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U-M health leaders offer an innovative framework for keeping academic medicine viable

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Even as medical centers and hospitals around the nation are struggling, merging or even closing, the University of Michigan Health System has a favorable balance sheet, a positive operating margin and plans for new initiatives in research, technology, facilities and patient care.

How can this be possible in an age of managed care, government spending cuts, declining medical school applications, negative stereotypes of university medical centers and increasing demand for high-tech treatments? Only through a coordinated effort among the teaching, research and patient care areas of one of the nation's largest and oldest academic medical centers, say U-M Health System leaders.

In an editorial published in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, top U-M health officials discuss what they have done since 1996 and plan to do in coming years to stay ahead of the turmoil that currently troubles other health care providers in this time of change. The piece appears in an edition of JAMA entirely devoted to the U-M in honor of the 150th anniversary of the University's Medical School.

"Instead of viewing our academic missions as costly burdens on patient care, we have reaffirmed our commitment to integrating medical practice with education and research," says lead author Gilbert S. Omenn, M.D., Ph.D., U-M executive vice president for medical affairs and CEO of the Health System. "Today, we are proactively shaping our own destiny."

Omenn's co-authors span a spectrum of U-M leadership: Allen S. Lichter, M.D., dean of the Medical School; Larry Warren, M.A., executive director, hospitals and health centers; and Lee C. Bollinger, J.D., University president and chair of the hospital executive board.

"Institutions that can respond to change while remaining focused on service, productivity and market leadership will shape a positive future for academic medicine," explains Omenn. "We are confident that we will be am
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Contact: Kara Gavin
UMHSmedia@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
14-Feb-2000


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