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FSU Announces New Dean of the College of Medicine

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CONTACT: Dr. Lawrence G. Abele
(850) 644-1765

By Browning Brooks
Jan. 28, 2003

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Florida State University announced today that Dr. J. Ocie Harris, the current associate dean for Clinical Affairs at the College of Medicine, has been named dean.

Harris succeeds Dr. Joseph E. Scherger, who was reassigned today to the College of Medicine faculty.
Alma Littles, an award-winning family physician with roots in rural Gadsden County, will be appointed associate dean of the college.

The changes come as the college prepares for an accreditation site visit from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

"After several discussions over the past few months with Dr. Scherger about leadership within the college, I concluded that we needed a change at this time," said Provost and Executive Vice President Lawrence G. Abele.

Harris was a professor of medicine, associate dean for Community-Based Programs and the director of the North Florida Area Health Education Centers Program at the University of Florida College of Medicine until Nov. 1, 2000, when he came to FSU. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Mississippi at Jackson in 1965 and completed his internship, residency and a fellowship in pulmonary and infectious disease at the University of Florida.

For two years beginning in 1969, he served as a lieutenant commander at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, Calif. He began his career in academe as an assistant professor of medicine at Louisiana State University in 1971 before being hired at the University of Florida in 1973.

At Florida State, Harris has been instrumental in establishing the medical school's community based clinical training sites and recruiting faculty to conduct the education program.

Littles, named Family Doctor of the Year by the Florida Academy of Family Physicians in 1993, had a solo private practice in her hometown of Quincy, Fla., from 1989 to 1994 and went on to serve as medical director for Quincy Family Practice and Quincy Medical Group.

Littles came to FSU in August 2002 from Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, where she had served as director of the Family Practice Residency Program since 1999 and had been a member of the faculty since 1996.

Board certified in family practice, Littles has held a number of leadership positions in both the Florida Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians and served as president of the Capital Medical Society in 1996. She earned her doctor of medicine degree from the University of Florida in 1986.

The new allopathic college was established by the Florida Legislature in May 2000 to educate physicians who are responsive to community needs, especially through service to elderly, rural and other underserved populations of Florida. The LCME granted the college initial provisional accreditation in October 2002.