’We are living the medicine of tomorrow’

Martina Saurin, Andreas Fischer, Michael Manns, Frank Lammert and Björn Thümler.

Martina Saurin, Andreas Fischer, Michael Manns, Frank Lammert and Björn Thümler. Copyright: Karin Kaiser / MHH.

From the new construction to pandemic response: Science minister and MHH presidium show the future of the MHH

22. April 2021

The presidium is complete, the planning for the new building is picking up speed, the development plan is available: Hannover Medical School (MHH) is ideally equipped to meet the challenges of the coming years. Lower Saxony’s Minister for Science and Culture, Björn Thümler, agrees: "The construction company has been founded and Andreas Fischer, the company’s Managing Director and fourth member of the presidium, has taken up his duties. I am pleased that the presidium is now complete and that we have been able to recruit someone for this important function who brings more than 20 years of experience in the planning and realization of major construction projects. This means that central management has now been implemented, and the MHH can continue to plan its constructional development at full speed. This summer, the first step will be to secure the construction site by demolishing the old arbors, clearing and leveling the area, for which we have already made 2.6 million euros available," he emphasized during a press briefing at MHH on April 22, 2021.

According to MHH President Michael Manns, the university has great potentials, each of which can also be developed very quickly. "This can be seen right now during the Corona pandemic," he explained. "Whether it’s in patient care or research, we’re making enormous contributions to help those who are sick, to research the virus and the disease, and to overcome the pandemic." The university’s well-connected COVID 19-/SARS-CoV-2 research alone has raised more than 30 million euros in additional external funding since the pandemic began.

The presidium is a "very strong team"

The president is delighted that the presidium is now complete again and additionally expanded. "We are competing with a very strong team," he emphasizes. "With Ms. Saurin, we have been able to gain a vice president for business and administration who brings particularly great expertise in the areas of construction financing, human resources management and the design of efficient administrative processes," said Professor Manns. "Professor Lammert, as the new Vice President for Patient Care, combines exactly the expertise we need as a medical doctor and economist. And with architect Mr. Fischer as our new Vice President for Infrastructure, we have exactly the competencies on board that we need for our new hospital building, the maintenance of the existing buildings and the further development of the campus."

"Lean management and short decision-making paths" for new building planning.

Professor Manns is aware that the new presidium is under pressure to succeed. "Our employees are highly motivated - especially during the pandemic. They rightly expect us as a presidium to deliver now, too. We want lean management and short decision-making paths," explains Andreas Fischer, Vice President for Infrastructure. For this reason, he has simultaneously taken on the position of Managing Director of the construction company Hochschulmedizin Bauund Gebäudemanagement GmbH (HBG). "I am the link to the umbrella company that oversees the two new university medical buildings in Hannover and Göttingen."

On the one hand, Fischer has to plan the new building, integrating user interests and the vision of tomorrow’s medicine. On the other hand, he must also maintain the existing buildings and optimize them for modern requirements. "The next step will be to prepare the building site," Fischer explained.

Close proximity and digitization - important prerequisites for university medicine

"Medicine is becoming increasingly interconnected," said Frank Lammert, Vice President for Patient Care. "As a pilot project, the MHH must drive greater interlinking of outpatient and inpatient care." This includes ever-closer exchange with contract physicians and regional health centers. Within the MHH, the trend toward greater patient orientation is evident in the planned organ and treatment units, the Organ Therapy Units. "Close proximity is extremely important for good collaboration," he added.

"We have to think about tomorrow’s medicine today," Professor Lammert emphasized, referring to the new clinic building." The founding fathers had already planned the MHH well, because the old building favors collaboration," he explained. "And it is precisely this interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaboration that we must continue to develop now and involve the future users of the new building in its planning."

Corona pandemic: revenue shortfalls not adequately compensated for

Vice President Martina Saurin, who is responsible for the transparency of economic aspects in the presidium, cautioned that while MHH is providing reliable and competent patient care during the Corona pandemic, "the revenue losses are not nearly compensated by the current federal compensations and result in high economic burdens."

"Skilled staff is the limiting factor in nursing, but also in many other areas, so we have increased our recruitment marketing," Saurin said. She also wants to use greater digitization to make processes more efficient in both the medical and administrative areas. "In order to give the MHH as a whole greater creative freedom, we must continue to pursue the path of legal autonomy toward becoming a public corporation," she is certain.

Creating something unique for Europe

In addition to legal autonomy, Professor Manns is particularly keen to see the campus develop into a comprehensive healthcare campus. "This gives us the opportunity here in Lower Saxony to create something unique in Europe," the president said. "The Hannover Health Science Campus could become the melting pot of individualized medicine." With MHH’s focus on infections, transplantation, biomedical engineering and implants, and oncology, Professor Manns believes MHH is extremely well equipped. "We are driving translation and living the medicine of tomorrow - today."

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