The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is set to get more than a new cancer hospital — it’s also getting a new CEO. Meanwhile, it’s still unclear when a senior administrator’s role is set to be filled after he moved into a new position within the medical center.
Dr. Sheldon Retchin of Virginia Commonwealth University is slated to serve as executive vice president of health sciences and CEO of the Wexner Medical Center, OSU announced in a Monday email from President Michael Drake.
He will start March 2, pending approval from the OSU Board of Trustees, the letter said.
Dr. Steven Gabbe has held the position since 2008, but announced in February that he will step down. Gabbe is set to return to a faculty position, Drake’s letter said.
Retchin’s base salary is set to be $1.1 million, a separate Monday release from OSU said. Gabbe made a base salary of $861,492 last year in the same role.
Gabbe came to OSU in 1987 as a professor and chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, but left in 1996 to become chair of OB-GYN at the University of Washington Medical Center and later dean at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine, according to the Medical Center website.
Retchin has been the senior vice president for health sciences at VCU and CEO of the VCU Health System since 2003. He is also a professor in the departments of internal medicine, gerontology and health administration.
Retchin’s main duties at OSU will consist of managing an “ambitious agenda to sustain and further advance the Wexner Medical Center’s reputation for excellence,” the release said.
Meanwhile, Geoff Chatas, OSU chief financial officer and senior vice president of business and finance, moved into the role of senior vice president for optimization and integration and Medical Center chief transformation officer, March 1.
He will remain CFO until a successor is chosen — something OSU spokesman Gary Lewis said hadn’t happened as of Monday. Lewis wasn’t immediately able to provide any additional details about the search process or when a successor is expected to be chosen.
Chatas’ position at the medical center is a new one at the university, former Interim President Joseph Alutto said in a Feb. 18 email. In that role, Chatas looks to increase operating efficiency as he pursues new sources of revenue.
Chatas made a base salary of $683,153 in 2013. The Lantern reported in February that there was not to be a change in Chatas’ salary in his new position.
“Geoff will act as an internal catalyst for growth at the Medical Center,” Alutto said. “In his new capacity, Geoff will continue to report directly to me, leading a team that will work with Steve Gabbe and his successor to accomplish our objectives, across the Medical Center.”
There was an extensive search to fill Gabbe’s role, Drake said at a Tuesday press conference.
“I will say that we had an intense competition. We looked at well over 150 candidates at the beginning, narrowed that down to about a dozen of the preeminent leaders in this field in the country, narrowed that further down to six and then worked that down to the very best people,” Drake said.
Retchin said OSU’s hospitality has been overwhelming and he can’t wait to get started.
“For my family, the opportunity to join the Ohio State University was just an enormous privilege and honor. We are very excited,” Retchin said at the press conference.
Leslie Wexner, chairman of the Wexner Medical Center Board, said in the release that Retchin is the right person for the job during this expansive time for the hospital.
“With a broad understanding of national health policy and future challenges to academic health sciences, he is exactly the right leader to lead a transformational agenda to drive meaningful financial and operational efficiencies while steering us through a time of great change both on campus and within the national health care environment,” Wexner said in the release.
The medical center is currently in the midst of a $1.1 billion renovation plan.
Amanda Etchison contributed to this story.