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UConn President Names Health Center Chief (Released: 11/09/00)

By Karen Grava, Office of University Communications

FARMINGTON, Conn. -- UConn President Philip E. Austin announced today that Peter J. Deckers, M.D., has been named executive vice-president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The announcement made at the UConn Board of Trustees meeting, came after the board approved a bylaw change creating the position and enabling the dean of the medical school to serve in both positions.

Deckers has been leading the Health Center on an interim basis since last fall.

Austin commended the leadership Deckers has demonstrated during the past year. "Peter Deckers has played an instrumental role in guiding the Health Center through a particularly challenging period," Austin said. "As executive vice president for health affairs, he will continue to advance our commitment to excellence in education, research, patient care and community service. I am delighted that the Health Center will have the benefit of Deckers' vigilance, dedication and energy in the years ahead."

Deckers thanked Austin and the Board of Trustees for their show of confidence. "I am honored to take on the leadership role of the UConn Health Center," he said. "We continue to face new challenges, and I welcome them wholeheartedly. I am grateful for the work of many people who have helped bring us forward and look to them for continued support and cooperation," he said. "One person cannot make change, but I will lead, inspire, and support the Health Center community as best I can."

He will also continue in his clinical role as a practicing surgeon in the Cancer Center, Department of Surgery. He will report to Austin. Peter Robinson, dean of the School of Dental Medicine, will report to Deckers on administrative issues and to Austin on academic affairs.

In October, 1995, Deckers was named dean of the UConn Medical School and executive vice-president for Physician Practice Organization, University of Connecticut Health System. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president for clinical affairs, interim dean of the UConn School of Medicine and division chief of surgery. He had also served as hospital surgeon-in-chief, and director of the Integrated General Surgical Residency Training Program.

From 1987 to 1996, he was the Murray-Heilig Professor, an endowed chair, and the chairman of the Department of Surgery. He came to the Health Center in 1987 after three years as chairman of surgery at Hartford Hospital.

Deckers earned his medical degree from the Boston University School of Medicine where he received the Outstanding Physician's Award. He completed his residency in general surgery, and was a United States Public Health Service trainee in academic surgery, at Boston University Medical Center. His career began at the Boston medical school where he advanced to the position of professor and vice-chairman for surgical education.

Over the years, Deckers has served on countless committees and professional societies, many in leadership roles, including interim chairman of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project and president of both the New England Surgical Society and the New England Cancer Society. He has published almost 200 papers in professional journals and served on the editorial boards of Breast Surgery and Surgical Oncology.

He and his wife of 36-years Barbara Ann live in Avon and have seven grown children.

The University of Connecticut Health Center includes the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine, John Dempsey Hospital, the UConn Medical Group and University Dentists. Founded in 1961, the Health Center pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service.

November 2000 Releases
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