College of Public Health Dean Chosen

Victoria Gaubeca
Aug. 24, 2001

G. Marie Swanson, professor in the department of family practice and director of the Cancer Center at Michigan State University, has been appointed the new dean of the University of Arizona College of Public Health.

"I am really pleased that Dr. Swanson has accepted this position," says Dr. Raymond L. Woosley, incoming vice president for the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC) and dean of the UA College of Medicine. "Dr. Swanson has a unique set of talents and skills that will enable her to lead the College to its next level of achievement and academic excellence. She will build upon the excellent foundation created by Dr. James Dalen, former vice president of health sciences and dean of the College of Medicine, and Dr. Kent Campbell, interim dean of the College of Public Health. We owe both of them our gratitude for setting the stage that enabled AHSC to recruit a national leader such as Dr. Swanson."

Scheduled to begin her duties at AHSC in early October, Swanson is a nationally known epidemiologist who is a member of the National Board of the American Cancer Society, a member of the Board of the Medical Follow-Up Agency of the Institute of Medicine and an adviser for a Department of Defense prevention and health-promotion study of deployed forces. She has served as a member of the Federal Commission on Breast Cancer, chaired the Michigan Public Health Department Cancer Consortium for eight years, chaired the Michigan Department of Public Health Breast Cancer Task Force and is past president of the American Cancer Society-Michigan Division. She also has served on several national committees focused on health issues associated with service in the Persian Gulf War.

"I am looking forward to working with the inspirational and visionary leaders of AHSC and the University of Arizona and with the creative, energetic and productive faculty, staff and students of the College of Public Health. They have begun the challenging task of building this College and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with them," says Swanson. "My hope is that the programs and projects of the College will improve the health of all populations in Arizona-by eradicating health disparities and by preventing illness and disability. I would like to see Arizona become the model of health for the United States."

Swanson, 58, is founding director of the Cancer Center at Michigan State University (MSU), the only such center in the United States focusing on cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and supportive care to rural populations. Under her leadership, the Cancer Center has brought multifaceted educational outreach to more than 40 counties across Michigan, has developed a nationally recognized program in palliative and end-of-life care and has established strong, interdisciplinary research programs.

She has a doctorate in sociology from Wayne State University and a master's in public health in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. Her research has focused in four areas: population diversity in cancer risk; cancer and chronic disease prevention; occupational and environmental causes of cancer; and breast cancer. She has authored more than 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has had $140 million in peer-reviewed research funding over her career.

Swanson's honors and awards include the Michigan Cancer Consortium Exemplary Leadership and Outstanding Dedication and Service Award; the American College of Epidemiology Distinguished Service Award; the American Cancer Society St. George Medal; the Michigan Department of Public Health Outstanding Leadership Award; Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the Jack E. White and LeSalle Lefall Jr. Award (for research that has improved the health of minority populations) of the American Association for Cancer Research.

She is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American College of Epidemiology, the Society for Epidemiological Research, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Public Health Association, the American Society for Preventive Oncology, the National Rural Health Association, and Women in Cancer Research.

Established by the Arizona Board of Regents in January 2000, the UA College of Public Health is the first public health college in the southwestern United States. Based at AHSC in Tucson, the College's mission is to conduct research, provide education and program service support to improve community and personal health. Programs concentrate on the reduction of environmental hazards, the promotion of healthy behaviors and the application of effective and accessible preventive health care.




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