About Me

Russell W. Bessette MD

Email – russ@russbessette.com

Experience:

  • Associate Vice-President for Health Affairs & Healthcare Informatics, University of Louisville — 2011 to 2014.
  • Appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to the Kentucky Telehealth Board — 2013 to 2016.
  • Associate Vice-President for Health Sciences & Executive Director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics, University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY) — 2009 to 2011.
  • Immediate Past Research – Development of a Health Information Data Center within the UB Academic Health Center & Center of Excellence recently awarded two HEAL-NY grants ($7 million and $20 million) for “Improving Diabetes and Kidney Outcomes in Patients with Progressive Diabetic Nephropathy by Interoperable Health Information Management in a Patient Centered Medical Home Model.”
  • Board of Directors – New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation – 2009 to 2011. 
  • Appointed by Governor George E. Pataki and unanimously confirmed by the NYS Senate to the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council — 2006 to 2010.
  • Special Advisor to the Vice Provost and Vice President for Health Sciences at State University of New York at Buffalo — 2006 to 2009. 
  • Appointed by Governor George E. Pataki and unanimously confirmed by the NYS Senate as Executive Director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) — 2000 to 2006.
    • Established a new State Agency that has supported over $1.3 billion in peer-reviewed research grants, and together with partnered business stimulated $12.8 billion in university R&D investment and economic development. 
  • Appointed by President George W. Bush as Chairman Outreach Committee – U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Committee (HSSTAC) — 2003 to 2006.
    • Advise the Undersecretary for Homeland Defense in organizing the Nation’s scientific and technology resources to prevent or mitigate the effects of catastrophic terrorism against the United States.
    • Granted Top Secret Security Clearance – 2003. 
  • Appointed by Governor George E. Pataki and unanimously confirmed by the NYS Senate as Chairman – New York State Public Health Council — 1996 to 2000.
    • Directed the Public Health Council as New York State transitioned the certificate of need process during the Health Care Reform Act of 1996 that led to quality measures for health care, negotiated reimbursement, and state-wide hospital mergers. 
    • Chaired key NYS Department of Health reports:
      • Communities Working Together for a Healthier New York – 1996.
      • Confidentiality of Medical Records – 1997.
      • Breaking Down the Barriers to Effective Pain Management – 1998.
      • Guidelines for Office Based Surgery – 1999 and 2007 
  • Executive Director – Buffalo Technology Transfer Center, Sisters Hospital, Buffalo, New York — 1997 to 2000.
    • Established and directed a clinical research facility which matched annual NY State grants of $500,000 with industrial funds to develop new medical products to improve health and to better position the Catholic Health System in the WNY economy. 
    • Co-patented with Hill Rom Inc. a computerized wound dressing for treatment of pressure ulcers. 
    • Organized with Ultra-Scan Inc. the first clinical trials which used a bio-metric identification system to secure hospital records. 
  • Plastic/Reconstructive Surgeon – Buffalo Medical Group — 1982 to 1997. 
    • Private medical group practice focused on surgical management of head and neck cancer and reconstruction. 
    • Served as assistant medical director for Independent Health as it established CPT reimbursement guidelines for plastic surgeons and dermatologists. 
    • Served on quality assurance committees for Independent Health and Community Blue. 
    • Served on Quality Assurance Committee, Buffalo General Hospital – 1989 to 1991. 
    • Chaired Credentials Committee, Buffalo General Hospital – 1989 to 1998. 

Research Experience:

  • Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on numerous NIH and industrial sponsored research grants since 1975. 
  • Clinical Director – Health Care Instrument and Devices Laboratory for SUNY at Buffalo Center of Advanced Technology (CAT) – 1985 to 1989. 
  • Authored 60 plus peer-reviewed medical research articles.
  • Authored 8 textbook chapters in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 
  • 11 U.S. Patents for wound care devices and healthcare informatics

Professional & Academic Appointments:

  • Clinical Professor of Surgery – SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine – 1989 to 2011. 
  • President – Erie County Medical Society – 1996 to 1997. 
  • President – University at Buffalo Medical Alumnae – 1995 to 1996. 
  • President – American Association of Temporomandibular Joint Surgeons – 1997 to 1999. 

Education:

  • B.S. Manhattan College – 1964.
  • D.D.S. with Thesis Honors, SUNY at Buffalo – 1969.
  • M.D. SUNY at Buffalo – 1976.
  • Residency General Surgery, SUNY at Buffalo – 1979.
  • Residency Plastic Surgery, SUNY at Buffalo – 1981.
  • Board Certification Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – 1983.

Honorary Doctoral Degrees and Commencement Addresses:

  • Rochester Institute of Technology – 2000.
  • Columbia University, School of Engineering – 2000.
  • SUNY at Stony Brook, School of Medicine – 2000.
  • Alfred University – Doctor of Science – 2000.
  • Binghamton University – 2003.
  • Clarkson University – Doctor of Science – 2003.
  • Union University, College of Pharmacy – Doctor of Science 2003