Chancellor Collins’ Convocation speech: The promise of hope WATCH THE SPEECH
“Very good, right there! Right there, very good!” The patient, who I shall refer to as Rob, developed verbal paucity following his stroke. Wheel chair bound, with a dense left-sided paralysis, at most times, Rob had a pleasant personality and a gregarious laugh. But, when times were difficult, or if he became frustrated, he would raise his voice. For instance, if he was trying to make his way into the dining room and another patient blocked his way, he would say, “Very good, right there!” But if that patient didn’t immediately move out of the way, the tone would become more strident and the decibel of his statement could reach a crescendo pitch: “Very good, right there!!” Rob loved the Red Sox, basked in the sun each and every day it shone and was curious about the comings and goings on his nursing home floor. One day, in a dining room conversation following a television piece on our medical school, he overheard someone say that I was the Chancellor at the UMass Medical School. In a spontaneous and firm declaration he proclaimed, “Very good, right there!” Together we enjoyed a hearty laugh! His verbal communication skills may have been compromised, but we shared that wonderful and overwhelming sentiment. Good morning and welcome to this year’s Convocation ceremony. What a wonderful privilege it is me for me to have the opportunity to wish you well as we begin, with great hope, this new academic year. Hope characterizes so much of the mission of our medical school. The promise that education provides to a civilized society is that the educated mind gives hope that we can improve the human condition. The promise of our research efforts and innovative thinking gives hope to the many people worldwide who have, and who will benefit from, the discoveries of our scientists. The promise that clinical care pledges through the determined efforts of our care givers assures that we shall promote the human dignity of each and every patient we encounter, and by so doing, offer them hope. Each of us should begin this academic year filled with hope. As we look around us, we are surrounded by highly accomplished students. Our faculty, the lifeblood of each academic institution, is particularly distinguished on this campus. Our staff is replete with individuals and teams who care greatly about those that they serve. A collaborative and collegial spirit, especially with our academic health science center partner, UMass Memorial Health Care, is alive on this campus. These strengths compel our actions each and every day. While dark clouds have characterized the political discourse enveloping our nation, and roiled the financial markets into a tumultuous boil, we remain confident in, hopeful about and committed to our mission. We have a vision that compels us to serve, to inspire and to empower. We continue to attract the best and brightest minds to our campus and to our communities. While we live in the present, our actions shall have their greatest impact in determining the future. Our ambitious hopes are founded in the reality that we believe in what we are and what we can be. Most importantly, we believe in each other! In the history of educational institutions, there are periods marked by growth and success. At the University of Massachusetts and the UMass Medical School, this is such a moment. We begin this academic year with campuses that are thriving. Our new president has taken the helm with enthusiasm, experience and confidence. We believe that collaboration with the other UMass campuses is essential to our success and we focus on assuring that we fulfill our educational, research and service missions to the fullest extent possible. The investment of our state and federal governments in this university is producing remarkable returns. This is an incredible moment! Faculty Recognition I would like to begin our time together today, as we have in recent years, by celebrating the many accomplishments of our faculty. The faculty on our campus is a great gift to this university. The heart and mind of a great university lie within its faculty. In their commitment to our students, we see the heart at work. In their scholarly accomplishments, we recognize the brightness of their minds. In individual faculty, we see determination. In the assemblage, we see great hope. Ours is a very special academic community. Together, over this past year, we have been able to recruit 192 outstanding individuals to join our ranks and to partner with our outstanding academic health science center and other clinical partners. The academic and clinical accomplishments our new faculty bring to our campus will enrich our university. It is a delight to welcome all who are new to our faculty. Faculty Tenured in Academic Year 2010-2011 It is especially gratifying to recognize those on our faculty who have been our colleagues and who, this year, have received confirmation from our university that we wish them to spend their academic careers with us. When our university awards tenure to a faculty member, it chooses to establish a life-long academic relationship with that committed scholar. The rigorous tenure decisions, reached after much scrutiny and a thorough process, acknowledge outstanding accomplishment in teaching, scholarship and service to our campus and the wider academic community. It is a privilege to recognize those members of our faculty who were awarded tenure this past year: • Andreas Bergmann, PhDPhD • Job Dekker, PhD • Katherine A. Fitzgerald, PhD • Lawrence Hayward, MD, PhD • William R. Kobertz, PhD • Gregory J. Pazour, PhD • Oliver J. Rando, MD, PhD • Hong-Sheng Li, PhD • Susan Swain, PhD • Fumihiko Urano, MD
Faculty Promoted to Full Professor in Academic Year 2010-2011
