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Brody dean search narrows to two finalists

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East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton, right, talks with members of the Board of Trustees on Thursday.

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Michael Abramowitz
The Daily Reflector

Friday, February 17, 2017

East Carolina University has narrowed its search for a dean of the Brody School of Medicine to “two excellent candidates,” the committee’s leader told members of the Board of Trustees on Thursday.

Sylvia Brown, dean of the ECU College of Nursing and head of the committee charged with replacing retired Dean Dr. Paul Cunningham, told members of the Health Sciences Committee that the search committee has invited two final candidates to visit ECU.

Dr. David A. Zvara, professor and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and Dr. Michael E. Richards, executive physician-in-chief and professor of emergency medicine at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, will make separate visits to Greenville, beginning with Zvara’s visit this weekend through Tuesday. Richards will visit ECU Feb. 26-28.

Richards received his medical degree from East Carolina University, his residency training in emergency medicine from the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque and a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

He also is chief strategy officer and chief clinical affairs officer at UNM Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque. Richards also serves as supervisory medical officer of the National Disaster Medical System, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.

In 2010, Richards was named “Top Doctor” for emergency medicine by Albuquerque Magazine. He received a congressional appreciation award for his leadership in the Hurricane Katrina response in 2005.

Zvara, an Air Force veteran, received his medical education and residency from The Ohio State University in Columbus. From January 2007 through November 2008, Zvara was chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at OSU. He was named one of 2009’s Best Physicians by Healthy Living Magazine. 

UNC Anesthesiology, which he heads now, employs approximately 85 physicians, 80 certified registered nurse anesthetists, 52 residents, 13 Fellows, 30 researchers and 25 staff, Zvara wrote in the professional background document he submitted to the committee. His department administers an annual budget of more than $60 million.

Zvara also is the chief operating officer and finance committee chair for UNC Faculty Practice, an 1,100-member organization with more than $1.5 billion in annual charges and $500 million in annual receipts. As COO, he is responsible for coordinating the practice’s strategic initiatives and ensuring patient access to high quality, efficient coordinated care in a fiscally sustainable model.

Zvara’s additional appointments include positions as UNC Healthcare System’s co-chair for peri-operative systems fiscal and operational restructuring effort; membership on the UNC Healthcare Managed Care negotiating team, assessing, negotiating and implementing the group’s managed care contracts; membership on the UNC School of Medicine Professionalism Executive Committee and the UNC Hospital Quality Council and Faculty Council.

While at ECU, both candidates will meet with Chancellor Cecil Staton; Dr. Nicholas Benson, interim dean for the Brody School, interim chief of staff for Health Sciences and medical director for ECU Physicians; Dr. Libby Baxley, Brody School senior associate dean for academic affairs; the university’s academic deans and several department chairs; Vidant Medical Center executives; and Cunningham.

Contact Michael Abramowitz at mabramowitz@reflector.com or 252-329-9507.


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