Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost of EVMS and Dean of the School of Medicine, (above right) is retiring from his post after nearly a decade at the helm of the institution.
On Aug. 4, the Board of Visitors appointed Alfred Abuhamad, MD, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a 29-year veteran of the school, to serve as interim President, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine effective immediately.
Dr. Homan’s decision to retire comes after a prolonged period of incisive leadership at the school. During his tenure, EVMS achieved record enrollment and stellar academic performance, earned national plaudits for its diversity efforts, saw significant growth in research and patient care initiatives, drew record philanthropic support and built strong financial reserves.
“I leave with the firm belief that EVMS is making great strides thanks largely to the passion and commitment of the faculty, staff, students, alumni and the surrounding community who share a similar ethos,” Dr. Homan said in an email to campus. “What we have achieved together these past ten years has taken the best of all of us.”
In his own message to campus, Rector Bruce Waldholtz, MD, praised Dr. Homan for his achievements and his dedication to EVMS.
“On behalf of the board, I extend our thanks to him for his remarkable stewardship of Eastern Virginia Medical School over the past 10 years,” says Dr. Walholtz, who as Rector, chairs the school’s governing Board of Visitors. “Dr. Homan will leave behind a lasting legacy at EVMS.”
In recognition of his leadership accomplishments, the Board of Visitors also voted at its Aug.4 meeting to bestow the title of President Emeritus on Dr. Homan.
Dr. Homan arrived at EVMS in 2012 with stellar credentials and extensive leadership experience earned over the course of a 24-year career in academic medicine.
He came to EVMS from Drexel University College of Medicine, where he was President and Annenberg Dean of the College of Medicine. Before that, he had been Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President for Clinical Affairs at Texas Tech University School of Medicine.
Dr. Homan began his association with EVMS as Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine. IN April 2013, he became the first to take on the combined role as President, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine.
During Dr. Homan’s tenure, EVMS advanced and matured by any measure of progress.
Shortly after assuming the presidency, Dr. Homan created the EVMS Diversity and Inclusion office and recruited the school’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity and inclusion. His commitment to and passion for these efforts led to a diversification of faculty, staff and student body and membership on EVMS boards.
He championed the increased presence and support of women in medicine and the sciences, hiring women for key leadership and faculty roles.
In recognition of his efforts toward diversity and inclusion, the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education awarded EVMS its 2019 Institutional Excellence Award.
Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report recognized EVMS with six prestigious rankings (the most in the school’s history) — including placing EVMS in a tie at #39 for Most Diverse Medical Schools and ranking EVMS ahead of all other Virginia medical schools. U.S. News & World Report also identified EVMS as one of 12 medical schools in their rankings with the highest representation of African Americans in the country for the 2020-2021 school year.
During his tenure, the school added 18 graduate degree programs. Total enrollment in the School of Health Professions and the School of Medicine surged from 877 students in FY10 to 1,472 students in FY21. The school also added several residencies and fellowships and 10 clinical specialty programs in partnership with Sentara Healthcare.
Dr. Homan fully embraced the school’s community roots and community-based mission. Thanks in part to his strong support across the school’s mission areas, the Association of American Medical Colleges recognized EVMS twice as a finalist for its prestigious Spencer Foreman Award in recognition of its outstanding community engagement and service.
Most recently, Dr. Homan guided EVMS through the difficult challenges presented by the unprecedented COVID pandemic. Thanks to his leadership, EVMS experienced minimal COVID cases and maintained financial stability reserves — even while providing bonuses to faculty and staff during the pandemic.
Dr. Homan earned his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and completed residency training at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of the Pennsylvania State University. Following his residency, Dr. Homan served two years with the U.S. Public Health Service at the Whiteriver Indian Health Service Hospital in Arizona.
Highly regarded physician appointed interim leader
Newly appointed Interim President and Provost of Eastern Virginia Medical School and Dean of the School of Medicine, Dr. Abuhamad is a physician-scientist-educator who is recognized internationally for his expertise and leadership in maternal-fetal medicine, ultrasound, prenatal diagnosis, global outreach and patient safety.
Dr. Abuhamad came to EVMS in 1992. Currently, he is the Mason C. Andrews Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and Medical Director of EVMS Medical Group.
Dr. Abuhamad is a pioneer in ultrasound development and education. His innovations in ultrasound have enhanced fetal diagnosis, and one of his books, a free-access e-book, “Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Practical Approach,” has been downloaded more than 70,000 times and translated into nine languages.
As President of the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine, he oversaw a year-long initiative to encourage widespread use of ultrasound to minimize radiation exposure with other imaging modalities. He established the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology’s outreach program and has led several ultrasound training missions to the developing world to include Haiti, Ghana and Somaliland. He also is a past President of the Society for Ultrasound in Medical Education and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Trained in maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. Abuhamad is part of a national team of researchers studying the human placenta during early pregnancy. That project is supported by a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. He is the author of several books and book chapters and more than 180 peer-reviewed journal articles. One of his books, “Practical Guide to Fetal Echocardiography,” won the Book of the Year Award in 2019 from the British Medical Association.
He is founder and past Chair of the Council for Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care and is founder of the Ob Right Program, a nationally recognized program in patient safety and quality.
Dr. Abuhamad received his medical degree at the American University of Beirut. He continued his postgraduate training at the University of Miami where he completed his residency training in obstetrics and gynecology and his fellowship in maternal-fetal medicine. He also pursued a second fellowship at Yale Medical School in ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis.
Dr. Abuhamad has received numerous national and international awards. In 2019, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s premier honor for education.