Philip M. Farrell

Philip M. Farrell

Known as an organizer, a communicator, a motivator and a builder, Farrell brought energy and a collaborative spirit to his decade as dean. His goal to promote health in Wisconsin communities inspired the School’s change in mission and name to the School of Medicine and Public Health.

After 10 years as chair of the UW-Madison Department of Pediatrics and eight years as medical director of UW Children’s Hospital, Philip Farrell, MD, PhD, became dean of the School of Medicine and Public Health in 1995. During his tenure, he helped change the face of the School. His achievements include

  • guiding the transition of UW Hospital and Clinics into a public authority and overseeing the creation of the UW Medical Foundation,
  • building the Health Sciences Learning Center, one of the leading interdisciplinary educational and research facilities in the country,
  • helping to facilitate the use of the Blue Cross Blue Shield United of Wisconsin’s conversion income to design and implement community-academic programs to address Wisconsin’s most urgent health-care needs, and
  • directing the transformation of the School’s clinical mission from responding to illness —the traditional medical school philosophy— to a balanced commitment of promoting health in communities while providing excellent individual care. This shift offers a compelling strategy for reducing rising health-care costs.

Farrell, whose work was key in the 2004 Centers for Disease Control and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recommendation to screen newborns for cystic fibrosis, continues his research on the screening and prevention of the disease with the hope of improving children’s health nationwide.