Duke University Health System said Thursday that Thomas Owens will become president of Duke University Hospital next month.
Owens’ selection was announced just three days after announcing that 32-year Duke veteran Kevin Sowers was stepping down as the hospital’s leader. Sowers will become the next president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Md.
Owens, 49, said his focus will be continuing Duke’s ongoing transition to a health care system that is more effective and affordable. He said the Triangle is a strong market where patients have choices and hospitals must be responsive and adaptable.
“It’s a competitive and growing market,” Owens said. “We’re committed to bringing care closer to home for the patients in our region.”
Duke did not have to conduct a nationwide search to replace Sowers.
“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.
Owens, has been chief medical officer for the Duke University Health System since 2012. Before that appointment, Owens was chief medical officer for the 957-bed Duke University Hospital and chief of the Duke University Health System Hospital Medicine program. He was named as the health system’s senior vice president in June of 2017, a title he will retain. Owens got his start at Duke in 1999 in internships and residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics.