VCU and VCU Health name inaugural recipient of endowed professorship in quality, safety and service

Featured photo
Gene Peterson, M.D., Ph.D.

Gene Peterson, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to the Professorship for Safety, Quality and Service in Resident Education at Virginia Commonwealth University. Peterson joined VCU in 2013 as an associate dean for patient safety and quality care in the School of Medicine and chief safety and quality officer for VCU Health.

Peterson is the first incumbent to receive this recognition, which honors his exemplary contributions to teaching, research and public service. Commitment to safety, quality and service is an integral part of the VCU vision to make a difference as a major research university, which Peterson has helped to shape and design.

“VCU Health is on a journey to become the nation’s safest health care system,” said Jerome Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president of medical affairs for VCU Health. “Achieving that goal starts with establishing the fundamental knowledge and behaviors on which all our future practitioners can build upon. From the classroom, to the simulation lab, and to the bedside, Dr. Peterson is the leader who makes these fundamentals stick. There is no one better suited to receive this recognition.”

Dr. Peterson’s work and leadership is critical to the success of our organization.

Peterson’s role is one that is unique to academic medicine because it encompasses the traditionally separate areas of clinical work, academics and research. The position was created as a collaboration between the VCU School of Medicine, VCU Hospitals and VCU Health MCV Physicians.

“Dr. Peterson’s work and leadership is critical to the success of our organization,” said John Duval, vice president for clinical services and chief executive officer, VCU Hospitals, VCU Health System. “The creation of this appointment represents the tremendous work Peterson has done, as well as his commitment to excellence and ensuring student success. He is a true asset not only to VCU, but the entire medical community.”

Peterson has extensive experience in the science of patient safety and quality improvement. Prior to coming to VCU, he was the associate medical director and co-director of University of Washington Medical Center’s Center for Clinical Excellence. He also was an associate professor at the UWMC in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and is a board-certified anesthesiologist.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and