Robert DAlessandri, M.D., vice president for health sciences at West Virginia University and president of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, has been named president and founding dean of the Medical College of Northeast Pennsylvania in Scranton.
DAlessandri, 61, will officially begin his duties at the yet-to-be opened medical school on June 1. The target date for first enrollments at the college is the 2009-10 school year. A specialist in infectious diseases and general medicine, DAlessandri has held numerous high-level medical education executive positions at West Virginia University, including dean of the School of Medicine from 1989 to 2004.
The vision of a new medical school in northeastern Pennsylvania was conceived in 2004, following local physician shortages and a national call to medical schools to train more physicians. At that time, the Medical Education Development Consortium, the regional group spearheading its development, commissioned a study to determine its viability.
Funding for the study and follow-up reviews came through the state and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.