The Four C's: Collaboration, Community, Cures and Cleveland

CWRU School of Medicine Dean Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD

Earlier this week I had the chance to speak with the Faculty Council about the critical importance of collaboration across the city of Cleveland for bringing our fondest hopes for medicine, the School, the University, and the city to fruition. We talked about the attractiveness of the four affiliated hospitals to our students – who cite the variety of potential clinical experiences as one of our school’s top attractions. We talked about the importance of having a range of clinical sites to accommodate not only our medical students, but also our physician assistant students, MS in anesthesia students, genetic counselors, and nutrition students. We talked about how we – SOM and our affiliates – recently submitted a grant together to the AMA for enhancing resident education. And of course we spoke about research. 

We would not have our CTSA without our affiliated hospitals and their wonderful spirit of cooperation. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center glories in its extensive collaborative research.  The dollar amount for the primary federal grants for both of these entities is shaped by the amount of total research funding of the participants– meaning that the entire enterprise is enhanced by the collaboration of all the partners in a very real, tangible sense. We spoke about other programs that extend across the city, such as the newly developing Alzheimer’s Center, and of the amazing range of other potential collaborations for bench to bedside enterprises. 

We spoke of the teamwork among UH, Cleveland Clinic, and CWRU, which created BioEnterprise to develop biotechnology in Cleveland. We talked about SOM’s many community partnerships with our affiliates aimed at improving the often dismal health statistics in our city, such as First Year Cleveland and the combined Community Needs Assessment. We talked about how to come together better as a faculty.  

We at SOM take pride in our affiliates and their accomplishments, such as the #2 national ranking for NIH funding in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MetroHealth.  We are proud that we count members of the National Academy of Medicine at all our affiliated hospitals. These memberships help secure our position as a university in the AAU, as do our combined research funding and graduate programs that produce PhD graduates. 

For several years, we used the tagline Collaboration, Community, and Cures for the School. It remains valid as seen through our continuing efforts to improve the health outcomes in many of our Cleveland communities and our partnerships that drive towards cures for patients. And what makes this momentum possible is collaboration – it’s the basis for our progress and brings out the best in all of us. 

Here’s to the letter C in all of its outstanding manifestations!