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Dwyer departing from VUH leadership role

Jun. 9, 2023, 4:34 PM

by John Howser

Shon Dwyer, MBA, RN

Shon Dwyer, MBA, RN, President of Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH), is leaving her role as the facility’s leader at the end of the fiscal year. She has worked in the academic hospital and health system arena for 36 years and will be departing to further expand and leverage her leadership capabilities toward a greater impact on U.S. health care. Lee Ann Liska, MBA, VUH’s Chief Operating Officer, will step in as Chief Operating Officer and Interim Hospital President.

Dwyer joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and VUH in March 2020, taking the reins of Tennessee’s top hospital just as the nation was beginning to be impacted by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As president of VUH, Dwyer was responsible for all aspects of the hospital’s performance, ensuring patient-focused service, quality and safety, recruitment and retention, growth and finance, and innovation throughout the facility.

During her tenure, Dwyer reorganized operations and championed numerous initiatives that advanced the hospital’s mission including significant improvements in many key performance indicators despite the pandemic and VUH’s ongoing capacity challenges. The hospital has improved or sustained recognition in U.S. News & World Report, Leapfrog, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet designation) and other organizations for its high performance. Many staff have come to know Dwyer especially through her interactive Town Hall sessions.

“Shon has been a passionate leader in service of VUMC, so that we can meet the needs of the patients we serve,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC. “I want to express my sincere appreciation to Shon for her service and many efforts to advance our mission.”

“The VUMC community and everyone at VUH should be very proud of the results achieved over the past three years. It has been my pleasure to be part of the collaboration and teamwork, willingness to change for the good of our patients and employees, and the relentless focus on improving all aspects of what we do. The team is strong, and I have no doubt they will continue with excellence,” said Dwyer.

Lee Ann Liska

Liska, a veteran of the health care industry, joined VUMC as VUH’s Chief Operating Officer in the Fall of 2020. As VUH’s Chief Operating Officer and Interim Hospital President, she will report to Pinson and will assume Dwyer’s former responsibilities and reports.

In partnership with operational leaders across the enterprise, the VUH senior leadership team, clinical department chairs and Patient Care Center and CSC directors, Liska will be focused on ensuring a smooth transition and will be responsible for achieving results-oriented operations throughout the hospital.

“I have enjoyed working closely with Shon and am grateful for her leadership. I look forward to this new challenge and the opportunity to lead Tennessee’s flagship hospital,” said Liska.

Liska’s experience spans hospital operations, physician practice management and ambulatory services in several academic and community health systems throughout the Midwest and South.

“I welcome Lee Ann to this interim role on our senior leadership team. Since joining VUMC, we have benefitted greatly from her prior experience in a range of health care settings. Having now been here since 2020, she has extensive knowledge of our organization and is well prepared for this role,” said Pinson.

A native of Ohio, Liska earned her Executive Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Cleveland State University.

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