Former VA medical director to address graduates


Contact: Jeff Watkins


May 9, 2008

Former VA medical director to address graduates

Approximately 643 earning degrees from MUSC’s 6 colleges

CHARLESTON – Approximately 643 graduates are expected to receive degrees from the Medical University of South Carolina’s six colleges during commencement exercises scheduled for 9 a.m. May 16 in the university’s Horseshoe.

Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, former Undersecretary for Health in the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs and current chairman of the board of Medsphere Systems Corp., will deliver the commencement address. He will receive a Doctor of Medical Science, honoris causa.

Other honorees and their degrees include:

• William A. “Bill” Baker, Jr., business executive and philanthropist, Doctor of Humane Letters;

• Yoshito Kaziro, MD, PhD, professor and director, Horizontal Medical Research Organization, Kyoto University School of Medicine, Doctor of Medical Science, honoris causa;

• Samuel Nkrumah Yeboah, president and co-director, Project OKURASE and owner, Powerful Drums, Doctor of Humane Letters;

• State Sen. William H. O’Dell, Doctor of Humane Letters;

• State Sen. Harvey S. Peeler, Jr., Doctor of Humane Letters.

Kizer is an internationally recognized advocate for improving health care quality and safety through information technology. He served as Undersecretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from 1994 to 1999. He is credited with transforming VA health care delivery. Under Kizer’s leadership, the VA management structure was reorganized, new programs were created at lower costs, and the standard of care was enhanced dramatically. Although he left the VA nine years ago, his visionary leadearship and legacy remains. Currently, the VA has the highest consumer satisfaction rating of any public or private sector health care system, and it is recognized as one of the best in the nation.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or