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As dean of Harvard Medical School from 1965 to 1977, Robert H. Ebert created the Division of Health Sciences and Technology, a combined M.D.-Ph.D. program run collaboratively by MIT and HMS.
In 1969, in the face of opposition from many of his colleagues, Ebert founded Harvard Community Health Plan, the nation’s first academic health maintenance organization.
After earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in 1936, Ebert earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1942. Ebert taught at the University of Chicago and in 1964, he was recruited to Boston to serve as Chief of Medical Services at Massachusetts General Hospital. A year later, he was selected to lead Harvard Medical School. His leadership skills guided the school through a turbulent time. He joined medical students in peace rallies protesting the Vietnam War. Yet, at the same time, courted industry-sponsored research, even though this drew opposition from students and colleagues.
Derek Bok, president of Harvard from 1971 to 1991, hailed him for his human qualities: “He was simply one of the most humane, honorable, kind and unpretentious colleagues that I encountered during a quarter century in academic administration.”
—From In Memorium, Harvard Medical School
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