Leadership updates
UC Davis Health - Medical Center

Leadership updates

A sampling of recent major achievements and developments from UC Davis Health and the UC Davis School of Medicine. For more listings and news, please visit our newsroom and follow us on social media.

Murin interim School of Medicine dean through June 2025

Interim School of Medicine Dean Susan Murin, M.D., M.Sc., M.B.A.The term of Interim School of Medicine Dean Susan Murin, M.D., M.Sc., M.B.A., has been extended to June 30, 2025, Vice Chancellor of Human Health Sciences David Lubarsky and UC Davis Provost Mary Croughan announced in September. Murin, a professor and clinician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, was appointed interim dean of the School of Medicine in November 2021. In their announcement, Lubarsky and Croughan cited Murin’s exceptional job overseeing a successful full 8-year LCME accreditation and launching several critical initiatives to achieve efficiency, consistency and equity, as well as year-over-year historic highs in research funding. They also noted her ongoing tenure will strengthen the Office of the Dean in preparation for initiating the search for a permanent dean candidate, which will likely start in the fall of 2024. The firm of Witt Kiefer has been engaged to conduct that search.

Condrin interim medical center chief administrator

Mike Condrin, M.B.A., chief operating officer for UC Davis Health’s Ambulatory CareMike Condrin, M.B.A., chief operating officer for UC Davis Health’s Ambulatory Care, has been appointed interim chief administrator for UC Davis Medical Center and chief operating officer for the UC Davis Health Hospital Division. The appointment comes after former chief administrator/chief operating officer Brad Simmons accepted the positions of president of University of Washington Medicine Hospitals & Clinics and University of Washington’s vice president for medical affairs, where he oversees multiple hospitals and clinics. Condrin has been with UC Davis Health for more than 20 years, leading different parts of health care operations, most recently outpatient services. David Del Pizzo, M.H.A., R.V.T., R.D.M.S., will serve as an interim associate chief operating officer for Ambulatory Services. Executive Director BJ Lagunday, M.H.S., assumes a larger ambulatory role focused on care-at-home expansion.

Aizenberg appointed UC Davis Medical Group executive director

Debbie Aizenberg, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck SurgeryDebbie Aizenberg, M.D., clinical professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, has been appointed to a three-year term as executive director of the UC Davis Medical Group, which represents all organized medical group practices and primary and specialty care faculty physicians. She had served as interim executive director since October 2022, and was unanimously endorsed by the medical group’s executive council. Aizenberg will continue to provide oversight of physician practice operations, and help develop the medical group’s overall vision and strategic direction. She will also continue as associate chief medical officer for ambulatory care, responsible for improving quality, safety, efficiency, and access to UC Davis Health’s ambulatory practices.

Atkinson new UC Davis vice chancellor for research

UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May has named Simon J. Atkinson to be the next vice chancellor for research, effective Nov. 15. Atkinson currently serves as vice chancellor for research at the University of Kansas, a position he’s held since 2019, and his portfolio includes direct oversight of 10 university-level centers and institutes. Prior to KU, Atkinson was vice chancellor for research at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis and associate vice president for research for Indiana University, with systemwide responsibility for innovation and commercialization. Atkinson is internationally recognized for his studies in the prevention and treatment of acute kidney injuries that can be triggered by heart failure, cardiac surgery, toxins and contrast agents used in diagnostic tests. In 2005, he co-founded INphoton, a life sciences company.

New associate chief medical officers

Christian Sandrock, M.D., M.P.H., F.C.C.P.JoAnne Natale, M.D., Ph.D.Vice Chair for Quality and Safety and Division Vice Chief of Internal Medicine Christian Sandrock, M.D., M.P.H., F.C.C.P., was appointed associate chief medical officer for inpatient care at UC Davis Health this spring, while UC Davis Vice Chair of Quality and Safety JoAnne Natale, M.D., Ph.D., was appointed to a new role as associate chief medical officer for children’s health.

Hall is UC Davis Health’s first chief clinical officer

Bruce Hall, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., has been named UC Davis Health’s first chief clinical officer, responsible for oversight of all clinical operations starting in 2024. Hall joins UC Davis from St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare, where he serves as the nonprofit system’s chief medical officer and leads the Clinical Advisory Group for the BJC Center for Clinical Excellence. BJC includes two nationally-recognized academic hospitals, Barnes–Jewish and St. Louis Children’s, affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine.

Hall is a professor of surgery at Washington and also a professor of healthcare management for the Olin Business School. He has led Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s participation as a founding member of the American College of Surgeons’ National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACSNSQIP) since 2001 and was a director in that program for ACS. He has served as an ACS liaison to the NQF, CMS, CDC and Joint Commission, and has been named a Becker’s Healthcare “50 patient safety experts to know” multiple times.

