The Commonwealth Medical College - unique in many ways

Janet Townsend, MD named Founding Chair of Family Medicine

Friday, September 26, 2020

Media Contact: Kathryn Delmar
Manger of Marketing Communications
(570) 504-9612 [email protected]

The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) has announced that Janet Townsend, MD was appointed Founding Chair of Family Medicine. As Chair of Family Medicine, Dr. Townsend oversees the Department’s education, research, clinical care and service programs. Additionally, she serves as a member of TCMC’s senior administrative team and will participate in the establishment of the Department including the regional campuses, faculty recruitment and program/curriculum development.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Townsend join our team with her leadership experience in promoting diversity, faculty mentoring and the recruitment of medical students and faculty into academic family medicine at the local, regional and national levels.” stated President and Dean, Robert D’Alessandri, MD.

A family physician and educator with more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Townsend is a leader in mentoring young physicians, and recruiting medical students and residents into academic family medicine. She earned a BA from Tufts University and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School, then completed residency training in Family Practice at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center and at Somerset Medical Center (University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey). Dr. Townsend has dedicated her career to the advancement of family medicine and to promoting diversity in the health workforce, serving in various educational leadership roles in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, including Residency Director, Inpatient Service Director, Vice-Chair, and Director of Faculty Development. She is a Past-President of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and an alumna of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women.

“Dr. Townsend is an exceptional leader with extensive experience mentoring young family physicians, especially women and minorities. As our students move through their educational experience, Dr. Townsend will inspire them to become a new generation of leaders concerned about care for underserved communities.” Paul Katz, MD, Vice-Dean for Faculty and Clinical Affairs commented.

The Commonwealth Medical College is a new medical school that will serve all of northeastern Pennsylvania and expects to accept sixty medical students and thirty Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) students in 2009. The College will have campuses in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport. The Commonwealth Medical College is dedicated to training the next generation of physicians in a community-based model. Focusing on selecting students with a propensity for community service, the school’s unique structure is designed to provide these students with diverse clinical experiences from the very first day of their education. The Commonwealth Medical College has received degree-granting authority from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and completed its applications for accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. For more information, go to

TCMC has been granted degree-granting authority from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. We are in the process of seeking preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee of Medical Education. The Commonwealth Medical Education Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).