First candidate for UI Medicine dean stresses integration

BY KELLY OLIN | JUNE 06, 2012 6:30 AM

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Stephen Strakowski said integrating research and education will ultimately lead to a better medical institution for the University of Iowa.

"… My next step would be to integrate everything — align research with education, then align across the colleges' work with nursing and public health to find the best outcome at the least expense," he said.

The UI Carver College of Medicine hosted its first forum Tuesday to begin the process of finding a new dean for the college; current Dean Paul Rothman will step down at the end of this month. Rothman was appointed dean and chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine on Dec. 19, 2011.

Medical-school officials will interview five candidates in the Medical Education & Research Facility, and each will address the topic "What is Your Vision for the Future of Academic Medical Centers."

"My goal if I became dean here would be to take the very good medical school that's already here and help it to become the best medical school possibly — a truly elite college of medicine," he told The Daily Iowan.

Strakowski — the first candidate for the position — is the senior associate dean for research at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the vice president for research, and the Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Professor and chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience.

Strakowski said the integration of the colleges would allow for growth and change and would unify the university more as a whole rather than as separate colleges.

"We need to reach out, to own the region and beyond because with great clinical care you get great clinical students," he said. "… He who controls the information controls the world."

Strakowski received a bachelor degree from the University of Notre Dame and an M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

He said he was going to do whatever needed to make the UI medical school a renowned center in the country.

"I am willing to go anywhere people will send me," he said.

UI psychiatry Professor Susan Schultz said she's pleased with Strakowski's plans.

"I think many of us really like the approach of integrated care in a way that raises clinical excellence by teaming research and clinical operations in a way that gives us something to offer the state that's different from usual clinical practice," she said.

Sue Curry, the dean of the UI College of Public Health, said collaboration among UI colleges is a common goal for school administrators.

"Having a dean who shares our collective mission and who values collaboration allows us to continue to grow the great work we do at the university and across the state," she said.

The forums will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in 2117 MERF, and receptions will follow each from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the atrium.

The forums for the next four candidates will be held June 12, 19, 26, and 29.

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