Dr. Richard B. Freeman Jr., M.D., a veteran transplant surgeon and leading innovator in health care delivery and redesign, has been tapped as the inaugural Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Freeman comes to the Dell Medical School from Dartmouth Medical School, where he served as Chair of the Department of Surgery. As Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, he will help lead the school's pursuit of strategies that seek to redesign health care delivery and create excellence in health care research, transdisciplinary programs and interprofessional education.
"The vision and opportunity at Dell Medical School is just too compelling to miss. The relationship between the school and the community is unprecedented, and I'm excited to be a part of this effort to demonstrably improve health in every part of Austin and Travis County," Dr. Freeman said. "I'm also very excited about working in UT Austin's stimulating, top-tier research environment, collaborating with other schools and community partners to create new educational programs, and both enhancing and developing broad and deep research collaborations across the clinical enterprise."
Specifically, Dr. Freeman will provide strategic leadership, oversight and management in the effort to integrate the local network of physicians and practices with Dell Medical School's efforts to create a model healthy city and community. He will be a point of contact with physicians and other care providers, as well as key Dell Medical School partners such as Central Health (Travis County’s health care district) and the Seton Healthcare Family.
"Rich is a fantastic national leader, both in thinking about new ways to deliver care and improve health and in turning those ideas into real actions, models and initiatives," said Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural Dean of the Dell Medical School. "These are areas in which the Dell Medical School hopes to make a difference in Travis County and beyond — working with partners and practitioners to create a model healthy city and vital, inclusive health ecosystem that rewards ideas for improving health outcomes at lower costs."
As surgery chair at Dartmouth, Dr. Freeman oversaw a department offering training and treatment in 11 surgical specialties and seven graduate medical education training programs. He also led both the Tufts-New England Medical Center transplant fellowship program and the Surgical Research Laboratories at the Tufts University School of Medicine.
He has served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for New England Organ Bank, as an associate editor for both the American Journal of Transplantation and Liver Transplantation, and as an editorial board member or reviewer for scholarly journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1983.
His research has focused on genetic differences in immune response, the immunology of liver regeneration, viral infections in transplantation, long-term outcomes after transplants, and policies on the allocation of donor organs. He is the principal investigator on several projects funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the New England Organ Bank.
“Dr. Freeman’s experience with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will be an immense benefit to our thinking about the entire system for delivering care and giving consumers as well as healthcare payers better value for their health care dollar,” said Jesús Garza, president and CEO of Seton Healthcare Family.