University of Missouri health care executive to lead OHSU Healthcare

PORTLAND, Ore. – Following an extensive national search, OHSU has appointed Mitch Wasden, Ed.D., chief executive officer of OHSU Healthcare and executive vice president of OHSU, effective March 1. Wasden comes to Oregon's only comprehensive academic medical center from MU Health Care (University of Missouri Health Care) where he is chief executive officer. 

"Mitch is an experienced strategist and leader, and I'm delighted that he has agreed to join OHSU. Mitch is a veteran of academic health care who understands OHSU's mission and our unique place in the Oregon health care landscape. He is a great addition to the team," said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D.

Wasden replaces Timothy Goldfarb, who served as interim chief executive officer from August to December 2016, after Cindy Grueber returned to her role as chief operating officer, having served as both interim CEO and chief operating officer of OHSU Healthcare since Peter Rapp became CEO of OHSU Partners in January 2016.

Reporting dually to Robertson and OHSU Partners CEO Peter Rapp, Wasden's primary responsibilities will be to lead and manage all aspects of OHSU Healthcare operations, including financial performance and the continued delivery of high-quality care and services. In parallel, as a member of the OHSU Partners Leadership group, Wasden will be responsible for executing the strategy, vision and goals of OHSU Partners within the OHSU Healthcare system. Wasden also will work closely with other OHSU executives to support and further OHSU's research and education missions within the clinical enterprise.

"In my first six months at OHSU, my priorities will be to develop strong relationships with medical and administrative leaders and gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges, strengths and culture of OHSU,” Wasden said.

As chief executive officer for MU Health Care, Wasden provides executive leadership and vision for the health system's hospitals, clinics, and ancillary and support services. In this role, he oversees the health system's network of specialty hospitals, including Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, the Missouri Psychiatric Center, University Hospital and Women's and Children's Hospital, and a network of more than 50 outpatient clinics. MU Health Care employs nearly 5,600 employees, including 550 physicians specializing in approximately 70 specialties and subspecialties.

Wasden joined MU Health Care as chief operating officer in June 2012 and was appointed chief executive offer in January 2013. He previously served as chief executive offer for Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His previous experience also includes positions as chief operating officer and vice president of Tympany Medical Inc. in Stafford, Texas, and vice president of clinical services for Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.

A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Wasden holds a doctor of education degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., a master's degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

About OHSU

OHSU is a nationally prominent research university and Oregon's only public academic health center. It serves patients throughout the region with a Level 1 trauma center and nationally recognized Doernbecher Children's Hospital. OHSU operates dental, medical, nursing and pharmacy schools that rank high both in research funding and in meeting the university's social mission. OHSU's Knight Cancer Institute helped pioneer personalized medicine through a discovery that identified how to shut down cells that enable cancer to grow without harming healthy ones. OHSU Brain Institute scientists are nationally recognized for discoveries that have led to a better understanding of Alzheimer's disease and new treatments for Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and stroke. OHSU's Casey Eye Institute is a global leader in ophthalmic imaging and in clinical trials related to eye disease.

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