News Releases

The Divison of Marketing and Communications provides access to the most up-to-date information released by Memorial University of Newfoundland. Archives of previous news releases are also available.

To access news releases from Grenfell Campus please click here.

REF NO.: 83

SUBJECT: Memorial University appoints new dean of medicine

DATE: Dec. 12

The Board of Regents of Memorial University has announced that Dr. James Rourke will be the new dean of medicine at Memorial effective April 5, 2004. Dr. Rourke is currently the assistant dean of Rural Regional Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Rourke is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, and has been an active rural family physician (including obstetrics and emergency work) in Goderich, Ontario for 25 years. He is the founding director of the Southwestern Ontario Rural Regional Medical Education, Research, and Development Unit (SWORRM), founded in 1997 and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health to develop, integrate and co-ordinate rural medicine at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Rourke has worked with the university and 33 communities, family physicians and specialists to build a strong, integrated undergraduate and postgraduate rural and regional medical education network that set the stage for a 40 per cent expansion in the UWO medical school. (See for more details.)

Dr. Rourke has a long-standing interest in rural medicine, and is a recognized leader at provincial, national, and international levels. He has received many honours and awards and has more than 60 journal articles published.

"Consultations with the community around the choice of a new dean of medicine showed substantial support for each of the three final candidates," said Dr. Evan Simpson, vice-president (academic) and chair of the search committee. "But the search committee has been able to reach agreement that the next dean of the faculty should be Dr. James Rourke. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Ian Bowmer for his effective stewardship of the faculty over the last eight years. He has set a high standard and been a fine co-worker." The current dean, Dr. Ian Bowmer, steps down on December 31 and the Board has announced that Dr. Sharon Peters, vice-dean for professional affairs in the Faculty of Medicine, will serve as interim dean until Dr. Rourke begins his term.

Dr. Rourke brings a management style he describes as collaborative leadership and partnership building, and he is comfortable working with a wide variety of people and issues. "I am looking forward to joining with the Faculty of Medicine and all partners to build the medical education and research strengths of Memorial University as it continues to play a major role in health care and research in Newfoundland and Labrador, and in Canada as a whole."

Dr. Leslie Rourke will join her husband at Memorial University, practising and teaching family medicine as an associate professor. Dr. Leslie Rourke received the UWO 2002 Martin Bass Award for her contribution to the Discipline of Family Medicine. The Rourkes have three children - Patrick, Ryan and Shannon - who will be attending universities next year.

For further information, contact communications coordinator (health sciences) at 709 777-8397 or

- 30 -


Marketing & Communications

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000