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After a year-long search, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is pleased to announce that Janet Townsend, MD, has been appointed senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs. She assumed the role on March 23. 

Dr. Townsend has served GSCOM since its inception. She was the founding chair of the Department of Family, Community and Rural Health from 2008 through 2015. In this capacity she recruited the founding faculty, whose efforts resulted in our program of community-based education and research. Most recently she served as regional associate dean for the Central Campus. Dr. Townsend was recruited to GCSOM in 2008 after 25 years of medical education leadership at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, N.Y. At Einstein, she led initiatives to enhance faculty mentoring, improve faculty orientation to promotion and tenure, and to enhance diversity through recruitment, retention and support of academic advancement.
As senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, Dr. Townsend will oversee the process for appointment, promotion and tracking of faculty members at the School of Medicine. Steven J. Scheinman, MD, president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and executive vice president and chief academic officer, Geisinger, said, “Dr. Townsend’s strong relations with clinical leadership will be invaluable as we work to integrate the hundreds of preceptors across the Geisinger system fully into the faculty and to enhance faculty mentoring and advancement.” In this position Dr. Townsend will report to Dr. Scheinman.
GCSOM is grateful to John Arnott, PhD, interim chair of the Department of Medical Education, who chaired the search committee that recommended Dr. Townsend for this role. William Jeffries, PhD, vice president for Academic Affairs and vice dean for medical education, will be initiating a selection process to identify Dr. Townsend’s successor as regional campus dean of the Central Campus.
“I would like to thank Harry Wollman, MD, for his service as interim senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs,” said Dr. Scheinman. “In his nearly three years here he has also previously served as senior associate dean for undergraduate medical education and as interim chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. I am grateful to Dr. Wollman for his service on our leadership team during this exciting time.”
Contact Dr. Townsend:
Janet Townsend, MD
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Central Campus
MH4, Education Department
Geisinger Medical Center
100 North Academy Ave.
Danville, PA 17822
Gloria Colosimo
Administrative Assistant


About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

Janet M. Townsend, MD
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
On Call: 570-687-9703
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