Dean's Update

July 8, 2022 - Aron Sousa, MD


This week has been particularly busy for me, so my update was going to be short and mostly news. I can already hear sounds of relief from some of you, but while it is all news, brevity escaped my mastery. So on to the news:

I am happy to announce that Dr. Basil Abdo has taken on the duties of our Southeast Michigan Campus in Southfield and Novi. You will recall the wonderful work of our founding CAD, Val Overholt, DO, who retired this spring. There is no replacing Val, but Dr. Abdo is off to a great start, and we appreciate his enthusiasm and dedication. He earned his medical degree from the University of Szeged, Hungary, and continued to complete his residency in family medicine at Ascension-Providence in Southfield in 2003. He has been an active member of the Ascension system since then and served as the associate chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Ascension Providence since 2014. In 2020, he was appointed as clerkship director for family medicine for Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Southeast Michigan Campus. In an impressive feat, he won the MSU CHM Outstanding Community Volunteer Faculty Award in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2022. We welcome Dr. Abdo to the role and look forward to his leadership!

I am also happy to announce Dr. David Buzanoski as the new CAD of the Midland Regional Campus. He has taken the role after the retirement of the campus’ founding CAD, Paula Klose, MD. Like Val, Paula has done wonderful work for our students, college, and the community. We won’t really replace Paula, but Dr. Buzanoski, who, like Dr. Klose, earned his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 2011, is already working hard and doing a great job for us. He trained in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at the Marquette Campus and was a recipient of the Gold Humanism Award and earned a certificate in the Rural Physician Program. Subsequently, he completed a combined residency at Maine Medical Center in 2016 where he served as the Pediatrics Chief Resident and the Internal Medicine/Pediatric Chief Resident. 

Dr. Buzanoski has mentored many students over the years and was nominated and received the Outstanding Community Faculty award for the Midland Regional Campus in 2022. In addition, Dr. Buzanoski has served as the Campus Facilitator for the Rural Community Health Program (R-CHP). We welcome Dr. Buzanoski and look forward to his leadership at the Midland Regional Campus.

I am sad to announce that Andrew Zwyghuizen, MD, will be moving on from MSU and will no longer be our interim chair or a member of the Department of Surgery. I appreciate the work he has done for the college and university over the years, and we wish him the best. Over the last few days, I have met with the faculty of the department to create the process for selecting the next interim chair. The faculty decided on a straightforward process. Departmental faculty interested in the interim chair role will submit letters of interest to the dean’s office by Tuesday July 12. I expect to do interviews and consult with a variety of leaders and faculty about the decision with the hope of having an interim very soon. Based on conversations with MSU Health Care Inc., there continues to be good strong interest in supporting surgery recruits for years to come, and I look forward to growth for the department.

After a national search I am happy to report that Mark DeLano, MD, will be the chair of our Department of Radiology starting September 1. Mark is a CHM graduate as well as a grad of MSU’s Lyman Briggs College and has been the director for the college’s Division of Radiology and Biomedical Imagining. After CHM, Dr. DeLano did his residency at Duke and fellowship at Johns Hopkins before returning to MSU as faculty in East Lansing and then Grand Rapids. He has already been a great leader for us including developing educational, research, and clinical programs. My thanks to the search committee, committee chair David Kaufman, DO, and interim chair Kevin Robinson, DO, MBA, for their great work. It is wonderful to have Dr. DeLano in this very important role for the college.

As we move into mid-July, the college is both oddly calm and frantic. Hopefully, we have people making use of the extended holiday weekend to get some rest and time with family and friends. Many scholars and scientists are pushing to get as much research and scholarship done as possible before the late summer work of prepping for classes. For many of our graduate students, the summers are the best time for them to focus on their research projects – carpe datum.

Our matriculating students have not yet started their courses, but the Middle Clinical Experience students are in their rotations. My thanks to the faculty who took over teaching electrolyte large group sessions for me this year – may the concentration gradients be with you.

Our rising third years are getting a bit of a break after Step 1 and before the main rotations start next month. And, most of our third years/rising fourth years have finished their third-year rotations and are beginning their Step 2 study time – this test is growing in importance for our students as Step 1 moves to pass-fail.

Our recent grads are in the thick of their first month of residency – my thanks to them as my colleagues and the future of the profession. Elsewhere in the college, our new Advanced Baccalaureate Learning Experience (ABLE) students are starting their summer institute program, which prepares them for their ABLE post-baccalaureate year. We also have high school students in the Health Scholars Science Institute (HSSI) from Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing who will complete a virtual program this summer. For the first time since the summer of 2019, the ABLE Summer Institute will be in person and on campus and that is a big lift from Dr. Lipscomb and her team.

Whatever July brings you; I hope you and yours are safe and healthy. In my week so far, we have had no COVID patients but three overdoses of one kind or another. Watch out for each other.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD


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