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Casteen Appoints Pediatric Cardiologist

Arthur Garson Jr., Dean At Baylor College Of Medicine, To Become Dean & Vice President At U.Va. June 25

March 26, 2002-- Arthur "Tim" Garson Jr., senior vice president and academic dean for operations at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, today was named vice president and dean of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, effective June 25, 2002.

University President John T. Casteen III, who made the announcement at a gathering of medical school faculty and staff, said that Garson’s years of experience in administration, teaching and research give him an intimate understanding of the myriad challenges facing the medical profession. "Tim Garson is a unique blend of visionary and strategic planner," Casteen said. "He comes to us with a strong track record in education, patient care, health policy and business, and he is ready to lead the school into the highest tier of academic excellence."

Garson, the dean at Baylor since 1996, said he was drawn to U.Va. because "the University of Virginia is one of the great learning institutions in the world. As I came to meet the faculty and administration, both within the School of Medicine and in the University, I was attracted to the spirit of excellence and collaboration that I already have found to permeate the institution."

An internationally respected pediatric cardiologist, Garson said he is well aware of the challenges facing medicine but believes that U.Va. can become a national model. "We are living in a society that is in constant change. We must consistently predict and, in some cases, lead that change. But we must do that in the context of certain things — such as a great university and its traditions and the way we treat each other as people," he said. "These are, without a doubt, the most exciting times in academic medicine, and I cannot imagine a better place to live them."

Garson will fill a newly expanded position that requires extensive collaboration and planning across divisional lines. As dean with academic responsibilities, he will report to Gene D. Block, the University provost. In his vice presidential role, Garson will share responsibility for clinical operations and management with R. Edward Howell, the chief executive officer and vice president of the Medical Center. In that capacity, both report to Leonard W. Sandridge, the University’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"Tim Garson understands the complexity of this job — both the critical need to prepare young physicians to deal with future challenges and the importance of applying the results of research at the bedside. These are things that distinguish the University of Virginia and assure our patients of health care that is second to none," Sandridge said. "Tim brings a strong record of outstanding clinical leadership, and we are fortunate to have a person with his experience and expertise to guide our medical school."

During the next six months, Garson said he plans to do a great deal of listening and learning. "There are two strategic plans that recently have been completed — one for the Medical Center and one for the medical school. As Ed Howell and I have discussed, the medical school and the Medical Center, and we as individuals, need to work ever more closely. And we will need to involve many members of the University community in our discussions."

Garson will be following in the footsteps of Robert M. Carey, M.D., during whose 16-year tenure the school has become established as one of the best in the nation. Under his leadership, the school also has experienced significant expansion, Casteen said. "Not only has Bob Carey overseen the building of four medical research facilities and established numerous outstanding medical research centers, he has created a collaborative atmosphere among the faculty that has been the impetus for important interdisciplinary work with colleagues in the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering. His tireless contributions are valued greatly by the University."

Carey, an internationally recognized endocrinologist and recipient of the American Heart Association’s Irving Page Award for Hypertension Research, will return to the medical school faculty full-time. During a year’s sabbatical, he will develop a proposal for a groundbreaking research center to advance his on-going study of hormonal control of blood pressure.

"Through tireless leadership, Bob Carey leaves us with a remarkably distinguished and energetic group of faculty," Block said. "He has set a trajectory that has the potential to bring us to the top tier of research-intensive medical schools. I am confident that Tim Garson will carry on the traditions of educational and research excellence that Bob has fostered."

Garson sees challenges and opportunities in a number of areas that relate to medical education, and is particularly interested in the increasing need to teach medical students new material and new ways of caring for patients. "We will look closely at our curriculum, covering certain core knowledge that we determine is needed, but recognizing that because so much knowledge changes even by graduation, it will be important to teach the techniques of lifelong learning early," Garson said. "We will help our students to understand and live the art and feel of medicine."

Garson, 53, graduated from Princeton University in 1970 and received his M.D. from Duke University in 1974, remaining there for his pediatric residency. In 1979, he completed a pediatric cardiology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine and joined its faculty in 1985. He was named chief of pediatric cardiology in 1988. In 1992, he received a master’s degree in public health, specializing in health policy and health care finance, from the University of Texas in Houston, and was recruited to Duke to be associate vice chancellor of health affairs. While there, he spent most of his time in health policy. Three years later he returned to Houston and became senior vice president and dean for academic operations at Baylor and vice president of Texas Children’s Hospital. In 2000, he was the president of the American College of Cardiology.

Garson, a native of New York City, and his wife Suzan, are the parents of two daughters.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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