The UMKC School of Medicine has announced upcoming changes in the school’s associate dean for Saint Luke’s Hospital programs and in the school’s graduate medical education leadership.
Diana Dark, M.D., a 1980 graduate of the School of Medicine and long-time associate dean for Saint Luke’s Hospital programs, will retire from her role this summer. In turn, Gregory Howell, M.D., who currently serves as associate dean of graduate medical education, will assume the associate dean’s role at Saint Luke’s Hospital beginning June 1.
Howell, a Kansas City native, graduated from the School of Medicine in 2000 and completed his pulmonary and critical care fellowships at UMKC. He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine. He also holds a master’s in public health from the University of Kansas. An associate professor of internal medicine, he previously served as program director for the critical care fellowship.
“It has been an honor to serve the graduate medical education community at the School of Medicine for the last three years and I look forward to working with the leadership at Saint Luke’s in the coming years.” Howell said.
Dark has cared for patients as a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Saint Luke’s Health System for 29 years. She has served as the associate dean for Saint Luke’s programs for 18 years and the last two years has also served the associate dean for the learning environment at the School of Medicine.
After graduating from the SOM, Dark did her internship, residency and fellowship at the University of Kansas Hospital. She remained on faculty at the University of Kansas for seven years before being recruited to Saint Luke’s Hospital as associate program director for the Internal Medicine residency program, a position she held for 10 years. She established the UMKC Critical Care fellowship and served as program director for seven years.
School of Medicine dean Mary Anne Jackson congratulated Dark on her upcoming retirement and thanked her for her extensive service to the med school.
“I have truly enjoyed working with Dr. Dark as she has advocated for our students, residents, fellows and faculty,” Jackson said. “I am grateful for her leadership and the strong collaborative spirit as she has promoted a strong relationship between the School of Medicine and Saint Luke’s Hospital.”
Jani Johnson, CEO of Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City echoed Jackson’s sentiments.
“Dr. Dark’s leadership has been tremendous throughout her years of service to Saint Luke’s and UMKC,” she said. “We are grateful for her many contributions and we wish her a joyful retirement. We are also thrilled to congratulate Dr. Howell, who we know will bring passion and enthusiasm to this role, and whose expertise will be of great value to our students and staff alike.”
Dark said that while she will miss the interaction with her friends and coworkers, she is looking forward to experiencing the next chapter of her life and her leisure time.
“I cannot imagine anyone having a more rewarding career than I have had,” Dark said. “It has truly been a privilege to help educate so many medical students, residents, and fellows, those who will be taking care of all of us. I have been honored to work alongside and partner with incredibly strong leadership at both Saint Luke’s Hospital and the UMKC School of Medicine.”