UB Medical School Launches Community Magazine

UB Medicine will chronicle transformations in WNY health care, including the school’s move downtown

The University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has launched a new magazine to inform the community about the school’s pivotal role in medical education, research and advanced patient care in the region.

The inaugural issue of UB Medicine, published this week, provides an overview of the historic changes underway in the school and the ways in which UB and its health care partners are transforming Buffalo’s medical-science landscape.

It features articles about:

  • The new UB medical school to be built on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
  • The new UB Clinical and Translational Research Center and how it has helped position Buffalo as a leader in biomedical research
  • The nine nationally prominent medical educators and scientists recently recruited to the medical school to chair departments; and
  • How the medical school, under the leadership of Dean Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences, is working with health care partners in the community to create a more efficiently integrated health care system for Western New York.

To read a pdf version of the magazine, click here http://bit.ly/11W1iJL.

“These developments represent change on an order of magnitude few in our generation have known and provide a unique opportunity for our entire community to take part in an initiative that will benefit our region and its medical school long into the future,” says Cain.

“UB Medicine will keep our alumni and community wp-contentrised of this collaborative effort and serve as a way to chronicle and celebrate its many milestones.”

Ellen Goldbaum (UB); goldbaum@buffalo.edu; 716.645.4605

New UB Medical School Design Revealed


The University at Buffalo (UB) unveiled the HOK design for the new School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building to be constructed atop the NFTA Allen/Medical Campus station on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Medical-School-Design-1Since winning the international design competition for the medical school concepts last year, HOK has worked closely with UB officials, the SUNY Construction Fund and community groups to develop the design best suited to the needs of the medical school while strengthening connections with the surrounding community. The design process is still underway, but is expected to be finalized within the next few months. The groundbreaking for the 7-story, more than 500,000-square-foot school is scheduled for the fall of 2013. The medical school will be one of the largest buildings constructed recently in the region when it officially opens in 2016.

Expected to bring an additional 2,000 faculty, staff and students to the Medical Campus, the steel-framed, state-of-the-art facility will feature a 6-story, light-filled glass atrium. The building’s façade will be clad with a high-performance terra cotta rainscreen and a glass curtain wall system that will bring daylight deep into the building. A convenient facility amenity will include bridges connecting to the two L-shaped buildings, the soon-to-be-built John R. Oishei Children's Hospital and Conventus medical office building.

Medical-School-Sidebar-1Serving as the building’s main interior “avenue,” there will be an atrium that will provide naturally illuminated by skylights and two glass walls, one along Washington Street and the other toward Allen Street.

Floor layout:

  • Floors 1 & 2: Multipurpose educational and community spaces for medical school and community outreach programs, such as the UB mini-medical school and other public health initiatives. The goal is to make the building’s public spaces highly accessible.
  • Floors 3, 4 & 5: Core research facilities as well as wp-contentroximately 150,000-square-foot of state-of-the art, easily configurable research laboratories for faculty in the basic sciences.
  • Floor 6: Advanced and specialized medical education facilities in the U.S., such as an expanded patient care simulation center, which will include the Behling Simulation Center, currently located on UB’s South Campus.
  • Floor 7: Gross anatomy facilities.

The medical school’s administrative offices and academic departments will be located on floors 3-7. It will also house a surgical simulation center where medical students can conduct surgeries in a simulated operating room. A complementary robotic surgery simulation center will train students and physicians in the latest remotely controlled robotic surgery technologies.

Aligning with key objectives from the UB 2020 strategic plan, the medical school will help create of a world-class medical school, increase recruitment of outstanding scientists, physician-scientists and clinicians to the university and transform the region into a major destination for innovative medical care and research.

“The new design allows us to grow our class size from 140 to 180, educating more physicians, many of whom will practice in the region,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences at UB and dean of the medical school.  “It allows UB to hire more talented faculty, bringing to this community much-needed clinical services and medical training programs.”

