Excitement filled the UF Health Shands Hospital Atrium on June 5 when faculty and staff joined UF President Kent Fuchs to congratulate David R. Nelson, M.D., on his new position as senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health.
“Dr. Nelson is a highly respected and remarkably talented physician, researcher, scholar and educator — all qualities that make him the right leader for UF Health at a key moment in its trajectory,” Fuchs said. “With him at the helm, I am confident that UF Health in Gainesville, Jacksonville and throughout the state will accelerate its rise as one of the most exceptional and influential academic health centers in the Southeast and beyond.”
Following Fuchs’ comments, Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., UF College of Pharmacy dean, spoke on Nelson’s success during his time in the interim role.
“From the outset, Dr. Nelson’s focus was on thinking and acting strategically to advance and help secure success for our academic health center and UF Health, well into the future,” Johnson said. “And this includes the future for our colleges, the clinical enterprise and research. And now that he is our permanent leader, just think what we will be able to accomplish together.”
UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez was traveling during the event but provided remarks via video.
Jimenez mentioned Nelson’s dedication to UF Health, as well as his many professional accomplishments during his 26 years at UF Health, including his extensive scientific research and internationally recognized expertise in hepatitis C.
“We are fortunate that he will take his accomplishments and do more by becoming the most important administrative leader for our health center,” Jimenez said.
Diana Richardson, UF Health Shands vice president of Operations, spoke about her enthusiasm for the future of UF Health with Nelson in charge.
“As a leader I’ve found him to value and challenge us to the very highest levels of performance and achievement,” Richardson said. “But he does that with a collaborative and grounded mindset that will help us set and achieve those goals.”