Docs on the Move: Former Olympic Physician to Lead Trailblazing Hospital in China

Madeleine Haase

February 22, 2022

Randy Jernejcic, MD, will be part of history when he takes the lead of a new medical center based in Chengdu, China, in February. The hospital, operated by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), is the first hospital in China to be modeled after and managed by a leading American academic medical center.

Dr Randy Jernejcic

Jernejcic is no stranger to leadership roles in China. From 2010 to 2012, he served as chief medical officer of United Family Hospital in Beijing, part of a privately owned healthcare system with hospitals in six major cities in China. While in this role, he was responsible for quality, safety, risk management, accreditation, and various medical staff functions. Prior to that, he served as a physician for NBC through Beijing United Family Hospital during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Jernejcic said his fascination with China started when he was a medical student and spent the summer of 1994 in Tongji Hospital in Wuhan.

"On a personal note, my wife of 25 years is from China, and my daughter was adopted from an orphanage in China,"Jernejcic said in a Q&A with UPMC. "Until recently, I've had long ties providing healthcare to a number of orphanages in the Beijing area. That's one of my big passions that I hope to continue once I'm back in China."

Jernejcic is also a founder of Clinical Quality Consultants, a consulting group focused on helping international healthcare organizations drive safe, high-quality care with a focus on exceptional service and value for underserved populations. Since 2017, Jernejcic has been an executive at University Hospitals of Cleveland, most recently as vice president of ambulatory quality and clinical transformation.

In a recent announcement, Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC International and executive vice president of UPMC, said, "As someone with long experience in driving the development of high-quality, high-value health care both nationally and internationally, Dr Jernejcic is the right person to lead our trail-blazing hospital in China."

Wanda Group, one of China's leading conglomerates, is the owner of the 500-bed Chengdu Wanda UPMC International Hospital. The Chengdu hospital will encompass patient-focused centers of excellence for cancer care, orthopedics, sports medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, heart and vascular treatments, ophthalmology, and digestive disorders, which will be integrated into UPMC's global network. The new Wanda UPMC International Hospital is scheduled to open in Chengdu in 2023.

More Medical Moves

After spending 35 years with Northwell's department of pediatrics, Peter Silver, MD, has been appointed senior vice president and chief quality officer for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York. Throughout his 5-year tenure as medical director of Cohen Children's Medical Center, he has led multiple initiatives with the Children's Hospital Association focused on sepsis and bloodstream infection treatments, which earned a Northwell Health President's Award in 2009. In addition to his new role, Silver will continue to serve on the board of governors of Northwell Health Physician Partners and participate in several other physician partner committees.

In the wake of declaring a state of emergency for pediatric mental health in May 2021, Children's Hospital Colorado leaders say they continue to invest more resources to better support the children, youth, and families in the region. To help oversee this monumental challenge, Children's Colorado has named their first mental health-in-chief: K. Ron-Li Liaw, MD.Liaw, a pediatric psychiatrist, serves as chair of the organization's Pediatric Mental Health Institute. Before moving out west, she spent 14 years as a clinical associate professor for the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone in New York City. In a recent announcement, President and CEO Jena Hausmann said: "This leadership role ensures that pediatric mental health is top of mind for every major decision we make as a children's hospital."

MyMichigan Health, an affiliate of Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, named Sunita Vadakath, MD, as their new senior vice president and chief strategy officer. Vadakath, an anesthesiologist, joined the Midland, Michigan–based health system as the cardiovascular service line director in 2014 before becoming vice president of service lines in 2019. During her tenure, she was instrumental in implementing the Structural Heart Program, Hybrid OR, and the new Heart and Vascular Center on the Midland campus. In a press release from MyMichigan, Diane Postler-Slattery, PhD, FACHE, president and CEO of MyMichigan Health, stated: "[Vadakath] has already brought so much to our organization. We are pleased to have her in this role."

Atlantic Health System has named Geralda Xavier, MD, CMO of not one but two hospitals. Xavier has been appointed CMO of both Hackettstown (New Jersey) Medical Center and Newton (New Jersey) Medical Center. Xavier, an emergency medicine physician, joins the Morristown, New Jersey–based health system from NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County in New York City, where she most recently served as chief quality officer and associate CMO.

Tarina Kang, MD, MHA, has been named chief medical officer, starting immediately, for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USC-VHH), in Glendale, California. As CMO, Kang will oversee the coordination of patient care, technology implementation, process improvement, and regulatory compliance.

"Dr Kang has extensive health care leadership experience and a passion for maintaining the health and safety of our communities," said Armand Dorian, MD, MMM, CEO of USC-VHH, in a recent press release from Keck Medicine of USC. "She brings tremendous talent and expertise to the position, and we are thrilled to welcome her onboard."

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.