Manatt Strengthens Integrated Health Care Offerings With Arrival of Distinguished Physician, Biomedical Scientist and Educator

Dr. Darrell Kirch brings deep leadership experience guiding academic health centers’ innovation and transformation strategies

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, announced today that Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, president emeritus of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), has joined its Manatt Health group as a Washington, D.C.-based national advisor.

As president and CEO of the AAMC from 2006 to 2019, Dr. Kirch led the development and implementation of a strategy for fostering innovation among the nation’s medical schools, their teaching hospitals and health systems, and related academic societies. A respected leader and physician, Dr. Kirch will enhance Manatt Health’s fast-growing strategy, policy and legal practice with the nation’s leading academic health care institutions.

“Innovation and transformation are our guiding principles as we advise our clients and help them navigate today’s new economy,” said Donna L. Wilson, Manatt’s CEO and Managing Partner. “Darrell’s impressive background and commitment to being an agent of change embody this ethos, making him an ideal fit to our integrated legal and consulting platform.”

Bill Bernstein, leader of Manatt Health, commented: “We are thrilled to welcome Darrell to our academic medical center team, which is led by senior managing director Tom Enders. Darrell brings unmatched leadership experience that will be invaluable to our academic center, medical school, health system and broader health care clients, especially as we help them address the key health care imperatives we believe are critical for improving our health care system and advancing health equity.”

Dr. Kirch is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and currently serves as co-chair of the NAM Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. He also serves on the governing boards of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

“With academic health centers at an inflection point as we emerge from the pandemic, their educational, research and clinical missions are more important than ever,” said Dr. Kirch. “Future success depends on taking innovative strategies and operational excellence to a new level, and Manatt is well positioned to guide this evolution. I’m deeply impressed not only with the counsel Manatt professionals provide, but also by their values-based approach to their work.”

Dr. Kirch is the latest addition to the firm’s national health care group, following the recent arrivals of corporate partner Paul A. Carr-Rollitt, former CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System Ralph W. Muller, digital health and regulatory partner Yarmela Pavlovic, digital health expert Dr. Vivian E. de Ruijter, and litigation partner Charles E. Weir. Manatt has also been purposefully expanding its integrated legal and consulting offerings across the firm more broadly in recent months, as seen with the additions of prominent tech consultants Jen Millard and Kalon Gutierrez, new media partner Farnaz M. Alemi, and former Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight Jan L. Owen.

Prior to his tenure at the AAMC, Dr. Kirch served as dean, university senior vice president and academic health system leader of two pre-eminent medical institutions: the Medical College of Georgia and the Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He also previously co-chaired the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and chaired the national AAMC Council of Deans.

Dr. Kirch began his academic career as a psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), becoming chief of the Schizophrenia Research Branch and serving as the acting scientific director in 1993. He received the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service for his contributions to the NIMH. In 2019, his service to academic medicine was recognized with the American Hospital Association’s Award of Honor. Dr. Kirch earned his bachelor’s and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Colorado.

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