Harvard Professor to Lead Tulane School of Medicine

July 26, 2007

Michael Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Benjamin P. Sachs, who holds several appointments at Harvard Medical School, including chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has been named senior vice president and dean of Tulane University School of Medicine effective November 1, 2007. Sachs will also be the recipient of a distinguished endowed chair in medicine.

Besides his extensive academic administrative experience, Sachs is internationally renowned for his work in improving patient care and reducing medical errors. His team at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology was recently awarded the Blue Cross Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Health Care Excellence Award for exceptional achievement in improving the safety and effectiveness of health care.

At Harvard Sachs helped create the research team that discovered the probable cause of preeclampsia, one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality and morbidity worldwide. Tulane President Scott Cowen said that type of team building is exactly what he was looking for in picking a leader for the university's 173-year-old medical school.

"Dr. Sachs is an internationally known and respected scholar, educator, administrator and clinician with an impressive record of accomplishments. We are delighted to have someone of Ben's character and reputation as the leader of our medical enterprise. Our School of Medicine has made a remarkable recovery since Katrina and is poised for a significant period of growth and accomplishment. Through Ben's leadership we are confident that Tulane will become an international leader in medical education, research and clinical care," Cowen said.

"We will work closely with the city of New Orleans, state and federal governments as well as with our public and private partners to ensure that the people of the Gulf Coast have excellent medical care and that healthcare and biomedical research become the economic engine for the region's recovery," Cowen added.

Sachs said he was attracted to New Orleans by Tulane's reputation and the opportunity to make a difference in post-Katrina New Orleans.

"Tulane has a long history as a leader in medical education, research and patient care and it will be a real privilege to help lead the recovery," Sachs said.

Sachs, a native of England, earned his medical degree from the world-renowned Imperial College in London. He also earned a degree in public health from the University of Toronto and was a visiting scientist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Sachs is currently the Harold H. Rosenfield Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School and a professor in the Department of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Sachs also chairs one of the Executive Committees of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Harvard Medical School and was recently president of the Beth Israel Deaconess Physician Organization, which includes 1,500 physicians.

Sachs' colleagues at Harvard gave high praise to his leadership and vision.

"In Ben Sachs, Tulane has found an outstanding leader," said Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of Harvard's Faculty of Medicine. "I have known Ben Sachs for many years and applaud his selection as dean of Tulane University School of Medicine. Ben is an accomplished clinician, educator, and administrator," Flier said.

Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center called Sachs "an extraordinary clinician and public health expert."

"He will be a tremendous asset to the people on the Gulf Coast," Levy said.

In addition to his role as dean of the Tulane School of Medicine, Sachs will also be a senior vice president of the university with overall responsibility for Tulane's medically related activities, including the university's partnerships with HCA (the majority owner of Tulane Hospital and Clinic); the Veteran's Administration; the Tulane National Primate Research Center and other universities and consortia.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000