The past several years at the University of Kansas Medical Center have seen tremendous growth and progress toward fulfilling the university’s mission. Overseeing this progress has been Dr. Barbara Atkinson, in her roles as executive vice chancellor and executive dean of the School of Medicine.
Effective June 30 of this year, Dr. Atkinson will be retiring from both of these positions. I have named Steven Stites, M.D., to serve as acting executive vice chancellor and executive dean. He’s currently the Peter T. Bohan Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine, and he will begin these new duties immediately.
The KU Medical Center has benefitted tremendously under Dr. Atkinson’s leadership. These benefits extend to the patients and communities served by the doctors and health professionals at KUMC. They also extend to those served by the providers trained at KUMC who are meeting the needs of patients throughout the state and beyond.
During Dr. Atkinson’s tenure, the Hemenway Life Sciences Innovation Center was completed and is now home to outstanding scientists. NIH-funded research at KUMC has increased significantly.
The size of our faculty has nearly doubled with the recruitment of talented clinicians and scientists. A wonderful medical office building has been completed. And an effective affiliation agreement with The University of Kansas Hospital and the University of Kansas Physicians, Inc. is in place.
Most importantly, and with benefits for the entire region, we are on the cusp of National Cancer Institute designation for the KU Cancer Center. Dr. Atkinson’s vision, inspiration and leadership were crucial to our success in each of these accomplishments.
Please join me in thanking Dr. Atkinson for her work on behalf of our university and the people we serve. I look forward to working with you and your colleagues to continue the progress we have made.