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Release: April 12, 2002

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs of new Board of Advisors members are available upon request. Please contact Dan McMillan at (319) 335-6835 or

UI College of Public Health welcomes new members to advisory board

The University of Iowa College of Public Health welcomed six new members to its Board of Advisors at the group's spring meeting this week.

The new board members are: Norman F. Cheville, D.V.M., Ph.D., dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor at Iowa State University; Robert J. Denson, J.D., president of Northeast Iowa Community College; and Susan Koch, Ed.D., associate provost/associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Northern Iowa.

Other new board members are: Peter Roberts, group vice president-provider relations and health management at Wellmark, Inc.; Arthur Spies, senior vice president-membership services at the Iowa Hospital Association; and Thomas West, vice president at Pioneer Hi-Bred, International, Inc.

"These new board members bring additional talent and insight to a board that is already very distinguished," said Lawrence D. Prybil, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for external relations in the UI College of Public Health. "Their appointment further strengthens the ties that link the University of Iowa and the College of Public Health with many key constituencies throughout our state and beyond."

In its first three years as a collegiate unit, the College of Public Health received guidance and support from two key advisory bodies: a University Advisory Committee and an External Advisory Board. Among other important functions, the University Advisory Committee served as a vehicle for two-way communications between the College and other academic units on campus, as well as other Regents' institutions and Iowa's community colleges. The External Advisory Board provided similar linkages with leaders in business and labor, government, health care, and voluntary associations. Both bodies were a source of information and insight and were helpful in shaping collegiate goals, strategies and priorities.

In early 2002, the college leadership decided to integrate some of the University Advisory Committee functions and members into the External Advisory Board. To reflect these changes in function and composition, the name of this unified advisory body was changed to "College of Public Health Board of Advisors."

Board members who completed terms in December 2001 are: Eric Book, M.D., former chief medical officer of Wellmark, Inc.; Steve Brenton, former president of the Iowa Hospital Association; James Cavanaugh, Ph.D., president of HealthCare Ventures, LLC; Michael Gemmell, executive director of the Association of Schools of Public Health; L.D. McMullen, Ph.D., C.E.O. and general manager of Des Moines Water Works; and Thomas Phillips, director of community investment for Pioneer Hi-Bred, International, Inc.

"All of the departing board members made important contributions to the board and the College of Public Health," observed James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health. "We are extremely grateful for their interest and support."