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Published in Press Releases on February 09, 2010 (PDF)

Chancellor Taps Veteran Faculty for Leadership Roles at Medical Center

Three experienced faculty at the University of Mississippi Medical Center are being assigned additional leadership responsibilities.

Pending approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, UM Chancellor Dr. Dan Jones will name Dr. James E. Keeton as vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the school of medicine. Keeton has served as vice chancellor in an interim role for the last seven months.

Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice dean of the medical school who has served as interim dean of medicine over the same period, will be named associate vice chancellor for health affairs.

Dr. Scott Stringer, chair of the Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences and associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs, will assume additional administrative oversight of the clinical enterprise, including University Hospitals and Health System and University Physicians.

"I have the utmost confidence in Jimmy Keeton, LouAnn Woodward and Scott Stringer, and am grateful for their willingness to serve in these leadership roles," said Jones. "Over the last seven months, during a time of challenges in the economy, health care and higher education, they have positioned the Medical Center for continued success. I am confident we have a strong leadership group that will serve the Medical Center and the state extremely well."

The appointments mark the conclusion of a national search to fill the vice chancellor/dean position previously held by Jones, who became Ole Miss chancellor in July. A 13-member search committee chaired by Woodward considered candidates from academic medical centers across the United States. The committee narrowed the field to two and submitted those names to Jones for the final selection.

The finalists included Stringer and Dr. Robert Robbins, a faculty member at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Both candidates withdrew from consideration during the final step of the selection process.

In collaboration with the search committee, Jones made the decision to turn to Keeton to fill the vice chancellor and dean position. Keeton served as Jones' chief of staff when Jones held the combined vice chancellor/dean position.

A professor of surgery and pediatrics at UMMC, Keeton began his relationship with the Medical Center after graduating from Ole Miss in 1961. The Columbus native earned his medical degree in 1965 at UMMC. He completed five years of residency in urology there, followed by one year of pediatric urology residency in London. He served as lieutenant commander for two years in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, then returned to Mississippi in 1970, where he has been in academic medicine and private practice.

"I appreciate the chancellor's confidence in me," Keeton said. "The Medical Center has played an important part in my life, and I think people throughout Mississippi appreciate the crucial role it plays in the state. We have an outstanding team in place, and our goal is to maintain the positive momentum we've established over the last few years."

Woodward, a native of Carroll County, is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the UM School of Medicine. She completed a residency in emergency medicine and continues to see patients in the emergency department. For the past few years, she has had day-to-day responsibility for managing the medical school's academic programs.

A native of Texas, Stringer graduated from Texas A&M University. He completed medical school and residency training in otolaryngology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He served on the medical faculty of the University of Florida for 14 years. In 2001, he joined UMMC, where he is president of the medical faculty practice plan.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center, established in Jackson in 1955, is the state's only academic medical center. UMMC encompasses five health science professional schools, including medicine, nursing, health related professions, dentistry and graduate studies, as well as the site where University of Mississippi pharmacy students do their clinical training. The clinical programs of the Medical Center, branded as University of Mississippi Health Care, include University Hospitals and Health System and University Physicians.