The Society of Hospital Medicine officially welcomed Eric E. Howell, MD, MHM, as chief executive officer on July 1, 2020. Dr. Howell reports to the Society of Hospital Medicine board of directors and is tasked with ensuring that SHM continues to serve the evolving needs and interests of its members while overseeing the organization’s strategic direction.
“The SHM board of directors is excited to work with Dr. Howell to navigate the future of SHM and of the hospital medicine specialty,” said Danielle Scheurer, MD, MSCR, SFHM, SHM president and chair of the CEO Search Committee. “With his extensive knowledge of the health care landscape and of SHM, Dr. Howell embodies the society’s dedication to empowering hospitalists to be positive change agents in their institutions and in the health care system as a whole.”
Prior to his current role, Dr. Howell served as chief operating officer of SHM for 2 years; in that role, he led senior management’s planning and defined organizational goals to drive growth. As the senior physician adviser to SHM’s Center for Quality Improvement for 5 years, he consulted for the society’s arm that conducts quality improvement programs for hospitalist teams. In addition to being a past president of SHM’s board of directors, he is the course director for the SHM Leadership Academies.
“Now more than ever, SHM has an opportunity to superserve hospitalists and the patients they serve, and I couldn’t be more excited to lead the society into its next chapter,” Dr. Howell said. “Supported by a dedicated member base and innovative staff, I am confident that SHM will continue on its successful path forward and will provide its members with the products, services, and tools that hospitalists need to improve patient care and adapt to the constantly evolving environment.”
In addition to serving in various capacities at SHM, Dr. Howell has served as a professor of medicine in the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He has held multiple titles within the Johns Hopkins medical institutions, including chief of the division of hospital medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview, section chief of hospital medicine for Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, deputy director of hospital operations for the department of medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and chief medical officer of operations at Johns Hopkins Bayview. Dr. Howell joined the Johns Hopkins Bayview hospitalist program in 2000, began the Howard County (Md.) General Hospital hospitalist program in 2010, and oversaw nearly 200 physicians and clinical staff providing patient care in three hospitals. Along with his role as SHM CEO, he will remain a member of the adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University.
More recently, Dr. Howell served as chief medical officer for the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital, a fully functional, 250-bed hospital created to care for patients in the Baltimore metropolitan area who were suffering from complications from COVID-19.
Dr. Howell received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, which has proven instrumental in his mastery of managing and implementing change in the hospital. His research has focused on the relationship between the emergency department and medicine floors, improving communication, throughput and patient outcomes.
The nationwide search process that led to Dr. Howell’s appointment was led by a CEO Search Committee, which included members of the SHM board of directors and was assisted by the executive search firm Spencer Stuart.
Dr. Howell succeeds Laurence Wellikson, MD, MHM, who helped in founding the Society of Hospital Medicine, its first and only CEO since 2000 prior to Dr. Howell’s appointment.