Dr. Jerris Hedges, Dean of the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) since March 2008, is known nationally as co-editor of one of the leading texts in emergency patient care, Roberts and Hedges’ Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine, now in its sixth edition. In Hawai`i, he is also recognized as a leader who has strengthened the medical school by building vital bridges between JABSOM’s community partners and collaborators. In 2013, he was named “Physician of the Year” by the Hawai`i Medical Association.
Dean Hedges has a passion for JABSOM’s missions to educate and to provide physicians for Hawai`i. He grew up in a rural community, attended a high school with less than 200 students and few “academic achievers”. He attended the local community college as a collegiate wrestler and general engineering student (he’s a “distinguished alumnus” of Washington’s Centralia College) on his way to becoming an emergency physician, academic leader, author and a member of the United State’s National Academies of Science National Academy of Medicine [AKA Institute of Medicine], which advises the nation on health policy.
From his modest roots, Dr. Jerris Hedges personally understands how important it is that Hawai`i’s young people have opportunities to succeed, and how critical is the need to provide physicians and other health care workers for our rural, under-served communities. Dean Hedges and colleagues are expanding the medical school’s research focus on addressing inequities in both access to care and treatment outcomes that disproportionately affect Hawai`i’s citizens from certain cultural and ethnic backgrounds, especially the rural, the poor and those of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island and Filipino ancestry.
Trained as an emergency physician, Dr. Hedges has spent the last three decades contributing to the medical field through his work in clinical care, university teaching, research and administration.
At the internationally respected Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) School of Medicine, Dr. Hedges served as Professor and Department Chair in Emergency Medicine and was named Vice Dean at OHSU in 2005. Dr. Hedges’ leadership helped OHSU earn recognition as one of the “Top 10” National Institutes of Health-funded academic emergency medicine research departments in the nation. The OHSU Department of Emergency Medicine has honored Dr. Hedges’ contributions by establishing an endowed professorship in his name.
Dr. Hedges has also served as President of both the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Hedges earned his bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics, his master’s degree in chemical engineering, and his medical degree – all at the University of Washington. He completed his emergency medicine residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania [now Drexel University - College of Medicine] and served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati - School of Medicine before joining OHSU. Dr. Hedges also holds a Master of Medical Management from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Hedges current professional interests include population based research and its application to health policy and informing efforts to reduce health disparities. He has extensive experience with large data analysis, interpretation of data trends, and cross database analyses. He is interested in systems of health care and inter-professional & inter-disciplinary approaches to enhancing care delivery and outcomes. He seeks measures of care quality and optimal outcomes that are culturally relevant.