Richard Dean to Retire at Medical Center; Visionary Leader in Medicine and Winston-Salem Community

May 22, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Richard H. Dean, M.D., who has led Wake Forest University Health Sciences to a premier position in American medical education, will retire June 30 as president and CEO.

Dean, who will turn 65 in June, is chairman of the board of the Piedmont Triad Research Park, an economic development initiative for the region. A vascular surgeon, Dean came to Winston-Salem in 1987 as chairman of the Department of Surgery at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and chief of surgery at North Carolina Baptist Hospital. He became CEO of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which includes the School of Medicine and Wake Forest University Physicians, in 2001.

Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch has named William B. Applegate, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, to serve as interim president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences and promoted Douglas L. Edgeton to executive vice president/chief operating officer.

Dean is a leader in community activities, including the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, where he is the current chairman. The Old Hickory Council of the Boy Scouts awarded him the Distinguished Citizen Award in 2005.

During his tenure, clinical activities at Wake Forest more than doubled and research funding went from $98 million to about $200 million a year. The Medical School faculty grew from approximately 700 to more than 900. The Medical School is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as 18th in family medicine, 20th in geriatrics, 25th in primary care and 41st in research among the nation’s medical schools. The National Institutes of Health ranks the Medical School 34th in research funding. About 150 members of the Medical School faculty are listed in “Best Doctors in America.”

“The growth of the clinical and research missions of the University, along with the discoveries that are of value to society” are the achievements that Dean said he will cherish the most. “My greatest pride has been serving with distinguished surgeons while practicing in surgery and with the entire faculty and staff, who together make the Medical Center the premier institution it is today.”

“Dick Dean’s vision and integrity have driven the medical program at Wake Forest to a new level of prominence,” said Marvin Gentry, chairman of the Board of Directors of Wake Forest University Health Sciences. “Under his leadership, Wake Forest and the entire Medical Center have become recognized globally for excellence in teaching, research and clinical care. We in Winston-Salem owe him a great debt of gratitude for his vast contributions to the community.”

“Dick Dean is a dynamic force in American medical education,” said Hatch. “He is a visionary leader who has greatly increased our ability to attract outstanding physicians. He deserves recognition for the rise in status of our medical program over the last decade.”

Applegate was named dean and senior vice president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences in 2002. Edgeton has been senior vice president for finance and administration since 2001.

“Bill Applegate and Doug Edgeton are deeply experienced and valued leaders,” Hatch said. “Working as a team, they will provide superb leadership for our health sciences organization.”

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, which includes Health Sciences and Baptist Hospital, is well positioned to achieve greatness with the reorganization that was announced in March, Dean said. “I strongly endorse the integrated structure. It is critical to moving the organization to the very top of academic medical centers in the United States,” he said.

Under the reorganization, a single overarching Medical Center governing body has the responsibility and authority to develop a unified vision and joint strategy and implement a coordinated business plan for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. The structure will have one chief executive officer for the entire Medical Center which, with more than 11,000 employees, is the largest employer in the Piedmont Triad. The combined net revenue of the organizations is projected to be $1.6 billion this year.

The presidents of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Physicians will report to the CEO of the Medical Center. A search for the CEO will begin soon.

Dean led a 200-acre expansion of the Piedmont Triad Research Park in 2002 as part of a community effort to create an economy anchored in technology-based business. “All of us can feel a sense of accomplishment in the economic recovery while expanding the horizons of research in the progress that has been made,” Dean said.

The Research Park in downtown Winston-Salem is being built around a new biomedical campus for Wake Forest University Health Sciences that will create a critical nucleus of intellectual activity attracting new biotechnology investment and development.

“I hope the community realizes the potential in the Park to transform the entire region to a knowledge-based economy,” Dean said. “We want to narrow the gap between the advantaged and disadvantaged in our community, and the Park will offer a broad range of employment. The Park has the potential to support as many as 30,000 jobs with an economic impact of several billion dollars annually.”

A native of Radford, Virginia, Dean is a graduate of VMI and earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. He obtained his surgical training from Vanderbilt University and undertook a research fellowship in vascular surgery at Northwestern University. He was chief of vascular surgery at Vanderbilt before joining the Wake Forest faculty in 1986.

Dean has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Academic Health Centers, the American Board of Surgery, the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the Board of Regents for the National Library of Medicine. He is a member of all major surgical societies and has served on the editorial boards of numerous surgical journals.

Applegate came to Wake Forest in 1999 as chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine. His medical degree is from the University of Louisville. His residency in internal medicine was obtained from Boston City Hospital and North Carolina Memorial Hospital. He earned a master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University.

An Alabama native, Edgeton earned his MBA and master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He was assistant dean of administration and finance at the University of Alabama School of Medicine before coming to Wake Forest in 2000.

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Media contacts: Mark Wright, (336) 716-3382,; Bonnie Davis, (336) 716-4977,; Shannon Koontz,

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