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Saturday, September 18, 2021

School of Medicine dean to step down in June

UC Davis School of Medicine Dean Claire Pomeroy will step down next June, according to a Nov. 19 news release from the UC Davis Health System.

Pomeroy joined UC Davis in 2003 and was appointed as dean in 2005. She also serves as the vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences.

Pomeroy said her departure is the next step of her career, as she aims to promote health system reform on a national scale.

“I am progressively having an interest in having a national voice [in] healthcare reform, how we redesign the health care delivery system and health profession education going forward,” she said. “I’m glad to represent the university medical center in Washington, D.C., and then explore other possibilities on the national scene that can advance healthcare and health research.”

Pomeroy said she has had a personal interest in advocating for the medical center and health system for a long time and has thought about moving on for over a year.

After holding a number of prestigious positions and being involved in Washington, D.C.-based organizations like the Association of the American Medical College and the Association of Academic Health Centers, Pomeroy said she decided to devote more time to her interests. She said that working in Washington, D.C. would be the most natural and logical decision.

“I’m glad that I can play a role in these organizations to help in a volunteer position and with the replacement … I’m looking for positions that will allow me to work on a full-time basis,” Pomeroy said.

Pomeroy said she will be working with the University of California Office of the President to oversee the UC health system and address issues like healthcare reform, residency and professional education, and research funding, which, she says, are critically important issues for the system.

During Pomeroy’s tenure, research funding tripled, including a $100 million grant in 2007 by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to establish the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis.

The increased research funding moved UC Davis from No. 62 to No. 37 among 130 U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health research funding.

The School of Medicine received one of the first 12 National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Awards and developed a stem cell research program during Pomeroy’s time as dean.

“She promotes the interprofessional training of tomorrow’s healthcare workforce today — nurses and allied healthcare workers learning side-by-side with medical students,” said James Goodnight, executive director of the UC Davis Medical Group and associate dean for clinical affairs. “She supports improvements to information technology to deliver better, safer care, understanding that this remarkable repository can create enormous opportunities to advance health.”

Nathan Kuppermann, chair of the department of emergency medicine, said that the average tenure for a dean of the School of Medicine is four years. Pomeroy has been involved in the health system for seven years.

“She has an amazing amount of energy. She always has set a high standard and far-reaching vision for the future. She was always very supportive of my work,” said Thomas Nesbitt, associate vice chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances who has worked closely with Pomeroy since her arrival.

According to the news release, Pomeroy is dedicated to social justice and community engagement and created the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement.

“She has been a leader in our progress in primary care, including the development of our Rural-Prime program, which prepares students for practice in rural areas,” Kuppermann explained.

Pomeroy said that she would stay connected to and support UC Davis after her departure.

“I personally have started two scholarships, one in [the] medical school and one in [the] nursing school,” she said.

She explained that she looks forward to having more students honored through the scholarships and would like to be an ambassador for the work being done at UC Davis.

According to a UC Health news release, a recruitment advisory committee will be established soon to begin the search for Pomeroy’s replacement for the next academic year. Individuals within and outside UC Davis will be considered.

MENGSHI SHAO can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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