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April 29, 2005

SIU Med School, St. John’s Name Pediatrics Chair and New Medical Director

Dr. Mark S. Puczynski Dr. Mark Puczynski portrait has been named professor and chair of the pediatrics department at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and to a new position as medical director of St. John’s Children's Hospital, a joint endeavor of SIU and St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

Selected after a national search, Puczynski will begin his duties in July, pending approval of the SIU Board of Trustees. He succeeds Dr. Randy A. Kienstra, professor of pediatric nephrology and SIU chair of pediatrics since 1987.

Puczynski has served as chair of pediatric departments at both the Medical College of Ohio (MCO) and Mercy Children's Hospital (MCH) in Toledo. Under his leadership, which included serving as chairman of the board for three years, MCH achieved full accreditation by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). He joined MCO's faculty as professor of pediatrics in 1995.

"I’m very proud Dr. Puczynski is joining us because his leadership abilities and his strong commitment to teaching make him an excellent individual to continue building pediatric services for downstate Illinois," said Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, Ph.D., SIU dean and provost. "He will chair a dedicated pediatrics department that is growing because of the new specialists we’ve recruited."

SIU has recently recruited new specialists in pediatric cardiology, critical care, neonatology, oncology and pulmonary medicine. In addition to providing pediatric patient care, SIU faculty physicians teach medical students and residents while also conducting research.

"We must express our gratitude to Dr. Kienstra for his many years of service and the role he played in more than doubling the size of SIU’s department during his tenure," added Dorsey. "We are pleased that he will still be teaching medical students and residents while continuing to care for children with kidney disease as he begins planning for his retirement."

St. John's Children’s Hospital is being developed in Springfield, combining the faculty resources of SIU’s medical school with the pediatric facilities and services of St. John’s Hospital. The goal is to develop a complete children’s hospital accredited by NACHRI.

"We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Mark Puczynski back to Illinois.  As the new medical director of St. John's Children's Hospital, Dr. Puczynski will lead our efforts to expand the availability of specialized pediatric care to families across central and southern Illinois.  His extensive experience both as a pediatrician and a leader in academic medical settings will serve our young patients well," said Richard Carlson, executive vice president, St. John's Hospital.

Previously, Puczynski was pediatrician-in-chief at Phoenix Children's Hospital (1993-95), chair of pediatrics at Allegheny General Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (1986-93), and on the pediatrics faculty at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Ill. (1979-86).

He completed a one-year ambulatory care and child development fellowship at Harvard University School of Medicine Boston Children's Hospital (1979) and his pediatric residency at Loyola (1978) where he also served a year as chief resident. He earned his medical degree at Loyola and his bachelor's at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (1975, 1972).

Puczynski is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research and the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairmen.

Under his leadership, a research division was established at MCH supported by federal, foundation and industry-sponsored funding. Dr. Puczynski has published more than 30 articles and book chapters in pediatric journals and books. He has presented research at more than 20 regional and national meetings. He received contract awards and grants totaling $3 million.

His community activities have included service to Easter Seals, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Pittsburgh Children's Museum, Pittsburgh Board of Public Education advisory committee for school health partnerships and Ronald McDonald House.

A native of Chicago, Puczynski and his wife, Sandra Puczynski, Ph.D., are the parents of two daughters, Sharon, 25, and Michelle, 21.

 

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