After more than 30 years of service at VCU, Sheldon Retchin, Chief Executive Officer of the university health system, has hung up his coat in Richmond for the CEO position at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Retchin is set to begin his new stint on March 2 of this year, leaving behind a legacy of his distinct humor, commitment and success at VCU.
“His unique style enabled him to balance his missions: the clinical, the underserved, the academic discovery and teaching, in a way that really enabled this organization to blossom,” said John Duval, vice president for clinical services and CEO of VCU Hospitals.
Following Retchin’s appointment to CEO of the VCU Health System in 2003, he oversaw the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing and Allied Health Professions, and an enrollment of more than 4,500 students.
“I think in his time as CEO he was remarkably successful in recruiting leadership and identifying means and resources for recruiting physician scholars to the health system,” Duval said.
Duval added that Retchin was similarly successful in recruiting and working with the deans for the various schools of medicine.
“He brought an amazing group of folks who work on site and new talent to the organization that I think has advanced our research programs, advanced our academics and allowed us to expand programs and modernize facilities which has been the formula for success of the organization,” Duval said.
Retchin also directed the MCV Hospitals and under his leadership the system expanded to include the Children’s Hospital of Richmond and the Community Memorial Healthcenter.
As CEO of the Wexner Medical Center at the Ohio State University, Retchin will be responsible for the 1,246-bed medical center’s $2.1 billion budget.
According to Anne Buckley, senior director of university public affairs, VCU President Michael Rao has already initiated a search process for Retchin’s replacement, and has established the leadership to aid in the national search process.
Retchin’s personal accomplishments are no small feat, either. He is a board-certified internist specializing in geriatric medicine and holds the Ruth and Seymour Perlin Professorship of Medicine and Health Administration.
Retchin has also testified before Congress as a national medical expert, been appointed to positions by the governor and numerous national medical organizations and helped facilitate the creation of a primary care structure to aid inner city and uninsured patients in Virginia.
Furthermore, Retchin has published more than 90 academic texts on the costs, quality and outcomes of health care.
According to a Richmond Times-Dispatch report on the salaries of Virginia’s highest paid state employees, Retchin’s base salary totaled $315,056 in 2013. In September 2014, the VCU Board of Visitors further approved a $221,571 performance bonus in a closed session meeting.
Of Retchin’s bonus, VCU was responsible for $88,628 and the health system paid the rest, according to Pam Lepley, vice president for university relations in a statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch in September 2014.
“Dr. Retchin brought to his role (at VCU) a remarkable personal commitment to academic medicine, to care for the underserved and to advancing knowledge through discovery,” Duval said. “He will be missed.”