issue Spring 2023

Leadership Message

By Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
Wendy Rheault, PT, PhD, FASAHP, FNAP, DipACLM
Photo by Michael R. Schmidt

This issue of Helix is set to publish as we prepare to celebrate Commencement and continue to reflect on an excellent outcome for our annual Match Day. RFU students across four academic programs — allopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, clinical psychology and pharmacy — achieved outstanding rates of residency placement at highly competitive programs across the country.

We’re contributing to the health and well-being of our nation by graduating a new generation of compassionate, caring health and biomedical professionals committed to improving health outcomes. We’re building capacity that can help solve inequities in care. Among our 2023 allopathic medicine residency placements, 66 are in primary care specialties, which play a vital role in maintaining good health and in the overall cost of care delivery. A significant number of our students are also entering training for critically-needed psychiatric and behavioral health care.

Our students have turned challenges into opportunities over the course of three pandemic years by relying on their networks of support. That’s the definition of resilience. Across every field and discipline, RFU students discover the power of teams. Their achievements are most often a result of collaborative effort that includes the support of faculty and other members of the RFU community who walk with learners, affirm their talents, raise their aspirations, and model respectful interactions that are crucial to human connection.

The stories in this issue underscore why the fulfillment of our mission is so important to the transformation of health care. The people who are shaped by and who help shape RFU share a profound commitment to improving the health and well-being of all people. Our students, faculty and alumni are lifelong learners who are not afraid to grapple with the social and structural determinants that shape the health of their patients and communities.

Together, we’re facing a future that will be defined by advancements in artificial intelligence fed by big data. Our students and alumni will help influence many aspects of that technology, help harness its potential and mitigate its risks.

We can look to our shared values to guide us in creating a more equitable future. I want to thank the working committee that in recent months has helped guide us in the process of updating and refining our institutional core values, which create a North Star for decision-making and help us engage potential partners around our shared purpose and commitment.

Using our core values as a touchstone, we can continue to build a culture of shared respect in which our students thrive. We can strengthen our commitment to justice by building bridges to our communities, and we can pursue innovations and new models that expand access to education and care.

Leading from our values is the surest path to build upon and expand our historic commitment to educating a diverse health and biomedical workforce that in turn reflects our values and helps fulfill our mission to improve health and well-being.

I am so grateful for our students, faculty, alumni, community partners and many friends and supporters. You give us unflagging optimism in our shared future.

Wishing you the best of health.

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