CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - University of Virginia President Jim Ryan says UVA Medical Center's Chief Executive Officer is leaving for a new job.

Pamela Sutton-Wallace has served as CEO since 2014 and most recently as Acting Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. Sutton-Wallace will be leaving in November to join New York-Presbyterian Hospital as Senior Vice President and Regional Chief Operating Officer.

In a letter to UVA faculty and staff, Ryan says Sutton-Wallace's departure is not related to Monday's Washington Post article about UVA Medical Center's practice of suing patients with unpaid medical bills. On Tuesday, Ryan made a statement about the article.

Dr. Chris Ghaemmaghami will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer for UVA Medical Center. Ryan says UVA is "moving expeditiously" in the recruitment of a new Executive Vice President.


09/10/2019 Letter from President Jim Ryan to UVA Faculty and Staff:

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a difficult couple of days for UVA Health as we've responded to yesterday's Washington Post story about billing and collection practices at the Medical Center.  As I shared in my social media post last night, part of striving to be both a great and a good university is honestly facing problems you encounter and doing what you can to address them.  That is what we are trying to do here and will continue to do when we discover other ways we can improve as an institution.  I am grateful to those of you who are working to revise our billing and collection practices, and to all of you for the work you do each day to provide world-class patient care, teaching, and research.

Today, I write to share with you a change in UVA Health leadership.  Pamela Sutton-Wallace, who has served as the Chief Executive Officer of UVA Medical Center since 2014 and most recently as Acting Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, will be leaving in November to join New York-Presbyterian Hospital as Senior Vice President and Regional Chief Operating Officer.  Given the timing of this announcement, I want to be clear that Pam's departure is in no way related to yesterday's Washington Post story.

Pam has done a remarkable job leading our Health System.  During her time as CEO, Pam established the service line structure, which has provided a collaborative and aligned framework for partnership between the School of Medicine and Medical Center in support of our patients.  The Medical Center has received several accolades under Pam's tenure, including the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade "A" and USNWR #1 Hospital in Virginia for four consecutive years.  Using data as a driving force, she has helped to create a culture of rigorous assessment, relying on sophisticated dashboards to support problem-solving and to monitor performance.  She improved the Medical Center by investing significantly in quality, staffing, facilities, and technology.  Under Pam's leadership, there has been sustained improvement in work culture and engagement.  Lastly, Pam has facilitated several community partnerships, improving local and national engagement with the Medical Center.

Please join me in thanking Pam for her many contributions to UVA Health.  For me, it has been a distinct pleasure working with her, and we wish Pam and her spouse well as they settle in the tri-state area.

Please know that we are well prepared for this transition.  Pam has assured me that she will continue to lead until her departure.  We are also moving expeditiously in the recruitment of our next EVPHA and expect to have made significant progress by the time of Pam's departure.  Dr. Chris Ghaemmaghami, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer for UVA Medical Center.  I am most grateful for Dr. Ghaemmaghami's willingness to serve in this capacity.  Together, Drs. Chhabra, Ghaemmaghami, Dean Wilkes, and Dean Cipriano will continue to work together to lead UVA Health across our mission of clinical care, education, and research.

The strength of our organization is its people who deliver excellent care and service to our patients and team members every day.  Thank you for your continued support as we work to provide the best care for our patients, families, and the communities we serve.

Best,
Jim