I am honored and proud to be named Dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I appreciate and value the opportunity to work with Chancellor Brian Strom to help realize his vision for Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I look forward to meeting the accomplished faculty, staff and students, as well as my colleagues at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and everyone throughout Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.The vision our chancellor and our president have set out for us is bold and far reaching and it will take all of us working together to achieve it. As many of you know, I come from Mayo Clinic where I served in many roles, most recently as dean of Mayo Medical School. As I consider the charge before us, I am reminded of a quote from William J. Mayo who said, “The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.” He went on to say that in order to meet those needs, “a union of forces” is required. That concept of joined forces working for the patient good guides our efforts here at Rutgers as well.
From its early beginnings in the 1960s as Rutgers Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has had a rich history. So much has been accomplished. The hard work and dedication of so many of you and your predecessors over more than five decades has brought us to where we are now. And today, we mark the beginning of a new era that will build upon the medical school’s prestigious past and look squarely to the future. Our new leadership model is characterized by the pursuit of excellence and with that comes new accountability.
To achieve excellence and accountability in all of the mission areas, we must work as a highly focused team. We must ensure that the learning environment supports the development of well-prepared, humanistic physicians who are committed to the highest ideals of the profession. We must continue to uncover novel insights that advance medical science and lead to better health. And we will build a clinically integrated, statewide, high-value healthcare delivery system. To realize this vision, educators, researchers, and clinicians, will come together as interprofessional teams, in the classroom, in the laboratory, at the bedside and in the community.
My work at the Mayo Clinic over the past 30 years as well as in my many national extramural roles has taught me well, and I hope to share that with you. I also expect to learn from all of you. In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Vicente H. Gracias for his substantial contributions to our school in his role as interim dean. I am deeply grateful for his efforts. His leadership was instrumental to achieving many important milestones that are integral building blocks for the future, during this transitional period.
Our future is filled with opportunity as the historic integration with Rutgers University has uniquely positioned us to create the largest academic integrated healthcare system in New Jersey and one of the largest in the nation. And the medical school represents the academic engine driving this integration. I invite you to join me to become part of this “union of forces” as we embark on this exciting endeavor.
Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc, Dean