Mission

The mission of the Academic Health Center is to be a leader in the ethical, innovative, and efficient discovery and dissemination of knowledge to enhance the health and well-being of Minnesota, the nation, and the world.
 
Sr. Vice President for Health Sciences Frank Cerra
[E-mail: cerra001@maroon.tc.umn.edu]
School of Dentistry, Dean Michael Till
[E-mail: tillx001@maroon.tc.umn.edu]
Medical School, Minneapolis, Dean Alfred Michael
[E-mail: micha003@maroon.tc.umn.edu]
School of Nursing, Dean Sandra Edwardson
[E-mail: edwardso@mailbox.mail.umn.edu]
College of Pharmacy, Dean Marilyn Speedie
[E-mail: mspeedie@mailbox.mail.umn.edu]
School of Public Health, Dean Edith Leyasmeyer
[E-mail: leyasmey@mailbox.mail.umn.edu]
School of Medicine, Duluth, Dean Rick Ziegler
[E-mail: rziegler@d.umn.edu]
College of Veterinary Medicine, Interim Dean Jeffrey Klausner

[E-mail: klaus001@tc.umn.edu]
Affiliated Hospitals

About the Academic Health Center

In 1851, the seeds of the Academic Health Center were planted with territorial legislation that created the University of Minnesota and named medicine and science among five original academic disciplines. Over the past century and a half it has taken root, grown and flourished to become one of the most prominent health centers in the nation.
Today the AHC's seven professional schools, which produce the majority of Minnesota's health care work force, all rank in the nation's top 20. AHC faculty bring in $160 million a year in federal research funds, more than all but eight of U.S. research universities. The AHC is also an economic engine driving Minnesota's vibrant health care industry, contributing new technology, research resources, and trained workers. And perhaps not coincidentally, Minnesotans enjoy a very high quality of health--second on the U.S. health care index.
Centered on the Twin Cities campus, where the Medical School, the School of Public Health, the School of Dentistry, the College of Pharmacy and the School of Nursing are located, the AHC's boundaries extend north to the School of Medicine in Duluth, where rural practitioners are trained, and east to the quaint St. Paul Campus, site of the College of Veterinary Medicine. The AHC is also connected to a vast network of public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota to enable students to train in settings where many of them will eventually practice.
Training Minnesota's health care work force
Approximately 80 percent of the Minnesota's health care professionals are trained at the AHC. This year, some 5,000 students are enrolled in professional and graduate programs that will prepare them for careers as:
biomedical engineers

biomedical scientists
dental hygienists
dentists
health care administrators
medical technologists
morticians
nurses
occupational therapists
pharmacists
physical therapists
physicians
public health practitioners
veterinarians
National leadership
Widely recognized for leadership in cardiovascular medicine and organ and bone marrow transplantation among other fields, the Medical School has earned its share of "firsts" in the history of medicine. Some recent additions to that list include identification of the pathogen that causes Lyme disease, identification of the gene causing spinocerebellar ataxia, one of the world's first living-related donor bowel transplants, invention of a device that repairs the heart without surgery, transplantation of islet cells in the pancreas to treat diabetes, and the first gene therapy trial for Hunter's syndrome, a metabolic disorder.
The School of Public Health, long a leader in exploring dietary links to disease, is breaking ground with community programs to prevent substance abuse and violence, and also shaping public policy on health care issues. The College of Pharmacy, ranked third in the nation, is leading its field with pharmaceutical care, a new career direction that brings pharmacists into the clinic with patients and physicians to prevent adverse drug effects. At the School of Dentistry, faculty are working in partnership with industry to develop new technology and materials. The School of Nursing is expanding educational programs for advanced practice nurses--increasingly in demand in the job market. The School of Medicine in Duluth was ranked second in the nation in rural medicine and first in the percentage of its graduates that become primary care doctors by U.S. News and World Report [March 1996]. The College of Veterinary Medicine is conducting basic research in genetics and immunology that will have applications for both human and animal health. Outstanding programs among the Allied Health Professions include Medical Technology, which has more graduates than any other program in the U.S.
A wealth of research facilities
An impressive collection of research facilities offers faculty and students access to cutting edge technology. The most recent addition is the $62.7 million Basic Sciences and Biomedical Engineering Building, which brings together scientists from many disciplines to focus on neuroscience, immunology, structural biology, cellular and molecular biology, and biomedical engineering.
Other research facilities include:
the Masonic Cancer Research Center, a new multi-million dollar facility overlooking the Mississippi River

the Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics Center, a facility for manufacturing biological agents used in clinical trials
the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, where large bore nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers are used to image activity in the brain and other biological systems,
the Brain Sciences Center at the affiliated Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center (MVAMC), where innovative technology is used to study neuromuscular control, and the MVAMC's PET Center where clinically oriented imaging research is conducted in cardiology, neurology, and psychiatry, and
the Electron Microscopy (EM) facility, a research and development unit which provides access to state-of-the-art equipment, education in preparation of specimens and use of specialized equipment, and full service electron microscopy transmission or scanning.
Contributing to Minnesota's economic health
The Academic Health Center also supports Minnesota's health care industry--the leading industry in the state, surpassing agriculture, the food industry and computer technology. Employing 217,000 Minnesotans and generating billions of dollars a year, these businesses range from health care providers and insurers to medical product manufacturers. Since a partnership between surgeon Walton Lillihei and engineering graduate Earl Bakken in the 1950s that resulted in the invention of the pacemaker and founding of Medtronic, more than 400 biomedical companies and health care organizations have sprung up along Medical Alley, an industrial corridor that extends from Rochester in the south through the Twin Cities to Duluth in the north.
Weathering adversity
Like academic health centers nationwide, the University's AHC faces many challenges: the managed care revolution, declining public funding, and advances in information technology that are changing the way education is delivered. At the forefront of the changing health care scene, the AHC is responding with innovative solutions, such as merging University Hospital with the Fairview Health System, internal reorganization, curriculum redesign to meet changing job market demands, initiatives to train more primary care practioners, forging partnerships with industry, and reaching out to Minnesota patients, students, and health care providers with interactive video conferencing.
Like the first buds of spring, these ideas show that the Academic Health Center's strong roots will enable it to weather the climate of change. And in the coming year, it will be further strengthened with plans to improve outreach services, change the number and type of health care professionals trained, make education and research services more competitive, strengthen financial management, and develop compensation systems that reward faculty and staff for productivity and creativity.
For more information on the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center, contact the Office of Communicatons at 612-624-5100 or E-mail ahcweb@tc.umn.edu
 
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