Richard H. Streiffer, MD, was recently named the seventh dean of the College of Community Health Sciences at The University of Alabama. He joins the College full time in May 2012. Dr. Streiffer, a native of New Orleans, earned a baccalaureate degree in Math from Tulane University, his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and completed his Family Medicine Residency here at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences. After several years in rural practice and serving as a preceptor for medical students in his office, he began an academic career at the University of Mississippi in 1984. He has subsequently served as director of the Mercy Family Medicine Residency in Denver, Colo.; as director of Predoctoral Education in Family Medicine at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, where he started the first required Family Medicine Clerkship in Louisiana; and as founding director of the Baton Rouge General Medical Center’s Family Medicine Residency program, the first community-based training program in Louisiana. He was recruited back to New Orleans in 1998 to found the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, a former “target” school, and served for 12 years as chair of that department, providing oversight to development of its clinical practice, student teaching programs and residency affiliations.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Streiffer has been the project director on several federal training grants with a focus on primary care education and development of a rural physician workforce. He founded the Tulane Rural Medical Education Program (TRuMEd), a program to selectively admit rural students to Tulane University with a commitment to future rural practice, and created the Tulane Rural Immersion Program (TRIP), a novel nine-month rural longitudinal integrated clerkship, with the support of a grant from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. He also received a $1 million Health Resources and Services Administration grant to oversee the development of a medical home curriculum within the required Family Medicine Clerkship at Tulane.
He has been active in leadership and committee roles at the national and state level in the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, serving as STFM’s secretary-treasurer from 2010-2012, and in the American and Louisiana Academies of Family Physicians, including serving as president of the LAFP from 2003-2004. He was appointed to the Louisiana Health Works Commission by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2009, and served as the co-chair of the Governor’s Interagency Task Force on the Future of Family Medicine in Louisiana from 2004-2012. In 2006-2007, he spent a sabbatical year working with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Graduate Medical Education and Primary Care Workforce issues in the context of the post-Katrina Health Care Redesign initiative.
Dr. Streiffer has been recognized during his career with several teaching awards, including the “Outstanding Alumni Award for Academic Achievement” from the College of Community Health Sciences at The University of Alabama. In 2011, he received two prestigious teaching awards from Tulane University: the “Teaching Scholar Award” from Tulane’s School of Medicine and the “President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional School Teaching,” a university-wide award given to Tulane faculty members who have a sustained and compelling record of excellence in teaching and learning and an ongoing commitment to educational excellence.
Throughout his career, Dr. Streiffer has maintained an active primary care practice. He is board certified in Family Medicine and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Geriatrics. He is also a certified Mohel and has served families in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans Jewish communities for the important life cycle event of brit milah.
Dr. Streiffer is married to New Orleans native Ann, a gerontological nurse practitioner and chocolatier, and together they have three grown kids and three kids-in-law, four grandsons, a chocolate lab, a yellow lab-mix and a love of chocolate.
Now, Dr. Streiffer has accepted the challenge to return to another home, the site of his Family Medicine Residency training here at The University of Alabama, to lead the College of Community Health Sciences in addressing primary care needs in Alabama, the region and the country.