Friday, June 2, 2017

Signs of Summer

Good morning!

And I might add, welcome Summer 2017!

Although we are a 24/7/365 organization, when summer rolls around it feels like a much-needed opportunity to catch our breath.

It's vacation season. Time to get together with family and friends. The beach beckons some of us. Others head for the mountains. Maybe a swimming pool is in your future.

Summer is also a time of transition, of beginnings and endings.

We're saying our goodbyes to graduating students and residents, retirees, and colleagues who might be leaving for that next stop on their respective career journeys. We wish them all happiness and success.

UMMC_summer.jpgAt the same time, we've already begun getting to know some of our new nursing and health related professions students. In a month we'll be welcoming a new class of residents, and then another wave of students in August.

The cycle starts all over again.

We're looking forward to a number of events during the summer. On June 30, we'll have a reception for our dedicated retirees who have completed 25 or more years of service. For me, this event ranks right up there with commencement in its capacity to warm my heart.      

In a few weeks we'll begin occupying the brand new School of Medicine building, culminating with a formal dedication Aug. 4. I've been getting the occasional peek at the interior and it is so impressive.

The current schedule calls for the Translational Research Center to be completed and ready for occupancy in August. We're making plans for a dedication event later in the fall.

I'm looking forward to my own transition of sorts. In July I'll begin my year as chair of the LCME - the Liaison Committee on Medical Education - the accreditation agency for U.S. and Canadian medical schools. These last four years on the committee have been a wonderful learning experience for me, getting to know colleagues from schools throughout North America.

Summer is also a natural time when we pause to take stock as we transition from one fiscal year to the next. In a future column, I'll reflect on what we've accomplished and where we will focus our energies going forward, based on feedback we've received.

But right now the priority is for everyone to find some time this summer to recharge your batteries.

The work we do is hard, often stressful and sometimes a hassle. But it is not thankless. Our students, patients and the citizens of our state know what UMMC is and how much what you do matters. I join them in their gratitude, as we all strive to create A Healthier Mississippi.



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