UPMC's new CEO Leslie Davis talks leadership style, growth strategy

Leslie Davis has been chosen to succeed Jeffrey Romoff as president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based UPMC. Her first day on the job was Aug. 1, the health system said.

Before becoming CEO, Ms. Davis was president of UPMC's health services division. She was president of UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh from 2004 to 2018 before serving as COO of UPMC's health services division.

As CEO, she oversees more than 92,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 800 physician offices and outpatient sites and an insurance services division with 4 million members. 

She told Becker's she is excited about helming the $23 billion healthcare provider and insurer.

"I'm feeling great. I have a great team around me. I have had the opportunity to work at UPMC for the past 17 years after coming from the Philadelphia market, and so mostly it feels very natural," said Ms. Davis. 

Here, Ms. Davis discusses her leadership style and growth strategy for UPMC.  

Leadership style

Ms. Davis described herself as a transparent and communicative leader. She said she's always taken that approach and expects to continue. 

"I am very excited and delighted to have this opportunity to support our excellence in patient care and patient experiences," she said. "That's very important to me."

Ms. Davis said she's also focused on supporting UPMC employees, as well as growing the organization's insurance products and "shaping tomorrow as a forward-thinking academic medical center." 

Growth strategy

"I think over the next year we will continue to leverage our growth strategy as we transition many of our programs, our signature service lines across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, into western Maryland, into southwest New York [State]. Taking our existing products and services and improving the care that's offered in the communities we serve is the next part of our growth strategy," said Ms. Davis.  

She said UPMC will also continue to develop outpatient centers in many of the regions surrounding Pittsburgh, and it will continue to use technology and virtual care to connect to patients who may not want to travel to a facility. 

Ms. Davis said she has worked with Mr. Romoff during her entire career at UPMC, and she is honored to have the responsibility her predecessor had in leading the organization.

Mr. Romoff, who began at UPMC 48 years ago and has led the organization since 1992, has been named president emeritus. He will continue in that position until Oct. 1. 

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