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Pomeroy named to top health sciences post

By Amy Agronis on September 17, 2004 in University

New vice chancellor and dean blends 'outside perspective' with UC Davis experience

Claire Pomeroy, executive associate dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine and an expert in infectious diseases, has been named vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents next week.

Pomeroy, 49, was selected after a nationwide search for the new post that will oversee the $777 million UC Davis Health System, one of the nation's top providers of medical care, research and education.

"As a relative newcomer to UC Davis, Dr. Pomeroy brings a valued outside perspective but also the insights gleaned these past 20 months from contributing substantially to the medical school's vision and administration as its executive associate dean," said UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef. "I am convinced our health and medicine programs will prosper under her leadership as vice chancellor and dean."

Added Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw: "It was clear throughout the search process that Claire Pomeroy is highly regarded not only by our medical school research, teaching and clinical faculty but also by the broader community served by the Health System. Building on the strong foundation laid by her predecessor, Joseph Silva, she will lead our health sciences programs to even higher levels of distinction and accomplishment."

The combined vice chancellor and dean position will replace that of the medical school dean, held since 1997 by Joseph Silva Jr. Pomeroy's appointment will be effective Feb. 1, 2005, when Silva assumes the position of senior advisor to the chancellor for health sciences.

"Over the past 20 months, I have watched Claire with great admiration as she's guided the development of our strategic plan, enhanced the infrastructure for building our research and educational programs, and integrated the operations of the school and medical center," Silva said.

Pomeroy said she is "proud to be a part of the important work done here. "With an extraordinarily talented faculty, dedicated staff, and bright, hard-working students, this institution truly is a critical local and national resource."

"In concert with colleagues across UC Davis and in collaboration with our partners around the region, the state and the nation, I will accelerate our research efforts, strengthen our educational programs, and work to deliver the most compassionate and high quality care in our hospital and clinics," she said. "I will strive to serve the people of this region and beyond with outstanding programs that only an academic medical center can provide."

Pomeroy, who also is a professor of infectious diseases and of microbiology and immunology, joined the School of Medicine as executive associate dean in January 2003, second in leadership to the dean. In her new post, Pomeroy will have the added responsibility of overseeing the UC Davis Medical Center, directed by Robert Chason.

"With her considerable experience and indomitable enthusiasm, Claire is perfectly prepared to take the helm of this institution as we deal with the many challenges facing academic medicine in the next decade," said Chason.

As executive associate dean, Pomeroy has played a leading role in integrating the teaching, research, patient care and community service missions within the school and medical center, as well as with other schools and colleges on the Davis campus. She also guided the development of the new strategic plan for the UC Davis Health System and has been a strong proponent of translating basic research findings into clinical care.

The UC Davis Medical Center continues to rank among the top 50 hospitals and medical schools in the country in annual surveys published by U.S. News & World Report. This year, the magazine also selected the School of Medicine as one of the top 50 medical schools in the country for research. The school is known for particular research strengths in the areas of cancer, infectious diseases, vascular biology and neuroscience.

Research funding at the School of Medicine has increased by 40 percent over the last two years. The school has more than 550 research studies under way, funded for a total of $102 million. The health system's research programs are marked by collaborations within and outside of UC Davis. Among its partners are Shriners Hospital for Children, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Veterans Affairs Health System and the USDA Western Human Nutrition Center.

In addition, the School of Medicine has the largest family nurse practitioner/physician assistant program in the nation. And more than 20,000 health-care providers participate in UC Davis' continuing medical education programs every year via conferences and lectures. Through its School of Medicine, and residency and fellowship training programs, UC Davis has trained more than half the physicians in the Sacramento area.

The health system consists of the School of Medicine; the Medical Center's hospital and its network of primary and specialty care clinics, and the physician practice group known as UC Davis Medical Group. In fiscal year 2002-03, the medical center had an operating budget of $777 million, 605 faculty, 2,500 clinical faculty, 738 residents and fellows, and 6,400 staff employees.

Pomeroy came to UC Davis from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where she was an associate dean for research and informatics, and professor and chief of infectious diseases. She received her medical degree from the University of Michigan College of Medicine, and completed her residency and fellowship in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota. She has a master's degree in business administration from the University of Kentucky.

She joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota, where she established an HIV clinic at the Minneapolis Veterans' Administration Medical Center. Later, she held several posts at the University of Kentucky, including chief of the division of infectious diseases, assistant dean for clinical affairs and associate dean for research and informatics. She served on the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate Council, served as a reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and chaired the Veterans Administration Research Career Scientist Program review group.

Pomeroy is active in mentoring programs and faculty development programs. Currently she is director of the education and mentoring program at the General Clinical Research Center, a joint program of UC Davis and Northern California (Mather) Health Care System.

She and her husband, William Preston Robertson, an author and filmmaker, live in Sacramento.

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932, abagronis@ucdavis.edu

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