Ringing in 2024
As the holidays approach and the year comes to a close, I would like to share my sincere gratitude and appreciation for all that each and every one of you has contributed to the department in 2023 and share some of the incredible work we have accomplished together.
Our faculty were awarded 834 grants (new, supplemental, and renewals) totaling $272,732,979.
We had over 274,000 inpatient encounters and over 400,000 outpatient encounters at our over 160 procedure areas and clinics.
Our academic divisions of Hematology and Medical Oncology joined to form the Division of Hematology and Oncology on August 1, 2023, led by Dr. Sara Hurvitz.
The Division of Dermatology became the Department of Dermatology on October 1, 2023.
We have spent the year celebrating our 75th Anniversary as a department.
We have been highlighting each of our divisions, in the order they were established, throughout the year.
We created a section on our website to highlight 75 changemakers and 75 emerging leaders. We designed and distributed swag items to the department.
A book of milestones will come out early next year.
We had another wonderful and historic match this year, and continued our work to recruit a more diverse class, as well as increase our recruitment of physician-scientists.
This class is 65% women and extremely diverse with 29% of the class identifying as URM, and another 29% non-URM people of color. There are 4 MD/PhDs.
As part of our strategic plan, we created a new position of Vice Chair for Education and Dr. Ken Steinberg accepted my offer to fill this position. Ken has been our program director for our Internal Medicine Residency program since 2007.
Alaska Residency Program
Our new Alaska Internal Medicine Residency Program is the very first accredited rural residency training program in Internal Medicine in the country. It combines the educational expertise of a well-established urban academic program with a novel primary care training experience in rural Alaska, offering the best of both worlds.
Center for Indigenous Health
The newly formed Center for Indigenous Health’s mission is to improve Indigenous health by expanding opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) premedical students, medical students and academic faculty throughout the full spectrum of educational and career stages. It is jointly led by Dr. Jason Deen (Cardiology) and Millie Kennedy, JD, Tribal Liaison through the UW Medicine Office of Healthcare Equity.
Honors and awards
Department faculty, trainees, students and staff received over 250 honors, teaching awards and special appointments, and we presented our inaugural Outstanding Staff Awards to recognize and celebrate exceptional staff members who are dedicated to supporting our organization’s mission of teaching, healing, discovery, and diversity and upholding core values.
Our three inaugural recipients were Kelsey Griffin, Susan Melhorn and Shinetra Pryor.
In addition to our Outstanding Staff Awards, we just launched the Staff Shout Outs program to recognize the outstanding work of our staff members in the department.
We had successful recruitments for two new division heads – Dr. Sara Hurvitz (Hematology and Oncology) started in August and Dr. Reena Mehra (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) will start this spring.
We hired Susan Calero as our new division administrator in General Internal Medicine and Ashleigh Grogan as our new division administrator in Cardiology.
A special thanks to the outstanding workgroup leads, as well as to the workgroup members who have volunteered significant amounts of their precious time to advance the department’s priorities.
We have implemented several new initiatives as a result of our strategic plan.
A key priority for our department is to nurture a supportive, collaborative culture where equity, diversity and inclusion are at the center.
Our Bias Navigator Program launched this year. Navigators are trained individuals dedicated to providing safe, confidential support to help guide Department of Medicine staff, faculty and trainees through bias incidents they may have experienced.
DEI Lecture Series
We partnered with the Institute for Common Power to present three DEI Lecture Series: “The Impact of the Pandemic and the ‘Racial Reckoning’ on Health Outcomes and American Democracy,” “The History and Future of Black Physicians in Medicine” and “Unveiling Maternal Morbidity and Mortality in the United States: Disparities and Challenges in Women's Health.”
We started a pilot program to increase preparedness for the faculty promotion process. The Leadership in Faculty Trajectory (LIFT) program helps faculty, particularly women faculty, access sponsorship and individualized guidance for the promotion process.
The results from our pilot showed that the majority of participants found that the committee provided them with actionable advice for improving their promotion portfolio and increased their confidence in going up for promotion.
We presented our Gender Equity Awards this year, recognizing and celebrating individuals who are dedicated to supporting the success of women and gender minorities.
The 2023 recipients were Monica Fawthrop, Erin Kross, Judith Tsui (Mentorship Awards) and Lex Powers (Trailblazer Award).
Michael Dudley was hired as a full-time data analyst to help all of our strategic plan workgroups. One key priority was to compile and increase access to and availability of robust demographics data in the department in order to provide transparency, examine who we are as a community and look at how we can become more inclusive.
We have developed structures and policies to increase diversity through hiring, recruitment, retention, and promotion. DEI hiring guides for faculty, staff and trainees are available on our intranet (UW Net ID required for access).
We have compiled current community engagement activities involving UW Department of Medicine members.
These activities primarily focus on two areas: 1) Pathway programs to enhance diversity in healthcare professions, and 2) Improving the healthcare of marginalized and underserved communities, including communities of color.
An upcoming Gender Equity Lunch will focus on the advocacy efforts of several of our faculty members.
Invest in our trainees, staff and faculty
Maureen Johnson was hired as a float AHR/HR administrator to cover vacant key human resources positions and serve as a division subject matter expert on staff and academic human resource policies and processes.
A crucial component of our recently developed strategic plan is to assess and develop strong support for employee well-being.
To support connection in our own community, we have been offering funding to support and promote reconnection events in the department, as a way to foster community building and colleague connections.
There have been numerous reconnection events funded, from curling to planting trees to broomball!
The Department of Medicine is focused on building community and a culture of well-being for faculty and staff. Our commensality groups seek to strengthen community, collegiality, and social connection amongst faculty.
Please join a strategic plan workgroup if you would like to help shape the future of our department!
The Year Ahead
Next year may continue to test us as a physicians, researchers, educators, learners as well as parents, children, friends and partners as we continue to reemerge after COVID into a world full of uncertainties.
It is essential that we continue to build our departmental community so we are equipped to support each other and address challenges as they come our way.
We will be having our annual leadership retreat in February to build connections and work together on how best to implement our departmental priorities, especially those identified in our strategic plan. The retreat will also provide a roadmap for the work we do in our year ahead.
Thank you for your outstanding work. Our department continues to move forward and grow stronger and I look forward to another year together, building on our strengths and successes.