With great sadness, I inform you of the untimely passing of our School of Medicine Dean and Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs, Steven L. Berk, M.D. I know the entire university community extends our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and all who knew him.
Over the last 17 years, Dr. Berk led our medical school as Dean and did so with unwavering commitment. He joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1999 and served as Regional Dean in Amarillo and professor of Medicine until 2006, when he was appointed Dean.
Dr. Berk served as Dean, Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs, and was a Grover E. Murray Professor. Under his leadership, the School of Medicine grew and built strong relationships with our hospital partners. His approach to addressing the need for primary care physicians led to the creation of a unique Family Medicine Accelerated Track, the first program of its kind in the country. Dr. Berk demonstrated the importance of education, research, clinical care, and service to the community - all of which he did with integrity, compassion, and excellence.
Dr. Berk's distinguished career was marked by his commitment to students, advocacy for diversity in medicine, and drive to support rural health care needs. We were fortunate to have Dr. Berk as part of the TTUHSC family, and we are a better university because of his contributions and character.
As we grieve together, please know there are a variety of support services available to students and team members. I encourage you to use the resources provided by the university's Counseling Center. Please reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (806) 743.1327 or (800) 327.0328.
Please keep his wife, Shirley, and his sons, Jeremy and Justin, in your thoughts and prayers. As a university community, we plan to honor Dr. Berk and his contributions to the School of Medicine and the many students, faculty, and staff he impacted with his work. Additionally, we will communicate details about the leadership transition for the School of Medicine.
In the days ahead, may we find comfort from one another as we honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Steven Berk.