New Nursing Dean David Vlahov Meets with Advisory Board

By Elizabeth Fernandez

Six weeks into his tenure as dean of the UCSF School of Nursing, David Vlahov, RN, PhD, met with his advisory board to discuss his vision for the school and promising new directions in an era of health care reform.

David Vlahov, RN, PhD

David Vlahov, RN, PhD

“With health reform, accountable care organizations and the Institute of Medicine report (on the future roles of nurses), the School of Nursing needs to update its strategic vision for education, research and service,’’ Vlahov said. “How can we meet these challenges, and how can we do it in a way that’s in the best interest of the patient? That’s the challenge.’’

Vlahov said he is framing his outlook around four central platforms: symptoms (how to manage issues like pain); interface (how nurses can serve as the connectors  between technology and patient); transition (how to ease the path for patients from the hospital to home and prevent re-hospitalizations); and prevention (how to impact health at the community level).

He also noted challenges in funding that are not limited to the school, and discussed expanding alumni relations, philanthropy and entrepreneurship that builds on the strengths of the faculty.   

At the May 18 meeting, the panel’s name was formally changed from the Board of Overseers to the School of Nursing External Advisory Board. Consisting of UCSF representatives, community health professionals and business leaders, the 24-year-old board promotes public awareness and philanthropic support for the nursing school as well as guides the dean.     

A scientist and registered nurse, Vlahov is the first male dean of the century-old School of Nursing, one of the nation’s preeminent graduate schools. Previously, he served as the senior vice president of research at the New York Academy of Medicine and director of the Center for Urban Epidemiological Studies. A prolific author, pioneer in urban health research, and expert in global health epidemiology, he began his appointment April 1.

Photo by Elisabeth Fall/