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Published on August 23, 2012

Vice Chancellor Williamson, Provost Foster Announce Leadership Transition At School Of Medicine

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Harold A. Williamson Jr., M.D., vice chancellor of the University of Missouri Health System, and MU Provost Brian Foster today (Aug. 23) announced the appointment of Leslie W. Hall, M.D., FACP, as interim dean of the School of Medicine.

Hall will succeed Robert Churchill, M.D., who retires as dean of the medical school on Oct. 31.

Since 2008, Hall has served as senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the School of Medicine and as chief medical officer for University of Missouri Health Care. Hall has clinical expertise as a general medicine hospitalist, and he has been a member of the medical staff of University Hospitals and Clinics since 1999.

A professor of clinical medicine in the medical school’s Department of Internal Medicine, Hall served as director of the Office of Clinical Effectiveness at MU Health Care from 2002 to 2008.

“Les Hall brings great leadership skills that will help us continue to focus on the MU School of Medicine’s mission of advancing the health of all Missourians,” said Williamson. “He has already played a leadership role in several important initiatives for the health system, including the adoption of computerized provider order entry and the planning effort for the first women’s and children’s hospital in Missouri.”

Hall joined the faculty of the University of Missouri School of Medicine in January 1999. He was recognized for his achievements in quality improvement with the 2007 Distinguished Quality Professional Award of the Missouri Association for Healthcare Quality.

Throughout his tenure at MU, Dr. Hall has been active in medical student and resident educational programs. He served as the associate program director for the internal medicine residency for five years. He has received numerous teaching awards, including the Paul C. J. Sun, M.D. Distinguished Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and the National Award of Excellence in Teaching from the Society of Hospital Medicine.

In recent years, a major focus of his educational and research endeavors has been promoting inter-professional education, especially in the areas of quality improvement, patient safety and teamwork in health care.

“Given the focus of Dr. Hall’s background and stature, we are fortunate he will be providing leadership for our medical school,” said MU Provost Brian Foster.

At a national level, Hall serves on several national advisory panels and boards that promote inter-professional education and collaborative practice. He is currently primary investigator for a Josiah Macy Foundation grant, leading a national initiative involving eight academic health centers to prepare faculty to teach inter-professional team-based care.

“Dr. Hall will work with me on a transition plan for the chief medical officer’s duties,” Williamson said. “He will continue as chief medical officer until Nov. 1.

“Dr. Hall will also be working closely with Mitch Wasden, who will be assuming CEO duties at MU Health Care on Jan. 1, 2013,” Williamson added. “They are good partners for our continuing efforts to closely align our hospitals, clinics and physicians, as is happening across the country.”

Williamson said he planned to work closely with medical school leadership in a national search for a permanent dean of the MU School of Medicine.