Dr. James B. Atkinson has been named the interim associate vice chancellor and president of UCLA Hospital System. He serves in this role while the search for a replacement for Dr. David Feinberg continues. It is anticipated that this search and recruitment process will require six to 12 months.
Atkinson retired from UCLA in 2014 following a long and illustrious career with UCLA that began in 1976 with his internship and residency in general surgery. He left in 1981 to complete a pediatric-surgery fellowship at Children's Hospital and USC, where he remained until returning to UCLA in 1995. He held several positions of increasing responsibility with the Department of Surgery and the health system after his return. In 2000, he was appointed chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery.
In 2004, Dr. Atkinson became senior medical director and executive director of transition for UCLA Health, with administrative responsibility for rebuilding projects at Westwood and Santa Monica. He oversaw the monumental tasks of completing and opening first Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and then UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.
In 2009, Dr. Atkinson took on additional responsibilities of the medical director position at the Santa Monica campus and made numerous contributions to the hospital and medical affairs in this role. He was also responsible for helping implement and strengthen supply chain and capital controls for the health system, and for the growth of academic programs in general and pediatric surgery.