Available for logged-in reporters only
Newswise BOSTON (Oct. 16, 2019)Tufts University School of Medicine Dean Harris Berman will step down from his post at the end of the year. The managed-care pioneer and former chief executive of Tufts Health Plan will continue at the university on a part-time basis, fundraising for the medical school and university and training academic leadership in development.
In his time at the medical school, Berman has championed curriculum improvements, ushered in a new anatomy lab and other learning spaces, guided the development of a unique training program for rural doctors in Maine, and was actively involved in fundraising, which last year saw gifts of $37 million, the largest one-year total in the schools history.
While a search for a new dean is underway, Vice Dean Peter Bates will serve as interim dean. Before joining the Tufts School of Medicine this summer, Bates was senior vice president of academic affairs and chief academic officer at Maine Medical Center.
Bates and Berman worked together on one of Bermans proudest accomplishments at Tufts: launching the Maine Track Program. Berman recognized that rural areas in Maine have trouble attracting and retaining physicians, limiting patients access to care. So, in collaboration with Maine Medical Center, Berman led the development of a training track geared toward students interested in rural medicine with the goal of creating a pipeline of new physicians who would settle in Maine. Introduced in 2008, the program serves a part of New England that needed help, in a very innovative way, Berman said. It was a real turning point for Tufts.
Bates said the outgoing deans intelligence, judgement, and collaborative nature were instrumental to the initiatives success. He has accomplished so much in his career, yet is so humble, and is always focused on the goals of the school and its partners, Bates said.
Berman also oversaw the decommissioning of the old anatomy lab. Not only was it crowded, but there were air circulators that were so noisy, you could barely hear yourself think, Berman said. A new, state-of-the-art lab, made possible by a gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, opened in 2017, doubling the space and incorporating cutting-edge technology that really transformed the way we teach anatomy, Berman said.
One of his cherished moments was watching the class who had taken the first half of their anatomy course in the old lab return from winter break to finish their course in the new space. They truly appreciated the change, he said.
Berman has held influential positions in his career, but his favorite job was his first one: a Peace Corps physician. It was there, coordinating the care for doctors throughout the corps network in India, that his outlook on medicine took shape.
When Berman expressed concern that India did not have the facilities for taking care of very ill patients, a local health official set him straight. He said, Look, young man, in America you have plenty of money to take care of patients. The few rupees we have to spend on health care we spend on prevention, Berman remembered. That conversation stuck with Berman. It was the best education I ever had on the importance of prevention and public health, he said.
Berman attended Harvard College and earned his M.D. from Columbia in 1964. After completing his internship and an infectious disease fellowship at Tufts Medical Center (then called Tufts-New England Medical Center), Berman and four other physicians decided to open a health clinic in Nashua, New Hampshire. Their approach was novel. They would charge their patients a flat fee each year, even if they had to see specialists. Although the term had yet to be coined, the model was essentially an HMO. They called it the Matthew Thornton Health Plan, after a New Hampshire doctor and politician who signed the Declaration of Independence. Specialists worked closely with internists, helping keep down costs.
We eventually convinced all the other multispecialty group practices in the state to join us, Berman said. We really did start a revolution.
When Berman left Matthew Thorton in 1986, it had 50,000 patients and was the second largest insurer in New Hampshire. From there, he joined Tufts Health Plan as its chief executive. He led the company for seventeen years, growing it from 60,000 members to more than one million.
Jon Kingsdale, then the senior vice president for planning at Tufts Health Plan, cited the way Berman decided which Medicare preferred plan for seniors the company should adopt. After six months of careful research, the staff had narrowed it to two choices, but could not decide between them. Well, its obvious, Berman said. This plan has integrity, and this one doesnt, so lets go with this one, Kingsdale remembered.
Integrity is central to every Berman decision, agreed James Roosevelt, who succeeded him as chief executive at Tufts Health Plan. The message that Harris always communicates, both in action and words, is do the right thing, Roosevelt said.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker was the chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare when Berman was at Tufts Health Plan. He called Berman a friendly rival, but also a mentor. Harris was an innovator and a leader in every way, Baker said.His leadership in every role he has ever had has been outstanding, and his commitment to improving health care for everyone has been long lasting and steadfast.
Berman was able to see medicines bigger picture and see it clearly. Atul Gawande, the surgeon and bestselling author who reports extensively on health care as a New Yorker staff writer, found a rare resource in Berman. He was one of the first people who ran an insurance company who could tell me what was wrong with the insurance system, Gawande said. When I was grappling with what is wrong with the way we train people to be physicians, he would be the first to acknowledge this isnt the way it should be.
After leaving the insurance industry, Berman joined the School of Medicine administration as chair of the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine in 2003. Then sixty-five years old, he planned to ease into retirement. It didnt turn out that way. He showed up every day for his part-time post and soon figured out that the department felt like a distant cousin to the rest of the medical school, which focused on training physicians.
I can fix it, Berman told the dean, Michael Rosenblatt, but I need to have the authority to be responsible for it. Thus Berman became the schools first dean of Public Health and Professional Degree Programs.
By better integrating public health into the rest of the school, we are sending a very clear message to our medical students and our public health students that youve got to work together, Berman said. Medical doctors need to understand public health diseases and get involved in their communities, and public health people need to be able to deal with doctors.
Berman continued toin his words"flunk retirement. He became vice dean of the medical school, and in 2009, when Rosenblatt left to take a job in industry, stepped in as interim dean. I had no idea I would be dean for ten years, Berman said.
As dean, he helped reinforce the bond between the school and Tufts Medical Center. Michael Wagner, the former chief executive at the hospital, said Berman was always available to talk. He has that physicians capability of being really thoughtful, of listening carefully, of caring, Wagner said. He would take those skills as a healer and apply them as a leader.
And it is the patience and trust he shows as a leader, his colleagues at the medical school say, that allowed them to flourish. He respects everyone on his team, said Naomi Rosenberg, dean emerita of the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University. That is a pretty amazing thing, because Im not sure you can say that about many people and really mean it, she said. He might not always agree with you, but he always supported you. Thats true whether you were doing something easy or something that was incredibly hard. And we worked on both kinds of things.
No matter what Harris did, she said, he did it with the best interests of the school in mind.
See the original post here:
- Meet the Playwright Debuting 2 Plays in 1 Seasonand Going to Med School at the Same Time - Playbill.com - October 21st, 2019
- If food is medicine, why isnt it taught at medical schools? - The New Food Economy - October 21st, 2019
- Forget Free Tuition, Application Costs Are First Barrier - Medscape - October 21st, 2019
- Penn Med professor writes book on trying to find cure for his own rare disease - The Daily Pennsylvanian - October 21st, 2019
- Vaping: Natick and UMass Medical School join forces to tackle addiction - Wicked Local Franklin - October 21st, 2019
- California is pushing back school start times. The move could sweep the nation or backfire. - NBCNews.com - October 21st, 2019
- Our diets are killing us and doctors aren't trained to help | TheHill - The Hill - October 21st, 2019
- Student volunteer for Griffith Family Foundation nominated to attend Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston | News, Sports, Jobs - Altoona... - October 21st, 2019
- Motherhood and medicine should mix. So why is it such a struggle? - STAT - October 21st, 2019
- What Pre-Med Students Can Expect From The MMI Interview - Forbes - October 21st, 2019
- Dr. N. Thorne Griscom, radiologist and singer with perfect pitch on stage and in the lab, dies at 88 - The Boston Globe - October 21st, 2019
- Millennial doctor uses TikTok to warn kids about vaping -- and they're listening - GMA - October 21st, 2019
- Wilson: Henry Ford an institution to deepen partnership with - The South End - October 21st, 2019
- Jones: Ready to work, learn and help - Greenville Daily Reflector - October 21st, 2019
- Climate change threatens firefighters and farmworkers. And that's only the beginning. - AAMCNews - October 21st, 2019
- Forget Free Tuition, Application Costs Are First Barrier - Medscape - October 16th, 2019
- Black Men In White Coats: An Initiative To Increase The Number Of Black Men In Medical School - Forbes - October 16th, 2019
- If food is medicine, why isnt it taught at medical schools? - The New Food Economy - October 16th, 2019
- Parents in medical research labs missing out on government help with conference travel - Physician's Weekly - October 16th, 2019
- High-paying health care jobs that don't require medical school - Fox Business - October 16th, 2019
- Solving the Mystery of Autism - Harvard Medical School - October 16th, 2019
- Passion for Baseball Gives Way to Pursuit of Medical Career - CSUSM NewsCenter - October 16th, 2019
- A Mobile Health Clinic Is Bringing Contraception to the Rio Grande Valley - Undark Magazine - October 16th, 2019
- Majority of new Spokane medical students are women - Spokane Journal of Business - October 16th, 2019
- The kidney stone diet: Not as restrictive as you may think - Harvard Health - October 16th, 2019
- BRMC signs agreement to train med students - The Baxter Bulletin - October 16th, 2019
- Why Medical Schools Need to Focus More on Nutrition - Wall Street Journal - October 16th, 2019
- How a Promise These 3 Doctors Made in High School Is Helping Kids Today - Inside Edition - October 16th, 2019
- How Hard Is It To Get Into Medical School In 2019? - Forbes - October 5th, 2019
- In the Spotlight: 'You're never going to get into medical school' - Scope - Scope - October 5th, 2019
- Lighting the Way | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - October 5th, 2019
