The world is a book; those who do not travel read only one page.
On the road with DMS
By Barbra Alan
From Toledo to Thailand—and many places in between—there are over 3,000 Dartmouth Medical School alumni who are transforming medicine through careers that embody a spirit of service and a commitment to excellence.Their alma mater is transforming medicine, too, through the groundbreaking work of clinicians and researchers, the training of the next generation of physicians and scientists, and the care of patients throughout the region and beyond.
With the launch in spring 2005 of the Transforming Medicine Campaign, the DMS Office of Alumni Relations believed that the time was right to take DMS's message on the road to alumni."It's vitally important that the alumni body is kept informed about the direction of the Medical School and what its leadership and administration are doing to move DMS forward," says Theresa Bryant, director of the Office of Alumni Relations. Just as important, she adds, is increasing the sense of community among alumni and with the institution." The more we get people together socially, the stronger the ties become."
The Transforming Medicine Education Series, which debuted in April 2006, strikes a balance between keeping alumni informed of DMS's goals and priorities and giving alumni the opportunity to network and socialize with fellow graduates and other members of the Dartmouth community, including alumni from the College, Dartmouth's Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences (CECS),Tuck, and Thayer.
Each event in the series is hosted by an alumnus or alumna and features a member of the DMS faculty whose work reflects one of the School's top priorities. Following the faculty member's address, there is an exchange of ideas and questions between the speaker and the audience.The evening concludes with a reception, where guests can mingle with each other and with the presenter. Follow us as we traveled the country in 2006:
This series is "a terrific opportunity to hear about the innovation taking place at Dartmouth and to learn more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign," notes Dr. Kenneth Sands, DMS '87 and host of the inaugural program in Boston, which featured as its keynote speaker Dr. Gerald O'Connor of CECS. In his address,
"Taking the Measure of Health Care," O'Connor explored the ways data can be used to improve the quality of health care—a topic that Sands found relevant to his work as vice president of health-care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center."We were treated to an intriguing and innovative view of some of the key issues facing medicine today," says Sands,"and how DMS is directly taking them on through creative analyses and actions."
Dr. Stephen Spielberg, DMS's dean, traveled to Chicago as the keynote speaker at the next gathering, held at the home of Dr. David Teplica, DMS '85, and his partner, Kalev Peekna. For Teplica, a plastic surgeon, the event helped bridge the distance between him and his alma mater."I fondly remembered my time at Dartmouth Medical School, but being halfway across the country I've felt disconnected," he says. "When I learned of the Medical School's plan to expand its mission and outreach, I was excited to volunteer to host this event. Not only did it allow us to learn of the remarkable plans for the School, but it also allowed me to feel connected locally to the individuals who share my passion for DMS."
New York City
In the fall, DMS alumni, friends, and others joined Drs. Eric Donnenfeld, DMS '80, and Marleen Donnenfeld, DHMC housestaff '79-80, at the Yale Club in New York City for a presentation by Dr. James Weinstein titled "The Patient as a Catalyst for Transforming Medicine."Weinstein, chair of orthopaedics and director for the Center for Shared Decision-Making at DHMC, discussed the ways in which shared decision-making can empower patients and transform medical care. His presentation, notes Eric Donnenfeld," was brilliant and exhilarating. I was extraordinarily impressed by the dynamic approach to health care that is being innovated at Dartmouth and will most likely be a model for treatment guidelines throughout the country."
Most recently, Dr. Bryant Toth, DC '72, and his wife, Jill, opened their home to San Francisco-area alumni.The Toths, with their friend and cohost Dr. Laura Robertson,DC '79 and DMS '90,welcomed as the keynote speaker Dr.Alan Green, chair of psychiatry at Dartmouth. Green discussed neuroscience innovations, specifically in psychiatric care, that are currently under way at DMS and DHMC."I was honored to be asked to help spread the word about the exciting things going on here," notes Green."It was very gratifying to see the interest and enthusiasm of the audience, who had different kinds of ties to Dartmouth—as alumni, students, former faculty, and friends."
While the launch of the Transforming Medicine Campaign was the impetus for the series, Theresa Bryant sees a future for the series that extends beyond the conclusion of the Campaign at the end of 2009."With the success of these events,we are looking forward to continuing this series for years to come," she notes.
Raising the bar
The financial goal of the Transforming Medicine Campaign for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is to raise $250 million by 2009. Even more far-reaching is its goal of "raising the bar" in medicine. Of questioning assumptions—respecting tradition but not following it blindly. Of erasing boundaries—translating science from the lab bench to the bedside by connecting researchers with clinicians. Of creating solutions to the nation's most critical health-care issues. Of transforming medicine.
The 2006 fiscal year was a record-breaking one in the fund-raising realm for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, both in terms of the number of those who gave and in terms of the number of gifts that were received. During the course of the year, nearly 24,000 donors—including alumni, faculty, patients, and friends—made more than 32,000 gifts and commitments that totaled over $37 million—giving the Transforming Medicine Campaign a powerful boost.
As of mid-March 2007, the Campaign had raised over $152 million. All gifts made to Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center are credited to the Campaign, which is advancing medical education, research, clinical care, and much more.
For more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign, visit http://transmed.dartmouth.edu
Barbra Alan is assistant director of development communications for the Medical School and Medical Center.
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