IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess speaks at the 2023 Fall All-School Meeting
The Indiana University School of Medicine Fall All-School Meeting was held on September 12, 2023, and included Strategic Plan updates from Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, leadership announcements, research highlights and faculty and staff awards.
Division Chief and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Co-founder and co-course director of the Innovations in Glaucoma Surgery Continuing Medical Education Program
IU School of Medicine is currently recruiting for a number of other leadership positions:
Chair, Medical and Molecular Genetics – final stages
Chair, Family Medicine – search in progress
Chair, Neurosurgery – search in progress
Chair, Ophthalmology – search launched September 6, 2023
Director, Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health – search will launch this fall
Strategic Plan update
IU School of Medicine launched its Strategic Plan in the spring. The Strategic Plan was developed with the input of hundreds of people—faculty, staff and students in the school and beyond. Dean Hess presented an update of the school’s progress on executing on the three pillars of the plan, related to student success, accelerating discovery and translation, and improving the health of the school and the state.
Pillar 1: Maximize learner success statewide
Project 1: Engage learners in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
IU School of Medicine is establishing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to help students connect, gain support and grow personally and professionally. The program is centered on social gatherings to build cohesion and school spirit while providing coaching, mentoring and advising throughout all four years of medical school through peer-to-peer, near-peer, and faculty-student interactions.
The PLC program will be launching statewide, starting in January 2024, with 12 professional learning communities in Indianapolis, each with two PLC faculty. IU School of Medicine is currently recruiting faculty members to serve as PLC faculty.
Project 2: Preparing for LCME reaccreditation
The School of Medicine’s preparations for reaccreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education—known as the LCME—are well underway.
Under the slogan “Stairway to Accreditation,” the school is preparing for the LCME survey team to visit all campuses in March 2025. IU School of Medicine is currently in a process of self-assessments and data collection. Throughout the year, several committees consisting of faculty, administrators, staff and students are conducting self-assessments to determine the school’s performance based on LCME accreditation standards.
Another vital component of LCME accreditation is students’ opinions of their medical school education. As a part of the student satisfaction data collection, a committee made up of students from each class year and from several regional campuses will create and administer a survey to all their fellow students in October. The school is aiming for a 90% response rate. This is truly a team effort.
Pillar 2: Accelerate discovery and clinical translation
Project 3: Build interdisciplinary team-based research programs
IU School of Medicine has a goal to increase NIH funding to be in the Top 10 public medical schools by 2030. One of the ways the school is doing this is by building interdisciplinary, team-based programs in areas where IU School of Medicine can be a national leader.
A great example of this is Alzheimer’s disease. IU School of Medicine had a large presence at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Amsterdam in July with many of our researchers from the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute presenting important discoveries.
In his acceptance speech, he commented that this might have been “just a paper” at another institution, but at IU School of Medicine, Lasagna-Reeves is working closely with researchers in the TREAT-AD program, led by Alan Palkowitz, PhD, to develop a potential new drug therapy that would target Bassoon and stop tau tangles from forming.
This type of collaborative team science is a gamechanger in speeding up development of new therapies that one day may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. IU School of Medicine’s goal is to continue to build disease-specific teams like these in cancer, cardiovascular disease and other areas.
Project 4: Address research space needs
To provide more space for research growth and collaborative teams, IU School of Medicine received the IU Board of Trustees’ approval on August 24 to complete build out of the Research Tower in the Medical Education and Research Building—Indianapolis’ new home for healing.
The research tower will create 48,000 gross square feet of new research laboratories, offices and laboratory support spaces on floors 8, 9 and 10. This space will facilitate recruitment of 18-20 new principal investigators, in areas such as neurodegeneration and cancer. In addition, the project will renovate space in the basement of the Neurosciences Research and Medical Education buildings to create more space for the Laboratory Animal Resource Center (LARC). Ultimately, this will increase the impact of scientific discovery and clinical translation.
Take a look at how this flagship facility is taking shape in real time with TrueLook live video.
