UH Med Now
John A. Burns School of Medicine Dean Hedges Announces Planned Retirement
Jerris R. Hedges, MD will retire as dean of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) on March 1, 2023 after 15 years leading the state’s only medical school. Hedges made the announcement this morning in an email to JABSOM students, faculty and staff. Announcing his planned retirement in September 2022 gives UH leadership the opportunity to recruit his replacement in advance of the next LCME medical school accreditation cycle.
With physician training and retention in Hawai’i as his top priority as JABSOM dean, Hedges has worked tirelessly with Hawai’i lawmakers and private donors to grow the medical school and provide increased training opportunities, especially on the neighbor islands. He has worked closely with Hawaiʻi’s health systems (i.e., community hospitals and clinics) and leaders in nursing, social work, public health, cancer research and pharmacy to help envision a unified and supportive academic and clinical learning environment for all of UH’s health and health sciences – through support of his health science colleagues within UH, oversight of the University Health Partners of Hawaii board of directors, and collaboration with many community partners.
Under his leadership, JABSOM also contributed greatly to the university’s research success through his leadership on several multi-professional National Institutes of Health (NIH) research infrastructure grants. The medical school also gained greater national visibility, experiencing a significant rise in the US News & World Report rankings of the nation’s best medical schools.
Hedges was elected the Hawaii Medical Association Physician of the Year in 2013. Hedges also served as interim director for the UH Cancer Center from 2014-2016. He is currently the only UH employee elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine.
“It has been an honor to serve the people of Hawai’i,” said Hedges. “Growing the size of the medical school class, leading the school through two successful eight-year Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation cycles, building stronger relationships with the health systems in Hawai’i through the forging of unique academic affiliation agreements and helping align the UH health professions during economic downturns and a pandemic have been challenging. I am hopeful that the medical school will continue to provide support and guidance for Hawai’i as we come out of the pandemic.”
Hedges said he also looks forward to continuing to help guide the NIH-sponsored Ola HAWAIʻI health disparities grant upon retirement.
“The university and the people of Hawai’i are fortunate to have had a leader with the creativity, passion, and dedication that Jerris has displayed throughout his years of service at Mānoa,” says Michael S. Bruno, Provost of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. “I am personally indebted to Jerris for his advice and guidance throughout the pandemic, and I know that I speak for all of his colleagues across our colleges and schools when I wish him fair winds and following seas during his richly deserved retirement!”
Matthew Campbell, Director of Communications