The TCU and UNT Health Science Center School of Medicine, which is scheduled to open in 2019, has named Evonne Kaplan-Liss as an assistant dean of communications. She will focus on training students and faculty “to be effective communicators and empathetic scholars.”
Kaplan-Liss will also develop the curriculum and create an environment that teaches medical students to communicate more effectively with patients, colleagues, the community, media, donors, and policymakers, according to UNTHSC. When working with faculty, she will lead communication training and work to incorporate the communication curriculum within the medical school.
Kaplan-Liss previously served as founding medical director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in New York state. There, she developed the curriculum and led national and international workshops to educate students, faculty, and administrators.
She says she was drawn to the new medical school after visiting Fort Worth and meeting Dr. Stuart Flynn, the school’s dean. “Flynn not only values the importance of communication training for his medical students, but also has the vision to integrate this training throughout all four years,” Kaplan-Liss said. “This wouldn’t be possible at another university, because curriculum is already established and faculty can often be unwilling to make changes.”
Kaplan-Liss earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Northwestern University and her medical degree at the university’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She also earned a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University.