aamc.org does not support this web browser. Learn more about the browsers we support.

New section

Content Background

New section

CFAS News Previous Edition

New section

New section

Biden’s Proposed Budget Boosts HHS, NIH Funding; J&J Vaccine Paused Amid Blood Clot Concerns; Congress Relaunches Academic Medicine Caucus; and Other Items of Interest

Becker’s Hospital CFO Report covered how President Joe Biden’s proposed budget would affect health care, noting that the proposal calls for a $131.7 billion in discretionary spending for the Department of Health and Human Services (a $25 billion or 23.5% increase from last year’s funding levels), $8.7 billion in discretionary spending for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), $905 million for the Strategic National Stockpile, an initial $6.5 billion for a new research agency called the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, additional funds to curb the opioid crisis and HIV, and improvements in access to health care for veterans.
Read More

The AAMC issued a statement last Friday on President Biden’s request for fiscal year (FY) 2022 discretionary funding. “The AAMC is pleased to see the Biden administration’s substantial proposed budget increases in FY 2022 funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, including additional funding for medical research and public health agencies, which reflect important steps to reinvest in the nation’s health security. Robust annual funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other federal health and research agencies are essential to protecting the health of every individual in the United States, and we applaud the president for recognizing these investments as a key national priority,” said AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD.
Read More

Inside Higher Ed covered the president’s proposed budget and its increases in funding for Pell Grants, the Education Department, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and minority-serving institutions, among other things.
Read More

Hospitals in Michigan are reaching critical capacity levels because of the state’s surge in severe COVID-19 cases, reported CNN.
Read More

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a joint statement on several instances of blood clotting in women who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Read More

Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford Medical School, and Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, CEO of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, spoke to CNBC about how the pause in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine might affect hospitals.
Read More

CNN reported on symptoms to watch for those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last month.
Read More

Researchers at Emory University and three other medical centers are trying to stay ahead of the coronavirus by making tweaks to various vaccines to answer questions such as, “[C]ould people be vaccinated just with two doses of the variant vaccine and not the original? Or one dose of each kind? Or even get the original and the variant dose combined into the same injection?” The Associated Press (AP) covered the story.
Read More

If Americans continue to wear masks and get vaccinated, they could save at least 14,000 lives by August, reported CNN. CNN also explained how to speak to somebody who’s hesitant to get vaccinated and covered how people could attend religious services safely.
Read More
Read More
Read More

A gift from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy allocated $6 million to four historically Black medical schools to boost vaccination efforts in minority communities, reported the AP. The schools are Morehouse School of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, and Meharry Medical College.
Read More

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said the company hopes to have a booster shot for its COVID-19 vaccine, which will, it hopes, protect against variants, by the fall, reported CNBC.
Read More

The New York Times profiled Katalin Kariko, who has emerged as one of the “heroes of COVID-19 vaccine development.” Her work with colleagues at University of Pennsylvania laid the foundation for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
Read More

Freebies and cash bonuses can backfire, argues an expert who has spent decades studying how people make health decisions. AAMCNews reported on insights from the worlds of psychology and marketing offer some clever ways to encourage the public to receive vaccinations.
Read More

AAMCNews also published an “Insights” piece on how what we may think of as “vaccine hesitancy’ in certain underserved populations is actually lack of easy access.
Read More

The AAMC issued a statement on the re-launch of the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus. “The AAMC thanks Reps. Castor and McKinley for re-launching the bipartisan Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus and serving as its co-chairs. The caucus is dedicated to recognizing the important role that medical schools, teaching hospitals, and their faculty physicians play to improve the health of people everywhere and to help our nation address public health challenges and crises. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, academic medicine defined the frontlines—conducting the research that furthered vaccines and treatments and providing care for patients. This caucus provides a forum for congressional members and staff to engage in a constructive and educational dialogue about the opportunities and challenges surrounding key issues that impact the academic medicine community and the patients they serve—including the health care workforce, medical research, health care delivery, health equity, education, and more,” said AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer Karen Fisher, JD.
Read More

The CMS issued new guidance to stop hospitals from using code to block price information from showing up on internet search engines, reported Modern Healthcare.
Read More

HCP Live explored data published in JAMA Psychiatry on the rates of suicide for nurses in the United States, which is significantly higher than the rest of the population.
Read More
Read More

Federal officials are working on new measures that will help more health care workers get fresh, new N95 masks, reported Modern Healthcare.
Read More

The NIH released a notice today updating its requirements regarding proposed human fetal tissue research. The notice informs the extramural research community that HHS is reversing its 2019 decision that all research applications for NIH grants and contracts proposing the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions will be reviewed by an Ethics Advisory Board, but retains all additional restrictions that were imposed in 2019.
Read More

Health Central featured a report on “race-norming” in health care and profiled Malika Fair, MD, the AAMC’s Senior Director of Health Equity Partnerships and Programs.
Read More

The House voted to delay a 2% cut to Medicare payments for the rest of the year and President Biden is expected to sign the delay into law, reported Modern Healthcare.
Read More

As the trial of Derek Chauvin unfolds in Minneapolis for the killing of George Floyd last year, the New York Times discussed the raging debate over bias in the field of forensic pathology.
Read More

