A Message from the President
I am so pleased to begin my term as president of the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine Alumni association. I follow in some big footsteps: my friend Omar Khan, M.D.’03 set a high bar with his leadership throughout a challenging
time—the greatest health crisis in a century. Throughout the pandemic, backed by our great alumni association staff, Omar worked hard to keep us connected to our medical alma mater, and I know I speak for the entire community of Larner grads
when I thank him for his leadership.
Here on campus in Burlington, things are settling down to a “new normal”—with in-person and hybrid meetings and classes. COVID never stopped progress at our College of Medicine. There were many research achievements during the pandemic,
including practice guidelines changing research about COVID. Extramural research funding is at an all-time high. I was thrilled that more medical students than ever completed alumni funded research projects this summer; they are the hope for our
future. And we are all extremely happy to see the final steps in the completion of the new Firestone Medical Research Building. Larner scientists and their research teams and students start to move into its labs this fall with great anticipation.
Research is challenging under the best of circumstances. We go to work each day trying to improve people’s health and lives. At UVM we have remarkable researchers from many disciplines who collaborate and innovate together across this University.
To accomplish this now and in the future requires modern spaces to support our research and allow us to convene across disciplines. Those facilities are vital to continuing to attract outstanding new faculty and students from different backgrounds
who are focused on discovering new treatments and cures. The positive impact of the new Firestone Building cannot be understated. As a UVM scientist myself, we are all so thankful to the many alumni who have supported its fundraising, particularly
our lead donor, Dr. Steve Firestone from the Class of 1969. I’ve personally supported this project, and I hope that all our graduates will consider doing the same. No donation is too small.
The new Firestone Building is not the only milestone this year. Next May we will celebrate the 200th anniversary commencement at our College! You’ll see many important moments in our history detailed in this issue of Vermont Medicine, with more
to come through our bicentennial year. In 1823, just four students were granted M.D.s. More than 120 new physicians will graduate in 2023. What changes we’ve seen in the art and science of medicine over two centuries— even over the
course of our own careers—and what progress lies ahead!
One of my goals for my tenure is to enhance alumni participation and support of our students—whether it be writing a white coat note, mentoring a student, conducting an admissions interview, or supporting the College with a gift to the annual
fund or other area of interest—there are so many ways to be involved. I hope you will join me in supporting medical students and researchers in whatever way suits you this year. Thank you for all you do for your patients, your profession,
and your College of Medicine.
Mary Cushman, M.D.'89, M.Sc.
President, UVM Larner College of Medicine Alumni Association