Wellness, growth and academic emergence
Dr. Haley touches on the importance of employee wellness as we pursue the tripart academic mission.
Welcome to the spring 2018 edition of Academic Matters, the e-newsletter of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.
We have the pleasure of living in Florida, where the weather is usually favorable. While summers can be a bit hot and humid, our winters are pretty mild, especially compared with the winter in the Northeast this year. When I lived up North, we always welcomed spring for many reasons, including the fact that it helped make us feel well.
Recent tragedies involving members of our campus family remind us that our own wellness is important and it affects how we take care of our patients. Having engaged employees is critical to any organization, and what becomes clear is that there’s a whole wellness component to it. I have asked Linda Edwards, M.D., and Mark McIntosh, M.D., to reenergize efforts to improve wellness across the enterprise. They have assembled a special committee to discuss ways to strengthen campus support. They will present specific initiatives to me and the rest of the leadership team later this year.
Building the leadership team
I am pleased to announce the first chair of urology will be K.C. Balaji, M.D. Balaji is chief of urology and a professor of urology and cancer biology at Wake Forest University and its affiliated hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is expected to begin in August but will be on campus several times before then to get up to speed. I want to thank Joe Costa, D.O., who has served as interim chair since the department was approved in fall 2016.
We have narrowed down the searches for chair of ophthalmology and senior associate dean for research and hope to make announcements shortly. Our other chair searches for anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and neurosurgery are well underway, with several candidates visiting our campus this spring.
Addressing the tripart academic mission
March 16 was this year’s annual Match Day, when graduating medical students find out where they will complete their residency training. Nearly 100 of them learned they will soon call our campus home for the next few years. We filled all of our first-year residency spots with outstanding students from across the state and country. Thirty-six percent of our incoming residents completed a student rotation on our campus, which shows the value of having a great clinical environment for medical students and resident physicians.
Renovations in the Professional Office Building are now complete for the Jacksonville Aging Studies Center, or JAX-ASCENT. We’re preparing for a final walk-through soon, with a formal ribbon-cutting on May 11. Jennifer Bowman has been hired to manage the center. This initiative is an example of how we can continue to elevate the level and expand the scope of research on this campus.
Creating strategic alliances
I was recently asked to join the JAX Chamber’s Board of Directors and become a member of the Jacksonville Civic Council — two major organizations comprising the region’s top business leaders. The JAX Chamber, in particular, is laser-focused on improving downtown Jacksonville. One of my messages to them and other city leaders is that our organization plays a key role in downtown improvement, growth and development as the region’s premier academic health center.
Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA, C.P.E., FACEP