Cancer Center Director Tapped to Head Medical Faculty Group

June 26, 2008

Richard I. Fisher, M.D. has been appointed senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs and director of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group (URMFG) – Rochester’s largest medical practice. As a result of this appointment, which is effective June 23, Fisher will also serve as vice president of University of Rochester Medical Center.

“Rich Fisher has proven, time and again, that he has the vision and leadership to unite people behind a shared objective,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. “The Medical Faculty Group is the clinical backbone of the Medical Center and Rich is the ideal person to guide this organization as we embark on a major expansion of our clinical services.”

Fisher, who is also director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, is an internationally known expert in research and treatment of lymphoma and is a nationally renowned cancer clinician, scientist, and educator. Fisher, also director of the Hematology/Oncology Division in the Department of Medicine and the Samuel E. Durand Professor of Medicine, oversees clinical cancer services at Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital, which together provide comprehensive care for cancer patients throughout Western and Upstate New York. Fisher’s research focuses on the biology and treatment of lymphoma, cancers derived from white blood cells, and has led national and international studies on Hodgkin’s disease and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Since his recruitment to the University of Rochester from Loyola University's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center in 2001, Fisher has integrated the Medical Center's cancer services, recruited 20 new scientists/clinicians, and directed a $65 million strategic expansion of services and facilities. One of the centerpieces of this initiative is a new, 164,000 square foot, state-of-the-art cancer care and research facility which opened in May of this year.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead the extraordinary members of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group,” said Fisher. “The multiplicity of challenges facing URMFG includes providing the highest quality of care at the most affordable price while developing a reimbursement structure that is competitive nationally. This will enable us to retain our current faculty and recruit additional needed practitioners to Rochester. Working together as a group, I am confident we can accomplish these goals.”

With more than 900 physicians encompassing primary care, specialty doctors, and dentists who are part of the Medical School faculty, URMFG is, by far, the area's largest medical practice. URMFG is a division of the University of Rochester and serves as a central resource for credentialing physicians and negotiating payment rates with third-party payers. Fisher succeeds Kenneth E. DeHaven, M.D. who has served as URMFG director since 2004.

“Dr. Fisher combines a broad and visionary role for our faculty practice with extensive experience running a large clinical service at the Cancer Center that interface with virtually all Medical Center departments,” said David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “I look forward to working with him in advancing the goals of our clinical mission.”

Fisher earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and did his internship and residency in medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He served as clinical associate in the Immunology Branch of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and completed an Oncology fellowship in Medicine. Fisher currently serves as deputy group chair of the Southwest Oncology Group as well as chairman of its’ Lymphoma Committee. He is a member of various groups such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Joint Committee on Cancer’s Lymphoma Task Force, American Association of Immunologists, and the Clinical Immunology Society. He has been repeatedly listed in the “Best Cancer Specialists in the U.S.” and the “Best Doctors in America.” He has authored more than 300 articles and chapters in national and international publications.

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