March 24, 2009 | The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees today unanimously appointed Daniel W. Rahn, M.D., of Augusta, Ga., the next chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).
Rahn will be the fourth chancellor of the institution, succeeding I. Dodd Wilson, M.D., who will retire this year after nine years as chancellor. He will assume the post sometime before Jan. 1.
“He had the advantage of being a chief executive officer, a chancellor/president, for a number of years and with his success in that position, it’s kind of like going with a proven winner,” said University of Arkansas System President B. Alan Sugg, Ph.D., who recommended Rahn for the position after a committee narrowed the search to four finalists.
Rahn has been president of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) and senior vice chancellor for health and medical programs for the University System of Georgia since 2001. Rahn oversees Georgia’s major public health science center, including schools of Medicine, Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Studies and Nursing.
“UAMS is a terrific institution,” said Rahn, who attended the board meeting with his wife, Lana. “I think that through the efforts of everyone, the institution is clearly on an upward trajectory regarding its education, research and clinical missions and I don’t see any reason why that shouldn’t continue.”
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a new 540,000-square-foot hospital, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state.
UAMS has 2,652 students and 733 medical residents. Its centers of excellence include the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute and the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging.
Before becoming MCG president, Rahn served as vice dean for clinical affairs for the MCG School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer for MCG Health Inc., which manages MCG’s clinical facilities. Rahn started at MCG in 1991 as vice chairman and director of clinical affairs for the Department of Medicine and as program director for the Internal Medicine residency program.
He began his professional career in 1979 at Yale University School of Medicine, where he was director of the Lyme Disease Program, director of clinical training in Rheumatology and director of faculty practice for the Department of Internal Medicine. After earning his bachelor’s and medical degrees at Yale, Rahn completed his residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and his postdoctoral fellowship in Rheumatology at Yale.
Wilson came to UAMS in 1986 as a professor and dean of the College of Medicine from the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he was a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Medicine. He was named executive vice chancellor at UAMS in July 1994.
Wilson has led growth in patient care, education, research and community outreach programs during his time as chancellor. He has garnered significant private and public funds to support more than $425 million worth of major UAMS expansion projects, including a 540,000-square-foot hospital expansion that opened in January. The 100,000-square-foot Psychiatric Research Institute opened in December 2008, and a 300,000-square-foot expansion to the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute will open in 2010.
Statewide access to UAMS programs also has improved under Wilson. The number of Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) has grown from six to eight. These nationally recognized centers provide primary health care to the regions they serve and are where many family medicine physicians complete their residencies. The AHECs also provide continuing education for health care professionals who live and work nearby.
He also has overseen the establishment of eight Regional Centers on Aging, putting 90 percent of elderly Arkansans within 60 miles of an interdisciplinary geriatric health care team.
A satellite campus in Northwest Arkansas will open this fall, allowing UAMS to educate more health care professionals and help address a growing health care work force shortage. .
To view Dr. Rahn’s curriculum vitae, click here.