University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Medicine Magazine

DEPARTMENT OF Medicine ~ 2013 Annual Report

Polly E. Parsons, M.D., E.L. Amidon, M.D.'32 Chair

The Department of Medicine continues to be a nationally/internationally recognized leader in research. Members of the department published more than 300 manuscripts, reviews, chapters and books, and were asked to serve on NIH study sections and advisory councils, FDA review panels and editorial boards. They were invited to present at scientific meetings around the world, served as visiting professors, and were elected to leadership in national societies.

Despite the challenges facing research funding, the faculty continue to find creative ways to lead and succeed in their fields. The Department expanded two research funding programs and developed a third. The departmental bridge funding program is now more substantial and rigorous with aligned metrics to enhance investigators’ success. The Translational Award program, designed to foster innovation and new collaborations, was launched, with its first grants awarded to Anne Dixon, M.D., Oliver Dienz, Ph.D., and Michael Toth, Ph.D. SPARK VT was the new research initiative started this year, with the goal of translating novel ideals into therapies, diagnostics, and devices that will improve health. With the help of an exceptional panel of community consultants, the first two awards went to Renee Stapleton, M.D. and Benjamin Suratt, M.D., and to Markus Meyer, Ph.D.

This year the entire Department contributed to the enhancement of medical student and resident education. Several enhancements were made to clerkships at Fletcher Allen Health Care and at partner sites in Danbury, West Palm Beach and Eastern Maine. In addition, Jan Carney, M.D., developed a Certificate in Public Health Program that will benefit medical students and many others in health care. The residency program increased in size to 42 categorical residents, nine preliminary residents and three chief residents. With this increase came also a successful transition to a new model, called “4+1,” that separates outpatient and inpatient rotations and allows for novel educational initiatives, including a High Value Cost Conscious Care Curriculum. The faculty continued to participate extensively in the VIC curriculum and again received a number of honors and awards for their contributions to education. [See “Class Awards” on page 64] This year’s recipient of the Department of Medicine Mentor Award was David Schneider, M.D.

The Department expanded its clinical practice in 2013 and focused on providing a high-value cost-conscious care modeled after the national program called “Choosing Wisely.” New clinical programs this year included the opening of a motility center and esophageal pH laboratory, expansion of the Oncology Rehabilitation program, telemedicine ICU palliative care consultation, and expansion of the use of ultrasound in rheumatology. The HIV Comprehensive Care Clinic Program directed by Dr. Christopher Grace celebrated its 25th anniversary. The primary care internal medicine (PCIM) faculty continued to be actively engaged in the transformation of primary care; working with Joel Schnure, M.D., and his colleagues in endocrinology they enacted the Diabetes Care Pathway to further the integration of PCIM and subspecialty medicine. The initial Choosing Wisely initiatives included a focus on testing in patients with chronic kidney disease, indications for colonoscopy and for rheumatologic testing. Results were presented both regionally and nationally and have already led to improvements in patient care and cost savings. Working with our partner institutions, Dr. Schneider began to extend the quality assurance programs in cardiovascular disease across our network. These programs have helped the department lead the way for enhancing patient care in alignment with ongoing health care reform.

Last modified December 20 2013 11:46 AM