Seventeen has an auspicious ring to it.
At age 17, I got my driver’s license. At that time, an entirely new set of possibilities began to reveal themselves to me. I looked forward to exploration, flexibility and independence. Many years later, in 2017, I moved to Virginia and began to learn about its beautiful landscapes, its people and its history. It is therefore fitting that on my first day at VCU, the 17th day of April, I feel great excitement in becoming a new member of this incredible community.
I’m honored to join the VCU School of Medicine as your new dean. The past few months of transition have been a buzz of activity, and I’m grateful for everyone who has been involved – the search committee, members of the SVP/CEO’s team, other deans, the senior leaders in the Dean’s Office, Richmond VA Medical Center leaders and all who have reached out with introductions. Most importantly, I was touched by the many well-wishes from our medical and graduate students who took the time to welcome me into the fold. I can already tell this is a special place.
I would like to thank Dr. David Chelmow for his service as interim dean and interim EVP. His leadership during this transition is greatly appreciated and demonstrates that VCU’s greatest asset is its people – hard-working students, teachers, physicians, investigators and administrators – all with a shared vision of service to our immediate community and beyond.
Today, on my first day, I had the pleasure of touring the campus and some of our buildings and starting to meet many of you. I look forward to meeting many more of our students, faculty and staff during the coming weeks and months. We will be sponsoring a virtual SOM town hall April 20, 2023 from 12-12:45 p.m., where I will share more about my journey and my vision for the SOM and take your questions. If you would like to attend, please feel free to join us through our Zoom link.
As I am out and about, I am impressed with the dedication and commitment of all of you to our school. I look forward to updating you after my first 17 days about the many things I have learned that make me most proud to be here.
With greatest regards,
Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System