Thomas A. Owens, MD '95 Named President of Duke University Hospital

Dr. Thomas A. Owens, MD '95.

Thomas A. Owens, M.D., former Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Duke University Health System, and an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the Duke University School of Medicine, was named president of Duke University Hospital, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

“Based on Dr. Owens’ outstanding performance over the past many years, and in consultation with Duke Health leadership, he was our immediate and clear choice for this role,” said A. Eugene Washington, M.D., Chancellor for Health Affairs, and president and chief executive officer of Duke University Health System (DUHS). “Dr. Owens has made important and varied contributions to the success of Duke University Hospital and DUHS over the past decade.”

As the health system’s chief medical officer, Owens led work across DUHS to redesign, realign, and in some cases reinvent the ways care is delivered in many areas of clinical practice, oversaw the expansion and enhancement of DUHS’s primary care network, and helped shape an institutional approach to population health. He also served as the clinical leader responsible for the planning, preparation and implementation of the health system’s electronic medical record system, one of the most fundamental transformations across DUHS since its inception in 1998.   

He also led the creation and implementation of a DUHS-wide management model for patient safety and quality management that has resulted in marked quantifiable improvements across multiple clinical quality measures and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services core measures.

After earning his medical degree from the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biological Sciences in 1995, Owens came to Duke in 1999 for internships and residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He received a General Internal Medicine fellowship in 2000 and served as chief resident in 2001. He has held a number of positions of increased responsibility throughout his career at Duke including chief medical officer for Duke University Hospital and chief of the DUHS Hospital Medicine program prior to being named chief medical officer for the health system in 2012. He was named senior vice president in June of 2017.

“In addition to his management, leadership and performance excellence strengths, Dr. Owens’ commitment to our values and strong belief in supporting our Duke family define him as a leader,” said William J. Fulkerson, Jr., M.D., executive vice president of DUHS.

Owens has received numerous awards and honors including the Eugene A. Stead, Jr. Award for Outstanding Teaching Faculty (2004, 2008), Samuel L. Katz Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2002) and the Duke University Presidential Award for Executive Leadership (2006).