The Mayo Clinic board of directors on Friday chose Gianrico Farrugia as the next president and CEO of the health system.
Farrugia is currently vice president of Mayo Clinic and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. He spent 30 years as a Mayo physician.
- He will succeed John Noseworthy, who announced in February he would retire at the end of the year. Noseworthy spent 28 years at the organization, including nine as CEO.
Farrugia, a native of Malta, served as vice president of Mayo Clinic and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida since January 2015 and led a staff of more than 6,400. During that time, Mayo opened the 190,000-square-foot Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Building in Florida for patients seeking cancer, neurology and neurosurgical care.
Before his tenure as CEO in Florida, he was director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine, which focuses on precision or personalized medicine, with diagnoses and treatments tailored to each patient. He was also co-founder of the Center for Innovation at Mayo Clinic, which has a mission statement "to transform the experience and delivery of health and health care."
"I am humbled and proud to follow and build upon this success with the best staff in the world," Farrugia said in a press release. "While sea change continues to sweep through healthcare, I look forward to harnessing innovation, a hallmark of Mayo Clinic, to transform healthcare for the benefit of patients everywhere."
Samuel Di Piazza, chairman of the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, trumpeted Noseworthy's leadership during "unprecedented change in healthcare."
The outgoing CEO's accomplishments include a $3.76 billion philanthropic campaign, moving the organization from a holding company to a single operating company and Mayo being named No. 1 hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report for the past two years.
There have been negative incidents as well, however. Noseworthy made news last year when he said Mayo would prioritize patients with private insurance over Medicaid if they seek care at the same time for similar conditions. He later clarified the new policy in a statement and said a patient's medical need would remain the "primary factor in determining and setting an appointment." Noseworthy added he regretted using the word "prioritized."
Mayo also took heat last year after deciding to consolidate services at its Albert Lea facility with another location 25 miles away in Austin, Minnesota.
Noseworthy declined Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson's request to delay the move. Though acknowledging that the consolidation was unpopular, Noseworthy said the decision will "serve the best interests of our patients." Mayo's plan remains a sore point in Minnesota and was recently a campaign issue in the race for the state's attorney general.