March 13, 2018 | Christopher T. Westfall, M.D., F.A.C.S., professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and director of the UAMS Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, has been appointed interim dean of the College of Medicine.
Westfall will lead the college during a national search for a new dean. He was appointed by UAMS Interim Chancellor Stephanie Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., after former dean Pope L. Moseley, M.D., stepped down from the position Feb. 23 to pursue his research.
“Dr. Westfall brings extensive leadership experience to his post as interim dean as well as strong dedication to our mission and a collegial approach to management,” Gardner said. “He will ensure continuity and continuing growth in the college’s education, clinical and research programs.”
As a member of UAMS’ senior leadership, Westfall will work closely with Gardner and incoming Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., who will begin serving full time at UAMS on June 1. While interim dean, Westfall will continue his roles in ophthalmology and clinical services.
“I am honored to serve our college and Arkansas as interim dean,” Westfall said. “In the 21 years I have been at UAMS, I have seen how hard my colleagues work to educate exceptional physicians, advance research that transforms health care and improves health, and ensure that Arkansans receive the very best medical care. In this new leadership role, my appreciation for our dedicated faculty has grown even stronger.”
Westfall joined the faculty in 1997 and served in numerous leadership positions prior to his appointment as chair of ophthalmology and director of the Jones Eye Institute in 2009. These included vice chairman and medical practice leader; chief of the oculoplastic surgical services at UAMS Medical Center, the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital and Arkansas Children’s ; chief of service at Arkansas Children’s; and chairman and medical director of the Ophthalmic Medical Technology Program in the UAMS College of Health Professions. Westfall served as UAMS chief of medical staff in 2014-2016. In 2008 he was invested as the inaugural holder of the Pat Walker Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. He has led UAMS’ surgical specialties service line since 2015.
Westfall received his undergraduate degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and earned his medical degree at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a residency in general surgery at Keesler U.S. Air Force Medical Center in Mississippi, was certified by the American Board of Surgery and awarded fellowship in the American College of Surgeons (FACS). He went on to complete a residency in ophthalmology at Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and a two-year fellowship in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School in Boston. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Westfall served as department chair and residency program director in ophthalmology at Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center. He retired as chief consultant in ophthalmology to the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, at the rank of Colonel.
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.