Pillar 3: Improve health and wellness of the people of Indiana and beyond
Chemen Neal, MD, executive associate dean for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, presented progress on this initiative which aims to increase the diversity of the school’s faculty, staff and learners so that the school is more reflective of state demographics. This also promotes health equity and addresses health disparities in key areas.
The Clinical Cluster Recruitment Initiative is one of several strategies IU School of Medicine and its clinical partners are employing to build a workforce that mirrors the communities they serve. Research shows patient outcomes improve when physicians look more like them or share common experiences.
This initiative complements several other initiatives aimed at diversifying the school’s faculty:
Strategic Research Initiative (SRI 3.0): Recruitment and retention funds for URM candidates; all tenure track ranks eligible; $1 million cap with 50/50 match required.
Incentivizing Diverse Recruitment for Equity in Academic Medicine (iDREAM): Monthly early commitment stipends to residents, fellows and resident alumni; automatic acceptance into the Program to Launch URM Success (PLUS); available for academic and community medicine candidates.
The Clinical Cluster Recruitment Initiative offers holistic support combined with four career development tracks:
Health Systems Leadership
Center for Inclusive Excellence Fellowship
This initiative will help recruit clinicians that reflect the demographics and lived experiences of the Hoosier communities where health inequities are the most disparate. It will contribute to creating a diverse leadership infrastructure that reflects all the communities served by the medical school and health care system. And it will increase the number of role models and mentors that reflect the demographics and lived experiences of IU School of Medicine learners and trainees while improving health disparities in key areas.
Project 6: Vital WorkLife
Mary Dankoski, PhD, executive associate dean for faculty affairs and professional development, introduced the Vital Work Life program, a new resource designed for dually employed faculty that will be going live on October 1. This will help IU School of Medicine achieve its goal of improving the health of its faculty and school community.
Vital Work Life is a group that is custom-built for physicians and is used at many health systems across the country, including Community Health Network, Parkview Health and Hancock Health in Indiana. Vital Work Life is a network of therapists who understand physicians and their unique needs and the stigma they can often face when seeking support. It offers physician peer coaching, a work-life concierge virtual assistant, confidential counseling and more.
Additionally, the Employee Assistance Program (SupportLinc) is available to all staff, faculty, residents and fellows. SupportLinc offers many resources including short-term counseling, text-coaching, financial and legal consultation, and concierge service.
IU School of Medicine students, residents and fellows may access counseling and other services through the Department of Mental Health Services. Under the leadership of Samia Hasan, MD, EdM, efforts to increase access and reduce stigma have resulted in many more trainees using mental health services; in 2022, 42% of medical students took advantage of mental health services.
Project 7: Unified Medical Group
IU Health and IU School of Medicine are working together to integrate all five IU Health physician groups into a single unified medical group. This effort is being led by David Ingram, MD, interim executive associate dean for clinical affairs at IU School of Medicine and executive vice president and chief medical officer at IU Health.
The project is currently in phase one, which will bring greater alignment to IU Health’s medical groups so they function like one group ahead of the formal joining into a single entity in early 2025. Leaders from Ball Memorial Physicians, Southern Indiana Physicians, Arnett Physicians Group and IU Health Physicians are working together on the guiding principles for compensation model design, provider recruitment, cross coverage capabilities, quality structure and accountability, access, and capacity management strategy.
Phase two, targeted for January 2025, will be the legal uniting into one medical group. The IU Health Physicians legal entity will become IU Health Medical Group. This will not result in any contractual changes for faculty physicians employed by IU Health Physicians.
IU School of Medicine will launch a campaign this fall to move toward all IU Health employed physicians having a faculty appointment. This would include traditional dual employment within an academic department at the school and affiliate roles (non-paid appointments) for community medicine physicians.
Having the Unified Medical Group will strengthen all three pillars of the Strategic Plan and its goals. It will result in:
Greater access to clinical trials and support for other research initiatives.
More opportunities for learners to engage in clinical rotations statewide.
