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Osteopathic Trailblazer Leaves a Legacy

051817-Barbara-Ross-Lee

Dr. Ross-Lee was awarded the Robert A. Kistner Award by Dr. Cavalieri, Chair of AACOM's Board of Deans and Dean of RowanSOM, at the Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Conference in April.

Barbara Ross-Lee, DO
, announced her retirement as Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). She has worked for the institution for the past 16 years in various leadership positions, including dean of NYITCOM and later the Inaugural Site Dean of NYITCOM Arkansas.

“Now that the inaugural class of NYITCOM at Arkansas State has nearly completed its first year of medical school, the time is right for me to pursue new paths and the various opportunities they may present,” said Ross-Lee. “Although I am retiring from NYIT, I remain committed to supporting the causes of osteopathic medicine and helping to extend its benefits to communities in need.”

She began her osteopathic career after graduating from what is now the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) and opening her own private practice with the purpose of serving low-income communities. She has accomplished many firsts throughout her career: she became the first DO to receive a health policy fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; was the first African-American woman to hold the dean position of an American medical school when she became dean of Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM); and is the first and current director of the AOA Health Policy Fellowship.

“Barbara Ross-Lee remains the perfect example of a trailblazer, role model, and mentor within the osteopathic profession and the U.S. health care system. She cracked and broke the glass ceiling, time and again, including becoming the first African-American woman to serve as the dean of a medical school, while continually channeling talented young and diverse physicians into health care leadership pipelines. We are indebted to her for her visionary leadership, dedication to training of students and residents, and her proud promotion of the distinctive philosophies of osteopathic medicine,” said Adrienne White-Faines, CEO of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Dr. Ross-Lee was recently recognized as the recipient of the Robert A. Kistner Award at the Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Conference.