We are most fortunate as an academic community to benefit from the commitment and wisdom of our full professors. These scholars serve as the leaders and mentors of our younger colleagues. At this time, I would like to recognize those members of the faculty who have been recently promoted to full professor: • Eric J. Alper, MD • Kathleen Braden, MD • Frank J. Domino, MD • Stephen N. Jones, PhD • Patricia D. Franklin, MD, MBA, MPH • Michelle A. Kelliher, PhD • Janice F. Lalikos, MD • Linda D. Sagor, MD, MPH • Ann L. Sattler, MD • George W. Reed, PhD Chancellor’s Medals During last year’s Convocation Ceremony, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to present the first Chancellor’s medals for Distinguished Teaching, Research and Service. It was a great thrill to see the campus community come together around the idea of recognizing outstanding faculty contributions in these three mission areas. In Drs. Gagliardi, Czech and Sullivan we came to appreciate the inspiring examples of commitment these faculty members have so ably demonstrated. In the aftermath of those presentations and during many subsequent conversations with colleagues from across the campus, there came the suggestion that we should consider establishing a medal for distinguished clinical care. Given the outstanding contributions of faculty caregivers across our clinical affiliates, it seemed most appropriate to consider this suggestion. The hands, hearts and minds of faculty caregivers are most important to the lives of their patients. In each clinical encounter with a patient, there is the opportunity for clinical expertise with a healing touch, a caring word or perhaps a kind thought. These most meaningful moments can instill in patients the conviction that they are not alone in their illness and the hope that their future can be bright. Even when the news may be difficult, faculty caregivers can offer perspective, encouragement and kindness that can make the circumstances more tolerable. To recognize distinguished clinical care efforts by our faculty colleagues seems to me to be most appropriate. Thus, I will ask the provost to convene members of our campus community to consider the establishment of a Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Clinical Care. It is my hope that this advisory group could discuss and recommend the faculty member attributes worthy of such recognition. Should there be consensus that the establishment of this distinction is considered to be appropriate, I will ask the Provost to seek nominations for this Distinguished Medal to be presented for the first time during next year’s Convocation Ceremony. This year, there was increased interest and attention given to the consideration of faculty members for “distinguished” medals. I was delighted to see the increase in the number of nominations that were presented to the committees established to consider the dossiers of those nominated. I want to thank Provost Flotte for his stewardship of this process. Further, I want to recognize the work of the three committees that were established for consideration of the nominees in teaching, research and service. I had the opportunity to meet with the chairs of each of the committees so that they could bring the voices of their committee to my attention. For their service, I want to thank Dr. Susan Gagliardi, chair of the committee for Distinguished Teaching; Dr. David Harlan, chair of the committee for Distinguished Research; and Dr. Jerry Durbin, chair of the committee for Distinguished Service. Each of the nominees presented to these committees was worthy of consideration for a medal and should take great pride in being considered for such recognition. It is wonderful that the great commitment of faculty members is so widely appreciated. While it is not possible to acknowledge each nominee, I want to thank each committee for considering the nominations they reviewed and for sending to me an outstanding list of commendable nominees. This was a most thorough and thoughtful process with participation from within our campus community and by many distinguished faculty members from around the world. Members of our faculty are held in high esteem by their colleagues, both near and far! Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching Education is the hallmark of a university campus and teaching is its lifeblood. Thus, the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching shall lead the procession of medal awardees. It is such a distinct privilege to recognize a humble, committed and passionate educator who provides inspiration by encouraging students to learn from their best teachers, their patients. Please join me in recognizing this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching, Dr. Jerry Durbin! Dr. Durbin, or I daresay, Jerry, for I know that is what you most prefer, your life as a pediatrician and an educator has been characterized in a warm and friendly demeanor that quietly instills a spark of confidence in the learners to whom you have been most committed. Your students have described you as “a world class person who is a world class scholar.” Diligent and creative, the most trusted of peer educators, you find the time to care for those most in need of your clinical acumen, all the while teaching the next generation of students to follow your example; at first in your steps and then alongside you on their path. In fact, your proudest moments have come when those you have taught have become leaders in our profession. Your commitment to teaching has been recognized repeatedly on this campus. Seven Excellence in Teaching Awards, 13 Outstanding Medical Educator Awards and the Lamar Souter Award have been bestowed upon you by our community. Out of respect for the esteem in which you are held, three times you have been selected to hood our graduates at Commencement. But while these awards and the spotlight that has shown on you during these moments of recognition have been richly deserved, you have much preferred the quieter moments as mentor, preceptor, counselor and friend. In fact, your encounters with learners have guided scores of students in the most important formative experiences of their lives, and encouraged many to choose pediatrics, while instilling in all a lifelong commitment to learning. Jerry, in recognition of your outstanding commitment to the education of all those who have been your students, it is my privilege to invite you to present this year’s campus-wide Last Lecture, a celebration of education that we have established to recognize the importance of teaching in all that we do. All of us on campus look forward to becoming your students! Please accept my congratulations as this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Teaching! Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Research On our campus, research holds a special place in our mission. Given the collaborative spirit that exists throughout our research community, it is most difficult to single out one individual from among the many who have made such distinguished contributions to scientific inquiry. However, given the extraordinary contributions to the scientific body of knowledge that an individual can craft, and the acclaim that such efforts bring to our institution, it is a distinct privilege to recognize this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Research, Dr. Michael Green! Dr. Green, you have made important discoveries and contributed mightily to the bodies of knowledge regarding the mechanism and regulation of RNA splicing, including the discovery of the lariat RNA intermediate of the splicing reaction; the mechanism of action of viral regulatory proteins; the universal mechanisms of transcription activation and signaling pathways leading to cancer development; and the genome-wide screen of loss of function phenotypes using human and mouse short hairpin RNA-expression libraries to identify pathways involved in oncogenesis, apoptosis and epigenetic silencing. An Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, you are a prolific scientist having published more than 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals, the majority of these in the top 20 high-impact journals. Continuously funded by multiple federal and private foundation sources throughout your career, you are a “highly cited” investigator and have authored fundamental insights into the fields of transcriptional regulation and splicing. Described as “energetic, creative, inventive and rigorous” in your scientific work, you have played a most important role on this campus and in the international scientific community. An enabling partner in the development of molecular medicine as a department, Michael, you have played an important leadership role in recruiting outstanding scientists and colleagues to our campus and have built and led an outstanding Program in Gene Function and Expression. You are a sought-after mentor, lecturer and collaborator—the keenest of attributes of an investigator on our campus. Michael, it is a great privilege to invite you to present the keynote lecture at this year’s Research Retreat, a fitting recognition for the recipient of this honor. Please accept my congratulations as this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Research! Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service When entering the health science professions, one makes a commitment to a period of life-long service to others and to community. It is appropriate that we recognize a career-long commitment of distinguished service when we celebrate the legacy of our faculty and in this instance, one member of our faculty who has received the acclaim of others in the distinction that has characterized their service commitment. Please join me in recognizing this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service, Dr. Marianne Felice! Dr. Felice, you have made long-standing contributions to our academic and clinical campus communities, as well as to our wider community, throughout your service as a member of our faculty. The first “outside” chair recruited to our campus in the critical post-merger period that consumed much energy in our academic health science center history, you soon became the leader who could best bring our health system through this challenging period. Described simultaneously as a “galvanizing and healing force,” Marianne, your admirable leadership provided stability during uncertain times. Returning to your leadership role as Chair of Pediatrics when these responsibilities were completed, you set about your commitment to being our foremost champion for children’s health. Having recruited in excess of 100 pediatric faculty members to our campus during your tenure, you became known as a dedicated educator and mentor. Recognizing the importance of the academy’s commitment to our community, you promoted community engagement initiatives that encouraged meaningful interactions between academic pediatricians and their community colleagues. As a knowledgeable, dedicated and service-minded advocate for children, you broke down artificial barriers to collaboration with the greatest of intentions to serve the children most in need in our community. A faithful participant in the Worcester Infant Mortality Task Force, Dr. Felice, you expressed your dismay and impatience that our community had an unacceptably high rate of infant mortality. Committed to understanding the problem at its root cause, you insisted on understanding the challenges faced by West African immigrants in our community, certain to better understand the cultural barriers that were preventing clearer thinking about the social and clinical approaches to these women in need. Your commitment to adolescents