Stewart Edwards “Ed” Dismuke, MD ’71, MSPH

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Category: Medicine | Past Winners

2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award Winner

Stewart Dismuke

The son of a physicist and an applied mathematician, Stewart Edwards “Ed” Dismuke, MD ’71, MSPH, was raised in Oak Ridge, TN, where his parents worked for Oak Ridge National Laboratory (originally part of the Manhattan Project). Majoring in biology, he received an undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, RI. In medical school at the University of Tennessee–Memphis, Dr. Dismuke was an active student leader serving as student government president and liaison to the school’s Board of Trustees.

He received his MD degree and was named the Alpha Omega Alpha Distinguished Graduate for his class. Prior to his internship, he spent six months as a research fellow in rheumatology. After a three-year residency in Internal Medicine at UT–Memphis, he served as Chief Medical Resident.

He was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Fellow in General Medicine. Dr. Dismuke also received an MSPH in epidemiology from the School of Public Health. During these years he expanded his knowledge and skills in general medicine, public health and primary care by studying epidemiology, biostatistics, and the social and behavioral sciences.

Returning to the faculty at the University of Tennessee, he eventually became a tenured associate professor in Medicine and Preventive Medicine. For five years he had a career development award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Preventive Cardiology. In addition to teaching and research, he practiced general internal medicine and preventive medicine almost 50 percent of the time. His primary interest focused on health promotion disease prevention.

In 1991, Dr. Dismuke became professor and chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Kansas in both Kansas City and Wichita. He built the department from five faculty to over thirty on two campuses with annual extramural funding of over $3 million. While in Wichita, Dr. Dismuke led a Community Health Assessment Process and developed a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for the community. From October 1998 until July 2001, he was the Kansas Health Foundation Distinguished Professor in Public Health. From July 2001 until September 2008, Dr. Dismuke served as dean of the regional medical school campus in Wichita, KS.

In August 2012, Dr. Dismuke returned to Memphis, TN, to accept a job with the new University of Memphis School of Public Health. He served as interim director of the Division Health Systems Management and Policy until January 2014. Having a special interest in community health improvement and the social determinants of health, he has been very active in health improvement efforts in both Shelby County and the City of Memphis, especially through the “Triple Aim Initiative” and the “Health Systems Curriculum.” His special interest is how physicians can begin to address the many social determinants of health in their practices.

Dr. Dismuke has held leadership roles in multiple local and national health care organizations, including the national academic preventive medicine organization, the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the national organization of regional medical campuses, the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the United Way of the Plains (past board chair). In February 2009, Dr Dismuke received the Duncan Clark Award from the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR). APTR represents academic preventive medicine, and the Duncan Clark Award is the organization’s highest honor. He is well published and has been very successful obtaining extramural research funding. In 2009, the Kansas State Medical Society passed a declaration recognizing Dr. Dismuke for his service to the state, particularly related to community health improvement.