August 21, 2006

 Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D.
Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D.

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to announce my resignation as Dean effective September 15, 2006. I shall remain on the faculty of the medical school until December 1, 2006, when I will assume the position as Arthur Bloomfield Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University.

During the past three and a half years it has been my privilege to serve as the steward of one of America's great medical schools. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to a superb faculty that has created internationally acclaimed programs of research and education, to our students who express their confidence in our medical school each year when they elect to attend Case School of Medicine, and to a dedicated staff who have maintained their loyalty to the medical school.

Every great medical school needs great clinical partners. Case's medical school has forged a primary affiliation with University Hospitals and created the Case Medical Center as a powerful new engine for national dominance in academic medicine. I owe a personal debt to Tom Zenty for his persistent encouragement and support of the new affiliation agreement and especially his unwavering dedication to our academic mission, to Fred Rothstein for his leadership of the hospital, and to Achilles Demetriou for his vision and creativity both in his role at UHHS and as Vice Dean of the medical school.

I also want to acknowledge the importance and success of our partnerships with MetroHealth and the VA Medical Center. In each instance, outstanding leadership (by John Sideras and Ben Brouhard at Metro and Bill Montague and Murray Altose at the VA) has fueled the success of these collaborations. The past three years have been notable too for the growing prominence of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine within the medical school. Toby Cosgrove (and Fred Loop before him) and Andy Fishleder deserve our gratitude for their resolute dedication to this shared effort.

My greatest gratitude goes to those who have supported and trusted me these past three and a half years: to the chairs and center directors, both old and new; to the Vice Deans, including Bob Daroff, Pam Davis, Dan Ornt, and Lisa Marshall; to the many Associate and Assistant Deans who work diligently to implement our programs; and to the many other leaders of the school who carry out the day-to-day work that makes us a successful center for research and education.

Much has been accomplished. We have attracted outstanding new faculty and dynamic new department chairs to complement a strong existing faculty. We are restoring our facilities and building school-wide infrastructure. We have launched the Western Reserve 2 curriculum, and we have crafted a bold and innovative partnership with University Hospitals. Much remains to be accomplished with new leadership. I am optimistic about the future of the University under the leadership of the interim president, Greg Eastwood, and I have every reason to believe that the school will flourish in the years ahead.

Most of all, I am grateful that the faculty shares my conviction that Case is a premier medical school that brings luster to our University and the benefits of medical science and medical education to people everywhere. From my new perch in California I will follow the continued success of this school with the great satisfaction that intimate knowledge permits.

To all who care about our medical school, I send my gratitude for their support and my hope that they will not waiver in their commitment to our future. And to everyone connected to the medical school and the University community, I send my very best wishes for success in the years ahead.

Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D.
Dean and Vice President for Medical Affairs
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine