Dr. John Sweeney Appointed Chair of Emory Surgery

January 2015

After serving as interim chair of the Department of Surgery since January 2013, Dr. John Sweeney has been appointed Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine; Chief of Surgery, Emory Healthcare; Director of Surgical Services, Emory Healthcare; and Surgeon-in-Chief of Emory Healthcare.

"John is an individual of personal integrity, professional energy and commitment to quality leadership who is extremely effective in building teams through professional development and recruitment of top talent to complement his own leadership skills," says Dr. Christian Larsen, dean of Emory’s School of Medicine and Physician Group President for Emory Healthcare. "In addition, John brings an exceptional background of surgical innovation and commitment to excellence, quality, and the highest level of patient care."

Having come from the Baylor College of Medicine, where he directed the division of general surgery, the bariatric surgery program, and the Michael E. DeBakey Minimally Invasive Surgery Center of Excellence, Dr. Sweeney joined the Emory Department of Surgery in 2007 as chief of the division of general and gastrointestinal surgery. After being appointed the Department's chief quality officer in 2008, he implemented various strategies and initiatives that greatly enhanced its quality and safety culture, including participation in the University HealthSystem Consortium Quality and Accountability Program and the Surgical Care Improvement Project.

Dr. Sweeney's current research includes two studies he is conducting with James C. Cox, PhD, director of the Experimental Economics Center (ExCEN) of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, that are concerned with reducing costs and hospital readmissions by increasing physicians’ effectiveness in identifying the optimal time to discharge patients. One study is being funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the other by the Georgia Research Alliance.

"I am extremely pleased to be named chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine," says Dr. Sweeney. "Since joining the Emory faculty I have been fortunate to work with excellent colleagues who are committed to achieving the very highest levels of quality and positive health outcomes. Together we will continue to strive for excellence by all measures in order to save and improve the lives of our patients."