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Health Team

Duke Hospital names new president

Posted December 14, 2017 4:33 p.m. EST

— Longtime Duke University Hospital staffer Dr. Thomas Owens has been named president of the hospital, officials said Thursday.

Owens, who assumes the role Jan.1, succeeds Kevin Sowers, who leaves Duke early next year to become president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

He was the first choice for Duke Hospital's next president, according to Dr. Eugene Washington, Duke's chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of Duke University Health System.

"Dr. Owens has made important and varied contributions to the success of Duke University Hospital and DUHS over the past decade," Washington said in a statement.

As the health system’s chief medical officer, Owens led an effort to redesign, realign and, in some cases, reinvent the ways care is delivered, oversaw the expansion and enhancement of DUHS’ primary care network and helped shape an institutional approach to population health. He also helped plan, prepare for and implement the health system’s electronic medical record system.

Owens, who will retain his current title of senior vice president for DUHS, also created and implemented a system-wide management model for patient safety and quality management that has resulted in improvements across multiple clinical quality measures and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services core measures, officials said.

After earning his medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biological Sciences in 1995, Owens came to Duke in 1999 for internships and residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics. He served as chief resident in 2001 and has since held a number of positions of increased responsibility throughout his career at Duke, culminating in being named chief medical officer for the health system in 2012 and senior vice president last June.