Dean, Medical College of Georgia
EVP, Medical Affairs and Integration
Presidential Distinguished Chair, AU
David C Hess MD, a stroke specialist, honored educator and biotech entrepreneur, is the 27th Dean of the Medical College of Georgia and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Integration at Augusta University. Dr. Hess also continues to serve as Presidential Distinguished Chair and Professor in the MCG Department of Neurology. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is tripled Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Vascular Neurology. He completed his Neurology Residency and Vascular Neurology/Stroke Fellowship at MCG and AU Health System.
A prolific physician-scientist whose focus is improving stroke treatment and recovery, Dr. Hess has more than 210 peer-reviewed publications and has been involved in basic, pre-clinical and clinical stroke research. He currently is the Principal Investigator on 3 NIH Awards (2 R01s and an U01) and an NIH COVID-19 supplement award. He served as the clinical principal investigator for the MASTERS clinical trial, a study of bone-marrow derived stem cells known as “Multistem” in acute stroke, the largest stem cell trial for stroke to date. He has served on the National Institutes of Health Neurological Sciences and Disorders-K Study Section that reviews clinical trials within the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke and has chaired NINDS Clinical Trial Special Emphasis Panels.
Dr. Hess helped develop the REACH telestroke network in rural Georgia that now numbers 30 hospitals. REACH enables timely stroke diagnosis and treatment by using the internet to eliminate distance between patients and stroke specialists. He also co-founded and previous chaired the Board of Directors of REACH Health Inc., a telestroke company that spun out of MCG and now also provides similar services for a variety of acute medical problems to patients, physicians and hospitals worldwide. REACH, based in Atlanta, was sold to InTouch and later Teladocs in 2019.
Dr. Hess has a major interest in the area of remote ischemic limb conditioning (RIC) and he and his research team have an NIH- funded initiative to develop RIC as a treatment for acute ischemic stroke and vascular cognitive impairment. He also has an NIH funded trial for a biomarkers substudy of the Danish RESIST trial, a 1500 patient stroke clinical trial. He is on the steering or advisory committee of three international clinical trials of remote conditioning in neurological disease. He serves as the Associate Editor of the journal Conditioning Medicine and is on the Editorial Board of Translational Stroke Research Brain Circulation and Cell Transplantation.
A passionate educator of students, residents and fellows, he has received numerous teaching honors including the MCG Educator of the Year Award and Exemplary Teaching Award multiple times. In 2012 he received MCG’s Outstanding Faculty Member Award and the Distinguished Research Award from the university’s Research Institute. He received the 2001 Humanism in Medicine Award from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey and was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor society. In 2020, he was honored with the MCG Faculty Senate Spirit of MCG award. Dr Hess has been named to America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors in America every year since 2000.