A Beacon of Hope

Outgoing Board of Trustees chair Michael S. Miller offers words of appreciation and inspiration.

To the UVA Health Community,

As I come to the end of my term as a member and chair of the UVA Health Foundation Board of Trustees, I’ve been reflecting a great deal on the UVA Health system, its tremendous growth, and how it has become a true beacon of hope for patients and their families in the commonwealth and beyond. I initially connected with UVA Health on a personal level because of the lifesaving treatments my son Matt received after a nearly fatal bicycle accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Charlottesville. The world-class care Matt received enabled him to regain his health and vitality and become a facial reconstructive surgeon specializing in facial paralysis and facial nerves. He now provides the same kind of care to his patients that he once received as a patient. This inspired me to expand my involvement and help ensure UVA Health continues advancing life-changing scientific research, offering outstanding patient care and treatment, extending community outreach, and providing the finest education possible for future nurses and medical professionals.

Serving and leading the Board has been a humbling experience. It has also been an absolute honor and has allowed me to “pay it forward,” as they say. During my seven years on the Board, I have seen our national reputation evolve as a leading force in health care and research while overcoming the tragic and challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes being recognized as one of only 54 Comprehensive Cancer Centers nationwide and through our acquisition of three community hospitals in Northern Virginia. We are bringing hope to so many of our patients and their families, and nothing could be more important than this.

Under the leadership of EVP for Health Affairs Craig Kent, MD, UVA Health has created a bold vision for the future guided by our first-ever comprehensive strategic plan, One Future Together: Health and Hope for All. This detailed roadmap serves as a “unifying vision for UVA Health to become the nation’s leading public academic health system and best place to work by transforming patient care, research, education, and engagement with the diverse communities we serve.” Consider, for example, the recently announced $300 million Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology. This institute will position UVA as a national leader in advanced medicine by assembling a team of pioneering researchers and clinicians and providing them with the resources needed to unlock the cures for many diseases. Furthermore, the strategic plan creates a robust and thoughtful framework for UVA Health to improve patients’ health in our local communities, strengthen our foundation and research enterprise, and develop the next generation of medical leaders.

I am honored and thrilled to have served these past years with many great Board colleagues and the inspiring UVA Health leadership team Dr. Kent has assembled. I want to thank our clinicians, researchers, nurses, health care team, and students for their steadfast commitment to our patients and our critical mission. Importantly, I also want to extend my deepest appreciation to all UVA Health donors, as our successes would not be possible without your vision, passion, dedication, and generosity.

I value the years I have served the exceptional UVA Health family and look forward to seeing future accomplishments and successes. I’ll end by saying that my family and I are, and will forever be, grateful to UVA Health.

Warm regards, 

Michael S. Miller

Chair, UVA Health Foundation Board of Trustees