Banner – University Medicine in Tucson Welcomes New CEO

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Banner Health welcomes Chad Whelan, MD, MHSA, as chief executive officer of Banner – University Medicine in Tucson, effective Sept. 26.

Dr. Whelan will have oversight of Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, Banner – University Medical Center South, dozens of clinics, the Banner – University Medical Group physician practice plan in Tucson and more than 6,000 Banner Health employees in Southern Arizona.   He brings to Tucson decades of experience in academic medicine, teaching physician residents and medical students. He was a professor of medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and has published multiple academic papers and serves on numerous national committees.

“Banner’s dedication to living a patient-first approach really resonates with me,” said Dr. Whelan. “I started in the practice of medicine, so I have always shared the patient-first approach to hospital administration. When I was presented with the opportunity to lead Banner’s efforts in Tucson – in partnership with the University of Arizona – there was no hesitation, especially considering the University of Arizona partnership. This is an ideal match and I’m excited to get to work.”

Dr. Whelan previously was president of Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) in Maywood, Ill., where he was responsible for the 550-bed hospital and 25 ambulatory clinic sites with 700 employed physicians and 4,500 employees.

Before being named president of LUMC, Dr. Whelan served as its senior vice president and chief medical officer. His background also includes leadership and clinical roles at Loyola University Health System and the University of Chicago Medicine.

Dr. Whelan earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed a residency at the University of Minnesota, where he was chief resident. He holds a master's degree in Health Management and Policy from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Whelan will work closely with Irving Kron, MD, executive dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, and report to Larry Goldberg, president of the statewide Banner – University Medicine Division.

“Together, we are confident about our future path. Dr. Michael Dake, senior vice president of UA Health Sciences, and I will continue to work closely to achieve organizational synergy. We are well positioned in our partnership to become a nationally recognized leader in academic medicine,” Goldberg said.

Banner Health also is pleased to announce that Sarah Frost, interim CEO of Banner – University Medical Centers Tucson and South, has been named permanent CEO of the medical centers. Frost has held various positions in both hospitals over the past 14 years.

Before her hospital career, Frost worked for Pima County for five years as a business analyst with a focus on health-care operations at the county’s skilled nursing facility and at Kino Community Hospital, now Banner – UMC South.

Frost holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the UA and is nearing completion of her master’s degree in Business Administration.  She was selected as a Tucson 40 Under 40 Award winner and is a graduate of the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.

“Dr. Whelan is a great fit for Tucson,” Frost said. “He has a history of successful hospital administration, a passion for academic medicine, and he’s arriving at an exciting time: Our new outpatient center at Banner – University Medicine North is now open, Banner – UMC Tucson recently was named a U.S. News Best Hospital, and our new, nine-story hospital tower will be ready to welcome patients in just eight months.

“We are looking forward to introducing Dr. Whelan to our medical faculty and staff and to the wider Tucson community.”

About Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and South

Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, nationally ranked as a Best Hospital by U.S. News and World Report, and Banner – University Medical Center South, are part of Banner – University Medicine, a premier academic medical network. These institutions are academic medical centers for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Included on the two campuses are Diamond Children's Medical Center and many specialty clinics. The two academic medical centers are part of Arizona-based Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, with 28 hospitals in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit or

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