March 2, 2006
Vol. 25 No. 11

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    University begins search for new President and CEO of its Hospitals

    Riordan brought growth, financial strength and improvements in care and outreach

    By Larry Arbeiter
    News Office

    The University Hospitals Board of Trustees has announced that it is forming a search committee that will appoint the successor of Mike Riordan, who has served as President and CEO of the University Hospitals since 2001. Riordan announced recently that he has achieved the goals of his initial five-year plan and intends to take on leadership roles in other health care organizations after July 1.

    “I am proud of our accomplishments over the last five years, and feel that it’s the right point in my career to take my experience to another institution,” said Riordan. “There’s a great senior management team in place and the institution is in excellent financial shape to continue our long-standing commitment to quality care and treating the most complex cases in our neighborhood, as well as from all over the region and the world.” 

    The Hospitals trustees formed a subcommittee of the Board’s Executive Committee, which met in late February to review how the search may be conducted. After this review, they will recommend specific steps for the search process to the full board. The search will involve close collaboration between the Hospitals Board and the University and its Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Pritzker School of Medicine.

    During Riordan’s tenure, the University Hospitals built and opened the new state-of-the-art Comer Children’s Hospital, remodeled other parts of the institution to upgrade and expand capacity, and completed the conceptual design for a new hospital pavilion. In the last five years, the University Hospitals have been regularly listed in various surveys as one of the top hospitals in the nation.

    “The Hospital System represents one of the most significant components of the University of Chicago, and is a point of pride for the entire city,” said James Crown, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the University and also a Hospital Trustee. “Under Mike’s leadership, the Hospital has excelled in delivering superb patient care, excellent financial management and health care leadership within the community. Mike was able to achieve this while working closely with the physicians and researchers to deliver on our Forefront of Medicine promise.”

    Riordan was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Hospitals in May of 2000, when the University recruited him from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Ga., where he had served as Chief Operating Officer. In 2001, he was named president and CEO, succeeding Ralph Muller.

    “Mike has really left his mark here, and we will greatly miss his combination of guidance, grace and genuine concern for the Hospitals’ patients, faculty and staff,” said Paula Wolff, Chairman of the Hospitals Board of Trustees. “His commitment to building stronger relationships in the community, his dedication to institutional excellence, and his unwavering quest to provide the very best care will serve us well long into the future.”

    According to President Randel, Riordan’s contributions have encompassed not just improved patient care but also better relations with the surrounding community. “Mike contributed mightily to an enhanced interface between the Hospitals and our surrounding community,” Randel said. “This was a crucial part of our broader, University-wide efforts in this regard and, in aggregate, has put us in the position of being a much better and more engaged neighbor. For this we are indeed grateful.”

    James Madara, University Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine, also noted Riordan’s leadership. “We have one of the finest hospitals in the nation, and Mike has played a key role in that success. And he has shown real leadership in helping to improve our relationship with our surrounding communities.

    “Mike has also helped to make the Hospitals a key part of one of our most strategic initiatives—to create a new model of health care for complex illnesses. At the University of Chicago we are increasingly bringing the very latest discoveries of modern science directly to the bedside of patients ill with the most complex and challenging diseases. Between our researchers in their laboratories and our clinical faculty and the hospital in which they practice, we are developing a unique synergy, and Mike helped us to initiate that.”

    Riordan received his B.A. in liberal arts and English from Columbia University in 1980 and his M.A. in educational psychology in 1982 from Teacher’s College at Columbia. Riordan also attended Georgia Institute of Technology and was a graduate assistant assigned to Nursing Services at Crawford Long Hospital. He graduated in 1986 with a master’s degree in health systems and subsequently served in progressively more responsible operations management roles at Crawford Long, until he was recruited to serve as chief operating officer at Emory University Hospital System in 1995.