Wayne State University today announced the term-limited appointment of nationally renowned health care executive David S. Hefner to the position of vice president of health affairs. Hefner previously served as executive vice president for health affairs for the Georgia Regents Health System, executive vice president for clinical affairs at Georgia Regents University and chief executive officer of Georgia Regents Medical Center and Medical Associates. He will begin his 18-month appointment July 1.
Hefner's primary focus will be to strengthen the strategic alignment of the WSU School of Medicine with the Wayne State University Physician Group (WSUPG) and its hospital partners.
"The School of Medicine is at a stage in its growth and development where we can secure its long-term success by making prudent strategic alignments today," said WSU President M. Roy Wilson. "David's sophisticated knowledge of the health care industry's current economic climate and experience at the highest levels of the business will serve the School of Medicine well during this critical juncture."
Hefner will work with WSUPG to ensure alignment with the School of Medicine's mission and goals; implement a metrics-based system of tracking funds flow among clinical care, research, and education activities; solidify and optimize the School of Medicine's relationship with hospital partners - with particular emphasis on the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Hospital System; work with the deans of the health science schools and the provost to implement interdisciplinary education and clinical training of all health science students; and explore community-based and other training opportunities consistent with health care delivery models of the future.
Hefner's assignment will conclude Dec. 31, 2016, unless extended by mutual agreement. This time period will allow significant progress on goals outlined for the position, while providing time to assess whether the university will benefit from a permanent vice president for health affairs.
Hefner comes to Wayne State with more than 30 years of experience in the health care industry. Prior to his positions with Georgia Regents, Hefner served as senior advisor to the Association of American Medical Colleges, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and executive director and COO with the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He has also worked as a consultant for more than 75 academic medical centers and faculty practices, and thousands of private physician practices and hospitals nationwide.
"I am delighted to accept this new role at Wayne State University," Hefner said. "This is already a renowned institution that is nationally recognized for its health research and the strength of its medical school. But the potential is there to advance its mission even further by tapping into new health professions opportunities and exploring new approaches."