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John M. Carethers, M.D.
John G. Searle Professor and
Chair, Department of Internal Medicine

Message From Our Chair

Chair’s Corner – February 2015

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Friends:

Our world of medicine continues to be morphed by external changes to our current but fluid healthcare model.  Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced major changes to how the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will provide payments over the next few years, moving from fee-for-service to alternative payment models that will affect each and every one of us, and incorporates value. With this announcement and the reality that this will be put into place, we as an institution and as a department will need to respond internally and be proactive in suggesting and implementing solutions and adjustments to our changing environment. You will hear more about this in the coming weeks and months, but I urge you to educate yourselves regarding these massive changes, and come up with ideas to share that will continue to make Michigan a viable organization that provides value, access, and care to all of our patients. 

You as faculty within Department of Internal Medicine continue to showcase your research, education, and clinical prowess locally and nationally, and several accolades are highlighted in this issue. I am extremely pleased with the appointment of Dr. Sanjay Saint as the Medical Services Chief of the VA, and he will play an integral role in our faculty recruitments, clinical services, and training and education of our house staff.  I do want to highlight in this issue Dean James Woolliscroft’s AAMC Flexner Award for his outstanding contributions in medical education.  The Medical School is in the process of a curriculum structure change that will go into effect over the next few years, and likely modify the Internal Medicine core rotation to align with the new structure.  I also want to highlight the permanent appointment of Jim Baldwin as Division Chief for Allergy and Clinical Immunology.  Jim will be a great steward of our allergy programs. 

A number of clinical areas will continue to have a focus for the Department this year. This includes several items to strengthen the practice and environment for primary care, recruitment of a director for adult palliative care, improvement in our institutional approach to diabetes care, multiple recruitments in subspecialty areas, securing future faculty office and practice space in alignment with institutional resources and investment, and a focus on quality and value as this is not only good for our patients but will determine our payments as mentioned above. 

The Department welcomes our new EVPMA, Marschall Runge, a physician-scientist and cardiologist, former chair of medicine and executive dean at the University of North Carolina, as he begins his new role on March 1, 2015.

John M. Carethers, M.D.
John G. Searle Professor and Chair
Department of Internal Medicine