Highlights from the Board of Trustees' June Meeting

President John Langell began the June 9 meeting by thanking Steven Schmidt, Ph.D., for his excellent service. In announcing that Dr. Schmidt would be officially retiring June 30, he highlighted Dr. Schmidt’s contributions as a former NEOMED Board of Trustees chair, associate dean of research in the College of Pharmacy, University vice president for research and dean for the College of Graduate Studies — adding that particularly impressive was the dramatic expansion of the College of Graduate Studies during Dr. Schmidt’s tenure.

Dr. Langell then thanked Julie Aultman, Ph.D., for accepting the position of interim dean for the College of Graduate Studies, and in recognizing that a search for vice president for research would begin in the coming months, he expressed appreciation that Graduate Studies was in good hands with Dr. Aultman, so that particular search would be delayed.

Eugene Mowad, M.D., was also thanked for assuming the interim dean for the College of Medicine position. And with the previously announced retirement of Elisabeth Young, M.D., being effective June 30, Dr. Langell once again thanked her for her wonderful service of over 30 years.

In addition to remarks of appreciation for the transitioning members of leadership, Dr. Langell noted   several successful initiatives resulting from the great work being done by staff and faculty, including:

  • the thorough and well-run HLC accreditation process.
  • piloting of the faculty-empowerment compensation plan in FY2022 had achieved an average faculty compensation at approximately the regionally adjusted AAMC 50th percentile, with an average pay increase of about 12% realized by those faculty who opted-in for the plan.
  • continued excellence in building quality diverse classes with nearly one-fourth of the entire 2022-23 class being underrepresented minorities.
  • US News & World Report rankings; last year, NEOMED went from being unranked in several areas out of 192 medical schools to being ranked; in the area of diversity, NEOMED jumped to 85th and is expected to do even better this year.
  • Increase in teams participating in this year’s NEOvations Bench-to-Bedside competition, which will be held July 21, 2022; there were seven teams last year resulting in six provisional patent filings; there are more than 20 teams this year.

The University Hospitals-NEOMED major affiliate agreement was announced and made official. While the expanded agreement focused on six pillars: Educational Activities; Leadership & Faculty Development; Innovation; Research; Clinical Activities; and Workforce Development, Dr. Langell emphasized that Summa, Akron General – Cleveland Clinic, Mercy Youngstown, Akron Children’s and Aultman Hospitals remained dedicated and important partners with NEOMED.

Before introducing other presenters, Dr. Langell applauded the Student-Run Free Clinic for receiving the 2022 Gold Rating from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics.

Bernhard Fassl, M.D., director of the Center for Global Health Innovation, presented details of the global health program’s value proposition as well as the six domains of its strategy — devices, business and entrepreneurship; health services delivery; education partners; digital health care solutions; frugal innovation; and expedition and wilderness medicine.

Regular quarterly committee reports were welcomed by a new addition: the student trustees report. Support for research, food options and student safety were the major topics. Regarding the latter, Kali Williams, director of Public Safety and chief of the NEOMED Police Department, provided details of staff, e.g., ALICE, and police training. She also gave an example of how a recent situation was immediately and thoroughly handled. And although she explained that federal and legal requirements -- as well as best practices and training -- inform incident and crisis management teams’ actions, she added that each situation is unique and that she was always willing to make positive changes.   

The meeting concluded with recognition of President’s Excellence Award winners and of third-year medicine student Joshua Tidd, who completed his two-year student trustee term.

Recipients of this year’s President’s Excellence Awards were:

  • Samantha A. Bliss, manager of strategic initiatives, who received the President’s Staff Excellence in Continuous Improvement Award;
  • Amy F. Lee, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Family and Community Medicine and program director, Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health, who received the Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award – Rootstown-based faculty; and
  • Alex Heintzelman, M.D., Clinical Faculty, clinical assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine, and director of the Rural Medical Education Pathway, who was announced as the recipient of the Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award – clinical faculty.

See more about each recipient.

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