Tufts Names Harris Berman as Dean of Medical School

Managed Care Pioneer Has Strengthened Global & Public Health Programs
October 6, 2011

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BOSTON --Tufts University today announced that it has named Harris A. Berman, M.D., as dean of its School of Medicine (TUSM). Berman has served as dean ad interim since December 2009. 

"As interim dean, Dr. Berman has done much more than oversee and guide the school's operations. He has adroitly balanced practical problem-solving with strategic thinking, and as a result, the school is noticeably stronger than it was two years ago," said Peggy Newell, university provost and senior vice president ad interim, in making the announcement to the Tufts community. "Dr. Berman has led efforts to develop new programs that are academically sound, build connections to other Tufts schools, help fulfill national needs for the delivery of health care and contribute to the school’s financial stabilization."

Berman has helped to attract key clinical and basic science faculty members to TUSM, including the recent recruitment of Dr. John Leong, formerly of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, to chair the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology.

He has also spearheaded the expansion of the school's Global Health Program. Collaborations with teaching and research institutions overseas offer important training opportunities for Tufts medical students pursuing work in international health care research and delivery. Berman has also applied his experience as a Peace Corps physician in India and a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development to advance a global health agenda for the medical school. "Exposing our students to global health and experience in the developing world gives them insight into some of the issues we have in our own nation," he said.

A focus on public health at TUSM is something that Berman also believes to be significant. "Unlike many schools, public health here is part of the medical school, not a separate entity," said Berman. "I think there’s a real advantage because what we’re trying to teach medical students is that public health should be part of what they do in their practice of medicine."

Prior to his appointment as interim dean, Berman was TUSM's dean of public health and professional degree programs. He had served as chair of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine from 2003 to 2008. Before coming to Tufts, he was a pioneer in the development of managed care in New England. He served as the chief executive officer of the Tufts Health Plan for 17 years. During that time, the plan grew from 60,000 to over a million members. He had previously co-founded the Matthew Thornton Health Plan in Nashua, N.H., one of New England's first HMOs.

Berman has served as chairman of the board of the Massachusetts Association of HMOs and of the Celebrity Series of Boston.  He has also been a director of the American Association of Health Plans.  He is currently a commissioner for the Group Insurance Commission and a member of the Board of Directors of Tufts Medical Center, Tufts Health Care Institute, New England Healthcare Institute, the Wolfson Foundation and Tufts Health Plan.

A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Berman served as a resident on the Harvard Medical Service of Boston City Hospital and at Tufts-New England Medical Center (now Tufts Medical Center), and completed an infectious disease fellowship at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

About Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences

Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University are international leaders in innovative medical education and advanced research. The School of Medicine and the Sackler School are renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, biomedical sciences, special combined degree programs in business, health management, public health, bioengineering and international relations, as well as basic and clinical research at the cellular and molecular level. Ranked among the top in the nation, the School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School undertake research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical science.

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