A Word from the Dean

Congratulations to the UF Department of Surgery for an impressive 2013-2014 academic year.

I recently attended the annual State of the Department address presented by department chair Kevin Behrns, M.D., during grand rounds. As Dr. Behrns highlighted in his presentation, continuing emphasis on quality and safety is leading to a low and decreasing mortality index among UF Health surgical patients, and a marked reduction in patient safety indicators, a group of nationally tracked complications.

The department’s clinical and educational programs are strong, with excellent outcomes in both. Significant increases in surgical procedures, office visits and hospital admissions clearly demonstrate that increasing numbers of patients are seeking their surgical care from UF faculty surgeons.

The UF department of surgery is rising rapidly in National Institutes of Health nationwide rankings, from a spot in the mid-30s several years ago to No. 21 in 2013. The department anticipates further advancement to come with the $11 million NIH P50 grant recently awarded to Drs. Moore, Moldawer and Efron and their colleagues.

This grant will fund the study of long-term outcomes in patients treated for sepsis. The research program’s goal is to develop successful clinical interventions for sepsis and its long-term sequellae.

Dr. Behrns concluded his year-in-review summary by showing how key departmental efforts and innovations align with recommendations from the Institute of Medicine on the future of academic medicine. These include encouraging active patient and family participation in surgical care, regular use of the surgical risk calculator, creating the outcomes-oriented Florida Institute for Research and Reform in Surgical Treatment, translational research efforts such as the P50 project, an enhanced critical assessment curriculum, hospitality and service standards and training for all team members, and efforts to fully capture the power of interdisciplinary team care. To this end, Dr. Behrns currently chairs UF Health’s strategic planning subcommittee on interdisciplinary care.

Listening to Dr. Behrns’ remarks, it was clear to me that the UF department of surgery is rising as one of the preeminent surgical departments in the country. My thanks go to each faculty, resident and staff member in the department, for their dedicated work and impressive accomplishments.

Michael Good, M.D.

Dean, UF College of Medicine