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News Release

UC Denver’s Jay Gershen to take Presidency at Ohio Medical Campus

10/21/2009
Jay Gershen, DDS, PhD

Jay Alan Gershen, DDS, PhD, vice chancellor for external affairs for the University of Colorado Denver, has been chosen president of the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM). Gershen will become NEOUCOM's sixth president, effective Jan. 15, 2010.

Gershen came to the university in 1997 to serve as executive vice chancellor for the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. A primary focus in that role was the development of what is now the Anschutz Medical Campus. He led the development of the first master plan for Fitzsimons and worked to formulate the current vision and strategic directions for the bioscience research park at Fitzsimons.

In addition to participating in numerous projects to raise public and private funds for the new campus, Gershen played the leadership role in mobilizing the business community to help secure state legislative funding for its education buildings. His work building bridges with local and national health care, business and civic leaders is the cornerstone of his legacy to UC Denver and has helped to cement the Anschutz Medical Campus’ reputation as one of the finest sites for research, education and clinical care in the country.

From 2000 to 2002, Gershen served as interim vice president for academic affairs and research for the University of Colorado. As the principal academic affairs and research officer for the CU system, he coordinated the development and review of undergraduate and graduate/professional programs. His responsibilities also included technology, diversity, external affairs and partnerships with the business sector. Gershen was responsible for initiating the reorganization of the technology transfer program at the University of Colorado. 

 “While our institution has certainly benefited from Dr. Gershen’s experience and expertise, it will be his capacity for bridge building and community engagement that we will most greatly miss,” said M. Roy Wilson, chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver.

Gershen will succeed Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, who will step down after a successful presidency spanning more than seven years. NEOUCOM's Board of Trustees approved the selection of Gershen on Oct. 21, 2009.

"We are delighted that Dr. Gershen has accepted our offer to become NEOUCOM's next president and we look forward to his arrival on campus," Steven Schmidt, PhD, chairman of NEOUCOM's Board of Trustees said. "I am confident that his passion for health sciences education combined with his experience developing a leading-edge health sciences campus makes him an ideal match for NEOUCOM. The Board of Trustees and the entire NEOUCOM community are looking forward to continued excellence and growth under his leadership."

"The opportunity to serve as NEOUCOM's president is an exciting one and I am truly honored to have been chosen for the role,” Gershen said.  “The university’s outstanding faculty and staff, inspired students and dedicated and loyal alumni make it a unique institution, one that offers an exceptional resource to the region. I anticipate working closely with NEOUCOM’s diverse constituencies to build upon its strengths and to capitalize on both the accomplishments and emerging opportunities the university has achieved under the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Nora."

Gershen holds a BA in psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a DDS from the University of Maryland. He completed both a clinical specialty in pediatric dentistry and a PhD in education at the University of California, Los Angeles. Concurrently, he was a postdoctoral scholar in child psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. In 1982, he was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship, sponsored by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prior to joining the University of Colorado, Gershen served on the faculty of the School of Dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and directed the Mobile Dental Clinic, which served children of migrant workers in rural California. As acting dean of the dental school (1995-1996), he was the first dental dean in the nation to gain graduate medical education (GME) support funds for all of the non-hospital based postdoctoral programs in the school.

Gershen served as president of the American Association of Dental Schools and chair of the National Affairs Committee of the American Association for Dental Research. He was responsible for initiating the major study of dental education conducted by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He also played a leadership role in securing AIDS reimbursement funds for the nation’s dental education institutions. In addition, Gershen was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Institutional and Policy Strategies for Increasing the Diversity of the Healthcare Workforce, and he currently serves on the Sullivan Alliance to implement these strategies. He currently serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Research!America.

Before assuming full-time administrative positions, Gershen conducted research on issues relevant to dental education, health services and behavioral sciences, and he developed innovative teaching methods for behavioral science curricula. He conducted research regarding dental delivery systems and third party financing and their effect on the quality of dental care.

The University of Colorado Denver is located in Denver on the Downtown Campus and on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. UC Denver offers more than 120 degrees and programs in 13 schools and colleges and serves more than 28,000 students. For more information, visit the UC Denver Newsroom.

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Contact: Jacque Montgomery, 303.724.1528, jacque.montgomery@ucdenver.edu