Med Center Board Learns About Innovative Cancer Program, Approves Budget


The Medical Center Operating Board learned Monday about one of the new programs designed to help the University of Virginia Health System stand out from other hospitals.

At the board's meeting, held in conjunction with the Board of Visitor's meeting. Drs. Reid Adams and Todd Bauer shared plans for the High-Risk Pancreatic Care Clinic, which will combine research with high-quality clinical care in hopes of improving outcomes for cancer patients. The fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., pancreatic cancer now lacks a good early-detection method. For 90 percent of pancreatic cancer patients, the disease is detected too late for surgery to remove the cancer.

Working with biomedical engineer Kimberly Kelly, Adams and Bauer hope to begin clinical trials later this year on a molecular-based imaging system. The hope is to detect pancreatic cancer sooner, enabling patients to receive life-saving surgery at U.Va., which is highly rated nationally in patient outcomes and patient satisfaction for pancreatic cancer treatment. The goal, Adams said, is to become "a national leader and a destination center" for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The program is being funded through the Ward Buchanan Fund, which provides three years of seed money for unique, clinically differentiating programs. R. Edward Howell, vice president and CEO of the Medical Center, noted that "many of the programs we're very proud of" – including robotic surgery and the Atrial Fibrillation Center – were started with Buchanan funding.

In other business Monday, the Medical Center Operating Board:

• Approved a $1.2 billion Medical Center budget for fiscal 2012-2013. The budget plan includes $20 million set aside to help carry out the Health System's strategic direction. The budget projects a continued increase in patients; so far in fiscal year 2012, admissions are up 3.5 percent.

• Authorized the Medical Center to form a joint partnership with Winchester Medical Center to provide stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy services in Winchester. The Medical Center will receive a 15 percent ownership share and share operational support and medical direction.

More Board of Visitors briefs:

Two to Be Honored With Plaques

Plaques were approved to honor two individuals, Dr. William Alexander Lambeth and Henry Martin.

Lambeth (1867-1944), a faculty member in the School of Medicine, was also the head of the department of physical education and the superintendent of buildings and grounds. He became known as the "the father of athletics" as he oversaw the creation of what later became known as Lambeth Field – the University's combined football-baseball-track facility – where the plaque will be placed.

Martin (1826-1915) was born into slavery at Monticello on the day of Thomas Jefferson's death. He worked at the University in various capacities from about 1847 until his retirement in 1910. Among his responsibilities was the ringing of the Chapel bell to awaken students and to mark the hours of the day. The plaque will be set in the sidewalk that runs from the front door of the Chapel to McCormick Road, one of the most heavily traveled pedestrian walks at the University.

Martin was commemorated earlier this year as part of the University's Martin Luther King Jr. Day observances.

Faculty Survey

Law professor George M. Cohen, incoming chair of the Faculty Senate, told the board that the senate is conducting a comprehensive faculty survey, which will be presented to the board in the fall. Cohen said his vision for the coming year centers on facilitating communication, processing information and strengthening organization.

Supplier Diversity Highlighted

Les Haughton, director of supplier diversity, outlined key initiatives that his office plans to undertake in the next year, including re-establishing a minority business executive program with Darden School of Business, highlighting supplier diversity awards and establishing a University supplier diversity newsletter.

Haughton also said he is working to establish a Charlottesville Minority Business Network that could result in more work being done for the University by local businesses owned by minorities. Haughton said the project will include mentoring and advising local businesses and fostering more networking among Charlottesville minority businesses.

Search Begins for New Wise Chancellor

Sullivan has appointed a 15-person search committee to select a chancellor for the College at Wise, following the death of Chancellor David J. Prior in February. Sullivan said she hopes the committee could finish its work by January, but added that a significant number of higher-education institutions are searching for chief executives.

Despite the competition for top executive talent, Sullivan described Wise as "a little gem" that she expects will hold high appeal for candidates.

The Board of Visitors also approved the reappointment of four members of the Wise Board, which advises the Wise chancellor, U.Va.'s president and the Board of Visitors. Reappointed to terms ending June 30, 2016: Marcia Adams Gilliam, current chair of the Wise Board; Don M. Green, chair of the College at Wise Foundation Board; George E. Hunnicutt Jr., who serves on the Foundation board; and Ronald B. Sturgill, also a Foundation board member.

New Professorships

Six new professorships received approval from the Educational Policy Committee.

• The Michael J. and Jane R. Horvitz Distinguished Professorship in Law will held the Law School attract and retain legal scholars of special eminence, with a preference for those in the tax and business law areas. Michael Horvitz is a 1975 graduate of the University, a former chair of the Board of Trustees of the Law School Foundation and also serves on the Law School's Capital Campaign Executive Committee.

• The Ambassador Henry J. Taylor and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Endowed Professorship in Media Studies and Endowed Professorships in Politics will fund the creation of four Eminent Scholars professorships, one in media studies and three in politics. Henry Taylor, who died in 1984, was a foreign correspondent, syndicated columnist, author and former ambassador to Switzerland. Marion Taylor was an artist and philanthropist. She passed away in 2010, and her will directed the creation of the professorships.

• The Thomas W. Tillack Professorship in Experimental Pathology honors the 27 years of dedication and service of Tillack with the creation of a professorship in the School of Medicine Department of Pathology. He joined U.Va. in 1976 and served as professor of autopsy pathology and chair of the Department of Pathology until 2001. He retired in 2003.

• The William T. Moore Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology funds the creation of an Eminent Scholar in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Moore earned a degree in medicine from U.Va. in 1938 and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins University.

• The N. Thomas Connally Professorship in Clinical Excellence will serve as a model for U.Va. clinicians who wish to translate research breakthroughs to clinical practice. Connally earned undergraduate and medical degrees from U.Va., and held a variety of professional and volunteer positions during his career, including as member of the Board of Visitors from 1989 to 1995.

– by McGregor McCance, Eric Swensen and Carol Wood