JOHNSON CITY (Feb. 6, 2019) – East Tennessee State University has named Dr. William Block as dean of the Quillen College of Medicine.
Block, the first alumnus of the Quillen College of Medicine to lead the college, has served as interim dean since last July. On Feb. 6, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland announced that “interim” would be removed from Block’s title.
“Dr. Block is the right person at the right time to lead Quillen College of Medicine,” Noland said. “Over the past six months, Dr. Block has done an outstanding job in this leadership role. Not only is his background strongly rooted in Quillen, he also has a compelling vision for its future.”
Block, a 1992 graduate of Quillen College of Medicine, held various faculty positions at the medical school from 1998-2004. After working as the medical director for the Minnesota Perinatal Physicians in Minnesota, he returned to Quillen in 2016 as chair of Quillen’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology before becoming interim dean in 2018.
“Dr. Block has been a student, a faculty member, chair and interim dean at Quillen,” said Dr. Wilsie Bishop, vice president for Health Affairs. “Very few people could step into this role with these qualifications and have a firsthand understanding of the organization from this perspective.
“He also brings a combination of strong academic background, along with an impressive clinical background.”
In addition to serving as the physician manager at Minnesota Perinatal Physicians in Minnesota, which was once the largest perinatal medicine practice in the country, Block also founded the Midwest Fetal Care Center at Minnesota Children’s Hospital. In addition, he completed fellowship training in Leuven, Belgium to learn fetal surgery, putting him among a small number of physicians in the country who can perform this type of surgery.
Since his appointment as interim dean at ETSU, the Quillen community has had an opportunity to hear Block lay out his vision for the medical school when he delivered a State of the College of Medicine address in January.
“Over the past few months, Dr. Bishop and I have been on a listening tour,” Noland said. “We have talked to leadership, resident physicians, students and faculty to get their input on not only the state of the college, but also the leadership that Dr. Block has provided. I am excited by the energy he has brought to the college. I am excited by the presence he has provided, and I think most importantly, I am excited by the things I have heard from students.”
Block says one of his goals as dean is to continue Quillen’s commitment to the region by preparing physicians to practice rural medicine. He also wants to increase the community’s awareness of the medical school’s contributions in patient care and research.
“As an alumnus, faculty member, and now dean, I am proud to be part of Quillen, and I’m honored to be able to lead the college moving forward,” Block said. “The students who are attracted to Quillen, the residents who choose to come here and train, and the faculty who teach here do so because they appreciate this region and the people who live here.
“I’ve talked about being the practice of choice in our community, and we are committed to being the health care destination of the region.”
Born and raised in Florida, Block moved to Tennessee to attend The University of the South in Sewanee. After earning a bachelor’s degree in physics, Block came to ETSU to attend medical school. He completed his residency at the University of South Carolina and a fellowship at Wake Forest University. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Emory University in 2012.
He completed a fetal medicine fellowship at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, and is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as in Maternal/Fetal Medicine. He is a diplomate of the National Board of Medical Examiners.