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Nationally renowned health system leader appointed to head UF Health clinical enterprise

Stephen Motew, M.D.

Stephen J. Motew, M.D.

Stephen J. Motew, M.D., M.H.A., FACS, has been named president and CEO of the UF Health clinical enterprise, effective April 1.

Motew, a practicing vascular surgeon, is a nationally respected physician leader who champions patient-focused quality clinical care and innovation, and is committed to UF Health’s mission of moving medicine forward as part of the University of Florida, a premier national research university.

Motew will lead UF Health’s integrated patient care system. Under Motew’s direction, UF Health will deliver world-class care, promote robust community engagement, and transform medicine with innovation and technology.

Based in Gainesville, UF Health includes clinical programs at UF Health Jacksonville, UF Health Central Florida, and UF Health St. Johns, as well as a number of other alliances with health care systems around the state. As an academic health center, it also supports important research, teaching, and community service missions essential to the advancement of science and medicine.

“Steve is simply stellar, an advocate for patient-focused quality clinical care and innovation,” said UF President Ben Sasse. “This step is part of our long-term plan for the deliberate and thoughtful growth of UF Health as we reach new heights in health care.”

With more than two decades of leadership experience, Motew joins UF Health from the Inova Health System in Northern Virginia, where he has served as the executive vice president and chief of clinical enterprise, accountable for all clinical operations and outcomes, health system transformation strategy, operating model reconfiguration, and profit and loss.

He will now oversee UF Health’s clinical mission as the university’s academic health center pursues an integrated model that harmonizes operating and financial oversight, increases transparency, and sets systemwide strategic goals through the creation of a new UF Health clinical system corporate structure.

The UF Health corporation is a new legal entity approved by the UF Board of Trustees in December. It will serve as the parent corporation to guide the organizational, financial, and strategic goals for UF Health’s clinical enterprise — the UF Health hospitals and physician practice plans in Gainesville, Jacksonville, and across its other regional sites.

“This is important work, and I am excited to embark on this journey with my new colleagues at UF Health, one of the nation’s most successful and well-respected health care organizations,” Motew said. “Together we will continue to develop common goals focused on serving our patients and our communities. Our shared professional expertise and personal commitment to improving lives will propel us to the next level as we work collectively to cultivate a culture of excellence.”

Motew’s experience in change management, having moved from a hospital-based operating model to a system service line model across an integrated enterprise, will be critical to UF Health’s system integration initiative, Sasse said.

A transition committee has been convened to develop additional recommendations, including those related to governance, organizational structure across UF Health’s regional health sites, development of bylaws, and other related matters.

After earning his undergraduate degree in anthropology from Emory University, in 1992 Motew received his medical degree cum laude from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency in general surgery after a two-year National Institutes of Health research training fellowship. He then completed a vascular surgery fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist Health Medical Center.

From 1997 to 2005, he served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a medical officer. In 2012, he earned a master’s in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Prior to joining Inova, he was senior vice president for Novant Health, responsible for the Winston-Salem, N.C. market.

Motew is a member of various surgical and health care leader groups and regularly participates in national forums as a physician leader expert. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Association for Physician Leadership, and has published in a variety of scientific journals.

The regional CEOs at UF Health Shands, UF Health Jacksonville, UF Health Central Florida, and UF Health St. Johns and the CEOs of UF Health’s faculty practices will report to Motew.

The announcement comes as UF Health celebrates the first anniversary of its “Life Transformed” strategic vision.

“Here at UF Health, we are forever changing — advancing science, discovering new therapies, enhancing our educational curriculum for tomorrow’s health care providers, and improving patient outcomes,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF. “Now is a time to celebrate all we have accomplished together, and to bring renewed energy to our future goals. This is the next natural step in UF Health’s journey, not only as we reflect on our own transformation, but how we transform the lives of our patients and their families.”

Nelson, an internationally renowned scientist with expertise in hepatitis C, will transition to a new role at the University of Florida. After an upcoming sabbatical, Dave will rejoin UF’s senior team as an advisor to the president for biomedical research evangelism. Nelson has agreed to defer his much-deserved sabbatical while he advises as the senior vice president search gets started. UF will retain the executive search firm Spencer Stuart.

“I’m tremendously grateful for Dave’s work and wisdom,” said Sasse. “Under his leadership over the past five-plus years, UF Health has made tremendous strides and grown in unbelievable ways. Having already served above and beyond his contractual obligations and term, he wanted to help build an integrated UF model. With the transition board for our new UF Health Corporation now in full swing, he’s more than earned his sabbatical. But, thankfully, he’s deferring it a little longer and has agreed to continue to serve and advise as we get the search up and running.

“UF Health is special because of our people,” continued Sasse. “This team does incredible work to advance medicine and help our patients live their best lives. I’m proud of their work, grateful for Dave, and excited for us to welcome Steve.”

About UF Health

UF Health is a world-class academic health center that combines leading-edge research at campuses around Florida with outstanding clinical care at a network of hospitals throughout the state. The flagship is UF Health Shands Hospital, part of Florida’s preeminent health system, with nine adult and pediatric specialties ranked among the nation’s elite top 50 programs in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals and Best Children’s Hospitals surveys.

With main campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville as well as satellite sites in Central Florida, St. Johns County, and several other locations, UF Health provides quality health care to patients across the nation’s third-most populous state. UF Health consists of six health colleges, 10 research centers and institutes, 11 hospitals — including two teaching hospitals and five specialty hospitals — and a host of physician medical practices and outpatient services.

About the author

Greg Harrison
Associate Vice President, External Communications

For the media

Media contact

Peyton Wesner
Communications Manager for UF Health External Communications (352) 273-9620