UNMC chancellor candidate has overseen building boom in Toledo - LivewellNebraska.com
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UNMC chancellor candidate has overseen building boom in Toledo

Dr. Jeffrey Gold won't be surprised to see construction equipment at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where a building boom is taking place.

Gold, who will visit UNMC today as the new, sole finalist for the chancellorship of UNMC, has presided over a building boom of his own on the University of Toledo health sciences campus. A $36 million simulation center is being erected there, and a $10.5 million cancer center has been built. Hospital patient rooms have been renovated and other improvements have taken place at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

In all, more than $100 million in construction has taken place on the campus since Gold, 61, arrived from New York in 2005, a university spokeswoman said. Gold is chancellor and executive vice president of biosciences and health affairs as well as executive dean of the medical college at the University of Toledo. Generally he oversees the university's health and medical enterprise. The executive director of the hospital reports to Gold, who reports to University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs.

Gold will give a public presentation today at 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium of UNMC's Durham Research Center I. He met with NU leaders and search committee members last month.

“I enjoyed it, and they've given me the courtesy and honor of inviting me back,” Gold told The World-Herald. “I think it's a wonderful institution in a great community.”

Gold is a thoracic surgeon who has focused largely on heart surgeries. But he hasn't performed surgery in about nine years, he said, because of administrative duties.
He said his finest accomplishments in Toledo have included “building a team of remarkable individuals who are dedicated to what they do.”

Asked Thursday evening if he has experienced disappointments, he said: “Not really.”

Even when a nurse accidentally discarded a kidney intended for transplantation last year at the University of Toledo hospital, he said, it was “an opportunity to look at systems and processes and continue to refine quality programs.”

The hospital's kidney transplant program is stronger now and hospital representatives have spoken nationally about lessons learned about the importance of practice and simulation, he said.

The huge simulation center going up on his campus will enable doctors to practice surgical techniques. Three-dimensional computer images will allow students and health care workers to walk through parts of the body. They will work in virtual intensive care units and trauma suites.

Gold said engineering students will develop software for virtual environments, and community paramedics will use the facility to hone their skills. “It's a university resource. It's a community resource.”

The current UNMC chancellor, Dr. Harold Maurer, announced more than a year ago that he would move into a fundraising role for UNMC's new cancer center by June 2013. But he has stayed on as chancellor because four finalists have withdrawn from contention over the past several months.

NU President James B. Milliken said through a press release that Gold was identified by the university's search consulting firm, Isaacson, Miller, while in consultation with Milliken and Dr. Jim Linder, search committee chairman. Gold is the only finalist under consideration now.

Linder apologized for the short notice of Gold's Friday appearance.

Returning to the drawing board for another finalist after an initial slate is selected isn't out of the ordinary, Linder said, “particularly for these types of leadership positions where the candidates may be looking at other positions.” In addition, he said, “after they become candidates here, their home institution will try to retain them. That's always a risk at this level.”

He said the search identified Gold as “a person with the diverse skill set needed.”

An NU press release cited, for example, Gold's roles in fundraising (“The health sciences now account for roughly half of all universitywide annual giving, severalfold what they were 10 years ago”) and in a 2006 merger of the University of Toledo and Medical University of Ohio (“bringing broad groups of stakeholders together around a common mission”).

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