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Longtime Anesthesiology Department Chair and Academic Leader Peter Rock, MD, MBA to Step Down as Chair, Will Return to Faculty

May 25, 2023

Led Growth and Success of Department for 17 Years; Dr. Sam Galvagno will Serve as Interim Chair, Starting in July

Peter Rock, MD, the Dr. Martin Helrich Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), announced today that he will be stepping down from his longtime administrative role as Department Chair this summer to return to full-time faculty status.

Samuel Galvagno, DO, PhDSamuel Galvagno, DO, PhD, Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at UMSOM has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department, effective August 1.

"Dr. Rock has been a tremendous physician and academic leader in the School of Medicine and Medical Center for many years, and we are deeply grateful for his longstanding dedication, and service," said UMSOM Dean Mark T. Gladwin, MD, who is Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. "During his tenure, he has led a period of unprecedented growth and success in the Department– significantly expanding the residency program, growing clinical services, and building one of the top departments for NIH funding in the nation."

Mark T. Gladwin, MD

"We are truly grateful to Dr. Rock for his many years of service as Chair of Anesthesiology, and we look forward to his continued contributions as a faculty member in the School and department," he added. "At the same time, I know that Dr. Galvagno is well qualified to continue to move the Department forward as Interim Chair."

Dr. Galvagno is board-certified in anesthesiology, critical care medicine, neurocritical care, emergency medical services, and public health. After completing active-duty tours in the United States Air Force, he completed his residency and chief residency in anesthesiology at Brigham and Woman's Hospital, followed by fellowships in critical care medicine and research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Dr. Galvagno also earned a PhD in epidemiology and bio-statistics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Dr. Galvagno is the author of over 185 peer- reviewed papers, numerous book chapters and abstracts, and has lectured both nationally and internationally. Dr. Galvagno has received funding from both the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense. He is currently the Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and works in both the operating rooms and ICUs. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, currently serving at the Pentagon within the Reserve Medical Directorate.

Dr. Rock’s Legacy of Leadership

Former Chair Martin Helrich, MD with Dr. Rock

Dr. Rock was appointed the Dr. Martin Helrich Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in December 2006. Under the nearly 17 years of his leadership, the department has been transformed, growing significantly in size and scope, and has become a leader in the field of anesthesiology. The department embraced the use of CRNAs and increased the size of its residency by about 25%, allowing the department to care for the rapidly growing number of surgeries and procedures. The department now provides clinical services at five different locations. The department was recently ranked 6th in the U.S. for NIH funding and has been an elite, top-10 ranked program for three of the past four years.

Dr. Rock's contributions to the School of Medicine, Faculty Physicians Inc. (FPI), UMMC, and the UMB campus have been numerous. He has recruited talented faculty members, expanded the department's research initiatives, increased to seven the number of departmental endowed professorships, and implemented new educational programs. Over the many years of his leadership, the size of the overall anesthesiology faculty has grown by 44 percent, and research-intensive faculty has nearly tripled. He has also been a strong advocate for patient safety and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the department maintains the highest standards of care. During his time as Chair, Dr. Rock has trained hundreds of residents, fellows, and students. Dr. Rock also focused on faculty development, implementing a formal mentoring and evaluation system, resulting in the promotion and granting of tenure of many departmental faculty. He additionally has created a more diverse faculty and residency, strengthened the department's efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusiveness, and appointed a diverse group of division chiefs, vice chairs, and other departmental leaders.

Dr. Rock served as the President of the UMMC Medical Staff and on numerous committees of the UMSOM and FPI, including chairing the FPI Governance Committee that guided the establishment of our new unified group practice, UM Faculty Physicians, and then served as its Interim Senior Vice President. Dr. Rock 's leadership of various IT initiatives in the UMSOM and on the UMMC campus included adoption of the Quantum Financial system, campus-wide unified email, office productivity and collaboration tools, and improved IT security.

