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Message from our Director

Dr. ClarkOn behalf of the faculty, fellows, and staff of the Johns Hopkins Division of General Internal Medicine, I am delighted to welcome you to our website.

Hopkins GIM is home to 90 full-time faculty members and has an annual budget of over $40 million. Our mission is nothing less than international leadership in teaching, research, and practice in general internal medicine.

Our educators hold leadership positions in medical student education, residency training, and continuing medical education at Hopkins and have won national awards for excellence. Our researchers have built internationally recognized research programs in a wide range of fields: medical ethics; health services and outcomes research; comparative effectiveness; evidence-based medicine; and the epidemiology and prevention of major chronic diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, HIV, depression and mental illness, and chronic kidney disease. All of this co-exists with the practice of general internal medicine at the highest level of excellence whether in the office, the clinic or the historic wards of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. You can read about our history on our web page entitled Hopkins GIM: 35 Years of Medicine Without Limits.

We are particularly proud of our GIM Fellowship which has trained leaders in academic medicine for over 25 years and has been a major source of new faculty recruits to our own Division. Led first by Dr. Eric Bass and subsequently by Dr. Jeanne Clark and Dr. Geetanjali Chander, the program has trained over 140 fellows. Dr. Chander has now taken over the helm as Fellowship Director, with Dr. Nisa Maruthur and Dr. Craig Pollack as Co-Directors. Alumni serve in the US and abroad as Division Directors, Residency Program Directors, Research Professors, and Deans.

The past academic year was an eventful one for the Division on a variety of fronts.

We were delighted to make several new leadership appointments for 2012. We have a new Clinical Director--Dr. Bimal Ashar; a new Director of the Green Spring Station practice--Dr. Kim Peairs; a new Fellowship Director--Dr. Geetanjali Chander; and two new Fellowship Co-Directors--Dr. Nisa Maruthur and Dr. Craig Pollack.

Several GIM faculty received recognition within the University. Dr. Ebony Boulware won the President's Research Recognition Award of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, based on her investigation of racial disparities in kidney failure and transplantation. Dr. David Levine, a former GIM Division Chief and Head of the Nathans College in the School of Medicine, was elected to the Hopkins chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha. Dr. Joe Cofrancesco won the Professors' Award for Teaching Excellence in the Clinical Sciences. Dr. Cofrancesco also won a David M. Levine Award for Mentorship from the Department of Medicine. A Levine Award was also given to Dr. Joe Coresh-a Professor of Epidemiology with a joint appointment in GIM who has a sterling track record of mentoring fellows in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Lenny Feldman was chosen by the medical students as one of two "Hooders" of the medical graduates and was chosen by the Osler Medical Residents to receive a coveted Osler Tie.

Two former GIM Fellows joined the elite Society of Scholars at Johns Hopkins: Dr. Teri Manolio, who heads the Office of Population Genomics at the National Genome Research Institute and Dr. Stephen McPhee, a Professor of Medicine at UCSF.

Dr. Lisa Cooper, a MacArthur Award winner, member of the IOM, and Director of an NHLBI-funded disparities center was installed as the James F. Fries Professor of Medicine. (The Chair was previously held by Dr. Neil Powe, now the Chair of Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital.) Dr. Steve Sisson, a renowned clinician-educator and founder of the widely used Johns Hopkins Internet Learning Center was named the Phillip Tumulty, MD Chair of Medicine. Dr. Tumulty was a venerated general internist at Hopkins for decades and the first Chief of the GIM Division.

Dr. Eric Bass, Director of the AHRQ-funded Evidence Based Practice Center and a former Editor of JGIM was elected President of SGIM. His term will begin in April 2013. That makes him the second SGIM President at Johns Hopkins. The first was Dr. Bob Lawrence, now at the Bloomberg School of Public Health with a joint appointment in GIM.

Called "paradigm shifting" by the NIDDK and named 'best paper of the year' by SGIM, the Johns Hopkins POWER Trial made big waves following its publication in NEJM in November 2011. The lead author of the article and PI of the study was GIM's Dr. Lawrence Appel. The trial demonstrated that a telephone- and web-based weight loss program could produce and sustain 4-5% weight loss in primary care settings. Developed and deployed in collaboration with Healthways, Inc., an institutional partner of Johns Hopkins Medicine, the trial led to the development of a commercial weight loss program (Innergy) which bears the Hopkins name-a university first. Dr. Appel's GIM co-investigators included Drs. Jeanne Clark, Gail Daumit, HC Jessica Yeh, Nae-Yuh Wang, and Fred Brancati.