led to the establishment of the Teen Tot Clinic in Worcester, an initiative that focused on reducing repeat teenage pregnancies through greater service to teen mothers and their infants. A determined leader for pediatricians, a devoted clinician for adolescents and younger children, a mentor in high demand and a colleague with limitless energy, you have made an indelible impression on our campus community. Marianne, it is my privilege to invite you to carry the mace at formal university functions, including this year’s Investiture and Commencement ceremonies. As the standard bearer for our faculty, this position of prominence is well deserved for one who has given such outstanding service to our university during your time in our midst. Please accept my congratulations as this year’s recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for Distinguished Service. Creating the Science of Health Care Reform If the patient I encountered in the nursing home could be here at this moment, I know what he would say: “Very good, right there!” Whether he was reflecting on seeing the immeasurable pride we take in the inspiring examples of our faculty accomplishments or hearing of our many achievements as a campus community, Rob would be strong in his affirmation of all that is exceptional about UMass Medical School. We should take great pride in the successes we enjoy. Welcoming our new students and recognizing their many accomplishments brings added vitality to our campus each summer. Our classes continue to be extremely competitive and our admissions committees continue to recognize how selective we have become as the schools of choice for so many interested in careers in medicine, nursing and biomedical science. Our educators are continuing their innovative development of the medical school curriculum, as we reflect on its successful implementation in the year just completed. Emphasizing the importance of learner-centered educational experiences, our faculty is focused on our competency-based curriculum with their determination that it be inter-professional in its orientation. With much hard work and self reflection, we look forward with heightened anticipation to the School of Medicine LCME accreditation that will occur in March of this year. In meeting the challenge to create the science of health care reform, our campus community has embraced the responsibility to shape the health care system of the future, not as passive observers, but as active participants in its creative and innovative design. Colleagues in our health care system and in our academic departments have seized the moment and are pursuing the challenges inherent in creating a new paradigm for health care’s delivery. Our colleagues at Commonwealth Medicine have brought collaboration to new heights and greater recognition. In service to the Massachusetts Medicaid program, MassHealth, we have made significant improvements in the quality and access of children’s dental services. Due to our efforts, Massachusetts is now one of seven states to receive an “A” grade, climbing from a “C” grade the year before. We have announced a two-year continuation of a contract to continue to provide newborn screening services to the State of Maine, having screened over 500,000 babies born in Maine since 1976. Commonwealth Medicine has expanded services in the states of Washington and California, among others, and has partnered with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, as one of seven “early innovator” states, in a $35.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop an online “health care exchange” that will create a resource through which consumers and small business owners can efficiently shop for health insurance plans. Through a $12 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, our medical school, through collaboration between the Departments of Orthopedics and Quantitative Health Sciences, is establishing a nationwide registry of 33,000 total joint replacement patients, to develop tools with which to assess the success and failure of joint replacement surgery, and to conduct research to guide both clinical care and health policy. These and many other projects we have established throughout our academic health science center are creating the science of health care reform, build upon the clinical and translational science efforts that flourish on our campus and focus our attention on quality and safety; comparative effectiveness; and patient and community engagement. You have heeded this most important call! The Importance of Medical Research This past year we reached an important milestone on this campus as we surpassed the $300 million milestone in research awards. The quality of our investigators’ research proposals is recognized through the credible scores achieved through participation in rigorous peer review processes. The reputation of this campus and of our scientists contributes greatly to the success that we have enjoyed in realizing surging amounts of research awards. Our campus was one of seven research institutions in Massachusetts, and the only one outside of Boston, to team up with Pfizer, Inc’s new Center for Therapeutic Innovation collaboration effort. Pfizer has commented that “this newly created entrepreneurial research unit at Pfizer is dedicated to the establishment of global partnerships between academic medical centers and Pfizer to transform research and development through a focus on translational medicine.” It is hoped that through this model, there will be acceleration of drug discovery and development. At the very early stages in its development, Pfizer sought UMass Medical School as a partner. Our colleagues at UMass Biologics have completed a phase 1 study with the rabies monoclonal antibody in India and our UMBL partner, the Serum Institute of India, is proceeding with a