Dr. Kenneth Berns Named Vice President for Health Affairs

Published: February 3rd, 2000

Category: Memos

Gail F. Baker, Vice President

UF Interim President Charles E. Young has appointed Dr. Kenneth I. Berns as Vice President for Health Affairs effective Feb. 15. Dr. Berns will continue to serve as Dean of the College of Medicine.

“It gives me tremendous pleasure to make this announcement,” Dr. Young said. “The leadership Dr. Berns has exhibited since joining the UF Health Science Center and the national reputation he enjoys as a physician and scholar make him the perfect choice for this appointment. The role of the health sciences on this campus is key to establishing the University of Florida as a center of excellence for the 21st century. I am confident Dr. Berns will ensure we reach that goal.”

Dr. Berns currently holds the position of Interim Vice President for Health Affairs and has served as Dean of the College of Medicine since 1997. Previously, at Cornell University, he served as the R.A. Rees Pritchett professor and chair of the Department of Microbiology, and professor in the Department of Pediatrics.

As chief health science officer for the University of Florida, the Vice President for Health Affairs is responsible for the general academic and administrative functions of six colleges: Dentistry, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine. The vice president develops and implements the strategic vision, policies and guidelines affecting academic programs and research of the UF Health Science Center and represents the academic health center to the rest of the university and throughout the State University System of Florida.

Dr. Berns earned a doctorate in biology and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University. A Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, his 20-year affiliation with that association includes service as the president and as chair of various committees and divisions. Currently, he is a member of the Florida Medical Association, the Society for General Microbiology and the American Society for Virology. He also is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars.

He has been recognized by a number of organizations including receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the National Board of Medical Examiners, the National Institutes of Health Merit Award and the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award. Dr. Berns is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He is serving as chair of the Southeastern Healthcare Foundation, the Shands Healthcare Board of Directors and the College of Medicine Executive Committee. The results of Dr. Berns’ research have earned two patents and he is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles.

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