Richard Turnage, M.D., Named UAMS Vice Chancellor for Clinical Programs and Hospital CEO

By Ben Boulden

He succeeds Roxane Townsend, M.D., who left UAMS at the end of September.

“After conducting a national search, it was clear to me and those on the search committee that Richard’s clinical and academic background makes him the ideal candidate to be the next vice chancellor for clinical programs and hospital CEO,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “Since coming to UAMS, Richard has held multiple leadership positions. I have appreciated his leadership style and his willingness to do whatever he can for the betterment of UAMS and the state of Arkansas.”

Turnage currently serves as chief service line officer for the Integrated Clinical Enterprise, executive associate dean for clinical services in the College of Medicine, and professor in the college’s Department of Surgery.

He joined UAMS as chairman of the Department of Surgery in 2008, coming to the university from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center in Shreveport where he was professor of surgery, professor of physiology and medical director of the physician assistant program.

“Being named vice chancellor for clinical programs and CEO of the hospital at UAMS is the greatest honor of my life,” Turnage said. “I have had great professional relationships with the chancellor, leadership and staff at UAMS and look forward to continuing those as we work together to meet the challenges and explore the opportunities ahead.”

Turnage received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana Tech University, and his medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine. He completed his surgical residency and a research fellowship in pediatric surgery at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor where he was also chief surgery resident. While chair of surgery at UAMS, he also served as interim chair for other departments in the College of Medicine while searches were conducted for permanent chairs. He served as interim dean of the College of Medicine until Pope L. Moseley, M.D., was recruited as permanent dean.

Steppe Mette, chief clinical officer of the Integrated Clinical Enterprise, has been serving as interim vice chancellor and CEO since Townsend left.

“He has agreed to continue in that role until Dec. 1,” Rahn said. “I am very grateful to Steppe for his willingness to serve.”