After searching the country for nearly a year to find the next president of Hackensack University Medical Center, the search committee decided the best person for the job already was in the building.
Ihor S. Sawczuk, who currently serves as an executive vice president and the chief medical officer, will assume the role as president April 4, the hospital announced Thursday.
Hackensack University Health Network CEO and President Robert C. Garrett, who has held both the health network and medical center CEO and president positions, will continue in his role at Hackensack University Health Network, and ultimately, of Hackensack Meridian Health, once the merger of the two health systems is complete.
Garrett, who announced last April that he was stepping down as head of the hospital, said in a release that he is confident HackensackUMC will be in good hands.
“For 15 years, HackensackUMC has been fortunate to have Dr. Sawczuk as not only a physician — but as one of our most well-respected executive leaders,” Garrett said. “His various roles — as executive vice president, chief medical officer, vice president of academic affairs and chairman of the Department of Urology — are a direct reflection of his influence and demonstrated leadership within our medical center and beyond.”
Sawczuk also recently received the first academic appointment as professor of surgery at Hackensack’s upcoming school of medicine with Seton Hall University.
HackensackUMC was selected as the state’s top hospital, according to the 2015-16 rankings of U.S. News & World Report. It was ranked No. 4 in the metro area.
Sawczuk began his time with HackensackUMC in 2001 as chairman of the Department of Urology. Since then, he has helped guide the medical center on a path of clinical, research and academic excellence, according to the release. His emphasis on cutting-edge technology has elevated the Department of Urology to become one of the leading programs in the country.
During his tenure as chief academic officer, his commitment to academic advancement was evident in his leadership role in the creation of the upcoming school of medicine, and the oversight of HackensackUMC’s affiliation agreements with Georgetown University School of Medicine and Stevens Institute of Technology.
“We are proud to have a physician of Dr. Sawczuk’s stature as an integral part of our leadership team,” Garrett said. “The board and I are confident that the new HackensackUMC president is someone who shares in the values and mission of our great hospital.”
The nationwide search produced six finalists for the job.