Southwestern Health Resources Names Senior Executive Officers

Top regional health care leaders tapped to lead key elements of the integrated network formed by UT Southwestern and Texas Health

Newswise — DALLAS — March 24, 2016 — Southwestern Health Resources, an integrated health care network formed by Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center, has appointed four senior executives to oversee joint clinical operations, a joint physician network, and a new population health services company that will respond to the challenges of the dynamic health care environment in North Texas.

The clinically integrated network was created last October to broaden and simplify North Texans’ access to leading medical care by blending the strengths of two of the state’s largest health care providers. The resulting Southwestern Health Resources aims to better serve patients by offering the complete continuum of care, from the most basic to the most complex. Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern and Barclay Berdan, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer of Texas Health, are serving as Co-Chairs of Southwestern Health Resource’s Board of Directors.

The Southwestern Health Resources executives will maintain their current responsibilities with UT Southwestern and Texas Health, respectively, while taking on new leadership responsibilities including quality initiatives and physician engagement through the joint operating company and physician network. The population health services company will work to identify future health trends along with the resources and strategies to address them effectively and efficiently. The new leadership team includes:

John Warner, M.D., CEO of University Hospitals for UT Southwestern, has been named Senior Executive Officer of the joint operating company that oversees the network’s three primary Dallas hospitals: William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Dan Varga, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer and Executive Vice President of Texas Health Resources, has been named the Senior Executive Officer of Southwestern Health’s physician network.

Mack Mitchell, M.D., Associate Vice President for Population Health at UT Southwestern, will serve as the Chief Medical Officer of the physician network, working alongside Dr. Varga.

Bruce Meyer, M.D., M.B.A., Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs for UT Southwestern, has been named the Senior Executive Officer of Southwestern Health’s Population Health Services Company, which will provide clinical and quality data, as well as the administrative and analytic services necessary to support the clinically integrated physician network and hospital network in providing cost-effective, high-quality outcomes for patients and their families.

“Higher value and easier access to all levels of care, including emerging therapies using the latest scientific discoveries, are what patients and their families expect of us – and what we expect of ourselves. These talented leaders will help us achieve our goal to offer coordinated, world-class care as we respond to changing market demands,” said Mr. Berdan of Texas Health.

Dr. Podolsky of UT Southwestern agreed.

“These four physicians bring dynamic leadership to address the needs of patients and support the efforts of physicians and other caregivers throughout the network. Drs. Warner, Meyer, Varga, and Mitchell also possess the essential expertise to effectively manage large hospitals, physician groups, and clinical programs needed to successfully achieve the clinical, research, and educational as well as financial goals of this collaboration,” said Dr. Podolsky, who holds the Philip O'Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration, and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.

Southwestern Health features 27 hospitals and 300 clinics throughout North Texas, as well as an expansive network of over 2,000 physicians, including UT Southwestern and Texas Health employed, university-affiliated, and independent physicians from both organizations. Physicians in the network can offer the full range of expertise in primary care and specialty care across a 16-county area with more than 6 million residents.

“The integrated network will benefit consumers and caregivers, without changing the relationship patients have with their physicians,” Mr. Berdan said. “What will change is that patients are going to experience better coordinated care and more access to specialty services and clinical trials.”

Patients benefit from access to the larger network of physicians and caregivers in a coordinated and consistent environment that ensures patient health and trust are always the central goal, Mr. Berdan said.

Patients, physicians, employers, and insurers will benefit from the network’s improved efficiencies and quality initiatives, and the resulting improved outcomes and reduced redundancies, Dr. Podolsky said. “The network will foster expanded collaboration between physicians and care teams across the entire region, bolstered by the critical infrastructure needed to share best practices and leading-edge innovation,” he said.

Formation of the network will not alter UT Southwestern’s or Texas Health’s existing relationships, specifically, Texas Health’s relationship with the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, and UT Southwestern’s relationships with Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children’s Medical Center Dallas, and Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. UT Southwestern also remains committed to its affiliations with independent physicians, including those in the UT Southwestern Clinically Affiliated Physicians (UTSCAP) program.

“The network will enable our two organizations to thrive in the changing landscape of health care delivery, to adapt more readily, and to respond appropriately to our patients’ needs and expectations,” Dr. Podolsky said.

About the Southwestern Health senior executives:

John J. Warner, M.D., Senior Executive Officer of Southwestern Health’s Joint Operating Company, will provide leadership and oversight in the development, planning, and operations for the network’s three Dallas hospitals: William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and associated joint ventures. He will be responsible for the hospitals’ quality initiatives, operational programs, and overall fiscal performance. Duties include achieving safety, quality, and service goals, with a unified approach to an outcomes strategy across the Dallas Hospitals JOC that is well coordinated with UT Southwestern and Texas Health quality efforts.

Dr. Warner said: “It’s an honor to lead the operations of the three Dallas hospitals for Southwestern Health. UT Southwestern’s two university hospitals, combined with the incredible care provided at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, will make for a network that offers North Texans the most advanced care in the country at several locations.”

Bio: Dr. Warner currently serves as CEO of UT Southwestern’s University Hospitals, overseeing William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, Zale Lipshy University Hospital, and the clinical operations of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and all hospital-based clinics and services. An interventional cardiologist, Dr. Warner is Professor of Internal Medicine and holds the Jim and Norma Smith Distinguished Chair for Interventional Cardiology, and the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Chair in Cardiovascular Research. Prior to being appointed CEO in 2012, he served as Medical Director of the Doris and Harry W. Bass Jr. Clinical Center for Heart, Lung, and Vascular Disease and led the planning and construction of William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. He earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his M.B.A. from the Physician Executive Program at the University of Tennessee. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at UT Southwestern, where he served as Chief Resident. He completed fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease and Interventional Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, and served on the Duke Cardiology faculty until returning to UT Southwestern in 2003.

