Good morning. I am writing to share information about WVU Medicine’s senior leadership team and appointments that I have made to that team that are meant to help further integrate our health system and position it for long-term success. These appointments are also indicative of our continued growth -- WVU Medicine today includes seven hospitals with 1,450 licensed beds, 11,000 employees, 900 active medical staff, and 18 related organizations -- and our desire to ensure we have a highly cohesive and nimble senior leadership team that will be ready to respond effectively to the many current and future challenges in healthcare.

First, in addition to his role as President and CEO of WVU Hospitals, I have asked Albert Wright to serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of WVU Medicine. In this new position and role, Albert will have oversight of all our hospital operations across West Virginia. Albert has been with us for over a year having served in a variety of senior-level positions, including vice president for operations at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside. As he did in Pittsburgh, Albert has distinguished himself as a highly capable and impactful leader who has a deep understanding of clinical operations and how best to improve their quality and efficiency. As our COO, he will have a critical role in shaping our overall growth strategy for the health system and will be the lead executive charged with building a highly integrated network of hospitals and affiliated providers.

Dan Martich, MD, who is our System’s Chief Medical Officer, will now serve as the President of WVU Medicine Community Physicians, our new physician division. He will oversee the integration of physician activities across West Virginia to further enhance evidence-based medicine and standards-based practice. He will also lead our quality and tele-health initiatives. Dan is a 1985 graduate of the WVU School of Medicine and completed postgraduate training at The Ohio State University and the National Institutes of Health. He holds board certifications in internal medicine, critical care medicine, and medical informatics, and has held a series of teaching and administrative posts with increasing responsibility. Dan will work closely with John Forester, who will serve as senior vice president and COO of the physician division. John currently leads United Physician Care (UPC), a WVU Medicine organization that will be rebranded as WVU Medicine Community Physicians.

Dottie Oakes, who has been the Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) at Ruby Memorial Hospital and Chestnut Ridge Center for 12 years, is also moving into a new role -- one that will have an even greater impact on the nursing care WVU Medicine provides across the state. Dottie will assume system-wide responsibilities as CNO. She will work with all WVU Medicine hospitals and clinics to ensure we are providing the highest quality of care, maximizing the use of evidence-based practice, sharing resources, and upholding the same nursing standards. Dottie led Ruby Memorial Hospital to obtain and maintain its prestigious Magnet designation since 2005. She will bring that expertise to her new role as she builds a network of nurses focused on collaboration, excellence, and innovation. Dottie has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a master’s degree in administration from Duke University.

Finally, I am elevating the position of Vice President and General Counsel to that of Senior Vice President. Bob O’Neil, who now serves as our chief legal officer and general counsel, has done an exceptional job leading a team of talented attorneys and legal professionals, as well as helping us navigate a variety of complex legal issues as we continue to expand our services to meet the healthcare needs of West Virginia. This change reflects those contributions and the importance they have had to WVU Medicine.

Please join me in thanking these individuals for taking on these new roles in WVU Medicine. This is a very exciting time for our health system, and I will continue to share information with you about where we are headed and how we are going to get there. Thank you for your great work and have a great week.