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MED Dean Elected to Institute of Medicine

Karen Antman joins highly regarded national advisory group

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Karen Antman, Dean Boston University School of Medicine, Provost Boston University Medical Center

Karen Antman, provost of the Medical Campus and dean of the School of Medicine, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. President Robert A. Brown says Antman’s election is a high honor both for the MED dean and for BU. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Karen Antman, provost of the Medical Campus and dean of the School of Medicine, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The institute, which advises policy makers and professionals on medical and health issues, announced yesterday that Antman is one of 65 people chosen this year for outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

“It’s a great honor to become a member of the Institute of Medicine,” Antman says. “I look forward to continuing to participate in IOM health and science policy discussions and recommendations.”

BU President Robert A. Brown says Antman’s election is a high honor both for the MED dean and for Boston University. “Karen’s election to the Institute of Medicine is wonderful recognition of her accomplishments as a clinician, researcher, educator, and academic leader,” says Brown. “We are very proud to have her at Boston University.”

Members of the institute, who donate their time and expertise to work for the nation’s health, are drawn primarily from the health care professions, but they also come from the natural, social, and behavioral sciences, as well as from law, administration, engineering, and the humanities. They work on projects such as a recent study of the effectiveness of various treatments for traumatic brain injury, and recommending which health insurance benefits should be included in Essential Health Benefits packages required by the Affordable Care Act. Other recent projects include studies of people’s vitamin D and calcium needs; improving the process for clearing medical devices for the market; preventing obesity among infants and toddlers; improving Americans’ access to oral health care; preparing for the future of HIV/AIDS in Africa; ensuring the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; and enhancing nurses’ roles in improving health care.

Many of the studies the IOM undertakes begin as mandates from Congress; others are requested by federal agencies and independent organizations. The IOM also convenes a series of forums, roundtables, and standing committees, as well as other activities, to facilitate discussion, discovery, and critical cross-disciplinary thinking.

George Annas, a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and chair of the School of Public Health’s health law, bioethics, and human rights department, says the IOM is the country’s most prestigious and influential group of medical policy advisors. “The voice of medical school leaders is critical in charting the future of our rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented health care system,” he says. “Dean Antman’s election to membership in the IOM is a ringing endorsement of the respect her medical peers have for her leadership and influence in medical education.” Annas is also a member of the IOM.

In addition to Annas, Antman joins BU-affiliated IOM members Joel Alpert, a MED professor emeritus of pediatrics, sociomedical sciences, and community medicine and health law; Larry Culpepper, chairman of the MED department of family medicine; Richard Egdahl, a retired University Professor and founding director of the Health Policy Institute at the School of Management; Barbara Gilchrest, a MED professor of dermatology and chair emerita of the department of dermatology; and Gerald Keusch, an SPH professor and an assistant to the president.

In a press release issued by the institute yesterday, IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg welcomed the 65 new members. “Each member stands out as a professional whose research, knowledge, and skills have significantly advanced health and medicine, and their achievements are an inspiration,” Fineberg wrote. “The Institute of Medicine is greatly enriched by the addition of our newly elected colleagues.”

New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. The newly elected members raise IOM’s total active membership to 1,688 and the number of foreign associates to 102. With an additional 80 members holding emeritus status, IOM’s total membership is 1,870.

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Art Jahnke

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

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