Dr. Richard A. Smith Retires from the Board of Directors of the American Institutes for Research

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Richard A. Smith, an internationally recognized physician credited with improving health care delivery systems in the United States and in developing countries, has retired as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Patricia Gurin, chair of the Board of Directors, commended Smith for his “invaluable insights and contributions.”

“Dick Smith’s work is exemplary in everything he does,” said Gurin. “We will always value the numerous contributions he has made to AIR and to his fellow colleagues on the Board of Directors.”

David Myers, President and CEO of AIR, praised Smith and said, “All of us are profoundly grateful to Dick for the passion and caring that he shows both about AIR and about those in need around the world.”

In 1968 Smith developed the first MEDEX program in the United States at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The MEDEX program provides training for physician assistants and nurse practitioners, significantly improving the availability of basic health services. Smith helped other U.S. universities develop similar programs and brought the approach to more than 90 countries around the world. He also has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations World Health Organization.

In the 1960s, Smith was director of the Peace Corps’ Medical Program, managing the agency’s health care operations worldwide. He also served on the staff of the U.S. Surgeon General and was the director of staff operations of the Office of Equal Health Opportunity, which ended racial discrimination in America’s hospitals under the Medicare Program. The black infant mortality rate was dramatically reduced.

While a member of AIR’s Board of Directors, Smith provided guidance that helped contribute to the expansion of AIR’s work in the health field. He also served as a member of the Board’s Human Resources and Compensation Committee.

About AIR
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.


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