April 11, 2008

VUSM dean to lead medical center at Ohio State University

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Steven Gabbe, M.D.

VUSM dean to lead medical center at Ohio State University

Steven Gabbe, M.D., will leave after seven years as dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine to become the senior vice president for Health Sciences and chief executive officer of the Medical Center at Ohio State University.

Gabbe will remain at Vanderbilt until the end of the academic year.

“Steve has been a powerful force behind our emergence as an eminent academic medical center,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “He has built a team of educators and associate deans at the tops of their respective fields. He has led a multi-year process to upgrade and modernize our training facilities, and has assembled a student body and faculty full of heart, energy and commitment. We are immeasurably richer for his contributions.”

"While I look forward to new challenges at Ohio State, I also find myself looking back," Gabbe said. "Over my seven years as dean, I've watched our faculty grow and our students succeed in every arena of patient care, education and research. From my perspective, the School's greatest source of pride — and the thing I will miss the most — are our students and faculty. They are the soul of the School, and it is amazingly hard to say goodbye to them.

"I know VUSM will continue to rise in excellence and in prominence," Gabbe added. "Vanderbilt's School of Medicine was a great school when I arrived, and it will be an even greater school in days to come."

Gabbe came to Vanderbilt in March 2001. His accomplishments have included revising the medical curriculum, increasing student, resident and faculty diversity, and solidifying Vanderbilt's reputation for training future leaders in medicine. He oversaw the creation of a new anatomy lab, the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment, and the Master Clinical and Master Science Teacher programs.

“Dean Gabbe is a wonderful supporter of medical education and of our medical students,” said Bonnie Miller, M.D., associate dean for Undergraduate Medical Education. “He will leave a proud legacy of accomplishment — a new curriculum as well as beautiful new educational facilities. I am very sad that he is leaving, but very happy for him as he moves on to a great job.”

Scott Rodgers, M.D., associate dean for Medical Student Affairs, cited Gabbe’s strong support for the students throughout his time at Vanderbilt.

“He knows them by name and has a genuine interest in their backgrounds and accomplishments. I have greatly appreciated his unwavering support for our Student Wellness, Careers in Medicine, and Advisory College programs. We will honor his legacy by maintaining and strengthening our excellence in medical education and by staying true to our reputation as a medical school with a friendly and collegial learning environment,” Rodgers said.

Under Gabbe's leadership, the School of Medicine jumped from 21st place in 2001 to 10th place in 2007 in National Institutes of Health research funding. VUSM also rose in the most recent U.S. News and World Report medical school rankings, from 18th to 16th place.

During Gabbe's tenure, the number of faculty rose 66 percent, to more than 1,800. The clinical volume of the faculty practice grew as well, from more than 680,000 to nearly 1.1 million clinic visits per year.

“We plan to begin a national search for Steve's successor soon,” Jacobson said. “There will be tremendous interest in this job, made possible by the great work done under his watch.

“At times like this we can do one of two things,” Jacobson continued. “We can mourn those who leave for new opportunity or we can celebrate their new opportunity as a mark of distinction for them and for our Medical Center.”

Gabbe previously served as director of fetal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ohio State University College of Medicine, and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

He is a leading experts on the complications of diabetes and pregnancy and the author of more than 160 peer-reviewed papers.

Gabbe is married to Patricia Temple, M.D., professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt, who will take a faculty position in the Department of Pediatrics at Ohio State and continue her research on premature birth outcomes.