Get to know the new chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport
A member of the country’s premier honorific society for medical scientists and leaders will be joining the LSU Health Shreveport family.
A Brooklyn native is joining Cajun country to bring academic excellence to a North Louisiana medical school.
On Jan. 4, LSU Health Shreveport announced that Dr. David Guzick was named the new chancellor for the Shreveport and Monroe, Louisiana campuses. This transition comes a year and half after Dr. David Lewis took over as interim chancellor in April 2021.
Guzick is a member of the country’s premier honorific society for medical scientists and leaders, the National Academy of Medicine. With him comes a plethora of achievements from awards to published journals.
He said, "I am now thrilled to embark on the task of building an elite, functionally integrated academic health center in North Louisiana. A powerful virtuous circle of education, research and patient care that will grow in size, scope and stature, and serve as an economic engine for the region.”
What led Guzick to this point?
Guzick was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended a large public high school and played basketball and golf and was dedicated to the sport.
Upon graduation, he realized that he needed to switch his dedication. "I realized I wasn't quite good enough for the NBA and I needed to do something else. So, I went to college and then medical school in Manhattan."
Guzick attended New York University where he graduated with his MD and PhD in economics as part of the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program.
Guzick said, "my parents were saving up money for me to go to medical school, but it turns out that this program provided you tuition and also gave you a living stipend.... as a result, my parents didn't have to pay for medical school tuition. So, they retired to Florida at 62 instead of age 65. And they lived happily ever after in South Florida, and I went to medical school."
He said the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program was a transformational event for him because it allowed him to not only gain medical knowledge but the statistical part of economics.
"My whole specialty within that field was something called the econometrics, which is the statistical analysis as applied to economics data, but it has a number of tools and approaches to data in that area that and when I moved into clinical medicine, I was able to have a tool chest of statistical approaches to clinical problems that were novel, and most MDs don't have that kind of background."
Upon graduation, from New York University he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and his fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at The University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center.
While in Dallas, Texas he met his wife at UT Southwestern, she was doing her postdoc there for Clinical Psychology. They got married and then moved to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Guzick said, "I was a trailing spouse."
While in Pittsburg he was able to start from scratch the first IVF program in that part of the country, because IVF was first being developed during this time. His research success led to him being Co-PI Chair of Epidemiology in Pittsburgh.
This opened the door to recruitment and Guzick and his family moved to Rochester, New York, where he became the chair of OBGYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He would later serve as the dean of the university for seven years.
Also, while there he led a community health effort that led to the AAMC Outstanding Community Service Award; oversaw a GME program that was the first in the nation to receive Special Commendation from the Accreditation Committee on Graduate Medical Education; implemented a new, nationally recognized, “Double Helix” medical school curriculum; and was Principal Investigator on an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award, won during the first round of funding.
Guzick and his wife stayed in Rochester until 2009, on a vow to keep their two sons in the same place through high school.
"When our children went off to college, I was recruited to the University of Florida to assume a wonderful position that was I privileged to do. It had been newly created and I had the responsibility for six health science colleges, as well as two hospital systems," said Guzick.
While at the University of Florida Guzick served as the senior vice president of health affairs and president of UF Health for nine years. In this role, he was responsible for UF’s six health science colleges and two hospital systems in Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida. He was able to integrate the hospital system and health science faculty in a manner that spurred tremendous growth in the size and stature of all critical mission areas.
What are Guzick's goals for LSU Health Shreveport?
Guzick said that his ultimate goal is to create a virtuous circle for LSU Health Shreveport. What this means is that this academic institution will go round and round growing in size, scope, stature and finance.
When Guzick was introduced to this position his interest was piqued when he learned of the connection between LSU Health Shreveport and Ochsner Health. He said, "that intrigued me that the partnership already existed in Shreveport. It's early on and its maturity, since 2018, but the partnership with Ochsner Health is a complete key to the success through my opinion for LSU Health Shreveport in the future."
He continued by saying there really isn't any other academic health center nearby and that LSU Health Shreveport needs to work to build up the size and the scope and the stature of academic health center.
"President Tate gave a speech early on in his presidency about his vision and I thought his vision was very inspiring. It was very broad, and it was very ambitious. One might even say audacious in that as a university president, he was taking on very big challenges like protecting the coast, agriculture and food insecurity, energy, health. And it's important to have inspiring ambitious ideas for any university," said Guzick. "That attracted me to this position."
Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at email@example.com.