Ripley named dean of DMU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine

Bret Ripley, D.O., FACOFP, FPLI

Angela L. Walker Franklin, Ph.D., president of Des Moines University, announced the appointment of Bret Ripley, D.O., FACOFP, FPLI, as dean of the University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, effective January 1, 2018.

Named chair of Des Moines University’s family and internal medicine department in 2013, he stepped up to become interim dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine after the resignation of Dean J.D. Polk, D.O., in 2015. He did so again this fall after the departure of Dean Gregory Christiansen, D.O.

“Dr. Ripley has a remarkable ability to lead with vision, management skills and compassionate collegiality,” President Franklin says. “Our faculty, staff, students and I have come to greatly value his wisdom and willingness to manage the college while also planning for its future.”

Ripley, who was named a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians in 2013, is a 2001 graduate of A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he completed a fellowship in osteopathic manual medicine. He then completed a dually accredited family practice residency at United Health Services in Johnson City, NY. After three years in rural practice in Kentucky, he served as osteopathic residency director and osteopathic director of medical education at the Shenandoah Valley Family Practice Residency in Front Royal, VA. In 2011, he added the job of chief academic officer at the Appalachian Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institute in Pikeville, KY, to his already full-time duties.

A former engineer and physicist in the defense industry, Ripley says he’s excited about the high quality of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, its faculty and students as well as about the opportunities to serve as dean.

“To me, leadership is finding the vision of a group and helping it attain that vision,” he says. “Management is the day-to-day operations, the budget and the five-year strategic plan. But defining that plan and getting people to buy into the vision comprise effective leadership. I see serving as dean as a combination of both skill sets.”