A Note from Ross Hall
With the recent inauguration of Thomas J. LeBlanc as the 17th President of the George Washington University, we celebrated and recommitted ourselves to a collective aspiration to achieve preeminence as a comprehensive global research university. Central to that vision is the continued success of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) and its academic and clinical partners. In the pages of this magazine, I am proud to highlight some of the remarkable advances that we are making in the areas of innovation, research, education, and clinical care on our path to preeminence.
Through the creativity of artist Michael Kirby, the magazine cover highlights our adoption of the emerging technology of virtual reality as a clinical and teaching tool in neurosurgery. The use of virtual reality in medicine is creating new opportunities to think about the way we train students, prepare for surgical and medical procedures, and educate patients, such as Danielle Collins, whom you will meet in this edition of Medicine + Health.
While we continue to lead in the use of futuristic technologies, we also remember our past and the important role that our faculty and alumni have played in advancing medicine and health care. In this issue, we embark on a long-form, nonfiction series called “Observation” that highlights GW’s historic role during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Washington, D.C. In the first chapter, I am interviewed about the very early days of the epidemic when GW was truly on the front lines. The message is that our path to preeminence is built on our commitment to educating our learners and providing compassionate, patient-centered care.
Finally, as we celebrate this holiday season of reflection, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of our alumni, faculty and staff, trainees, students and friends of SMHS. Your dedicated engagement and generous support of SMHS is truly vital to our continued success and deeply appreciated.
Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, RESD ’85
Vice President for Health Affairs
Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine
and Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences