Past Deans

Robert E. Wright, MD

Interim Dean & President
June 2012 – September 2012

Robert E. Wright, MD

Robert E. Wright, MD

Robert E. Wright, MD, served as interim president and dean from June – September 2012 until Steven J. Scheinman, MD, was named as Geisinger Commonwealth’s permanent president and dean.

Dr. Wright brought outstanding leadership credentials to Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. He founded The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, formerly known as The Scranton Temple Residency Program, in internal medicine in 1977. He was President and Designated Institutional Official of the program for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education until his retirement on June 29, 2012.

Dr. Wright played a vital role in the development of Geisinger Commonwealth and garnered community support and understanding in its early inception. He was founding chair of The Medical Education Development Consortium and of its successor organization, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Dr. Wright currently serves on the Geisinger Commonwealth Board of Trustees.

Dr. Wright has also served on the Council of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine and started the Primary Care Institute at Temple in 1991. He was chairman of medicine at Mercy Hospital from 1983 to 2004 and served on the National Council of Program Directors in Internal Medicine from 1985 to 1991 and on the Residency Review Committee for Internal Medicine of the Accreditation Committee for Graduate Medical Education from 1996 to 2001.

Dr. Wright is a graduate of the Temple School of Medicine and completed his residency at Temple and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a professor of internal medicine and is a clinical faculty member at Geisinger Commonwealth.

Dr. Wright succeeded interim president and dean Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, and was succeeded by Steven J. Scheinman, MD, current president and dean.


Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA

Interim Dean & President
May 2011 – June 2012

Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA

Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA

Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, served as interim president and dean, chief executive officer and chief academic officer of the College with responsibility for institutional direction and overall leadership of the College.

Dr. Nora is President Emeritus and Dean of Medicine Emeritus and also held the rank of professor in both internal medicine (neurology) and behavioral and community health sciences at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), formerly known as Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM).

Prior to serving as president and dean of NEOMED, she served as associate dean of academic affairs and administration and professor of neurology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She also served as assistant dean and assistant professor of neurology at Rush Medical School in Chicago.

A board certified neurologist, Dr. Nora is fellowship trained in electromyography and neuromuscular disease and holds certificates in clinical medical ethics and medical management. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and served as the latter organization’s president.

Her scholarly work is focused on issues in medical education and issues where law and medicine intersect. She has presented at both national and international conferences and has been published in many peer review publications.

Dr. Nora received a medical degree from Rush Medical College, a law degree from University of Chicago and an MBA from University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics.

She is the recipient of multiple honors including Kellogg National Leadership Program, Group 10; American Council on Education Fellowship; American Association of University Women Research Scholar-in-Residence award; American Medical Women’s Association President’s Recognition award; and an honorary doctorate from Youngstown State University.

Dr. Nora served as interim president and dean from May 2011 to June 2012 and began a national search for Geisinger Commonwealth’s permanent president and dean. She succeeded Robert D’Alessandri, MD, who served as founding president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth, and was succeeded by interim dean and president Robert Wright, MD.


Robert M. D’Alessandri, MD

Founding Dean & President
2007 – May 2011

Robert D'Alessandri

Robert M. D’Alessandri, MD

Robert M. D’Alessandri, MD, joined Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in 2007 as founding president and dean and welcomed the charter class in August 2009. His accomplishments include setting College priorities and institutional direction and recruiting faculty, staff and students. The Dean was vital in initiating the research agenda and creating an innovative, community-driven, evidence-based curriculum to educate the next generation of physicians.

During his tenure he recruited two competitive classes of medical students with a third on its way. True to the College’s mission and vision, 70% of students are from Pennsylvania and half of them are from northeast and central Pennsylvania. Currently, nearly 170 medical and masters students are learning in northeast and central Pennsylvania and volunteer with many community agencies to improve the health of residents in our region.

In addition, Dr. D’Alessandri engaged the support of more than 780 volunteer clinical faculty members who help train medical students in their offices throughout three regional campuses in our 16-county region. Under his direction, the state-of-the-art Medical Sciences Building in Scranton was built.

Before joining Geisinger Commonwealth, Dr. D’Alessandri spent more than eighteen years in senior leadership positions at West Virginia University, including almost fifteen years as dean of the WVU School of Medicine. He was instrumental in expanding health professions programs at WVU and establishing programs in occupational medicine and public health. Dr. D’Alessandri is a specialist in infectious diseases and general medicine.

Dr. D’Alessandri served as founding president and dean through April 2011 and was succeeded by interim president and dean Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, from May 2011 to June 2012.