Two faculty members integral to the establishment and sustained success of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine are retiring from the school, effective Jan. 3.
Two founding faculty members retire from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Yoskowitz, Joyce retire.
Rachel Yoskowitz (left), BS (Nursing), MPH, assistant professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies and global health director, and Barbara Joyce (right), Ph.D, associate professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies, are retiring.

Two faculty members integral to the establishment and sustained success of Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine are retiring from the school, effective Jan. 3.

The retirees are Barbara Joyce, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies, and Rachel Yoskowitz, BS (Nursing), MPH, assistant professor, Department of Foundational Medical Studies and global health director.

Both have been with OUWB since the school’s beginning.

They will long be remembered for helping set the tone for OUWB’s mission, vision, and values, said Robert Noiva, Ph.D., associate dean of Graduate Studies & Community Integration and associate professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies

“The values that they established with infrastructure, with the curriculum, and with the extracurricular activities, is going to continue,” said Noiva. “And that’s where personal satisfaction comes in — knowing that you really had an impact, and these are two people who really did have an impact in establishing the school.”

Leveraging experience at OUWB

Barbara Joyce retires, Jan. 3, 2020Joyce joined Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in 2010 as an associate professor and director of curriculum evaluation. She also designed, developed and implemented the Behavioral Science course, and served as its director since 2012. She was integral in setting the infrastructure for curriculum mapping, course and faculty evaluations, and in competency-based education.

Before joining OUWB, Joyce was director of instructional design at Henry Ford Health System and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Wayne State University.

At Henry Ford Health System, she designed, implemented, evaluated curricula, assessment tools, program improvement processes, and provided faculty development for 45 residency and fellowship training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). In addition, she designed educational curricula, assessment tools, and program improvement processes for the Henry Ford Health System Center for Simulation Education and Research. Before that, Joyce was senior project manager at the ACGME, where she worked on the Outcome Project and provided faculty development on the competencies.

Additional past experiences include associate director of behavioral science at Genesys Regional Medical Center, where she led training for family medicine residents and health psychology post-doctoral fellows, and she was also director of behavioral science at Sinai Hospital in Detroit.

Joyce has spoken nationally and internationally on topics relevant to medical education and faculty development. She trained as a clinical psychologist.

Joyce said she was recruited to join OUWB and said the idea "of building a new medical school was appealing because I thought it would be an opportunity to leverage all of the experiences I’ve had in my career.”

The Behavioral Science course, in conjunction with the Art & Practice of Medicine course, developed a comprehensive two-year communication curriculum that covers topics such as interviewing, sharing bad news, treatment adherence, intimate partner violence and includes the use of standardized patients throughout.

“There is no other school in the country that has this kind of robust curriculum,” she said. “If I were to identify what I’m most proud of here, that would be it.”

Though looking forward to giving herself “the gift of time,” Joyce said she will look back fondly at her experiences at OUWB.

“Teaching, for me, has always been about something bigger than just doing a lecture,” she said. “Because at the end of all of the training in medical school, there’s a patient — a patient often very vulnerable and in need of care.”

With that in mind, Joyce said she has always maintained focus on developing “innovative, engaging, and outstanding curriculum for medical students, so that they can develop skills to deliver compassionate care.”

‘What great heights’

Yoskowitz joined OUWB in 2011 as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (now the Department of Foundational Medical Studies). She would also become coordinator of OUWB’s community and global health programs.

Before joining OUWB, Yoskowitz served as the founding director of Project Chessed, a nationally recognized access-to-care network for low-income uninsured adults in metro Detroit.

Yoskowitz’s career also includes having served as director of education for the American Lung Association of Minnesota and director of adolescent health for the Delaware Division of Public Health. In that role, she oversaw the expansion of school-based health centers to every public high school in Delaware.

She engaged with communities both professionally and as a volunteer through the International Council of Nurses Exchange Visitor Program, refugee resettlement and working in urban community clinics, receiving recognition for her community service role in advocacy and outreach to refugees.

Her additional experience includes being a clinical nurse in perioperative nursing, a head nurse in medical-surgical nursing, and an instructor of Fundamentals of Nursing and Medical-Surgical Nursing at the Johns Hopkins Hospital School of Nursing.

It was in her role at Project Chessed that she took part in a focus group on what would become OUWB and was led by Linda Gillum, Ph.D., former associate dean for academic and faculty affairs at OUWB.

Yoskowitz said Gillum mentioned to her the possibility of working at OUWB.

“I thought she was being gracious,” Yoskowitz said. “But then I thought maybe she meant it, so I called her.”

Yoskowitz said she made the call because the opportunity “sounded really challenging and exciting.”

“And I thought that it would get me back into a stimulating educational environment,” she said.

At OUWB, Yoskowitz taught global health and along with OUWB Founding Dean Robert Folberg, developed the school’s Compass department that advises medical students on their community engagement.

In fact, Yoskowitz smiles as she recalls coming up with the name “Compass” one weekend early in her OUWB tenure.

“I thought about a compass, which points us in the right direction,” she said. “It’s also the first part of the word ‘compassionate,’ so it reminds us of our mission to be compassionate, caring physicians.”

In addition to Compass, she also developed, implemented and coordinated department’s monthly Hot Topics in Medicine Lunch n’ Learn Seminar Series.

Yoskowitz with students.Further, Yoskowitz was charged with the responsibility of teaching and implementing OUWB’s global clinical opportunities that now include partnerships with universities and health systems in Korea, the Philippines, and Israel (in the picture at right, Yoskowitz is in Jerusalem with OUWB Class of 2019 alumni Eva Ma and Brian Lee).

In reflecting on what she takes the most pride in during her time at OUWB, Yoskowitz said it’s the education she helped provide students.

“I am most proud that I have in some small measure influenced future doctors' world view and enabled them to look at global health issues and refugees in a different lens,” she said. “As faculty we are, after all, educators and influencers. When all is said and done, I hope that I have been true to that role.”

Yoskowitz is looking forward to traveling with her husband, and spending more time with her grandchildren.

Like Joyce, however, she said she will miss OUWB and a “wonderful group of colleagues.”

“Their passion and their commitment to medical education, and how they extend themselves to help students succeed, is very impressive,” she said.

Yoskowitz said she finds it somewhat hard to believe eight years have already passed since she started at OUWB, but believes the school has been set up for decades of success.

“I can only imagine what great heights, and the plateaus that OUWB will reach, in the next 100 years,” she said.

For more information, contact Andrew Dietderich, marketing writer, OUWB, at [email protected]

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