Founding Dean of the College of Medicine & Vice-President for Medical Affairs at the University of Houston
Dr. Stephen J. Spann, a family physician leader, educator and researcher, is the founding dean of the College of Medicine and vice-president for Medical Affairs at the University of Houston. Spann has dedicated his career to improving health and health care around the world by training future health care professionals, contributing to the scientific knowledge base of primary care and by leading medical school faculty, physician medical groups and hospital staff to practice high-quality, evidence-based family medicine.
Spann has been active in the development of the specialty of family medicine in the United States and abroad. He has served as a member of the Commission on Public Health and Scientific Affairs, the Task Force on Clinical Policies, and as member and chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) Commission on Clinical Policies and Research and its Task Force to Enhance Family Practice Research. He served as a member of Task Force 1, and chaired Task Force 6 of the Future of Family Medicine Project, focusing on the development of the New Model of Family Medicine practice — now known as the Patient-Centered Medical Home — and the development of financial models to predict its success. He served as the lead consultant to the AAFP planning process to develop a national practice resource center to support the implementation of the New Model of Family Medicine, resulting in the development of Transformed, a subsidiary of the AAFP. Spann has served as a consultant to medical schools, residency programs, ministries of health, and health care delivery systems in many countries, focusing on primary care training programs and clinical practice development and implementation.
Prior to joining University of Houston, from late 2012 to 2015, Dr. Spann served as chief medical officer of Tawam Hospital, a 460-bed tertiary care teaching facility in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, which is managed by Johns Hopkins Medicine International, and as senior advisor on primary care and academic affairs to SEHA, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company. Previously, he served as chairman of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine from 1997 to 2012 and as Baylor’s senior vice-president and dean of clinical affairs from 2008 to 2010. Before joining Baylor, Spann was chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas from 1990 to 1997, a member of the faculty and vice-chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine from 1982 to 1990, and a member of the voluntary clinical teaching faculty of the Department of Family Medicine, Wake Forest Bowman Gray School of Medicine from 1979 to 1982. Prior to entering full-time academic medicine, Spann spent four years practicing rural family medicine in Arkansas and North Carolina.
A graduate of Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine, Spann completed his residency training in Family Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and received an MBA degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. He and his wife Nancy have two married children and four grandchildren who live in Texas.