UF Health Jacksonville names new Chief Executive Officer

Leon L. Haley Jr., M.D., MHSA, C.P.E., FACEP, has been named chief executive officer of UF Health Jacksonville following a vote of the organization’s board of directors today (Monday, Sept. 25). The appointment comes less than a year after Haley was named dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, a position he will continue to hold.

Haley will officially assume his new joint role on Jan. 1, 2018, after current CEO Russ Armistead retires at the end of December.

“It’s clear to anyone who has had the good fortune of working with Dr. Haley, both in his role as a physician and as an administrator, that he is a man of incredible talent,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., president of UF Health, senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and chair of the board of directors of UF Health Jacksonville. “In less than a year, he has brought such positive energy and expertise to the college that we felt it made perfect sense to have him lead this great organization, a model that follows how many other academic health centers are structured.”

During his tenure as dean of the medical school, Haley has been a part of many positive changes, including the opening and staffing of the new inpatient unit at UF Health North, a 92-bed facility that is part of a state-of-the-art medical complex in North Jacksonville.

“It hasn’t taken me long to realize what a special place UF Health Jacksonville is, and I am excited to lead the hospital and the medical school,” said Haley. “In just a short time, I’ve come to understand the special role we play in bringing the best, most compassionate care to this community, serving everyone and anyone who comes through our doors. This is an exciting time for us, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Haley will now lead an organization that comprises more than 6,000 employees, including physicians, nurses and other health care providers and support staff all focused on providing outstanding service to Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

“As the region’s premier academic health science center, with a mission to heal, to comfort, to educate and to discover, we plan continued investment in our clinical programs, both at our downtown campus as well as our north campus facility,” Haley said. “We want to strengthen our educational programs at the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy and our hospital allied health programs, and increase our research portfolio through discovery and innovation.”

Haley came to the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville in January, following a long and successful career at Emory University and the Grady Health System in Atlanta. While there, he held many roles, including professor of emergency medicine and executive associate dean at Emory and chief medical officer of the Emory Medical Care Foundation. He also served as deputy senior vice president of medical affairs, chief of emergency medicine for Grady Health System and vice chair of emergency medicine at Emory University. Prior to his positions at Grady and Emory, Haley was a senior staff physician at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

Haley completed his undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Michigan. Haley completed his residency in emergency medicine at the Henry Ford Health System, serving a year as chief resident. Haley is board-certified in emergency medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. 

He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American College of Physician Executives. He also recently became a member of the board of directors of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, one of 24 medical specialty certification boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Haley’s primary academic interest has been identifying and evaluating strategies to enhance the delivery of high-quality emergency care to large numbers of patients in the emergency room setting. He is credited with successfully implementing a rapid medical evaluation process in the Grady Memorial Hospital emergency room that resulted in, among other things, decreasing the number of patients leaving without being seen by 50 percent, decreasing the time for patients to see an emergency medicine provider by 45 minutes and reducing the length of stay for the lowest-acuity patients by three hours.

Haley completed the Woodruff Leadership Program at Emory University and a fellowship for the National Association of Public Hospital Program. He has been funded by the Department of Defense, SAMSA, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Healthcare Foundation of Georgia. Haley served on the state of Georgia’s Trauma Network Commission as an appointee of the Georgia Lt. Governor.