Jeff Neely resigns as UHA President and CEO

Gary Marano is interim leader

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Jeffrey L. Neely, M.D., president and CEO of University Health Associates (UHA), announced his resignation today, effective Oct. 31.  Dr. Neely said he would remain on the West Virginia University faculty and return to full-time teaching and patient care as an internal medicine physician and professor.

The UHA Board of Directors by unanimous consent Wednesday night appointed Gary Marano, M.D., to serve as interim president and CEO. Dr. Marano is a WVU radiologist.

UHA is the physician and dental practice plan at WVU Health Sciences.  It’s the largest multi-specialty physician group in the state, with more than 400 physicians and dentists, and more than 1,000 support staff in Morgantown and at clinics throughout West Virginia.

Dr. Neely was elected to the UHA Board in 1999, and then served as chairman before becoming interim president and CEO in July 2004.  He was named president and CEO in January 2005.

“I have had a wonderful opportunity to serve, and had a seat at the table. However I knew when I took this position that it wouldn’t be a job for life,” Neely said.  “I have made a personal decision to return to something I really love – that’s teaching and taking care of patients.  We’ve had phenomenal achievements, but now it’s time for me to focus on my patients, students and family.”

Neely also has been serving as the UHA representative on the Joint Planning Group, which consists of leadership from WVU Health Sciences, WVU School of Medicine, WVU Hospitals and the West Virginia United Health System.  The group has been working to align the clinical, educational, research and service missions of all the entities of WVU Health Sciences. 

“It’s a time of change for the institution.  As we’ve been evaluating the direction and structure of Health Sciences, I’ve been evaluating my own personal role and goals for the future,” Neely said. “I feel confident that there are other experienced voices at the table, and I believe in the collective wisdom of our leaders and faculty.”

“Jeff Neely has been devoted to WVU all his professional life.  He has been a part of a lot of great things here and we’re looking for that to continue in the future,” Jim Brick, M.D., interim dean of the WVU School of Medicine, said. “Now he wants to go back to what he loves most – and that’s good for everybody, because he’s the kind of doctor you want your mom to go to.”

Fred Butcher, Ph.D., interim vice president for WVU Health Sciences, said that he was sorry to see Neely leave the leadership team but respected Neely’s decision to return to patient care and teaching.

“Jeff can take a lot of credit for all the positive things that UHA has accomplished in recent years – the Urgent Care Center, Sports Medicine Center, recruitment of quality physicians and so much more,” Butcher said.  “He’s leaving the corporation in good standing.”

Neely, 55, is a Morgantown native and a graduate of West Virginia University.  He earned his medical degree at WVU and did specialty training at the Medical University of South Carolina.  He joined the faculty of WVU in 1983. 

Dr. Marano is a graduate of the University of Virginia.  He earned his medical degree and did his residency at WVU.  He joined the faculty in 2001 and is professor and vice chair of radiology and director of nuclear medicine.  He has served on the UHA Board since 2004.

“I’m leaving UHA in good hands, “ Dr. Neely said. “Gary Marano offers special skills in education, clinical service, and as an excellent businessman. He provides us solid organizational continuity.”


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
alj: 09-03-08

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