(Nashville, Tenn.) – Wayne J. Riley, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP, President & Chief Executive Officer of Meharry Medical College has been elected to the prestigious Society of Medical Administrators (SOMA).
SOMA started in 1909 as the Medical Superintendents Club, a small group who met annually in New York City to discuss hospital administration. Originally, membership was limited to 25 people, all of whom had to be physician CEOs of hospitals. Charter members included the directors of Massachusetts General Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, Bellevue Hospital, Cincinnati General Hospital, Brigham Hospital, Barnes Hospital and New Haven Hospital. Membership was by election and had to be unanimous. These criteria remain in place today.
By 1949 the organization expanded to 50 active members — where it stands today — and was composed of physicians with major leadership responsibilities in healthcare organizations and health facilities not limited to acute care hospitals. Notable members include Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs, emeritus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Jacobson and Riley are the only two Nashvillians of three Tennesseans in the group. Prominent current members include: Dr. Darrell Kirch, President & CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Dr. Marc Chasin, President of The Joint Commission, Dr. Peter Slavin, President, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Christine Cassell, President of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Riley is the third Meharrian, and the first Meharry Medical College leader to be elected to SOMA. Meharry Trustee Dr. Neal Vanselow, Chancellor Emeritus of the Tulane University Medical Center, is also a member of the group as well as distinguished Meharry alumnus Retired Major General Dr. Leonard Randolph, Senior Vice President & CMO, Mercy Health Partners.
“It is a tremendous honor for Meharry and Nashville for Dr. Riley to have been elected into such an elite group,” Jacobson said. “Dr. Riley’s appointment demonstrates that the nation’s top health care administrators recognize his superb leadership and management skills. ”
Riley is the 10th President of Meharry Medical College. Previously, he served as Vice-president and Vice Dean for Health Affairs and Governmental Relations and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas.
“Dr. Riley’s election is well-deserved; he is a tremendously gifted administrator and leader who joins a prestigious group of other physicians who are leaders in medicine,” said Dr. Vanselow, adding that “he will contribute a great deal to the organization and he will gain a great deal.”
About Meharry Medical College
Meharry Medical College is the nation’s largest private, independent, historically black academic health center dedicated solely to educating minority and other health professionals. True to its heritage, it is a United Methodist Church affiliated institution. The College is particularly well known for its uniquely nurturing, highly effective educational programs; emerging preeminence in health disparities research; culturally sensitive, evidence-based health services; and significant contribution to the diversity of the nation’s health professions workforce. Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s ranking of institutions annually lists Meharry as a leading national educator of African Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees, and Ph.D. degrees.
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