The Virtua Health College of Medicine & Life Sciences of Rowan University has a new leader, Rowan President Ali Houshmand announced Feb. 1.
Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, who has served as dean of the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine since 2006, will be the first senior vice provost of the college as well as chief academic officer of Virtua Health.
In January 2022, Rowan University and Virtua Health announced the historic partnership, made possible by an $85 million gift from Virtua Health – the second-largest endowment in Rowan’s history – and $125 million dedicated by the university.
In November 2022, the venture announced an update on the initiative, including details about the three schools the college would entail – Osteopathic Medicine (the only osteopathic medical school in the state), Nursing & Health Professions and Translational Biomedical Engineering & Sciences – as well as plans for further down the road.
In addition to his role as dean at the medical school, Cavalieri has served as a professor of medicine and the Osteopathic Heritage Endowed Chair for Primary Care Research. A specialist in geriatric medicine, he is the founding director of the Center of Aging, now the Rowan-Virtua New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging.
Cavalieri has earned numerous awards in his field and served on several statewide and national medical committees, Houshmand noted.
“Throughout his more than 40-year career as a physician, Dr. Cavalieri has been a tireless advocate for medical education, research and improving the lives of medically underserved individuals,” Houshmand said in his announcement. “I am pleased that Dr. Cavalieri has agreed to help us advance the bold and transformational mission of Virtua Health College.”
Houshmand added that under Cavalieri’s leadership, the medical school more than doubled enrollment and expanded to a second campus. Additionally, the school’s clinical practice now includes 130 physicians and health care providers serving southern New Jersey.
As senior vice provost, Cavalieri will oversee all undergraduate and graduate education and research programs, as well as the infrastructure and systems supporting the college’s three schools.
Rowan Provost Tony Lowman has initiated a search for an interim dean to replace Cavalieri at the medical school. Nominations will be accepted through Feb 3.
Theresa “Terri” Drye, who has served as Rowan’s chief human resources officer since December 2017, has been named chief administrative officer within the Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences. In addition to continuing her responsibilities in human resources, Drye will also oversee the transition of the physician practice plan, integration of the nursing school and administrative oversight for the college.
She brings more than 20 years of health care leadership experience to the new roles.
“As a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Terri brings valuable knowledge and experience to this position to continue to grow the affiliation and contribute to the clinical care and workforce development for South Jersey,” Houshmand said.r