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Medical Center Names Vice President for Clinical Services

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and director of Cancer Services at Strong Health, has been appointed vice president for Clinical Services for the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and its patient care network, Strong Health. The appointment is effective Jan. 1, 2007, said URMC CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D.

An internationally known expert on the biology and treatment of lymphoma, Fisher also serves as chief of the Hematology/Oncology Unit and is the Samuel E. Durand professor of Medicine. He will continue in his current roles as he assumes new administrative responsibility as a member of URMC’s leadership team. 

Since his recruitment to the University of Rochester from LoyolaUniversity’s Cardinal BernardinCancer Center in 2001, Fisher has integrated the MedicalCenter’s cancer services, recruited 17 scientists/clinicians, and formulated a strategic plan to help the Wilmot Cancer Center capture National Cancer Institute-designation.  Key to his strategy is a new, four-story cancer research and treatment center which is under construction, expected to open in spring of 2008. 

“Rich Fisher has a remarkable track record of achievement both at Loyola and here at URMC.  He can formulate a compelling vision and inspire others to work in unison toward common goals,” Berk said.  “He brings a very patient-centric philosophy that will add value throughout the Medical Center’s services.”  Since Fisher has come to Rochester, the Wilmot Cancer Center has seen double-digit growth in the numbers of patients it serves and a four-fold increase in research funding, Berk notes. 

As vice president for Clinical Services, Fisher will help organize the Medical Center’s patient care programs along service lines – a process that clusters services around specific diseases, such as cardiac care, cancer treatment, organ transplants, brain and nervous system disorders and orthopaedic conditions.  The goal is for members of each patient’s care team – physicians, nurses, technicians, and support staff – to work together to streamline and coordinate care. 

“The way we’ve organized ourselves in the past – within distinct departments – is too limiting, yet there is no one-size-fits-all way to organize clinical service lines,” Fisher said.  “My job will be to think strategically from the patient’s perspective, to propose solutions from within a spectrum of models to structure our resources in a way that allows us to truly manage disease.” 

In organizing service lines, Fisher will work closely with Steven I. Goldstein, CEO of Strong Memorial and Highland Hospital, as well as the hospitals’ leadership teams. Fisher will also collaborate with Medical School dean David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., to advance clinical research, and with Center for Community Health director Nana Bennett, M.D.

Fisher is a graduate of Harvard Medical School.  Following an internship and residency in medicine at Massachusetts GeneralHospital in Boston, Fisher served as clinical associate in the Immunology Branch of the National Cancer Institute while completing an oncology fellowship in medicine.  He currently serves as deputy chair of the Southwest Oncology Group and leads its scientific advisory group.  Fisher is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology, American Association of Cancer Center Directors, and the American Joint Committee on Cancer’s Lymphoma Task Force.  He serves as a member of the External Advisory Boards for both the Harvard and Yale Cancer Centers.  In addition, Fisher has authored more than 300 articles and chapters in national and international publications. 


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