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AAMC Honors Snyderman
Snyderman, who serves on the Washington College Board of Visitors and Governors, is chancellor emeritus of Duke University and former president and CEO of the Duke University Health System. He hasearned a national reputation as a distinguished physician, researcher, educator and policy leader. He served as chair of the AAMC and president of the Association of American Physicians and is frequently called upon by U.S. policymakers to discuss issues of health-care reform. Washington College awarded him the Alumni Association Citation in 1996 and an honorary degree in 2004 for outstanding achievement in the field of medicine.
The AAMC honor was announced Saturday, November 3, at the organization’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Below is the citation for Dr. Snyderman:
Recognized as the father of personalized medicine, Ralph Snyderman, M.D., has played a pivotal role in improving the nation’s health over the past 40 years. Chancellor emeritus at Duke University and James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Snyderman also serves as director of the Duke Center for Research on Prospective Health Care.
Through the center, Dr. Snyderman leads the development and implementation of what he terms personalized health care—a rational way to engage patients in their own personalized, predictive, and preventive care. He seeks to transform care from the disease-oriented approach to one that personalizes health. In 2002, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services partnered with Duke to develop a personalized care model that tracked the health of patients. In 2003, Duke expanded the model and began offering prospective health care to its employees.
During his 15-year tenure as chancellor for health affairs and dean of the school of medicine, Dr. Snyderman led the development of the Duke University Health System (DUHS) and served as its founding president and CEO. He established an overarching mission for DUHS to design innovative models of health care delivery. “Societal impact was a fundamental goal at Duke, and a commitment was made to become a new kind of academic institution,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland, John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and dean of the school of medicine. With Dr. Snyderman at the helm, DUHS “emerged as a leading national and international force in creating initiatives that are transforming how health care is delivered,” Dr. Reece adds.
Dr. Snyderman also led the creation of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), the largest academic clinical research institute in the world. “One of Dr. Snyderman’s major accomplishments was the conceptualization and development of the infrastructure to support clinical and translational research,” says Dr. Reece. “The DCRI is capable of conducting any clinical research project, from the smallest pilot to truly global trials.”
Always committed to research ethics, Dr. Snyderman chaired the AAMC Task Force on Clinical Research from 1998 to 2000, and his 2000 Science article, co-written with Dr. Ed Holmes, advocated establishing guidelines for the protection of human subjects in clinical research. “This document formed a strong foundation for the actual rules implemented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Human Research Protection,” Dr. Reece says.
The programs Dr. Snyderman initiated to bring personalized health care to Durham, N.C., regardless of the ability to pay, include Promising Practices, Just for Us, and Latino Access to Coordinated Health Care. “These initiatives focus on cardiovascular disease, obesity, and asthma, and are led by members of the Duke and Durham community to substantially reduce the burden of disease in economically deprived areas,” Dr. Reece says.
Dr. Snyderman was a member of the AAMC Executive Council from 1997 to 2004, serving as chair from 2001 to 2002. He is a former chair and administrative board member of the AAMC Council of Deans.
Dr. Snyderman earned a B.S. degree from Washington College and an M.D. degree from Downstate Medical Center of the State University of New York.