Board of Trustees names Dr. Hart as new president of LLUAHSC
Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH
Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor and chief executive officer of Loma Linda University, has been named president and chief executive officer of Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center (LLUAHSC). He will replace B. Lyn Behrens, MBBS, who announced last December that she would be retiring in March of 2008.
The announcement was made Sunday, February 24, by board chair Lowell C. Cooper, MPH. Dr. Hart will also assume the role of president of the University and the Medical Center, and will continue to serve as chancellor and chief executive officer of the University until a new one is appointed.
“The board and search committee believe that Dr. Hart’s distinguished career of service has ideally prepared him for this position,” says Pastor Cooper. “As both a physician and an academician, he is knowledgeable about the unique challenges and opportunities faced by an academic health sciences center. We believe he brings both the training and the experience to lead this organization at this important time in its history, and will be able to ensure that no momentum is lost as we move forward on major expansion, fundraising and research initiatives now in place.”
Dr. Hart, who has been in his current position since 2001, has served Loma Linda University in a variety of capacities since 1972—in various academic appointments in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health, as director of the Center for Health Promotion, and as dean of the School of Public Health.
During his tenure at Loma Linda, Dr. Hart’s passion for service and global outreach has made him a central force in launching humanitarian efforts in which students and faculty can participate. He has worked internationally to improve hospitals in underserved areas, and has made service an even more integral part of the university student’s experience.
“Dr. Hart is deeply committed to the mission of this organization and is uniquely equipped to continue to expand the institution’s global impact,” says Pastor Cooper. Hart’s extensive international experience has included prior consultancies for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Zimbabwe and in Nigeria and as a maternal and child health consultant to the government of Tanzania. He is founder and president of Social Action Community Health System (SACHS), which is a low-cost primary health care network serving Southern California’s Inland Empire.
Dr. Hart received his medical degree and master of public health degrees from Loma Linda University, and also completed his internal medicine residency from Loma Linda University Medical Center.
He received his doctor of public health degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, where he also completed a preventive medicine residency. Dr. Hart has authored three books on health and a variety of scientific articles.
“It’s both an honor and a sobering responsibility to provide leadership to Loma Linda at this time in its history,” says Dr. Hart. “I have great confidence in the people that work here, and look forward to collaborating with my colleagues.”
Dr. Hart’s appointment resulted from the work of a search committee that included representation from the institution and board. Dr. Hart will assume full responsibilities of the position on March 24.
Dr. Hart has a long history with Loma Linda. He was born in Loma Linda to Dr. Lewis and Mrs. Ruth Hart. Dr. Lewis Hart is a 1949 graduate of the School of Medicine.
Spending his early years in the Pacific Northwest, he attended school at Upper Columbia Academy, Spangle, Washington, and completed his undergraduate education at Walla Walla University, College Place, Washington. As a student at Walla Walla University, Dr. Hart became the first student missionary to serve outside North America.
In 1966, just prior to the beginning of his first year of medicine, Dr. Hart married Judy Osborne. They have three daughters—Chandra, Briana, and Kari, and seven grandchildren.
While working on his doctorate at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Dr. Hart served as a population intern at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Tanzania. During this time, he co-authored Child Health, an innovative book in simple English for mid-level health professionals in Africa. Third world countries continue to use this book.
In 1974, his work took him to Dar es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, where he was chief of party for the United States Agency for International Development to the Tanzanian ministry of health. This work included the development of a new cadre of health care workers called the Maternal-Child Health aid. Curriculum development and training of teachers facilitated the development of 18 schools to train Maternal-Child Health aids.
In addition to his responsibilities as serving as chancellor and chief executive of Loma Linda University. Dr. Hart continues his preventive and internal medicine practice.
Dr. Hart also serves as president of Adventist Health International, which is celebrating its 11th year of strengthening Adventist health systems in the developing world.
Today, 21 Adventist hospitals from 12 countries are members of Adventist Health International. Countries include Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tchad, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Zambia.
In addition, Dr. Hart also oversees a United States Agency for International Development grant to Loma Linda University to help transform the 210-bed Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, Kabul, Afghanistan, into a functioning regional hospital under the auspices of the Afghanistan Ministry of Health.
DeLona Bell and Richard Weismeyer