Ja­cobs School needs sup­port to ex­pand its mis­sion

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - By Michael Cain Michael Cain is dean of the Ja­cobs School of Medicine and Biomed­i­cal Sci­ences.

In 2011, through the New York SUNY 2020 Chal­lenge Grant pro­gram, Gov. An­drew M. Cuomo, the West­ern New York del­e­ga­tion in the Leg­is­la­ture and the Univer­sity at Buf­falo em­braced a vi­sion for a world class aca­demic health cen­ter that would pro­vide the very best health care for the cit­i­zens of our re­gion, New York State and be­yond.

In De­cem­ber 2017, the re­al­iza­tion of that vi­sion be­gan with the open­ing of a new build­ing for the Ja­cobs School of Medicine and Biomed­i­cal Sci­ences in down­town Buf­falo. The move of the Ja­cobs School has been in­stru­men­tal in the re­nais­sance of the City of Buf­falo. The clin­i­cal, re­search, ed­u­ca­tional and eco­nomic im­pact of the pres­ence of the Ja­cobs School down­town can­not be over­stated.

The Ja­cobs School pro­vides most of the hos­pi­tals in Buf­falo, par­tic­u­larly those on the Buf­falo Ni­a­gara Med­i­cal Cam­pus, with the vast ma­jor­ity of their clin­i­cians. The school, by in­creas­ing its class size, is fur­ther in­sur­ing this pipe­line. Th­ese med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als are the back­bone of the health care de­liv­ery sys­tem in West­ern New York.

In ad­di­tion to train­ing many fu­ture doc­tors, fac­ulty at the Ja­cobs School con­duct ground-break­ing re­search that leads to med­i­cal break­throughs and in­no­va­tions that serve the pa­tients of the re­gion and be­yond. In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing health care ben­e­fits in the com­mu­nity, th­ese in­no­va­tions lead to spin-off com­pa­nies that con­trib­ute to the econ­omy of the re­gion.

While the Ja­cobs School is set up for suc­cess with its move down­town, we be­lieve with the state’s con­tin­ued com­mit­ment we can fully re­al­ize the vi­sion laid out for the gov­er­nor back in 2011. With an ad­di­tional in­vest­ment, the Ja­cobs School would move for­ward with a num­ber of im­por­tant ini­tia­tives, in­clud­ing fac­ulty hir­ing in crit­i­cal ar­eas of need such as opi­oid ad­dic­tion, ag­ing, med­i­cal ge­net­ics, and pri­mary care; ed­u­ca­tional ini­tia­tives to make our fac­ulty more ef­fec­tive teach­ers; im­prov­ing the di­ver­sity of our fac­ulty, staff, and stu­dents to serve an in­creas­ingly di­verse com­mu­nity; re­duce health care dis­par­i­ties by in­clud­ing more un­der­rep­re­sented mi­nori­ties in clin­i­cal tri­als and by bet­ter un­der­stand­ing the so­cial de­ter­mi­nants of health; and grow­ing the Ja­cobs School’s re­search port­fo­lio so that it can con­tinue to im­prove the qual­ity of care for the peo­ple of West­ern New York.

State sup­port is crit­i­cal to the fu­ture suc­cess of the Ja­cobs School, the con­tin­ued suc­cess of the Buf­falo Ni­a­gara Med­i­cal Cam­pus, and the health of the peo­ple of our re­gion. We are ask­ing Gov. Cuomo and the state Leg­is­la­ture to sup­port the fu­ture of medicine with the con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment of the Ja­cobs School in the en­acted bud­get for fis­cal year 2020.

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