Nemours Children’s Health System names Moss as new president and CEO

Pediatric surgeon and biomedical researcher R. Lawrence Moss, M.D., will become the next president and CEO of Nemours Children's Health System in October, officials announced Tuesday.

The healthcare executive from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, will succeed longtime health system head David Bailey, M.D., in the role.

"I think [Nemours] is better positioned than any organization I’ve ever seen to really positively influence what children’s health care is going to look like in the coming decades," Moss told FierceHealthcare in an interview.

Earlier this year, Bailey announced his planned retirement from the system, which has its corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, and includes two free-standing hospitals in the Delaware Valley and Florida. Nemours operates more than 50 primary, specialty and urgent care clinics in seven states.

Nemours Children's Health System
R. Lawrence Moss, M.D.
(Nemours Children's
Health System)

​​​​​RELATED: Nemours Children’s Health System CEO David J. Bailey to retire this year

As chief of the health system for 12 years, Bailey increased Nemours care locations from approximately 15 to more than 90 in seven states and grew Nemours’ revenues from $533 million to $1.4 billion. He also increased the number of local hospital affiliations to leverage the Nemours care model in adjacent communities, officials said.

Moss will enter as Nemours tackles a number of projects. Nemours is the midst of preparing to launch pediatric residency training after receiving accreditation for the program and will begin recruitment for its residency this fall. It is also in the midst of a project to pull all of its digital health offerings onto a single patient-facing platform by 2019.

Moss said he needed to start the job and learn more before commenting on specific operational priorities.

But he praised the health system's financial position and said he sees specific opportunities in children's health he'd like to take a leadership position in. 

"I feel very strongly that children’s hospitals should be the stewards of children’s health in our society," Moss said. "About 20 percent of children’s health is determined by quality medical care and the rest of it is a host of other factors we can influence and children’s hospitals need to get involved in. I would say that’s quality education, literacy, prevention of obesity, safety and a host of other issues."

He also pointed to the broader shift in payments for value over volume. "We have to get the financial incentives of the system aligned with making and keeping kids healthy and not just with treating disease," Moss said. 

Moss most recently served for seven years as surgeon-in-chief at Nationwide for seven years, as well as a professor of surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Under his leadership, the program developed the first Food and Drug Administration-approved studies in tissue engineering for congenital heart disease, developed internationally-renowned colorectal and craniofacial care programs and created and more than a dozen federally funded surgical research programs. Moss also initiated, designed, and executed the first multicenter clinical trial in children’s surgery funded by the NIH.

He previously served as the inaugural chief of surgery at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital and served in a leadership at Stanford University School of Medicine. 

RELATED: Nemours Children's to start recruitment for new pediatric residency this fall

He is the president of the Children’s Hospital Association Surgeons-in-Chief Forum and formerly served as chairman of the Surgical Section of the American Academy Pediatrics.

Moss received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, and completed a general surgery residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. He completed Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/Critical Care and Pediatric Surgery fellowships at Northwestern University.

"At this point, I have a really broad view of children’s health care," Moss said. "Surgery is a part of that but there is so much more to it. I’m really excited about this opportunity to look at children’s health through a lot bigger perspective."