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edu [22.214.171.124] #+LO+HN+TR X-Umn-Classification: local X-Umn-Remote-Mta: [N] x-160-94-186-116.surg.umn.edu [126.96.36.199] #+LO+TS+AU+HN X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 188.8.131.52 Approved-By: Aaron Friedman <ahccomm@TC.UMN.EDU> Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2011 15:45:40 -0600 Reply-To: Aaron Friedman <email@example.com> From: Aaron Friedman <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Response to Regents' Statement To: ALL-AHC-ALL@LSOFT.AHC.UMN.EDU Sender: owner-all-ahc-all@LSOFT.AHC.UMN.EDU Dear colleagues, Yesterday afternoon, the University's Board of Regents responded to a call from some of our faculty members to further investigate the events surrounding the tragic suicide of patient Dan Markingson five years ago. The Regents' response included a detailed analysis by General Counsel Mark Rotenberg of the specific charges of the late November letter, and can be reviewed here. There has been extensive external review of the events at both a state and federal level, as well as within our University, and I know there will remain opinions surrounding this tragic incident. I see the Regents' statement as the end of the University's review of this specific patient's case. As a result of this case, our department of psychiatry has experienced significant scrutiny and withering criticism over the past five years, and through it all, the faculty of the department have performed remarkably well in fulfilling its mission. When Chuck Schulz was recruited as chair ten years ago, he came to the University with a strong reputation in place and promised to build a solid program in education, research, and patient care. That he has done. His leadership has led to the recruitment of seventeen productive faculty members engaged in a wide range of mental health clinical care and leading research. The number of University graduates choosing the field of psychiatry for their residency and future careers has jumped from three to fifteen, increasing the number of new physician psychiatrists to care for patients. And the number of NIH grants to the department has more than doubled, with a tripling of the funding amount. These are all marks of a successful program under able leadership in the Medical School. In addition, I also want to note that Stephen Olson continues to dedicate much of his work to treatment-resistant psychosis, and continues to treat some of the most complex psychiatric cases within the Fairview health system. There is one issue underlying these ongoing accusations that I would like to address here,
and that is the idea that somehow, engaging in research funded by industry is a practice to always avoid. When our physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, veterinarians, and public health professionals discover new ideas, new knowledge, or new treatments, it's our job to ensure that knowledge becomes widely available. That’s our mission on behalf of the public good. In academia, we publish those results in peer-reviewed journals, and sometimes, those results are picked up by existing or emerging businesses. That's a good outcome and something we promote as the state's land grant institution with an expectation for the public’s benefit. We all work within a university that sees the value of working with industry to further our research and service missions. And yes, we need to carefully oversee those relationships to ensure any conflicts are recognized and managed, and the new University policies in place have been developed to do just that. I am certain there will be further discussion of private support of research at a public university, and I look forward to a thoughtful airing of those issues. Aaron Friedman, M.D. Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Medical School