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Townsend Takes Reins as Medical Center CEO


Chancellor Dan Rahn introduces UAMS Medical Center CEO Roxane Townsend at a reception to meet UAMS employees.
Chancellor Dan Rahn introduces UAMS Medical Center CEO Roxane Townsend at a reception to meet UAMS employees.

Townsend greets Psychiatric Research Institute Director G. Richard Smith (right) and  Clint Kilts, Ph.D., director of  the institute’s Brain Imaging Research Center.
Townsend greets Psychiatric Research Institute Director G. Richard Smith (right) and Clint Kilts, Ph.D., director of the institute’s Brain Imaging Research Center.

Feb. 6, 2013 | Roxane A. Townsend, M.D., started her tenure Feb. 1 as chief executive officer of UAMS Medical Center and vice chancellor for clinical programs for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Townsend, an experienced hospital administrator, previously served as assistant vice president for health systems at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. In that role, she worked with the system’s 10 hospitals and their clinics in the development of operational strategies and system-wide policies.

“Dr. Townsend brings experience as an administrator both of medical centers and in state health care administration that offers the strengths and skills needed at UAMS going forward as we meet the challenges of coming changes in health care,” said UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D. “She has worked as a nurse, a physician and as a hospital administrator, which brings a unique perspective to her role as part of the UAMS mission to improve health and health care in Arkansas.

Townsend succeeded Richard Pierson, who retired in December after 31 years at UAMS.

Townsend said by continuing to focus on a quality patient experience, UAMS will be able to work through the impending changes in the American health care system.

“UAMS already offers so much and is known across the state, region and nation for excellence in many of its clinical programs, so there is a strong foundation on which to build,” Townsend said, “We must make sure we have a patient experience that makes patients want to make us their medical home — and not just come here for a particular program.”

Townsend also served as CEO of the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans, Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge and as CEO of the LSU Health Care Services Division. Prior to joining LSU in 2007, she was appointed by Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco as secretary for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) for the transition to a new administration. She also served DHH as the Medicaid Medical Director and Deputy Secretary of the Department.

She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Following graduation she spent nine years working as a nurse. She then entered medical school at LSU in New Orleans where she graduated and completed a residency in Internal Medicine.

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