Dean's Update

December 8, 2023 - Aron Sousa, MD


Last week, I wrote about the health insurance debacle facing our students. I will not rehash all of that here, but the university has created a system to reimburse students for medical costs resulting from the loss of their insurance. For students who cannot front the medical costs, there is now an emergency fund to cover costs until the insurance problems are fixed. The underlying bleeding is not yet staunched, but we have bandages. One of our affected students, Joshua Mills, will be speaking to the MSU Board of Trustees about the failings of the system. I know he would appreciate the support of his fellow students.

Our students are everywhere! December 16, the Student Council and SNMA will sponsor “Anatomy of Fashion: A Runway Show for Charity.” The money will go to Care Free Medical, which provides free and reduced cost health care to patients in Lansing. The clinic is run by alum Farhan Bhatti, MD (’12) and is a teaching and volunteer site for our students and residents. It is a great cause, and the show’s premise is awesome. The designers are all MSU students and will work with scrubs donated by companies that make them. The leading organizer, Donovan Dennis, MS2, was my first panelist on last week’s Town Hall and his enthusiasm is infectious. I am really looking forward to the show – it’s clever, it’s for a great cause, what more can you want? Don’t miss it if you can.

One of our faculty, Morteza Mahmoudi, associate professor in the Department of Radiology and the Precision Health program, has been recognized as one of the most cited researchers in the world. Five MSU faculty made the international list, which recognizes about 1 in 1000 researchers in the world. Morteza does remarkable research on nanotechnologies active in wound healing, regeneration, and cancer biology. He is also a world leader in studying and addressing academic bullying. Poke around his work, you will probably cite him too.

Today, the MSU Board of Trustees announced Kevin M. Guskiewicz, PhD, as the 22nd president of Michigan State University. An accomplished neuroscientist, sports medicine researcher, and academic leader, Dr. Guskiewicz comes to MSU from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was chancellor. He will have a zero percent appointment in the college, and we are delighted to have him join us!

As we welcome President-Elect Guskiewicz, I wish to express my deep appreciation to Interim President Teresa Woodruff for her leadership working through tragedy and moving forward the mission of the university. She has set our next president up for success, and we will welcome her back to the faculty with its attendant rights and responsibilities, when she passes the torch on March 4. If ever there was a faculty member dedicated to “serv[ing] as a scholar pursuing the search for knowledge and its free expression, as [a teacher] instructing students, and as a [professional and citizen] contributing special knowledge and skills through public service and community participation,” that scholar and colleague is Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD. We will welcome her home.

Yesterday, amongst violence all across the globe, I emailed the dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV to offer my condolences and support after the gun killing of three faculty and seriously wounding a fourth on the UNLV campus on Wednesday. This brings the number of American mass shootings in 2023 to 632, and gun deaths for the year are over 40,000, of which 22,506 are suicides. If we are going to work our way out of this epidemic, we are going to need many leaders who work on gun violence as a public health problem.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP


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