Julie Ann Freischlag, MD was named CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Freischlag, who will join the medical center on May 1, succeeds CEO John D. McConnell, MD, who announced last year he would move to a new position at the medical center, after being at the helm since 2008.
As CEO, Freischlag will oversee Wake Forest Baptist's academic health system, which includes Wake Forest School of Medicine, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Wake Forest Innovations, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, and a network of hospitals, physician practices and medical/surgical services.
Freischlag currently serves as vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California Davis.
In this role, she directs UC Davis' academic, research and clinical programs. She oversees a 627-bed acute care hospital, a 1,000 physician private practice group, a school of nursing and a staff of 10,000 employees.
Nathan Hatch, president of Wake Forest University, who co-chaired the CEO search with Wake Forest Baptist board member Art Gibel, said in a statement Freischlag possesses the full range of academic medical experience and clinical expertise to take Wake Forest Baptist to the next level.
"Julie has devoted her career to improving the health of her patients, which coincides with our mission," Hatch added. "In addition to her superb professional abilities, Julie is well known and widely respected within the field as a collaborator, a mentor and a strong community leader. We are very fortunate that she has chosen to join us."
Freischlag, a vascular surgeon with 30 years of experience, is nationally recognized as a leader in the advancement of medical education and training, the expansion of research opportunities and the improvement in patient and family-centered care.
She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Prior to her career at UC Davis, Freischlag served as the first female chair of the department of surgery and surgeon-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and earlier as professor and chief of vascular surgery at University of California Los Angeles.