Li-Wu Chen Photo

The MU School of Health Professions is pleased to announce Li-Wu Chen, MHSA, PhD, as the new chair of the Department of Health Sciences, effective Aug. 1.

Dr. Chen most recently served as professor and director of the Center for Health Policy Analysis and Rural Health Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health.

“Dr. Chen brings a wealth of experience and success in health policy and in leadership,” said Kris Hagglund, dean of the MU School of Health Professions. “He is internationally known for his work in health care quality, rural health care delivery, and health management. Dr. Chen is well-prepared to guide the Department of Health Sciences to further achievements in teaching, scholarship, international collaboration and inclusive excellence.”

Chen notes it is critical in the post-pandemic era that the department develop a forward-looking vision, and implement strategic planning and actions based on that vision.

“The Department of Health Sciences has great potential to help Mizzou and the communities that it serves better address the evolving challenges in population and global health,” Chen said. “I am looking forward to working closely with the outstanding faculty, staff, and students to reshape the department’s identity, strengthen its capacity and enhance its national reputation and visibility.”

Chen earned his PhD in health policy and administration from Pennsylvania State University, and his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan. “Both universities are located in a college town like Columbia,” Chen said. “What attracts me to Mizzou is the combination of the vibrancy of Columbia’s college-town environment, the great traditions and diverse cultures of Mizzou, and the excellent talents and people within the School of Health Professions.”

Chen is also an immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen. “I am originally from Taiwan, which is a beautiful island with great people and rich culture,” Chen said. “After completing my undergraduate education at National Taiwan University, I came to the U.S. to pursue my graduate degrees.”

Chen’s 21 years in academia has prepared him for this position. “I believe that great leadership is about inspiring and incentivizing people to maximize their potential and make a significant difference for themselves and for the world.”