Dear Friends and Colleagues
Left to right: Edward J. Zore, Chairman, Board of Trustees; John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, President and Chief Executive Officer; Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Dean of the Medical School and Executive Vice President
The Medical College of Wisconsin’s commitment to improving the health of all people is strengthened by many partnerships across our missions of patient care, research, education and community engagement. Through collaboration, we leverage the complementary expertise of our partners to achieve mutual objectives and create value for the communities we serve.
Emblematic of the Medical College’s belief in strength through collaboration is the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) of Southeast Wisconsin, a consortium of eight Milwaukee institutions dedicated to fostering biomedical research while advancing patient care and education. The CTSI is based on decades-long partnerships among the Medical College, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Health System, the Zablocki VA Medical Center, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). Collaborations that engage these members are among those featured in this Annual Report.
These long-standing partnerships were recognized last year with receipt of a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that is amplifying the opportunities for faculty and staff to collaborate on projects that will lead to new technologies and better outcomes for people in Wisconsin and beyond.
Another alliance took shape this fall, with the Medical College, UWM, Marquette, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and MSOE uniting their individual areas of expertise to focus on health care costs and innovation. The consortium will address health care economic viability, access, lifestyle issues, innovation in health care delivery, health care reform and improving the life of populations.
The Medical College’s Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program continues to support community-academic partnerships to improve the health of people in Wisconsin. This fall, the program announced up to $4.8 million in funding for 13 different partnerships throughout Wisconsin that address public and community health improvement.
The Medical College also is exploring opportunities to share educational resources with area colleges and universities that have health professions schools, such as nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, physical therapy, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.
This year, the largest grant the Medical College received is rooted in collaboration. A $44.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to fund a Data and Coordinating Center Consortium supports the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network. The Medical College’s Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, which collaborates with more than 400 medical centers worldwide to collect outcomes data on blood and bone marrow transplants, is a consortium member. This is the largest grant in the Medical College’s history.
In addition to a strong federal funding track record, the Medical College benefits from the generosity and partnership of its many donors. In particular, our largest donor, the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc.), has contributed nearly $32 million to the Medical College for pediatric cancer and related blood disorders research since 1976. We are grateful for this partnership and the many others we recognize in our 2011 Honor Roll.
Finally, we should never lose sight of our purpose for collaborating. It might be epitomized in one name: Nicholas Volker. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won a Pulitzer Prize for its series chronicling the work of Medical College physicians and genetic specialists to help Nic, who suffered from a devastating and mysterious digestive disease. Our collaborative team last year became the first in the world to examine a patient’s exome to diagnose and successfully treat a previously unknown, life-threatening disease. Nic, who endured more than 100 visits to the operating room before an umbilical cord blood transplant gave him a new immune system, is now participating in sports, going to school and eating his favorite foods.
Nic’s success would not have been possible without the collaboration of family, physicians and researchers at the Medical College and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The College now is serving as a model for other institutions interested in developing their own genome sequencing programs – further evidence that through collaboration, health care everywhere is stronger.