Dr. George Kikano’s extensive background as a family medicine physician, an educator and leader will serve him well as the new dean of the Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Provost Michael Gealt said.
Gealt announced Kikano’s appointment Monday. He will start part time at CMU April 1 and full time July 1 with an annual salary of $500,000. Kikano currently is the founding director of the Weatherhead Institute for Family Medicine and Community Health at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He also is the medical director for Home Care Services with University Hospitals in Cleveland and a professor of family medicine at CWRU. He continues to practice as a physician and has made Cleveland Magazine’s “Top Docs” list every year since 2002 and has been on the “Best Doctors in America” list every year since 2003.
“From the start of our conversations, Dr. Kikano talked about the CMU College of Medicine’s mission to provide quality health care in underserved areas, and he was able to tie his experiences and the initiatives he has led to that mission,” Gealt said. “He has been hands on in research, family medicine, teaching and as an administrator.”
Kikano takes over the nation’s 137th medical school as it prepares to admit its third class and finalize its third- and fourth-year curriculum, which includes clinical training in Saginaw and at a number of medical facilities across central and northern Michigan. A new education building in Saginaw on the campus of Covenant HealthCare is on schedule to open in June 2015. Plans to build clinical space at the College of Medicine’s other Saginaw partner, St. Mary’s of Michigan, were approved last year by the CMU Board of Trustees.
“As I said in the open forums on campus, I’m fully energized. You have something good going on here at CMU,” Kikano said. “The mission is a core value that should not be changed, should not be altered. Anything we do here, whether it is education, clinical research, basic science research, investing in facilities or investing in programs — that core mission will guide us.”
Kikano, who has secured millions of dollars in grants for education and faculty development while at Case Western Reserve University, earned his medical degree in 1986 from American University in Lebanon. He started at Case Western Reserve University in 1987 as a research fellow and performed his family medicine residency with University Hospitals of Cleveland. By 1992, he was the associate residency director, and he served in a number of leadership roles before becoming chairman of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Case Western in 2001.
Linda Perkowski has served as the interim dean for the College of Medicine since July and will continue in that role until Kikano arrives on campus.