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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


Nationally Recognized Beth Israel/Harvard Surgeon to Chair West Penn Allegheny Health System Department of Surgery

Friday, November 6th, 2009

West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) announced today the recruitment of Donald W. Moorman, M.D., to serve as system chair of its Department of Surgery. He will assume his new post in January 2010. 

Dr. Moorman joins West Penn Allegheny from Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston where he has served as vice chair of clinical affairs and associate surgeon-in-chief since 2000. He is also director of Beth Israel’s Trauma Center and an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

In his capacity at Beth Israel, Dr. Moorman has helped the institution achieve international recognition for patient safety and the quality of its surgical and critical care programs.

“Outstanding leadership across all disciplines is absolutely essential to the success of our emerging physician organization and to the growth of our System’s key service lines. Dr. Moorman brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Department of Surgery and we look forward to the bright future of this program under his direction,” said Sanford Kurtz, M.D., executive vice president, chief medical officer and president of West Penn Allegheny’s Physician Organization.

Over the past 12 months, West Penn Allegheny has made significant progress towards it goal of integrating key clinical programs at its now merged Allegheny General and West Penn Hospital campuses, including West Penn’s Forbes Campus in Monroeville.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Moorman to our physician leadership team. He is an incredibly talented and accomplished surgeon whose impressive clinical and academic credentials, leadership experience, commitment to quality and strategic vision will be critical to our success in developing an effective, fully integrated Department of Surgery model for the organization,” said Michael DeVita, M.D., West Penn Allegheny’s executive vice president for medical affairs.

Dr. Moorman said West Penn Allegheny’s physician led management approach was a key factor in his decision to join the organization.

“The reinvention of this System as a physician led organization is critical to its long-term success and makes for a most appealing environment in which to continue my surgical practice and help me achieve my goals as chair of a large and diversified surgical department,” he said.

The unified Department of Surgery at West Penn Allegheny has more than 220 physicians on staff, including 41 faculty members who hold appointments from the Temple University or Drexel University Schools of Medicine. There are also approximately 200 medical students and 55 surgical residents rotating through the Allegheny General and West Penn campuses yearly.

The Department consists of 11 subspecialty divisions, including colon and rectal surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, otorhinolaryngology, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, surgical oncology, urology, transplantation, general surgery, trauma surgery and bariatric surgery.

As chair of the Department, Dr. Moorman will be charged with integrating its various divisions across the System and overseeing all its programmatic, academic, research and quality initiatives.

“Both AGH and West Penn have distinguished histories of providing first rate surgical care and surgical training programs. My goal is to build upon this heritage as we establish a new organizational culture for the integrated department,” Dr. Moorman said.

Continuing, Dr. Moorman said his first priority will be assembling a surgical leadership team that will define how resources can be most effectively utilized to deliver comprehensive, patient centered surgical care across the System.

“We must make sure that patients receive the highest level of surgical care, both in terms of quality and service, at every encounter within our health care system. By standardizing best practices and maximizing the efficacy of our surgical services across campuses, we will create a unified program that is among the nation’s best in patient outcomes, safety and satisfaction,” he said.

Prior to his roles at Beth Israel and Harvard, Dr. Moorman served in a number of important clinical and academic leadership positions at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, including section chief of its Department of Surgery, director of Surgical Education and director of the clinical division of the Center’s affiliated Human Gene Therapy Research Institution.

A graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Dr. Moorman is certified by the American Board of Surgery. His clinical areas of interest include gastrointestinal surgery, general surgery (including laparoscopy), trauma and critical care. He is the author of many scientific abstracts, articles and book chapters in his field and is an active member of several academic professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. He is also a past president of the Midwest Surgical Association.


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