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Vital Signs

Collegewide campaign launches in New York

On November 12 and 13, Dartmouth College formally launched a capital campaign that aims to raise $1.3 billion by 2009. The College's last capital campaign, which ran from 1991 to 1996, raised $568 million. DMS and DHMC, which raised $95 million in the previous campaign, have set a goal of $250 million in this one—a figure that is part of the College total.

"This will be the largest campaign in Dartmouth's history," said Dartmouth President James Wright at the official announcement of the Collegewide campaign, held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.

Initiatives: The funds raised will be invested in dozens of initiatives—new buildings, programs, faculty positions, financial aid, and more—for all components of Dartmouth: for its three professional schools and its graduate programs in the arts and sciences, as well for as the undergraduate program.

The official launch of the $250-million DMS and DHMC portion of the campaign is scheduled for May 2005, though the quiet phase of raising funds is already well under way (see page 16 for news of one recent gift).

Some 400 people gathered to celebrate the Collegewide kickoff, which included a black-tie dinner on Friday night, followed by a Saturday morning "Great Issues of Our Time" program that celebrated Dartmouth faculty, students, and alumni. It featured student poster sessions, speeches, and panel discussions that gave what Wright called "a tantalizing glance at what makes Dartmouth magical."

Several sessions touched on medical topics—"Mysteries of the Teenage Brain," "Breakthrough," "Ethics at the Frontiers of Science"—and one, titled "Transforming


The launch in New York City of a $1.3-billion Dartmouth-wide capital campaign featured festivity on Friday night, at a black-tie gala (top), and intellectual stimulation on Saturday at a series of panel discussions. One, titled "Transforming Medicine," featured (above left, from the left) CECS director Jack Wennberg, Susan Dentzer, and Cancer Center director Mark Israel, with closing remarks by DMS's dean, Stephen Spielberg—pictured above right listening to the discussion.

Medicine," featured an all-DMS line-up.

Dartmouth alumna Susan Dentzer—health correspondent for PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, as well as a DHMC Trustee, a DMS Overseer, and a former College Trustee—moderated the DMS panel as Mark Israel, M.D., director of Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and John Wennberg, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences (CECS), engaged in a lively discussion about the challenges of translating new medical discoveries and innovations into practice and of evaluating their effectiveness.

Israel spoke eloquently about how medical advances are increasingly made by multidisciplinary teams that work

together collaboratively. But Wennberg cautioned that with the "rapidity of new theories, there's a concern we won't know how to tell what works and doesn't at a time when costs are going up. The question is how to fit all this data into a spectrum of innovation and evaluating."

Wennberg, whose name is synonymous with the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, has found that large variations in healthresource utilization across the country depend more on the distribution of resources and on differences in local medical opinion than on medical need. He is also a cofounder of the Foundation for Shared Decision-Making, which encourages patients to partner with clinicians in making decisions about their own health care.

Special: Dentzer acknowledged that many of the building blocks of transforming medicine are in place at Dartmouth, but also at other institutions. So what is it that makes Dartmouth special, she wanted to know.

"Our scale," Israel replied. "It's more collaborative, interactive, more willing to cooperate, to build collaborative teams. Dartmouth is precisely poised to be flat-out the leader in medicine in the future."

"We are right-sized," agreed DMS Dean Stephen Spielberg, M.D., Ph.D., who delivered the panel's closing remarks. He added, "The Medical School is a partner in the undergraduate experience. It's important for Dartmouth College graduates to understand how science is integrated into society." He and other DMS faculty teach undergraduate courses, and College students work in DMS labs and volunteer at DHMC. "We are very much a part of the Dartmouth campaign," he said.

—Laura Stephenson Carter

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