By Sheila Champlin, Special to My Life, Commercial Appeal
July 20, 2013

Civic leaders including Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, and current and retired CEOs recently gathered in the Hamilton Eye Institute board room at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine to share their concerns about health care and higher education in Memphis. Participants were drawn together by David M. Stern, M.D., executive dean of the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine, and David L. Levine, a business consultant who is the former chairman and CEO of ResortQuest International.

At its first meeting, the group formed an ongoing Advisory Board for the UTHSC College of Medicine. Its mission is to provide health care and an approach to wellness that exceeds expectations of the neighboring communities and region. Its goal is to provide evidence- and value-based approaches that address current needs and reach into the future through research and educating the next generation of physicians.

“We want to embed the College of Medicine in the city, making it a more vibrant part of the ecosystem,” said Levine, who was chosen to serve as the Advisory Board’s first chair. “It’s important to recognize the role that the UTHSC College of Medicine plays in the community in areas like employment, research, recruiting and bringing diverse talent to our region. There is a significant amount of community outreach and public service provided by the college. We want to encourage more of that and find ways to better connect the college and engage with residents at all different levels in the community,” he added.

“Input from our Advisory Board will have an important role in selecting and implementing new directions for the College of Medicine, especially filling critical gaps in community and regional services, and making the college a vital part of life in our city,” remarked Executive Dean Stern. “We want to re-engineer the linkage between the college and community, and purposefully increase the positive outcomes of that connection.”

With their next meeting scheduled for the fall, board members are working in the interim in small teams, moving ideas forward and forging mutually beneficial relationships for the college and the community.

Sheila Champlin is assistant vice chancellor of Communications & Marketing for The University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

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