Cavalieri to lead new Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences

Thomas Cavalieri, dean of the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine, has been selected to serve as the inaugural senior vice provost of the recently formed Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences and chief academic officer of Virtua Health, it was announced Wednesday.

In his new role as senior vice provost, Cavalieri will have oversight of all the undergraduate and graduate education and research programs, as well as the infrastructure and systems to support the academic mission of the three schools that are part of the Virtua Health College. (Those schools are the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Rowan-Virtua School of Nursing & Health Professions, and the Rowan-Virtua School of Translational Biomedical Engineering & Sciences.)

As the chief academic officer for Virtua, he will evaluate and coordinate the academic performance of the residents, students and fellows, ensuring that the shared strategic goals between the college and the health system stay aligned.

Tony Lowman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for Rowan University, said Cavalieri is the perfect choice for the roles.

“Dr. Cavalieri has served as dean at the School of Osteopathic Medicine since 2006,” he said. “Under his leadership, the medical school has experienced tremendous growth, more than doubling enrollment and expanding to a second campus. At the same time, the medical school’s clinical practice has continued to grow, with more than 130 physicians and health care providers delivering medical services throughout southern New Jersey.”

It was just over a year ago that Rowan University, one of the nation’s Top 100 public research universities, and Virtua Health, the largest health system in southern New Jersey, announced the new academic health partnership to transform medical education, health care delivery and biomedical research in the region.

The partnership encompasses New Jersey’s only osteopathic medical school, an expanded nursing and allied health professions school, a new school of translational biomedical engineering and sciences, and aligned clinical practices.

Key post for Drye

Rowan University announced that Terri Drye will assume a key leadership role as chief administrative officer within the Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Drye will oversee the transition of the physician practice plan, integration of the nursing school and administrative oversight for the college. Her 20-plus years of health care leadership experience, with 10 years as a senior leader in the roles of chief human resources officer and chief administrative officer in both academic and community health care, will be invaluable in aligning and growing programs in her role as system vice president.

Drye has served as chief human resources officer at Rowan since December 2017. She will retain strategic oversight of HR in the role of CHRO in addition to this new role.

Dr. Reginald Blaber, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Virtua Health, also praised the selection.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Cavalieri will lead the new Virtua Health College,” he said. “Throughout his career, he has been a tireless advocate for medical education, research and improving the lives of medically underserved individuals. At the same time, he has helped to advance the medical profession through his leadership on several statewide and national committees.”

A professor of medicine and the Osteopathic Heritage Endowed Chair for Primary Care Research, Cavalieri is the founding director of the Center of Aging, which has grown into the Rowan-Virtua New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his advocacy and patient care and has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, many of which focus on end-of-life issues.

Cavalieri said he is eager to take on the new roles.

“I’m honored and humbled by the confidence that Rowan University and Virtua Health have placed in me, and excited by the challenge of leading the Virtua Health College,” he said. “Our mission is clear. We will seek to improve the health of New Jersey residents, create opportunities to train the next generation of health care professionals, innovate research that impacts lives and increase health equity by meeting the needs of medically underserved communities. I’m looking forward to working with the many talented individuals at Rowan and at Virtua Health as, together, we work to achieve those goals.”

The new Virtua Health College of Medicine and Life Sciences of Rowan University is supported by Virtua Health’s philanthropic investment of $85 million to Rowan University to create an endowment that will fuel investments in faculty, educational programs and the construction of a state-of-the-art research facility.