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School of Medicine: Message From the Dean

April 2018 Archives

April 24, 2018

Department of Dermatology leadership

Algin B. Garrett, M.D.

Algin B. Garrett, M.D.

Dear Colleagues-Friends:

My thanks go to Algin B. Garrett, M.D., who has been a dedicated member and respected leader in the Department of Dermatology for 35 years. He joined the faculty in 1983 after completing residency training in the department, and he went on to serve as interim chair from 1991-1993 before being named chair in 1993. He has announced his intention to leave the medical school on June 30.

Over the course of his tenure, he has earned a reputation as a superb teacher and clinician. A testimony to that is the first-rate physicians who train in and graduate from the department’s residency and fellowship programs. Dr. Garrett’s leadership has shaped those programs in lasting ways as he has served as director of both.

One of those stellar former trainees is Lydia J. Johnson, M.D., who completed her residency on the MCV Campus after earning her medical degree at the University of Virginia.

Lydia J. Johnson, M.D.

Lydia J. Johnson, M.D.

Dr. Johnson practiced with Dermatology Associates of Virginia for 16 years and led the multi-physician practice as its president since 2014. She joined our faculty in January 2018 and will serve as interim chair beginning in June.

Please join me in thanking these two physicians for their commitment to the medical school and also in wishing them future success.

Warm Regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

April 19, 2018

Outstanding contributions of our faculty, students and alumni

Dear Colleagues-Friends,

On Friday we’ll welcome back hundreds of alumni for Reunion Weekend 2018. We always look forward to this opportunity to “show off” our medical school to returning alumni who are so proud of all the activities of our students, trainees and faculty.

Those sorts of noteworthy contributions are exemplified in a few news items that have crossed my desk and which I believe may be of interest to you:

  • The Pauley Heart Center has launched a grants program that funds promising early-stage research. The winning proposals were chosen with the help of an external review committee that included alumni like the Class of 77’s Bill Miles, who is chief of electrophysiology at the University of Florida. “I was impressed with the quality of what I saw,” he says. “These were substantive, cutting-edge projects with application to everyday cardiology.” He calls serving on the committee an honor and says, “If I’m invited to serve as a reviewer, I’ll always say yes. I’d love to participate again.” Our story includes information on the four proposals that were funded in the inaugural round of awards.
  • Each year, the MCV Foundation hosts a celebration of the outstanding philanthropic support given to students across the campus. The annual event provides an opportunity for scholarship recipients to thank our donors for their generosity, and donors have the pleasure of hearing what a difference their gifts have made.
  • Jim Nemitz, PhD’80, an alumnus of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, has been named president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He has served the institution for 31 years in roles that include overseeing the accreditation process, research and grants, community outreach and government relations at the local, state and national levels. He says, “This is a place that I’ve devoted a majority of my career, it’s a place that I love with all my heart.”

Richmond magazine April 2018 cover Also, as you’ve probably seen, the April issue of Richmond Magazine features the annual Top Docs listing. We’re gratified that so many of our faculty and alumni are represented in its pages. I wanted to draw your attention as well to the 3-page advertisement built into the inside front cover. To complement this issue’s focus, the MCV Foundation took the opportunity to showcase medical student scholarships. Through the medical school’s $25 million 1838 Scholarship Campaign, we are building an endowment that will increase the number and size of scholarships that we award to our students. This magazine ad shared the stories of donors along with students and alumni who have already benefited from scholarship funds, spotlighting:

  • The Harriet and Harry Grandis Scholarship, the medical school’s first full-tuition scholarship,
  • the Harry and Zackia Annual Scholarship that’s awarded to medical students who show a demonstrated commitment to community service and
  • the Stephen C. and Marie F. Cenedella Endowed Scholarship established by an alumnus of the Class of 1968.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading their stories.

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

April 18, 2018

Appointment of Nicole Deiorio, M.D., as Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Dear Colleagues-Friends,

Nicole Deiorio, M.D.

Nicole Deiorio, M.D.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Nicole M. Deiorio, M.D., as associate dean for student affairs. A national leader in academic coaching in the medical education field, she brings valuable experiences and skills to her new role.

Dr. Deiorio will partner closely with our other associate dean for student affairs, Christopher Woleben, M.D., to work with our more than 800 medical students in career and academic advising. Dr. Deiorio will be the lead in the Student Affairs office for the new coaching program designed to better prepare students for internship via the Core Entrustable Professional Activities. She also will be the lead person working on new wellness initiatives for medical students in the Student Affairs office. Dr. Deiorio has worked with Dr. Woleben on several projects on a national level, most recently on the video interviews for emergency medicine residency applications.

Dr. Deiorio was most recently assistant dean for student affairs at Oregon Health & Science University, where she created a learning community and coaching program for undergraduate medical education. Her interests include professional identity formation and the transition to residency, and her research investigates the residency selection process and outcomes in undergraduate medical education as well as learning communities and coaching.

An emergency medicine physician, Dr. Deiorio has taught students at many levels, from directing the OHSU Principles of Clinical Medicine course to clinical experiences in emergency medicine for third- and fourth-year students. She has received multiple local and national awards for teaching and education leadership, including the Hal Jayne Excellence in Education Award from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

I am grateful to Assistant Dean for Medical Education Diane Biskobing, M.D., who led the search committee, and also to Interim Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Betsy Ripley, M.D., and Senior Associate Dean for Evaluation, Assessment and Scholarship of Learning Sally Santen, M.D., Ph.D., in recruiting Dr. Deiorio to our medical school.

