Dr. Rick Shannon

Dr. Rick Shannon

The University of Virginia Health System’s executive vice president announced Monday that he will step down in May.

Dr. Rick Shannon has been at UVa for six years, overseeing the Medical Center, the schools of medicine and nursing, the health sciences library and physicians group. He previously worked at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school and Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

He is an expert in patient safety and implemented a “Be Safe” initiative, an effort to cut waste and errors and improve patient health at the hospital. He also led UVa’s efforts to expand into Northern Virginia through a partnership with Inova Health, and helped to grow UVa’s research funding from the National Institutes of Health from $110 million in fiscal year 2013 to $140 million in 2018.

According to a news release from UVa, medical center CEO Pamela Sutton-Wallace will become acting executive vice president after Shannon’s departure.

In a letter to Health System employees on Monday, Shannon said he was proud of the organization’s accomplishments.

“We are increasingly the place in Virginia where other hospitals and government agencies turn for answers to vexing health care issues,” he wrote. “We have achieved these gains because we dared to be bold and ambitious. Excellence is not for the faint of heart. Aspiring to perfect patient care — no defect, no error, no waste — and committing to improving our clinical outcomes was a choice to take the high but the hard road. That same road has led our more recent discussions regarding a five-year plan to expand our impact beyond Charlottesville and make the UVa Health System a statewide provider of care.”

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