Distinguished homegrown leader appointed neurological surgery chair

Kia Shahlaie, M.D., Ph.D.UC Davis Health professor and neurosurgeon Kia Shahlaie, M.D., Ph.D., an alumnus of the UC Davis School of Medicine, is the new chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, where he had been serving as interim chair since July 2022. He will also continue serving as co-director of the Center for Skull Base Surgery. A Sacramento native, Shahlaie has a longstanding connection with UC Davis, having completed his undergraduate, medical school and residency training all within the same institution. He completed fellowships at UCSF and the Pacific Neuroscience Institute before returning to UC Davis Health as a faculty member in July 2010.

Boxer chief of new geriatric division

Geriatrician and researcher Rebecca Boxer, M.D., M.S.UC Davis Health has combined geriatric-focused specialties into a new Division of Geriatrics, Hospice and Palliative Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine, with geriatrician and researcher Rebecca Boxer, M.D., M.S., named its inaugural chief.

Learn more about the new division and read a Q&A with Rebecca Boxer.

Bewley new ENT chair

Arnaud Bewley, M.D.Arnaud Bewley, M.D., associate professor and UC Davis Health director of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, has been appointed chair of the Department of Otolaryngology after serving as interim chair since June 2021. He is also the director of the UC Davis Head and Neck Fellowship and UC Davis Head and Neck Tumor Board. Bewley’s areas of research include advanced skin cancers and transoral robotic surgery. He received an M.D. from Columbia University and completed his internship and residency training at University of Pennsylvania. He joined the UC Davis School of Medicine faculty in 2013 after completing his fellowship at Medical University of South Carolina.

Sarin new chief of expanded colorectal surgery team

Ankit Sarin, M.D., M.H.A.Ankit Sarin, M.D., M.H.A., has been appointed chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery at UC Davis Health. He also serves as vice chair of robotics and new technologies, and associate professor within the Department of Surgery. Sarin comes from UCSF, where he served as clinic director of colorectal surgery and director of robotic surgery. He was drawn to UC Davis by the opportunity to help build the Division of Colorectal Surgery from the ground up; the five-surgeon team he leads offers the complete spectrum of care, such as laparoscopy, robotic surgery, advanced transanal techniques, Sacral nerve stimulator, high-resolution anoscopy and advanced endoscopy. UC Davis is also accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer.

Lyles new director of Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Courtney Lyles, Ph.D.Courtney Lyles, Ph.D., is the new director of the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR), and also joins the Department of Public Health Sciences faculty. Lyles was on faculty at UCSF’s Division of General Internal Medicine, Center for Vulnerable Populations, and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She served as a co-director of the Innovation in Research and Informatics core for the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Population Health Data Initiative at UCSF.

Meyers transitions to emeritus faculty

Frederick J. Meyers, M.D., M.A.C.P.Frederick J. Meyers, M.D., M.A.C.P., distinguished professor of Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology, transitioned to emeritus status in July after 47 years of leadership and service. Meyers came to UC Davis Health in 1976, where he completed residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in hematology and oncology. He was part of the team that achieved National Cancer Institute comprehensive designation, and has served as chief of hematology and oncology, chair of internal medicine, and vice dean of the School of Medicine. He helped establish one of the first palliative care centers in the country at UC Davis Health, and has been a leader in simultaneous care research. Meyers will retain his appointment at the Center for Precision Medicine and Data Sciences as co-director with Colleen Clancy, continue to direct the Academic Research Careers for Medical Doctors (ARC-MD) program, and serve as associate director for education and training for the cancer center.

White House alum is first chief AI advisor

Dennis Chornenky, M.B.A., M.P.H.Dennis Chornenky, M.B.A., M.P.H., former senior advisor and strategy consultant in artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technology for The White House, has been named chief AI advisor to UC Davis Health. In this newly created key role, Chornenky, with his consulting and technology firm, Domelabs AI, will lead efforts to establish an AI strategy and governance framework that ensures UC Davis Health’s approach to AI is safe, ethical, and meets emerging compliance standards. Chornenky has held additional senior roles at UnitedHealth Group and Morgan Stanley.

New leader for Good Manufacturing Practice Facility

Brian Fury is the new director of the UC Davis Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Facility — the largest academic GMP facility in Northern California — replacing founding director Gerhard Bauer who recently retired. Fury has been with the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures since 2011, is Bauer’s mentee and has been part of the GMP’s establishment and growth. The facility manufactures for phases one, two and three clinical trials, and recently received a grant to establish a GMP manufacturing network.