- Dr. Douglas B. Murphy, former professor of cell biology at the Johns Hopkins Medical School, dies - Baltimore Sun - October 5th, 2019
- The Highest-Paying Healthcare Jobs That Don't Require a Medical School Degree - FOX 11 and FOX 41 - October 5th, 2019
- Taking the Reins | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - October 5th, 2019
- Brown Alpert Medical School Opioid Experts to Join Smart Health LIVE Wednesday at 4 - GoLocalProv - October 5th, 2019
- American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine Offers Medical School Scholarships to Canadians - Yahoo Finance - October 5th, 2019
- Emergency physicians group names OUWB student 'Outstanding Medical Student of the Year' - News at OU - October 5th, 2019
- How to improve screening for social determinants of health - American Medical Association - October 5th, 2019
- New Center For Medical Education Breaks Ground In Shreveport - Red River Radio - October 5th, 2019
- Get 2 the Point: Integrative Medicine - WBAY - October 5th, 2019
- Dr. Thomas S. Monahan III, University of Maryland School of Medicine surgeon who worked with the needy, dies - Baltimore Sun - October 5th, 2019
- Will cadavers in medical school soon be a thing of the past? - The Daily Briefing - October 4th, 2019
- How Hard Is It To Get Into Medical School In 2019? - Forbes - October 4th, 2019
- In the Spotlight: 'You're never going to get into medical school' - Scope - October 4th, 2019
- Brown Alpert Medical School Opioid Experts to Join Smart Health LIVE Wednesday at 4 - GoLocalProv - October 4th, 2019
- Dr. Thomas S. Monahan III, University of Maryland School of Medicine surgeon who worked with the needy, dies - Baltimore Sun - October 4th, 2019
- Taking the Reins | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - October 4th, 2019
- Rutgers' Brain Health Institute continues to expand its research capabilities - RU Daily Targum - October 4th, 2019
- Global health programs in medical school: Who benefits? - American Medical Association - September 25th, 2019
- We Need More Doctors Who Are Scientists - The New York Times - September 25th, 2019
- Graduate student leaders focused on change - University of Miami - September 25th, 2019
- Changes in Racial/Ethnic Representation in US Medical School Matriculants - Medical Bag - September 25th, 2019
- Female High School and Medical Students Take Part in Perry Initiative Outreach Program at Orthopaedic Institute for Children - Business Wire - September 25th, 2019
- New medical schools open to disadvantaged pupils | Good University Guide 2020 - The Times - September 25th, 2019
- Family medicine becomes family tradition - UpperMichigansSource.com - September 25th, 2019
- No, Practicing Medicine Is Not Just About Basic Biology - Medscape - September 25th, 2019
- Built to Endure | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - September 25th, 2019
- Joggin' with Josh advocates healthful lifestyles - Grand Forks Herald - September 25th, 2019
- White Coats Presented to Med School Class of 2023 - UNLV NewsCenter - September 25th, 2019
- Lake Wales graduates in high-demand fields came home this summer to practice medicine - The Ledger - September 25th, 2019
- AMA Awards Multiple Innovation Grants to Medical Schools - Medscape - September 25th, 2019
- UM School Of Medicine's Center For Vaccine Development And Global Health Receives NIH Contract Of Up To More Than $200 Million For Influenza Research... - September 25th, 2019
- Unusual Suspect | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - September 25th, 2019
- Valedictorian Who Battled Homelessness Starts School At Yale - News One - September 25th, 2019
- Curing the Cost - HSC Newsbeat - September 25th, 2019
- Message from the RSOM Alumni President Fall 2019 - Stony Brook News - September 25th, 2019
- Guilford High School student wore blackface to football game against Hartford team - Hartford Courant - September 25th, 2019
- Pre-med student pursues interest in agriculture - Monroe Evening News - September 25th, 2019
- Upstate abruptly ousts $592K-a-year medical school dean; he's suing - syracuse.com - September 19th, 2019
- Built to Endure | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - September 19th, 2019
- Preparing physicians for the world as it is - American Medical Association - September 19th, 2019
- Rural health grant largest in School of Medicine's history - The Maneater - September 19th, 2019
- UM Regents approve construction of 12-story adult inpatient hospital - University of Michigan Health System News - September 19th, 2019
- Cornell Medical School Tackles Student Debt With Full-Ride Offer - Newsy - September 19th, 2019
- Midday with Muller: Chemical spill at Manhattan medical school, officer shot in Staten Island to be released - msnNOW - September 19th, 2019
- Penn Med study finds minority students are underrepresented in medical schools - The Daily Pennsylvanian - September 19th, 2019
- Thank You, Big Business - Wall Street Journal - September 19th, 2019
- School of Medicine receives award to develop physician-scientists - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - September 19th, 2019
- Diagnosis: An infestation of political correctness - OneNewsNow - September 19th, 2019
- Helmets in Longwood | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - September 19th, 2019