phase 2/3 study with the rabies monoclonal to show non-inferiority to standard post-exposure prophylaxis. All were pleased to learn that the phase 3 CDiff monoclonal antibody trial will proceed and UMass Biologics has completed a phase 2 study with a monoclonal antibody in HCV-positive liver transplant patients setting the stage for a phase 2b trial in combination with a direct-acting antiviral drug in this patient population. We continue to attract outstanding scientists. The Albert Sherman Center that soared to the sky over this past year is now becoming enclosed to withstand nature’s power from without and to enable science’s power from within. The innovative centers that will be established to advance clinical translational science will embody significant initiatives for this campus and beyond. When others could not, boldly we stepped forward to construct a superstructure that could unleash the collaborative forces of science and education on this campus and change the course of history for unrelenting diseases. Each day we gaze with pride as the craftsmen create the new spaces for our educational and scientific communities. Filled with the hope that will come from the research that will be conducted in this outstanding facility, our initial plan was to shell the upper two floors of the building, providing space to expand in the years ahead. I am pleased to announce today that we have decided to complete all the floors of the building before it opens. Prudent fiscal management, favorable construction prices and the bold future that we have charted for our campus, compel us to complete the entire building from the start. Let me extend my appreciation to all who have been involved in the planning and construction of this new facility and to all therein whose commitments to education and science will bring hope.
The Resolve to Continue to Invest in Research While there is so much that is positive on this campus, there remain moments of apprehension as we listen to the cacophony of debate that exists in the houses of government. When drafting this speech, initially I characterized this debate as “dialogue;” but that would be a positive characterization not deserved or appropriate at this tense moment of governmental commotion. It is difficult to watch as our nation grapples with unsettling levels of debt, markets in turmoil, lack of confidence by the consumer and in the government, and conflict throughout the world. It is a perilous time that dims the future and dashes hope. But I am an optimist and a believer. Our country is up to any challenge it chooses to confront and overcome. Values can light a brighter path to our future. It is in that spirit that I would like to raise a clarion call for more support for biomedical research, making investment in science and NIH funding a national priority. Many have argued the case that research investment brings jobs and fiscal vitality to our economy. Across the world, people have demonstrated that the economic and global competitiveness of our nation benefits from an unencumbered peer-review process that sets the standard for evaluation of and investment in research proposals; there is no political interference and merit always outperforms influence. Research results are an important determinant of social well-being. All of us can testify to the importance of vaccines, antibiotics and pharmacotherapeutics, many of which have been discovered in our lifetimes. We know that research results can help us to forego health care expenditures. These are important arguments in support of medical research, but they are sterile and isolated from the reality that through research we can bring hope to our future. The American scientific research enterprise is as pristine and well-intentioned as any business or governmental competitor for resources. That said, I will not stipulate that scientific research efforts are above any reproach. While collaboration is alive on this campus, we have not as yet designed well enough developed methods to interact across campuses of this university or those of other research entities. We could better utilize the equipment that we possess and the core services we offer. We have made the clinical translational initiative an imperative and we are in the initial stages of its implementation. We must do more to assure the integrity of research and remove conflicts of interest. We can and will continue to commit to improve our efforts to assure the safety of research subjects, and to enable research and our investigators as we redouble our resolve to prudently expend whatever resources we receive. Yet, still I hear the call to reduce the amount of funding that is available for medical research. Why? Surely no one believes that we have all the answers to science’s important questions or have solved the puzzling issues that prevent our ability to cure disease. As discerning people, we must be impressed by the success of research efforts throughout the decades and encouraged at the targeted therapies that are emerging from laboratories across our nation. As our campus studies the history of cancer this week, we marvel at the multitude of breakthroughs that have occurred in the care of patients with oncologic disease. Few weeks go by without another announcement of a new therapy or therapeutic agent, all the direct result of successful research efforts. We know there is much more to do and that now is the time to be doing it! The call to diminish research funding reveals a flaw in our values construct as a society and as a nation. In America, when we resolve to respond to an issue, there is no stopping us. We can protect our citizenry at home and defend our interests abroad. We can rebuild nations and place a person on the moon. We can educate and care for those in need. We innovate, discover and create. Should we resolve to