the rise as our region’s population ages. Over the last five years, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center has charted a 15 to 20 percent growth in the number of patients it treats. Since its creation in 1966, the cancer center has become recognized for its expertise in leukemia and lymphomas, urologic oncology and cancer control programs, and innovations in radiation oncology. In its new 163,000 square-foot facility, the Wilmot Cancer Center will bring outpatient clinical programs together with translational research laboratories, positioning it as the ideal cancer center to develop next generation therapies.
- Cardiovascular disease. Since more Americans lose their lives to heart disease than any other ailment, programs to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease are crucial to the Medical Center’s strategic plan. The Medical Center has long provided comprehensive clinical expertise in all areas of cardiovascular medicine, with regionally unique programs in electrophysiology, heart failure, heart transplantation, aortic surgery, and children’s heart surgery. It also boasts nationally recognized research programs in vascular biology, atrial fibrillation, ablation, hereditary arrhythmias and use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for heart failure patients. The Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute’s 15 basic science laboratories have won more than 60 research grants and filed 36 patent applications.
- Immunology and infectious disease. Infectious diseases have been principal threats to health throughout the history of man. The fight against deadly microbes relies largely on knowledge of the immune system, which plays a central role in diseases like arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. Knowledge of the vast, diverse workings of the immune system – a booming field with URMC already in the vanguard – has the potential to create new approaches not yet imagined and to revolutionize the manufacture of vaccines. The University of Rochester Medical Center’s emphasis on immunology is appropriate, as the discipline is the source of the Medical Center’s greatest recognition, and its greatest royalties.
- Musculoskeletal disease. Americans are not just living longer, but are demanding the ability to stay physically active despite aging joints and decreasing muscle and bone strength. Osteoporosis and its associated fractures, together with athletic injuries, have become the new epidemics of aging. As one of the busiest musculoskeletal services in the U.S., more than three dozen University of Rochester faculty members attend to 140,000 visits per year. This clinical expertise is complemented by the country’s top NIH-funded orthopaedic research program that seeks to prevent osteoporosis, speed fracture healing, make live bone transplants possible, and replace damaged tendons using breakthrough approaches. The integration of research and clinical care promises innovations for the Rochester community and the nation at-large.
- Neuromedicine. On a national scale, diseases of the brain and spinal cord come at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars annually, notwithstanding the suffering endured by patients and their families. Brain damage from stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the nation; meanwhile, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is skyrocketing, expected to top 16 million by mid-century. At the Medical Center, research into these and other brain diseases currently accounts for nearly one-third of all research dollars. Regionally, Strong Memorial Hospital is already a neuromedicine powerhouse and the preferred provider of neurological and neurosurgical care. With neuromedicine touching 19 departments at the Medical Center and six more at the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, it’s a clear choice for emphasis
The plan calls for recruiting new clinical/translational scientists to augment faculty already working in the IDP areas. To further encourage collaboration, many of these scientists will be jointly recruited by departments, centers and programs within the IDP.