PASADENA, Calif. – Today, the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine announced the newest addition to its team, Aaron Berkowitz, MD, PhD. Dr. Berkowitz will serve as founding director of global health and will also lead the development of the school’s neurology curriculum. Dr. Berkowitz previously served as director of the Global Neurology Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and as associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Berkowitz continues to serve as a health and policy advisor in neurology to Partners In Health, and as a senior specialist consultant to Doctors Without Borders.
“I am thrilled that Aaron is joining our faculty. He’s a phenomenal educator, a master clinician, and a visionary leader in global health. We are excited to have him on board,” said Dr. Mark Schuster, founding dean and CEO of Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine.
Dr. Berkowitz has been a leading voice in neurology, medical education, and global health throughout his career, having contributed to practice-defining texts and research. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Neurology, and Bulletin of the World Health Organization, written the chapters on neurology in resource-limited settings in Samuels Manual of Neurologic Therapeutics and the Oxford Handbook of Humanitarian Medicine, and published the acclaimed textbooks Clinical Neurology and Neuroanatomy: A Localization-based Approach (in the McGraw-Hill Lange series) and Clinical Pathophysiology Made Ridiculously Simple (in the MedMaster series). Dr. Berkowitz attended medical school at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and trained in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he served as chief resident.
“I am very excited to be joining Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. I look forward to working with leadership, faculty, and staff to equip our students with the knowledge and tools to reduce health inequities globally and locally, as well as working with our colleagues in resource-limited settings to develop global collaborations that improve access to health care and medical education worldwide,” said Dr. Berkowitz.
Dr. Berkowitz has been involved in humanitarian collaborations in varied settings, from Haiti to Malawi, and from the Navajo Nation to Boston's homeless. His work with the NGO Partners In Health led to the development of the first neurology training program in Haiti. His efforts in global health were recognized by the Mridha Spirit of Neurology Humanitarian Award from the American Brain Foundation in 2018 and the Kenneth M. Viste, Jr., MD Patient Advocate of the Year Award from the American Academy of Neurology in 2019.
“Aaron’s deep experience as a public health advocate and recognized expert in global health makes him the ideal leader for this new office. I look forward to working with him to establish compelling programs that will broaden our students’ education,” said Maureen Connelly, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine senior associate dean for academic and community affairs.
In addition to his role as Director of Global Health, Dr. Berkowitz will also serve as a professor in the school’s Department of Clinical Science. His teaching has been recognized by the Partners Neurology Teacher of the Year Award in 2018 and 2019 and the Donald O'Hara Award for Preclinical Teaching from Harvard Medical School in 2015.
“Aaron’s extensive experience developing and teaching the neuroscience curriculum at Harvard Medical School will be a huge plus as he leads our neurology curriculum,” said Dr. Michael Kanter, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine chair of clinical science. “He has received multiple teaching awards and his innovative and energetic approach to teaching will make him an ideal addition to our clinical science department.”
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine will welcome its inaugural class in summer 2020, with tuition waived for the first five graduating classes. The school began accepting applications from prospective students in May 2019.