Dr. Howard Federoff will soon take up some heavy lifting in his new job as the University of California-Irvine’s top healthcare executive.
The newly hired vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of UC Irvine’s School of Medicine is due to start in the post on July 1.
Federoff is a veteran head of healthcare services at Georgetown University, which operates 10 hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region around its main campus in Washington, D.C. He said one early entry on his to-do list here will be “playing a big role” in helping UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman pick a chief executive for the 411-bed UC Irvine Medical Center, the university’s teaching hospital in Orange.
Federoff’s vice chancellor position has been tweaked with expanded roles—the post had gone dormant under previous Chancellor Michael Drake, now president of Ohio State University. The job carries responsibility for all of UCI’s medical education, research and clinical work.
Federoff replaces Dr. Roger Steinert in the role of medical school dean.
Steinert, a professor of ophthalmology and director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, had held the dean’s post on an interim basis after the retirement last July of Dr. Ralph Clayman.
The job of chief executive of UCI Medical Center, the top administrative post at the facility, is open with the pending retirement of Terry Belmont, who plans to step down June 30.
“We likely will still have a search unfolding as [Belmont] is departing,” said Federoff, who offered kudos to Belmont.
“The health system, under CEO Terry Belmont’s direction, has really done a fine and solid job in really being able to be in the operational world of healthcare delivery [effectively], and I think that some of the strategy that’s unfolding with regard to the expansion of ambulatory services has been well thought through,” he said.
Federoff is currently executive vice president for healthcare services for Georgetown, as well as executive dean of the medical school there.
His “background, experience and leadership skills will ensure that UCI accelerates its contributions to human health and provides the people of this region with world-class patient care,” Gillman said in a statement.
Federoff said he and Gillman have discussed finding “an executive who has to understand where healthcare is going in this post-Affordable Care Act world” for the job of chief executive for the medical center in Orange.
Other characteristics include being a “team builder,” high integrity and being “well thought of within the legion of healthcare executives,” he said. “We’re searching for someone who will have a vision that will marry well with mine.”
Federoff said that he was recruited to UCI by a faculty search committee headed by Bruce Tromberg, a professor and director of the Beckman Laser Institute at UCI. The committee hired New York-based executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates for the recruitment process.
“I think it’s a strong university—it has an inspiring new chancellor in Howard Gillman,” he said. “I think UCI medicine has an opportunity to put a more effective and impactful footprint in Orange County. On the academic side, some of the clinical departments have really done a spectacular job in being able to grow and recruit talented clinicians and clinician investigators.”
Federoff came to Georgetown in 2007 and spent the prior 12 years at the University of Rochester. He received master’s, medical and Ph.D. degrees from Yeshiva Universtity’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and did his internship, residency and clinical and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The physician is board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology and metabolism, according to UCI.
The university noted that he also has done advanced research in the areas of gene therapy and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, including serving as lead author of a 2014 study involving blood tests for Alzheimer’s.