UH Med Now

JABSOM Associate Dean Chosen for Coveted Fellowship

Date: September 9th, 2022 in Alumni News, COVID-19, Faculty, JABSOM News, staff    Print or PDF

Lee Ellen Buenconsejo-Lum, MD was the first from Hawai'i to be chosen for the highly selective Council of Deans Fellowship Program.

Lee Ellen Buenconsejo-Lum, MD, FAAFP, University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Designated Institutional Official, and Graduate Medical Education Director, has been selected to the Association of American Medical College’s Council of Deans (COD) Fellowship Program.

Of 28 national applicants, Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum was one of six chosen for the highly selective COD program, colloquially known as “the Dean’s school,” which develops future leaders in academic medicine. Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum is breaking new ground by becoming the first in Hawaii and, likely, the first Filipino to be picked for this program.

Since joining JABSOM as Clinical Teaching Assistant in the JABSOM Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in 1994, Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum (JABSOM 1994) has been a teacher, leader, care provider, and researcher who played an integral role in the medical school’s ascension in the US News and World Report rankings.

For the last six years, Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum has been a member of the Dean’s Executive Management team and is involved in all major strategic initiatives, with budget and policy issues, not only within the medical school and UH Mānoa, but also in partnership with the state’s health systems, and Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense partners. One of Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum’s roles in these efforts have been to ensure JABSOM’s medical educational programs remain accredited and prepare medical student and residency/fellowship graduates for the rapidly changing healthcare environment, which includes approaching care delivery through a more holistic, system-wide, and team-based approach

In 2020, Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum, a family physician, helped navigate the school and the entire state through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was one of the primary University liaisons to the State Department of Health and the Hawai’i Emergency Management Agency. Her voice guided institutional leaders on decisions regarding post-pandemic planning, including school reopenings.

To this day, Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum is one of the COVID-19 lead advisors for the University and JABSOM. Her efforts were recognized this year as she was awarded the University of Hawai’i Board of Regents Willard Wilson Distinguished Service Award.

As Dean Jerris Hedges plans to retire next year, he says the timing of Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum’s COD Fellowship selection couldn’t have been better. “Lee is a rare ‘quadruple threat’ that medical school deans love to recruit and develop,” Hedges says. “She is a servant-leader who empowers others to make life and health better for communities. She will gain greatly from her participation in the COD fellowship program.”

Growing up in Wahiawā, Dr. Buenconsejo-Lum says she didn’t foresee her career trajectory leading to becoming a medical school dean. Spending decades at JABSOM collaborating with state agencies, the two largest health systems, other core UH health professions schools, and major health insurers changed her mind. “I have been actively seeking opportunities to expand my skills and national network,” she says. “Successful alignment and growth in partnership with our healthcare systems and numerous other clinical training sites, within UH, with State and Federal stakeholders, and funders will be paramount to advancing health in Hawai`i and the Pacific. Participating in the COD Fellowship will significantly assist my personal and the school’s development in this endeavor.”

Lee Ellen Buenconsejo-Lum, MD, was the first from Hawai'i to be chosen for the highly selective Council of Deans Fellowship Program.

Lee Ellen Buenconsejo-Lum, MD, was the first from Hawai’i to be chosen for the highly selective Council of Deans Fellowship Program. Photo by Brad Goda Photography

Matthew Campbell, Director of Communications

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