FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2005
Contact: Rebecca Ceraul firstname.lastname@example.org 410-706-7590
School of Medicine Became Top-Ranked Research Institution during his Tenure
The University of Maryland, Baltimore has announced that Donald E. Wilson, MD, MACP, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 1991, and a national advocate for equality in healthcare and medical education, will retire on September 1, 2006. Dr. Wilson will remain in his position as Dean and Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University during the search for a new dean.
“Under Dean Wilson’s leadership, the School of Medicine has garnered record-setting research grants to target the world’s most pressing healthcare threats. Research funding has soared from $77 million in 1991 to $341 million in 2005, placing the School of Medicine in the upper echelon of all public and private medical schools. His commitment to education, research, and service is unparalleled, and he will continue to have a significant impact long after he retires,” says University of Maryland President David J. Ramsay, DM, DPhil.
“I am so proud of the significant growth and accomplishments that the School of Medicine has made while I have been here. My health, and a strong desire to devote more time to my family, however, is driving my decision to step down,” says Dean Wilson, who received a kidney transplant in December. “Although I have recovered significantly from my illness and surgery, I have not regained the energy that sustained me through the first 14 years of my deanship. I cannot, in good conscience, continue without the ability to give 100 percent of my focus and energy to this demanding and important position,” says Dean Wilson, who is currently the fourth longest serving medical school dean in the United States.
When Dr. Wilson took the helm at the School of Medicine 1991, he became the nation’s first African-American dean at a predominantly white medical school. Today, the School of Medicine has one of the most diverse student bodies in the country and the number of African-American faculty members has doubled.
“Dr. Wilson was the right man at the right time for our medical school. His vision led the University of Maryland School of Medicine into the top echelon of American medical schools. That is a legacy only a privileged few can boast,” says University System of Maryland Chancellor William “Brit” Kirwan, PhD.
In 2004, Dean Wilson established the Center for Health Disparities to help identify and eliminate ethnic, racial, and geographic differences in the diagnosis and treatment of illness. The National Institutes of Health-funded center coordinates patient care, research, education and outreach initiatives in Maryland’s underserved urban and rural communities.
Dean Wilson has been influential in the development of health care policy at both the state and national level. From 1994 to 2004, Dean Wilson was chairman of the Maryland Health Care Commission, which monitors health care costs and evaluates the quality of HMOs, nursing homes and hospitals. He has been a member of Maryland’s Emergency Medical Services board since 1993. In 2004, he served as chairman of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents all Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited U.S. medical schools and over 400 teaching hospitals. Prior to that, he was chairman of the AAMC’s Council of Deans.
To help stimulate productivity, research activity and income from grants and contracts, Dean Wilson was one of the first in the country to implement a mission-based management system. The system has proven so successful that it is now routinely used in medical schools in the U.S.
Driven by a dramatic increase in research funding, Dr Wilson was the catalyst for the completion of two state-of-the-art biomedical research buildings -- Health Sciences Facility I and Health Sciences Facility II -- facilitating the expansion of basic science and clinical research.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Dean Wilson graduated from Harvard before receiving his M.D. from Tufts University. Dr. Wilson became the youngest person to make full professor at the University of Illinois Medical School and later became chief of gastroenterology there. He then served as professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Before coming to the University of Maryland, he was physician-in-chief of the University Hospital and Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn.
“When I arrived at the University of Maryland Medical System two years ago, Dr. Wilson and I immediately connected both professionally and personally,” says Edmond F. Notebaert, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System, which partners with the School of Medicine to provide clinical care for patients, as well as clinical experience for students and residents. “We quickly forged a great friendship as well as a mutually beneficial professional relationship which has lead to outstanding growth, both for the School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical System,” he says. “I have a great deal of fondness for him personally and a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for him professionally, and I applaud him for taking the School of Medicine to the next level. Dr. Wilson’s continued leadership and support of the University of Maryland Medical System has been, and will continue to be, greatly appreciated in the future success of the University of Maryland Medical System.”
Dean Wilson has received countless national and local awards for his leadership and accomplishments. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He received the University System of Maryland’s Frederick Douglass Award, the Baltimore Urban League Whitney M. Young, Jr., Humanitarian Award, and the Towson University Distinguished Black Marylander Award. In 2000, the AAMC named Dean Wilson the first recipient of the Herbert W. Nickens Diversity Award for his tireless efforts to promote justice in medical education and health care.
“I am confident that Dean Wilson will continue his strong record of leadership during his final year,” says Ramsay. Christian Stohler, DMD, Dean of the University of Maryland Dental School, will chair the search committee to recruit Wilson’s successor.
As dean emeritus, Dr. Wilson plans to remain active in his retirement. He has already begun writing his autobiography, which will focus on the challenges and achievements of his fifteen-year deanship of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.