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TEAM Update: Medical Advisory Council Meets


As we work together to build an integrated academic medical enterprise that fully leverages our excellence in teaching, research and patient care, I write to share a brief update about the Transformative Excellence in Academic Medicine initiative, also known as TEAM.

The previously announced Steering Committee has met weekly for about five weeks. As communicated previously, this group of leaders will advise me and make recommendations to me as I make decisions related to TEAM. 

In addition, the Medical Advisory Council met for the first time a few days ago. The critical role of this group of faculty and researchers will be to review and vet data, provide input, and to assist in sharing information with you — members of our School of Medicine and SLUCare community. 

During its first meeting, the council discussed the TEAM process, which is getting under way with a data-driven analysis of our essential operations. They share my view that we need data to drive our decisions; I know you share this view too. While a work plan is still under development, I anticipate sharing results of this analysis with you in a couple of months.  

Gathering input from the community is vitally important as well. If you have not completed the recent survey that was sent to you, please do so by Friday. This survey focuses on how our community’s culture supports our mission and goals.  About 500 people have responded so far.  Going forward, we will work to establish a number of ways for you to share input and to ask questions, including open forums, small group dialogues and one-on-one interviews. Look for more about these opportunities in future communications.

The thirst for change at SLU — particularly in the School of Medicine and SLUCare — is invigorating. The enthusiasm for change expressed by the Medical Advisory Council was also tempered by appropriate caution about transforming our community. For one, they noted that trust is an important concern that we must address if we are to move forward together.

I believe in our mission and cherish our identity as a Catholic, Jesuit community dedicated to better health for all. However we cannot fully deliver on our mission without a foundation of trust. I trust our clinicians, scientists, and staff to exhibit integrity — striving to do the right thing, at the right time, every time. I have every reason to trust our faculty and staff because of the strong commitment I have seen across our School of Medicine.  I also ask all of you to trust that our leaders are motivated by the singular goal of making SLU’s medical school the best it can be.  

I also see that we are united by a call to work in academic medicine because we value what that means for society's wellbeing today and for generations to come. Beyond the work we do each day here in the St. Louis region, we make a profound impact on the health of millions of people through the outstanding work of our alumni across the country and around the world.

As we prepare them for bright futures, our students and trainees need to see us live our mission and to practice the excellence it demands. They need to see our hope and optimism. And they must see our love for what we do. In short, we must be what we want them to become. 

There are many examples of this in the School of Medicine and SLUCare. Individuals such as Dr. John Morley, director of geriatric medicine, who was recognized as one of the most highly cited scientists of our times and an excellent model for us all. Thanks, John! 

Amid the chaos of your daily work this week, I ask that you go out of your way to show a student, resident or co-worker what it means to live our mission and how we achieve the excellence expected of us. This is one way we can build trust and pride in our community. And we are a great community, called to a very special purpose, and I am so excited to be part of it. I thank you for being the trustworthy, committed professionals you are because our patients, students, and residents are depending on us.  

Open communication is a guiding principle of the TEAM initiative. In the weeks and months ahead, I and others will provide you with regular updates. Further, a website is being built to share information and collect input, and we plan to provide more information on that soon.  

In the meantime, please share your comments, ideas and concerns by sending an email to Our three TEAM project managers, Dr. Yadira Hurley, Ali Kosydor and Mickey Luna, welcome your emails or phone calls as well. Please join me in thanking them for agreeing to manage an initiative so essential to the future of our integrated academic medical enterprise — and the patients, students, residents and others that we are here to serve.


Kevin E. Behrns, M.D.
Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
1402 South Grand Blvd M268
St. Louis, MO 63103
Phone: 314-977-9801

TEAM Medical Advisory Council Members

+ Dr. Oscar Cruz
+ Dr. Dan Hoft
+ Dr. Mary McLennan
+ Dr. Charlene Prather
+ Dr. Henry Randall
+ Dr. Sameer Siddiqui
+ Dr. Bob Wilmott

Project Managers

+ Dr. Yadira Hurley
+ Ali Kosydor
+ Mickey Luna

Steering Committee

+ Dr. Kevin Behrns
+ Dr. Robert Heaney
+ Dr. Eric Armbrecht
+ David Heimburger
+ Gary Whitworth