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Leadership Changes in Health Sciences and the David Geffen School of Medicine

Chancellor Block shares his thoughts on Dr. John Mazziotta assuming leadership of UCLA’s health enterprise and thanks Dr. David Feinberg for more than two decades of service.

Today we are announcing some major changes in the leadership team of our medical enterprise. On March 1, Dr. John Mazziotta will become vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a role that includes serving as CEO of UCLA Health System. In addition, Dr. David Feinberg will step down May 1 as president of the health system and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System to take a position as the president and CEO of the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania.

While all of us are saddened to lose Dr. Feinberg, we also are excited that Dr. Mazziotta has agreed to assume this critically important role for UCLA. Dr. Mazziotta will take over the responsibilities currently held by Dr. A. Eugene Washington, who in January announced he would depart UCLA to assume leadership of Duke University Health System.

Dr. Mazziotta, who joined the UCLA faculty in 1983, has served as associate vice chancellor for health sciences and executive vice dean of the Geffen School of Medicine since 2012. He has directed the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center since 1993 and has served as chair of the department of neurology since 2002. Dr. Mazziotta will step down as department chair and an interim chair will be appointed.

UCLA’s neurology department is one of the nation’s largest, and under Dr. Mazziotta’s leadership, it achieved the distinction of being first in National Institutes of Health research funding for nine consecutive years. An expert in brain imaging, Dr. Mazziotta established the Brain Mapping Center, which offers all of the methods available to study human brain structure and function. He was the principal investigator of the International Consortium for Brain Mapping, the goal of which was to develop the first atlas of the human brain, including behavioral, demographic, imaging and genetic data from thousands of people.

Dr. Mazziotta has published more than 255 research papers and eight texts. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the American Society of Neuroimaging’s Oldendorf Award, the American Academy of Neurology’s S. Weir Mitchell Award and Robert Wartenberg Lecture Award, and the UCLA Medical Alumni Association’s Medical Science Award. He has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians.

An effective, accomplished and widely respected faculty administrator with a deep commitment to excellence in education, research, clinical care and public service, Dr. Mazziotta received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University, and his M.D. and doctorate in neuroanatomy from Georgetown University in 1977. Following an internship at Georgetown, he completed his neurology and nuclear medicine training at UCLA.

Dr. Mazziotta and Dr. Feinberg will work together closely to ensure a smooth and effective transition for health system employees and for the patients that we serve. Of course, despite our excitement over Dr. Mazziotta’s new role, we are very sorry to see Dr. Feinberg leave us.

Throughout his more than two decades at UCLA, Dr. Feinberg has forged a distinguished record starting with his residency as a physician. Under his stewardship over the past eight years, the health system has maintained its long history of being ranked “Best in the West” and among the top five hospitals in the nation. His determination and his focus on patient-centered care are also to be credited for helping UCLA’s patient satisfaction ratings reach the 99th percentile among the nation’s academic medical centers.

Because of his visionary leadership, we have been able to forge new and important relationships with organizations such as the Doheny Eye Institute, the Motion Picture and Television Fund health network, Cedars-Sinai and Select Medical. He has also worked tirelessly to cultivate important relationships in the Los Angeles community, both as the head of two health system boards and by speaking and working with business and professional groups. For his many achievements, Dr. Feinberg has received numerous honors, including being named as one of the 50 most influential physician executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.

I have no doubt that David will build upon his stellar record of accomplishment at Geisinger, which is known for its work on improving care and reforming the nation’s health care system.

I also feel that there is no better person than John Mazziotta to lead UCLA’s health science enterprise. Please join me in expressing hearty congratulations to him and extend your full support as he assumes these very significant responsibilities. I know you also will join me in wishing Dr. Feinberg and Dr. Washington all the best as they both begin new chapters of their lives.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

Feb. 23, 2015

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