UHS appoints new chief medical officer

Brynne Herzfeld

After searching since early 2019, University Health Services has chosen a new chief medical officer, who assumed the position Monday.

Dr. Terrance Hines, a clinical assistant professor of Population Health, replaced Dr. Melinda McMichael, who served as interim chief medical officer for the past 18 months.

“We were really looking for someone with both strong leadership skills who can manage a large and complicated university medical clinic and also somebody who has excellent clinical skills,” said Chris Brownson, director of the Counseling and Mental Health Center and associate vice president of student affairs. “He’s somebody who cares immensely about the patients that are under his care.”

As chief medical officer, Hines’ role combines administrative work with medical practice. He is responsible for budgeting and operational duties at UHS, as well as seeing students in clinics for medical visits, Hines said.

“I’m very excited about joining UHS and being part of the University of Texas,” Hines said. “Professionally, it is an opportunity that I think will allow me to grow and to use the skills I’ve gained over the last few years in a new and exciting way.”

Brownson assembled the selection committee to carry out the search for the new chief medical officer. Led by Dr. Elisa Spradlin, the committee consisted of staff members, administrators and students. Once the committee narrowed the selections to three finalists, the finalists were invited to the University for interviews, Brownson said.

“During those interviews on campus, we involved a variety of campus stakeholders,” Brownson said. “We had sessions with students, sessions with different parts of the University Health Services staff, sessions with campus partners that UHS works closely with … We really got broad input from all over campus in making this decision.”

One of the students involved in the committee was Omar Vayani, president of the UHS Student Health Advisory Committee. As part of the committee, biochemistry senior Vayani helped vet and interview the applicants. Vayani said one of the important traits the committee looked for was someone with an efficient, open and welcoming leadership style who is able to take different ideas into account.

“We also wanted somebody who can be a friendly face, somebody who can connect with the student body, understand their concerns and understand what we are going through as students on campus,” Vayani said. “Dr. Hines seems to fit the role perfectly.”