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Med school dean candidates make public presentations

Nov. 3, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Three candidates for the position of founding dean of the Western Michigan University School of Medicine will be in Kalamazoo during November and December to make public presentations and meet with stakeholders in the medical school initiative.

The three are among more than 60 candidates whose credentials are being considered by a community search committee that is charged with helping to identify a dean for the new school of medicine. The medical school initiative is a partnership involving WMU, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare.

All three of the candidates visiting in the coming weeks have made earlier trips to Kalamazoo and are now returning for visits that have a more public component. The candidates will each spend three days in Kalamazoo during which they will offer a public presentation at either Bronson or Borgess.

Medical school dean candidates

Photo of Drs. Robert A. Forse, Hal B. Jenson and Rubens J. Pamies.
  • Dr. Robert A. Forse, professor and associate chair for surgical education at Creighton University School of Medicine, will give a public presentation at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in Bronson's Gilmore Auditorium.
  • Dr. Rubens J. Pamies, vice chancellor for academic affairs, dean for graduate studies and professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, will give a public presentation at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in Borgess' Lawrence Education Center.
  • Dr. Hal B. Jenson, professor of pediatrics and regional dean for the Western Campus of the Tufts University School of Medicine, will give a public presentation at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in Bronson's Gilmore Auditorium.

Before each presentation there will be a half-hour informal "meet and greet" with the candidate. During each program, there will be an opportunity for those attending to pose questions to the candidates. A reception will follow each event.

The search for a medical school dean began last winter. The seven-member search committee guiding the process is made of representatives of Borgess, Bronson, WMU and the local medical community. The committee is led by Dr. Jack Luderer, who is serving as interim dean of the medical school as well as its associate dean for research.

The applicant pool, he says, was made up of medical educators from around the nation and included a number of deans, former deans or associate deans and a large number of clinical department chairs at the nation's leading medical schools.

"The size and quality of our candidate pool is a wonderful indicator that the school of medicine we're establishing has enormous potential," Luderer says. "The search committee has had the opportunity to meet with medical educators and clinicians who have a tremendous range of experience and skill. We're convinced that the careful search process we've engaged in will lead us to a good match--a dean who will be able to successfully launch a truly unique new medical school designed to meet the needs of the 21st century."

In addition to the brief biographical material listed here, additional background will be available at the public presentations.

Dr. Robert A. Forse received a bachelor's degree, medical degree and Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal. He went on to complete a surgical residency at Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital and research fellowships at McGill, Columbia University and Rockefeller University. He has taught in the surgery departments of the medical schools at McGill and Harvard and Boston universities as well as Creighton.

Forse has an active clinical practice and an active research program in the surgical treatment of obesity. In addition to his current position at Creighton, he has held administrative leadership appointments in surgical departments at Boston's Deaconess Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston Medical Center. He holds some 15 patents, has been the principal or co-principal investigator on 38 grants and is the author of 187 peer-reviewed publications and five books. Forse also serves as an editorial board member for a number of journals. He has an active clinical practice in laparoscopic, bariatric and trauma surgery, and he has an international reputation in academic general surgery, with a particular focus on surgical nutrition and metabolism.

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Dr. Hal B. Jenson is an alumnus of Brigham Young University who earned a medical degree from George Washington University and later earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital at Case Western Reserve University and a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Yale University School of Medicine. He also was a visiting fellow in molecular biology at Cambridge's Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.

In addition to his current role as a regional dean at Tufts, Jenson's career has included faculty and research positions in pediatrics and microbiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, and at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. Active in education and clinical activities, he specializes in clinical infectious diseases and virology, and he is the author of more than 250 papers, commentaries and book chapters. He also is associate editor of the journal Infectious Disease Alert and an editor of the "Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics."

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Dr. Rubens J. Pamies is an alumnus of St. John's University who earned his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cornell-North Shore University Hospital.

His career has included teaching, medical staff and administrative positions at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Cleveland's Mount Sinai Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, Meharry Medical College and the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Nationally known for his expertise in health care disparities, Pamies has been the principal or co-principal investigator on 14 funded grants, and is the author of more than 60 papers, book chapters, abstracts and books. In 2005, he collaborated with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher to write and edit one of the first textbooks addressing the inequalities in health care. He is a member and chairman of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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