August 5, 2019
Dr. Richard Friend, a physician with extensive administrative experience in family medicine at two universities and who also spent 10 years in private practice, has been named dean of the College of Community Health Sciences.
Friend, who has served as interim dean and professor in the College for the past year, was named dean effective July 15.
“Dr. Friend’s extensive qualifications and familiarity with the University will serve the campus well as he leads CCHS,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA executive vice president and provost. “Our College of Community Health sciences will strongly support UA’s research initiatives, particularly those related to life research. The College also plays a vital role in rural health initiatives in the state and impacts medical student education by serving as a regional campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine.”
Friend joined CCHS in 2012 as residency director of the UA Family Medicine Residency, which the College operates, and as associate professor of family medicine and vice chair of the CCHS Department of Family Medicine. He was later named director of the Family Medicine Clinic within University Medical Center, also operated by CCHS, and chair of the College’s Department of Family, Internal, and Rural Medicine.
Friend came to UA from the LSU School of Medicine, where he served as assistant residency program director beginning in 2006, and then as program director from 2007 to 2012.
In addition to his administrative experience, Friend brings substantial clinical experience, including inpatient and ambulatory medicine, endoscopic procedures and extensive emergency room experience. He serves as an emergency medicine physician at Choctaw General Hospital in Butler, Alabama, as a family medicine physician at DCH Regional Medical Center and at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi. He previously served as an emergency medicine physician at DCH’s Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center. He has also served as a medical director for nursing homes, a home hospice and a home health company.
He has been awarded millions of dollars in grant funding, authored published articles and given invited presentations.
Friend graduate from Louisiana State University School of Medicine with honors and completed his residency at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. He earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Tulane University.
He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, and he serves on the Alabama Academic Family Medicine Council.