Pamela Sutton-Wallace Named CEO of U.Va. Medical Center

Pamela Sutton-Wallace headshot

Pamela Sutton-Wallace, senior vice president for hospital operations at Duke University Hospital, has been named chief executive officer of the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Sutton-Wallace, 44, will begin at U.Va. in July.

“Our goals include providing the best patient care in the safest environment, while optimizing efficiency and effectiveness as an organization,” U.Va. Rector George Keith Martin said. “These goals can only be achieved in concert, and we are thrilled that Pamela Sutton-Wallace is joining us at this critically important time to help us do just that. She is very highly regarded and we are blessed to have her on our team.”

She will succeed R. Edward Howell, who is retiring in June after more than 12 years as the medical center’s CEO. He will continue teaching in the School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences following his retirement.

“Pamela brings a proven track record of operational excellence,” said Patrick D. Hogan, U.Va.’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “She will hit the ground running here, and brings just the right combination of experience and expertise to build on the successes of Ed Howell.”

Dr. Richard P. Shannon, U.Va.’s executive vice president for health affairs, said Sutton-Wallace was at the heart of Duke’s success in recent years, making her an ideal fit for the U.Va. Medical Center.

“Her management experience in Duke’s flagship hospital, coupled with her commitment to the academic mission, were a perfect blend,“ he said. “Academic medical centers are the economic engines of the modern-day health care enterprise, and her experience and success at Duke gives me exceptional confidence that she is the leader for the future of the U.Va. Medical Center.”

Sutton-Wallace said she looks forward to the opportunity to work with Shannon and U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan. “U.Va. has a strong brand and legacy and is known for its excellence,” she said. “My goal is to build upon that legacy by helping U.Va. become one of the top 10 health care organizations in the country, and we’re well-positioned to do that.”

Sutton-Wallace brings to U.Va. more than 20 years of health care experience, including the last 17 years at the Duke University Health System. Beginning in 1997 as a fellow in health administration, she successfully took on several leadership roles at Duke in areas ranging from outpatient clinics to inpatient medical/surgical units to surgical services, leading in September 2011 to her appointment as senior vice president for hospital operations at Duke University Hospital.

Over the past 2½ years, Sutton-Wallace was part of the leadership team that oversaw the installation of a new electronic medical record system at Duke Hospital and the opening of a new inpatient building that also includes 18 operating rooms. In her role as senior vice president, she administered more than 950 inpatient beds along with the emergency department, medical/surgical/critical care, psychiatry, dialysis, lab services, radiology and surgical services.

“Effectively managing a comprehensive health care enterprise in today’s environment has to be among the most difficult of assignments,” Sullivan said. “The University of Virginia is fortunate to have someone of Pamela Sutton-Wallace’s caliber join us.”

Sutton-Wallace’s responsibilities as CEO, Shannon said, will include leading U.Va. Medical Center through unprecedented transformation in the delivery of health care. “She will be a critical adviser to me as we chart U.Va.’s course to expand the Health System’s range and scope,” he said. “She will be a trusted colleague to the deans of the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the U.Va. Physicians Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library as we work together as a unified U.Va. Health System.”

Sutton-Wallace said she looks forward to working with and learning from the entire care team, as well as inspiring discussions about how the U.Va. Medical Center will evolve as health care moves to a population health model, where the focus is on keeping communities healthy instead of treating patients after they become sick.

”The future of health care is about redesigning ourselves to care for an entire community while honoring the individual patient experience,” she added.

Sutton-Wallace is married to Maurice Wallace, an associate professor of English and African and African-American studies at Duke. They have two daughters: 15-year-old Sage and 13-year-old Amaya.

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