Steering Committee Member – Richard Wender, MD

Richard Wender, MD Individual Member


Dr. Richard Wender is Alumni Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Wender directed the Family Medicine residency program at Thomas Jefferson for 10 years, became Vice Chair of the Department in 1995 and Chair in 2002. Dr. Wender also serves as President and CEO of JeffCare, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s Physician-Hospital Organization (PHO).

In addition to being a practicing family doctor, Dr. Wender’s major areas of academic focus are cancer prevention and screening and management of chronic illness. Dr. Wender has been a volunteer leader at multiple levels of the American Cancer Society, culminating in his election as national President of the American Cancer Society from 2006-07, becoming the first primary care clinician to serve as President in the 93 year history of ACS. In December 2011, Dr. Wender was appointed Chair of the newly constituted American Cancer Society Cancer Screening Guidelines Panel. In 2012, Dr. Wender accepted the position of Chair of the National Colorectal Roundtable, the CDC-ACS funded organization that advocated for eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.Dr. Wender has helped spearhead the development of the Patient-Centered Medical Home.

In addition to participating in Pennsylvania’s Chronic Care Collaborative, the practice at Jefferson Family Medicine became the first large academic department to be recognized as a Level 3 Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. He and the Jefferson team have given many presentations, conducted numerous consultations, and written many articles about advanced primary care practice. Dr. Wender is the Principal Investigator of a HRSA grant to create the Jefferson Medical Home Academic Center. Dr. Wender has also worked with the American Diabetes Association and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and is the only North American primary care physician co-author on the Joint ADA-EASD Position Statement on the treatment of type II diabetes.

Dr. Wender has played important leadership roles within the discipline of Family Medicine including having delivered the Keynote addresses at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference on Practice Improvement in 2006, the STFM Annual Spring meeting in 2007, and the North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Meeting in 2009. He served as President of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM) from May 2010 to February 2012 and is the current Board Chair for that organization.

Dr. Wender is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the American Cancer Society’s St George Medal and National Divisional Award, and the Cancer Prevention Laurel for National Leadership from the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation. He was recently named Practitioner of the Year by the Philadelphia County Medical Society.

Dr. Wender has lectured and written extensively about the role of primary care clinicians in preventive care. Improving access to high quality care and reducing health disparities remain the central goals of his work.

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