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Duke University Health System selects CEO, and more | MED MOVES


The Alice Walton School of Medicine names a founding dean, Vanderbilt University Medical Center names a chief medical officer, and others take new roles.

Craig Albanese has been named chief executive officer of Duke University Health System.

Craig Albanese

Craig Albanese

Albanese joined Duke as executive vice president and chief operating officer on Jan. 17, 2022. In assuming the role as CEO, he will continue to report to A. Eugene Washington, Duke University chancellor for health affairs, and also will report directly to the Duke University Health System Board of Directors.

Prior to joining Duke, he served as group senior vice president and chief medical officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, a $9.2 billion, 10-hospital academic health system.

Last fall, Washington said that he will step down from his role of chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and chief executive officer for the Duke University Health System on June 30, 2023.

In a joint statement, Washington and Duke University President Vincent E. Price said, “Dr. Albanese has demonstrated vigorous and responsive leadership that has enabled Duke’s clinical enterprise to recover and renew in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, working diligently to improve the well-being of our people, and seeking to accelerate expansion of our health system through organic growth and strategic partnerships. His continued leadership will be vital in guiding the next phase of the health system’s work.”

Sharmila Makhija

Sharmila Makhija

Alice Walton’s medical school names first dean

Sharmila Makhija has been named the founding dean and chief executive officer of the Alice L. Walton School of Medicine.

Makhija will take the role beginning in May 2023. She currently serves as department chair of obstetrics and gynecology and professor of gynecologic oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System.

She will lead the medical school founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of the founder of Walmart, the late Sam Walton.

“Her background and commitment to medical education will advance our work in equipping physicians to tackle challenges of the 21st century by focusing on the physical, mental, social, and emotional health of the people and communities we serve,” Walton said in a statement.

The school hopes to welcome its first class of students in 2025. It will be built on the campus of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

“The opportunity to build a medical school from the ground up, with the vision of philanthropist, Alice Walton, is a dream come true,” Makhija said in a statement. “Health care delivery is fractured and in need of transformation so that all Americans can have access to the respectful care they deserve. Training the doctors of the future, within a culture of diversity and inclusivity, is central to that transformation.”

Rick Wright

Rick Wright

Vanderbilt University Medical Center names chief medical officer

Rick W. Wright has been named as Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s new chief medical officer and senior vice president.

Wright succeeds Paul Sternberg Jr., who is retiring on June 30. Wright’s appointment is effective July 1.

He will continue to serve as the Dan Spengler, MD Professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

“I am both honored and excited about the new role I have been asked to take on for VUMC,” Wright said in a statement. “It is a challenge to follow Dr. Sternberg after the many significant contributions he has made to our enterprise through the years. I look forward to the opportunity.”

Wright joined VUMC in 2019 from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where he was the Jerome J. Gilden Distinguished Professor and executive vice chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also head team physician for the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues.

Kimberley Darey

Kimberley Darey

Chicago-area hospital announces new president

Kimberley Darey has been named president of Elmhurst Hospital, one of nine hospitals part of NorthShore University HealthSystem – Edward-Elmhurst Health.

A board-certified physician in obstetrics and gynecology and certified physician executive, Darey takes over for Pamela Dunley, who retired after 25 years at Elmhurst Hospital and 40 years in healthcare.

“We are a patient-centered hospital. We care about everyone coming through the door, whether they’re a patient, visitor or employee,” Darey said in a statement on the hospital’s Facebook page. “That caring spirit is something that I have in myself and I would love to carry on that tradition.”

Darey was previously vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer of Elmhurst Hospital. She has been on the medical staff at Elmhurst Hospital since 2010 and served as medical director of the OB/GYN Department from 2015-21.

Darey was an inaugural member of Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and is a member of EEH’s Health Equity Task Force.

J.T. Barnhart

J.T. Barnhart

Eastern Illinois hospital selects president

J.T. Barnhart has been named president for OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana, Illinois.

He began his new role on February 16. Barnhart replaces Erin Rogers, who has been serving as interim president since September 2022. Rogers will return to her prior position of director of business development at OSF HealthCare.

Barnhart will lead OSF Heart of Mary in aligning with the overall OSF HealthCare strategy. OSF Healthcare operates 15 hospitals throughout Illinois and Michigan.

"I'm excited and humbled at the opportunity to join OSF HealthCare,” Barnhart said in a statement. “I look forward to working in collaboration with the team at OSF Heart of Mary to continue to advance health care services in Champaign County. My family and I are eager to move to Champaign-Urbana and get involved in the community."

Barnhart most recently served as chief executive officer at Tennova Healthcare System in Cleveland, Tennessee. Previously, he was chief executive officer at Dallas Medical Center/Dallas Medical Physician Group.

Janise Whitesell

Janise Whitesell

Southeast Georgia Health names 1st female head of medical staff

Janise Whitesell, has been named the first elected female chief of medical staff in Southeast Georgia Health System’s history.

Whitesell serves on the Camden Campus medical staff and practices at Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Primary Care in St. Marys.

“I want to support our medical staff and administration as we work towards providing the best possible quality care to the patients we serve,” Whitesell said in a statement. “Effective communication between our hospital board and administrative leaders, while addressing the clinical needs of our providers, is a large part of my role.”

When she first began practicing, Whitesell said she encountered skepticism as a female doctor.

“Female physicians are relatable,” she said in a statement. “We spend a lot of time listening in our personal lives, and several male patients have told me they prefer a female provider due to our listening skills. Being women, we are natural multitaskers and consider how an individual’s healthcare can affect all aspects of their life. For example, if a mother needs medication, how will she pay for her child’s soccer uniform?”

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