Foundation News

Dean of Albany Medical College to Retire

June 28, 2021 – Albany , NY

Vincent P. Verdile, MD, ’84, the Lynne and Mark Groban, M.D. ’67, Distinguished Dean of Albany Medical College and Senior Executive Vice President for System Care Delivery Vincent P. Verdile, M.D., Leaves a Distinguished 20-year Legacy

After two decades, the distinguished dean of Albany Medical College will retire effective December 31, 2021, according to an announcement today by Albany Med President and CEO Dennis P. McKenna, M.D.

Vincent P. Verdile, M.D., the second longest-tenured dean of an American medical college, will remain at the Medical Center as dean emeritus; a national search for his successor is underway.

Robert T. Cushing, chair of the Board of Directors of the Albany Med Health System, said, “Dean Verdile has profoundly affected Albany Medical College, elevating medical education and training, biomedical research and clinical care in our region. He has made a significant impact on our system, and we wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Dean Verdile began his career at Albany Medical Center in 1993 as vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, rising quickly to become chair and also head the hospital’s Emergency Department, typically one of the busiest in New York state. In 2001, in a watershed year for the Medical Center, he was tapped as the 17th dean of the college, one of the first emergency medicine physicians in the U.S. to hold a college deanship. In 2016, in addition to dean, he was named the senior executive vice president for system care delivery to improve clinical integration, quality of care and patient access.

“Dean Verdile’s legacy is rich in accomplishments. He has expanded the college’s academic programs and has overseen a robust medical and health professional education program serving more than 560 students annually. Additionally, he has led the growth of clinical faculty to bring Albany Med’s cutting-edge medical therapies to the thousands of patients in our 25-county service area, and he has guided the 500-member Albany Med Physicians Group, the largest organization of multi-specialty doctors in the region. And for the past five years, we have been fortunate to have him leading a key component of the Albany Med Health System. His impact on Albany Medical Center for nearly three decades cannot be overstated, and his spirit and sway will live on for many years to come,” said Dr. McKenna, noting that Dr. Verdile will become dean emeritus following his retirement.

In 2014, Dean Verdile was named the Lynne and Mark Groban M.D., ’67 Distinguished Dean of Albany Medical College, reflecting respect for him and faith in his vision and leadership, the result of a $2 million gift from a medical college alumnus and his wife. Dean Verdile also holds a professorship in emergency medicine and has helped attract scores of leading physicians to the Medical Center, competing successfully with hospitals in major metropolitan areas. And, during his tenure, the college received more funding from the prestigious National Institutes of Health than any other college or university in northeastern New York state.

On the leading-edge of medical education, Dean Verdile guided a complete overhaul of medical school curriculum and brought numerous innovations to the college, including the Patient Safety and Clinical Competency Center, one of the largest and most sophisticated simulation facilities in the nation where students and professionals practice their skills before encountering live patients. He also revitalized the Alden March Bioethics Institute and diversified the college’s academic leadership. Additionally, during his tenure, the college research building was constructed with state-of-the-art research labs made possible by a $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, for which Dean Verdile acted as the principal investigator.

When Dean Verdile took the reins of the college, there were fewer than 6,100 student applications; in 2020, there were nearly 14,000 applicants for 145 seats. The college also confers Master of Science degrees in Nurse Anesthesiology, Master of Science degrees in Physician Assistant Studies, and Master of Science and doctoral degrees in the biomedical sciences and bioethics.

“Dean Verdile has brought exceptionally high caliber students to Albany Medical College by creating an outstanding and innovative learning experience,” said Margaret Gillis, vice chair of the Albany Med Health System’s Board of Directors and chair of the Committee on College Affairs. “Early on, he made both student diversity and academic scholarships a priority, growing scholarship funds from $1 million in 2001 to more than $33 million 20 years later. Today, there are 154 endowed scholarship funds, an increase of over 100 during his tenure.”

Under his leadership, the college endowment has nearly tripled, growing from $43.5 million in 2001 to nearly $125 million last year. Today, there are more endowed chairs and professorships than ever before in the college’s 182-year history.

Despite the demands of the hospital and college, Dean Verdile traverses the United States annually meeting with alumni and helping raise millions of dollars for the college.  In addition, in 1999, Dean Verdile and his wife Lou-Ann, of Saratoga Springs, created Light Up the Night, the premier summer fund-raiser, which has raised more than $4.1 million to benefit the Albany Med Emergency Department.

Since its inception in 2001, Dean Verdile has overseen the increasingly important Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research as chair of the prize’s national committee, which selects luminaries in the world of medicine for the $500,000 annual award to be given until the year 2100.  Its recipients have included Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden (2002); Robert S. Langer, M.D., co-founder and director of Moderna (2005);  Eric Lander, Ph.D., science advisor to President Biden (2010); and Francis Collins, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (2010), as well as 10 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

Author of more than 60 academic publications, Dean Verdile has served on numerous editorial boards as well as on numerous state and national committees and is past president of the New York Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. His service and leadership have been recognized with numerous awards and accolades, including the national John Marx Leadership Award from the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine, the William McEllroy Award from the University of Pittsburgh and the Academic Laureate Award from the University at Albany Foundation. He was also a trustee of the Fort Orange Club in Albany.

Dean Verdile, a native of Troy, N.Y., received his undergraduate degree from Union College and his medical degree from Albany Medical College, Class of 1984; he completed his residency training at the University of Pittsburgh where he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility before returning to Albany.