Realizing Our Vision
CEO shares progress on UVA Health’s strategic plan, “One Future Together: Health and Hope for All.”
As we begin the new year, I am filled with optimism and want to thank our generous donors for helping us advance UVA Health’s ambitious strategic plan.
We are already making significant progress on our 10-year strategic plan, “One Future Together: Health and Hope for All.” This success has been made possible with the support of our philanthropic and strategic partners; you will find many stories in this edition of PULSE that reflect this impact.
In October, we celebrated the plan’s first anniversary, and I am proud, as we enter 2024,that we are fully engaged in more than 20 transformative initiatives.
One inspiring project, funded largely by philanthropy as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia, UVA, and UVA Health, is the Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology. This milestone effort reflects our commitment to improving healthcare by expanding the scope of our high-impact translational research. In December, we broke ground for this highly anticipated facility. The Manning Institute will firmly establish UVA as a leader in life-changing medical research, including gene and cellular therapies. I am thrilled to see this venture moving along quickly, and I deeply appreciate the collective efforts that have made this visionary project a reality. Medicine is evolving at an unprecedented pace, andour aspiration is not just to keep up with these changes but to lead the way.
We also take pride in our ongoing success in expanding research efforts, driven by our many accomplished research teams across UVA Health. Last year, we secured an incredible $285 million in research awards for the School of Medicine, marking a substantial $62 million increase from the previous year. This extraordinary growth represents a 25% increase in just one year. Comparing ourselves to other schools of medicine across the country, this level of growth in one year is unprecedented. The research discoveries are significant; last year, we had 10 of our publications in the most prestigious of all scientific journals,Science and Nature. Our most substantial advancements were in key areas, including cancer, cardiology, immunology, and the neurological sciences.
One of our primary objectives is to ensure that UVA Health’s excellence in complex care extends throughout Virginia and beyond. Last summer, UVA Health became a minority owner of the Newport News-based Riverside Health System, a regional, five-hospital organization that serves over 2 million people in eastern Virginia. We are thrilled with this new partnership and are developing several new collaborations that encompass all of our missions, including clinical care, research, teaching, and community. Under the leadership of Art Martella, MD, Riverside’s chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Ourania Preventza, MD (profiled on page 38), division chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UVA Health, we have initiated a strategic affiliation aimed at establishing a premier cardiothoracic surgery program in eastern Virginia.In collaboration with Riverside Health, we are also creating a statewide clinical trials network so that people of eastern Virginia can access cutting-edge clinical therapies.
We are also committed to enhancing leadership growth within our health system. Last year,we launched the UVA Health Leadership Institute, our cover feature in this edition of PULSE. We welcomed our first cohort of 30 team members in November from more than 250 applicants across the system. The quality of applicants was so high that we anticipate being able to launch a second cohort within months. This strategic investment is critical for UVA Health, as it strengthens our culture of mentorship, supports career development, and helps us grow leaders from within.
Our ultimate goal, of course, is to provide excellent care to our patients. Last year, more than 8,700 donors chose to make a gift to UVA Health, and many of you are patients and families who received exceptional care across our UVA Health facilities. We sincerely appreciate our donors’ partnership as you contribute to medical advances locally, nationally, and globally. These generous gifts will improve outcomes and shape our future.
As we step into a new year, supported by our dedicated workforce of nearly 17,000team members and remarkable partners, we will embrace the opportunities ahead. There is no limit to what we can achieve. Together, we are realizing our vision of becoming the nation’s leading public academic health system and the best place to work.
K. Craig Kent, MD
Chief Executive Officer, UVA Health
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs,University of Virginia
A special note: The University of Virginia Board of Visitors has extended Dr. K. Craig Kent’s contract as executive vice president for health affairs and chief executive officer for UVA Health through Jan. 31, 2030.