December 1998UNT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER PRESIDENT, DAVID M. RICHARDS TO RETIRE NEXT YEAR
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Dr. David M. Richards, president of the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, has announced that he will retire one year from now (December 1999). Dr. Richards, who has been serving as president since 1986, is one of two presidents in the University of North Texas System.
UNT Chancellor and President Alfred F. Hurley praises Dr. Richards for his leadership in the development of partnerships between the health science center and other health education and health care institutions throughout the country, as well as with business, philanthropic and educational organizations in Fort Worth.
Dr. Richards will continue to build upon these and many other accomplishments in 1999 while a nationwide search is conducted to find a new president.
"Dr. Richards has brought national attention to the capabilities of the UNT Health Science Center, especially to its work in primary care medicine and in related research such as its nationally recognized study on cholesterol," Hurley said. "His eventual successor will take the helm of an already highly successful institution, one that has as
its centerpiece the leading osteopathic medical school in the United States, plus a growing number of other components, including a newly authorized School of Public Health."
A widely acknowledged leader in his field, Dr. Richards was the first osteopathic physician elected as a member-at-large to the National Board of Medical Examiners, the board which designs the medical licensure tests given to all physicians in the United States. He also was one of the first osteopathic physicians named to the Veterans Administration Special Medical Advisory Group, which advises the VA and Congress. He has previously chaired the board of governors and the council of deans of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. David M. Richards
A brief biography
Before coming to Texas, Dr. Richards practiced family medicine in Ohio (1961-81). There, he was elected president of the Ohio Society of Osteopathic General Practitioners. He became the founding chair of osteopathic medicine, and later associate dean for academic and clinical affairs, at the Ohio College of Osteopathic Medicine.
In 1981, he arrived at what was then the stand-alone Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM) in Fort Worth to take the position of associate dean for academic affairs. Through a series of promotions, he became TCOM's interim executive vice president in 1984, acting president in 1985, and then president in 1986.
In 1993, the Texas Legislature elevated the Fort Worth cultural district's campus, including TCOM, to a health science center. Under Dr. Richards' leadership, the institution's primary component -- the medical school -- has thrived, as have other components. Today, the health science center includes a Graduate School of Biomedical
Sciences, five medical research Institutes for Discovery, an Institute for Clinical Research, and a 112-member Physicians & Surgeons Medical Group, Tarrant County's largest multi-specialty group practice. This fall, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating
Board approved the establishment of a School of Public Health at the health science center.
This year, Dr. Richards was named chair of the Health Professions Education Advisory Committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This committee advises the board on matters related to the education and training of health professionals in
Texas. He currently serves as a member-at-large of the National Board of Medical Examiners - he was the first osteopathic physician elected to this board. He also was one of the first osteopathic physicians appointed to the Veterans Administration Special Medical Advisory Group, which advises the VA and Congress. In addition, he has previously chaired the board of governors and the council of deans of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
On the local front, Dr. Richards chaired Fort Worth's Strategy 2000 Biomedical Technology Planning Committee, which led to the 1998 opening of the MEDTECH business incubator. He is active on the Economic Development Group of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and he is a past president of the American Heart Association of the Fort Worth metropolitan region. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Dallas/Fort Worth Health Industry Council and a member of the Association of Academic Health Centers. In addition, he has served as vice chair of the board of directors for the United Way of Tarrant County.
Dr. Richards is a fellow of the American College of General Practitioners in Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. He is certified by the American Osteopathic Board of General Practice. He earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Kirksville (Missouri) College of Osteopathic Medicine.