President Petersen Announces Choice for UTHSC Chancellor

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UT President John Petersen announced his choice for the tenth chancellor of UTHSC and vice president for health affairs as William (Bill) F. Owen, Jr., MD.

University of Tennessee President John Petersen announces his choice for the tenth chancellor of the UT Health Science Center and vice president for health affairs as William (Bill) F. Owen, Jr., MD. Dr. Petersen will make this recommendation to the UT Board of Trustees at their March 2 meeting in Chattanooga. If approved by the board, the appointment will become effective April 1.
He will replace Interim Chancellor Bill Rice, who stepped down as chancellor in 2002 after serving in that capacity for ten years. Rice returned as interim chancellor in December 2003 after Interim Chancellor Jim Gibb Johnson, MD, retired from the position.

Dr. Owen has served as chief scientist for Baxter Healthcare Corporation’s Renal division in McGaw Park, Ill. for the past three years while holding an adjunct appointment as professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. He was recently named a senior scholar at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in its health sector management program.

A native Memphian, Dr. Owen has a strong background covering academic medicine, clinical healthcare and scientific research. His academic career includes 25 years of experience with Harvard Medical School and Duke University, while his clinical experience includes 12 years as a clinical and academic staff physician with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. As a research scientist, he has garnered approximately ten million dollars in external funding and is well-published with approximately 200 journal

articles, scientific reviews and editorials; 23 book chapters; and two books on dialysis and transplantation.

Dr. Petersen commented, “I am so pleased to appoint Dr. Owen to this position. His depth and breadth of experience in all facets of healthcare administration will serve the Health Science Center well.”

President Emeritus of the Mayo Foundation, Bob Waller, MD, served as chair of the search committee. He stated, “We were so pleased with the quality of all of the applicants for the chancellor’s position. The search committee worked many long hours to ensure that the process went smoothly and that Dr. Petersen had the recommendation of four highly qualified candidates for his consideration.”

Dr. Owen was recently appointed to the new, national End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Advisory Board by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to serve through 2009. As directed by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2004, this panel is charged with making recommendations to the HHS Secretary and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on health service, economic and policy concerns for the $16 billion-a-year Medicare ESRD Program.

Also, he has been elected to the national board of directors for the American Association of Kidney Patients, which represents 12,000 members nationally. Other positions he holds include: national board member for the Renal Physicians Association, medical advisory board member for the American Association of Kidney Patients, immediate past president of the Renal Physicians Association, and president of the Renal Education Foundation.

Alan Heller, chief executive officer for American Pharmaceutical Partners, served as president of Baxter Healthcare’s Renal division while Dr. Owen was chief scientist. He stated, “Bill is an outstanding scientist and an outstanding person overall. He has the ability to engage people on an intellectual level, as well as a personal level; and those attributes make him quite effective as a leader. ”

Dr. Owen holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. He completed an internship and residency in medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as fellowships in nephrology, transplantation and immunology.

With a passion for improving the quality of clinical care for patients with end stage renal disease, Dr. Owen works with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services on several advisory and monitoring committees. He has twice been recognized in Marquis’ Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare and was honored as a Medal of Excellence finalist in 2004 by the American Association of Kidney Patients.

Professionally, he is an active member of the International and American Societies of Nephrology, the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs, the American Association of Kidney Patients, the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association, and the National Kidney Foundation, as well as his local and state medical associations.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Memphis,” said Dr. Owen. “All of the community leaders and everyone at the university were wonderful during the search process. I look forward to engaging with all of the university’s constituencies and stakeholders to ensure that our Health Science Center continues to provide the highest quality healthcare education, clinical care, research and community health service for the citizens of Tennessee.”

Chancellor Rice commented, “I know I will be leaving the Health Science Center in capable hands. Dr. Owen’s professional background is well suited to have prepared him for the challenges of leading an academic, metropolitan health science center.”

Dr. Owen and his wife, Alice, have two children: Lauren and William F. Owen, III.