Reimagining Academic Medicine
Our enterprise has successfully retooled and reorganized in response to the many challenges of 2020.
Welcome to the fall 2020 edition of Academic Matters, the e-newsletter of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville.
This year has undoubtedly been like none other. A global pandemic, an economic recession and social unrest continue to rock the country while directly impacting our health system in the process. We have had to reimagine academic medicine, reorganize and retool to continue providing exceptional patient care while still effectively teaching the next generation of practitioners and engaging in leading-edge research.
Wellness and safety are of paramount concern. Mask wearing has become the norm, as well as physical distancing practices and virtual meetings. Although we are operating differently, we are still moving forward with bold goals to strengthen and grow our enterprise.
In Nassau County, UF Health Rehabilitation – Wildlight recently opened its doors, offering occupational, physical and speech therapy for adults and children. The practice complements the existing medical office building at UF Health Wildlight, where services include urgent care, dentistry, family medicine, imaging, laboratory, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. A YMCA recently opened at Wildlight, as well.
Meanwhile, we are planning for a second bed tower at UF Health North and are partnering with Flagler Health+ in St. Johns County to develop a medical office building and health village to open in fall 2021 and a bed tower to open in 2023.
Because this is a new hospital, it will allow us to develop new residency training programs. In the initial phase, we are planning to restart our family medicine residency there, with six residents in the first class. Nipa Shah, M.D., chair of community health and family medicine, and Linda Edwards, M.D., our senior associate dean for educational affairs, are working diligently to put the program in place.
On the downtown campus, residency and fellowship program leaders — in collaboration with the amazing staff at UF Health Jacksonville — are ensuring education and training proceed in the safest manner possible. In the Educational Affairs section of this newsletter, Dr. Edwards elaborates on the ways COVID-19 has impacted graduate medical education.
On the research front, the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville is one of several participants in the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes, or HERO, Registry. The effort looks to better understand the challenges health care workers and related personnel face on the COVID-19 front lines.
While COVID-19 research is a focus, our faculty investigators are still making discoveries in other areas, including in pain management, sepsis and pediatric asthma, just to name a few. The Research Affairs section of the newsletter details how an all-new clinical research office will support those efforts, allowing for the facilitation of research virtually and in person.
CULTIVATING A BETTER ENVIRONMENT
Our enterprise is committed to creating and promoting an environment that values diversity and equality, while rejecting racism and bigotry. Madeline Joseph, M.D., associate dean for inclusion and equity, talks in depth about our efforts tied to those aims in a special newsletter section. And Mark Hudak, M.D., a professor and chair of pediatrics, discusses his department’s latest strides and goals in the special spotlight section.
I know these are challenging times. Novelty and uncertainty create stress for everyone. But as we take care of our patients, let’s make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and each other. Check in on your colleagues and reach out for assistance if you are in need. Let’s help everyone in our enterprise be their best selves.
Thank you for everything you do as we continue to pursue our vision to be the region’s most valued health care asset.
Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA
Dean, UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville