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New Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Appoints Founding Dean

Physician, researcher and family-health advocate will lead medical school aimed at developing community health physician leaders

September 12, 2017



PASADENA, Calif. — The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Board of Directors has appointed professor of pediatrics, researcher, educator and health policy expert Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, as founding dean and CEO of its School of Medicine, to be located in Pasadena, California.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Schuster served as the William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chief of general pediatrics and vice chair for health policy in the Department of Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, since 2007.

In his role as founding dean, Dr. Schuster will oversee the day-to-day operations and unique direction of the School of Medicine. He will assume his position in October 2017.

“I’m excited to be a part of the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine’s vision to transform medical education by combining cutting-edge educational techniques with a focus on population health, data analytics, patient engagement and underserved populations,” said Dr. Schuster.  “Kaiser Permanente’s leadership in integrated health care, which emphasizes keeping patients healthy while providing the best in care when they are ill, will offer an unprecedented learning opportunity for our students.”

A physician, scientist and advocate for healthy families and communities, Dr. Schuster is recognized as an international leader in research on child, adolescent and family health, concentrating on topics such as quality of care, health disparities, family leave, obesity prevention and bullying. He currently leads the Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement, which is developing and implementing measures aimed at improving the care provided to children and supporting patient- and family-centered care across the nation and beyond. He has also partnered with communities to document and address social determinants of health for children.

At the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, Dr. Schuster will lead the development of an innovative model of medical education, informed by Kaiser Permanente’s rich clinical and population data, deep community engagement, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and personalized patient-centered care, leveraging the principles of Permanente Medicine and the unique attributes of the Kaiser Permanente system of care.

“We look forward to the visionary and inspirational leadership that Dr. Schuster will bring to our school,” said Holly J. Humphrey, MD, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine board chair and dean for medical education at the University of Chicago. “His insightful, evidence-based perspective, along with his commitment to the well-being of our students, patients and communities, are aligned with the practice of Permanente Medicine and will help catalyze the school’s reach toward ambitious goals.”

Since January 2016, Christine K. Cassel, MD, has served as planning dean. “We are truly grateful to Planning Dean Christine K. Cassel, MD, for contributing her leadership and expertise to the creation of the school,” said Dr. Humphrey. “Dr. Cassel will continue her work with the school to help it prepare to welcome its first class of students.”

Before moving to Boston, Dr. Schuster served as professor of pediatrics and health services at UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health and director of health promotion and disease prevention at RAND, the Santa Monica think tank.

Dr. Schuster has written two books, including his co-authored “Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They’d Ask),” more than 200 journal articles, and numerous research briefs and reports. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) and has served as president of the Academic Pediatric Association. He is a recipient of the Richardson Award for lifetime achievement from the Society for Pediatric Research and the Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Schuster received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Yale, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, his master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and his PhD from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He completed his pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital and his fellowship at the UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program.

Dr. Schuster will reside in Pasadena with his husband, Jeff Webb, an attorney who leads the labor and employment department at Ropes & Gray, two sons and a dog.

About the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine will offer more than a conventional medical education: It will provide students with the unique opportunity to be taught by the physicians of Kaiser Permanente and immersed in one of the nation’s highest-performing health care organizations. Students will gain real-world experience in an environment that embraces diversity of thought, experience and culture, and values their wellness and total health. This approach will create physicians who have the knowledge, skills and passion to lead the transformation of health care in our nation and help diverse communities thrive. Learn more at schoolofmedicine.kp.org.