April 13, 2007

elevate: Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: Does elevate apply to the research enterprise?

Answer: Elevate most definitely applies to our efforts in the research enterprise, where we're working to support the highest impact science and to make VUMC an even better place in which to pursue basic and clinical investigation.

More broadly, departments and centers all across our schools of Medicine and Nursing participate fully in elevate, and leaders in all areas have been encouraged to apply the strategies and lessons of elevate to research and education programs, as well as to clinical programs.

Admittedly, the question of how fully to embed elevate into the broader academic support areas of our Medical Center was a challenge, particularly in the fall of 2004, as the program had never before been implemented in all areas of an academic medical center. So we have been at the cutting edge of this, and have been working productively with the Studer Group over the last few years to innovate the elevate program to serve the entire Medical Center.

In nearly all situations, we have found that the basic strategies and lessons of elevate are directly applicable to our academic programs. In these situations, those receiving service are often not our patients, but rather our own faculty, staff or students as they interact with key research enterprise infrastructure areas, such as the IRB or the Office of Grants and Contracts Management.

We view the pillars of elevate as organizing principles that are just as essential to the health of the research enterprise as the clinical enterprise. I'm convinced that, as we work to expand the limits of discovery at VUMC, elevate strategies and principles will play an increasingly central role, and will fundamentally distinguish our academic medical center from many others.

— Jeffrey Balser, M.D., Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for Research