Penn State Health to split CEO, med school dean roles amid Dr. Craig Hillemeier's exit

The Penn State Health board of directors approved an amendment to its corporate bylaws that allows the organization to split the roles of Penn State Health CEO and dean of the institution's affiliated medical school during its Jan. 16 meeting.

The Hershey, Pa.-based institution previously mandated that one person serve in both roles. However, the leadership roles will be able to transition to different individuals after current dean and CEO Craig Hillemeier, MD, departs from the organization.

The health system announced Dr. Hillemeier's retirement earlier this month. He joined the system in 2001 and has served as CEO since 2014. Dr. Hillemeier will remain in his roles through the 2018-19 academic year and leave the organization this summer.

Under the new leadership model, the chief executive of Penn State Health will report to the health system's board of directors, while the dean of the Hershey-based Penn State College of Medicine will report to the executive vice president and provost of the university.

"While the role of leading the medical school and academic health enterprise at the university has always been held by a single individual, healthcare and academic medicine are changing dramatically, and the responsibilities associated with this role have evolved and become more diverse over time. This transition will enable us to benefit from two qualified leaders who are each fully focused on the success and innovation of both the community-based healthcare function and health sciences education and research components of our enterprise," Penn State President Eric Barron, PhD, said in a statement.

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