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UTMB announces organizational restructuring across university

The University of Texas Medical Branch announced several organizational and leadership changes today aimed at enhancing collaboration and communication and positioning the university for future growth.

“Today’s restructuring is part of our ongoing initiatives related to improving access to and enhancing the quality of health care provided to our patients across the region,” said UTMB President Dr. Jochen Reiser, who is now also CEO of the UTMB Health System. “These organizational changes will also support our efforts to build upon the educational experience for our students, further expand the reach and depth of our groundbreaking research and emphasize UTMB’s new, fourth mission: innovation.”

Specifically, the leadership restructuring announced today includes many changes in UTMB’s Clinical Enterprise to ensure that physicians are in positions of leadership and are the ones making strategic decisions that are focused on improving the quality of and access to care for patients in the communities UTMB serves.

“By doing so, we are placing our trust in the hands of those who are at the forefront of patient care, empowering them to lead the way in this new era of collaborative excellence,” Reiser said.

Among the leadership changes as a result of the reorganization:

  • Reiser—who began his tenure as president of UTMB on Aug. 15—will now also serve as CEO of the UTMB Health System;
  • Dr. Vicente Resto is now the Chief Physician Executive, Faculty Group Practice, and Senior Vice President, Health System Ambulatory Operations and Surgical Services, where he will oversee UTMB Health’s clinic operations and surgical and procedural areas;
  • Dr. Gulshan Sharma will remain Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Clinical Innovation Officer, with additional responsibilities of overseeing the Chief Nursing Executive and Patient Services; and
  • Wayne Keathley, who served previously in executive leadership roles in several academic medical centers the most notable being president and chief operating officer of the Mount Sinai Health System, is now the acting Chief Operating Officer of the UTMB Health System.

In addition to the changes in the Clinical Enterprise, Reiser also announced the first appointments in support of UTMB’s new innovation mission.

  • Dr. Salim Hayek, a cardiologist whose world-renowned and extensive research portfolio includes both clinical and basic studies on cardiovascular and kidney diseases, as well as patients with cancer, will join UTMB in early 2024 as Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer. Hayek is medical director at the University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center Clinics. When he joins UTMB, he will be focused on leveraging and aligning the university’s significant research enterprise with its clinical efforts to introduce new treatments and technologies that will benefit patients.
  • Dr. Deborah Jones, currently Senior Vice President and Dean for the UTMB School of Nursing, will add to her responsibilities as the new Chief Integration Officer where she will drive coordination and implementation of processes across the institution to ensure a fully integrated system of care delivery. 
  • Dr. Vineet Gupta will join UTMB in December as Vice President, Innovation and Technology Development and Transfer where he will develop and implement strategic plans designed to ensure UTMB’s research ecosystem continuously promotes, facilitates and evaluates inventions and new discoveries that can be spun off in the commercial sector. Gupta most recently was the vice chair for innovation in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University in Chicago.

The restructuring is one of several changes Reiser has made to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care at UTMB, including addressing how quickly they can get an appointment to see a provider.

Recently, UTMB opened two new primary care clinics on Galveston Island: one at the Primary Care Pavilion at 400 Harborside Drive, where patients can now see Dr. Victor Jackson; and another at its Island West location, 6416 Broadway, where Dr. James King is now accepting new patients. Patients can make appointments with either of these new UTMB providers—or another UTMB physician—at or by calling the clinics directly at (409) 266-0227. In addition, appointments can be made by calling the UTMB Access Center at (800) 917-8906.

“Quality patient care is at the heart of everything we do, and this restructuring—along with opening new clinics to improve access to our care—is a testament to our unwavering commitment to that cause,” Reiser said.