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Five appointments made by WMU School of Medicine

by Cheryl Roland

Dec. 15, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Five associate and assistant deans--all current members of the Kalamazoo medical community--have been named to play leadership roles in the new Western Michigan University School of Medicine.

According to Dr. Hal B. Jenson, founding dean of the medical school, the five are all part of the Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, an entity managed by the two teaching hospitals--Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare--that are partners with WMU in development of the new medical school. The newly announced members of the team taking on key leadership roles with the new medical school are:

The five appointees will continue in their current roles at KCMS as that entity transitions over the next year to become a core element of the new WMU medical school. The new leaders join two earlier appointees who are part of the leadership team, Dr. Jack Luderer, associate dean for research, and Michele Serbenski, associate dean for planning and performance excellence.

Photo of Dr. Elizabeth A. Burns.
Burns will be responsible for the School of Medicine faculty practice plan including the integration of the practice plan and clinical care with education, research and community service. She has served since 2008 as president and CEO of the Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, community assistant dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine from 2008 to 2010 and professor in the Department of Family Medicine at MSU. Her background also includes faculty appointments with the University of Iowa College of Medicine, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She is an alumna of Marygrove College who earned a medical degree at the University of Michigan and a master's in health science education from the University of Iowa. She completed a family practice residency at Harrisburg (Pa.) Hospital, a RWJ Faculty Development fellowship at Iowa and a 2005 Bishop Fellowship with the American Council on Education.

Photo of Dr. David T. Overton.
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Overton will be responsible for medical education and its integration with clinical care, research and community service. He is a professor of emergency medicine at MSU's College of Human Medicine and has served as emergency medicine program director at KCMS since 1990. He served as chairman of emergency medicine at MSU from 1996 to 2009. He has also held medical staff and faculty appointments at the University of Michigan and William Beaumont Hospital. He earned his bachelor's degree from MSU, a medical degree from Wayne State University and an MBA from MSU. He completed residencies in internal medicine in Ann Arbor and in emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati.

Photo of Dr. Richard T. Lammers.
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Lammers' role will be to direct the school's simulation center, which will be a resource for the entire region and a core component for medical student and resident education at the new WMU School of Medicine. He is a professor of emergency medicine, director of emergency medicine research at KCMS and co-director of the simulation center in place there. Lammers attended medical school at St. Louis University and completed emergency medicine residency training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to KCMS, he was on the faculty of Fresno Calif.'s Valley Medical Center residency program, and he served as research director there.

Photo of Dr. Peter J. Ziemkowski.
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Ziemkowski will be responsible for all aspects of student life at the medical school. An associate professor of family medicine, he has served since 1997 as a KCMS faculty member and, since 1999, has directed the clerkship program. He also held a two-year fellowship with KCMS' Center for Applied Medical Informatics. His background includes positions in the private and academic sectors in the field of medical information science. Ziemkowski earned bachelor's degrees in both biology and computer science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and a medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed a residency in family medicine at MSU and an internship in emergency medicine at the University of Michigan and St. Joseph Hospital. He also completed a Primary Care Faculty Development Fellowship at MSU in 2002.

Photo of Thomas E. Zavitz.
Zavitz will be in charge of all financial and administrative functions of the school and its practice plan. At KCMS, he has served since 2000 as chief operating officer. Prior to joining the KCMS staff, Zavitz was interim chief executive officer for one year and COO and financial officer for two years at the Family Health Center of Kalamazoo. He also has served in financial management and administration roles with the Kellogg Co. and with the Family Health Center of Battle Creek, Mich. He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Northern Michigan University and a master's degree in administration from Central Michigan University. Zavitz holds a fellowship in the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

About the WMU School of Medicine

WMU's new School of Medicine is a partnership involving the University and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. It has been in planning for three years, and fundraising, accreditation work and curriculum development for the school are well under way. Expected to welcome its first class in fall 2014, the school is a privately funded initiative housed at WMU, which is one of the nation's 139 Carnegie-designated public research universities--one of only five such universities in Michigan. In March, WMU announced a foundational gift of $100 million for the medical school from anonymous donors.

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