News Release — University of Vermont Medical Center
Jan. 25, 2019
UVM Medical Center President Eileen Whalen to Retire in June
Dr. Stephen Leffler Will Serve as Interim President
BURLINGTON (VT) – The University of Vermont Medical Center CEO, Dr. John Brumsted, today announced that president, Eileen Whalen, MHA, RN will retire in June after four years at UVM Medical Center and 35 years in health care. Dr. Stephen Leffler will take on the role of interim president.
As president, Whalen has guided the organization with a focus on patient- and family-centered care. Under her leadership, the organization advanced key patient and employee initiatives including the building of the new mother baby unit, the construction of the Miller Building slated for completion in the coming months, establishment of the Emergency Medicine Residency and Acute Care Surgery programs, and innovative approaches to destigmatize and address the opioid crisis in partnership with community stakeholders. Whalen has been a champion for efforts to address the social determinants of health through community investments in food security, housing, and transportation. Whalen is a nationally recognized leader in trauma systems. She successfully implemented a regional critical care transport system – both ground and air ambulance – to ensure patients across the region can transfer between health care facilities to get the care they need when they need it.
“This announcement is bittersweet for me personally and professionally as I am incredibly proud to be part of the UVM Medical Center team working every day to care for the people of our community,” said Whalen. “After much reflection over the holidays with my husband, Bob, we determined that now was the right time for our family to begin this new chapter in our lives. I am grateful to each and every employee for their commitment and dedication to our patients and families, and I am grateful to the community for their support over the past several years.”
“I want to thank Eileen for her service to the UVM Medical Center where she has guided the organization through many critical initiatives and led our work in the community to address some of our biggest health care challenges,” said Dr. John Brumsted, CEO UVM Medical Center and President and CEO of the UVM Health Network. “Eileen has strengthened the organization and her efforts have improved care for patients, families and our communities both inside our hospital buildings and across the region. I wish her the very best in retirement.”
Allie Stickney, Chair of the UVM Medical Center Board of Trustees, added, “On behalf of the UVM Medical Center Board of Trustees, we thank Eileen for her terrific work and service to our community and wish her a long and adventurous retirement. We will miss her passion and advocacy for the UVM Medical Center’s patients and families and the people who work there. We congratulate Dr. Leffler on his appointment as interim president. We look forward to the important work ahead and ensuring the UVM Medical Center continues to deliver great care to all those in need.”
Stephen Leffler, M.D. is currently chief population health and quality officer for the University of Vermont Health Network where he oversees the coordination of quality, patient safety and population health programs. Leffler will bring his passion for healthy communities to his work at UVM Medical Center. Prior to joining the UVM Health Network in his current role, Dr. Leffler was Chief Medical Officer for the UVM Medical Center. He is an emergency medicine physician who still works regularly in the UVM Medical Center emergency department.
“It is an incredible honor to take on this role for the UVM Medical Center and I am humbled to be following Eileen and pledge to work tirelessly to support our employees as we care of our patients, families and communities,” said Leffler. “As Vermont’s academic medical center and a community hospital, we have a great responsibility to innovate, teach and research while staying true to our community roots.”
“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Leffler to this new role where I know he will build on the great work underway and continue to make UVM Medical Center the very best place to receive care,” Brumsted added. “Steve’s deep commitment to the organization and to our communities will be critical as we continue to build a health care system that emphasizes wellness as much as illness to improve care and control costs.”
Among his many current leadership roles, Leffler is a board chair for OneCare Vermont, President of the Vermont Medical Society, and medical director for the Hinesburg Volunteer First Response. Leffler received his medical degree from the Larner College of Medicine at UVM and earned a Master of Health Care Delivery Science degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Leffler is a resident of Hinesburg, where he lives with his wife, Robyn.