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Thanks for making YSM a great place to teach, learn and care for others

Robert J. Alpern, MD
Dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine

Welcome to 333 Cedar Street. This address is home not only to Sterling Hall of Medicine but also a new letter that I’ll be sending monthly. My plan is to write to you about matters related to our missions of research, patient care and education, about new programs and initiatives, and about other topics vital to our community. I'd like to hear from you and know what's on your mind, so that I can address those subjects in future letters. You can write to me at

For now, let me wish you a joyous holiday season as we head toward the recess period. This is a special time of year for celebrating with our families, friends and colleagues, and as 2008 draws to a close, it’s clear that those relationships are what sustain us in times like these. It has been a tumultuous year filled with uncertainty and economic worry, and yet our school and university remain incredibly strong. President Levin wrote to the University community last week regarding the economic downturn’s impact on Yale as a whole, and certainly in the months ahead we will have to make strategic decisions. Difficult times challenge us all, but they also provide an opportunity to pull together and focus on that which is most important.

I will write to you next month with more specifics on how these circumstances affect the medical school and how we will address them. In the meantime, I want to thank you for making Yale School of Medicine a great place for teaching, learning and caring for others. More than 6,000 of us work and study here, and we know there is no other place on the planet with Yale’s unique strengths when it comes to advancing and sharing knowledge and improving human health.

With those thoughts in mind, I wish you and those close to you happiness this holiday season and a healthy and fruitful 2009.