do so, we can continue to invest in biomedical research and increase NIH funding. This is our heritage as a nation. Why then, the call to reduce funds for medical research? When will we affirm our values and make the case that this is no time to reduce funding for science that can reveal discoveries to ameliorate or cure disease? Now is that time! Imagine what goes through the minds of those threatened by illness! When a young father steps forth and makes a gift to Governor Cellucci’s initiative to create an endowment to support ALS research on this campus, he makes an important statement that now is that time. Yes, he has a vested interest. He may have tripped going off a curb, felt fasciculation in his muscles, or begun to have difficulty lifting his hands and moving his legs. He has ALS and he is running out of time. His wife and children are scared. He worries his way to sleep every night and then tosses and turns as he awakens to the realization that his nightmare is not a dream. The belief that calms him is that medical research at UMass can return to him the semblance of hope his disease has stolen! When the young mother finds the lump in her breast and convinces herself that it can’t be a cancer because she has too much life to live, she makes an important statement that now is that time. With precious time slipping by, when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, she will realize that her genetic make-up may have predetermined her condition. But, who will feed her children? Who will make her daughter’s wedding dress? Who will care for her mother who shares her disease? Her conviction is that medical research at UMass can give her hope. It is only such hope that gets her through each day. She can’t believe investments in research could be diminished. Please, not now, she pleads! When the back pain lasts too long and the physical therapy does not relieve the ache, the patient reaches out for a more definitive answer for his weight loss and excruciating back pain. The doctor in his home state meets with him late one day, in a room that appears to have no light. He is told to get his affairs in order as he has only two months to live. As he reaches out to UMass clinicians, he makes an important statement that now is that time. His first granddaughter was just born. He and his wife have planned their trip of a lifetime. His mother and father are aging and dealing with the challenges of the onset of dementia. There is much life to live! After extensive consultation, he firmly believes that medical care and research at UMass can return to him the hope that was stolen in the darkened room of his home town physician. Hope he has been given at UMass gets him through each day, each bout of nausea, each backache and each needle stick. How anyone could think of reducing America’s research commitment disturbs and scares him! And, when the soldier returns from battle, she shakes when a door slams and cringes when a horn beeps. In desperation, she turns to our mental health team for help. In doing so, she makes the important statement that now is that time. She gave everything she had to assure the safety of our nation. While serving our country, she followed orders and protected our freedom. But, now she is shattered. Every relationship is fractured. She sits in the corner shaking and wonders whether she will ever be able to use the word “hope” again. PTSD has invaded her life and disrupted our nation’s commitment to her. Can medical research restore hope to one who has given so much? She cries, trembling at the thought that we might abandon her and the research that could improve her fragile state. Research means hope. Research can bring change to the human condition. Research can restore human dignity. If in the earlier difficult times faced by our nation, we gave up an important cause, we would not be the great country that we have become. At each and every complex juncture, we have believed in a brighter future and our actions have confirmed our values and resolve. On our medical school campus we see that brighter future each day. We see it in the students who forego Wall Street careers to commit, as the daughters and sons of Massachusetts, to care for those in need or to make the discoveries that will replace the norm! We see it in the lives of our faculty: Jerry Durbin, Michael Green and Marianne Felice. Jerry educates students to care for and about their patients. Michael discovers pathways that could cure disease. Marianne engages our community to care about its children. They create hope through their academic commitments and they challenge us to engage our talents and energies to make our world healthier. We see it in our staff and in the eyes of the construction workers who know that their efforts will assist us to find the cures that have eluded our predecessors. As we begin this academic year, I am filled with hope. You see, it is a great privilege to be in our chosen professions at this university, and in this community at this exciting time in our history. The mission of our medical school is compelling. Our vision is clear. Our future is bright! As I look beyond this campus green, I hope that our nation will find the resolve and the determination to continue its investment in medical research and not destroy the treasure that is our nation’s biomedical research enterprise. On behalf of our patients, each of us must raise our voices and increase our resolve to assure that American values prevail, so that America values the promise of medical research. To one who is sick and enters our midst, nothing matters more! On behalf of the father with ALS, the mother and grandfather with cancer, and the soldier with PTSD, and for those for whom we have the privilege to care, we need to raise our voices! Now is that time! As Rob would say, “Very good, right there!”