A surge in syphilis cases in California is behind a record-setting year for STDS, reported Health Leaders.
Read More

The CDC released two studies quantifying the outsized impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. NPR covered the story.
Read More
Read More

The Connecticut Mirror explored whether independent primary care doctors can survive the dominance of hospital health systems.
Read More

President Biden’s infrastructure plan would give $400 billion to shift more care for elderly people to their homes rather than hospitals, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Read More

The American College Health Association will develop a COVID-19 “Community of Practice” resource through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, focused on how colleges can control spread of the virus, reported Inside Higher Ed.
Read More

The Coalition for Physician Accountability released an update to its Jan. 25, 2021 recommendations on medical student away rotations in the 2021-22 academic year. The April 2021 recommendations are an update to guidance originally published on May 11, 2020. The AAMC is a member of the Coalition, a cross-organizational group of national medical education organizations.
Read More

Science reported on how the U.S. National Academy of Sciences is moving on expulsion of two sexual harassers from its membership. The 158-year-old academy changed its bylaws to allow expulsion of members about two years ago.
Read More

Nature published a piece exploring how junior scientists in the earlier stages of their careers can move into a more senior positions or otherwise become more influential, often by leveraging their energy, diversity, and connection to social and professional networks.
Read More

Health Affairs explored how physician-owned hospitals might reverse the trend of hospital consolidation.
Read More

The AAMC will host a congressional briefing on how the United States can cultivate and train a more diverse, culturally competent workforce through federal programs and community partnerships. Experts from the AAMC and medical schools and teaching hospitals will discuss the critical role federal programs play in recruiting and retaining a diverse physician workforce and the need to expand these programs to improve the health of people everywhere. The briefing takes place April 26 at 12 p.m. (Eastern), and is available to view via Zoom. Free registration is required.
Register Here

In its sixth annual call for letters to the editor authored by trainees, Academic Medicine is seeking original submissions on the topic of “trainees as agents of change in academic medicine and the health professions.” The journal is looking for submissions that highlight actionable ways medical and health professions trainees can act as agents of change within the environments where they learn, work, and live. Letters can have up to three authors and all must be trainees. The one-week submission period begins May 24 at 9 a.m. (Eastern) and ends May 28 at 5 p.m.
Read More

Xiaowei Zhuang, PhD, has been named winner of the 2021 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences for pioneering the development of super-resolution microscopy and genome-scale imaging showing new spatial and functional organizations of cells and molecules. Zhuang runs her lab at Harvard University.
Read More

FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock announced that Patrizia Cavazzoni, MD, has been named permanent director of the agency’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Cavazzoni previously served as the acting director of the center.
Read More

Christopher P. Austin, MD, director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the NIH, wrote a farewell message upon his departure from the agency. “I am confident that the translational science team at NCATS and its thousands of grantees, contractors, supporters and collaborators will continue the logarithmic growth and flourishing of our field,” he wrote. Joni Rutter, PhD, will serve as acting NCATS director.
Read More

Paul M. Katz, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Neurology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and chief of service at Temple University Health System. Dr. Katz has served as interim chair of the department since 2019.
Read More

Matthew Tews, DO, has been named associate dean and director of Indiana University School of Medicine in West Lafayette. Dr. Tews serves as a professor of emergency medicine and associate dean for educational simulation at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.
Read More

Behzad Soleimani, MD, has been appointed interim director of Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute, effective May 1. Dr. Soleimani previously served as surgical director of the Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Penn State.
Read More

Traves Crabtree, MD, has been named chief of Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Crabtree is a professor and medical director of SIU’s Surgical Skills Laboratory in the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation.
Read More

What if you treated a spider web as a series of musical notations and then programmed a computer to play it back as music? Turns out it sounds pretty great. Researchers at MIT, among others, brought the spider web music to life, noting that it makes sense there would be a compelling auditory element to the tangled webs given spiders’ reliance on vibrations to navigate the world they inhabit. The piece reported in Science Alert contains a number of links to YouTube recordings of the music.
Read More

And finally, if spiders can be musical, perhaps humans can be venomous. Popular Mechanics covered research published in PNAS showing that the presence of salivary glands in any number of species basically lays the groundwork for what may begin development of a venom gland. The Japanese and Australian scientists who did the research suggest, in fact, that the ability of humans to become venomous may be just a few evolutionary iterations away, with an assist from genetic mutations. It appears that we all have an apparent venomous genetic ancestor — so check your anger before lashing out in case you’re a little higher on the evolutionary ladder than the rest of us!
Read More
Read More

Editor’s Note: Thank you to all the faculty, administrators, deans, researchers, and medical educators who just wrapped up the 2021 CFAS & GFA Joint Spring Meeting. It was a tremendous success because of your engagement. Materials from the conference will be made available to you in the near future.

Visit the CFAS Resources page for an archive of the previous edition of CFAS News as well as our People of Academic Medicine page, which features a running list of academic promotions, appointments, and departures.

Your comments and news tips are always welcome. Please email them to Eric Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org.

Eric Weissman
Senior Director, Faculty and Academic Society Engagement
AAMC
eweissman@aamc.org
www.aamc.org/cfas

New section

New section