Please join me in welcoming her when she assumes her new role in August.

Warm Regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

April 11, 2018

Department of Internal Medicine’s Leadership

John E Nestler, MD Chair Internal Medicine

John E. Nestler, M.D.

Dear Colleagues-Friends:

Since 1985 when John E. Nestler, M.D., joined the faculty of the School of Medicine, his colleagues have benefited from his ingenuity, collegiality and wise counsel. Fortunately, that will not change when he steps down from his post as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine on June 30. He will continue as a member of our faculty, devoting himself to research and to cultivating those fascinating opportunities that exist where medicine intersects with the arts and humanities.

Nestler became the fifth chair of the medical school’s largest clinical department in November 2009 after having already served as the department’s vice chair and, prior to that, as chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

We are fortunate to be able to call upon Todd Gehr, M.D., to serve as interim chair.Todd Gehr, M.D. On faculty since 1987, he is now the vice-chair of the department as well as chair of the Division of Nephrology.

Todd Gehr, M.D.

Todd Gehr, M.D.

Gehr serves as professor, medical director of the dialysis unit and as physician director of the home dialysis program. Recognized with numerous teaching awards from medical students and internal medicine housestaff, he’s published more than 100 articles on research interests that span renal pharmacology, novel treatments of hypertension and the impact of daily dialysis on patient outcomes.

I am proud to note that both Nestler and Gehr completed a portion of their training here on the MCV Campus. They are testimonies to the quality of the programs and, indeed, their decades of service have shaped their department in lasting ways.

Please join me in thanking them for their contributions and assisting them in their future endeavors.

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

April 6, 2018

Outstanding contributions of our faculty, students and alumni

Dear Colleagues-Friends,

One of the things I enjoy most about my role is learning about the outstanding contributions of our faculty, students and alumni. I think that you, too, might like to know:

• Our alumnus Jack Ende, M.D., of the Class of 1973 will conclude his yearlong tenure as president of the American College of Physicians in April. He talked with us about what it’s been like to lead the nation’s largest medical specialty organization.

Ken Ellenbogen, M.D., has been honored by the American College of Cardiology for his contributions to its flagship journal. Our chair of cardiology is internationally known for his commitment to advancing the field through research and teaching.

Glenn D. Hoke Jr., PhD’86 (BIOC), who was honored with the medical school’s Outstanding Basic Health Sciences Alumnus Award in 2000, returned to campus in February to speak with biomedical doctoral students and postdoctoral scientists about his career in industry. “Remember, you are trained to solve problems,” he told them.

I was also pleased to see two terrific feature stories in Vol. 13 of Impact, the quarterly publication distributed by VCU’s Development and Alumni Relations Office:

Hands-on Health, a 5-page feature on VCU Health’s Community Internship program giving influential community leaders a behind-the-scenes look at VCU Medical Center.

Leading Light, a 4-page feature on how the Haag Professorship enables the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology’s Hamid Akbarali, Ph.D., to balance student mentorship and critical research.

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

April 4, 2018

Leadership Transition at VCU Center on Society and Health

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

Dear Colleagues-Friends,

Please join me in thanking Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H., for his tremendous leadership of the VCU Center on Society and Health, which he has directed since its founding in 2007. His vision shaped an academic research center that aims to improve the health of Americans through its study of the health implications of social factors like poverty and education as well as neighborhood and community environmental conditions. The center is known for its life expectancy maps, which show that your zip code may be as important as your genetic code in predicting your health.

Fortunately, we will continue to benefit from Dr. Woolf’s wisdom, as he is not leaving VCU. He will remain at the center to serve as director emeritus and will maintain his role as professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. Woolf, who first established himself as a health services researcher, has focused his career on raising public awareness about the socioeconomic and environmental inequities that shape health and bringing that message to policymakers. His findings have influenced the health of our nation through his more than 200 articles, his testimony before Congress, editorials in major newspapers, web-based tools and speeches. Woolf is stepping down as director to spend more time on public policy issues, writing and partnerships with colleagues and institutions around the country.

Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D.

Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D.

I am pleased that Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D., has agreed to take over as the center’s interim director. Since joining the center as Associate Director for Research in December 2013, Chapman has been responsible for operational management of the research team and has ably led its expanding list of quantitative research projects. Since 2004, he has also served as associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health in the Division of Epidemiology (formerly the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health).

Anton J. Kuzel, M.D., M.H.P.E., chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, notes, “The VCU Center on Society and Health is shining a light on the factors that have the greatest impact on health – social determinants. I am pleased that it will continue this critical work under the leadership of Dr. Chapman, and I am enormously grateful to Dr. Woolf for establishing and leading the center for more than a decade.”

Chapman’s scholarly work on maternal and child health epidemiology, and the intersection of biologic and social determinants on children’s health and development, is complemented by his 13 years of experience working in state health departments, where he conducted applied public health research to inform programs and policy.

I deeply appreciate that there is so able a colleague prepared to step up. The wealth of talent at the VCU Center on Society and Health is indeed another example of Woolf’s fine leadership in assembling a team dedicated to moving the needle to improve the health of Americans.

Warm regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System

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