Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) proudly announces the appointment of Dr. Lawrence B. Harkless, DPM, as the Founding Dean for the College of Podiatric Medicine, which the University anticipates opening in 2009. The recommendation to add a College of Podiatric Medicine emerged from WesternU’s strategic plan as a logical progression of expansion and is supported by the president and accepted by the University’s Board of Trustees. The University has entered the initial planning phase of development and will be applying for accreditation with the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
“”Dr. Harkless is well known and widely respected in podiatric medicine and throughout related health care professions,”” said Dr. Pumerantz, founding President of Western University of Health Sciences. “”His professional expertise will be key as we move forward in our podiatric program development.””
“”I relish the opportunity and challenge to develop a school of podiatric medicine in an academic health science center,”” said Dr. Harkless. “”This will allow the integration and collaboration of podiatric medicine across schools, better preparing all health care students in foot care especially with respect to diabetes.””
Dr. Harkless enters his deanship at WesternU, from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where he is currently a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and the Louis T. Bogy Professor of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery.
Harkless has chaired the Medical Faculty Assembly, and served as Director of the Podiatric Residency Training Program at UTHSCSA, where he oversaw at least five faculty members, two fellows, and fifteen residents. Over the course of his 29-year career, Dr. Harkless has trained roughly 1000 students and 165 residents, solidifying his status as one of the profession’s best educators. Harkless also operated his own private practice, The Alamo Foot Clinic, for 16 years.
In 2001, the American Diabetes Association, the nation’s largest and leading voluntary health organization in the fight against diabetes, awarded Dr. Harkless the Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award, which is presented annually to one distinguished health professional who has made outstanding educational efforts in the field of diabetes. Hailed as “”the father of diabetic foot care,”” Dr. Harkless has educated hundreds of students, residents, and physicians about the complexities of diabetic foot complications and the importance of routine foot care for people with diabetes.
“”Dr. Harkless has built quite a notable career in podiatry and in diabetic foot care,”” said Dr. Benjamin L. Cohen, executive vice president for Academic Affairs and chief operating officer for Western University of Health Sciences. “”His distinguished career accomplishments are a strong indication of the success we can expect for the College of Podiatric Medicine and the graduates it will yield.””
Dr. Harkless is the recipient of the APMA’s Distinguished Service Citation, which is the highest honor given by the profession; the President’s Excellence Award in Teaching, given to him by UTHSCSA (1998), the Lifetime Achievement Award and Hall of Fame by Podiatry Management Magazine (2002), and a place on the Wall of Honor at the Texas Diabetes Institute (2003.)
A native Texan, Dr. Lawrence B. Harkless is a graduate of the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco. He completed his internship at UTHSCSA and his residency in podiatric surgery at Atlanta Hospital and Medical Center in Atlanta, GA.
Dr. and Mrs. Harkless will celebrate twenty-seven years of marriage this year. They have two children: a daughter, Erin Paige, and a son, Lawrence Bernard, Jr. Erin is a 2005 magna cum laude graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, with a degree in finance, international business, and English Literature. She currently works in New York City for Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. Bernard is a fourth-year student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is an architecture major with urban planning and philosophy minors and is set to graduate in May of this year. Gerry Harkless, the wife of Dr. Harkless, currently teaches part-time in the Allied Health Department of St. Phillip’s College, a part of the Alamo Community College District. Another important member of the Harkless family is Cosmo, their ten-year-old Cairn Terrier.
Dr. Harkless is the second of three newly appointed deans who will each spearhead their respective programs. These new colleges are the College of Dental Medicine, the College of Podiatric Medicine and the College of Optometry.
For information on the newly appointed deans, the University Strategic Plan or Western University of Health Sciences, please visit www.westernu.edu.