Share Your Feedback on Dean Candidates

Four candidates for the position of dean of the College of Medicine shared their vision for the College in presentations to the campus community over the past several weeks. The next dean will have the opportunity to significantly impact the region’s health care needs and influence the next generation of health care professionals and leaders in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

The NEOMED community is encouraged to share their insights and provide feedback for each of the candidates no later than end of day Thursday, Nov. 10. Links to feedback surveys as well as candidate presentations are included below in the candidate bios.

Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to


John M. Boltri, M.D., FAAFP [Provide Feedback] [University Presentation]
John M. Boltri, M.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at NEOMED. A graduate of the Ohio State University, he completed residency at Summa, Akron City Hospital, and completed a fellowship in academic medicine that focused on teaching, research and leadership-skill development. He spent five years in private practice and 15 years as a faculty member at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, before becoming chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit in 2011. In 2014, he joined NEOMED as chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, and he has received multiple awards for his accomplishments. During his tenure at NEOMED, Dr. Boltri has led teams that implemented a number of highly successful, innovative programs such as the Student-Run Free Clinic, the Rural Medicine Student Pathway, the Accelerated Family Medicine Track and the Social Justice Pathway. Dr. Boltri’s leadership has been recognized with the NEOMED College of Medicine Dean’s Leadership Award and the University’s Olson Blair Award for outstanding administrative leadership.

Dr. Boltri has served as director or principal investigator for three major projects: an NIH-funded, five-year, church-based diabetes prevention and translation study that included 44 African American churches in two states (2008-2013), a large Medicaid-funded community health worker training grant (2014-2017) focused on improving health for underserved communities in Ohio, and most recently an HRSA-funded project (2016-2021) to enhance primary care training with a focus on rural and underserved health care. Dr. Boltri has been recognized nationally for his expertise in the field of diabetes, having served as the American Academy of Family Physicians Liaison to the National Diabetes Education Program Coordinating Committee Strategic Directions Group. He was subsequently chosen to serve on the National Clinical Care Commission, where he worked to provide advice to Congress and the Secretary of Health on diabetes treatment and prevention. Dr. Boltri has a great passion for research, education and service, and he is delighted to be invited to interview for the position of dean of the College of Medicine at NEOMED.

Daniel J. Van Durme, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP [Provide Feedback] [University Presentation]
Dr. Van Durme is the senior associate dean for clinical and community affairs (chief medical officer) at the Florida State University College of Medicine, where he is also a professor, and past chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health. At FSU he has also served as the lead health officer for the University’s COVID response, founder of the FSU Primary Health center, past director of rural health, and past director of the FSU COM Center on Global Health. He completed undergraduate and medical school training at the University of South Florida, family medicine residency training at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg and earned his M.P.H. at Johns Hopkins University. 

His diverse career includes significant rural practice, team physician for multiple collegiate and professional teams, and global health work in over a dozen countries. He is a past president of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, past member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians and has held numerous other state and national leadership positions.  He is an award-winning educator and frequent speaker on a wide range of medical topics including dermatology, evidence-based medicine and newly emerging infectious diseases.  

Paul E. Lyons, M.D. [Provide Feedback] [University Presentation]
Dr. Lyons is a physician, educator and author currently serving as president of California University of Science and Medicine and dean, School of Medicine. He has previously held positions with University of California, Riverside School of Medicine (the first new medical school in California in five decades), Temple University School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. 

Across three decades in medical education, he has worked collaboratively exploring the intersection of literature and medicine, medical ethics, nutrition, public health, emergency preparedness/disaster response and green space development. His work in education and medical education has been recognized regionally and nationally by the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Humanism in Medicine Award, American Medical Student Association’s National Golden Apple for Teaching Excellence Award, a Lindback Foundation Award, Temple University’s Great Teacher Award and University of California, Riverside’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He has served as a media medical expert for a wide variety of news organizations including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, Prevention magazine, USA Today and local television, newspaper and radio outlets.

Currently, he is working to create educational and economic pathways designed to meet the pressing needs of historically underserved and under-resourced communities.

A native of Ohio, Dr. Lyons was born in Medina, attended Oberlin College and received his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine. 

Marc D. Basson, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. [Provide Feedback] [University Presentation]
Dr. Basson is a practicing general surgeon with a history of innovation in undergraduate and graduate medical education. He has had continuous extramural funding for over three decades and has published over 300 papers. Current research interests include cell signaling in benign and malignant epithelia and the influence of blood pressure variability on patient outcomes. Dr. Basson is the co-inventor on three filed patents related to FAK signaling and is currently developing a series of small molecule FAK activators toward large animal testing and clinical trials to promote GI mucosal healing.

Dr. Basson began his faculty career at Yale University, moved to Wayne State University as associate chief of staff for surgical services at the Detroit VA Medical Center, and then assumed the chair of surgery at Michigan State University. He was then recruited to the University of North Dakota where he now serves as the senior associate dean for medicine and research, responsible for the medical program, including curriculum and student affairs, for the university’s residency and fellowship programs across the state, and for the school’s research portfolio. He recently directed the school’s curriculum reform and restructured student support and counseling systems. Dr. Basson is also the PI for the DaCCoTA Center for Clinical and Translational Research, an NIH-funded consortium that spans five universities and multiple hospitals and clinics across North and South Dakota.

Dr. Basson earned undergraduate degrees in philosophy of medicine and biomedical sciences and an M.D. from the University of Michigan, a Ph.D. in experimental pathology from Yale, and an M.B.A. from Wayne State University.

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