New Medical Leadership at Swedish for the New Year -- Dr. John Vassall Assumes Role as Chief Medical

New Medical Leadership at Swedish for the New Year -- Dr. John Vassall Assumes Role as Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Todd Strumwasser Now Chief of Staff

SEATTLE, January 6, 2009 – Several physicians at Swedish are taking on new roles with the start of the new year, including John Vassall, M.D., as chief medical officer (CMO) and Todd Strumwasser, M.D., as the new chief of staff and nine other physicians assuming leadership posts in the organization.

Dr. Vassall is taking over the CMO responsibilities from longtime-Swedish leader, Nancy Auer, M.D., who is transitioning toward retirement with a new part-time position next month. As CMO, Dr. Vassall will serve as liaison between Swedish medical staff and Swedish administration. He'll also oversee the management of medical education, medical staff services, clinical effectiveness, regulatory compliance and other areas associated with medical affairs.

Prior to his promotion, Dr. Vassall, a general internist, was the vice president of Medical Affairs and, over the past 25 years, has served in a variety of roles in his private practice at Minor and James and with Swedish. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and holds a master's of science degree from the University of Washington (UW) where he also graduated from the School of Medicine. Dr. Vassall served his residency at Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta. He is a graduate of the UW's Certificate Program in Medical Management.

Dr. Strumwasser, an anesthesiologist with Physicians Anesthesia Service, has been serving as chief of staff-elect at Swedish since 2006. He now takes on the two-year term as chief of staff, most recently held by Curtis "Chip" Veal, M.D.

As chief of staff, Dr. Strumwasser will work with the Swedish administration, Board and medical staff, whose membership includes more than 2,000 physicians and allied health-care professionals in the Puget Sound area, on all the various activities related to medical matters at Swedish.

Dr. Strumwasser graduated from medical school at the University of Southern California and completed his residency at the University of Washington. He is board-certified in anesthesiology and has practiced at Swedish for several years.

Other physician leaders who begin new roles at Swedish this year include:

Mary Weiss, M.D. – the new chief of staff-elect. Dr. Weiss is a board-certified family practitioner with Swedish Physicians Central Seattle on the Swedish/Cherry Hill campus. She graduated from medical school at the University of Washington and completed her residency at Providence Family Practice in the Sea Mar Clinic.

Curtis Veal, M.D. – the immediate past chief of staff. Dr. Veal is an internal medicine, pulmonary and critical care specialist at the PolyClinic in Seattle and the medical director of Swedish's eICU® program.

The following physicians will serve two- and/or three-year terms on Swedish's Medical Executive Committee representing their corresponding areas:

David Broudy, M.D. – Cardiovascular Surgery and Medicine
James Crutcher, M.D. – Orthopedics
Peggy Hutchison, M.D. – Women and Children's Medicine
Ray Jarris, M.D. – Physician Leadership at Ballard Campus
Ryan Martinez, M.D. – Surgery
Bruce Webster, M.D. (emergency medicine) – Hospital-based Medical Specialties
Jon Younger, M.D. – Primary Care


About Swedish

Swedish is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of three hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill and Ballard), a freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services, and the Swedish Physician Division, which is a network of about 40 primary- and specialty-care clinics located throughout the Puget Sound region. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit



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