Robert M. Califf, MD

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The average red blood cell lives for 120 days.
Moving Forward while Acknowledging the Past

I have received over 300 messages about the 60 Minutes segment.  The overall tenor has been very positive with expressions of support and hope that we can move on with a better institution because of the improvements that will result from our learning from this situation.  Many leaders external to the institution have sent messages of support and encouragement, with the most common comments relating to the importance of the fact that we have been open and transparent since recognizing the fundamental issues and the gravity of the situation.  “This is what great institutions do” seems to be the most common comment.

I have also heard a concern from both our internal community and the external world that we will breathe a sigh of relief and forget the root cause of the problems that led to so much public attention.  The TMQF principles are at the core: data provenance, adequate quantitative collaboration, accountability and open dialogue about issues beyond the individual lab and systems to deal with conflict of interest.  We need to assure both the internal and external world that we are following through with our commitments.  At the same time we need to recognize that there are complex issues in operationalizing these principles across an entire institution.  We are working on a plan for enabling our faculty and staff to follow our progress.  This blog will certainly be one source.

Finally, I have heard from some that there is still confusion about what exactly happened.  60 Minutes did a thorough investigation and I believe that they found that all of the important events were already publicly available.  I believe the whole story can be found on publicly available documents and the 60 Minutes story.  We are committed to continuing transparency as we move forward.

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