Daniel Varga, M.D., Senior Executive Officer for Southwestern Health’s physician network, will provide leadership and oversight in the development, planning, and management of the physician network. The network is committed to embracing a range of practice models including UTSW faculty practice, physicians employed by Texas Health and physicians in independent community practice. He will be responsible for establishing a structure for the provision of high-quality care that meets consumer and patient demands. He is tasked with developing and maintaining relationships with small, medium, and large physician organizations in the region as well as independent practices throughout North Texas.

Dr. Varga said: “We’re excited as we get closer to making the network live, and physicians, whether employed or independent, will be able to have access to the benefits of being in the network. But know that the network will have the highest of standards for participation, which will help us ensure the highest quality of care.”

Bio: At Texas Health, Dr. Varga is Chief Clinical Officer and Senior Executive Vice President. As CCO, he is responsible for achieving full and seamless integration of the entire Texas Health clinical enterprise, including quality, patient safety, and patient experience initiatives. He also oversees physician relationships, clinical integration and care design. Dr. Varga comes to Texas Health with 24 years of combined experience in patient practice, medical education, and health care administration. He served in a number of senior clinical leadership roles in large health care organizations, most recently as the Chief Clinical Officer at KentuckyOne Health, the largest health system in Kentucky. Prior to this position, he served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Saint Joseph Health System in Lexington, Ky., Regional Vice President-CMO at SSM Healthcare-Saint Louis, Senior Vice President and CMO at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., and founder and President of Community Medical Associates, a large primary care physician group. Dr. Varga received a bachelor's degree at the University of Kentucky and his medical education was at the University of Louisville. He is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Mack Mitchell, M.D., will serve as the Chief Medical Officer for Southwestern Health’s physician network. His work will include leading and overseeing the clinical development, planning, and management of the physician network. Under the direction of Dr. Daniel Varga, Senior Executive Officer of the physician network, Dr. Mitchell will be responsible for overseeing quality and population health strategies of the physician network.

Dr. Mitchell said: “I look forward to leading the process of supporting the team of physicians and other health care providers with the data, tools, and staff that they need to integrate their clinical practices to achieve better access to care and improve the outcomes of care through evidence-based medical decisions.”

Bio: Dr. Mitchell serves as Professor and Executive Vice Chair of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern, Chief Medical Officer for UT Southwestern’s Accountable Care Network, and Associate Vice President for Population Health. He has clinical interests in gastroenterology and liver diseases, and is listed in Best Doctors in America. Dr. Mitchell earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. Before coming to UTSW, he was Chief of Gastroenterology and Medical Director of Ambulatory Services at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Chairman of Internal Medicine at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, and Chairman of Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is president of ABMRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research and was awarded the Seixas Award for Distinguished Service by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Bruce Meyer, M.D., M.B.A., Senior Executive Officer for Southwestern Health’s Population Health Services Company, will lead the development, planning, and management of Southwestern Health’s population health services company. This company will provide data to physicians and hospitals about outcomes and costs of care, as well as coordination and transitions of care while ensuring the Southwestern Health physician network and hospital network have the tools they need to achieve clinical integration, manage network performance against benchmarks, and provide analytics and support to Southwestern Health’s population health programs by coordinating and integrating key population health management functions across Texas Health and UT Southwestern to execute the strategies for Southwestern Health overall.

Dr. Meyer said: “Population health is a key way to improve the health of North Texans, drive quality care, reduce unnecessary hospital utilization, and control costs. It’s all about providing higher value to consumers who pay for health care.”

Bio: At UT Southwestern, Dr. Meyer, holder of the T.C. Lupton Family Professorship in Patient Care, in Honor of Dr. John Dowling McConnell and Dr. David Andrew Pistenmaa, is Executive Vice President for Health System Affairs, Executive Director of the Faculty Practice Plan, and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, responsible for overseeing the entire UT Southwestern clinical enterprise including the University Hospitals, Faculty Practice, and contracts with clinical partner institutions. He also serves as the CEO of the UT Southwestern Accountable Care Network, which includes the UT Southwestern Clinically Affiliated Physician Network. Prior to coming to Dallas, he had been the Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the CEO of the Faculty Practice at UMass Memorial Health Care. Prior experience includes service as Interim Chair, Vice Chair, and Director of Obstetrics and Maternal Fetal Medicine at SUNY-Stony Brook as well as at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his M.D. from the UTHSC–San Antonio and received his M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.


About Southwestern Health Resources

Southwestern Health Resources and its affiliated entities formed an integrated health network in December 2015 that blends the strengths of Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern to better serve North Texas residents, from preventive care to the most advanced interventions. The network comprises 27 hospitals, 300 clinics, and over 2,000 physicians, spanning a 16-county service area with more than 6 million residents. The joint effort establishes a first-class organization with the scale and scope to provide leading-edge technology, research, and education, ensuring broader access to exceptional, quality care.

UTSW media contact – Russell Rian
817-891-1733 or 214-648-3404
[email protected]

THR media contact Steve O'Brien
[email protected]

Mack Mitchell, M.D., Associate Vice President for Population Health at UT Southwestern, will serve as the Chief Medical Officer of the physician network