To the Editor:

The article “Med Center Deficit Over $22 Million” (The Hoya, A1, Feb. 23, 2012) focused on Georgetown University Medical Center’s debt, but it failed to articulate any of the Medical Center’s contributions to the university and its proven efforts to advance human health.

Approximately 85 percent of the university’s funded research is housed in the Medical Center, and is central to the university’s mission and historic identity. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has categorized Georgetown as a “very high research activity” university, based largely on GUMC’s research. Georgetown is only one of 27 universities across the United States that has a prestigious Clinical Translational Science Award, and our cancer center carries the distinguished designation as a “Comprehensive Cancer Center” from the National Cancer Institute.

At GUMC, we invest in the sciences that significantly enhance our understanding of diseases and disorders. Also, Georgetown’s mission of social justice is evident in our various programs for the underserved, who depend on care provided by the Capital Breast Cancer Center and the Hoya Clinic in Washington, D.C.

None of these efforts would be possible without investment. We support our research enterprise through several resources, including federally funded competitive grants, philanthropy, intellectual property and the support of the university.

No biomedical research enterprise breaks even. Each requires institutional investment. At GUMC, we pride ourselves on conducting biomedical research in the most cost-effective manner. We are developing and implementing a new fiscal structure born out of the Medical Center’s Strategic Planning Initiative to respond to the challenging external funding environment. At the same time, this structure creates a roadmap for sustainable growth that leverages our strengths and opportunities for success as an academic medical center.

GUMC is so much more than just a number in a headline — our doctors and students make a difference in the daily health of the people in our community, and our faculty and staff educate and prepare our students to excel as tomorrow’s health care workforce. Our biomedical researchers contribute to advancing discoveries and treatments for millions around the country and the world.

Howard Federoff

Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine

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