Effective Jan. 3, 2022, David Chelmow, M.D., Betsy Ripley, M.D., and Christine Isaacs, M.D., will assume new leadership roles within the VCU School of Medicine.

Dr. David Chelmow – Interim Dean and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs

Chelmow, who has been the Leo J. Dunn Professor and Department Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2010, has been named interim dean of VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs at VCU Health.

“Dr. Chelmow’s numerous accomplishments and nationally recognized leadership made him an ideal choice to now lead our School of Medicine,” said Art Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president for VCU Health Sciences and chief executive officer of VCU Health. “I am grateful to Dr. Chelmow for being willing to lead the VCU Health Sciences’ oldest and largest school through at this historic and transitional time.”

Chelmow currently serves as president of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, is immediate past president of the Council of University Chairs in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CUCOG) and was the first president of the Society for Academic Specialists in General OB/GYN (SASGOG). Additionally, he is a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education OB/GYN Review Committee, chairs the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative’s (WPSI) Multidisciplinary Steering Committee and serves on the WPSI Advisory Panel. He recently completed his term on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and served as the CUCOG representative to the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Chelmow earned his medical degree from Yale University and completed his OB/GYN residency at University of California San Francisco. He then served for 18 years on the faculty at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he was vice chair for research and education, IRB chair, residency program director and division chief for general OB/GYN.

Dr. Betsy Ripley – Vice Dean

In recognition of her outstanding service and academic leadership and in affirmation of the key role she plays in the operations of the School of Medicine, Ripley, who is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, is being promoted to vice dean. She also will continue to serve as senior associate dean for faculty affairs for the School of Medicine.

“This new position will enable her to further expand the capabilities of the Dean’s Office while still retaining the mission-centric portfolio of faculty affairs she has cultivated since 2017,” Kellermann said. “She will take on additional responsibilities in her new role, including partnering with other executive leaders to plan and execute interdisciplinary initiatives, representing the school in university and health system programs, and serving as senior advisor to the dean of the School of Medicine.”

Ripley, an alumna of the VCU School of Medicine, earned her medical degree as part of the Class of 1986 and was elected an AOA member. She remained on the MCV Campus to complete an internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship. She is board certified in internal medicine, nephrology and clinical pharmacology and is a certified hypertension specialist. She also earned a master’s degree from VCU in clinical research and biostatistics in 2004 and has a regulatory certification for U.S. drugs and devices. In addition, she is an alumnus of the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine and supports the participation of other women leaders at VCU in the program.

Dr. Christine Isaacs – Interim Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

While Chelmow serves as interim dean and interim executive vice president for medical affairs, Isaacs will become the interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She joined the department in 2005 and currently serves as professor and division chief of the academic specialists in general OB/GYN and the medical director of VCU’s midwifery services.

Isaacs is active in multiple national organizations, serving as a SASGOG board member, an American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology oral board examiner and an editor of the monthly publication Contemporary OB/GYN. She received her bachelor’s degree in nutritional science from Cornell University and her medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine, now part of the Drexel University College of Medicine. She then completed her OB/GYN residency at VCU before joining the faculty at Duke University. After moving back to Richmond and spending three years in private practice, she returned to academic medicine at VCU where her interests in natural childbirth, reproductive health and cesarean delivery technique have led to more than 40 publications.

A nationwide search will be conducted in the new year to permanently fill the School of Medicine dean position previously held by Peter F. Buckley, M.D. Buckley will close out various initiatives throughout January before becoming chancellor for the health sciences at the University of Tennessee in Memphis in February 2022.

“The School of Medicine has  in spite of COVID-19 – had a spectacular year in patient care, education, research and community support. I am confident that with these strategic appointments the school will not miss a beat as we drive forward to even greater success,” Kellermann said.