MED MOVES: Tufts School of Medicine names first woman dean, and more

HCA Houston Southeast selects a CEO, Seattle Children's chooses a new chief operating officer, and other leaders take new roles.

After serving in an interim capacity, Helen Boucher has been named the new dean of Tufts University School of Medicine.

She became the first woman to lead the medical school in its 129-year history. An expert in infectious disease, Boucher has spent 20 years at Tufts as a professor, administrator, and researcher.

She had served as the school’s interim dean since last summer, when she was also named chief academic officer for Tufts Medicine.

In an interview with Tufts Now, Boucher said, “I'm thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to continue to grow and evolve the school's culture of excellence, and to ensure that we're developing the health care workforce that our world needs now and in the future.”

Boucher also said she has a passion for health justice and addressing disparities in healthcare.

She is the chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG) Innovations Working Group. She has authored a host of peer-reviewed articles.

HCA Houston Southeast selects a CEO

Yasmene McDaniel has been named chief executive officer of HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast.

McDaniel took the post Oct. 17. She has been serving as interim CEO since June 2022. She joined HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast team in July 2021, first serving as chief operating officer.

McDaniel is the first black hospital CEO appointed to serve in HCA’s Gulf Coast Division, the system said in a news release.

“I always wanted to work in healthcare and am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve experienced to prepare me for this next step in my career,” McDaniel said in a statement.

“I am honored to serve HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast, which has a rich culture of providing compassionate care,” she said. “I look forward to working with our care teams and medical staff to continue the longstanding legacy of providing exceptional care to our community.”

McDaniel has served in several leadership posts during her career. She was previously COO of Corpus Christi Medical Center. She spent three years in the Houston market with HCA Healthcare Physician Services Group.

She also served as chief administrative officer at Sparks Health System in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and helped open a new hospital for the Jackson Health System in Miami, Florida.

Seattle Children’s appoints new COO

Jamie Phillips has been named the senior vice president and chief operating officer of Seattle Children’s.

She began in her new role Oct. 24.

Phillips possesses more than 25 years of experience in healthcare administration, and has spent the past 14 years in leadership roles.

She previously served as chief operating officer and vice president of children’s services at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, California. She also served at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

"Serving this exceptional, well-respected pediatric medical and research center is a true honor,” Phillips said in a statement.

“I look forward to learning from others as well as applying the skills and experiences I have developed throughout my career to serve Seattle Children's in achieving the best for the patients, families and communities we serve."

Dr. Jeff Sperring, CEO, Seattle Children’s, said he is “thrilled to have Jamie join our executive team.”

“We are fortunate to add her deep expertise and experience leading healthcare operations for some of the most respected institutions in the country. Her talent and dedication to improving children’s health will enable us to deliver on our mission of providing more hope, care and cures,” Sperring said in a statement.

French Hospital Medical Center names new CEO

Patrick Caster has been named the new president and chief executive officer of French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The medical center is part of Dignity Health.

Caster will take the post Nov. 28. He brings 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, and is coming back to Dignity Health. He formerly served as chief operating officer at Dignity Health - California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles.

“I’m excited to be relocating to the San Luis Obispo area and continuing the meaningful work of Dignity Health in this new capacity,” Caster said in a statement.

“Ensuring the community continues to have access to world class healthcare by building upon the significant achievements of the French Hospital team, through bold new initiatives, will be a top priority.”

Caster previously served as the president and CEO for Memorial Hospital of Gardena, in Los Angeles, a 172-bed acute care hospital. Prior to serving as CEO, Patrick was the COO at California Hospital from 2017 to 2022.

He was chosen after a nationwide search.

“Patrick’s depth of knowledge in hospital operations, coupled with his experience managing complex expansion projects, made him the top choice for president of French Hospital,” Julie Sprengel, president and CEO of Dignity Health Southern California Division, said in a statement.

Coastal Medical announces a new president

Edward McGookin has been named the president of Coastal Medical, the Lifespan health system announced.

McGookin began serving in the new role Oct. 20. He previously served as chief medical officer of Coastal Medical.

He has spent 24 years with Coastal, and became chief medical officer in 2013. He practiced general pediatrics for more than 15 years at Coastal Medical Waterman Pediatrics.

“Providing patients with access to innovative, high-quality care is what Coastal stands for, and I am humbled to work alongside remarkable colleagues who share the same goal,” McGookin said in a statement. “In this new role, my commitment to enhancing Coastal’s team-based primary care model and Lifespan’s population health strategy will only grow stronger.”

He succeeds Al Kurose, who transitioned to full-time in his role as Lifespan senior vice president for primary care and population health after serving as Coastal president since 2008.

“The future of primary care and population health in Rhode Island is bright under Dr. McGookin’s leadership and vision,” Kurose said in a statement.

HCA Continental division chief retiring

Sylvia Young, president and CEO of HCA Healthcare’s Continental Division, will retire at the end of the year.

She has spent 35 years with the company. HCA Healthcare’s Continental Division includes HealthONE in Denver, Colorado and Wesley Healthcare in Wichita, Kansas.

A search for Young’s replacement is underway, the organization said.

Under Young’s leadership, the Continental Division was named one of the Top 5 Health Systems in the United States by IBM Watson Health. She also developed a number of innovations that have been scaled across HCA Healthcare.

“One of Sylvia’s many strengths is her ability to create a strong culture of collaboration, professionalism and respect,” Jon Foster, President, HCA Healthcare American Group, said in a statement. “This, in turn, has brought about high levels of performance in every organization she’s led. I congratulate Sylvia on her exceptional career and celebrate the many exciting things in store for her in the years ahead.”

Young serves as a member of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees. She’s also held a number of positions on the boards of nonprofit organizations.