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2021 Theresa Maxis Award recipient

Dr. Burns served as the ninth President of Marygrove College. Prior to her appointment as President, she served as Interim Provost at Marygrove. She retired in July 2015 as Associate Dean for Faculty and Clinical Affairs and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education/DIO at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  From 2008 to 2012, she served as President and CEO of the Michigan State University Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies, which merged into the WMU Stryker School of Medicine in 2012.

Dr. Burns graduated magna cum laude from Marygrove College, earned a medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School, interned at Henry Ford Hospital and completed a family practice residency at Harrisburg Hospital in Pennsylvania. Her MA is in Health Professions Education from the University of Iowa. She has held leadership positions in three family medicine departments as program director at University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, professor and head of the Department of Family Medicine at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She also founded and directed the UND National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health Region VIII Demonstration Project.

Dr. Burns has served on numerous national and community boards. She served as President of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and has been Trustee and President of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Foundation. Her community work includes service on the United Way Board of Directors in Grand Forks, North Dakota and in Kalamazoo. She also served on the Board for Friendship Village Kalamazoo, completing her Board term as President in 2016.  She was a member of the Accreditation Review Commission for the Education of Physician Assistants, Inc., the national accrediting body for PA Programs. She was on the Marygrove College Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2015. She currently serves on the Board of The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, the Marygrove Conservancy Board and the Marygrove Nonprofit Housing Corporations Board, both in Detroit.