Medical-School-Sidebar-2The new design also provides the most efficient layout for state-of-the-art medical education and research as it looks to receive LEED gold certification. A pedestrian passageway will extend through the building between Main and Washington Streets, leading to the Allen Street Western Gateway. To further promote alternative transportation modes, the passageway is deliberately aligned with a proposed Allen Street pedestrian extension from Washington to Michigan Streets, which will feature a bike share facility.

Cain also stated that “faculty conducting scientific and translational research will be in close proximity to faculty performing clinical care in the hospitals” and that the new design will establish “a complete continuum from discovery to patient care on one campus and in modern facilities expressly designed to efficiently maximize the medical school’s primary missions of education, clinical service and research.”

With the medical school so close to major teaching hospitals like Kaleida Health's Buffalo General Medical Center and Roswell Park Cancer Institute and research facilities like the Clinical Translational Research Center, UB will be made into a strong academic and health care contender, much like Cleveland Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

For UB's downtown campus, the medical school will help create a vibrant, urban, mixed-use district seamlessly connected to the surrounding Allentown and Fruit Belt neighborhoods and other downtown communities. The $375 million medical school is partly funded by the NYSUNY 2020 legislation and private donations.

Read coverage about the medical school design unveiling below:

New UB Medical School is Designed to be an Integral Part of its Community

UB Unveils Med School Design (More Images)

UB Unveils New Downtown Medical Facility Design (With Photos)

UB Unveils School of Medicine Design

UB Unveils Design for Downtown Medical School: Building to be “Gateway”

UB Offers Images of Future Medical School

*Pictures retrieved from the University at Buffalo/HOK

*YouTube video created by the University at Buffalo

First Niagara Gives UB Land for Medical School

UB Acquires the Last of 3 Properties to Move Forward with Medical School Construction

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. has given the University at Buffalo (UB) a .85 acre of land to be incorporated into the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences site. The parcel of land at 973 Main Street is where a current First Niagara bank branch is located.

Although the land is considered a donation, in exchange for $1 First Niagara offered the land, worth wp-contentroximately $2 million, to assist UB in its quest to acquire the third property necessary for the building of the medical school.

Recognizing the importance of the land in UB's plan for the medical school, First Niagara's interim president and chief executive officer, Gary Crosby, stated that “We are committed to doing great things in our community and we are proud to collaborate with UB in order to provide the final piece of the puzzle for the new medical school to move forward.” He also stated that First Niagara is highly supportive of the region's efforts to continue being a recognized leader in life sciences, innovation and research.

Satish K. Tripathi, UB's president, said that “With [this most recent] acquisition, UB can move ahead with its plans for the new medical school, which will help to dramatically improve health care and medical education in our region while providing a significant boost to the local economy.”

UB Med School HOK2The $375 million, 520,000-square-foot medical school will be located on the corner at Main and High Streets.

With high expectations to improve health care throughout Western New York and to attract patients from other areas, the move of the medical school will also contribute to the growing world-class Medical Campus and its vision to attract the best and the brightest. The medical school will be able to graduate more physicians who will most likely stay and practice in the area. Medical school students will have the opportunity to receive a great and invaluable educational experience while near facilities like the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center and others.

“UB will attract the most promising medical students and world-class faculty,” said Michael E. Cain, MD, UB vice president for health sciences and dean of the medical school. “The prospect of a brand new, 21st century medical school next to teaching hospitals and state-of-the-art research laboratories in downtown Buffalo is helping UB to recruit top physicians and scientists, some of whom are already here.”

UB will add several new clinical service areas within the new medical school, providing specialty care and health services not currently offered in the region. Faculty will pursue cutting-edge research and collaborations with member institutions will lead to advanced care for patients.

On October 1st, First Niagara will relinquish the property to UB, later opening a new branch on the BNMC.  Until the new branch opens, a temporary branch will be located at 1031 Main Street.

The groundbreaking for the new building is set for September and construction is expected to be completed in 2016.

