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National leader in academic medicine to discuss politics and progress of health care in the United States

January 29, 2016

Darrell Kirch
Darrell Kirch

The U.S. health care landscape has changed drastically over the past few years and it will continue to do so, according to Darrell G. Kirch, president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Kirch will speak about the shifting health care scene at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 as the third presenter in this season of theVirginia Tech Carilion Research Institute’s Distinguished Public Lecture Series.

“U.S. health care has entered a period of massive transformation, presenting opportunities to address health disparities and access issues,” said Kirch, who is also an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academies.

In his talk, “Health Care in America: From Politics to Progress!," Kirch will speak about how today’s political, economic, and health realities present significant opportunities to shape the health care system in the United States to provide better care to more people at reasonable cost. He’ll focus on how the country’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have been leaders in recognizing and seizing opportunities to create and sustain a health care system that is team based, highly collaborative and, above all, patient centered. 

The lecture, to be held in room M203 at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, 2 Riverside Circle in Roanoke, is open to the public.

Kirch, a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist, has held the position of president of the Association of American Medical Colleges for almost a decade. Previously, Kirch was the senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the college of medicine, and chief executive officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University. Prior to that, he served as the dean and senior vice president for clinical activities, and dean of the graduate school at the Medical College of Georgia. Kirch carried out research at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he also served as acting scientific director. His contributions at the National Institute of Mental Health were recognized with the Outstanding Service Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Colorado.

The Association of American Medical Colleges represents more than 350,000 physicians, scientists, students, and other trainees. Its membership comprises 145 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies.

Written by Ashley WennersHerron.

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