Hefner steps down as CEO at Georgia Regents Medical Center

David S. Hefner is stepping down as the CEO of Georgia Regents Medical Center.

The CEO of Georgia Regents Medical Center is stepping down after three years to pursue other opportunities, the health system said Tuesday afternoon.


David S. Hefner will leave the position June 30 but will remain in a “strategic capacity,” according to the announcement. Hefner has been in that position since 2011. He also served as executive vice president of clinical affairs for Georgia Regents University and as CEO of Georgia Regents Medical Associates.

Medical College of Georgia Dean Peter Buckley will serve as the interim CEO while a national search is conducted for Hefner’s replacement.

The health system has had an up-and-down financial performance in recent years, and Hefner had predicted it would be hit hard by cuts at the federal level, such as sequestration. Last week, the health system reported a $6 million loss, and officials said they were working on a turnaround plan.

Hefner joined GRU from the Association of American Medical Colleges, where he was a senior adviser after having also been a top executive in the health systems of Pennsylvania State University and the University of Chicago. He also had served as a consultant to numerous health care systems and was known as a big-picture thinker who was brought in to integrate the health care system and its practice groups.

In the announcement, the health system listed a number of major achievements during Hefner’s tenure, including a 15-year, $300 million partnership last year with Royal Phillips to improve health care technology and an electronic health information exchange between the health system and Medical Center of Central Georgia that will soon include more facilities.

“Hefner was instrumental in leading the transformation of our clinical enterprise into an integrated, world-class health system,” the statement said. “With a focus on patient care quality and safety innovations, he fostered cross-collaborations and partnerships in research, education, and patient care.”

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