Season's Greetings

A message from Mr. Gary Park, Dr. Etta Pisano, and Dr. Marschall Runge.

Season’s Greetings:

As we approach the holidays, we want to thank each of you for your contributions to UNC Health Care. Despite the challenges we have faced, it is important to remember the many accomplishments you all made in 2008.

Our Commitment to Caring initiatives helped us achieve improvements in patient safety and dramatic improvement in patient satisfaction scores throughout the UNC Health Care System. Our results in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys have been excellent. On each of the three HCAHPS surveys completed this year, 90 percent of our patients said they would definitely recommend UNC Hospitals to friends and family.

In October, seven nursing units achieved patient satisfaction scores in the 94th percentile or higher. The health, safety and happiness of our patients are our highest priority, so these results are an outstanding testimony of our dedication to patients.

Our medical campus continues to grow rapidly. We moved into the Physicians Office Building and Genetic Medicine Building in 2008 and are on-schedule to move into the N.C. Cancer Hospital in 2009. We hope all of you are excited about the great things we will accomplish in these new facilities.

We are also proud of the training we provide to North Carolina’s newest physicians, scientists and allied health professionals. The School of Medicine graduated 169 students in May, 2008. In June and July we welcomed more than 200 new interns, residents, and fellows – young physicians who will help us meet the medical needs of North Carolina and of the nation. 

The state of North Carolina demonstrated its commitment to our research efforts through the University Cancer Research Fund, and we are working to strengthen our own research infrastructure with the TraCS Institute and the Carolina Data Warehouse for Health. And during a time when NIH funding is stagnant across the board, we received a 19 percent increase in our NIH funding this year, which brought our total NIH funding to more than $350 million.

These successes have been wonderful. But the global economic changes of the last several months have introduced an entirely new set of challenges. Our nation’s economy affects everyone, including the School of Medicine and Health Care System. However, it is perhaps during these times that we can be most effective in making a difference for our patients, colleagues and the people of North Carolina. We look forward to working with you to meet these challenges.

Here’s wishing you a safe holiday season and a wonderful 2009.

Happy Holidays,

Gary L. Park
President, UNC Hospitals

Etta Pisano, MD
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
UNC School of Medicine   

Marschall S. Runge, MD, PhD
UNC Physicians & Associates

Download a PDF version of this message here.
Download a PDF version of this message in Spanish here.

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