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Duke Names Health System Chief Executive Officer


Sarah Avery
Sarah Avery
919-724-5343 Email

DURHAM, N.C. -- Craig Albanese, M.D., an accomplished health care leader and distinguished academic pediatric surgeon, has been named chief executive officer of Duke University Health System (DUHS).

In assuming the role as CEO -- which will be effective at the end of next month -- Albanese will be responsible for strategic and operational oversight of DUHS and its senior leadership. He will continue to report to A. Eugene Washington, M.D., Duke University chancellor for health affairs, and also will report directly to the Duke University Health System Board of Directors.

Since joining DUHS as executive vice president and chief operating officer on Jan. 17, 2022, Albanese has demonstrated his ability to champion our culture, lead large-scale change and drive operational performance improvement. He has been intensely involved in addressing the health system’s financial challenges while ensuring sustained high levels of patient care quality and safety.

“Dr. Albanese has demonstrated vigorous and responsive leadership that has enabled Duke’s clinical enterprise to recover and renew in the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, working diligently to improve the well-being of our people, and seeking to accelerate expansion of our health system through organic growth and strategic partnerships. His continued leadership will be vital in guiding the next phase of the health system’s work,” said Washington and Duke University President Vincent E. Price in a joint statement.

As chief executive officer, Albanese will oversee the timely execution of DUHS goals and strategic priorities and be dedicated to ensuring that Duke’s clinical enterprise continues to thrive and lead. He oversees all other clinical enterprise leaders to deliver outcomes and care across Duke’s network, from the hospitals to ambulatory clinics to care in homes and the community.

“A passionate advocate for our providers and frontline team members, Dr. Albanese is a leader of high integrity and personal commitment who puts people first and who has garnered trust and credibility with Duke’s faculty, leadership and staff alike,” said Price and Washington. “Considering his personal qualities and performance to date, we are confident that Dr. Albanese is the right person to lead our health system at this time.”

Albanese has deep, broad health care expertise and experience, along with a record of achievements and contributions. Prior to Duke, he served as group senior vice president and chief medical officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, a $9.2 billion, 10-hospital academic health system.

Albanese has also held senior leadership roles at Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). A respected surgeon-scientist and clinical investigator, he co-directed the team that pioneered in-utero fetal surgery.

Albanese received his medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn and was a resident and chief resident in general surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He completed pediatric general surgery and critical care research fellowships at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Albanese also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

He has published more than 160 peer-reviewed articles, was an NIH-funded investigator, the program director for Stanford’s pediatric general surgery fellowship and is the lead author of “Advanced Lean in Healthcare,” a book providing practical information about how “organizations can move beyond stabilizing work processes to get to continuously improving the entire system – all within an empathetic healing environment.” 

Albanese’s appointment follows Washington’s announcement last fall that he will step down from his role of chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and chief executive officer for the Duke University Health System on June 30, 2023.

Washington continues to guide and oversee the academic mission of Duke Health, working closely with the DUHS CEO, the provost, deans of the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and other academic and clinical leaders to ensure alignment and mutually reinforce excellence in our clinical, educational, research, and community health missions.

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