Walmart heir's medical school taps founding dean, CEO

Alice L. Walton Medical School — founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton — has named Sharmila Makhija, MD, its founding dean and CEO. 

Dr. Makhija, a surgeon, most recently served as department chair of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, both based in New York City. Additionally, she was a professor of gynecologic oncology and held the Chella and Moise Safra Endowed Chair. 

The Bentonville, Ark.-based medical school was founded in 2021 and has already tapped seven notable directors to its board, including Ms. Walton; James Young, MD, executive dean of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University; Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of Stanford (Calif.) University School of Medicine; and Cheryl Pegus, MD, executive vice president of health and wellness for Walmart. 

Pending accreditation, the inaugural class will be welcomed in fall 2025. Dr. Makhija's new role is effective in May. 

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