Barbara Tobias, MD, a UC alumna, professor in the department of family and community medicine and medical director of the Health Collaborative in Cincinnati, was named Robert & Myfanwy Smith Chair of Family Medicine during a private celebration at the Russell C. Myers Alumni Center on Monday, Oct. 24.
The endowed chair honors Robert Smith, MD, and his wife in recognition of Smith’s 40-year career as a leader and innovator in family and community medicine. Smith, professor and chairman emeritus of UC’s department of family medicine and community medicine, stepped down 1991.
Tobias assumes this position following Robert Graham, MD, now an adjunct professor who has taken on other responsibilities as the director of the National Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) initiative.
"Dr. Tobias is a wonderful choice for the Smith Chair of Family Medicine,” says Graham, who introduced Tobias at the event. "She has a long record as an innovator, a growing state and national role in health policy and she knows the Cincinnati and UC community exceptionally well. It's a pleasure and honor to be her colleague."
About 80 people were present at the celebration, which also included recognition to Robert Smith, MD, and his wife, Myfanwy, and awards to past "Friends of Family Medicine”: Kathy Schloss representing the Lazarus Foundation, the late Dr. George and Ellen Revieschl, and George Wile, all who have generously supported the department.
Jeffrey Susman, MD, former chair of the department, as well as several others spoke on behalf of Graham’s impact on the department and the community.
"There are few departments of family medicine that have a supported position in health policy including a community focus, and this allows Barb to continue to use her growing knowledge and her regional and national relationships for those purposes,” says Philip Diller, MD, head of the department of family and community medicine. "She has already begun to provide important leadership at the Health Improvement Collaborative and in the department.”
After attending Cornell University in New York and majoring in Asian studies, Tobias returned to her hometown of Wyoming, where she now practices, and attended the UC College of Medicine, where she completed her medical degree in 1987.
Tobias is a coleader with Graham on the Collaborative’s Patient-Centered Medical Home project and was selected as a 2009-10 Robert Woods Johnson Health Policy Fellow where she served in the office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Tobias has developed medical curricula for special populations including adolescents and geriatrics in collaboration with community partners and has been recognized by medical students and her colleagues with awards in teaching and clinical excellence, including the Dean’s Teaching Award for Excellence and the Leonard R. Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. She was appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism where she served from 2005-2008.
"The Robert and Myfanwy Smith Chair is a tremendous honor,” Tobias says. "Dr. Smith's lifetime of work and vision for our department created a legacy of excellence."