Julie Byerley believes it is her responsibility to use her resources, time, and talents to make the world a better place for others.
“Health, wellbeing, and education are the keys to that,” explains the president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and executive vice-president and chief academic officer at Geisinger.
She is responsible to champion and oversee the education and research mission areas at Geisinger, and lead its programs in medical education, graduate education, and other health education programs supported at the school and system.
“At the table of leaders at Geisinger, my role is to ensure that while we work to make better health easier for the patients and populations we serve, we concurrently educate the health profession workforce and advance discovery. We do that through recruiting and retaining promising students and supporting outstanding faculty and staff,” she explains.
Upon graduation from Rhodes College, she fully intended to be a high school science teacher, and while doing so became interested in the health of her adolescent students. This led her to medical school at Duke University and public health school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After a pediatrics residency and chief residency at UNC she stayed on faculty there for 20 years.
During those two decades her area of focus gradually transitioned from directly providing clinical care to children and adolescents to focusing on pediatric education, then medical education more broadly, and faculty affairs as well. Eventually she served as the vice dean for academic affairs at UNC before coming to Geisinger.
“I was attracted to Geisinger because of our innovative spirit and commitment to service of the community,” she said.
Having many good mentors, her most significant mentor was Harvey Hamrick, one of the world’s best pediatricians who exemplified how one can work with both confidence and humility to use their talents and education to improve the lives of those they serve.
Byerley admits to having amazing parents who raised their children with a commitment to duty and responsibility.
“It was clear in my house growing up that we were very fortunate, and that it was expected that we would use our talents and resources to make the world a better place for others,” she added.
Grateful to her wonderful husband of nearly 30 years, Mike Byerley, and her two young adult sons, Bennett and Jeb, are the source of inspiration in her life, and she is very proud of them.
She participates on the council of deans for the Association of American Medical Colleges; belongs to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academic Pediatrics Association, and the American Medical Association. Until recently, she served as the co-chair of the executive committee of the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education consortium and recently participated on the Coalition for Physician Accountability UME to GME recommendation committee.
She has been a part of leadership training programs including Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM), University of North Carolina System Executive Leadership Institute, and the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Leaders Network.
While new to the community, she is looking forward to getting involved in all kinds of activities, especially those that encourage and support health and education. Personally, she enjoys being outdoors and exercising for stress relief and fun. “I am thrilled to be here and look forward to learning lots about the community,” she said.