College of

Dean's Update

March 6, 2015

It is with great sadness that I share with you that Lawrence M. Ross, PhD, MD, died Sunday, March 1. Dr. Ross was a member of our faculty, leading our programs in anatomy and histology for 27 years. Dr. Ross won many teaching awards from students and residents, and was highly regarded across the country in numerous leadership roles. He recently received the 2015 R. Benton Adkins, Jr., MD, Distinguished Award from the American Association of Clinical Anatomists advancing the discipline of anatomy. Dr. Ross also had oversight of the MSU Willed Body Program for most of his time with MSU. We can thank him for setting a standard of great integrity in that important role. Many of you will recall Dr. Ross as the person who allowed you to connect and learn from anatomy. For many of us, anatomy was a difficult subject on many levels. Dr. Ross was well loved for making that experience meaningful. We are ever indebted to him for this.
I am pleased to announce that we establish the Division of Public Health within the Dean’s Office, led by Division Director, Dean G. Sienko, MD, MS, Retired Major General of the US Army. Dr. Sienko recently retired after 33 years of service and he returned to MSU from leave that allowed him to lead the US Army Public Health Command for the US Army Surgeon General. Dr. Sienko has also served as the Director of the Ingham County Health Department, where he worked for 23 years. Dr. Sienko is currently the College Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health and the Acting Director of the Institute for Health Policy.

Members of the Division of Public Health include our new recruits to our program in Flint, and faculty in Marquette, Midland, and Traverse City, as well as Grand Rapids and East Lansing. Our Program in Public Health that awards a Master’s in Public Health will be part of the new division. In addition, Dean will continue to lead the Institute for Health Policy, which will administratively come under the Division of Public Health.
We plan a multidisciplinary division, building a critical mass that can attain department status to support, focus and facilitate the many efforts across the college and university related to public health education, research and service. Public health issues cross many boundaries and we fully expect that faculty in other departments and divisions will continue their work within their own departments, now with new colleagues and collaborators to create new opportunities. Faculty who would like to have a secondary appointment in the division may contact Dr. Sienko. Once again, we are grateful to the CS Mott Foundation for their generous support of our work in public health.
I am happy to report that the LCME committee met in February and reviewed the college’s materials and site visit report. The final result for the college is complete eight-year accreditation with a single area of non-compliance out of the 133 standards. This single area of non-compliance is one occurring across the country as the Veterans Affairs Administration take steps to reconcile their medical school affiliation agreements with the requirements of the LCME. In addition, the LCME approved the college for implementation of the Shared Discovery Curriculum, our highly innovative new curriculum that will launch this year.
As many of you are aware, the accreditation process is long and labor intensive. More than 140 people participated in the accreditation effort including the self-study task forces, the independent student analysis, the writing groups, the mock site visit, and the site visit itself in October 2014. This work began in 2012. As of 2015, the LCME is moving to a new, continuous monitoring system for accreditation. Our work for this review prepares us to smoothly transition to continuous quality improvement in all of our systems.
There are many, many people to thank, but this result would not be possible without the efforts of the Faculty Lead, Mary Noel; Executive Director of Academic Affairs, Carol Parker; and Visit Coordinator and MVP, Lisa Galbavi. Lisa’s work was so impressive that she has been asked to do a national presentation for the LCME on how to organize a site visit!
Once again, we can be proud of the work that we do every single day to establish the highest standards of comparable curriculum across all of our sites. We are gratified by the amazing accomplishments of our students. Thanks to all of you who make this possible, especially our students who inspire us and push us to go beyond what we think is our best.

Marsha D. Rappley, MD
Dean, College of Human Medicine