UMKC announces new medical school dean

Kanter_head_shot (1)The UMKC School of Medicine has a new dean. Steven L. Kanter, M.D., is a neurosurgeon, a career physician-educator, and an expert in the growing field of medical informatics.

Kanter comes to UMKC from the University of Pittsburgh School, where he has been on faculty since 1991 and vice dean since 2002. From 2008 to 2012, he also served as Editor-in-Chief of Academic Medicine, the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. In 2013, he was awarded the Merrell Flair Award, the highest honor awarded by AAMC’s Group on Educational Affairs.

Informatics, according to UMKC, is the science of using information to improve the quality and safety of patient care; to analyze data across large blocks of patient populations to identify patterns and best practices; and to collect, analyze, and integrate complex biologic data. It says UMKC and its local hospital partners are home to several leading researchers in the field, and created a new Center for Health Insights focused on informatics last year to support their work.

“The UMKC School of Medicine is at a pivotal point in its history,” Kanter said in a press release. “It is completing its first half-century and looking toward the next 50 years. I look forward to working with community members and the school’s partner institutions to ensure that we continue to bring value to the people of this region in the best possible way.”

UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton said important considerations in his decision to choose Kanter were Kanter’s background and interest in both medical informatics and interprofessional education, which involves students from two or more disciplines learning together to cultivate collaborative practice to provide patient-centered care. UMKC’s Schools of Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing and Health Studies, clustered together on the university’s Hospital Hill Campus, have made interprofessional education a priority.

Kanter will begin his work at UMKC Oct. 1. In addition to his position as dean, he is appointed as a full professor with tenure in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics and as Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. In addition, he will hold the Merl and Muriel Hicklin Foundation Endowed Chair at the School of Medicine.

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