New Role for Lee A. Fleisher, MD

June 30, 2020

To:PSOM Faculty and Staff and UPHS Leadership

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, and Kevin B. Mahoney

It is with pride mixed with sadness that we write to announce that Lee A. Fleisher, MD, chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, has accepted a new role as Chief Medical Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He will also serve as Director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, which serves as the focal point for all quality, clinical, medical science issues, survey and certification, and policies for CMS programs.

A national health policy thought leader whose work has focused on evidence-based medicine, defining quality metrics, and the influence of culture and innovation on care delivery, Lee will bring a wealth of deep expertise to his new role to benefit the 140 million Americans who rely on Medicare and Medicaid for health coverage. He is a model collaborator, and his experience working closely with experts from diverse fields including law, business, nursing, and anthropology and sociology will ensure representation of all stakeholders in shaping CMS plans and policy.

Lee will begin his transition into his new role in July, and will maintain a clinical role at Penn Medicine and as a member of our faculty while serving in this important federal position.

As we wrote earlier this spring, a national search for Lee’s successor has already begun, led by L. Scott Levin, MD, and we continue with our plan to have a new chair place by spring 2021. During this period, Bill Hanson, MD, chief medical information officer and a professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, has agreed to serve as the department’s interim chair, effective July 6th.

Dr. Fleisher’s impact since becoming chair in 2004 has brought about transformational change within the Department and across the health system, from training, professionalism and well-being efforts for of physicians at all levels to mapping innovative clinical care initiatives. His leading role in important strategic initiatives, such as quality, patient safety, and managed care have been invaluable, as have his contributions to the Opioid Task Force, the development of the ERAS Collaborative, and our global health project in Vietnam.

Lee is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, and has held numerous national leadership roles, including serving on the Board of Directors and chairing the Consensus Standards Advisory Committee, and serving as co-chair of the Surgery Standing Committee of the National Quality Forum. He has served on numerous Technical Expert Panels for CMS, and the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. He is also a member of the Medical Advisory Panel of the Technology Evaluation Center of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association.

Lee’s exceptional work leading the department during the difficult and uncertain times that have marked the COVID-19 pandemic have served as a capstone to his nearly seventeen years of outstanding leadership service that has cemented an unmatched national reputation for Penn Medicine and the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care. Please join us in congratulating him on his well-deserved new role.