Minneapolis, Nov. 29, 2016 – The University of Minnesota Medical School today announced the retirement of Professor and Head of its Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Macaran A. Baird, M.D., M.S. Baird joined the department in July 2002.

“I am proud of what we have all done together and believe it is time for someone else to lead this highly successful department,” said Baird. “By the time I leave in mid- June 2017, I will have been here 15 years. It has been by far the best and most challenging role I have had the privilege to assume. I leave the department with a sense of satisfaction that we are stronger and more vibrant than ever.”

Following graduation from Macalester College and receiving a master’s degree in environmental health from the University of Minnesota (U of M), Dr. Baird graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. During his medical residency, he also completed family therapy training and later received a second master’s degree. He has spent his career teaching and practicing integration of behavioral medicine into clinical care.

After five years in rural practice in Wabasha, Minnesota, Baird began his academic medical career as an assistant professor in the University of Oklahoma family medicine department. His next move was to Syracuse, New York, as professor and chair of the State University of New York Medical School – Syracuse - Department of Family Medicine. In the mid-1990s Baird moved back to Minnesota where he served as associate medical director for primary care at HealthPartners. Later he was appointed to professor of family medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and medical director of Mayo's health insurance program.

In 2002, he began his current role as Professor and Head of the U of M Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He has led the department through challenges while increasing the number of faculty, residency programs, fellowships and research productivity. The department is now ranked third among family medicine departments nationally in NIH funding, and the residency clinics have been certified as patient-centered medical homes.

“In addition to an impressive NIH ranking, FMCH residency clinics are certified health care homes and the Department recently received top ranking by the American Academy of Family Physicians for producing family medicine physicians thanks to Dr. Baird’s leadership,” said Brooks Jackson, Dean of the Medical School. “The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health is our highest ranking department, known for impactful research, highly qualified and dedicated educators, and service to our community because Dr. Baird passionately encourages his faculty to practice medicine, teach, and participate in scholarly activities to enhance healthcare for the next generation.”

In 2015, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) awarded Baird the Lynn and Joan Carmichael STFM Recognition Award for his contributions to leadership in family medicine, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)  presented him the Thomas W. Johnson Award for career contributions to family medicine education. The award is AAFP's highest honor, recognizing outstanding contributions to medical students, residents, and physicians in continuing education spheres. In addition, he has received both the Merit and President's awards from the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP ). Baird was also presented with the Minnesota Medical Association's (MMA) Distinguished Service Award.

Most recently, Baird worked with a multidisciplinary team to develop the Minnesota Complexity Assessment Method©, helping to identify barriers impeding patient care and seeking an increased understanding of the social determinant of health. Testing of this model is expanding and being evaluated by several other states and by the National Health Service of Scotland.

“Dr. Baird is an advocate for quality health care, access to primary care, faculty and students,” said Jackson. "He works with faculty members to help them become amongst the best family medicine teachers, clinicians, and researchers. Mac's replacement will have big shoes to fill; his counsel and leadership will be missed.”

Baird plans reduce his professional roles to spend more time with his wife, Kris, his children, and two grandsons.

About the University of Minnesota Medical School

The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine by visiting www.med.umn.edu.