New UF College of Medicine dean takes helm at pivotal moment for UF Health
Colleen G. Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., has been named dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine, becoming the 10th dean and the first woman to hold the appointment in the college’s 64-year history.
Koch began her new role Jan. 10 after serving as a professor and chair of the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine and anesthesiologist-in-chief of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“Dr. Koch brings with her a distinguished record of visionary leadership, scholarly accomplishments and demonstrated excellence in academic health and clinical administration,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “We are at a pivotal moment in the history of UF Health, and the College of Medicine and its faculty, staff and students are an integral part of shaping our path forward as they continue to translate scientific discoveries into the clinical advances that will help our patients achieve the best possible outcomes. I look forward to what we will accomplish together on behalf of the university, the state of Florida, and beyond.”
As dean, Koch serves as chief academic and executive officer for the College of Medicine, the largest college within the UF Health academic health center. Ranked No. 18 among all public medical schools in the country and the highest-ranked in Florida, it comprises 28 research-oriented and clinical science departments and the School of Physician Assistant Studies, staffed by more than 1,400 faculty members.
Annually, the college trains more than 800 residents and fellows and nearly 1,000 medical, PA and graduate students. Faculty members practice in six UF Health hospitals in the Gainesville area and dozens of UF Health physician practices throughout North Central Florida, and are associated with a number of affiliate clinical and residency programs around the state.
Koch moves into the role that had been held on an interim basis for the past two and half years by Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., M.P.H., who has transitioned to associate vice president for strategic and academic affairs for UF Health as well as continuing as chair of emergency medicine.
“It is an honor and a privilege to have been selected as the first woman dean of the University of Florida’s College of Medicine, the result of much hard work by the search committee, Dr. Nelson, and members of the College of Medicine and university community,” Koch said. “The college’s emphasis on quality, safety and value align with my experience and career goals. I intend to work closely with Dr. Tyndall on diversity, equity, inclusion and academic affairs, and humbly accept this leadership opportunity.”
Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2014 to lead its anesthesiology department, Koch practiced at the Cleveland Clinic for 22 years while also serving in numerous roles in research, education, administration and medical operations throughout the organization. She is a cardiothoracic anesthesiologist who has authored more than 100 publications and is nationally known for her clinical outcomes research in cardiac surgery, transfusions and quality of life.
Under her leadership, the department of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins has implemented a number of innovative initiatives and strategies in areas like research, professional development and quality and safety. For the second year in a row, the department was ranked the No. 1 anesthesiology program in 2020 by U.S. News & World Report’s medical school specialty rankings and is among the top five funded academic anesthesiology departments in the U.S.
“After a thorough national search that attracted a great number of superb candidates, Dr. Koch was recognized as the ideal choice to lead the College of Medicine through continued growth in national recognition and impact in all three of its mission areas of research, education and patient care,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “As UF Health expands its footprint across North Central, Northeast and Central Florida, Dr. Koch’s proven ability to collaborate and build successful and strategic relationships, both internal and external, will be invaluable.’’
Nelson said Koch was chosen after a nationwide search co-chaired by Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA, dean of the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville and CEO of UF Health Jacksonville, and Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., dean of the UF College of Pharmacy and a distinguished professor.
Koch serves on the board of trustees of the International Anesthesia Research Society, where she is also past chair of the executive committee of the board of trustees. She is a member of the board of directors for the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which is an internationally recognized organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system. She serves on that board’s education subcommittee, helping to develop employment opportunities for neurodiverse individuals in the Baltimore community.
In addition, she is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Koch received her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati and her training in anesthesiology from Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She earned a master’s degree in clinical research design and statistical analysis from the University of Michigan and a master’s in business administration from Case Western Reserve University.
“In appreciation for the confidence UF has demonstrated by affording me this opportunity to push the boundaries in research, education and clinical care, I look forward to advancing the college’s vision for the medical enterprise, focused growth and innovative strategies by providing ever greater value to our patients, our community and the field of medical science,” Koch said.