* Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia is losing a health icon.
Paul Brucker, president of the medical school since 1990 and founding chairman of the Jefferson Health System, announced his retirement at the annual board of trustees meeting last month. Brucker, 71, will officially step down on June 30, 2004, to give the board time for a smooth transition, but he agreed to the board's request to continue serving the university as president emeritus.
"If we could clone him, we would do that because we want another Paul Brucker," Douglas MacMaster Jr., chairman of the university's board, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Brucker came to Jefferson in 1973 as the first alumni professor and chair of the medical school's department of family medicine.
After becoming president, he played a key role in the merger of Main Line Health System and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital to create the 14-hospital Jefferson system in 1995.
"I am proud of our efforts to reaffirm the university's mission and I have every confidence in the strength of my administrative colleagues, the dedication of our faculty and alumni, and the strong leadership and clear vision of our trustees that Thomas Jefferson University will continue its exceptional legacy," Brucker said in a written statement.
Officials said a search committee would be formed to review the responsibilities of the president, and create a position description and timeline for a nationwide search.