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Remembering the Life and Legacy of Dr. Steven L. Berk
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) community was left in shock and mourning on May 26th when Dr. Steven L. Berk, the Executive Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine, unexpectedly passed away.
A Life of Dedication and Accomplishment
Dr. Berk was a beloved member of the TTUHSC community, having served as the dean of the medical school for the last 17 years. He joined the faculty in 1999 and rose through the ranks to become the regional dean of the Amarillo campus, a professor of medicine, and the holder of the M.rick-Myers Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine. In 2006, he became the dean of the School of Medicine and was later promoted to the position of executive vice president for Clinical Affairs in 2010.
Throughout his career, Dr. Berk was known for his innovative ideas and forward-thinking vision. He was instrumental in expanding the School of Medicine and developing strong partnerships with hospital partners. He excelled in education, research, clinical treatment, and service to the community, always demonstrating his commitment to honesty, compassion, and professional competence.
A Legacy of Excellence
Dr. Berk’s contributions to the medical field were numerous and significant. One of his proudest accomplishments was the creation of the Family Medicine Accelerated Track program, the first of its kind in the country. This program addressed the shortage of primary care physicians by training medical students to become family physicians in just three years. Dr. Berk was delighted to see the program celebrating its ten-year anniversary and was equally proud of the School of Medicine’s ranking among the nation’s top medical institutions for educating future family physicians.
Dr. Berk’s legacy also includes his dedication to geriatric medicine. As the holder of the M.rick-Myers Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine, he was a leading voice in advocating for better healthcare for seniors. He was also a prolific author, publishing numerous papers and articles on topics ranging from medical education to patient care.
A Loss Felt by Many
The news of Dr. Berk’s passing has left the TTUHSC community and the medical field as a whole in a state of shock and sadness. His colleagues and students remember him as a passionate educator and mentor, always willing to go the extra mile for his students.
Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, expressed his condolences, stating, “Dr. Berk represented the very best of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. His contributions to the health of our communities and the training of the next generation of physicians were nothing short of remarkable.”
Dr. Berk’s family, friends, and colleagues are in the thoughts and prayers of many during this difficult time. His legacy of excellence and dedication to healthcare will continue to inspire and impact future generations.
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