Zubialde Named Executive Dean of OU College of Medicine

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OKLAHOMA CITY – John P. Zubialde, M.D., a family medicine physician and longtime academic medicine leader, has been named executive dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.

The OU Board of Regents approved Zubialde for the position at its May 10 meeting. Zubialde has been serving as interim executive dean since July 2018, providing leadership during a period of transformation for the college and campus.

“Dr. Zubialde is a leader among leaders,” said Jason R. Sanders, M.D., MBA, senior vice president and provost of the OU Health Sciences Center. “He is a proven leader for the OU College of Medicine and is well-respected among colleagues at the OU Health Sciences Center and OU Health.”

Zubialde joined the OU College of Medicine in 1991 and is a professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. He served as program director of the Family Medicine Residency Program from 1994 to 2000, guiding new physicians through the next stage of their training. Zubialde was next promoted to associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, during which time he oversaw all residency programs for the OU College of Medicine. In 2015, he was promoted to senior associate dean and, for nearly a year, has been serving as interim executive dean.

Zubialde has received multiple grants, authored numerous publications and has conducted presentations at national and international meetings on topics ranging from medical education to health systems planning to leadership development. For his work in helping pioneer fundamental principles for the care of patients with chronic illness, he was appointed adjunct professor at Dartmouth Medical School. He is a member of the OU College of Medicine Academy of Teaching Scholars and received the group’s M. Dewayne Andrews Excellence in Teaching Award.

Zubialde is active in state and community service. He serves Oklahoma as a member of the Health Workforce Subcommittee of the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development. He has served nationally on a number of humanitarian organizations, and at the local level has been a 25-year volunteer at the Good Shepherd Clinic, a program that serves the city’s underserved patient population. For his longtime commitment to humanitarian service, in 2008, he was presented with the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.

He is a member of national and state professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians and the Oklahoma State Medical Association. His professional interests focus on educational program development, leadership development, care for the chronically ill adult, and health care administration and policy.

Zubialde completed both his medical degree and residency in family medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. After residency he served in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of major and serving as chief of Family Medicine Services at the U.S. Air Force Clinic and Hospital at Tinker Air Force Base. He received the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.

Zubialde will lead the OU College of Medicine across all of its missions, including training the next generation of physicians, advancing new research and treatments, and guiding the work of OU Physicians, the state’s largest group practice. He will continue to work with leadership and faculty across the College of Medicine, both on the Oklahoma City campus and the regional School of Community Medicine campus in Tulsa. He also looks forward to continuing the College’s long-term partnership in caring for America’s veterans with the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center.

Zubialde also will serve on the board of directors for OU Health Inc. Since February 2018, OU Health has been a locally owned and operated nonprofit health system, marking a closer working relationship between the OU Health Sciences Center and the clinical enterprise.

“John Zubialde is a proven, trusted and dedicated physician leader. I am very excited about his appointment to this role and know that he is the perfect choice during this time of healthcare transformation at OU Health,” said Chuck Spicer, CEO of OU Health.

Zubialde brings a deep understanding of the academic health enterprise, and he will play a key role in the ongoing growth and transformation of Oklahoma’s comprehensive academic health system, said Spicer.

About the appointment, Dean Zubialde said, “I am truly honored to have this opportunity to lead such an outstanding group of faculty and staff in our missions because Oklahomans deserve the best in healthcare. OU Health is committed to helping the people of Oklahoma have exactly that. We can achieve this through the efforts of our dedicated care providers, educators that are training the next generation of providers, and our researchers who are discovering innovations that advance both healthcare and medical education.”



OU Health — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.


Founded in 1910, the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine trains the next generation of healthcare professionals. With campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the College of Medicine offers the state’s only Doctor of Medicine degree program and a nationally competitive Physician Assistant program. For more information, visit oumedicine.com/collegeofmedicine.