Dear Colleagues:

I am very pleased to announce the appointment of David Vlahov, PhD, RN as our new Dean for the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing.

David joins us from the New York Academy of Medicine, where he currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Research and Director of the Center for Urban Epidemiologic Studies. He is also Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Adjunct Professor of the New York University College of Nursing. From these roles and his prior work as a scientist and as a registered nurse, David brings an exciting combination of community-based research and intervention to UCSF. His unique blend of experience, leadership skills and interests is highly relevant given the continually evolving landscape of health care.

I would especially like to highlight the strong match between David's research and UCSF's focus areas. Not only is David a respected scientist in the areas of HIV infection—for which he received a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health—and population-based mental health research following community disasters—such as the World Trade Center attacks— he is also known for his longstanding commitment to addressing health care disparities through community research and clinical activities.

Since receiving his PhD from Johns Hopkins University more than 20 years ago, David has led epidemiological studies in Baltimore, Harlem, and the South Bronx. His outcomes have exemplified how individual- and community-level intervention studies can address social determinants of health. His work has directly influenced legislation and he has published over 600 peer-reviewed papers, 31 chapters and four books. He also serves on the editorial board of 10 journals.

In addition, as the founder and first President of the International Society for Urban Health, David has convened nine annual international conferences on this topic, which is growing in importance. This maps well to UCSF's mission of advancing health worldwide. His interests in urbanization in both developed and developing countries will find compatible homes here in the San Francisco Bay Area and with our internationally-active faculty, and his work with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Urban Health Center in Kobe, Japan complements the School of Nursing's WHO Collaborating Centre status.

David's excellent work in the area of public health is also a strong match. The School of Nursing's partnership with the City and County of San Francisco will benefit from David's years of serving as a member of the New York City Board of Health. In addition, his service on panels at the Institute of Medicine have provided him with a deep understanding of the complex relationships between the public health arena and the education and training of nursing professionals, which will serve the School of Nursing in advancing our leadership role in healthcare reform.

Finally, I would like to thank the Search Committee for their excellent work: Sam Hawgood (chair), Claire Brindis, Glenna Dowling, John Featherstone, Kevin Grumbach, Joseph Guglielmo, Jane Hirsch, Christine Kennedy, Mark Laret, Jon Levine, Audrey Lyndon, Wendy Max, Howard Pinderhughes, Carmen Portillo, and Sally Rankin.

David's appointment begins on April 1, 2011. Please join me in welcoming him to UCSF. Additional announcements and welcoming events will be forthcoming.

Best,
Sue

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Chancellor
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor