Claire Pomeroy, who has guided the UC Davis Health System for seven years, announced on Monday that she plans to step down from her post on June 30.
“It’s been a great time, but now is the time to do something new,” said Pomeroy, the vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. “It’s premature to talk about the exact details, but I’m very interested at this point in doing something on the national stage dealing with the implementation of health care policy.”
Pomeroy characterized her tenure at UCD — a period marked by a climb in stature and dramatic financial growth — as “fantastic.” She said her resignation was “something I’ve been thinking about for a long time; it’s a natural evolution for my career” — unrelated to recent investigation of the neurological surgery department.
During her time at UCD, the School of Medicine has tripled its outside research funding, reaching about $200 million annually, and the health system has raised about $281 million in philanthropic support.
“Under Claire’s leadership, UC Davis Health System has become a world-class institution, and we are grateful for her many contributions,” Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a news release. “She is a forceful advocate for the importance of translational research, a strong proponent of inter-professional approaches to education and clinical care, and a tireless leader in addressing the social determinants of health and reducing health disparities.”
Pomeroy established UCD’s Institute for Regenerative Cures, for stem cell research; oversaw the establishment of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, on the strength of a $100 million donation from the Gordon and Better Moore Foundation; and spearheaded UCD’s successful application for an inaugural Clinical and Translational Science Center, meant to speed new treatments into use.
During the same period, the UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center earned the National Cancer Institute’s highest recognition, UCD’s MIND Institute gained international renown for autism research and UCD expanded its services to the region, expanding electronic health record keeping and telemedicine program.
Other initiatives included the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and Institute for Population Health Improvement.
Pomeroy said she was “grateful and proud” of her colleagues for the health system’s “upward trajectory” both in regional service and international research impact.
“It feels like a dramatic contribution,” she said. “It just inspires me.”
In recent months, however, UCD banned two neurosurgeons, J. Paul Muizelaar and Rudolph Schrot, from performing research on human subjects after they were accused of experimenting on dying brain cancer patients without proper university or federal approval. Investigations are pending.
Pomeroy’s interest in health policy is well-established. She is chair of the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers, immediate past chair of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges and a member of the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health Advisory Committee, among others, and serves on several regional and local boards, including the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
In 2011, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences.
An expert on infectious diseases, Pomeroy served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota and University of Kentucky before joining UCD as executive associate dean of the School of Medicine in 2003.