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Released February8, 2005


Hattiesburg- The College of Health at The University of Southern Mississippi has assembled an eclectic mix of experts, public officials and health care professionals to serve as members of the newly formed Dean's Advisory Council.

Composed of 17 members from the United States, Mexico and Canada, the volunteer advisory board will assist Dr. Peter Fos in achieving the dean's dual mission of growing the college and enhancing its image. The council plans to convene later this semester.

"The members of the Dean's Council possess a collective experience and expertise that is unparalleled," said Fos, dean of the College of Health. "As the college moves forward in an attempt to achieve its strategic objectives, the Dean's Council will prove to be a crucial asset for me and the faculty, students and staff.

The Dean's Advisory Council provides a unique perspective because it consists of Southern Miss alumni and leaders from Mississippi, other parts of the United States and the world, Fos said.

"The opportunity to interact with this distinguished group of individuals is exciting both to me and the entire College of Health."

Other objectives of the board will be to function as ambassadors to promote the college's successes; foster collaboration among the departments of the college; share personal industry perspectives and experiences; assist in aligning educational curriculum and opportunities (research, co-op, etc.); provide feedback about college issues; and cultivate alumni and friends to support the college.

"I consider it an honor and a high privilege to serve on this council," said Dr. Brian Amy, state health officer and head of the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Having a diverse group is critical to the council's mission, said Amy, who has also served as an adjunct professor at Southern Miss, Tulane University and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. "It takes a team to solve our problems, and with this council we have a whole host of different backgrounds and perspectives," he said.

"One of the things our department is trying to do is become more involved with academia. I think there is a natural link between the Department of Health and the academic side, whether it's helping to analyze all the data collected (at the university), or moving data into information and that information into knowledge. Doing these things will help the state of public health in Mississippi."

Another council member, Dr. Dennis Ranalli, said the advisory group will examine different programs to locate untapped potential in terms of grant money and exposure.

"Whatever it takes to get more recognition for the college, that's what we'll do," said Ranalli, senior associate dean of the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and team dentist for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team.

Inaugural council members include Dr. Brian Amy of Jackson; John Dalaly of Farmington Hills, Mich.(chairman and CEO of IPC International Inc.); Dr. Beverly Dale of Los Altos, Calif. (B.S. in microbiology, 1968, Southern Miss); Rep. Dirk Dedeaux of Perkinston (Mississippi House District 93); David Fine of Houston, Texas (president and CEO of St. Luke's Episcopal Health System); Dr. Ron Graham of Gulfport (orthopedic surgeon, BSBA, 1965, Southern Miss); Dr. Carlen McLin of New Orleans, La. (associate dean of the Division of Natural Sciences at Dillard University); M.C. Guillermo Montalvo of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico (director of the Sports Medicine Institute at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán).

Other members are William Oliver of Hattiesburg (president and CEO of Forrest General Hospital); Thad Pearson of Houston, Texas (president of Statewide Physical Medicine Group); Dr. Dennis Ranalli of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Dr. Susan Silverton of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (vice president of academic-Anglophone affairs at Laurentian University); Rep. Clayton Smith of Brandon (Mississippi House District 59); Greg Strahan of Tupelo (vice president of business development and clinics for North Mississippi Health Services, BSBA, 1975, Southern Miss); Dr. James Thompson of Milton, Fla. (owner and CEO of Healthmark Corporation, B.A., 1958, Southern Miss); Martha Thornton of Hattiesburg (B.S. in library science, 1980, Southern Miss); Dr. Hugh Tilson of Chapel Hill, N.C. (senior advisor to the dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

For more information about the College of Health Dean's Advisory Council, call (601) 266-5882.


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April 1, 2005 3:48 PM