JUST IN: Thomas Owens becomes new Duke University Hospital president

Three days after Duke University Hospital announced the departure of President Kevin Sowers, M.S.N. ‘89, it has a replacement.

Thomas Owens, vice president for medical affairs and chief medical officer for Duke University Health System, will become president of DUH on Jan. 1, 2018. The announcement was made by A. Eugene Washington, chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of Duke University Health System, in an email to the Duke Health community Thursday afternoon.

“Based on Dr. Owens’ outstanding performance over the past many years and consultation with Duke Health leadership, he was our clear choice for this role,” Washington wrote. “Our recommendation that he be appointed DUH president was subsequently enthusiastically endorsed by Duke University Health System Board of Directors leadership.”

Owens, who completed a medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1995, has been involved with Duke since that year. He completed his internship and residency in 1999, and his fellowship in 2000. He held appointments in the medicine and pediatrics departments beginning in 2001.

In 2012, Owens was selected as chief medical officer for DUHS. The following year, he spearheaded a program to redesign the patient care delivery system.

In addition to his new role, Washington noted that Owens will retain his position as senior vice president for DUHS.

“Under Dr. Owens’ leadership, Duke Primary Care has become the leading primary care network in the greater Triangle area while consistently exceeding quality, growth and financial targets,” Washington wrote.

As DUH president, Owens will be responsible for the administration and operations of a 957-bed academic teaching hospital, as well as developing a strategic plan in conjunction with Duke Medicine physicians.

Outgoing President Sowers will become president of the Johns Hopkins Health System Feb. 1, 2018.


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