Dear Members of the Medical School Community:
I am pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has unanimously reappointed Mark A. Schuster, MD, PhD, to a second five-year term as Dean and CEO of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine (KPSOM). The Board firmly believes that Dean Schuster’s leadership is critical to the next phase of growth and development for our medical school—one of the nation’s newest and most innovative.
This reappointment is based on Dean Schuster’s extraordinary accomplishments during the past four and one-half years. These achievements involved the work of many, including the school’s faculty, staff, students, and leadership along with critical collaborations with many from Southern California Permanente Medical Group and other Permanente medical groups and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals.
The complexity of preparations required to open a new medical school, and doing so during a global pandemic, required the leadership, vision, and collaboration that Dean Schuster brought to this Herculean effort. Developing a unique case-based core curriculum, establishing the country's first department of health systems science, and building the beautiful Medical Education Building, including its state-of-the-art Simulation Center and first-of-its-kind Anatomy Resource Center, are signature accomplishments of a large group of committed collaborators. During this time, Dean Schuster recruited leaders, faculty, and staff of national stature who reflect the diversity integral to our school's mission. While COVID-19 disrupted all facets of life as we knew it, Dean Schuster and his team successfully opened the doors, kept the school operational, protected the community's safety, and matriculated the first two classes of students.
And what exceptional students they are! KPSOM has had tremendous success in recruiting two classes of talented, compassionate, and committed students. Not only did the admissions effort yield the highest ratio of applicants to positions of any medical school in the country, but the school’s inaugural class had one of the highest percentages of students from groups underrepresented and underincluded in medicine among U.S. medical schools—a percentage that then increased with our second class.
Under Dean Schuster’s leadership, the school successfully reached milestones with three separate accrediting and regulatory bodies. The California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) granted provisional approval, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) granted the school preliminary accreditation with eight commendations, and the WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) granted the school candidacy status with five commendations, including praise for the school’s work on equity, inclusion, and diversity (EID).
We have heard from our accreditors, the Winters Group, and the broader medical community that our school is at the forefront of advances in EID in medical education, but we recognize there is still more work to do. We are confident that Dean Schuster is the leader we need as we continue to work toward realizing our EID mission, vision, and values. Under his leadership, the school has sponsored trainings on inclusivity and mitigating bias, incorporated EID into the curriculum across all four years of medical school, and created, updated, and implemented a plan to support an actively anti-racist institution as well as a plan to continually nurture and strengthen the school’s culture.
Dean Schuster has also led efforts to establish collaborations and programs across the region. This resulted in the creation of a joint MD-PhD program with Caltech, joint master's degree programs with UCLA and University of Southern California, and commitments from local research enterprises such as City of Hope and Huntington Memorial Research Institute. Additionally, the school developed affiliations with many federally qualified health centers across southern California and relationships with a variety of organizations that support the health of our local communities every day. These regional alignments, coupled with recognition in Forbes, LA Times, New York Times, NPR, TIME, and many other media outlets, have contributed to advancing KPSOM’s reputation as a nationally prominent medical school.
While at KPSOM, Dean Schuster has received accolades from highly prestigious medical organizations. He was awarded the St. Geme Award for lifetime achievement in pediatrics by the Federation of Pediatric Organizations, a collaboration of the nation’s leading pediatric associations; served as Chair of the Section on Public Health, Biostatistics, and Epidemiology of the National Academy of Medicine; and was included three times in Modern Healthcare’s Most Influential list. He was also recently elected by his peers to the Administrative Board of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Along with the entire Board of Directors, I wish to extend my thanks to Dean Schuster and to the faculty, staff, students, and leadership as well as to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals and the Permanente medical groups, for their ongoing commitment to the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine. Your efforts inspire us on our path to thrive as an institution and live up to our most ambitious aspirations tightly aligned with our mission, vision, and values.
Holly J. Humphrey, MD
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Andrew B. Bindman, MD
Ronald L. Copeland, MD
Ramin Davidoff, MD
Glenn M. Hackbarth, JD, MA
Mary M. Hentges
Richard S. Isaacs, MD
Anthony B. Iton, MD, JD, MPH
Peter Lee, PhD
Julie K. Miller-Phipps, MHA
Marc A. Nivet, EdD, MBA
Carol Raphael, MPA, MEd
Gilbert Salinas, MPA
Maria S. Salinas, CPA
Anne E. Wojcicki