R. Edward Howell, vice president and CEO of University of Virginia Medical Center, announced he will retire in July.
A high school teacher and coach before embarking on a 37-year career in health care, Howell, 64, plans to spend time in the classroom and pursuing family and personal interests. During his time as the Medical Center’s vice president and CEO, he has taught in the Department of Public Health Sciences at U.Va. School of Medicine, and will continue teaching there following his retirement.
“It has been my honor to work with thousands of dedicated faculty and staff to provide high-quality care to patients throughout Virginia,” Howell said. “At this stage in my career, I feel it is time to step away from administrative leadership and focus on academic and personal interests. It is an exciting and challenging time in health care, and I am eager to engage with my colleagues in Public Health Sciences to address the nation’s and Commonwealth’s health care needs.”
Since becoming vice president and CEO in February 2002, Howell expanded the Medical Center’s offerings to better meet patient needs and created a network of care throughout Virginia. The Medical Center has added nearly 100 additional inpatient beds; expanded its surgical and procedural capacity; built the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center; built the 40-bed Transitional Care Hospital; built a new clinical laboratory facility; and implemented an electronic medical record system. Scheduled for completion in 2014 is an outpatient facility for U.Va. Children’s Hospital that also includes an expanded outpatient surgery center.
“The new outpatient facility for U.Va. Children’s Hospital has been a priority of mine, and I wanted to see the project through to completion before my retirement,” Howell said.
During his tenure, Howell worked to expand U.Va.’s care throughout Virginia. U.Va. purchased a 49 percent interest in Culpeper Regional Hospital in 2009 and has expanded the availability of specialty care in the Culpeper area. U.Va. also has formed partnerships with Riverside Health System, Mary Washington Healthcare and Winchester Medical Center to provide stereotactic radiosurgery.
University President Teresa A. Sullivan praised Howell’s work to strengthen the Medical Center both clinically and financially. “During an era of significant change in health care, Ed and his team have worked well to prepare the Medical Center and the Health System for the future, in particular through the development of an ambitious clinical strategic direction,” she said.
Howell has provided significant leadership throughout his career in the various areas of academic medicine, including serving as the chair of the Council of Teaching Hospitals, a member of the executive committee of the Association of American Medical Colleges, chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, chair of the University Health System Consortium Board of Directors, co-chair of the Advisory Board for Clinical Research at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the American Hospital Association Long-Range Policy Committee. He currently serves as the secretary/treasurer of the VHHA. In 2010, he was recognized as the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball honoree for the Charlottesville chapter.
The University of Virginia will launch a national search for Howell’s replacement.