I write this letter after receiving news that the UW Board of Regents, the UW Hospital Authority Board, and the UW Medical Foundation all approved the proposal to create an integrated healthcare enterprise. The effort to join forces to create a new clinical organizational structure for UW Health represents a major step forward for our organization, and will have a significant impact on our future at UW Health and within our department.
Our department has enjoyed several decades of remarkable growth and success, both locally and within the broader radiology community, due in part to stable leadership over the past 35 years. Those leaders include former chairs Joseph Sackett, M.D., and Patrick Turski, M.D., FACR, followed by myself.
My predecessors all also oversaw major changes for the department. Dr. Sackett guided the transition from central campus to our current facility. Dr. Turski’s leadership was crucial in consolidating seventeen independent practices into the UW Medical Foundation group practice. Now I am serving as an advocate for UW Radiology in the creation of an integrated UW Health.
My predecessors described a feeling of anxiety amongst their faculty and staff similar to that experienced by some of our colleagues today. In all cases, the collective wisdom and engagement of our UW faculty and staff led to a successful result. No doubt the changes we will experience in our new model of healthcare delivery will be significant and sometimes difficult. However, we should all keep our energy and effort focused on the ultimate goal for our integrated healthcare enterprise – to improve human health. If we embrace this goal we will take part in another important transition, and our impact will be felt throughout the world.
I was delighted to receive the results of a recent study by Elsevier regarding the scientific impact of the top 30 most productive (in terms of publications) departments of radiology in the world. It is a measure of impact based on the average number of citations for our more than 1100 publications. I am very proud to let you know that our department ranked third worldwide in this study, surpassed only by Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Memorial Sloan Kettering. We exceeded the impact of many top-tier departments in the United States, and I want to congratulate all of our faculty and staff for their tremendous success!
– Tom Grist, M.D., FACR