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Dean Akman and other SMHS Leaders Deliver the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences “State of the School Address” on Alumni Weekend

Members of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) M.D. program classes from 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 2004 gathered in Ross 101 to listen as Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D., Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine, vice president for health affairs and dean, delivered the "State of the School" address along with other school leadership during the annual Reunion Weekend events on Saturday, Sept. 20. Attendees listened to an overview of the extensive progress that has been made at SMHS over the past year.

Dean Akman began by introducing the newest members of the SMHS leadership team, including:

  • Lawrence “Bopper” Deyton, M.D.’85, M.S.P.H., Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Public Health;
  • Robert Miller, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research;
  • Richard Simons, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for M.D. Programs;
  • Huda Ayas, Ed.D. ’06, M.B.A. ’98, M.H.S. A. ’93, Associate Dean for International Medicine;
  • Matt Mintz, M.D. ’94, RESD ’97, Interim Assistant Dean for M.D. Program Curriculum;
  • Jeffrey Berger, M.D., M.B.A., Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education; and
  • Lorrenzo Norris, M.D., Interim Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. 

He also introduced several new department chairs who have been appointed within the last year, which include:

  • Nancy Gaba, M.D. ’93, RESD ’97, FACOG, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Oscar I. and Mildred S. Dodek and Joan B. and Oscar I. Dodek Jr. Professor;
  • Stephen Teach, M.D., M.P.H, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics;
  • Douglas Nixon, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine and the Walter G. Ross Professor of Basic Science Research;
  • James L. Griffith, M.D., Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Leon M. Yochelson Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

This year’s “State of the School” address centered on a number of key themes, such as Diversity, the Revised M.D. Curriculum, Research, and community engagement through initiatives such as the Rodham Institute. Akman described many of the accomplishments that have taken place in the past year, including the development of a strategic plan, gave an overview of the incoming class of M.D. students, spoke of the expanding programs in the health sciences, and unveiled a lofty $225 Million goal as the SMHS’s contribution to the University’s $1Billion capital campaign.

Yolanda Haywood, M.D., RESD ’90, associate dean for diversity, inclusion, and student affairs, spoke about her goals for the newly established Office of Diversity. Akman and Haywood are focusing efforts on diversity within SMHS to attain the following outcomes: Improve Educational Performance; Improve Student Engagement and Satisfaction; Utilize All Talents; Decrease Faculty and Staff Turn-Over; Align with our Mission, Vision, and Values; Help Comply with LCME Accreditation Standards; Enhance Innovation and Risk Management; and Help Meet the Healthcare Workforce Needs.

Matthew L. Mintz, M.D. ’94, RESD ’97, FACP, interim assistant dean for M.D. program curriculum, presented an account of the four major areas comprising the revisions to the M.D. curriculum: curriculum delivery, early clinical exposure, important new content areas of study, and enhanced use of technology. These programmatic modifications were guided by changes in the health care landscape and informed by research into how medical students learn best.

Among the newest members of the senior leadership, Robert H. Miller, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research, laid out his vision for enhancing the school’s research portfolio and aligning with the new strategic plan. Miller’s plans include advancing translation of research and increase interdisciplinary collaboration in key areas of strength and accelerating growth in emerging areas of research excellence.

Finally, Jehan “Gigi” El-Bayoumi, M.D., RESD ’86, associate professor of medicine and founding director of the Rodham Institute, spoke to the attendees about the exciting initiatives lead by the Rodham Institute. The Institute seeks to partner with communities to achieve health equity by educating the District of Columbia’s next generation of clinicians to provide compassionate and high-quality health care for all. The goals include health provider education, support community partners, and workforce development.

Following the State of the School presentations, Lawrence “Bopper” Deyton, M.D.’85, M.S.P.H., senior associate dean for clinical public health, delivered the Annual Frank N. Miller Lecture, describing the school’s new initiative focusing on Clinical Public Health.

The Dean concluded his “State of the School Address” by encouraging alumni to stay connected with the school and get involved – as they are important members of the SMHS community and we want to hear about the important things they are doing.