*Design rendering by HOK , a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

Read more about the this announcement below:

First Niagara Donating Downtown Land for UB Medical School

Land Donation Leads to First Niagara Branch Shuffle

First Niagara Provides Land for New UB Medical School Project

First Niagara Donates Land for New UB Med School

First Niagara Giving UB Main Street Land for $1

UB Goes to Great Lengths to Recruit Top Medical Talent to Buffalo – Buffalo News Story

Buffalo News)
(Photo from The Buffalo News)

Published: 03/3/2013, 11:54 PM Updated: 03/3/2013, 11:54 PM

Buffalo News Article: The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus – and the opportunity for growth it promises – is helping UB attract some of the country’s top doctors to its medical school faculty.

BY: Jay Rey /Buffalo News Staff Reporter

Recruiting top doctors and medical researchers to Buffalo is not unlike the Bills or Sabres going after blue-chip free agents.

Buffalo may not be high on their list of destinations – or on their list at all – when bigger, warmer or more lucrative markets are out there.

Buffalo? thought Dr. Andrew Talal.

Dr. Gil Wolfe was hesitant, too.

And Dr. John Tomaszewski was sure Buffalo wasn’t for him, even before he stepped off the plane.

That’s part of the recruiting process the University at Buffalo is going through right now as it grows its School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Over the next three years, UB plans to hire more than 100 full-time medical faculty members in preparation for the 2016 opening of its new medical school, which will serve as a linchpin for an emerging Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

 

But luring smart, high-priced medical talent to the region isn’t as impossible as you might think.

If you can get them to visit – that’s the key – Buffalo can convince them it is a city on the rise and they can be a part of building something special.

“People want to be in a place that’s moving forward with a vision,” said UB President Satish Tripathi. “The way I feel is, if we are able to clearly state our vision and provide them the resources to succeed, people will come.”

“You got to get them on the airplane,” said Dr. Anne Curtis, chairwoman of the department of medicine at UB, who was recruited a few years ago. “Get them on the airplane and get them here, and then we can do OK.”

That’s why Talal, Wolfe and Tomaszewski eventually came around to Buffalo, with dozens more expected to follow.

“I began to understand that there really is a new day in town,” said Tomaszewski, who came from Philadelphia more than a year ago.

The added faculty will allow UB to increase enrollment at the medical school, from which the region gets many of its future physicians.

In addition, these newly hired doctors – who will set up practices and labs and hold positions at area hospitals – will bring some needed depth and breadth to Buffalo’s medical community, as UB targets specialists in areas where the region has a shortage.

It’s helping set the stage for a better, 21st-century health care system, where people from the region can be treated for most any condition by local doctors, said Michael Cain, vice president of health sciences and dean of the medical school.

And in a way, it serves as a reminder that Buffalo really is making progress, especially when the community’s Rust Belt image is seen through the fresh eyes of these newcomers.

“We fell in love with the city,” said Dr. Anthony Martinez, an associate professor of medicine, who moved to Buffalo from San Diego in December. “It just feels like there’s something going on here. It’s hard to describe, it’s just something you feel.”

But first, you have to get them to Buffalo.

Seeing the potential

Actually, Cain said, it hasn’t been that difficult.

“In all the recruiting I’ve done in the past six years, I’ve had no one turn us down because it was Buffalo,” Cain said.

In fact, UB landed its top choice for each of the 10 leadership positions recently filled for the medical school, Cain said.

They see the potential in Buffalo.

UB and Kaleida Health opened a state-of-the-art research building last year on Ellicott Street.

An 11-story addition to Roswell Park Cancer Institute breaks ground this year.

A new Women & Children’s Hospital is expected to open in 2016 – as is UB’s $375 million medical school.

“If you come here,” Cain tells the recruits, “you’re going to be part of a growing, expanding academic health center, and after four or five years, you will feel that you have contributed to making something better.”

It’s a vision that attracted Curtis, who came to UB in 2010 from the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she was chief of cardiology.

“People who are builders get excited about that,” Curtis said. “They see an opportunity to put their mark on something.”

Buffalo also caught the attention of Dr. Vanessa Barnabei, who had other offers but came to UB last fall from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where she was director of obstetrics and gynecology.

“When I came here, I was very impressed by the opportunity for growth that’s going on, that’s being planned and is actually going to hwp-contenten,” Barnabei said. “You never know sometimes. People make these grand plans. But here, it really does look like it’s going to move forward.”

