Russell E. Armistead, M.B.A., named CEO of UF Health Jacksonville

Russell E. Armistead, M.B.A.Russell E. Armistead, M.B.A., has been named chief executive officer of UF Health Jacksonville. Armistead, the former CEO of the hospital system from 2013 until his retirement in December 2017, steps in starting Aug. 9 for Leon L. Haley Jr., who passed away July 24.

Armistead has broad experience in academic health center and medical school administration. He has skillfully navigated numerous areas — from finance to clinical operations, to patient care, education and research. He helped the organization achieve key financial goals and plan for future growth at the same time the hospital was rebranding, while ensuring the system maintained its reputation for quality patient care, stating early on that the patient experience would be his No. 1 priority.

During his previous tenure, the health system opened numerous primary care practices as well as the hospital, multispecialty office building and emergency room at UF Health North. He also was instrumental in the improvement of quality and patient safety measures, and UF Health Jacksonville received numerous health care designations and recognitions.

“Russ has an excellent track record leading UF Health Jacksonville to new heights,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and president of UF Health. “We’re excited to welcome him back and look forward to what we’ll accomplish together.”

For nearly a decade until he became CEO in 2013, Armistead served as associate vice president for finance and planning for UF Health in both Gainesville and Jacksonville. He led initiatives to improve profitability, managing financial and planning projects affecting the Jacksonville campus.

Prior to joining UF, Armistead was president of Armistead Consulting LLC, a North Carolina firm that provided management and consultation services to academic health centers, hospitals and other health care organizations. During this time, he served dual roles at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo — interim executive director of MCO Hospitals and vice president for finance and chief financial officer/treasurer. Before starting his consulting firm, Armistead held leadership positions at Wake Forest University School of Medicine over the course of 24 years, including vice president for health services administration and associate dean for administrative services.

In comments Dr. Haley made at Armistead’s retirement in 2017, he shared that whether through the direct care of a patient, research that brings new discoveries to the bedside or the training of tomorrow’s health care providers, the more than 5,000 professionals at our organizations focus their energy and skills to improve the health of every person we serve.

“Russ Armistead has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to these things,” Dr. Haley said. “When I first came to serve as dean of the College of Medicine, I was immediately impressed by Russ’ tenacity and dedication, not just to the patients we care for, but also to each person on this campus. Employees’ reactions to him were impressive. His response to them was inspiring. People instantly sensed his genuineness. It’s clear that Russ is invested in the betterment of this organization. People truly matter to him. He recognizes that everyone who is a part of this institution contributes to the quality we’ve achieved. And it shows in how he conducts business.”

The mission of UF Health Jacksonville and the College of Medicine is to heal, to comfort, to educate and to discover.

“We dedicate our work to improving the lives of those we touch through quality health care, medical education, innovation and research,” Nelson said. “We can all be proud of our history of success and innovation, and I expect these achievements will only continue to grow.”