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For Release: November 10, 2008
Contact: DMS Communications (603) 650-1492

New Department, professorships approved

Dartmouth College Trustees approved a new Department of Neurology and two named professorships at Dartmouth Medical School. The actions were taken at the their fall-term meeting in Hanover, Nov. 7-8, where the Board discussed the institution's financial strategy in the economically challenging environment.

The Board approved the elevation of the Dartmouth Medical School Section of Neurology to the status of a department. The change will facilitate contributions to understanding and treatment of a range of disorders involving the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, muscles and other areas of the body. (Examples include Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.)

Beginning in 1939 with one neurologist, the DMS program has grown to include 15 faculty members, nine residents, two clinical neurophysiology fellows and five nurse practitioners. The highly diversified section now has expertise in clinical care for a range of neurological disorders, performs research at both the clinical and basic levels, and has a teaching program that extends from undergraduate students to post-graduate programs.

The new department status will translate into stronger neuroscience research, teaching and clinical care through Dartmouth, DMS and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

The Board also approved the creation of two named professorships at DMS to honor Dr. Paul Batalden and Dr. Elmer Pfefferkorn.

The Endowed Chair for the Health Care Improvement Leadership recognizes important work and contributions made to DMS by Dr. Paul Batalden, professor of pediatrics and of community and family medicine. DMS Dean Dr. William R. Green noted that Batalden has been a key leader in health-care improvement and in the creation of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Green said that "countless students, governmental leaders and health-care providers have benefited from his mentorship." When Batalden retires from DMS, the position will become known as the Paul Batalden Chair for Clinical Improvement and Professional Development.

The Elmer R. Pfefferkorn, Ph.D. Professorship in Microbiology and Immunology recognizes Pfefferkorn's outstanding commitment to Dartmouth Medical School for 41 years. He is professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology. "Dr. Pfefferkorn is truly a legend at DMS and an icon in the teaching of medical students," said Green. "Of significant note is the fact that this chair is the direct result of faculty, students and alumni requesting that this honor be bestowed upon this truly outstanding educator, scientist and friend of DMS."


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