June 22, 2022 09:00 am
Christy Hopkins, MD, MPH, MBA, professor of emergency medicine and physician at the University of Utah Health, has been named inaugural chair of the department of emergency medicine at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah.
Hopkins will oversee a department that has expanded to nearly 40 faculty members, 20 advanced clinicians, 7 fellows, 27 residents and more than 250 employees at three clinical sites. The department cares for nearly 90,000 patients in the region every year and accounts for 40% of all university hospital admissions.
“Dr. Hopkins is an exceptionally capable leader,” said Michael L. Good, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, Executive Dean of Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine and U of U Health CEO. “She has contributed in important ways to the growth of emergency medicine at U of U Health and in particular helped the once emergency department become the emergency medicine department.”
Departmental faculties now represent all major subspecialties in emergency medicine. This includes intensive care, EMS, global health, hospice and palliative care, informatics, toxicology, sports medicine, ultrasound, wilderness medicine and hyperbaric medicine/wound care.
Since 2002, Hopkins has held many faculty positions, including medical director of the emergency department of U of U Hospitals, which she helped expand to two additional locations. She also facilitated the department’s transition to electronic medical records.
More recently, Hopkins has overseen clinical programming and quality initiatives. And since July 2021, she has been the interim leader of the Department of Emergency Medicine, which became a department in February of this year.
“We are grateful for Dr. Hopkins’ active leadership in her interim role,” Good said. “And we look forward to the roadmap of success she has developed for the department.”
The roadmap emphasizes the diversity of people, ideas and experiences. It also includes investing in people at all levels of the department and building strong teams.
“Strong teams bring excellence to our missions,” said Hopkins. “They were born from our ability to continue to nurture a collaborative culture, cultivate a spirit of innovation and are committed to the highest quality of care.”
As an academic leader, Hopkins has expanded opportunities for graduate medical education in emergency medicine. The U’s residency and fellowship positions regularly attract top candidates from across the country. She has also kept the department active in undergraduate medical education, recognizing the importance of new MDs graduating with emergency clinical experience.
The research has also been given a boost under the leadership of Hopkins. The department is already a key site for clinical trials of acute coronary syndrome, TBI, cardiac arrest, pain management and other conditions. Hopkins and her team continue to develop collaborations within the U and with external partners to broaden the portfolio.
“We have started to strengthen our research base with the necessary investments to support growth,” she said. “We have recruited a research fellow and hired a great research director who will grow our programs and help secure extramural grants.”
Hopkins’ leadership in emergency medicine stands against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without a doubt, the past two years have been some of the most challenging of our careers,” she said. “As a group, we have moved through fear and uncertainty to courage and daring. The challenges [of COVID-19] cemented who we are as a specialty, as well as what we have built and become as a group.”
“Dr. Hopkins is a great leader,” said Good. “She has a unique vision for the future. We congratulate and welcome her as she enters this important new leadership position within U of U Health.”
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