Hometown: Hazel Park, Michigan
Job: Associate Dean and Director, and Professor of Clinical Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville (IUSM-E)
Resume: Bachelor’s degree in biology with a focus on bio-chemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; medical doctorate, Washington University, St. Louis; and residency in radiology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Becker has worked in radiology at Welborn Hospital, Welborn Clinic, founded a new radiology group with St. Mary’s Hospital, worked part-time at St. Mary’s Warrick County Hospital, taught on a volunteer basis at IUSM-E, and worked at Methodist Hospital, Henderson, Kentucky. He became director of IUSM-E in 2011.
Family: Wife Carol, four children, and six grandchildren
In 2011, Dr. Steven Becker was very involved in the regional medical community. While working part-time at St. Mary’s Warrick County Hospital and Methodist Hospital, Henderson, Kentucky, and volunteering at the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville campus, he was approached by the dean of the school at the time, Craig Brater, to take over leadership of the medical school.
“I agreed to do it at a two-year interim period, until they could find a permanent replacement. Now I’m in the middle of this transformative project here at the med school,” says Becker. “I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I believe I’m where I’m supposed to be.”
When Becker took on the leadership role at IUSM-E in 2011, he announced plans to pursue construction of a health science education and research center. Progress on funding and breaking ground on the Evansville Multi-Institutional Academic Health Science Education and Research Campus moved forward in 2015.
As work on the new facility at Walnut and S.E. Sixth streets in Downtown is underway, Becker strives to continue his work furthering medical education in the Tri-State and suspects he will be doing so for quite some time.
What drew you to the medical field?
I think the reason I was drawn was that my mom had multiple sclerosis from the time I was a young child. Really, she raised us by herself. So as a young child, I saw all her healthcare issues and needs, was with her all the time when she was being seen by doctors. I think that exposed me to it.
And I always wanted to do something special with my life. To me this was possibly the most special thing you could do, to help take care of people. I feel the same way right now, in that I get to help young professionals become physicians and mentor them and encourage them.
What do you enjoy most about radiology?
I think the challenge to have to know a lot about almost all areas of medicine, because you basically have to deal with all specialists and general physicians. So you have to know some baseline knowledge about all the different areas of medicine. I like the diagnostic challenge. You are like a detective. And really you help other physicians help take care of their patients.
What do you hope the future will bring with the new medical campus?
I’m hopeful over the next year or two we’ll see additional new programs and organizations brought on to the medical campus. In communities that have done projects like this, usually within seven to 10 years, whatever you invested initially should be doubled. We would expect within the next five to 10 years for there to be additional growth in medically related fields in the region because of what we’re doing.
And of course, the bottom line is we develop a world-class group of professionals who can take care of our population. The two most important factors businesses look at to come to a community are what are your healthcare resources and cost of healthcare, and what are your educational resources. I think what we are doing addresses both of those issues. It’s not just a health-related issue for our region, it’s an economic development/jobs type of issue, which also feeds into the health of our community.
For more information on the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville, visit evansville.medicine.iu.edu.