Texas Health Resources has selected Daniel Varga, M.D., as chief clinical officer (CCO) and senior executive vice president of the health system, effective Jan. 14. Dr. Varga will be responsible for achieving full and seamless integration of the entire Texas Health clinical enterprise, including quality, patient safety and patient experience initiatives. He will also oversee physician relationships, clinical integration, care design and clinical research and education.
Dr. Varga will work hand-in-hand with Barclay Berdan, the system’s chief operations officer (COO) and senior executive vice president, and they will have joint responsibility for execution of the next phase of Texas Health’s 10-year strategic plan launched in 2007. Both positions report to Doug Hawthorne, FACHE, chief executive officer of Texas Health Resources.
The CCO position is critical to the strategy of transforming Texas Health Resources from a hospital-centric organization to a patient-centered, fully integrated health system, creating a team of clinical and operations experts working side-by-side at the system and geographic zone levels to successfully integrate clinical care and enterprise operations.
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Varga join the Texas Health leadership team as our top-level physician executive,” Hawthorne said. “We conducted an extensive national search and involved Board communitarian's and independent physicians in the process. We knew we were looking for a unique individual. Dan Varga will accelerate the momentum on our clinical integration and physician-directed population health management activities, which are critical components in the next phase of our 10-year strategic focus. Advancing physicians in key leadership roles alongside operations leaders at all levels of the system brings together a depth of clinical and operational expertise that will help us understand and address all aspects of patient care. This approach will enable us to connect the dots along the care continuum – from wellness, prevention and primary care to acute care, rehabilitation and end-of-life care. Dr. Varga will lead the creation of core capabilities to provide for the health of populations through executing new care models and new payment methods.”
Fulfilling Texas Health’s goal of bringing more physicians into leadership roles across the system, physicians now serve in clinical leader positions for each of three geographical zones across the North Texas service area – southwest, north and southeast. The clinical leader of each zone will report to Dr. Varga as will leaders of Texas Health Physicians Group, Texas Health Research & Education Institute and other clinical care and quality functions.
“I am excited to be on the front end of what is sure to be an extraordinary transformation of health care delivery in a major U.S. market,” Varga said. “I am also excited about joining a talented team that will tackle some vital challenges. I’m committed to the focus on improving health and well-being—it’s the right thing to do for our patients and communities. The co-leader approach of teaming a physician leader with an experienced operations leader can be a key element in bringing about consistent, connected, high-quality care delivered in the most appropriate setting.”
Dr. Varga comes to Texas Health with 24 years of combined experience in patient practice, medical education and health care administration. He served in a number of senior clinical leadership roles in large health care organizations, most recently as the chief clinical officer at KentuckyOne Health, the largest health system in Kentucky. Prior to this position, he served as chief medical officer (CMO) at Saint Joseph Health System in Lexington, Ky; regional vice president-CMO at SSM Healthcare-Saint Louis; senior vice president and CMO at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky; and founder and president of Community Medical Associates, a large primary care physician group.
Dr. Varga received his bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky, and his medical education at the University of Louisville. He is board certified in internal medicine.