Dr. Nizar Jarjour Appointed to Jeffrey Grossman Chair in Healthcare Leadership

“Jeff Grossman is a wonderful mentor and someone I’ve looked up to for 30 years. He’s been an amazing leader in the institution,” said Nizar Jarjour, MD, professor and head, Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He made the remarks during a 2016 interview about Dr. Jarjour’s role in asthma research at UW-Madison.

A few months later, Dr. Jarjour became the first faculty member to be appointed to an endowed chair named in honor of his mentor: the Jeffrey Grossman Chair in Healthcare Leadership. The occasion was marked by the leadership team of UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health (pictured at left, from L to R: Dr. Grossman, Dr. Jarjour, UW Health CEO Alan Kaplan, MD, and UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, MD).

To recognize Dr. Grossman’s positive impact in all corners of the academic medical center, the position’s endowment was established with contributions from UW Health, the School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), and the clinical departments of the school. The chair is designed to honor “a faculty member who has demonstrated true servant leadership to the academic healthcare system.” 

Dr. Grossman’s career spanned decades of tremendous change for the organization. A native New Yorker, he arrived at UW-Madison in 1975 for residency training in internal medicine, followed by fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Upon joining the Department of Medicine as a faculty member, Dr. Grossman soon became interested in the art and science of leadership, resulting in service as the medical director of the hospital’s Emergency Department and Trauma and Life Support Center and as Chair of the Department of Medicine from 1994-1998. 

When the UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) formed as a physician practice group, Dr. Grossman became its first physician-in-chief, then served as the Vice President for Medical Affairs at UW Hospital before becoming President of UWMF. Over the years, he became convinced that integrating UW Hospital and Clinics with UWMF as a single entity would be in the best interest of the entire organization. Fittingly, he served as the first CEO of UW Health when integration became a reality in 2015. 

The energy and drive that Dr. Grossman brought to leadership roles is shared by Dr. Jarjour, who leads the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. After earning his medical degree with highest honors at Damascus University School of Medicine in Syria, Dr. Jarjour completed fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine at UW-Madison after his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Jarjour has taken on a wide array of roles reflecting his dedication to clinical excellence, teaching, high-impact research, and administrative leadership. These have included serving as Assistant Director of the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), serving on the Board of Directors of the UWMF and ultimately as President of UWMF in 2016, and most recently as Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Integration Officer for UW Health and as a member of the Dean’s Leadership Team for the SMPH. 

At the same time, Dr. Jarjour’s research on airway inflammation in asthma has helped shape that field, leading to more than 150 peer-reviewed articles which are cited more than 1,000 times per year. He is the Principal Investigator for research funded by the National Institutes of Health, including the Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP) and Eosinophil Program Project. At the national level,  he has provided his expertise by serving on the American Board of Internal Medicine-Pulmonary Board Exam Committee and the FDA Pulmonary and Allergy Drug Advisory Committee. 

Making the transition to UWMF President and as a member of the executive leadership team of UW Health last year required Dr. Jarjour to make necessary decisions about time management. “I made a long list of all my responsilities, and I went very methodically through it. Anything that I found somebody else could do, I transitioned it to them. These were things that I enjoyed doing, but it was time for someone else to do them,” he said. The gradual, thoughtful approach to re-organizing his  workload, ended his 25-year of attending on the Critical Care Service, ended a 20-year run of teaching in classes for 2nd-year medical students, transitioning out of his role as Assistant Director for ICTR. These changes allow Dr. Jarjour to focus on expanding the institutional clinical research opportunities and facilitating programs that support technology transfer and accelerate translation of research discoveries to benefit patients the bedside, as well as continuing to facilitate the integration of academic and clinical missions of SMPH and UW Health. 

Citing his lifelong attitude of passionate enthusiasm, Dr. Jarjour expressed gratitude for the abundance of opportunities at UW and appreciation for this endowment as a wonderful recognition by the School and UW Health for his contributions. With exuberant focus on collaboratively leading toward the future, he said, “I love what I do.”

Resources:

  • "Jeffrey Grossman Chosen for Belzer Lifetime Achievement Award," UW School of Medicine and Public Health, October 3, 2016
  • "Long-Standing Asthma Research Team Earns UW High Accolades, Research Dollars," UW School of Medicine and Public Health, September 14, 2016