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CWRU and City of Cleveland launch new partnership; establish The Center for Health, Science and Society Courtesy of CWRU News, June 2002, http://www.cwru.edu/pubaff/univcomm/2002/june/berger.htm

Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell and CWRU has announced the creation of the Center for Health, Science and Society, a significant new collaboration in which CWRU will provide a conduit for the city and its residents to shape components of the area's health care delivery system through community outreach, health education and health policy.

"This new center demonstrates a higher level of partnership between the city of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University," said James W. Wagner, CWRU interim president, who, along with incoming President Edward M. Hundert joined Campbell in making the announcement.

"While our School of Medicine already collaborates with several community agencies to help improve the health of Cleveland-area residents, this is the first partnership with direct ties to the city itself," Wagner added.

The city of Cleveland, currently conducting a search for a new public health commissioner, is working with the University to create a "Partnership for a Healthy Cleveland." This collaboration would bring the city's department of public health to the CWRU campus with the new commissioner also serving as a member of the School of Medicine faculty as well as provide the community with more and better access to CWRU resources.

Nathan A. Berger, current dean of CWRU's School of Medicine, will serve as director of the new Center for Science, Health and Society. According to Berger, the new center will focus on what he calls "The Four E's:"

  • Engage the community by keeping them abreast of exciting new developments and opportunities in science and health care.
  • Excite the community with opportunities to improve their own health status and to inform them about career opportunities in health science and health care delivery.
  • Educate the community about the availability and accessibility of health care resources to become more knowledgeable consumers.
  • Empower the community to lead healthier lifestyles, pursue careers in biomedical research and healthcare delivery, and to become better informed advocates for policy development.

"I'm looking forward to my new role at Case Western Reserve University, as well as serving the citizens of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio," Berger said. "The Center for Health, Science and Society is an exciting opportunity for me and the university to tackle significant health issues on several fronts."

Wagner and Hundert also announced that Jerold Goldberg, dean of CWRU's School of Dentistry, will serve as interim dean of the medical school effective July 1. University Vice Provost Lynn T. Singer also will serve as interim vice president for medical affairs while a national search is conducted for a successor who will, once again, serve in both capacities, as Berger did.

"I'm delighted that Nate Berger has agreed to serve as director of the new center," Wagner said. "This represents a new and exciting opportunity for him to apply his leadership skills and vast medical knowledge to the important work of the center. Nate has devoted his career to medical education and research and I know he will bring the same commitment to his new position."

Berger became dean of the CWRU School of Medicine in 1995 following 10 years as the founding director of the Ireland Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland. During his tenure as dean, the medical school has achieved new levels of accomplishments, including, most recently, receiving the highest marks possible from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in its latest accreditation report.

He also spearheaded a recent major curriculum revision initiative which resulted in strengthening the CWRU organ systems approach to medical education by further integrating basic and clinical science and introducing important thematic components of genetic and preventive medicine. He also led the development and introduction of an innovative computer-based electronic curriculum-the "eCurriculum"-at all levels of medical education and evaluation.

Several pioneering dual degree programs were established under Berger's leadership, including those allowing CWRU medical students to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering through the Physician-Engineer Training Program, health services research, or a master's degree in public health or bioethics while working toward a medical degree.

Construction of the Wood Research Tower is underway, with the last beam being placed last month. The tower will add 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art space to the medical school, primarily for research laboratories, "solidifying Nate's commitment to generating the development and commercialization of research to create tomorrow's medical discoveries," Wagner said. Currently, the CWRU School of Medicine ranks 14th among the nation's medical schools with $174 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Berger launched a new capital campaign, the Campaign for the Future of Academic Medicine, in October 1999. Due to his leadership, three-fourths of the $300 million goal has already been realized, and the campaign is not scheduled to conclude until June 2006.

Theodore J. Castele, a member of the CWRU Board of Trustees and chair of the Campaign for the Future of Academic Medicine, had high praise for Berger.

"He is as fine a dean as I've ever seen," said Castele. "Under his leadership, we have taken the development function of the medical school to new heights. His leadership qualities are among the reasons he has been chosen for this new opportunity."