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Transforming SLU Speaker to Discuss Health and the 21st Century University

Darrell Kirch, M.D., a distinguish physician, educator and medical scientist with a career spanning all aspects of academic medicine, will speak on Monday, March 5, as part of Transforming SLU’s “Conversations for the Decade Ahead” speaker series.

Darrell Kirch, M.D.

Kirch’s talk, “Health – The Core 21st Century Challenge for the University,” will take place at noon in the Pitlyk Auditorium A, Learning Resources Center.

Kirch is the president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). His career has included leadership positions at two medical schools and academic health systems, as well as at the National Institutes of Health.

He has spoken and published widely about the need to transform the nation’s health care system and how academic medicine can lead to change across patient care, biomedical research and medical education.

He has previously served as chair-elect of the AAMC, a nonprofit organization with 151 accredited U.S. medical schools, 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems; and more than 80 academic societies among its members. Kirch assumed the presidency of the AAMC in July 2006 following six years as senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the college of medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Center at The Pennsylvania State University.

While at Penn State, Kirch and his team were credited with rejuvenating the institution and guiding it through a major period of innovation and growth in its research funding and clinical activity.

Kirch, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, has also been recognized with the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service for his contributions to the National Institutes of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he served as active scientific director in 1993.

He has conducted research on the biological basis of and clinical treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders. Kirch has published more than 150 articles and book chapters and has given numerous presentations on his work.

He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Psychiatrists, and American Medical Association, among other organizations. Kirch was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, in 2007. In 2014, he was named a Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association.

Kirch received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Colorado and was given the university’s Silver and Gold Alumni Awards.

The presentation and reception are open to all members of the SLU community.

For more information about Kirch’s presentation or the ongoing speakers series, contact Doug Williams, Professor of Law and Co-Leader of the Operational Excellence Program, at or 314-977-5793.

About “Conversations for the Decade Ahead

One of the “Transforming SLU” initiatives, the speakers series features national experts in higher education, and is designed to engage faculty, staff and students in a year of community-wide conversations about the rapidly changing environment of academia. The “Conversations for the Decade Ahead” web page includes materials from previous presentations and a growing library of articles about higher education.