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Quillen dean receives 'Founders Medal'
Dr. Robert Means

JOHNSON CITY (Feb. 23, 2016) – The dean of East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine has been awarded a prestigious honor by the Southern Society of Clinical Investigation (SSCI).

At the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans earlier this month, the SSCI awarded its highest honor, the Founders Medal, to Dr. Robert T. Means Jr., medical school dean.

Means is a past-president and councilor of the SSCI and currently serves on the Executive Advisory Committee and is convener of the annual Southern Blood Club session.

Since 1973, the SSCI has awarded the Founders Medal to a member of the organization who has both played an important role in the organization by providing leadership for growth in the SSCI and is a nationally recognized leader in medicine.

Previous recipients include many distinguished physician scientists and leaders from medical schools throughout the South and Southwest, including Vanderbilt, Duke, Emory and Tulane universities.

Means is the first Quillen faculty member to receive this award. It was presented to him by Dr. James Oates of the Medical University of South Carolina and former president of the SSCI.

“Dr. Means is a very worthy recipient of this award,” Oates said. “Not only is he a recognized leader at his institution, but he is also a nationally recognized leader in medicine. His efforts over the years with SSCI are commendable and we congratulate him on receiving this prestigious honor.”

Means is a graduate of Rice University and of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Following training in internal medicine and hematology, he held faculty and leadership positions at Vanderbilt, University of Cincinnati, Medical University of South Carolina and University of Kentucky.

He became dean of Quillen College of Medicine in March 2014. Prior to joining the ETSU family, Means served as the executive dean of the College of Medicine and professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Kentucky.

He is internationally recognized for his research on red blood cell disorders, which was supported for many years by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is the editor of the textbook Wintobe’s Clinical Hematology, serves on the editorial boards of several journals, and is a member of the Hematology Examination Committee of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

In addition to his activities as dean, Means continues to practice hematology, teach and contribute to medical literature.

“We are very proud of Dr. Means for earning this honor,” said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU’s chief operating officer and vice president for Health Affairs. “In the two short years he has been here, our medical school has benefited from his leadership and medical expertise. His active role in research and clinical practice, and his commitment to quality education serve as a role model for us all. We are looking forward to many more years of his guidance and strong leadership at our institution.”

Founded in 1946, the SSCI supports the advancement of medical research, the exchange of knowledge, information and ideas, the mentoring of future generations of academic physicians and the recognition of excellence in academic medicine. Membership is by nomination and election.

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