Head of UCLA hospitals takes healthcare executive post in Pennsylvania

Dr. David Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System, is leaving for a high-profile job in Pennsylvania

The head of the UCLA Health System, who has been confronting public concerns related to a bacterial outbreak at one of its hospitals, is leaving for a high-profile job in Pennsylvania.

Dr. David Feinberg will become chief executive of the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa., on May 1.

Geisinger is well regarded for integrating patient care in much the same way Kaiser Permanente does in California and other states. The nine-hospital Geisinger system serves more than 3 million residents in 48 Pennsylvania counties.

Feinberg has been the public face of the UCLA Health System during the recent superbug outbreak at its Ronald Reagan Medical Center. At a news conference last week, he apologized to the families of two patients who died and others who became infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria from tainted medical scopes. He has been president of the UCLA Health System since 2011.

At Geisinger, Feinberg will take the reins from Dr. Glenn Steele Jr., 70, who said last July he would be stepping down after 15 years as the health system's chief executive.

The system's board of directors narrowed the search to three candidates by January, said Geisinger spokeswoman Wendy Wilson. She did not say how much Feinberg would be compensated in his new role.

During his tenure at UCLA, Feinberg emphasized patient satisfaction and forged partnerships with rival Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Motion Picture and Television Fund health network.

Dr. John Mazziotta, an associate vice chancellor for health sciences at UCLA, will take on the role of CEO of the health system and serve as dean of the medical school. Mazziotta joined the UCLA faculty in 1983 and he has led the Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center since 1993.

Dr. A. Eugene Washington, current dean of the medical school, said in January he would be leaving to become the chief executive of the Duke University Health System. 

"I have no doubt that David will build upon his stellar record of accomplishment at Geisinger, which is known for its work on improving care and reforming the nation’s healthcare system," UCLA Chancellor Gene Block wrote in a letter announcing the changes. "I also feel that there is no better person than John Mazziotta to lead UCLA’s health science enterprise."

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