NEOUCOM president stresses outreach at Bowman Breakfast

Caitlin Restelli

It’s important for people to be proud of their home communities, said Jay Gershen, president of Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, to a crowd of roughly 200 community members, faculty and students.

Gershen, NEOUCOM’s sixth president, focused on the importance of outreach during his speech at the semi-annual Bowman Breakfast Thursday.

Gershen brought to light that many wonderful things are happening in Kent. The growth of the university and the incredible research Kent State has done will result in “Kent becoming a more prosperous city and region,” he said.

“Our university believes to be successful in this global economy, you have to be global at home,” Gershen said.

He also spoke about medical research and medical education’s impact on Portage County and the rest of Ohio.

Research America, a health research advocacy group, conducted a national poll and found 78 percent of the American public think health research funding is important for jobs in the economy, Gershen said. Ninety-eight percent think education and training in science, technology, engineering and math are “important to the economy and prosperity.”

Gershen asked the crowd how the people within Portage County try to “move forward and elevate this county in terms of its economic prosperity and quality of life.”

Gershen also talked about NEOUCOM’s steady job placement within Ohio communities. He said 92 percent of its students are from Ohio and 72 percent of graduates acquire jobs in Ohio.

Marty Mundy, facilities planner for the Office of the University Architect, said she has attended roughly four Bowman Breakfasts in the previous years because she enjoys meeting people from the community.

Mundy said she was unfamiliar with NEOUCOM and the medical research field before Gershen’s speech.

“It was an area I didn’t know that much about,” Mundy said.

After Gershen spoke, Mundy said she was surprised at how often NEOUCOM and Kent State work together.

“I really liked his approach about taking it more Ohio-wide,” she said.

Gershen was the vice chancellor for external affairs at the University of Colorado Denver before moving to NEOUCOM. He was also a faculty member in the University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine.

He currently sits on the board for Research America

and the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions.

Contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].