UH College of Medicine Dean Receives Texas Academy of Family Physicians Award

Dr. Stephen Spann, founding dean of the UH College of Medicine, receiving the TAFP Presidential Award of Merit.

The Texas Academy of Family Physicians presented its Presidential Award of Merit to Dr. Stephen J. Spann, founding dean of the University of Houston College of Medicine, at TAFP’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in The Woodlands on Nov. 9. TAFP President Dr. Rebecca Hart chose to honor him for his leadership and dedication to the specialty of family medicine. The award is given each year to those who show outstanding contributions to health care in Texas.

The new UH medical school is aimed at transforming the way care is delivered by taking a more cost-effective, patient-centric and team-based approach to care.

“TAFP has been tireless and relentless in advocating for medical education in family medicine in this state both at an undergraduate and a residency level, and I am forever grateful for that,” Spann said.

Spann’s career – starting in rural family medicine in Arkansas and changing to academic medicine after a few years – included 15 years as Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and seven years as Chair of Family Medicine at UTMB Galveston. Most recently he served as chief medical officer of a teaching hospital in the United Arab Emirates managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine Institute.

He moved back to Texas and has spent the last four years shaping the new medical school, using his decades of experience as a family physician, educator, and health care administrator. His team is currently designing curricula to prepare primary care doctors to practice in underserved rural and urban communities to improve health outcomes. The new school is expected to welcome its first class of medical students in 2020 pending accreditation.

Family physicians like Spann are qualified to work in all major medical areas and are trained to treat more than 90% of all cases they encounter. Family physicians care for patients of all ages.

The Texas Academy of Family Physicians is the premier membership organization dedicated to uniting the family doctors of Texas through advocacy, education and member services, and empowering them to provide a medical home for patients of all ages. It has 32 local chapters and is a chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Visit www.tafp.org for more information.