*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2009, but was re-uploaded to the JABSOM website. It was developed prior to the name change.
January 5, 2009 — Dr. Patricia Lanoie Blanchette (pictured) has been named interim Chief Operating Officer of University Clinical, Education & Research Associates, or UCERA. UCERA, a non-profit corporation, is the primary faculty practice organization for physicians involved in the clinical, academic, and research activities of the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Dr. Blanchette, Chair of JABSOM’s Department of Geriatric Medicine, has considerable experience in corporate finances and clinical operations.
She was an assistant to the Chief Financial Officer of the University of New Hampshire. She is director of the Pacific Islands Geriatric Education Center and the John A. Hartford Foundation Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine and she has won numerous awards. Dr. Blanchette is a unique combination of a caring, knowledgeable physician and a well-regarded local business woman. She was a finalist for Pacific Business News Business Leader of the Year for her work in building a sizeable education, research and clinical services program for the medical school. Dr. Blanchette will take a leave of absence from her post at Geriatrics to concentrate on her new duties. Dr. Kamal Masaki, Professor and Associate Chair of Geriatrics Medicine, has assumed the role of Acting Chair in the Department.
It is time to enhance the ties between UCERA and JABSOM, and with the school’s partnership of community teaching hospitals. Dr. Blanchette is enthusiastic about doing so. Dr. Blanchette plans to make personal visits to all departments and UCERA clinical sites within the next month.
UCERA provides a mechanism for clinical practice revenue to supplement other sources of faculty income. Given the diminishing ability of the state to support the medical school, this role is increasingly vital. Further, these faculty members contribute significant educational services to medical students and residents in the community – while overseeing clinical care at local hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs and clinics.
“Our faculty and employees work incredibly hard all over the state, providing needed care in hard-to-recruit specialties or with patients whose medical needs might otherwise not be met,” said Dr. Blanchette. “Our faculty provide first-class care to our patients, and we are very proud of their contributions to our communities.”
UCERA is still a very young organization. Created in 1993, the practice plan has been supported financially by the University of Hawai‘i and the medical school. The leadership of UCERA intends to strengthen its operational efficiency and its ability to provide income, from faculty practice earnings, to the John A. Burns School of Medicine.