Alice L. Walton School of Medicine Welcomes New Staff

On Aug 18, Alice L. Walton School of Medicine announced four new appointments, including Lisako McKyer, PhD, MPH, FAAHB; Yerko Berrocal, MD, MHPE; Kevin Kunkler, MD; and Jasmin Bland, MBA. 

McKyer has joined the school as Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In this role, she will oversee appointments and promotions for faculty and other instruction-related positions. McKyer will also ensure that the school meets DEI recruitment and retention goals and leads initiatives that advance the institution and its faculty. 

Lisako McKyer

McKyer previously served as the Inaugural Senior Associate Dean of Climate and Diversity at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, where she worked on the school’s executive leadership team. McKyer was the first Black woman to earn a Phd in Health Behavior from Indiana University School of Public Health and the first Black president of the American Academy of Health Behavior, and was named one of 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America by Cell Mentor.

Berrocal will serve as Assistant Dean of Foundational Sciences. He will provide leadership for the Foundational Science faculty and work closely with the Vice Dean of Education to advance strategic education goals. 

Yerko Berrocal

Prior to this position, Chilean born Berrocal was a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria (UICOMP) and Assistant Professor at Herbert Wetheim College of Medicine. He also developed cellular transplantation strategies for human central and peripheral nervous systems injuries at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Kunkler will serve as the Senior Director of Educational Technology, leading educational simulation and standardized patient programs, supporting educational technology use within the curriculum, ensure the school meets educational technology requirements, and instruct as a professor.

Kevin Kunkler

Prior to this appointment, Kunkler was a Professor of Medical Education and founding member of and Executive Director of Simulation Education, Innovation, and Research at Texas Christian University School of Medicine in Fort Worth. 

Bland will join as Director of Curriculum Management, where she will ensure that the medical school provides a high-quality and coordinated academic experience for all learners. 

Jasmin Bland

Earlier, Bland was at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia for 20 years, where she served as Admissions Counselor, Educational Specialist, and most recently Curriculum Managerm and was recognized as an Outstanding Contribution Member to the Class of 2020.

“We are honored to welcome this group of visionary leaders who bring a breadth of health and academic experiences and a shared goal to reimagine medical education,” said Walter Harris, Chief Operating Officer. 

The appointments bring nationally-recognized leaders in the academic and medical fields to the school, which is currently seeking programmatic and institutional accreditation. A national search for the Dean of the School of Medicine is currently underway. 

Harris adds, “over the next couple years, we hope to hire around 100 new positions including a Dean and other faculty and support staff, building on a dynamic leadership team who will help shape the future of health care in this region and beyond.”

Construction of the 154,000 square-foot medical education building will begin in spring 2023 on the campus of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville with the goal of completing in time to welcome the first students in fall 2025. The school is seeking certification in Arkansas and programmatic and institutional accreditation and intends to file its request for applicant status with Liaison Committee Medical Education in August 2022.  

Founded in 2021 by philanthropist Alice Walton, the School of Medicine (formerly named Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences) will offer a four-year, medical degree-granting program that balances traditional medicine with whole-patient principles and modeling self-care  practices among its future physicians. 

More information about the school is available online.



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