· Filed In: People On The Move
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine recruits new Dean, Dr. Valerie Weber
On Nov. 1, the Wright State University (WSU) Boonshoft School of Medicine received a new Dean, Dr. Valerie Weber, who wishes to take an already great school and make it even better.
Dr. Weber wants to make the Boonshoft School of Medicine a place where revolutionary medical work happens in the community.
“One of my goals is to really work with all of our hospital partners in the region, our community partners, our partners in public health and to really, as the medical school, be the leader of some real work to be done,” said Dr. Weber
Noting the difficult year that students have been faced with, Dr. Weber also wants to use her voice as the Dean to improve life for the students. Dr. Weber realizes that the pandemic is not the only hardship students have had to face this year, but that racial inequalities and the fight with the Black Lives Matter movement has been weighing on students as well.
“The other thing is to really improve things for the students. It’s been a really difficult year with the pandemic and then on top of the the tragedies affecting black Americans, and really affecting all of us, and so ‘how do we create an anti-racist environment?’ and ‘how to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everybody here?’ That’s something that is really important to me and will be working on that over the next year and into the future. It’s a job that you’re never done with, but it is something that is extremely important to me,” said Dr. Weber.
While she has big plans for the School of Medicine, Dr. Weber says that the beginning of her time as Dean has been and will be spent learning and becoming a part of the WSU community.
“My first period of time is really about listening and learning. You can’t come into a place with preconceived ideas. Of course, I do have ideas about things that I’d like to work on,” said Dr. Weber.
What led her to WSU
After growing up and attending medical school in Pennsylvania, Dr. Weber saw an opening at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at WSU. Her brother has lived in Dayton for nearly 30 years, so the opening caught her attention.
Although she found a passion for medical education early on in her career, Dr. Weber admits that she did not think about becoming a Dean until a couple years back when a mentor of hers gave her the encouragement needed to go the next step in her career.
“My dean that I worked for who was a close friend and mentor of mine was very encouraging that we need more women deans. Because only 20% of medical schools have deans that are women. So there’s a big gender disparity in academic medicine,” said Dr. Weber.
Dr. Weber saw how great of a school the Boonshoft School of Medicine is and felt determined that she could help push it over the edge to become even better for its students.
“The reason that I came here is… seeing the need for community-based medical schools–that’s what we call medical schools that are really rooted in the community– and seeing the potential for the school that’s already a great school to become even better and to grow,” said Dr. Weber.
As for her first weeks at WSU, Dr. Weber says that she misses the atmosphere of students on campus but commends WSU for the way that they are treating the pandemic.
About Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is located in Dayton, Ohio, and serves the Miami Valley region of Southwest Ohio. Its educational programs include:
Instead of operating a university-based hospital for clinical training, Wright State is affiliated with eight major teaching hospitals in the region and has formal affiliation agreements with more than 25 other health care institutions in the Miami Valley. This model exposes medical students and resident physicians to a diverse range of patients and health care facilities. Medical educators believe this "real world" experience is excellent preparation for medical careers in a rapidly changing health care system.
The school's academic departments include basic science departments located on the Wright State University campus and clinical departments based throughout the community. Wright State's clinical faculty teach and provide medical care for almost half a million patient visits annually. In addition to almost 485 full-time faculty, Wright State's voluntary faculty include more than 1,280 physicians in private practice and other health care professionals in the community. Voluntary faculty provide an invaluable service by donating their time and expertise to the training and development of both medical students and residents.
Our innovative educational programs have made the Boonshoft School of Medicine a national leader in generalist medicine, community service and the diversity of our student body. Our research programs are distinguished by interdisciplinary teamwork and community collaboration and include nationally recognized centers of excellence in genomics, toxicology, neuroscience, substance abuse and treatment, and human growth and development.
A Carnegie-classified research university, Wright State University offers degree programs through eight colleges and three schools, including the Boonshoft School of Medicine.
About the new Dean - Valerie D. Weber, M.D., M.S., FACP
Valerie Weber, M.D., M.S., FACP, is the eighth dean of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM). Dr. Weber is delighted to begin her work at BSOM and plans to focus on strengthening the BSOM community in order to provide an even greater impact on those it serves.
Dr. Weber comes to BSOM from Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she was professor of medicine and the Deborah J. Tuttle, M.D., and John P. Piper, M.D., senior vice dean for educational affairs. The other positions at DUCOM she held were vice dean of educational affairs and the William Maul Measey Chair in Medical Education. Dr. Weber’s additional teaching responsibilities at DUCOM included thread leader for the health care quality and patient safety, frontiers 1 course, small group facilitator for case-based learning, and faculty preceptor for ambulatory general internal medicine.
Prior to joining Drexel in 2014, Dr. Weber served as chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences, associate dean for clinical affairs, and professor of medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College, now the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM), in Scranton, Pennsylvania. As a member of the senior leadership team of GCSOM, Dr. Weber had a major role in many aspects of the development of the new school, which awarded its first medical degrees in May 2013. She was responsible for recruiting and developing more than 400 faculty members for the departments of medicine, surgery, and psychiatry, as well as faculty leaders to create and implement the curriculum. She also led the development of the school's innovative clinical curriculum, a highlight of which is a third-year longitudinal integrated clerkship, the largest implementation of that model in the world. This involved the development of medical school faculty across a 16-county region, establishing academic affiliations with nearly 30 hospitals, dozens of physician groups and crafting a robust assessment plan.
Before joining GCSOM, Dr. Weber was the division chief of general internal medicine and geriatrics with Geisinger Health System, located in Danville, Pennsylvania. Geisinger serves patients in central, south-central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey. While at Geisinger, she led implementations of the advanced medical home model and led multiple other system performance improvement and patient safety initiatives.
Dr. Weber is board certified in internal medicine, and her awards and honors include the Geisinger Health System Patient Satisfaction Award, received 4 years in a row, and the PhillyBiz Best of Healthcare Innovator award. Her scholarly interests include medical education innovations and change management and leadership in health care. Recent publications include, “Broadening Diversity in Medicine: Outcomes of the Drexel Pathway to Medical School Postbaccalaureate Medical Science Program” for the Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity, and a book chapter “Changing Clinician Behavior: Strategies and Tactics” for the book The Healthcare Quality Book: Vision, Strategy and Tools.
Dr. Weber completed her internship and residency in medicine at The Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, where she also served as chief resident. She earned her doctor of medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, an M.S. in health care management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and her B.A. in psychology from Washington and Jefferson College.
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