Dr. K. Craig Kent has accepted University President Jim Ryan’s offer to become the next Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. Kent will oversee UVA Health and work to improve clinical services in Charlottesville.
In an announcement delivered to UVA Health employees, Ryan attributed Kent’s hiring to his vast experience, including in his present role as the dean of the College of Medicine and vice president for Health Sciences at Ohio State University.
“In October, Dr. Kent was elected to the National Academy of Medicine—one of the highest honors in the field—and he is the chair of the American Board of Surgery,” Ryan wrote. “Before coming to Ohio State, Dr. Kent was chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin. He also served as chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Cornell and Columbia, and started his career teaching at Harvard. All told, Dr. Kent has had 30 years of experience at a number of prestigious academic medical centers and over 20 years of leadership experience in academic medicine. He has also been a funded researcher for more than 25 years—focusing on the molecular mechanisms behind vascular disease that can help researchers develop new treatments.”
Kent will succeed Dr. Richard P. Shannon, who stepped down in March after having served in the position since 2013, and Pamela Sutton-Wallace, who served as interim prior to her resignation in September. Kent expressed excitement in a statement to NBC29.
“I’m incredibly excited and honored to have the opportunity to join one of the nation’s best universities and health systems,” Kent said. “I’m looking forward to working with the tremendous leadership team at the university and UVA Health to continue to grow and enhance patient care, medical education and innovation that benefits the state of Virginia and beyond.”
President of the Ohio State College of Medicine, Dr. Michael Drake, congratulated Kent in a statement provided to Ohio State News.
“Congratulations to our good friend and colleague Craig Kent on his appointment,” Drake said. “He has made lasting contributions here at The Ohio State University, and we are certain he will do the same for UVA. I am sorry to see him go but wish him all the best in this next chapter of his impressive professional life.”
Ryan echoed the praise provided by Kent’s Ohio State colleagues, sharing that his appointee’s impressive reputation precedes him in higher education.
“As part of the search process, we spoke with national leaders in academic medicine, as well as people who have known and worked with Dr. Kent for years,” Ryan wrote. “They described Dr. Kent’s integrity, his ability to generate a sense of trust, his capacity to be both visionary and strategic, his skill at recruiting faculty, and his boundless energy. Some simply described him as the best leader they had ever worked with, while nearly all described him as their hardest working colleague.”
Once Kent relocates to Charlottesville on a full-time basis, Ryan described University plans to host a reception for the UVA Health community. When faculty and staff meet their newest Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Ryan stated that he is “sure” they will agree that Kent “is the right person to lead the Health System.”
Kent will assume his new role on February 1, 2020.