IARS Board Member Colleen G. Koch, MD, MS, MBA named Dean of University of Florida College of Medicine

IARS Board Member and Past Chair Colleen G. Koch, MD, MS, MBA has been named Dean of the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. Dr. Koch is currently the Mark C. Rogers Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine and Anesthesiologist-in-Chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital; she will be the 10th dean and the first woman to hold this appointment in the school’s 64-year history. Nationally recognized for her clinical outcomes research in cardiac surgery, transfusions and quality of life with more than 100 publications, she is uniquely prepared for this important role, which is set to begin in January 2021.

“Dr. Koch brings with her a distinguished record of visionary leadership, scholarly accomplishments and demonstrated excellence in academic health and clinical administration,” said David R. Nelson, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs at UF and President of UF Health. “We are at a pivotal moment in the history of UF Health, and the College of Medicine and its faculty, staff and students are an integral part of shaping our path forward as they continue to translate scientific discoveries into the clinical advances that will help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes. I look forward to what we will accomplish together on behalf of the university, the state of Florida, and beyond.”

Joining Johns Hopkins in 2014 to lead its anesthesiology department, Dr. Koch, a cardiac anesthesiologist, has implemented a number of innovative initiatives and strategies in areas like research, professional development and quality and safety. The department has been ranked the No. 1 anesthesiology program for two years in a row by U.S. News & World Report’s medical school specialty rankings and is among the top five funded academic anesthesiology departments in the US.

Adding to her accomplishments in the role of department chair at Johns Hopkins, she also serves as chair of the Medical Board for The Johns Hopkins Hospital and serves on the Medical Executive Leadership Committee for Johns Hopkins Health System, the Board of Governors Clinical Practice Association for Johns Hopkins Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Medical Staff Professionalism Group.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Koch spent 22 years at Cleveland Clinic, taking on numerous roles in research, education, administration and medical operations throughout the organization.

Dr. Koch’s service to the specialty of medicine doesn’t stop there. She serves on several boards including the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which is an internationally recognized organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system. She also participates on that board’s education subcommittee, helping to develop employment opportunities for neurodiverse individuals in the Baltimore community. Additionally, she is a fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association as well as a member of the Association of University Anesthesiologists.

Dr. Koch obtained her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and conducted her training in anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She earned a master’s degree in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan and a master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve University.

“After a thorough national search that attracted a great number of superb candidates, Dr. Koch was recognized as the ideal choice to lead the College of Medicine through continued growth in national recognition and impact in all three of its mission areas of research, education and patient care,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “As UF Health expands its footprint across North Central, Northeast and Central Florida, Dr. Koch’s proven ability to collaborate and build successful and strategic relationships, both internal and external, will be invaluable.’’

Prior to Dr. Koch, Joseph A. Tyndall, MD, MPH held the position on an interim basis for the past two and a half years. He will move into the position of Associate Vice President for Strategic and Academic Affairs for UF Health and remain as Chair of Emergency Medicine.

“It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected as the first woman dean of the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, the result of much hard work by the search committee, Dr. Nelson, and members of the College of Medicine and university community,” Dr. Koch said in the University of Florida Health press release. “The college’s emphasis on quality, safety and value align with my experience and career goals. I intend to work closely with Dr. Tyndall on diversity, equity, inclusion and academic affairs, and humbly accept this leadership opportunity.”

The College of Medicine is the largest college within the UF Health academic health center and Dr. Koch will serve as its Chief Academic and Executive Officer. Comprised of 28 research-oriented and clinical science departments and staffed by more than 1,400 faculty members in the School of Physician Assistant Studies alone, the college is ranked highest in Florida and No. 18 in the US among all public medical schools. Faculty members practice extends across six UF Health hospitals in the Gainesville area and dozens of UF Health physician practices throughout North Central Florida. Additionally, they are also associated with a number of affiliate clinical and residency programs around the state.

With her wealth of experience in the specialty, Dr. Koch will rise to the challenge. “In appreciation for the confidence UF has demonstrated by affording me this opportunity to push the boundaries in research, education and clinical care, I look forward to advancing the college’s vision for the medical enterprise, focused growth and innovative strategies by providing ever greater value to our patients, our community and the field of medical science,” Dr. Koch said.

Encourage, stimulate, and fund ongoing anesthesia-related research projects that will enhance and advance the specialty, and to disseminate current, state-of-the-art, basic and clinical research data in all areas of clinical anesthesia, including perioperative medicine, critical care, and pain management. The IARS is focused solely on the advancement and support of education and scientific research related to anesthesiology.

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This award is intended to support investigations that will further the understanding of clinical practice in anesthesiology and related sciences. Up to four research projects are selected annually, with a maximum award of $175,000 each, payable over two years.

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