Paz to lead Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, College of Medicine

March 06, 2006

Hillemeier to serve as interim CEO, dean and hospital executive

Hershey, Pa. -- Harold Louis Paz, dean of the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine in New Brunswick, N.J., has been appointed to head Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine, effective April 24.

Paz will take over for Darrell G. Kirch, as Penn State's senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the University's College of Medicine, and CEO of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center upon formal approval next week of the University's Board of Trustees. Kirch will assume the presidency of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C., the nation's top leadership position in academic medicine.

"Penn State is incredibly fortunate to have an individual with Harold Paz's abilities and accomplishments lead our College of Medicine and our world-class medical facilities in Hershey," said Penn State President Graham B. Spanier. "His record of success and achievement in medical education, research and clinical affairs has made him a leader among his peers nationally."

It also was announced today that Craig Hillemeier, chair of the department of pediatrics and director of the children's hospital at the medical center, will assume the role of CEO and dean on an interim basis, until the arrival of Paz on April 24. Hillemeier also will serve as interim executive director of the medical center. After overseeing a significant turnaround in the financial performance and organizational reconfiguration of the medical center, David Hefner, chief operating officer and executive director, will be stepping down during this time of transition. A national search will be launched for a permanent executive director and COO of the medical center.

Paz has been dean of the Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine for 10 years, during which time he has overseen the development of a major cancer center and child health institute; participated in the creation of a children's hospital; and oversaw significant expansion in medical research, increased community partnerships and advances in medical education.

"I am honored to have been selected to lead the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine. I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff to continue the institution on its trajectory of excellence," said Paz.

Paz initially was appointed associate dean for clinical affairs for the New Jersey-based institution before being named dean. Since his arrival, the school has grown to include 2,500 full-time, part-time and volunteer faculty and more than 1,000 students on three campuses, with a total budget in excess of $400 million.

During his tenure, the institution has made significant advances in all four of its missions: medical education, research, clinical enterprise and community service. Paz led the achievement of full accreditations of the medical school and residency consortium on behalf of its 11 member hospitals; implemented major curriculum revisions to train the next generation of physician-leaders for evolving health systems; and helped the school to rank among the most diverse medical colleges in terms of underrepresented minority students.

On the research side, four new institutes were developed under Paz's direction, including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and total research grants to the medical school have increased significantly -- with National Institutes of Health grants alone up 88 percent between 1988 and 2004.

Paz's prior experience includes tenure-track positions in medicine and anesthesiology, as medical intensive care unit director, and as associate dean for graduate medical education, and associate hospital medical director at Hahnemann University School of Medicine and Hospital from 1988-1994. He also served as an instructor in clinical medicine at Northwestern University Medical School during the completion of his chief residency.

He received his baccalaureate degree in biology and psychology from the University of Rochester, and his master's degree in life science engineering from Tufts University. He earned his medical doctorate from Rochester before completing his internship and residency in the department of internal medicine at Northwestern University Medical Center. In addition, Paz completed postdoctoral fellowships -- one in pulmonary and critical care medicine and a second in environmental health sciences -- at Johns Hopkins University.

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    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated November 18, 2010