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Valerie Parisi named dean of Wayne State U. medical school

Wayne State University
July 1, 2010
Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., has been named permanent dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine by WSU President Jay Noren following a recommendation by the School of Medicine Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, an affirmative advisory vote by the school’s faculty and approval of the WSU Board of Governors. Dr. Parisi has been serving as interim dean since July 2009. She will become the school’s 15th dean.

“Valerie has done an outstanding job of building relationships, both within the School of Medicine and throughout Wayne State, as well as with other health care organizations in the community,” Noren said. “Pardon the phrase, but I am confident that she is just what the doctor ordered to continue advancing the School of Medicine and I look forward to working with her in the years to come.”

Among her many accomplishments as interim dean, Dean Parisi has led talks for a closer partnership with the Henry Ford Health System, and negotiated new, long-term contracts for medical students, residency programs and clinical services at the Detroit Medical Center, providing much-needed stability.

Prior to being appointed interim dean, she served as vice dean of Hospital Relations & Clinical Affairs beginning in July 2007. In that role, she was instrumental in establishing the Family Medicine residency program with Crittenton Hospital, where she is a member of the board of trustees. In addition, she worked diligently to cement a partnership with Oakwood Healthcare Inc., home to residency programs in Dermatology, Urology, Orthopedics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Otolaryngology. Her activities in developing relationships with health partner affiliates, including the Karmanos Cancer Center, will continue to be an asset to the school.

Dean Parisi earned her medical degree at Brown University. Her broad academic background is enhanced by a master’s degree of public health in Maternal and Child Health from the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business, where she was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the National Business Honor Society. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and fellowship training in Maternal and Fetal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Center for Health Sciences.

She began her academic career by serving 10 years as director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, where she also was director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program. Her study of eicosanoid regulation of fetal placental circulation was funded by the National Institutes of Health. She was the Robert A. Ross Professor, as well as Chair, of the University of North Carolina Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1997 to 2004, taking the department from 65th to 13th in NIH research funding. Prior to that, Dean Parisi was Chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at SUNY Stony Brook from 1994 to 1997.

She previously was dean of medicine, chief academic officer and vice president for academic program administration at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In her tenure there, she also held the Thomas N. and Gleaves James Distinguished Chair, was advisor to the president, and a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She was the first female medical school dean in Texas.

Dean Parisi was elected president of the Society for Perinatal Obstetricians (now the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine) in 1995 after serving six years on its board of directors.

She was director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1996 to 2002, and a director of the ABOG from 1998 to 2008. She serves as co-Chair of the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, which accredits medical schools in the United States and Canada, and was recently elected secretary-treasurer of the American Board of Medical Specialties. As part of her work mentoring women in their medical careers, she has spoken at the Association of American Medical College’s Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development seminar for three consecutive years. She was appointed to the Karmanos Cancer Center’s Board of Directors last year.
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