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June 25, 2018

Ralph Muller to step down as UPHS chief executive

Muller has been at Penn since 2003

Health News Penn Medicine
Ralph Muller Source/Penn Medicine

Ralph Muller will step down as chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System in June 2019.

Ralph W. Muller will step down as chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System next June, Penn officials announced on Monday afternoon.

Since arriving at Penn in 2003, Muller has overseen a health system considered among the best in the nation. Forbes ranked Penn Medicine No. 6 on its annual list of America's Best Employers – the highest spot awarded to a health care employer.

As CEO, Muller heads a $7.8 billion health system that includes six hospitals, a primary care provider network, hospice care, and longterm and rehabilitation care. 

Muller also oversaw the creation of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation where physicians, nurses and social scientists test new health-care models. He also led collaborations with insurers like Independence Blue Cross.

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann praised Muller for his efforts to improve patient care and pursue innovations that have reshaped health care.

"Ralph's collaborative and effective leadership, support of the academic mission and his keen understanding of the evolving health care environment have greatly enhanced Penn Medicine and the university," Gutmann said.

Prior to joining UPHS, Muller served as the president of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System from 1985 to 2001. He also served as deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare.

Executive Vice President Dr. Larry Jameson lauded Muller as a visionary, praising him for placing patient care first and building a collaborative environment where innovative research and teaching are highly valued.

“This is the strong foundation on which Penn Medicine prepares for the future as a continued innovator in health care, transforming the way that health systems deliver high-quality care to complex and diverse patient populations,” Jameson said.

Muller also led the creation of the Penn Medicine High School Pipeline program, which provides educational opportunities for West Philadelphia students. He spearheaded the Penn Medicine CAREs grant program, which supports more than 180 community service initiatives.

Penn will launch a national search for his replacement.