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April 24, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

As the end of the fiscal year approaches and plans for FY 2013 are finalized, I want to share very important information regarding upcoming changes at the Miller School of Medicine.

Over the past several years, the University has made significant investments in its people, programs, technologies and facilities at the Miller School. We purchased the University of Miami Hospital and began to form the comprehensive, integrated UHealth system that is undeniably needed to provide top-tier clinical care in the years ahead. While we are seeing many positive results, there are also a variety of challenges facing the school, its partners and the health care industry as a whole.

Unprecedented factors—like the global economic downturn which began in late 2008, decreased state and federal funding for research and clinical care, and tightening within the health insurance industry—have had a detrimental impact on the school’s finances. And we are not immune from the financial struggles of our partners at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Cutbacks in the annual operating agreement and reductions in volumes at UM/Jackson clinics have had a profound effect on our finances.

With these challenges in mind, the Miller School is making changes to ensure it continues to achieve its mission of providing the highest quality health care, research and education. Changes will include a significant reduction in costs, including staffing. Reductions will not impact clinical care or our patients and will primarily focus on unfunded research and administrative areas.

The process will take place in stages, and affected employees will be notified during the month of May. We will take great care to treat those colleagues who are affected with sensitivity and respect. They will be supported by our human resources policies and additional assistance programs.

These are difficult and painful but necessary steps that will affect all of us. Dean Goldschmidt and his team are outlining long-term plans that reflect a more efficient, effective and sustainable infrastructure at the school and throughout the UHealth system. We ask for everyone’s cooperation in the days and weeks ahead and that we support one another and our critical responsibilities to serve our students, patients and the greater community.

Let me reaffirm our continued commitment to our partnership with Jackson Memorial Hospital. As we have always done, our priority is to ensure that future arrangements not only benefit the University, but also Jackson’s long-term viability while meeting the needs of the people of Miami-Dade County.

Thank you for your dedication and understanding. We will work through these challenging times together.