October 6, 2009
Dear Howard University Community:
I am pleased to announce that internationally renowned educator, researcher and ophthalmologist Dr. Eve J. Higginbotham will join Howard University as Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences, effective January 1, 2010.
Dr. Higginbotham will oversee Howard University Hospital, the College of Medicine, the College of Dentistry, the College of Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health and the Health Sciences Library.
An expert in the treatment of glaucoma, Dr. Higginbotham is currently Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. At Howard, she succeeds Dr. Donald E. Wilson, one of the nation’s preeminent health care educators, who will retire after two years of distinguished service to the University.
Dr. Higginbotham’s career has included many firsts, including her appointment as the nation’s first woman to head a university-based ophthalmology department in 1994, when she was named chair of the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore.
As a member of the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation, she developed a glaucoma screening training program for students that is now underway in more than 40 medical schools nationally. The students provide screenings to the elderly in underserved communities, fostering early detection for the leading cause of blindness for African Americans.
During her tenure as Dean at Morehouse School of Medicine, Dr. Higginbotham, in collaboration with faculty and staff, grew the number of educational programs, increased research dollars and capacity, and diversified revenue. She also strengthened academic and regulatory processes, stabilized faculty leadership, forged stronger relationships with academic and clinical partners and advanced funded initiatives in global health.
Under her leadership, the medical school bolstered its financial health and developed an affiliation with the Atlanta Veterans Administration, resulting in new inpatient rotations for residents and opportunities for research.
Dr. Higginbotham is member of several editorial boards, including the Archives of Ophthalmology. She is a member of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University, a member of the Institute of Medicine since 2000 and on Oct. 10, she will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Mass. She also is the past chair of the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) Planning Committee for the National Eye Health Education Program, past member of the Advisory Council of the National Eye Institute and the Data and Safety Monitoring Committee of the NEI Clinical Research Center and a current member of the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel. Most recently, she served as a member of the Veterans Affairs Secretary’s Blue Ribbon Panel on VA-Medical School Affiliations.
Dr. Higginbotham served as chief of the Glaucoma Clinic at the University of Illinois and as assistant dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan. She also has served on the Boards of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Women in Ophthalmology, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, and the Prize Committee of the Helen Keller Foundation.
Dr. Higginbotham received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She is the past president of the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council, Baltimore City Medical Society, and the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.
A much sought-after speaker nationally and internationally, Dr. Higginbotham has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, has co-edited four textbooks in ophthalmology and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Suzanne Veroneaux-Troutman Award and the Roman Barnes Achievement Award. She has been listed among the Best Doctors in America for more than a decade.
With Dr. Higginbotham’s appointment, we reaffirm our commitment to the vision of a university prominent in research and committed to medical education. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Eve J. Higginbotham as Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences.
Sidney A. Ribeau
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