UB has been hiring for the medical school the past few years to fill vacancies and replace retired professors. Currently, the medical school has 720 full-time faculty members.

But the university wants to increase that number to as many as 850 over the next three years, as the need to train more physicians grows around the U.S.

A combination of resources – including philanthropy and money raised from state tuition increases – will be used to finance the school’s growth.

It’s that commitment of funds to build a better medical program at UB that helped lure Wolfe, who arrived at the end of 2011. He was recruited from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas to head the department of neurology at UB.

“This was not the first chair opportunity I was offered,” Wolfe said, “but looking back and hearing what hwp-contentened in those other situations, I’m glad I’m here. The level of state support – and even community support – doesn’t match what I’ve experienced here.”

That’s not to say the initial reaction to Buffalo is always enthusiastic.

Intriguing interview

Tomaszewski was recruited from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

As he arrived in Buffalo for his first interview, the Philadelphia native remembers looking out the window of the plane and thinking: “I am not coming to Buffalo.”

But Tomaszewski’s interview was intriguing. It turned into another visit, then another. And during every conversation, another dimension he found engaging was revealed. He became chairman of the department of pathology and anatomical sciences at UB in the fall of 2011.

“Buffalo has a whole bunch of cards assembled to be a first-rate, modern health care system in the model that’s going to be successful going forward,” he said.

Talal, who was recruited from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, had a similar reaction when he received an email from the search firm.

“Who wants to go to Buffalo?” Talal thought to himself.

He promptly deleted the email.

But after being asked to speak in Buffalo, Talal learned more about what was going on at the university and the emerging medical campus. His opinion was changing.

When Talal returned to Manhattan, he reached out to the search firm. It took his daughter getting admitted to City Honors School and his wife – who is also a professor – to be recruited by UB, but Talal eventually joined the university in September as chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.

“Buffalo is an interesting community in the sense you have a lot of very top-notch things, but they haven’t been highly publicized,” Talal said. “There’s a lot more here than the city is given credit for.”

Now the recruited have become the recruiters.

A rare opportunity

The doctors acknowledge that Buffalo can be a tough market to recruit.

It’s just enough out of the way and close enough to major metropolitan areas, where top talent would rather head, Barnabei said.

But they also believe the medical growth planned for Buffalo is a rare opportunity for faculty, especially at a time when schools around the country are trying to cut costs.

“A lot of academic medical centers in 2013 are not growing,” Curtis said. “They see health care changing. They don’t see a need for more people. They’re treading water. Their staffs are full.”

“There are good people coming out of training who want an academic career but are finding the opportunities are somewhat [more] limited than in the past,” Curtis said.

“Times are tight,” added Tomaszewski. “California is a good example. Because of its finances, it really had to downsize its state university system, so there’s a lot of faculty on the market.”

And once the prospects see Buffalo, they understand the wp-contenteal.

“I enjoy Buffalo,” Wolfe said. “I’ve become a big booster for the city. I have to be, but I can do it in a sincere fashion. There are great recreational opportunities. The arts are excellent. The restaurant scene holds its own very well in comparison to even larger cities. And the cost of living, from a real-estate standpoint, is a big bonus.”

Barnabei and Tomaszewski were struck by the friendliness of the community. He recalled moving into his office – arms full, fumbling with his access card – when a woman saw him from the third floor of the building and came down to open the door for him.

“If you keep an open mind enough to give it a chance, it’s the kind of place that the more you look the more you find,” Martinez said. “If you just give it a chance, the more it gets under your skin and grabs you.”

When Talal, his former mentor, recruited Martinez to Buffalo from the University of California, San Diego, Martinez and his wife rented a place in Elmwood Village for a week to determine if Buffalo would suit them.

Martinez, a native of Providence, R.I., and a huge hockey fan, immediately got Buffalo. He saw how the cold weather and tough economy shaped this community for the good.

“I’ve never been in a place that has such a strong sense of community. That seeps into the people and permeates out,” Martinez said. “It’s a great fit for my family and a great fit for me.”

email: jrey@buffnews.com

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