TTUHSC mourns loss of School of Medicine Dean Dr. Steven L. Berk

Published: May. 26, 2023 at 9:49 PM CDT
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Provided by TTUHSC

LUBBOCK, TX (NEWS RELEASE) - The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) family is deeply saddened to announce the untimely death today (May 26) of TTUHSC Executive Vice President and School of Medicine Dean Dr. Steven L. Berk. Our university community is heartbroken and mourns this tremendous loss for his family, our faculty, staff, students and the medical community.

Over the last 17 years, Dr. Berk led our medical school as dean and did so with unwavering commitment. In 1999, he joined the faculty of TTUHSC and held the positions of regional dean of the Amarillo campus, professor of medicine and the Mirick-Myers Endowed Chair in Geriatric Medicine. Dr. Berk was appointed dean of the School of Medicine in 2006 and executive vice president for Clinical Affairs in 2010.

The School of Medicine grew thanks to his forward-thinking ideas and vision while building strong relationships with our hospital partners. Dr. Berk demonstrated the importance of education, research, clinical care and service to the community — all of which he did with integrity, compassion and excellence.

Recently, he shared his excitement for the 10-year anniversary of the first-graduating Family Medicine Accelerated Track program, the first program of its kind in the country that he created as an approach to addressing the shortage of primary care physicians. He was equally pleased that the School of Medicine was ranked one of the top medical schools in the country for producing family medicine physicians.

Through Dr. Berk’s leadership, the School of Medicine also has experienced continued growth of programs that include the creation of the Covenant Branch Campus for third- and fourth-year clerkship training, the medical student barbershop hypertension program, Deans’ Ambassadors, the Clinical Research Institute, the Department of Medical Education, the Women’s Health Research Institute of Amarillo and the Lubbock medical student-led free clinic.

TTUHSC President Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., said in a university statement that Dr. Berk’s distinguished career was marked by his commitment to students, advocacy for diversity in medicine and drive to support rural health care needs. We were fortunate to have Dr. Berk as part of the TTUHSC family, and we are a better university because of his contributions and character.