Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the medical faculty, opened the retreat by highlighting many of the markers of Cedars-Sinai's ascension as a major, national research institution and leader in specialized clinical care. Among the figures he cited:
- Cedars-Sinai ranked No. 10 nationally in National Institutes of Health funding in FY20 among independent hospitals, and it anticipates more than $130 million in FY22.
- Surgical teams completed a record 573 solid organ transplants in 2021, capping a steady rise in cases over nearly two decades.
- Investigators conducted 2,300 research projects in basic, translational, clinical and health services research in 2021. They published 2,600 articles, many in the most prestigious, peer-reviewed journals, including Cell, Nature, Circulation, Science journals, The Lancet, PNAS, and The New England Journal of Medicine.
- And in 2021, Cedars-Sinai once again was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in the nation, ranking No. 6 nationally in the magazine's "Best Hospitals 2021-22" analysis. The organization also ranked nationally in 11 specialties, and seven of those ranked in the Top 10, while cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology and GI surgery, orthopaedics, pulmonology and lung surgery and urology were ranked No. 1 in California.
"We have one of the very best academic medical centers in the nation," Melmed told the retreat in his opening remarks. "You deserve the congratulations, and it's reflected in your peer recognition."
Melmed outlined a five-year strategic vision to expand the academic enterprise and strengthen an already exceptional Cedars-Sinai research community. He pledged to augment Cedars-Sinai’s premier international recognition for clinical excellence and transform the institution’s unique biomedical discoveries into better health. Melmed said that Cedars-Sinai will:
- Maintain international leadership in heart, cancer, transplantation, gastroenterology, stroke, high risk obstetrics and surgical specialties.
- Innovate management of chronic and degenerative diseases, including neurologic, rheumatologic, pulmonary, diabetes, metabolic and autoimmune disorders.
- Develop a comprehensive world-class children’s health enterprise with vertically integrated care and discovery.
- Achieve National Cancer Institute designation by expanding clinical and translational cancer research.
- Lead initiatives to achieve health equity and optimize access for all populations.
Over the coming five years, the academic enterprise will measure its success in several specific ways. It will:
- Exceed $250 million in competitive federal funding while increasing awards to underrepresented groups by 50%.
- Enroll 20% of our patients in interventional clinical trials.
- Achieve a 50% revenue increase from Technology Ventures.
- Attain a 50% increase in yearly philanthropy.
To align the vision for the Cedars-Sinai academic enterprise, the retreat featured breakout sessions facilitated by an array of faculty. These included an update on development of the new Department of Computational Biomedicine, the latest on the Guerin Children's health initiative and Cedars-Sinai's plans to expand its research and clinical digital presence.
Faculty also led sessions on Cedars-Sinai’s commitment to diversity and inclusion—a core element of the institution’s mission. A panel focused on how to make Cedars-Sinai more inclusive. Another session highlighted initiatives to improve health equity for underserved populations by working with the LGBTQ+ community to address cancer screening issues.
A session explored efforts to raise the scientific and scholarly caliber of graduate medical education (GME)—a major priority in developing a pipeline of next-generation investigators.
"We are all in agreement that strengthening our graduate school and GME programs will elevate our academic enterprise, which in turn, will impact the success of the institution," said Nicole Leonard, JD, MBA, vice president and associate dean of Research.