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Beyond Sterling Hall

Beyond Sterling Hall is a regular message from Dean Nancy J. Brown about ongoing initiatives at YSM.

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As physicians, students who aspire to be physicians or physician associates, and staff engaged in patient care, education, and discovery, we hold our responsibility for human life above all else.

Dean Nancy J. Brown
This week we have been confronted by the image of a white police officer holding his knee on the neck of a fellow human being, a Black man named George Floyd. The image invokes the most visceral of emotions, sickness, shock, anger, and for many in our community fear for themselves and for their loved ones. It follows on a series of disturbing events, including the shootings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
“Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote the droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote ... .” So wrote Geoffrey Chaucer in the prologue to The Canterbury Tales nearly 700 years ago. Spring has amazed and comforted us since the beginning of humankind. Yet, somehow the sight of daffodils and trees in bud has never seemed more startling and welcome than this year, as we experience the first downturn in the number of COVID-19 cases and anticipate our emergence from this long winter.
Pride, humility, gratitude—these are a few of the emotions I have been feeling lately as I witness the response of our faculty, staff, and students.
We named this monthly missive “Beyond Sterling Hall,” to convey that YSM extends far beyond an administrative building or our laboratories. Today I would like to convey the ways in which our faculty, staff, and students are rising above COVID-19 and share the work that is continuing to move us forward as a school of medicine.
The months leading up to my arrival and my first six weeks as dean of Yale School of Medicine (YSM) have been both exciting and eventful. The many meetings I have had with leadership, faculty, staff, and students—including a series of ongoing small group listening sessions with these groups—have given me a unique perspective on what makes the school so special, as well as some of the opportunities we have to excel even further.
As outlined in the three climate committee reports posted on January 23, 2020, the Academic Leadership Committee proposed that effective leaders are guided by the values of integrity, reflection, and communication; diversity and inclusion; generativity; discovery, innovation, and scholarship; and building an engaged and productive community.
Sixty-five meetings and 42,000 steps. Thank you to all who have welcomed me to your departments and offices over the last few months as I have begun to learn about Yale School of Medicine (YSM) prior to my arrival this week.
Sixty-five meetings and 42,000 steps. I have had the opportunity to meet with many faculty members over the last few months as I have begun to learn about Yale School of Medicine (YSM) prior to my arrival this week. I am grateful to Dean Alpern for his leadership and graciousness during our transition.