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Steven L. Kantor

Steven L. Kanter, MD

Prior to his assuming the role of President and CEO at the Association of Academic Health Centers in July 2018, Steven L. Kanter, MD, served as dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, where he was professor of medicine and biomedical and health informatics and he held the Merl & Muriel Hicklin/Missouri Endowed Chair in Medicine.

Dr. Kanter draws from a diverse background of experience that includes clinical medicine, medical informatics, scholarly publishing, medical school administration, and academic health center growth and development.

In 2015, Dr. Kanter led an effort that brought together 12 of Kansas City’s leading healthcare institutions to align more closely as an academic health center—the University of Missouri-Kansas City Health Sciences District. The participating institutions include an adult, acute-care hospital; a children’s hospital; a university and its four health sciences schools; a scholars’ center; a Ronald McDonald House; a city health department; a county medical examiner’s office; and a state behavioral health facility. In May 2017, the leaders of these institutions, along with city and county elected officials, signed a memorandum of understanding to create the District. The formation of the Health Sciences District will impact the University and the region, and will position Kansas City to be a major hub of healthcare innovation and discovery in the 21st century.

A former Fellow in medical informatics for the National Library of Medicine, Dr. Kanter joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1991 and became vice dean in 2002. In his role as Vice Dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he brought more than $7 million in new funding to the school, and was involved in several international projects. From 2008 to 2012, he also served as editor-in-chief of Academic Medicine, the peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. There, he improved the journal’s online presence, established new policies and practices that brought the journal to the forefront of publication ethics, and introduced several new features.

Dr. Kanter earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&I University and his MD at the University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio. He served his neurosurgical residency at the University of Florida and was a member of the faculty of Texas A&M University College of Medicine before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Association for Medical Education in Europe, which presented him with the Patil Award for best research presentation in 2007. Dr. Kanter’s contributions reflect a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience with medical school, teaching hospital, university, and academic health center issues.

Dr. Kanter is married to Leslie Borsett-Kanter, MD, a pediatrician with special expertise in the treatment of feeding disorders. They have one son, John, who is a neurosurgery resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and two show dogs (Cardigan Welsh Corgis) named Harry and Lily.


I am delighted to begin my tenure as President and CEO of the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) and its international division, AAHCI. It is a privilege to be able to serve the academic health community in this role and I am honored to be entrusted with this critical responsibility.

The Association is at a pivotal point in its history. It is completing its first half-century and that raises critical questions about what should be the directions and strategies and goals for its second 50 years. I am enthusiastic about working with our members to determine in what ways the Association should build on its existing strengths as it prepares to embark on this next, very important phase of its journey.

What we will do will evolve from the collective wisdom of our members, but it surely will involve research, advocacy, consulting, education, and working with other associations, foundations, and organizations dedicated to improving health. And, of course, the Association will continue to develop high-quality programs, publications, and conferences aimed at advancing the interests of academic health centers.

Please share your ideas by attending one of our upcoming meetings. It is only through deliberation and collective action that we can develop more effective ways to communicate with policymakers, to support academic health leadership during times of crisis and transition, and to foster the mentoring and development of the next generation of leaders in academic health.

I invite everyone with a stake in health sciences research, health professions education, and health care—academic health center leaders, faculty, health professions students, postdoctoral scholars, researchers, administrative colleagues, industry and academic partners, donors and philanthropists, patients, policy-makers, and others—to join us as we engage in the work necessary to advance healthcare in the 21st century.

Steven L. Kanter, MD