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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Academics & Research

Associate deans hired for College of Medicine, providing for underrepresented

Three associate deans of medical school hired for University of Houston.

Three associate deans were hired this week by the University for the College of Medicine: Ruth Bush, Kathryn Horn and David Buck. | Courtesy of TTUHSC El Paso and Baylor College of Medicine via UH Media Relations

Three associate deans for the College of Medicine were hired this week as the University heads into the thick of getting the medical school approved.

The search for the positions began last November when the College of Medicine was approved by the UH System Board of Regents. The medical school is planned to enroll its first class by summer 2020.

“The success of a medical school starts with the quality of its leadership and we are thrilled to be assembling a dynamic team of proven leaders in medical education,” said Stephen Spann, founding dean of the College of Medicine, in a news release. “They will all play a critical role in training a new breed of physicians that understand health disparities and social determinants of health.”

The three associate deans are Ruth Bush, associate dean for medical education; Kathryn Horn, associate dean for student affairs, admissions and outreach; and David Buck, associate dean for community health.

All of the associate deans hired this week come from other medical schools in the state.

Bush was a tenured professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She also worked at Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She oversaw the research of 200 faculty and staff in her positions.

Horn served for thirty years at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, which was approved for its M.D. program in 2013 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Buck worked at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston for two decades as a professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

A main initiative and argument for approval of the medical school is to provide care for medically under-served communities in rural and urban parts of Texas, including the Third Ward.

One goal of the College of Medicine is to have 50 percent of its students be underrepresented minorities in medicine, which include Hispanic/Latino and Black/African-American minorities. The University expects to reach this by 2027 when the college is enrolling 120 student per year, according to an abridged curriculum.

“This is incredibly important,” Spann said at a Board of Regents meeting in March. “Patients relate best to physicians who understand their cultural and ethnic background.”

Although 40 percent of Texans are Hispanic, only 10 percent of Texas’ doctors are, Spann said.

For UH’s medical school to be officially approved, it will need approval by the THECB and the state legislature and accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

The University expects the medical school to be approved by THECB this October. The medical school will go for approval by the legislature and LCME in 2019.

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