Carrie Byington will step down as UC Health chief next year

Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president and head of University of California Health, will step down next year from her post.

Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president and head of University of California Health, will step down next year from her post.

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Dr. Carrie Byington will step down next year from her post as UC Health chief, having led the University of California’s six academic medical centers and 20 health professional schools as they met the initial and ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She assumed her position as executive vice president over the division on Oct. 31, 2019, just two months before the respiratory illness took root. She is a pediatrician and had expertise in pediatric infectious diseases that proved invaluable, said UC President Michael V. Drake.

“Fortunately for us her infectious disease and pediatric expertise proved invaluable throughout the pandemic,” Drake said. “She established the UC Health COVID-19 Coordinating Committee which brought together hundreds of faculty researchers, clinicians, and administrators to tackle challenges from testing and monitoring modeling and return-to-campus protocols, to vaccine distribution management, hospital crisis standards of care, and long-COVID treatment.

“This was an amazing body of work. It made a real, tangible difference for us and the people of California and beyond.”

Drake said he will begin a national search for Byington’s successor in January.

Byington also oversaw other UC health services and its work to improve health research, education and collaboration worldwide through the Global Health Institute

When thousands of immigrant children were detained at California’s southern border during the summer of 2021, Drake said, Byington coordinated the resources of all UC Health locations to ensure that their health needs were met. She also worked with the federal government to set up two temporary shelters for the housing and care of unaccompanied minors.

With her vision, UC Health also made significant strides on diversity, equity and inclusion, improving access and equity in areas such as population health, cancer care and student health, Drake said.

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Cathie Anderson covers health care for The Bee. Growing up, her blue-collar parents paid out of pocket for care. She joined The Bee in 2002, with roles including business columnist and features editor. She previously worked at papers including the Dallas Morning News, Detroit News and Austin American-Statesman.

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