Colleagues and friends of Dale Garell, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, gathered this week at the Edmonson Faculty Center to honor Garell on the occasion of his retirement.
Those present represented the many areas in which Garell served the Keck School of Medicine and its affiliated hospitals. Present were representatives from Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), Women’s and Children’s Hospital, medical education and student affairs, the departments of pediatrics and family medicine, the dean’s office and many other areas of the Keck School of Medicine.
Garell began his career at USC in 1963, as an instructor in pediatrics, becoming an assistant professor in 1965 and associate professor in 1969. In 1974, Garell relocated to San Francisco, returning to Los Angeles in 1978 as medical director of California Children’s Services, County of Los Angeles. At that same time he had an appointment as clinical associate professor of pediatrics at USC. In 1985 he returned to the full time faculty as a clinical professor of pediatrics and family medicine and since 1990 has been professor.
Early in his career, Garell began serving on various committees dedicated to improving the health of children. These activities included White House Conferences on Children and Youth, serving as a medical consultant to the California Children’s Services Division and serving on numerous committees and task forces on children and adolescents for Los Angeles County.
“Dale has been an advocate for his patients, in particular adolescents,” said Stephen J. Ryan, dean of the Keck School of Medicine at the reception for Garell. “He has also been a strong advocate and mentor for facultyboth in pediatrics and in medical education. We thank Dale for all he has contributed to our school and hospital partners.”
Bill Noce, CEO of CHLA, praised Garell for his problem-solving ability and clear perspective on the unique needs of both pediatric patients and faculty. Others at the reception spoke of Garell’s creativity, mentorship, sound judgment and support of others.
“He had a way of putting others first and giving others the credit for what were really his own accomplishments,” commented Peter Lee, former chair of the Department of Family Medicine.
Garell served as a faculty physician at Childrens Hospital and LAC+USC Medical Center. At both places he was instrumental in training residents and fellows in adolescent medicine while serving on various hospital and medical school education committees.
Garell’s leadership with the medical school expanded when he became associate dean for curriculum in 1989 and senior associate dean for academic affairs in 1991.
In 1994, when there were significant issues facing the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics, Garell agreed to become interim chair of the department. He was named as chair one year later. In 1995, he was also named vice president of pediatrics and academic affairs at CHLA.
Since 1996, Garell also played a key leadership role as chair of the board of directors of USC Care Medical Group.
Dale and his wife Aggie are building a home on the Oregon Coast. Ryan noted that “We are fortunate at USC that as he retires, Garell has agreed to serve as a consultant” one or two days a week working with Jeff Huffman, CEO of USC Care and Leslie Bernstein, senior associate dean for faculty affairs.