After a distinguished tenure, Dr. Anton “Tony” Kuzel, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health has announced his intention to step down from his role as chair.
Tony joined the Department of Family Medicine in 1984 as the assistant director and clinical assistant professor at the VCU Fairfax Family Medicine Residency Program in Fairfax, Virginia. He came to the MCV Campus in 1990 as associate professor and coordinator of graduate programs in the department. From 1998-2002, Tony served as vice chair of the department and was named chair in 2003. He served as a member of the MCV Physicians board of directors from 2010-13 and as a member of the board of directors of VCU Health System from 2010-16. Among his many leadership roles is a term as president of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine from 2015-16.
The medical school’s Department of Family Medicine was established in 1970 by the governor and General Assembly of the commonwealth and charged with the mission of preparing competent family physicians for the people of Virginia, while contributing to the knowledge that improves the quality of care they receive. It plays a vital role in our Richmond community and beyond. A stellar example of this is the Virginia Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network (ACORN) program, which consists of more than 100 primary care practices in the commonwealth of Virginia who currently collaborate, or have previously collaborated, with us on research activities. An additional 500 practices have been partners in academic and service activities. These practices serve suburban, urban and rural communities throughout Virginia, range in size from 1 to 18 providers, and operate under diverse ownership models — essentially representing the entire spectrum of primary care in Virginia.
Tony has used best practices to help over 200 practices in Virginia better incorporate patient-centered outcomes research, with particular emphasis on cardiovascular risk factors. He also has shared these strategies on the national level, including with the recent publication of a book, Restoring Primary Care (Radcliffe), as well as in the context of an R18 grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that is part of the EvidenceNOW initiative.
Under Tony’s leadership, the department also has helped train thousands of medical students and approximately 1,400 family medicine residents. Today, almost 1,300 of these individuals are practicing in rural, suburban, and urban Virginia communities and provide care for an estimated 2 million Virginians. As part of the training it provides, the department’s programs include an innovative and highly successful International/Inner City/Rural Preceptorship (I2CRP), fmSTAT, the medical school’s Family Medicine Scholar Training and Admission Track that’s designed to develop and nurture students interested in family medicine careers, an award-winning Family Medicine Student Interest Group, a clerkship that gets rave reviews from students and new opportunities for international service learning.
In 2013, the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health merged with Family Medicine to form a new department of Family Medicine and Population Health, with a Division of Epidemiology that conducts important public health research and trains public health professionals in the MPH and Epidemiology PhD programs. More than 300 students have graduated from the department’s public health training program.
During his tenure as only the third chair of the department, Tony has helped to assemble an outstanding cadre of family medicine and epidemiology practitioners, educators and research leaders. This leadership team shapes national discussion and debate, contributing perspective before Congress, to the Institute of Medicine, to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and as a contributing editor to JAMA.
Please join me in congratulating Tony on a remarkable 35-year tenure, including 16 years as chair. His legacy and leadership positions the department very well as we launch a national search for the next department of Family Medicine chair. Please also join me in thanking him for all he has done to strengthen his department and our school, as well as communities around Richmond and throughout the commonwealth.
With all good wishes,
Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine