MED MOVES: Memorial Sloan Kettering announces new CEO, and more

In other news, Cleveland Clinic names a new cancer center director, Sentara Healthcare chooses a new president, and other leaders take new roles.

Selwyn M. Vickers has been named the next president and chief executive officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

He will succeed Craig B. Thompson, who said earlier this year that he plans to step down. The transition will occur in September 2022, the organization said.

Vickers, 62, is an academic health system leader and a  well-known pancreatic cancer surgeon and researcher.

He joins Memorial Sloan Kettering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he serves as senior vice president for medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine. He is also the CEO of both the UAB Health System and the UAB/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance.

“Dr. Vickers is an extraordinary surgeon-scientist with a proven track record of success in leading complex academic medical centers, building innovative academic and research programs, and strengthening clinical care. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a passion for unlocking treatments and cures for cancer,” said Scott M. Stuart, Chair of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Boards of Trustees and Governing Trustees. “Dr. Vickers is a charismatic and compassionate leader who is uniquely qualified to shepherd this great organization into the future.”

At UAB, Vickers leads a statewide network of hospitals and a $5.8 billion health system that includes the eighth largest hospital in the nation, and a research enterprise of more than $350 million in federal funding, Memorial Sloan Kettering said.

Vickers said he’s “honored” to have the opportunity to lead Memorial Sloan Kettering.

“For 135 years, MSK has set the standard for excellence in caring for patients and finding new treatments and cures for cancer, and it is arguably the world’s preeminent center for the training of the next generation of scientific and physician leaders,” Vickers said in a statement.

“The basic science programs of the Sloan Kettering Institute have led the world in cancer discovery science and translational research, and I am confident that MSK is on the path to tackle one of the world’s greatest threats to life, cancer.”

Cleveland Clinic chooses new cancer center leader

Alex A. Adjei has been named as the new chair of Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute.

Adjei will take the post in July. He succeeds Jame Abraham, M.D., who has served as interim chair of Taussig Cancer Institute since May 2021.

Previously, Adjei served as a consultant in oncology, professor of oncology and professor of pharmacology at Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minn. He also led oncology drug development and lung cancer research and treatment throughout the Mayo Clinic system.

“Cancer is one of the most distressing diseases afflicting humans,” Adjei said in a statement. “Thankfully, with recent scientific advances, we are making progress toward understanding, preventing and treating all forms of cancers. I’m truly honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with this team of talented professionals and help position Cleveland Clinic at the forefront of cancer care.”

Adjei is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology and the JTO Clinical and Research Reports. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles.

A native of Ghana, Adjei previously held key posts at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. He served as the Katharine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine, senior vice president of clinical research, chairman of the Department of Medicine, and professor of oncology.

Sentara Healthcare hires new CEO

Dennis Matheis has been named the next president and chief executive officer of Sentara Healthcare.

He will succeed Howard Kern as president and CEO and assume the new role Sept. 1. Kern said earlier this year that he plans to retire following more than 40 years of service to the organization.

The health system operates 12 hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina and the Sentara Health Plans division serves over 900,000 members.

Matheis has served as president of Sentara Health Plans and an executive vice president at Sentara Healthcare since 2018. He has spent the past 30 years in leadership roles within the healthcare industry.

Matheis also serves on the executive committee of the Virginia Association of Health Plans, the board of directors of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the board of America's Health Insurance Plans.

He said he’s “humbled and excited” by the chance to lead Sentara.

“The depth of talent and experience of our leaders and team members throughout Sentara is extraordinary,” Matheis said in a statement.

“Witnessing firsthand the sacrifice and dedication exhibited by physicians, nurses and all team members in our hospitals and clinics throughout the pandemic was truly inspiring and I look forward to working more closely with them,” he said. “We will continue our tradition of delivering industry-leading quality outcomes while positioning Sentara for success in a rapidly evolving health care landscape.”

Denver Health names former lt. governor as CEO

Donna Lynne has been chosen to be the next chief executive officer to manage Denver Health.

She will replace Denver Health’s current CEO Robin Wittenstein, who plans to retire from Denver Health at the end of August. The health system serves about one-third of Denver’s population, treating all patients regardless of their ability to pay.

Lynne possesses decades of experience in healthcare leadership roles. Currently, Lynne serves as senior vice president and chief operating officer at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She also directed the university’s COVID-19 response.

From 2016 through 2019, Lynne served as Colorado’s lieutenant governor and led healthcare policy reform efforts.

She also held executive leadership positions at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, including leading strategy and business plans as president of the Colorado Region from 2005-2016.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next CEO for Denver Health,” Lynne said in a statement. “I look forward to returning to Colorado and continuing to build on Denver Health’s deep legacy and safety-net mission in the community. Access to high-quality, local healthcare has never been more important, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to lead Denver Health forward during a pivotal time in healthcare.”

HCA Healthcare Florida hospital gets new leader

Michael Irvin has been promoted to chief executive officer of HCA Florida Trinity Hospital.

He’ll take the post July 5, 2022. HCA Healthcare West Florida announced the move Monday. The 340-bed hospital also operates five campuses in three counties.

Irvin has served as CEO of Palms of Pasadena Hospital since April 2020. He led the hospital through the pandemic and the HCA Florida Healthcare brand launch earlier this year.

Ravi Chari, CEO and president of HCA Healthcare West Florida Division, hailed Irvin’s leadership.

“Mike is a popular leader whose focus on clinical excellence and the patient experience has allowed HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital to begin a $5.6 million expansion of services to the South Pasadena, St. Petersburg and Pinellas County beach communities,” Chari said in a statement.

Irvin’s experience includes serving as CEO at Bayfront Health Spring Hill. He also held other leadership posts, including chief operating officer at Merit Health Wesley in Mississippi; assistant CEO at Medical Center Enterprise in Alabama; and physician practice administrator at Lake Wales Medical Center in Florida.

He is active in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Lee Health System names director of obstetrical services

Alexander Gumiroff was recently named Lee Health System’s medical director of obstetrical services.

Gumiroff served as OBHG’s Site Director and OB/GYN department chair at Healthpark Medical Center in Fort Myers, Fla. Lee Health System is one of Florida’s largest non-profit public health systems.

In his new role, Gumiroff will collaborate in partnership with the nursing director of women’s services and the OB/GYN chairpersons to provide the strategic direction for obstetrical services. His responsibilities will include assisting the health system with clinical outcomes, quality management, integration, and financial and administrative issues.

“I am thankful for OBHG’s support and having a flexible schedule that allows me to combine my passion for providing obstetrical clinical care with the ability to have an impact on a larger scale in my role as a medical director,” Gumiroff said in a statement.