“Where you end up can be in so many different places and you can have an impact. So think creatively about what gives you satisfaction — and aim for that because you can make it happen.”
Dr. Sue Lagarde (M.D. ’75)
As physicians and scientists at an academic medical center, our responsibilities are profound and deeply compelling. Among them is a sacred obligation to think of our role in society and the far-reaching impact we can have: on the health of individuals and populations, on the advancement of science, and on our education of future generations of health care leaders.
In this way, Weill Cornell Medicine’s tripartite mission — to care, discover and teach — provides us our North Star. Since my first day as Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, it has been difficult to contain my excitement as I observe all that makes this institution special. This community’s passionate commitment to our mission signals to me that we are poised to extend and deepen the reach of our critical goals.
Ours is an institution that excels at caring for New Yorkers, not only in Manhattan, but in Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding metro community. At the same time, we also work tirelessly to build health care expertise and capacity around the world, including in Qatar, Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa. Our leaders — whether students, clinicians, scientists or administrators — constantly consider how we can practice diversity, equity and inclusion, essential qualities for our lifesaving work. These values are among the guideposts that I predict will lead to future landmarks in our achievements as members of a global society.
As I get to know Weill Cornell Medicine and understand its nuances, I envision infinite ways in which we can advance these noble goals. We will continue to provide cutting-edge care, but also think about how we can make it more accessible. We will develop studies to broaden our understanding of disease and improve how we manage it, while thinking about how to bring more participants into research. We will be diverse, equitable and inclusive — but can additionally practice justice and ensure belonging within our community and amongst our patients and research participants.
We are at a pivotal moment in academic medicine. With rapidly advancing discovery science and opportunities to integrate enormous volumes of valuable information, we can transform biomedical research, medical education and health care delivery. Weill Cornell Medicine, with its emphasis on collaboration, innovation and its network of world-class partners, is the ideal place for this type of groundbreaking — and necessary — work.
I am proud and enormously excited to be at the helm of this exceptional institution and cannot wait for what is to come. Together, we will change medicine.
Robert A. Harrington, M.D. Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Cornell Medicine Provost for Medical Affairs, Cornell University