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Leading with Vision: Dr. Said Ibrahim Champions Excellence and Equity at Sidney Kimmel Medical College

When asked if his new role as the Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean of Sidney Kimmel Medical College and president of Jefferson University Physicians is “everything he had expected”, Said Ibrahim, MD, MBA, MPH replies, “and more.”

“It has been a remarkable treat for me because I have come to appreciate what a wonderful scientific and academic community Jefferson is,” Dr. Ibrahim, who joined Jefferson just six months ago on December 1 of last year, shares. “I’ve learned a great deal about the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. This is one of the best medical schools in the country, and it’s really wonderful to be here at the time when we are celebrating our bicentennial.”

“My vision for Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University is to maintain our excellence in education, but also to build on that and pursue what I consider the three most important pillars of academic medicine and healthcare—excellence in clinical care, research, and education,” Dr. Ibrahim says. “I’m also very committed to making sure that these pillars rest on a foundation of community impact, inclusivity, and well-being.”

Dr. Ibrahim’s roadmap for the future is clear. He is committed to leading the Medical College into its new century while ensuring that the institution’s longstanding and fundamental mission endures. “It’s a place where we train the best in medicine—the future generation of healthcare providers,” he affirms. “It’s also a place where we do cutting-edge research, both in basic science as well as in clinical research. And most importantly, it’s a place where commitment to patient care is a priority. Jefferson was founded on the principles of patient care as one of the most important missions of any medical school and academic community. And that’s what makes it very unique.”

Health equity and caring about the community is integral to Dr. Ibrahim’s platform, and he is proud of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College’s involvement throughout the region—and across the institution—from students, to faculty, to staff. As an NIH-funded investigator, he spent a quarter-century studying healthcare disparities to ensure that patients hailing from socioeconomically disenfranchised communities still have access to healthcare. “We have the best medical care available anywhere in the world, but is it available to all of our patients, irrespective of their social and socioeconomic position in life?” he asks. “We have to do the kind of research that allows us to figure out what kind of interventions are needed at the community level in order to reduce healthcare disparities and to promote health equity. Our students care about, and feel that they’re part of, the community, even though many of them don’t even come from Philadelphia.”

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