Improved flexibility for faculty clinicians to cross-cover, as well as share the responsibility for better coordinating care for patients.
Faculty Recognition & Awards
Many faculty and staff members were recognized for their excellence, commitment to diversity, scholarship, leadership and volunteerism.
The Emerging Leaders program, sponsored by IU School of Medicine Human Resources, has had over 65 participants and was established to promote professional growth and leadership skills to emerging leaders within the school. An emerging leader is a staff member who has demonstrated the ability to lead others, directly or indirectly, and exhibits potential to advance into higher leadership roles.
Goals of the program are to empower staff members to take on leadership roles; build career plans and progression; provide concrete tools for members to put into action; and create a peer forum for growth through sharing experiences and challenging each other with discussion.
Members of the 2023 cohort are:
Melody Braun, Faculty Affairs
Audra Bright, Medical & Molecular Genetics
Danielle Bruno, Family Medicine
Rose Case, Medical & Molecular Genetics
Wendy Crandall, Office of the Dean
Jessica Darling, Clinical & Pediatric Education
Jalysa King, Family Medicine
Demetrius Logwood, Human Resources
James Lyons, Human Resources
Jose Martinez, Financial Services
Leslie Miller, Endocrinology
Erin Orr, Human Resources
Natalie Rollman, Family Medicine
Trent Shaffer, Medical & Molecular Genetics
Sarah VanHeiden, Radiology & Imagining Services
Sierra Vaughn, Family Medicine
Highlighted Discoveries & Recognition of Grant Awards
Tatiana Foroud, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs, highlighted discoveries published in high impact journals and federal grants.
In March, IU School of Medicine recognized 169 new federal grant awardees for 2022, including 61 first-time recipients and 30 recipients of multiple grants.
In the first two quarters of 2023, IU School of Medicine has received a total of $43.3 million in federal funding for 81 research grants. The majority, 82%, came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Grant recipients included 88 primary investigators, including six with multiple grants and 16 with their first grants with IU School of Medicine.
New trainee grants:
Leslie Wagner (F31)
Allyson Dir (K23)
Dustin Hammers (K23)
Lauren Nephew (K23)
Al Hassanein (K08)
Dan Peltier (K08, year 2 transferred from Michigan)
Anthony Yang (K08, year 5 transferred from Northwestern)
New large grants with funding over $1 million/year:
Sharon Moe, MD, and Sarah Wiehe, MD, MPH: NIH CTSA (renewal), Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
Anthony Firulli, PhD: NIH P01 (renewal), Morphogenesis and Growth of the Ventricular Wall in Development and Disease
Brian Dixon, PhD, and Shaun Grannis, MD: CDC (new grant), Advancing the Epidemiology and Management of Post-COVID-19 Conditions through Surveillance and Research
David Kareken, PhD: NIH P60 (renewal), Center on Genetic Determinants of Alcohol Ingestion and Responses to Alcohol
Randy Brutkiewicz, PhD, and Xiaoming Jin, BMED, PhD: US Army, Prevention of Post-traumatic Epilepsy by Inhibiting the Initiation of Innate Immune Reaction
Wade Clapp, MD: Department of Defense, Identifying and Testing Molecular Therapies for Schwannoma
New training grants:
Michael Eadon and Desta Zeruesenay: T32, Indiana University Comprehensive Training in Clinical Pharmacology (renewal)
Sheri Robb: K12, CTSA K12 Program at Indiana University (new)
Ben Gaston and Brittney-Shea Herbert: T32, Indiana Medical Scientist/Engineer Training Program (renewal)
Gustavo Arrizabalaga and Tom Hurley: T32, Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) at IU School of Medicine through Inclusive Biomedical Research Training Program (new)
Wade Clapp and Carmella Evans-Molina: K12, Indiana Pediatric Scientist Award (new)
High Impact Publications
IU School of Medicine researchers authored 625 publications in high-impact journals in 2022 and 343 in the first half of 2023. Foroud highlighted four recent publications advancing knowledge in heart disease, hemophilia, testicular cancer and blood disorders: