The Ohio State University announced today that nationally recognized clinician and health care leader John J. Warner, MD, MBA, will serve as CEO of the Wexner Medical Center and executive vice president at Ohio State.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Warner to Ohio State. The breadth of his knowledge and experience will be critical to serve the Wexner Medical Center’s mission of exceptional patient care, innovative research and educational excellence, and to create world-class health care solutions to improve people’s lives,” said Hiroyuki Fujita, PhD, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Warner will join Ohio State on April 1, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.
He will lead efforts to advance and pioneer interdisciplinary approaches to health care delivery, research and teaching at the Wexner Medical Center. Warner will also work closely with university leaders to advance the excellence of the university and its academic medical center through signature integrated teaching and learning, and convergent research initiatives.
“With three decades of service, Dr. Warner is uniquely suited to lead the Wexner Medical Center at a time when access to high-quality health care is more important than ever and near-daily advancements in technology and research are reshaping the medical landscape,” said President Kristina M. Johnson, PhD. “On behalf of the university community, I want to thank the board for recruiting such an outstanding new Buckeye.”
Warner comes to Ohio State from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he has served as CEO of the UT Southwestern Health System, as well as executive vice president for health system affairs, since 2018. Prior to those roles, Warner was CEO of UT Southwestern University Hospitals and Clinics, playing a key role in the design, planning and opening of the 460-bed William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, which recently expanded to include more than 750 total beds. Currently, he oversees UT Southwestern’s clinical enterprise, which includes more than 100,000 inpatients and approximately 4 million outpatient visits annually.
Throughout his tenure as one of the nation’s foremost health care leaders, Warner has consistently led efforts to advance patient satisfaction and the quality and safety of hospitals and health systems. It’s a commitment that has helped to make UT Southwestern — located in Dallas, the ninth largest city in the nation — a highly regarded and consistently top-ranked medical center serving a large metropolitan area.
During his time at UT Southwestern, the medical center has earned regional and national distinction for quality of care and patient experience. Clements University Hospital has been ranked the No. 1 hospital in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the No. 2 hospital in Texas, for six consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Since the hospital’s opening, UT Southwestern Medical Center has been a two-time recipient of the Rising Star Award from Vizient, the benchmarking organization for academic medical centers, for top performance in quality, safety and patient-centeredness. Additionally, both UT Southwestern’s hospitals and medical practice recently received Press Ganey Pinnacle of Excellence Awards for patient satisfaction and experience over the past three years.
“Dr. Warner’s record of exemplary leadership, service and vision will help the medical center continue our momentum as one of America’s top-ranked academic health centers,” said Leslie H. Wexner, chair, Wexner Medical Center Board of Trustees. “We are delighted to welcome him to the university and to Ohio.”
Warner holds the Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich, Susan and Theodore Strauss Professorship in Cardiology, and the Jim and Norma Smith Distinguished Chair for Interventional Cardiology. From 2017-18, he served as president of the American Heart Association (AHA). He was named an AHA fellow (FAHA) in 2016 and has served on its national board of directors since 2014 — along with leadership roles on numerous additional Association groups related to research, strategy, innovation and more. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Warner, as chair of the Association’s Quality Certification Business Management Committee, played a critical role in the creation and quick launch of the first-of-its-kind COVID-19 CVD Registry.
Last year, he received the Heart Association’s Gold Heart Award, the highest volunteer honor bestowed by the organization. Though the Gold Heart Award is described by the American Heart Association as a lifetime achievement award, Warner continues to be actively engaged with the Association — and considers his new role as CEO of the Wexner Medical Center and executive vice president at Ohio State as the next step in a career focused on innovation and improving the quality and safety of health care for individuals and families in the communities in which they live.
“This is an exciting time to be joining such an esteemed and respected academic medical center and university. Few institutions have such a bold vision combined with the comprehensive breadth and depth of programs and a strong focus on improving health equity,” Warner said. “The opportunity to make a lasting impact alongside this community of exceptional faculty, staff and learners is both inspiring and exciting. I can’t wait for our work together to start.”
Warner received his MD from Vanderbilt University and completed his residency training in internal medicine at UT Southwestern, where he served as chief resident. He did his fellowship training in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. He served on the faculty at Duke until he returned to UT Southwestern in 2003. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Physician Executive MBA program at the University of Tennessee in 2011.
A national and international speaker and lecturer, Warner has published more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, reviews, chapters and monographs. Along with the American Heart Association’s Gold Heart Award, he received the Association’s Distinguished National Leadership Award in 2018 and has been named a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly Magazine from 2007-2022.
Warner comes to Ohio State at a time of expansion and growth to meet the needs of communities in central Ohio and throughout the state.
The Wexner Medical Center Outpatient Care New Albany opened in 2021 and Outpatient Care Dublin opened in 2022. Construction continues on The James Outpatient Care at Carmenton, the university’s 270-plus-acre innovation district that will serve as a hub for research and entrepreneurship in high-growth sectors. Carmenton will also feature the Interdisciplinary Research Facility, which will serve multiple research disciplines, including biomedical, life sciences, engineering and environmental sciences. Two floors in the research facility will be dedicated to The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, including the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology. In addition, the Inpatient Hospital Tower — focused on patient care, research and education — is scheduled to open in 2026.
In the most recent U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings, the Wexner Medical Center was recognized as a national leader in nine specialties. Among 20 common adult procedures and conditions, the medical center was rated as high performing in 14. The Best Hospitals rankings mark the 30th consecutive year that Ohio State has been recognized as a leading health care provider in the United States.
“Working in academic medicine is a great privilege, and I am honored by the trust the Board of Trustees has placed in me to help propel Ohio State forward and lead a world-class medical center committed to advancing transformative health care that improves the lives of the people we serve across central Ohio, the nation and the world,” Warner said.