The value of connections became more apparent than ever this past year

Because of the pandemic, teams across The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center were forced to change how we interacted and invent new ways to partner. While certainly a challenge, the virtual separation gave us an even greater appreciation for the in-person collaboration we had previously enjoyed and are now returning to more regularly. It also made us keenly aware of the unique advantages we enjoy as part of one of the largest academic health centers in the country at one of the largest university systems in the United States.

As a department, we emphasize the interdependence of education, research and clinical care. Our surgeons are supported by a team of engaged researchers, and our integration of students, faculty and clinicians across projects provides rich opportunities for learning from so many different perspectives and experience levels. These partnerships can extend to all departments within the medical center and the university at large.

Within just the medical center, there are over 23,000 dedicated team members in nearly every medical discipline. We have been nationally ranked as a “Best Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report for 29 consecutive years and 10 of our specialties were named to the 2021-2022 list, with 13 common procedures and conditions selected as high performing.

Beyond the medical center, The Ohio State University has more than 200 academic centers and institutes within 18 colleges and schools. The university is the #1 producer of Fulbright Scholars in the nation, #3 in industry-sponsored research and a Top 12 public research university. We are also ranked by U.S. News among the Top 10 public universities for innovation, a ranking that identifies our leading approach to curriculum, campus life, technology and facilities. As you review the advancements our department made this past year, you’ll see the wide variety of interdisciplinary and interprofessional teams that helped us advance patient care and discover diagnostic and treatment breakthroughs. Such a wide array of connections is only possible at a place like Ohio State.

Our surgical team is also fortunate to have access to more than 100 Ohio State Wexner Medical Center buildings that house the most technologically advanced research, teaching and patient care programs in the region. This includes seven hospitals, the single largest research facility on The Ohio State University campus, a Central Sterile Supply building that improves efficiency and patient safety, and the Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center, which is a state-of-the-art training center for medical students and other health professionals.

In addition, significant new construction projects already underway are an exciting indicator of the medical center’s continued commitment to innovation.

  • A new 26-story, 1.9 million-square-foot inpatient hospital scheduled to open in 2026 will serve as a model for 21st-century health care, and three new outpatient care facilities are soon to open across central Ohio to provide more convenient access to outpatient surgery, endoscopy, specialty surgical clinics and more.
  • The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center will provide upgraded and flexible facilities to create a collaborative campus for interprofessional education throughout the Health Sciences.
  • In our new Innovation District, the Interdisciplinary Research Facility will house approximately 305,000 new square feet in a five-story laboratory building to serve multiple research disciplines in a single collaborative space.

It’s an exciting time for the Ohio State Department of Surgery with new team members, new possibilities and a supportive environment that emphasizes individual goals and the unique perspectives and experiences that strengthen each of us. We’re incredibly proud of our collective emphasis on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as the forward-thinking emphasis on sustainability and community health care initiatives. Ohio State was among the first in the nation to declare racism a social determinant of health, and we continue to emphasize the importance of proactive health care for minority communities and opportunities for those underrepresented in medicine.

I hope you will take the time to explore our individual division accomplishments from Fiscal Year ’21, which we believe best demonstrate the power of teamwork, cooperation and professional alliances. In addition, please know that we always welcome any inquiries or opportunities for research or referrals with teams from other medical centers, universities and other community, corporate or government organizations as well.

The best solutions always come from connections.

Sincerely,

Timothy M. Pawlik, MD, MPH, MTS, PhD
Timothy Pawlik, MD, MPH, PhD
Chair, Department of Surgery
The Urban F. Meyer III and Shelley M. Meyer Chair for Cancer Research
Surgeon in Chief