Health & Medicine

UC Davis Medical Center gets interim chief as Rice prepares to depart for Minneapolis

Brad Simmons, the chief operating officer at UC Davis Medical Center, has overseen a number of areas during his tenure. They have included operational, logistical and patient support services as well as Level 1 trauma and emergency services.
Brad Simmons, the chief operating officer at UC Davis Medical Center, has overseen a number of areas during his tenure. They have included operational, logistical and patient support services as well as Level 1 trauma and emergency services. UC Davis Medical Center

Brad Simmons, the chief operating officer at UC Davis Medical Center, will take over as the interim chief executive officer of the teaching hospital as CEO Ann Madden Rice leaves to become president of Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis in mid-October.

Simmons’ appointment is pending approval by the University of California Board of Regents. He has served as the second-in-command at the medical center since 2016.

“Brad is the ideal person, ready to step right into this crucial position at UC Davis Health,” said David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of Human Health Sciences and CEO of UC Davis Health. “Not only has he been responsible for day-to-day hospital operations, but he is dedicated to high-quality outcomes, patient care and ensuring the medical center plays a pivotal role in the larger health and well-being of our entire community and region.”

Allina Health, a not-for-profit health system with 12 hospitals and 65 clinics, announced in mid-August that Rice would be coming on board in mid-October to lead Abbott Northwestern. She also will be a senior vice president of Allina Health.

Both Abbott Northwestern and UC Davis Medical Center have consistently received high marks in the Best Hospitals ranking released annually by U.S. News & World Report.

Rice’s departure means a changing of the guard at UC Davis Health. She had been the medical center’s leader for 12 years. The university announced in May that Lubarsky had been appointed to take over the reins of UC Davis Health. Julie Freischlag left as the leader of UCD Health in February 2017 after three years to become president and chief executive officer at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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Before joining UC Davis Medical Center, Simmons was the chief operating officer of Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City. The facility won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige award for quality. His career also includes leadership roles in medicine, surgical and emergency trauma services at Dallas’ Parkland Health and Hospital System.

Simmons’ responsibilities at UC Davis Medical Center have included operational, logistical and patient support services. He has overseen UC Davis’ Level 1 trauma and emergency services, surgery and post-operative care services, as well facility operations and supply chain management. He’s also been a key leader in managed care and outpatient services for the health system.

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