Dean's Update

March 24, 2023 - Aron Sousa, MD


Above: Members of the remarkable team who led our college’s accreditation effort.


Our Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) site visitors left Grand Rapids on Wednesday after a good visit. We do not know the results of their survey and won’t really know much for a while. If you recall prior visits, we received a draft list of findings on the last day of the visit including probable citations. In the new system, we will get some information about the team’s findings next week, but that information will not include whether the team thinks these are citations or just monitoring issues. Then in June, we will have the chance to respond to the draft report, which will be specific about the team’s determinations about citations. Finally, the report will go before the full LCME at their October 2023 meeting, and we usually get their report three to four weeks later. So, we have to be patient.

I do not have to wait to thank the remarkable team that led our accreditation effort. Our new Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Andrea Wending, has been just remarkable. She has called together work groups to address our challenges and led the preparation of our materials and the visit. I happen to know how consuming this effort is, and Andrea has taken on every challenge with wisdom, care, and energy. We are in great hands.

If you had the chance to visit the operations room during the visit, you saw a hive of activity as people prepared for meetings and debriefed after the sessions. Oh, and there were lots of snacks. My thanks to the 134 people who met with the LCME this week including students, staff, and faculty. There are too many people for me to properly thank, but I want to note the remarkable contributions of Wanda Lipscomb, Jennifer Edwards-Johnson, Robin DeMuth, and Anita Avery, our curriculum committee chair. I must give a special shoutout to Heather Laird-Fick, who got up in a session and used the whiteboard to explain our processes – legendary.

An LCME accreditation cycle is not just about the visit. We have been working on this process for years. Dianne Wagner and Carol Parker started work on our accreditation materials more than a year ago and Carol continued in her role supporting the accreditation process after her transition to associate dean for administration to facilitate Andrea Wendling’s transition. Thank you, Dianne and Carol!

The visit itself ran smoothly because of Lisa Galbavi, who has now run four LCME site visits for the college. She is the grandmaster of LCME logistics. The LCME has even asked her to present nationally on how to organize and manage a visit. Our grateful college owes its LCME successes to Lisa, her organization, her hard work, and her intelligence.

The site team was very complimentary of the people they met during the visit. And, in particular, they were impressed by the consistent dedication to our mission in all of our people: the staff, the faculty, and the students across all of our communities. This is one of our greatest strengths, and I am happy, but not surprised, our dedication was obvious to our visitors. We have great people who do great work.

A couple of months ago, the College Advisory Council approved the creation of an Associate Dean for Public Health in the college, and this week I am delighted to announce Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH in that role. Much of Mona’s associate dean work will be focused on expanding public health education, research, advocacy, and service opportunities in the college across our communities and partnerships. Readers of the college strategic plan will recall we seek better integration of medicine and public health to improve the health of our people and communities. This job is about advocacy and collaboration rather than administration. Chairs and directors in units related to public health will still report to the dean, but you can expect Mona to show up, develop programming, support public intellectualism, and help us better engage on public health questions, policy and science across disciplines and programs. Dr. Hanna-Attisha leads the MSU-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative housed in the college’s Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health. Also, catch up on her latest awesome project in service of kids and their families.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD FACP



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