A Note From Ross Hall
After nearly nine years serving as the vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), I recently decided to transition out of these roles and make way for new leadership at SMHS. It has been an incredible honor to hold these key leadership positions at my alma mater, and I am proud of the accomplishments we’ve made during my tenure.
I arrived at the George Washington University (GW) for medical school in 1977, and three decades later, in December 2010, GW President Steven Knapp asked me to step into a dual leadership role overseeing the former GW Medical Center and SMHS. Although I was content in my position as psychiatry chair, I also knew that I was the right person at the right moment to lead these important institutions. My deep familiarity with the medical and academic enterprise and the support of the faculty and alumni gave me the insight and confidence to make the changes necessary to lead the school to the next level.
Today, I look back with pride at what we have achieved, including full accreditation of our programs, the revision of the MD curriculum, the hiring of nationally renowned faculty members, the expansion of our health sciences programs, and the establishment of an influential Office of Diversity and Inclusion. We have moved the institution forward in research, education, clinical care, and philanthropy.
Both GW and I have evolved over the past 42 years. I owe my personal and professional growth to the thousands of people whom I have had the privilege of teaching, learning from, working with, and providing medical care for.
To the late Jerry Wiener, who hired me onto the faculty in 1985; to the late Bob Keimowitz, who appointed me assistant dean in 1991; to Skip Williams, who named me chair of the psychiatry department; and to former President Knapp, thank you for your confidence and for the amazing opportunities you provided me. To our SMHS alumni, thank you for your friendship and support. To my partner Steven Mazzola, my family (including those no longer with us), and the late Steve Dixon, none of this would have been possible without your love and encouragement. It is time for me to pass the baton to the next ambassador of the brand, but please know, as an alumnus and faculty member, I will be present and supporting President Thomas J. LeBlanc’s leadership. Also, I’m quite sure that after four decades at GW, I may actually bleed buff and blue.
Jeffrey S. Akman, MD ’81, RESD ’85
Vice President for Health Affairs
Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine
and Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences