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Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To the Members of the VCU Community:

After a months-long national search, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Marsha D. Rappley has been appointed Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System.

The Board of Visitors and the Board of Directors of the Health System met jointly earlier today to approve her appointment, which beginsAugust 15.

Dr. Rappley, a pediatrician, currently serves as dean of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. During her 10 years as dean, NIH and other federal research funding has doubled. Endowments have grown by 80 percent over the past four years, and the medical school has expanded to serve virtually every corner of Michigan.

She is a national leader in academic medicine, having recently been elected as chair of the board of directors of the Association of American Medical Colleges. She also serves on the Research Advisory Panel of the AAMC, advocating for support of NIH and the anchor academic institutions like VCU, where this work is carried out in our health system and laboratories every day. Dr. Rappley previously served on the board of directors for the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, the American Board ofPediatrics sub-board for developmental and behavioral pediatrics and chair of U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s pediatric advisory committee. She recently completed six years on the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits U.S., Puerto Rican and Canadian medical schools.

Dr. Rappley is also a tenured professor of pediatrics and human development at MSU and has consistently been named a Top Doc and one of the Best Doctors in America by her peers. She has been recognized for distinguished service by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her research has focused on children with ADHD, learning problems and other serious mental health challenges.

Dr. Rappley has risen through the ranks at MSU, as a director of various clinics, interim chair of the Pediatrics and Human Development Department, associate dean for academic affairs and then dean. She earned a nursing degree from the University of Michigan and her medical degree from Michigan State University.

I am excited about Dr. Rappley’s strong and nationally respected leadership and the ways in which she will continue to position VCU and VCU Health System as models for healthcare in the nation and beyond. Further, I am very pleased that she is ready to deal effectively with the enormous challenges facing the healthcare industry and to set the course for growing VCU’s research, education and clinical care missions. Dr. Rappley has established herself as a leader in academic medicine who influences the national dialogue on healthcare policy, research and practice. She will be my ideal partner in advancing VCU and its academic medical center to national pre-eminence.  

This is an exciting time for VCU and our Health System, and I thank you for your many contributions that have helped attract a nationally premier leader like Dr. Rappley.


Michael Rao
Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health System