GIM Faculty were honored by professional organizations regionally and nationally. Dr. Dan Brotman, Director of the JHH Hospitalist Program, was named a "Top Doc" in Baltimore Magazine and received the Outstanding Hospitalist Award from the Maryland Chapter of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Wendy Bennett won the 2012 MidAtlantic SGIM Clinician Investigator Award. Five GIM faculty were elected to Fellowship in the American College of Physicians: from the full-time faculty, Drs. Muhammad Amer and April Fitzgerald and from the part-time faculty, Drs. John Aucott, Maura McGuire, and Anand Parekh. Dr. Felicia Hill-Briggs won the coveted Nelson Butters Award from the National Academy of Neuropsychology for her work on cognitive deficits in older diabetic adults. Two GIM Assistant Professors received perfect '10s' on their K23 applications: Dr. Anika Alvanzo and Dr. Raquel Charles Greer. And Dr. Larry Appel was elected to the Institute of Medicine where he joins Dr. Lisa Cooper, Dr. Jeremy Sugarman, and five other faculty with joint appointments in GIM (together accounting for 20% of all IOM members at Johns Hopkins University).

GIM faculty attracted media attention. Dr. Craig Pollack's work on the medical consequences of home foreclosure was featured in the New York Times and on American Public Radio's Marketplace. Full-time faculty member Dr. Claire Snyder and joint faculty member Dr. Albert Wu starred in a You Tube video entitled "Web Based System Helps Doctors, Patients Communicate." The Baltimore Sun picked up on the work of post-doctoral fellow Dr. Meghana Gadgil on the beneficial physiologic effects of a Mediterranean diet. Dr. Henry Mitchtalik's research on readmission and mortality in heart failure patients was featured in a video in Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science. Dr. Jay Vaidya's high profile BMJ paper, which overturned conventional wisdom on heart disease risk and menopause, was featured in US News, UPI, the Minneapolis Post, and numerous medical websites. And Dr. Sonal Singh's CMAJ article on heart disease risk related to the anti-smoking drug varenicline (Chantix, Pfizer) was covered by ABC, CBS, CNN, BBC News, Bloomberg News, The NY Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

In May 2012, the School of Medicine received word that its signature proposal to reform in- and outpatient care in East Baltimore would be funded by CMS under its Innovation Challenge program. Three GIM faculty members played key roles in winning the $19.9M grant nicknamed "J-CHiP": Drs. Hunter Young, Dan Brotman, and Fred Brancati.

Finally, Johns Hopkins University bestowed generous and unexpected honors upon GIM's Director and Associate Director. In March, 2012, Dr. Fred Brancati was named a Distinguished Service Professor by the Board of Trustees and assumed the Samsung Chair of Medicine, previously held by GIM's Dr. David Levine. In May 2012, Dr. Jeanne Clark won the Associate Vice Dean's Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty on the basis of her fearless leadership of the Department of Medicine's Women's Task Force and her outstanding mentorship of female fellows and junior faculty. And in June 2012, we shared a special honor: the School of Medicine created an endowed chair in the name of Frederick Brancati, MD and promptly installed Dr. Clark as its inaugural occupant. The Chair is dedicated for the support of the GIM Division Chief.

Which brings us to the latest bit of GIM news: effective January 1, 2013, Dr. Brancati resigned the Chief post to devote more time to research and scholarship. Dr. Clark was immediately named Interim Director and began negotiating to take the post permanently. She asked Dr. Brancati to assist her as Associate Director, a post he held until his untimely death from ALS in May 2013.

Ask Hopkins faculty what makes the place special, however, and you won't hear about size, or growth, or grants, or programs. You'll hear about our history--a history of a band of young scholars who moved to a provincial city to gamble on a fledgling school that was radically oriented toward training and who saw it change the face of American medicine in their lifetimes. You'll also hear about the collegial culture they created--a culture that persists to this day in form of unusually strong relationships across traditional boundaries of Divisions, Departments, and Schools. We like to think of Hopkins GIM as a special heir to those twin birthrights: at the cross-roads of scientific inquiry and at the center of the School's mission to train the leaders and healers of tomorrow in the tradition of Welch and Osler.

Jeanne M. Clark, MD, MPH
Frederick Brancati, MD Professor of Medicine
Joint Appointment in Epidemiology
Interim Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Core Faculty, Welch Center
Johns Hopkins University


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