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What does it take to be the best university or hospital? Research is the key and money matters

      It is perhaps now more apparent than ever that economics and medicine are inextricably linked, with interesting consequences for academic medical centers. We present a discussion on an important, but often misunderstood, aspect of the financial underpinnings of many universities and hospitals: the endowment. The endowment can play an integral role in driving research and performance at top universities and hospitals. Although much of our experience is through the lens of Johns Hopkins University (JHU), there are key lessons that any university or hospital can use in terms of how research, performance, and financial decision-making contribute to success. We will primarily focus on two major themes. First, we will apply an analytical framework to (1) understand the purpose of an endowment, (2) understand the objectives and spending needs of a university, and (3) set policy asset allocation targets. Second, we will come to appreciate the hurdles of adding value in active money management and the challenges facing radiologists in demonstrating their added value. We will include example scenarios from JHU were endowments provided important support for key discoveries.

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