Health system gets new leader

A. Eugene Washington’s track record includes experience in research, education, and patient care.
February 24, 2015

With an annual operating revenue of $2.6 billion, more than 16,000 employees, and a medical-center campus that includes ninety-eight buildings on 201 acres with more than 9,000 employees, the Duke University Health System is the biggest part of Duke, by far. Beginning April 1, A. Eugene Washington will lead the vast enterprise, when he steps in as chancellor for health affairs and president and CEO of the health system.

Washington will succeed Victor J. Dzau, now president of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He comes to Duke from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was vice chancellor for health sciences, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine, and CEO of the UCLA Health System, as well as a Distinguished Professor of gynecology and health policy, with an endowed chair.

The Houston native has been a leader in assessing medical technologies, translating research into health policy, and shaping healthcare practice. He helped spearhead efforts to change clinical practice and policy guidelines for prenatal genetics, cervical-cancer screening and prevention, and reproduction-related infections. Earlier in his career, as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California at San Francisco, he cofounded a research center that studied medical effectiveness for diverse populations.

A graduate of the medical school at UC-San Francisco, Washington did his undergraduate work at Howard University, completed graduate studies at both the UC-Berkeley and Harvard schools of public health, and did his residency training at Stanford University.

In November, Washington received the David E. Rogers Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for his “major contributions to improving the health and health care of the American people.”

Duke President Richard H. Brodhead, in announcing the appointment, cited Washington’s “track record of outstanding leadership in every aspect of the work of an academic medical center—research, education, and patient care.”