DHSA appoints new president and CEO

(WILMINGTON, Del. – Oct. 24) Omar A. Khan, M.D., MHS, FAAFP, service line leader for Primary Care & Community Medicine at Christiana Care Health System, is the new president and CEO of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance (DHSA). The organization is dedicated to advancing the health of Delawareans through biomedical research, access to health care and the education of health care professionals. DHSA’s founding partners are Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Delaware.

Dr. Khan succeeds Kathleen S. Matt, Ph.D., Dean, University of Delaware College of Health Sciences, who has led DHSA as executive director since its inception in 2009. The new role of president and CEO replaces the executive director role and reflects the DHSA’s new designation as an LLC.

“One of the main priorities of the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance has been to improve the health of Delawareans through access to services in the state and region,” said Roy Proujansky, M.D., chief executive, Nemours Delaware Valley Operations. “We at Nemours are excited by this important step in the evolution of DHSA. We look forward to seeing the alliance grow and to continuing the collaborations we have built across the state to help improve the health and well-being of all who live in Delaware.” As dean of the University of the Delaware College of Health Sciences, Dr. Matt will continue to be an active member of the DHSA.

“Dr. Khan brings the expertise, dedication and leadership we need to continue building on the excellent work of Dr. Matt and the DHSA,” said University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis. “Working with Dr. Khan and our DHSA partners, the University of Delaware is committed to improving the health and well-being of all Delawareans while fulfilling our missions of education and research. We are excited to embark on this new era with Dr. Khan and our partners.”

Under Dr. Matt’s leadership since 2009, the DHSA has cultivated the growth of partnerships across the institutions.  The DHSA has awarded research grants with a return on investment of over $60 million. It has cultivated successful multi-institutional grants that developed its biomedical research platform. DHSA has sponsored research symposia, and provided numerous education grants to establish health care workforce education including a post-baccalaureate health coaching certificate, an interdisciplinary global health education site for DHSA partners, a clinical immersion experience for biomedical engineering students, and certificate- and degree-granting programs in health informatics.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve accomplished over the last eight years,” said Dr. Matt. “The DHSA becoming its own LLC is an important milestone for future growth and continuing to partner across institutions and beyond to have positive health outcomes for Delawareans.”

The DHSA’s designation as an LLC called for the formation of a new organizational structure. That new structure called for a president and CEO. “Dr. Khan is a highly regarded, forward-thinking leader, committed to a healthy Delaware and to educating the next generation of health care professionals,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Christiana Care. “We are thrilled for our colleague. In this new role, Dr. Khan will advance research, education and strategic partnerships to meet the health needs of Delawareans.”

Dr. Khan will retain his clinical role and a leadership role as physician leader for Partnerships and Academic Programs at Christiana Care, where he joined the Medical-Dental staff in 2006. Dr. Khan has previously served as Physician Leader for Primary Care & Community Medicine (overseeing the clinical functions of the Departments of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Geriatrics);  as Vice Chair of the Dept. of Family & Community Medicine; and as Medical Director of the Eugene du Pont Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute; all at Christiana Care.  He is an academic family physician with special interests in medical education, translational research, and global health, and co-founded the Global Health Residency curriculum at Christiana Care. He serves as Co-Investigator for the Delaware CTR-ACCEL program, a multi-site collaboration to accelerate clinical and translational research, funded with a $28 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and funding from the state of Delaware and the research partner organizations, Christiana Care Health System, the University of Delaware, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Medical University of South Carolina.

“The DHSA is a fantastic, forward-thinking resource for better health throughout Delaware,” said Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., MBA, president of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “At Jefferson, we look forward to working with such a capable researcher and clinician as Dr. Khan.”

Dr. Khan is appointed to the faculty of the University of Delaware and Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and on the medical staff of Christiana Care and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. He has published and presented widely, and is on the editorial board or referee panel for leading academic journals, including BioMedCentral’s journals Medical Education and Public Health, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the American Journal of Public Health, The Lancet and PLOS Medicine. He serves as editor in chief of the Delaware Journal of Public Health and has authored or co-authored five books on global health. He has served as a faculty mentor for programs at the Association of American Medical Colleges and the International Association of National Public Health Institutes.

“With DHSA, I am honored to partner with our colleagues throughout Delaware who are dedicated to the health of our state and to the research and education that will ensure the care and well-being all Delawareans deserve,” said Dr. Khan. “It has been my privilege to be part of the DHSA’s innovative efforts and to see its growth through the years. I look forward to building on this tradition to advance the health of our communities, and for DHSA to be a model for others throughout the country.”

Dr. Khan earned his M.D. and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Vermont and received his public health degree from Johns Hopkins University. He also completed advanced training in geriatrics from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has served as president of the Delaware Academy of Family Physicians, and on the executive board of the American Public Health Association. He is currently on the board of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health and is president-elect of the Delaware Academy of Medicine.  He has received numerous recognitions for his academic, research and clinical contributions, recently including the Dean’s Award for Service to Medicine & Community from the University of Vermont, Christiana Care Preceptor of the Year in Family Medicine, Editor of the Year from BioMedCentral and as a repeat “Top Doc” by Philadelphia Magazine.

The Delaware Health Sciences Alliance (DHSA) was established in 2009 with four founding partners—Christiana Care Health SystemNemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenThomas Jefferson University and the University of Delaware, and is meant to enable partner organizations to collaborate and conduct cutting-edge biomedical research, to improve the health of Delawareans through access to services in the state and region, and to educate the next generation of health care professionals.

Contact: Andrea Boyle Tippett, 302-831-141, aboyle@udel.edu