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Richard Baker, M.D., appointed vice dean of Medical Education

July 16, 2015

The Wayne State University School of Medicine has named a new vice dean of Medical Education.

Richard Baker, M.D., will assume the position effective Aug. 1.

Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D., announced the appointment of Dr. Baker on July 16.

“Dr. Baker’s experience and credentials will greatly assist us both in our efforts to address the issues cited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and in our work to improve the School of Medicine as a whole as we move into the future,” Dean Sobel said.

Dr. Baker, an ophthalmologist, is executive director of the Center for Health Services Research and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. He has a joint faculty appointment at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and was a member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, where he served as associate director of the Jules Stein Center for Eye Epidemiology.

He held a number of positions at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, including provost, dean of the College of Medicine, president of the Charles Drew University Multi-Specialty Practice Group, associate vice president for Research, associate dean for Research, assistant dean for Medical Student Research and director of the Charles Drew National Institutes of Health - Research Centers in Minority Institutions Biomedical Research Center. He has also served as associate dean for the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

While provost for Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Dr. Baker organized the effort and provided the leadership to address the academic deficiencies that resulted in the university being in noncompliance with Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation standards that transitioned the university from probable “Show Cause” status (the preparation for loss of accreditation) to full accreditation in an unprecedented 12 months. He led the development and successful implementation of the first WASC-approved University Academic Plan in the history of the accreditation process. Dr. Baker initiated and led a comprehensive, university-wide, data-driven prioritization, evaluation and resource reallocation process of all academic programs and services, involving all university stakeholders in the process, resulting in explicitly defining the university’s primary academic focus, eliminating or suspending academic programs manifesting programmatic misalignment and poor academic or financial performance, and identifying and strengthening key academic programs and services. He achieved first-time accreditation for the university’s public health program and first-time reaccreditation of all academic programs.

He also instituted university-wide faculty development, institutional effectiveness, admissions, registrar, student retention, academic personnel, academic budget and finance positions and programs instrumental to accreditation while under a fixed budget and institutional probation. He established a “culture of assessment” by instituting a comprehensive academic program review process and a continuous student learning outcome assessment process. That change included an institutional program review process utilizing external reviewers, evidence-based claims, data-driven decision making, and outcomes-based assessment of student learning outcomes to inform planning and budgets.

Dr. Baker received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford University in 1977. He received his medical doctorate degree from Harvard Medical School and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984. His postdoctoral training includes a fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School and a National Institutes of Health fellowship in chronic disease epidemiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

He has been recognized for his scientific and civic contributions by National Medical Fellowships as a Distinguished Alumnus, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the National Association of Public Hospitals, the California state legislature, Tavis Smiley/Microsoft and numerous community organizations. He is an elected member of the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and has been recognized as one of “America’s Top Ophthalmologists” by the Consumer Research Council of America.

The founding director of the Drew Health Services Research Center and co-founder and executive director of the Drew Urban Telemedicine Center of Excellence, Dr. Baker has served on the boards of the California Medical Association, the Los Angeles County Medical Association, the Latino Physicians of California and Healthy African American Families. He also has served on the boards of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools , the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools, the UCLA School of Medicine Board of Visitors, the California Black Health Network, the Drew Economic Development Corp., the Drew Faculty Practice Plan and the Los Angeles Eye Institute.

Dr. Baker has been the principal investigator for multiple studies and has published more than 200 articles and book chapters in the areas of ophthalmology, telemedicine, epidemiology and health services research. He has served on numerous expert panels for the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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