from The President

Richard V. Homan, MD
Richard V. Homan, MD

Last summer, when we first discussed stories for this edition of EVMS Magazine, the surge in teen vaping was on a list of 2020 health topics that we would address briefly. Then young people who vaped started dying or becoming seriously ill.

In November, scientists found potential culprits in substances like diacetyl and vitamin E acetate, but as of press time, no definitive cause for this vaping-related lung disease had been identified. Until more is known, it is vital that parents and educators understand the dangers of e-cigarettes — and that a teen’s wristwatch or thumb drive might be much more than a wristwatch or thumb drive. Our cover feature includes more about stealth vaping devices and the high risk of nicotine addiction for youth who use e-cigarettes.

Breaking a nicotine addiction, whether from vaping or smoking, and getting in shape are two of the most common New Year’s resolutions. But instead of attempting yet another diet, what if you addressed your overall “eating pattern”? That is the guidance offered by a leader in our School of Health Professions in “A 2020 Vision for Health”. Several other EVMS experts also weigh in on health issues making headlines — issues that could be important to your family.

If you need motivation to keep your resolutions, look no further than two amazing recovery stories recounted in this issue: MD student Megan Cunningham and diabetes patient Kristen Swick. Their perseverance is inspirational. We hope their experiences will help motivate you to achieve your goals in the coming year.

As I have noted in the past, enhancing diversity, inclusion and health equity on our campus has been a priority for me since I joined EVMS in 2012. I am pleased to announce that our Board of Visitors recently approved a comprehensive strategic plan that has solidified this as a major focus at EVMS for the next four years.

As always, thank you for helping EVMS deliver on the promise to safeguard the health of our community — and your family. It remains an honor and privilege.