The Rochester ConnectionJune 2009
Dr. Pierre Atallah introduced Dr. Gary Russi, President of Oakland University, and Dr. Robert Folberg, founding dean of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, to the Rochester City Council on June 8, 2009. As a member of the Board of the Downtown Development Authority, Dr. Atallah was pleased to announce to City Council that Beaumont Hospital has joined with Oakland University to create Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.
Dr. Gary Russi, Oakland University’s president since 1996, has brought more than 190 million dollars to Oakland University to enhance the environment for teaching, researching, learning and living. The new medical school will bring more people to campus. The goal is “to produce physicians, researchers, medical ethicists, public policy makers and community opinion leaders.”Dr. Atallah invited Dr. Russi to share his vision with City Council, in an effort to inform the community of the great potential this has for the Rochester community.
Robert Folberg M.D., a professor of biomedical sciences, pathology and ophthalmology, was appointed dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine on July 31, 2008. In addition to a distinguished career in medicine, he has devised and implemented innovative, successful techniques in medical education including programs using CD-ROM based curriculum, and Web based instruction.
Dr. Atallah is a graduate of the Beaumont educational system. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. While still a resident he started the first Journal Club teaching program at Beaumont, and was given the “Teacher of the Year” award by his colleagues.
While a cardiovascular fellow at Beaumont it became apparent to Dr. Atallah that the Rochester area had no cardiologists. All of the area’s residents with difficult cardiovascular problems were being sent to Royal Oak Beaumont. Being that it was an underserved population at the time, he decided to bring cardiology to the town. Setting up his practice in Rochester Hills, later expanding and moving to downtown Rochester, he became the area’s first board certified cardiologist. He has continued to work in conjunction with Beaumont physicians regularly, and continues to have privileges there.
Referring to that earlier time, Atallah said, “University Drive was a two lane road and Oakland University was celebrating its 21st anniversary”, he told Rochester City Council. “We have come a long way since then. The dream to see OU and Beaumont Hospital join in partnership to establish a school of medicine has become a reality”.
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