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April 2, 1998

Surgery chairperson to step down June 1

Richard L. Simmons will resign as chairperson of the medical school's Department of Surgery effective June 1 but will continue as a Pitt faculty member and as medical director of UPMC Health System.

In an e-mail message to department faculty this week, Simmons said he submitted his resignation March 28 to Thomas Detre, senior vice chancellor for Health Sciences, and interim medical school Dean George Michalopoulos. "I have done this voluntarily and under no pressure," Simmons wrote.

A spokesperson for Simmons said yesterday that he was in Boston and unavailable for comment, but that Simmons has told surgery faculty he is resigning in order to devote more time to his duties as UPMC Health System medical director.

Simmons was recruited to Pitt in 1987 as surgery chairperson and has been UPMC medical director since July 1996.

In resigning as chairperson, Simmons will relinquish the George Vance Foster Endowed Chair in Surgery, a position that came with chairing the surgery department.

Simmons has recommended that Marshall W. Webster, executive vice chairperson of the surgery department, be appointed interim chairperson and that a search committee be formed to recruit candidates for the permanent job.

— Bruce Steele

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