09:43 AM

Wexner Medical Center to Build on Success and Further Strengthen Position

Columbus, Ohio – Following a highly successful decades-long career, Dr. Steve Gabbe has announced he will be stepping down as chief executive officer of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center at the end of December 2014, or sooner if a successor is appointed before that time. Gabbe will continue in his role as senior vice president through June 2015 and then return to the faculty. A search for a new CEO will be announced soon.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Steve,” said Interim President Joseph A. Alutto. “He has been tireless and unwavering in his commitment to making the Wexner Medical Center a national leader in the discovery of health care innovations and delivery of patient care. Although we will greatly miss his leadership talents, I understand Steve's desire to focus the next phase of his professional life on deepening his work to improve the health of our community.”

Among Gabbe’s accomplishments are leading the medical center to its first ranking on the U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll, a top 10 ranking for quality among academic medical centers nationwide and recertification as a Magnet Hospital for nursing excellence. He also has spearheaded the largest physical expansion project in the medical center’s history – a $1.1 billion project, with planned completion later this year, that includes a new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, critical care tower, emergency department, radiation oncology center, outpatient center, integrated research laboratories and classrooms.

“Enhancing the quality of care and extending the reach and impact of this remarkable academic medical center has been deeply rewarding, and I am honored to say that we have accomplished the great majority of what we set out to do when I joined Ohio State," Gabbe said. “Building and working with such a talented and committed team has enabled us to deliver on our mission of improving lives through education, research and patient care."

Additionally, the university announced that Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Geoff Chatas will take on a new role as the university's senior vice president for optimization and integration and medical center chief transformation officer, effective March 1. This position will leverage Chatas’ substantial innovative financial skills and expertise in a new health care environment.

“During the transition, we will use this momentum in moving forward with the strategic planning efforts, begun by Dr. Gabbe, to sustain the medical center’s excellence and trajectory of progress,” Alutto said.

“As the university’s CFO, Geoff has developed creative solutions that are widely recognized as groundbreaking across the higher education and business communities,” Alutto continued. “In his new capacity, Geoff will act as an internal catalyst for growth at the medical center, bringing to bear on this critically important task the same skills he has successfully used to generate new funding streams to fuel the university’s core academic mission and foster greater operating effectiveness.”

Highlights for Chatas and his team include the successful issuance of $500 million of century bonds; asset optimization worth nearly $500 million in the university’s endowment from the agreement with a private company to manage university parking operations; agreements with a variety of businesses, including a 15-year affinity agreement with Huntington Bank; and a new approach to technology commercialization.

“I am honored to be asked to assume these new responsibilities and excited about the opportunity to help accelerate the medical center’s tremendous excellence and growth,” Chatas said. “The medical center’s strategic plan provides a clear blueprint against which we can develop innovative solutions to optimize operating efficiencies, pursue new sources of revenue and establish new partnerships.”

To facilitate the transitions, Alutto has promoted Kristine Devine, currently vice president for business and finance operations, to the position of deputy chief financial officer, effective immediately. Chatas and Devine will work together in the weeks ahead to ensure a seamless transition of day-to-day responsibilities.

Ohio State will launch two different search processes to find outstanding and qualified candidates for CEO of the medical center and CFO of the university, Alutto said. He added that he has reviewed the plans with Dr. Michael Drake, who begins work June 30 as Ohio State’s 15th president. Drake now works as chancellor of the University of California, Irvine.

“The timing of these processes will be such that Dr. Drake will play a major role in determining outcomes,” Alutto said. “These appointments and searches reflect the great importance we place on accelerating the Wexner Medical Center along its strategic path.”

About The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.