Yale School of Medicine should be an academic home where women and underrepresented in medicine (URiM) faculty, staff, and students thrive, and where diversity and excellence are inextricably linked.
Beyond Sterling Hall
Today, as we mark a leadership transition at Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS), we write as dean of Yale School of Medicine (YSM) and chief executive officer of YNHHS, to affirm our shared commitment to align further our two institutions to realize our full potential as one of the nation’s top academic health systems.
Earlier today, President Salovey, Provost Strobel, and I met with the faculty, students, and staff of Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) to share the plans for the search for a new dean and the decision to transition YSPH to become an independent, self-supporting school. We anticipate this transition will occur within a year of the appointment of the new dean.
February 1 marks my second anniversary at Yale. Two years ago, we published the first Beyond Sterling Hall, “Listening.” Since then, I have been buoyed by our listening sessions and continue to learn from you. I am humbled by your excellence and your commitment to your work. I am also continually reminded how difficult it is to communicate effectively
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has reminded us of the power of rigorous observation, critical thinking, and scientific discovery. We have witnessed how the application of basic discoveries made over many decades can culminate in the rapid development of vaccine technology. Lessons we have learned about the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 have shifted our understanding of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension.
During this month of Thanksgiving 2021, I am drawn to reflect on the meaning of philanthropy. On October 2, Yale University unveiled the public phase of a $7 billion capital campaign. The title of the campaign, For Humanity, may seem like hubris to some. Rather it is meant to convey that the work we do here must have impact far beyond Yale. It captures the meaning of the word philanthropy, from the Greek “phil,” love, and “anthro,” human.
A couple of weekends ago, several people sent me this column by our faculty member and NY Times writer Lisa Sanders. There is so much to love about this story. In its telling, Dr. Sanders captures what it means to be a teaching hospital and academic health system. She celebrates the commitment of our faculty, staff, and trainees to the value of human life and the tenacity with which they ask questions and apply their diagnostic acumen in the pursuit of saving lives.
This story further reminds us of the centrality of our clinical work to the realization of all our missions. I do not simply mean that revenue from the clinical enterprise supports our education and research missions, although this is true. Rather, the story highlights the critical role of the hospital and clinic in teaching analytical thinking as well as diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to our undergraduate and graduate medical trainees. Clinical observations inform discovery, and the partnership between Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Health System enables us to offer our patients access to cutting edge diagnostics and therapies made possible by research.