Indiana University Health President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel F. Evans, Jr. announced his plan for retirement. Evans will relinquish his role as president but will continue to serve as the statewide health system’s CEO until May 1, 2016. As part of the succession plan, current IU Health Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dennis M. Murphy will be promoted to president of the organization, effective immediately, and become CEO as well on May 1, 2016. Murphy will continue to serve as COO until a successor is named.
A historic legacy of growth and expansion
In his 13 years as the system’s president and CEO, Dan Evans has overseen the expansion of the IU Health system from three hospitals in downtown Indianapolis to a unified statewide health system of nearly 20 hospitals and health centers that treat more than 2.5 million patients a year. Throughout his tenure, IU Health has consistently been included in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals rankings, which also recognizes IU Health as the No. 1 hospital in the state of Indiana. Other milestones include the opening of the world-class IU Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, the IU Health Neuroscience Center and the Riley Hospital for Children Simon Family Tower at IU Health.
Evans has been an enthusiastic proponent of the recently announced plan for a regional academic health campus in Bloomington and helped lead the development of the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI), a five-year, $150 million collaboration between IU Health and IU School of Medicine that was created to advance research and produce innovative treatments for patients with cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.
Evans is a well-known presence in both the federal and the state public policy communities as an advocate for health and wellness programs and high-quality, accessible healthcare. He has been deeply involved in numerous legislative healthcare matters and advocated for the renewal of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), which provides access to affordable healthcare for more low-income, working Hoosiers. Evans also pushed for continued government funding of the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program to support the education and training of much-needed future physicians.
More recently, Evans announced a $1 billion investment in a new adult academic health center in downtown Indianapolis, which will serve as the system’s principal referral center for patients with severe illnesses and complex cases, serving as a major part of IU Health’s statewide organized system of care.
“Under Dan’s remarkable tenure as CEO, IU Health has evolved into one of the finest hospital systems in the country and one that is steadfastly devoted to providing Indiana residents the highest possible standard of care,” said Michael A. McRobbie, Ph.D, president, Indiana University. “The deep partnership between Indiana University and IU Health is vital to both institutions—as well as to the state of Indiana—and Dan’s determined leadership and commitment to creating a world-class academic health enterprise has been critical to our combined success.”
Throughout his tenure, Evans has also been faithful to IU Health’s relationship with the United Methodist Church and facilitated the addition of United Methodist leaders to hospital boards throughout the system. He led fundraising efforts resulting in an endowed Evans Center for Religious and Spiritual Values, and recently secured significant funding for the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church to support important health, wellness and psychological services for the church’s clergy, which enables them to better lead their parishioners.
“One of Dan’s lifelong passions has been the United Methodist Church,” said Bishop Michael J. Coyner of the Indiana Area United Methodist Church. “His board leadership during the formation of Clarian Health and his executive leadership as CEO of IU Health have deepened and sustained the health and welfare mission of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church in remarkable ways. I look forward to working with Dennis Murphy going forward. He, too, deeply appreciates the religious roots of our medical mission and will be an excellent partner on this journey.”
“Dan’s vision and leadership have built IU Health into one of the most respected and skilled healthcare systems in the nation,” said Anne Nobles, chair, IU Health Board of Directors. “We are grateful for his sustained leadership and positive influence on the organization. During this transition period, Dan and Dennis will work together to continue the momentum they have created to keep IU Health strong and able to deliver on our mission of improving the lives of our patients, families and communities.”
A vision for innovation and success
Evans’ successor, Dennis Murphy, is also a highly experienced healthcare leader. Murphy joined IU Health in 2013 as its executive vice president and chief operating officer after serving in a similar role at Northwestern Memorial HealthCare in Chicago. There, he led the implementation of key systemwide initiatives, which resulted in consistent multi-year improvements in patient satisfaction, cost reduction, clinical program mix and key clinical quality initiatives. Murphy worked extensively across its medical school, practice plan and affiliated private physicians to ensure the long-term development of key clinical, research and education programs, and was responsible for the opening of a 328-bed, $507 million replacement women’s hospital.
Previously, Murphy held leadership positions at several of the nation’s top hospitals and academic health systems, including the University of Chicago Medicine and a 10-year stint at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“The board is confident that Dennis is the right leader to continue our transformation as the preeminent leader in clinical care, education, research and service,” said Nobles. “Dennis has tremendous career experience from other healthcare systems and has a history of delivering impactful results. At IU Health, he has built a reputation for collaboration and, in a time of ferocious industry change, he is leading major system operational improvements so IU Health can meet the needs of our patients and the communities we serve.”
“We sought Dennis out because of the breadth and depth of his experience, his track record of innovation and success, and his proven leadership skills,” said Evans. “I’ve grown even more deeply impressed with him as we’ve worked side-by-side for the past two years. We are indeed fortunate to have a nationally recognized leader like Dennis to lead IU Health into the future.”
Evans added that he is “grateful for the thousands of colleagues and team members I’ve worked with over the past 13 years; we’ve accomplished a lot as we worked together to provide our patients with the best possible healthcare experience.
“Much more remains to be done,” continued Evans. “I leave knowing there is no one more capable or better positioned than Dennis to lead IU Health into the future and to the next level of success.”
Since joining IU Health, Murphy has been responsible for leading the design of IU Health’s new organizational structure and process improvement efforts that will enable the system to fulfill its mission in a dynamic, ever-changing healthcare environment. He’s also been instrumental in the expansion of IU Health Plans and its application of the population health model of care, which enhances the relationship between patients and their providers and seeks to keep patients healthier by better managing chronic conditions and overcoming obstacles to improved health. Additionally, Murphy has been working closely with IU School of Medicine Dean Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D, to enhance alignment between the two institutions for the benefit of patients.
“During his time at IU Health, Dennis has proven to be an outstanding collaborator who has worked extremely well with the leadership at the IU School of Medicine to promote our shared vision of how best to positively affect health outcomes across the state,” said McRobbie. “His impeccable background as a health administrator and demonstrated success as COO of IU Health make him an ideal choice to lead this critically important institution during a time of dramatic change, and I look forward to working closely with him in the future.”
“I am honored to have been selected for this incredible opportunity,” said Murphy. “I am eager to continue the work of bringing groups of committed individuals together so they can grow to know and trust one another as they collaborate to find solutions that help to improve the health of the patients and communities we serve.”