Dear colleagues,

As some of you may have already heard, one of our very own – Alice A. Coombs, M.D. – is the new president of the Medical Society of Virginia. The formal induction took place this past weekend in Norfolk at the annual MSV meeting and gala. I was honored to be there to introduce Dr. Coombs and to celebrate her achievement with many of her VCU School of Medicine colleagues, friends and family.

Dr. Coombs is not just our chair of Anesthesiology; she is a trailblazer and an innovator. She is the first African American woman to serve as MSV president, and now has the distinction of serving as the president of two state medical societies, previously serving as president of the Massachusetts Medical Society in 2010. I encourage you to reach out to Dr. Coombs if you have not done so already and offer congratulations.

Likewise, I am also pleased to share that our chair of Radiology, Anne Fulcher, M.D. has been selected as president-elect of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD). Dr. Fulcher will be the first person from VCU to serve as president of SCARD, the first person from Virginia and only the third woman to hold the position since the organization’s founding in 1967.

These prestigious honors are just two of many points of well-deserved pride – not just for Dr. Coombs and Dr. Fulcher, but for our entire School of Medicine community. This is a special place, and there are many dedicated professionals making history and blazing trails of their own in research, clinical care and in the teaching and training of future generations of healers, researchers and health leaders. Yes, the innovative leaders who will shape the future of healthcare throughout our community and across the globe are right here.

It’s easy to become consumed by the daily demands and challenges of what we do. Dr. Coombs and Dr. Fulcher’s achievements are reminders that we should celebrate our successes and recognize our collective work is essential and makes a real difference. This is why I am both humbled and grateful to be your dean. I am thankful for your outstanding work and remain ever optimistic and excited for what we will accomplish together in the future.

With respect,

Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System