A Message from Kevin Sowers: Leadership Update and Heart Institute Assessment

Posted on Jan 02, 2019

As we work to rebuild trust with our community and stabilize our teams and programs, we are announcing a few additional leadership transitions that are effective immediately. Dr. Brigitta Mueller, chief patient safety officer and vice president of medical affairs, and Sylvia Ameen, vice president of marketing, communications and culture / physician engagement have resigned from their positions and have our thanks for their service.

In addition, Dr. Gerhard Ziemer, who was appointed in August as director of the Heart Institute and chief of cardiovascular surgery, will be leaving us. While Dr. Ziemer is not responsible for the current state of the program, we agree that a fresh start is needed to ensure success for the program. We wish him well in his future endeavors.

The following current leaders have graciously stepped in to lead critically important work around advancing our culture of safety: Dr. George Jallo, M.D., medical director of the Institute for Brain Protection Sciences, chief of pediatric neurosurgery, interim vice dean and physician-in-chief, Melissa Macogay, M.B.A., B.S.N., R.N., C.C.R.N-K, N.E-B.C, vice president and chief nursing officer and Angela Green, Ph.D, R.N., C.P.H.Q., F.A.H.A., F.A.A.N., senior director of patient safety and quality. Angela will also serve as the interim patient safety officer. Dr. Joseph Perno, M.D., M.B.A, vice chairman of the department of medicine, will serve as interim vice president of medical affairs. 

Finally, Kim Hoppe, director of public relations and corporate communications for Johns Hopkins Medicine, will oversee the Marketing and Communications team on an interim basis.

As a first step toward rebuilding our heart program, I am pleased to announce that a team of external experts led by Dr. Bill Greeley has agreed to consult with physicians and staff members on assessing all elements of the Heart Institute from a clinical perspective in order to help us determine the resources required and an appropriate timeline to start the program back up safely and with a commitment to excellence.

Dr. Greeley is the former president of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Practice Association (CHOPPA) and president of the medical staff at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Prior to these appointments, Dr. Greeley served as chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at CHOP. He also held a faculty appointment as professor of anesthesiology, critical care and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Greeley is a professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at Duke School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, where he served as chief of the Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology and Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Duke University.

Dr. Greeley will be joined by Dr. Scott Bradley from the Medical University of South Carolina and Dr. Bill Mahle, division director of cardiology in the department of pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Since 1995, Dr. Bradley has served with distinction at the Medical University of South Carolina, where he helped build the university’s successful and widely respected pediatric cardiothoracic program. He is a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association and the American Surgical Association. He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Pediatric Cardiology and is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles.

In addition to his clinical expertise, for more than a decade Dr. Mahle has served as the medical director of the heart transplant and heart failure service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Since 2015, he has been the president of Sibley Heart Center Cardiology, the section chief of cardiology at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston campus and served on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Physician Leadership Council. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Johns Hopkins Medicine remains proud of and deeply committed to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. This is a beloved and respected institution and every day essential care is delivered to our patients with compassion and excellence.

Restoring Your Trust in Our Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is determined to learn everything that happened in the Heart Institute and to rebuild it in a way that earns your trust. We commit ourselves to updating you on our leadership transition, the lessons we learn through independent outside evaluation and our implementation of recommended changes. Johns Hopkins is proud and deeply committed to being a part of this community. We invite you to follow our journey, and we will not rest until your trust is restored.

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