The fall is already off to an exciting start. Highlights include -- more than 1,460 students enrolled in HS courses this semester, new academic programs and inventive partnerships abound, and Barbara Bass being named vice president for health affairs and dean of SMHS.
Among the new initiatives is the launch this semester of our innovative MSHS in Correctional Health Administration, led by Newton Kendig who brings rich policy and practice experiences from his tenure in the US Public Health Service and Federal Bureau of Prisons. Reaching out globally, a delegation of HS faculty and staff recently traveled to Budapest, Hungary, with colleagues from the GW School of Nursing to kick-off the new partnership with Semmelweis University. During a series of activities, the multidisciplinary GW delegation met extensively with Semmelweis faculty and administration to prioritize areas for education and research collaboration and began developing a joint grant application for Erasmus+ to fund faculty and student exchanges between the two universities. The timing of the trip also allowed us to help celebrate Semmelweis’ 250thanniversary and jubilee academic year. Back at home, I was thrilled to hear Bass was selected as the next SMHS dean. During the search process, it was clear she was the ultimate “triple threat” with an extensive record of accomplishments in education, research, and clinical practice leadership. On a personal level, I was inspired by her commitment to interprofessional collaboration, affinity for and knowledge of disruptive educational technologies, and advocacy for equity and diversity for women and underrepresented groups in health professions and science. During the search process, she was enthusiastic about returning to GW where she began her surgical career. Bass’ appointment is also a historic one as she becomes the first woman to lead SMHS.
Finally, HS is kicking off its strategic plan and begins implementation this fall. During the summer, an organizational readiness and workplace culture assessment was conducted, and the results and early actions under way are being shared and discussed through a series of meetings with HS leaders and department teams. While we advance an internal campaign and implementation this fall, we are targeting external communications for January 2020 in conjunction with our new dean coming onboard. I hope you will enjoy the latest issue of Heartbeats, which has been redesigned based on readership feedback. This month’s stories speak to how we are already making a positive difference through Investing in People, Living our Social Mission, Catalyzing Innovation and Entrepreneurism, and Influencing Health Professions Education, Healthcare Policy and Practice.