MED MOVES: RUSH chooses new CEO, Cedars-Sinai hires equity leader, and more

In other moves, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute names a new senior vice president, and Hot Springs Health selects a new chief executive.

Omar Lateef has been selected as the new president and CEO of the Rush University System for Health.

Lateef will assume the new post July 1. Ranga Krishnan, the current CEO of the system, will serve as a senior advisor to the chief executive. Lateef will continue serving as president and CEO of RUSH University Medical Center.

RUSH includes RUSH University Medical Center, RUSH University, RUSH Oak Park Hospital, RUSH Copley Medical Center and RUSH Health.

In a news release, Lateef called it “a pivotal time in the history of the organization.”

“We have great opportunities ahead of us to make positive change happen in our communities, in our patients’ lives and in the way we care for one another,” Lateef said. “But it will not be without challenges. I have no doubt that together as a system, we will continue to set the bar high and overcome those challenges.”

Under Lateef’s leadership, RUSH University Medical Center has earned recognition as one of the country’s top hospitals. The medical center has earned “A” grades from The Leapfrog Group and Newsweek ranked the hospital as the 16th in the country.

Lateef thanked Krishnan for his “extraordinary insights and leadership” and is glad he’s going to continue to serve in an advisory role.

Cedars-Sinai chooses new chief health equity officer

Christina Harris has been named the new vice president and chief health equity officer at Cedars-Sinai.

She’ll lead organization-wide efforts to address gaps in outcomes among minority groups and improve health in the Los Angeles area. She was chosen after a nationwide search.

Harris succeeds Linda Burnes Bolton, senior vice president and Cedars-Sinai's first chief health equity officer. She is retiring after working for more than 50 years at Cedars-Sinai.

Most recently, Harris worked as associate program director in the UCLA Internal Medicine Residency Program. She also worked as associate vice chair of equity, diversity and inclusion for the UCLA Department of Medicine, a position she created.

She began her career as an internist at a Federally Qualified Health Center in New York City that serves the largest public housing community in the country.

Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai president and CEO, called Harris the “ideal leader” for the post.

“Dr. Harris combines a profound personal and professional commitment to health equity with deep experience leading clinical, educational and equity initiatives in academic medicine,” Priselac said in a statement.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute chooses senior VP

Jennifer Willcox has been named senior vice president, general counsel and chief governance officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

She’ll take the new post beginning June 1. She will serve on the institute’s executive leadership team and oversee commercial, litigation, labor and employment, regulatory and intellectual property matters.

Willcox has been working at Yale New Haven Health,, where she served as vice president of legal services for the five-hospital system.

“I am thrilled to join Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and honored I’ve been asked to lead a team of such high-performing and committed lawyers,” Willcox said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Dana-Farber leadership and the Board of Trustees to help achieve the Institute’s vision of ‘a world free of the bear and burden of cancer.’”

Previously, Willcox was a partner in the healthcare department of Pullman & Comley, representing hospitals and other health organizations.

Hot Springs Health hires new CEO

Scott Alwin has been named the new chief executive officer of Hot Springs Health in Wyoming.

He will start on July 1. He will take over for outgoing CEO Margie Molitor, who’s retiring after six years with the hospital. Alwin has been the chief clinical officer for the hospital since late 2021.

Alwin possesses more than 20 years of healthcare and administrative experience.

“My family and I are thrilled to have this opportunity come up at the place that I’ve called home,” Alwin said in a statement. “It’s been a trying time these past couple years with the pandemic, and I couldn’t be happier to set down roots here at Hot Springs Health.

“The staff and even the patients I’ve had the pleasure of working with have all been extremely kind and welcoming.”

Previously, Alwin was the director of service excellence at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and chief ancillary officer at Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance, Nebraska. He was also the rehab director at Kit Carson County Memorial Hospital in Burlington, Colorado.