Dr. Rock received his bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After completing a residency in Internal Medicine, a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and a residency in anesthesiology at Hopkins, he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the departments of medicine and anesthesiology, where he served from 1986 to 1995. Later, he also completed a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Washington University's Olin School of Business.

Dr. Thomas Scalea, Dr. Samuel Galvagno, and Dr. Peter RockPrior to arriving at the University of Maryland, Dr. Rock served on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was the Vice-Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, and the faculty of the Washington University School of Medicine. During this time, he also led clinical divisions and assumed progressive leadership roles in the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Association of University Anesthesiologists, and the Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. He has been funded by the NIH, DOD, and industry, and his research on acute lung injury, septic shock, pulmonary circulation, and outcomes after anesthesia and surgery has been internationally recognized. He is the author or co-author of over 280 peer-reviewed publications, abstracts, and book chapters. He is the Principal investigator of the University of Maryland Perioperative Data Warehouse, which houses more than 450,000 records of patients who have undergone anesthesia and surgery. He has previously been honored by Baltimore Magazine as a " Top Doctor" and as a "Super Doctor" by the Washington Post Magazine.

After he steps down as Chair, Dr. Rock will focus on his research, teach residents and students, promote safety and quality, and serve as a mentor. Dr. Rock will lead the Anesthesiology Department 's efforts in Clinical Research, centered around prospective trials to improve outcomes after surgery, trauma, and critical illness, retrospective studies, and AI and Machine Learning, and will seek to increase funded clinical research. Dr. Rock will continue to serve as FPI's Special Project Leader for the High Reliability Organization (HRO) undertaking being conducted by UMMS in partnership with the UMSOM and FPI. He also will continue to lead special academic committees and projects for the Dean's office and UMSOM, such as the Clinical Trials Oversight Committee, and the Dean's Behavior Advisory Committee (DBAC),  while mentoring Dr. Galvagno in his role as Interim Chair of the Department.

Thomas M. Scalea, MD

"Peter Rock is the quintessential collaborator. During his tenure as Chair, we have partnered clinically, academically, and administratively," said Thomas M. Scalea, MD, the Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery and Physician-in-Chief of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. "Pete and I jointly worked to create a critical care effort that spans UMMC and other UMMS institutions. We jointly recruited high-quality faculty to one of the few Divisions of Trauma Anesthesiology in existence, helping to establish Trauma Anesthesiology as a distinct sub-specialty. We created the Shock Trauma and Anesthesiology Research Center (STAR), which has attracted many millions of federal funding, advancing the care of injured and critically ill patients. Pete has always been an innovator, refusing to be constrained by dogma not supported by data. While he will no longer be Chair, I hope to continue to work together with him in the future."

"It has been a privilege to serve as the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, leading an outstanding group of clinicians, educators, and scientists. Serving as chair has been the highlight of professional career, said Dr. Rock. "During my nearly 17 years as Chair, there have been many changes in healthcare but what hasn't changed has been the outstanding qualities of our people – faculty, residents, CRNAs, staff, and the many learners I have had the privilege to teach.  It has been the honor of a lifetime to lead such an outstanding group of dedicated, hardworking, compassionate, altruistic, inquisitive, innovative, and loyal individuals."

"I am appreciative of the trust shown in me by Dean Wilson, who hired me and who believed that I could build a world-class department," added Dr. Rock. "I am grateful to Dean Reece, who mentored me, in all ways supported the department, and helped the department to flourish and grow. I also am grateful and appreciative of all my many colleagues and friends in the School, UMB Campus, UMMC, and UMMS whose partnership, advice, and support has been invaluable."

"I am very optimistic about the future of the UMSOM and FPI under the leadership of Deans Gladwin and Regine, and I know they will lead us to even greater success. Dr. Galvagno is a terrific choice as Interim Chair, and I will do everything I can to ensure his success and that of the department. I also look forward to being active in our mission areas, particularly mentoring, research, teaching, and safety and quality activities."


Department of Anesthesiology
(410) 328-6120 (phone)
(410) 328-5531 (fax)

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