Dr. Bashshur, father of telemedicine, to retire 12/31

December 12, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Accolades and Milestones

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Rashid L. Bashshur, Ph.D., is retiring from U-M after 54 years of distinguished service, innovation, and leadership in the field of telemedicine. Dr. Bashshur has been leading UMHS telemedicine efforts for the past 18 years. He joined the U-M School of Public Health in 1963 as a professor of medical sociology and health policy. He conducted some of the earliest research on HMOs. In 1998, he joined the UMHS and has held a joint appointment since then.

Starting early in his career, Dr. Bashshur made it his mission to establish telemedicine as both a legitimate academic field and a transformational way of delivering healthcare services to improve access and quality of care and to contain cost. Now widely known as “the father of telemedicine,” he has published extensively on telemedicine, and his expertise has been widely recognized and relied upon by both the public and private sectors. He was co-founder of the Telemedicine and eHealth Journal, a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal. He was senior editor of three reports on telemedicine that were submitted to the U.S. Congress (1994, 1995, 2001). And most recently, he co-authored the book, “The History of Telemedicine, Evolution, Context and Transformation,” supported by the National Library of Medicine and recognized for its meticulous scholarship and insight into the application of telemedicine to address the nation’s health problems of access, quality and cost. To this day, he is recognized as the most widely published author in the field.

In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Bashshur has held a variety of leadership roles in the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) over the past 20 years and is now president emeritus. He has also chaired or co-chaired two significant World Health Organization conferences focused on the state of the art in telemedicine and developing a global strategy for its use. In 2015, the ATA established its Lifetime Distinguished Service Award of which Dr. Bashshur was the first recipient. His contributions to telemedicine in particular, and the field of medicine in general, will continue to have significant impact for years to come and he will be sorely missed at UMHS.

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