LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Russell W. Bessette, M.D., former associate vice president for health sciences and director of health information technology at the University at Buffalo and a former executive director of the New York State Agency for Science Technology & Academic Research (NYSTAR) and, has joined the University of Louisville as the associate vice president for health affairs.
David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs, noted Bessette’s experience in strategic planning and use of bioinformatics to measure and health care informatics to measure and enhance the quality of health care in novel ways.
“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Bessette to this new position at the UofL Health Sciences Center,” Dunn said. “The use of informatics is essential to allow health care providers, health systems and health insurance plans to work together to increase access to higher quality health care at lower cost. Dr. Bessette’s proficiency in this area will help us as we face a tumultuous time in health care and academic medicine.”
Bessette, who graduated from both the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Dental Medicine, joined the UB faculty in 1989 as a clinical professor of surgery. Trained in general and plastic and reconstructive surgery, he has published both peer-reviewed articles and surgical textbook chapters focused in the area of reconstruction of the human temporomandibular joint.
He has been a leader in academic research for more than 30 years in the fields of science and technology. He has authored or co-authored more than 55 peer-reviewed academic publications, reports and research papers, and has authored eight textbook chapters on reconstructive surgery.
Bessette served as chairman of the New York State Public Health Council from 1996 until his current appointment. He served as executive director of the Buffalo Technology Transfer Center at Sister’s Hospital from 1997-99, and as director of the Instrument and Devices Clinical Laboratory at Buffalo’s Center for Advanced Technology from 1985 to 1989.
A graduate of Manhattan College, Bessette was trained in general surgery and reconstructive surgery, and is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. He also is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. His professional experience also includes an appointment as a clinical professor in the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine. In 1976, he was recognized as the medical school’s Educator of the Year; in 1983 he was awarded the First Place Research Paper Award by the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons; and in 1987 he received the Annual Dental Alumnus Award from the University at Buffalo.
Bessette is a past president of the Erie County (N.Y.) Medical Society, the American Society of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons and the University at Buffalo Medical Alumni Association. He is a past member of the Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery.