Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley ’82 praised HMS faculty, affiliates, students and staff for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic and reiterated institutional values in his speech on school status on Zoom Tuesday.
“More than anything, I want to express my gratitude for all that each of you has done and continues to do to ensure the health and safety of our community at every phase of this relentless pandemic,” he said. stated in his speech.
HMS, along with the rest of the University, switched to virtual learning in March 2020. To prepare for a high volume of coronavirus patients, fourth-year students were given the opportunity to graduate in April 2020 to reach medical staff as quickly as possible. .
Last year’s freshman medical cohort began their fall semester remotely, although she was invited to campus in January due to the practical nature of her program. HMS has since switched to teaching primarily in person this fall.
In his speech, Daley said that HMS was emerging from a decade of financial difficulty following the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 when he joined as Dean in 2017. According to Daley, HMS management and the team financial have devised a plan to combat instability.
HMS met its fundraising goal of $ 750 million in February 2018, amid concerns over the remaining financial results of the new $ 260 million research building that opened in 2003.
Following the success of the school’s financial turnaround plan, he said, the Blavatnik Family Foundation donated $ 200 million at the end of 2018, the largest donation ever. school history.
HMS funneled the funds to IT infrastructure, digital systems and research, Daley said. He also argued that the school’s reinvigorated financial situation has enabled them to respond to the pandemic in a meaningful way.
“With these building blocks in place, the HMS was well positioned when the pandemic struck, ready to nimbly redirect our efforts towards a comprehensive and outright attack on the coronavirus,” he said.
Daley said the pandemic shows the importance of collaboration, citing collaborative efforts such as the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness, HMS’s $ 30 million alliance with pharmaceutical company AbbVie to study and develop therapies for fight against viral infections like Covid-19, and the hiring of cohorts of professors.
Daley also noted HMS ‘many efforts to promote “a climate of inclusion and belonging” by improving recruitment and retention and adopting new promotion criteria. He stressed that professors at HMS are working to promote equity in the delivery of health care, especially during the pandemic.
One of the key principles of HMS’s mission, said Daley, is to make science and medical education “accessible to all.” He said HMS has expanded scholarship opportunities for admitted students and has seen an increase in enrollments last year.
“We strive to ensure that no medical student graduates with such heavy debt that their career choice is dictated more by financial need than by idealism and a desire to serve,” said Daley.
He added that HMS is “looking for a visionary donor” who can facilitate the goal of accessibility to education. Its appeal for donations follows recent donations from alumni to Harvard’s economics department and the Asian American Studies program.
Additionally, Daley said the financial “strength” of HMS would create a stable base for research and education. He noted that ministries have already cut costs and that HMS has diversified its funding sources.
“We need to achieve financial strength and robustness,” he said. “This priority is the foundation on which we can monitor our greatest ambitions for the future. “
—Editor-in-Chief Ariel H. Kim can be contacted at [email protected]