Skip to main content
Penn Notables

University Leaders Heads of the Health System, 1931-Present

This history was inspired by the chronology found in Martin Meyerson's and Dilys Pegler Winegrad's Gladly Learn and Gladly Teach (1978) but has now been substantially enlarged and interpreted by Mark Frazier Lloyd and Mary D. McConaghy, with the assistance of Michael T. Woods

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Vice President for Medical Affairs had charge of the University’s Medical Division and directed the administrative and academic activities and affairs of the schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Nursing; this Vice President also had charge of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

  • Alfred Stengel, M.D. (June 1931 until his death in April 1939)
  • Alfred Newton Richards, M.D. (June 1939 – June 1948)
  • Robin Carl Buerki, M.D. (July 1948 – September 1951)
  • Isidor S. Ravdin, M.D. (October 1951 – October 1952), Acting Vice President
  • Norman Hawkins Topping, M.D. (November 1952 – May 1958)
  • Isidor S. Ravdin, M.D. (October 1959 – September 1965)
  • Luther L. Terry, M.D. (September 1965 – September 1971)
  • Robert D. Dripps, M.D. (September 1971 – September 1972), Acting Vice President

In 1972 the Trustees changed the title to
Vice President for Health Affairs

  • Robert D. Dripps, M.D. (September 1972 until his death in October 1973)
  • Thomas W. Langfitt, M.D. (November 1973 – May 1974), Acting Vice President
  • Thomas W. Langfitt, M.D. (May 1974 – March 1987), Vice President

In July 1974, Langfitt selected a new Executive Director of the University Hospitals, an example of the responsibility and authority his office held.

In 1986, however, the Trustees created a new position,
Executive Vice President of the Medical Center
which vested authority over the School of Medicine, HUP, and the Clinical Practices of the University of Pennsylvania (CPUP) in a single person and effectively phased out the older position of Vice President for Health Affairs.

  • Edward J. Stemmler, M.D. (July 1986 – April 1989)
  • Arthur K. Asbury, M.D. (April – September 1989), Acting Executive Vice President
  • William N. Kelley, M.D. (October 1989 – June 1993)

This position was later renamed
Executive Vice President and CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System
(the Health System included the Medical Center plus the Health Care Network, Managed Care, and MSO)

  • William N. Kelley, M.D., June 1993 through February 2000
  • Peter G. Traber, M.D., Acting Executive Vice President, February 2000 through March 2000 and Executive Vice President, March 2000 through September 2000

The current title for this position is
Executive Vice President for the Health System

  • Arthur H. Rubenstein, M.B., B.Ch., September 2001 – June 2011
  • J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D., July 2011 – present

Other Statutory Officers of the University associated with the Health System are listed below, with the names of the individuals currently serving in these positions.
Chief Executive Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System

  • Robert D. Martin, Ph.D., 2001 – 2003
  • Ralph W. Muller, 2003 – present

Vice President and General Counsel of the University and the Health System

  • Peter C. Erichsen, Esq., 1997 – 2001
  • Wendy S. White, September 2001 – present