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Changes in the UMMC CMO Office

Jan. 19, 2021

TO:All Faculty, Staff and Students

FROM:Dr. Alan Jones, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs

SUBJECT: Changes in the UMMC CMO Office

It gives me great pleasure to announce changes in leadership that will greatly enhance the UMMC Office of the Chief Medical Officer and help set future direction.

Didon.jpegDr. Lisa Didion, Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Chief Medical Officer at Children’s of Mississippi, will become Associate Chief Medical Officer for the UMMC Health System and Medical Director of Care Coordination. Dr. Peter Arnold, Professor and Division Chief of Plastic Surgery and Medical Chief of Staff, will assume the role of Associate Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Operations of the Health System. And Dr. Kirk Reid, UMMC Medical Vice Chief of Staff, will succeed Dr. Arnold as Medical Chief of Staff and assume a four-year term.

Each of these appointments will become effective on Monday, Feb. 1.  

As Associate Chief Medical Officer for the UMMC Health System, Dr. Didion will be working more closely with Dr. Michael Henderson, Chief Medical Officer, to implement the next phase of quality, safety and operational improvement from the CMO’s Office. This will require broader input and amplification of effort in creating value over the coming years. For the immediate future, she will continue to serve Children’s of Mississippi as Associate CMO until a formal transition is identified later this year. In her new role as Medical Director of Care Coordination, Dr. Didion will be responsible for enhancing care coordination across continuum for all patient populations. She will focus on defining standardized metrics for reporting and tracking, and work with physician, nursing and administrative stakeholders to promote efficient and cost-effective utilization of hospital services. This work will require close collaboration with the CMO, the Chief Revenue Cycle Officer, hospital CEOs and the CMIO.

A Marengo, Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate, Dr. Didion received her M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, where she completed residency training in pediatrics and was Chief Resident at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Didion came to UMMC in 2011 as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of General Pediatrics and was promoted to Associate Professor of Pediatrics in 2015 and, ultimately, to Professor of Pediatrics in 2020. She has been Associate Chief Medical Officer for Children’s of Mississippi since 2015 and has served as Section Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine from 2014-18, Medical Director of the Office of Patient Experience since 2017 and Vice Chair of Clinical Quality for the Department of Pediatrics since 2020.

Portrait of Dr. Peter ArnoldDr. Arnold’s new role replaces the Chief Operations Physician position vacated when I was appointed Assistant Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs in July 2020. He will provide the critical function of additional physician leadership to the clinical operations of all of UMMC’s Jackson-area hospitals, including University Hospital, Children’s of Mississippi, the Winfred L. Wiser Hospital for Women and Infants and the Wallace Conerly Hospital for Critical Care.

A key component to engaging in operational efficiency and improvement across the enterprise is the relationship between the administrative team and the physicians. Dr.Arnold has the leadership experience and superlative reputation needed to build and maintain these relationships, provide open and clear communication and gain support necessary to be successful in his new role.

Hospital-based activities will be his focus, including, among other responsibilities, acting as physician lead for issues related to hospital capacity and patient flow; serving as chair of the Medication Stewardship Review Group; working with UMMC Health System executive leadership to guide critical hospital-based services, including critical care, wound care, palliative care and the Office of Patient Experience; serving as physician liaison with UMMC’s chief perioperative physician; and serving as physician director of Clinical Risk Management. 

A native of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. Arnold is a graduate of Davidson College and received his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Neurobiology from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. He completed residency training in the Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he was Chief Resident.

Dr. Arnold came to UMMC in 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Named Medical Chief of Staff in 2013, he also serves as Medical Director of Clinical Risk Management and Division Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He was promoted to Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, in 2018 and serves as Chief of Surgery at Merit Madison in Canton.

Reid.jpegAs Vice Chief of Staff, Dr. Reid is known as a superb clinician, an outstanding teacher and a steady presence in navigating difficult situations. His key relationships with many physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and others, along with his thoughtful approach and organizational skills, will serve to be valuable tools in the leadership he provides to the medical staff.

A Mississippi State University graduate, Dr. Reid received his M.D. from UMMC and had postgraduate training in Medicine and Anesthesiology at TUMB-Galveston. He joined the UMMC faculty in 2015 as an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, and became Medical Vice Chief of Staff in 2016. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology.

A call for nominations for the vacant Medical Vice Chief of Staff position will be made soon. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Didion, Dr. Arnold and Dr. Reid in their new roles. 

Thank you.