John Finnegan, Jr., discusses changes in the U of M Academic Health Center
Warm greetings from our winter wonderland! 2011 ushers in new leadership at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC), the umbrella organization that houses the School of Public Health and the U’s five other health sciences schools. Aaron Friedman has taken the reins from Frank Cerra, who provided outstanding leadership in the AHC for the past 15 years. Dr. Friedman is a pediatrician who has a strong appreciation for the role of public health. In addition, I look forward to welcoming University of Minnesota President-designate Eric Kaler to campus. Dr. Kaler is a U alum (PhD ’82). He replaces Robert Bruininks, who has served as president for the past eight years. Dr. Kaler comes to us from Stony Brook University in New York, where he has served as provost and vice president. He will visit campus often during the next several months of transition that culminate with his inauguration July 1.
The health of U.S. children is approaching a precarious tipping point. For the first time in the nation’s history, this generation’s kids will face the distinct possibility of greater health challenges and shorter life spans than their parents. We are poised, however, to turn this around. SPH researchers are examining a host of issues to improve children’s health and set them on course for long, vital lives. Read about their work in our cover story.
Please note the special insert in this issue that provides an overview of the SPH’s finances during fiscal year 2010, which ended June 30. We continue to be a research powerhouse. For the first time in the school’s history, new research grants and contracts totaled $113 million, in terms of multiyear awards. In total research dollars, this puts the SPH in the top three units at the U, out of 19 collegiate units (behind only the Medical School and the College of Science and Engineering).
In terms of grant awards per faculty member, however, we are far and away number one. More important though is the impact that SPH research has on the health of communities here and around the world. The annual report insert also includes a list of our generous financial supporters, to whom I offer my heartfelt thanks. Together, we will continue to shape a better future for everyone.
Yours in health,
John R. Finnegan, Jr., PhD
Assistant Vice President for Public Health
Dean and Professor