Steven J. Scheinman retiring from Geisinger School of Medicine
SCRANTON — Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine President and Dean Steven J. Scheinman, MD, is retiring at the end of 2021.
In his comments to faculty, staff and students, Dr. Scheinman said that the time was right for him, but more importantly, for the region’s only medical school.
Dr. Scheinman, the longest-serving dean of Geisinger Commonwealth, arrived in time to hand the very first graduating class of medical students their diplomas in 2013. Since then, every MD graduate to date has received their degree from Dr. Scheinman.
“Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine is the first new medical school in Pennsylvania in 50 years and is now considered the crown jewel of northeast PA,” said Virginia McGregor, chair of the Geisinger Commonwealth Board of Directors. “Through Dr. Scheinman’s leadership, beginning in 2012, Geisinger Commonwealth developed stability and growth, achieved full accreditation and integrated with Geisinger in 2017. Our entire region benefits from his tenure and will do so for generations, and we are grateful for his service.”
During his time with the school, Dr. Scheinman presided over the founding and growth of the Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI), an interprofessional collaboration of behavioral and physical health leaders, persons with lived experience of mental illness, those in recovery, payer organizations and county leaders. BHI counts among its many successes the psychiatry residency program at The Wright Center and the regional Autism Collaborative.
In 2017, Dr. Scheinman shepherded the integration of the school, formerly The Commonwealth Medical College, into Geisinger. At that time, he was named executive vice president at Geisinger. That union held numerous benefits for both the school and the health system, most notably in the form of the Abigail Geisinger Scholars program, which provides tuition relief and a stipend to medical students who commit to remain in our area to work as Geisinger primary care physicians after graduation. Today, 76 students are enrolled in the program.
“When I arrived in Scranton in September 2012, I was thrilled and honored to lead an independent medical school built by the community and charged with enhancing not just the healthcare workforce, but the regional economy and the national stature of northeastern Pennsylvania,” Dr. Scheinman said. “I knew our neighbors had invested their hearts as well as their dollars into building this school, so this particular leadership role would be unlike any I previously held. In 2017, we were fortunate to find in Geisinger a partner whose vision for this community’s medical school aligned with our own. The school’s integration with Geisinger is the accomplishment of which I am proudest.”
“While we are sad to see Dr. Scheinman retire, we wish him much happiness and thank him for his vision and steady hand,” said Geisinger President and CEO Jaewon Ryu, MD, JD. “Because we are welcoming talented new graduates of the school in growing numbers, we are much better positioned today to achieve Geisinger’s purpose to make better health easy for everyone we serve. For this reason, I believe that while he is not the school’s founding dean, he will be remembered as its transformational dean.”
Dr. Scheinman is particularly gratified by the number of Geisinger Commonwealth graduates now practicing medicine in our region. “I am very proud of the academic achievements of our students and their brilliant successes on Match Day, but I know that when our history is written, our community will judge us most by the number of doctors we give to our region,” he said. “Today there are 27 Geisinger Commonwealth graduates caring for our neighbors. I will retire knowing that their number will progressively and forever continue to grow.”
Geisinger will conduct a national search for a new executive vice president and dean for the School of Medicine.