Patterson Chosen as Next UAMS Chancellor

By Yavonda Chase

University of Arkansas System President Donald R. Bobbitt announced Dec. 22 he would recommend Patterson for the position, an appointment that needed the approval of the Board of Trustees.

Patterson, currently senior vice president and chief operating officer at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, is expected to join UAMS on June 1 after seeing a major construction project on that campus through completion.

The other finalist, Stephanie F. Gardner, Pharm.D., Ed.D., interim chancellor, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost at UAMS, will continue to lead the institution through the transition.

“We were very fortunate to have two extremely high-quality candidates who both offered strong skill sets to help lead UAMS into a very crucial period in its continued tradition of innovation and excellence,” Bobbitt said. “In the end, Dr. Patterson’s experience in leading a very complex clinical enterprise and his varied background in clinical care, research and administrative leadership elevated his candidacy. I am thrilled to bring him on board and welcome him and his family to Arkansas.

“I am also extremely grateful to Dr. Gardner for her leadership and her candidacy for this position. She has proven herself to be an exceptional leader and an invaluable member of the UAMS leadership team.”

Patterson said he was “humbled and honored” to be entrusted with the “opportunity to lead UAMS during such an important time for academic health centers across the country.

“I know that we have many key initiatives underway and decisions to make in both the short- and long-term, and I am committed to working with our team to ensure we continue to provide the very best education, health care and research for the state.”

Both finalists met with key leadership figures, faculty, staff and employees last week. Each candidate also conducted a public forum on campus where they presented their credentials and vision for UAMS and answered questions.

“I enjoyed my time visiting with the students, faculty and staff on campus and look forward to learning more about UAMS and the state of Arkansas as I prepare to make this transition,” he said. “I also want to acknowledge and offer my sincere thanks to Dr. Gardner for her leadership. I am excited to work with her to advance the mission of UAMS.”

The search was conducted by Bobbitt and a campus advisory search committee, along with the help of Isaacson Miller, a contracted national search firm.

“I want to offer my congratulations to Dr. Patterson and welcome him to the UAMS family,” Gardner said. “I look forward to working with him. I truly believe there is no other institution more important to our state than UAMS, and I am excited about our future under Dr. Patterson’s leadership.”

Chaired by Jeannette Shorey, M.D., associate provost for faculty and professor of internal medicine, the advisory search committee included representatives from campus faculty, administration and staff, supporters from across the state and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.

“The committee deserves a lot of praise for the hard work and many extra hours they put into this national search that came in addition to a commitment to their current positions,” Shorey said. “Our group worked hard alongside the search firm to help identify individuals who we felt to be the best fit for this campus at this time. I’m very grateful to each of them.”

Bobbitt also praised the efforts of the committee.

“I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Shorey and her committee for their outstanding work,” Bobbitt said. “Jan brought critical insight to the search process and the committee worked very well together to help identify our next chancellor.”

Patterson has served as senior vice president and chief operating officer at Weill-Cornell Medical Center since 2014. A cardiologist, Patterson previously held numerous academic and clinical appointments at the University of North Carolina, including as physician-in-chief at the UNC Center for Heart and Vascular Care and executive director of the UNC McAllister Heart Institute.

Over the course of his career, Patterson (as principal investigator or co-investigator) has received more than $60 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His work has been published in 323 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Vanderbilt University, his medical doctorate from Emory University School of Medicine and his Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler School of Business.

His residency, including a year as chief resident, was conducted at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals. He was a research fellow at the Cardiovascular Biology Laboratory in the Harvard School of Public Health and a clinical fellow in cardiology at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Texas, where he joined the institution’s faculty in 1998.

His wife, Kristine Patterson, M.D., is an infectious disease specialist who is an expert in treating menopausal women with HIV. They have three children Celia, Anna and Graham.

More information on the search is available online at: