MED MOVES: Columbia University names new CEO of medical center, and more

Berkshire Health Systems names successor to retiring chief executive, and VCU Health announces first VP for diversity

Columbia names new medical center CEO

Katrina Armstrong has been appointed chief executive of Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Armstrong has also been named Columbia’s executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine.

She will take the reins of the medical center on March 1.

Armstrong is currently a professor of clinical medicine at Harvard Medical School, professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and chair of the department of medicine and physician-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger announced Armstrong's appointment Dec. 13.

In the announcement, Bollinger said Armstrong’s “two decades of rigorous and innovative research have helped transform our understanding of cancer, genomics, and health care disparities. She has identified ways to improve cancer care using observational data, modeling, and personalized medicine.”

"As a leader in academic medical education and leadership, Dr. Armstrong has prioritized advancements that strengthen patient centered care, promote innovative educational programs, and support advancement for junior faculty," Bollinger said in the announcement.

Armstrong succeeds Dr. Anil Rustgi, who has served as interim CEO for 18 months. He plans to continue his work on cancer at Columbia.

Before moving to Massachusetts, Armstrong was a member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. She joined Massachusetts General and Harvard in 2013.

Berkshire Health names new CEO

Darlene M. Rodowicz has been named president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems in Massachusetts, becoming the system’s first female chief executive.

Rodowicz replaces David E. Phelps, who has been Berkshire’s CEO for 28 years. Phelps recently announced his plans to retire in early 2022.

Rodowicz joined Berkshire in 1984 and has held various leadership roles, including chief financial officer and, most recently, executive vice president. She said she aimed to maintain the high standards set by Phelps and said the chance to build on their success “is a tremendous opportunity.”

“I am grateful that I will be able to partner with our extraordinary team of providers and healthcare professionals, who are the heart and soul of BHS,” Rodowicz said in a statement. “Caring for every person in our community is the reason why we all are here, and, as a Berkshire native, I can’t think of a greater honor.”

Phelps praised Rodowicz as the right person for the job.

“From working side-by-side for years, I know that Darlene is uniquely qualified for this position, and I couldn’t be happier that she will be taking on this new role,” Phelps said in a statement.

VCU names first VP for diversity

Marcelle W. Davis has been named the inaugural vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for the VCU Health System in Virginia.

Davis joined VCU in 2020 and has served as the system’s first director of diversity, equity and inclusion. On Dec. 14, VCU announced Davis’ elevated role in the system.

“I am honored to continue to serve VCU Health team members and patients and am often asked why I chose this work,” Davis said in a statement. “My answer is simple — I don’t want my daughter to be treated the same way I was throughout my career.

“I want her to walk into a room with the beautiful brown color of her skin and be valued, respected and allowed to lead with the brilliance that she can,” she said. “It is because of her and others like her that I intentionally seek equity in places and spaces where it didn’t exist before.”

Before joining VCU, Davis led diversity efforts at Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm based in McLean, Va. She previously held leadership posts at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., Ryder System Inc. and Holland & Knight, a law firm.

Art Kellermann, senior vice president for health sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University and CEO of VCU Health System, said Davis will help make the system a better place to work.

“Through Dr. Davis’ vision and direction, we will continue to transform our workplace diversity and inclusion programs and by doing so, enhance our recruitment and retention of talented team members from diverse and underrepresented groups,” Kellermann said in a statement.

University of Colorado names hospital CEO

Tom Gronow has been named president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital on the Anschultz Medical Campus.

Gronow, 41, has been serving as interim CEO since August 2021. He became the hospital’s chief operating officer in 2014. His appointment as CEO was announced Dec. 14.

In a statement, UCHealth President and CEO Elizabeth Concordia said she expects Gronow will lead the hospital “with a focus on providing excellent patient care, delivering the best possible experience for our patients, and driving the future of medicine through clinical trials and highly specialized treatments.”

The University of Colorado Hospital has been named Colorado’s top hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Gronow will focus on training healthcare workers and the completion of a hospital tower under construction.

Gronow said he was honored to be named chief executive.

“Hospitals and health care workers have been under immense strain during the pandemic, and I will ensure that supporting the well-being of our staff members as they provide excellent care for our patients continues to be one of our top priorities,” Gronow said in a statement.

Before joining UCHealth, Gronow served as vice president of operations at UPMC Mercy Hospital and was its executive director of emergency, trauma and burn services.

Lehigh Valley children’s hospital names first president

Anne Baum has been named the first president of Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The hospital is part of the Lehigh Valley Health Network. Baum will assume the role Jan. 3, 2022.

Baum comes to the hospital from Capital Blue Cross, where she was president of the Lehigh Valley market and vice president, producer and labor relations.

“The reputation of Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital is phenomenal, and having the chance to make a positive difference in the health and well-being of our community’s children is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Baum said.

Previously, Baum served as director of managed care services for Premier Inc., executive director of Eastern Pennsylvania Health Network, and vice president of managed care at St. Luke’s University Health Network.

“Anne’s health care, business and leadership experience – coupled with her passion for this community and its people – make her a natural choice to lead the growth of Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital,” Brian A. Nester, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Health Network, said in a statement.