Thomas S. Nesbitt, M.D., M.P.H., is the Interim Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. He oversees UC Davis Health System's academic, research and clinical programs, including the School of Medicine, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, the 1,000-member physician practice group, and UC Davis Medical Center, a 619-bed acute-care hospital. With nearly 10,000 employees, more than 850 students, an operating budget of more than $1.7 billion, $200 million in outside research funding and 900,000 outpatient visits each year, UC Davis Health System is a major contributor to the health care and economy of the Sacramento region.
Throughout his career, Nesbitt has focused his scholarship and leadership on improving access to health care and developing the health-care workforce for California, the nation and the world.
Prior to becoming the interim vice chancellor, Nesbitt served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Technologies and Alliances, advancing the UC Davis Health System's excellence in telemedicine. Nesbitt is internationally known and highly regarded as a pioneer in using telecommunications technology to deliver a broad spectrum of health-care services and health professional education in rural areas. He established UC Davis' first telehealth link in 1992, and, today, UC Davis' Center for Health and Technology is recognized as a global leader in using telehealth and distance learning to meet the needs of populations in remote and underserved regions.
At the request of the California governor and the UC Office of the President, Nesbitt led a team that successfully applied for more than $26 million in funding from the Federal Communications Commission to establish the California Telehealth Network, which is linking more than 800 sites in a digital health highway. The undertaking is destined to become one of the most expansive broadband networks in the nation dedicated to health care. Under Nesbitt's leadership, UC Davis has secured nearly $100 million in funding from diverse sources to advance telehealth infrastructure, services, education and research.
Nesbitt has led development of UC Davis' PRIME programs, which prepare physicians to serve in rural and underserved urban areas. A popular teacher and mentor, Nesbitt is active in bringing excellent education to students at the undergraduate and graduate professional levels. He played a significant role in establishing UC Davis' Center for Virtual Care, a training resource for students and working professionals throughout the region, and leads UC Davis' nationally recognized Continuing Medical Education programs.
Together with leaders of the National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, Nesbitt launched the UC Davis' Cancer Care Network, bringing advanced cancer care and the latest clinical research to Northern California's rural communities, as well as a robust telehealth program that brings UC Davis clinical expertise to patients in dozens of hospitals, clinics and even farm-labor camps throughout the state.
His research and creative work has resulted in major success in extramural funding and impactful contributions to science. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 journal articles, abstracts and book chapters on the use of telecommunications technology in health care and education. Nesbitt served as the first Chief Scientist for Health for the Center for Information Research in the Interest of Society on the UC Davis campus, a collaboration with other UC campuses in Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Merced.
Nesbitt has received numerous awards for his innovation and leadership. He received the 2012 Justin Ford Kimball Innovators Award, one of the highest honor given by the American Hospital Association for outstanding contributions to health care, and the 2010 Leadership Award from the American Telemedicine Association for his pioneering work to advance telemedicine. He has many awards from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, including the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Distinguished Alumnus Award and, most recently, the Distinguished Achievement award, presented in 2012.
Professor, Family and Community Medicine
4610 X Street , Suite 3101
Sacramento, CA 95817
M.P.H., University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1988
B.A., UC Davis, Davis, California, 1975
California Academy of Family Physicians
California Telehealth/Telemedicine Coordination Project
Community Partnership for Healthy Children
Faculty Physician Scholar
National Board of Medical Examiners
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Sierra Health Foundation