A man wearing a tie and a white lab coat
Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as dean of the VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs for the VCU Health System. (Contributed photo)

VCU names Arturo P. Saavedra dean of VCU School of Medicine and VCU Health executive VP for medical affairs

Saavedra comes to VCU from the University of Virginia where he is chair of the Department of Dermatology and president and interim CEO of University of Virginia Physicians Group.

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Virginia Commonwealth University today announced that Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D., has been named dean of the VCU School of Medicine, effective April 15. He also will serve as VCU Health System executive vice president for medical affairs. 

Saavedra comes to VCU from the University of Virginia where he is chair of the Department of Dermatology and president and interim chief executive officer of University of Virginia Physicians Group. In these roles, Saavedra partners with other leaders to drive continuous improvement in the quality and value of care in addition to setting strategy and ensuring operational and financial performance of the physicians’ group. His appointment follows a national search.

Prior to his current roles, Saavedra served as chief of population health and health policy of University of Virginia Health System and as chief of ambulatory strategy and operations for the medical center. He was also responsible for ensuring that UVA Health is responsive to local, regional and national health needs and policy.

Saavedra has extensive experience in academic medicine and administrative leadership. As a clinician and researcher, Saavedra specializes in the care of complex medical dermatology, with particular interest in HIV dermatology, severe drug reactions that manifest with dermatologic complications, and care of oncologic and post-transplant patients.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Saavedra to VCU and our School of Medicine,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health. “Dr. Saavedra shares our commitment to put the needs of students and patients first. His work at UVA demonstrates a deep understanding of medical care and of health policy at every level, experiences that will be invaluable as he leads our work to educate the next generations of physicians and research scientists.”

Marlon Levy, M.D., VCU Health Sciences interim senior vice president and VCU Health System interim CEO, said Saavedra is a highly regarded and results-oriented physician leader who will bring unparalleled passion and energy to VCU and the communities it serves.

“With his depth of knowledge, bold thinking and strategic vision, I am confident his leadership will elevate the school’s distinguished research, clinical and educational missions,” Levy said.

Saavedra is also the senior editor of Fitzpatrick’s Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology, the most widely read dermatology atlas for diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions.

“I am very impressed by VCU’s unwavering commitment to its mission and by its citizenship,” Saavedra said. “I can’t wait to be part of this great university, to learn and grow with it, and to create strong partnerships in advancing all goals of the School of Medicine.”

Saavedra graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in biological sciences. He then received combined medical and doctoral degrees from University of Pennsylvania with specialized training in pharmacology. After completing residency training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was selected to be chief medical resident, Saavedra graduated from the Harvard Combined Dermatology Residency Training Program and completed his fellowship in dermatopathology.

Saavedra replaces David Chelmow, who has served as interim dean since the beginning of 2022.