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Penn State Health names new vice president for medical affairs and staff development

Penn State Health has recruited Dr. Safa Farzin, a well-respected physician-executive based in Harrisburg, to serve as its vice president for medical affairs and staff development, with specific responsibility for the new Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center as well as other health system responsibilities. His position is effective December 23.

As vice president, Farzin will play a lead role in the health system’s efforts to ensure choice of care and access to Penn State Health services in the greater Harrisburg region, specifically on the West Shore. He will lead the development and recruitment of the medical staff for Hampden Medical Center, which is scheduled to open in summer 2021. He also will oversee Penn State Health’s relationships with private practice physicians to ensure clinical integration and patient and provider quality and satisfaction.

Farzin most recently served as chief executive officer for Medical Group of Pennsylvania—the largest independent physician association in central Pennsylvania—vice president of Pulmonary Critical Care Medical Associates (PCCMA), and director of critical care medicine at UPMC Pinnacle Health.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to have someone of Dr. Farzin’s caliber joining our Penn State Health leadership team. His rapport and familiarity with the physician community in this region and his work with Medical Group of Pennsylvania make him well-suited to support the continued development of our clinically integrated network—in concert with Highmark,” said Dr. Peter Dillon, executive vice president and chief clinical officer, Penn State Health. “Above all, he will bring the important perspective of independent community practice providers to our planning of clinical services on the West Shore. He understands what community physicians need from a hospital and sub-specialty practices to ensure the coordination of high quality, convenient and affordable care for their patients.”

Board-certified in internal medicine and critical care medicine, Farzin earned his MD from Saint Georges University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies. He then completed an internal medicine residency at Pinnacle Health Hospitals in Harrisburg and a fellowship in critical care medicine at Brown University at the Miriam Webster Hospital in Providence, R.I.

“I look forward to expanding Penn State Health’s connections to the local health care community,” Farzin said. “Combining Penn State Health’s Academic prowess with established local physicians will expand patient access to care while maintaining the community relationships patients have come to trust. Enhancing integration between new healthcare infrastructure and existing practices will advance the quality of care in the region and benefit all of Central PA in the short and long term.”

Farzin will work closely with the president of Hampden Medical Center to develop the new hospital’s open staffing model and medical staff by-laws. Local independent physicians, faculty physicians from Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, along with faculty and community physicians from Penn State Health Medical Group locations in Silver Spring Twp. and Camp Hill, will work together to ensure continuity of care and access close to home for residents of Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and York counties.

A search to fill the Hampden Medical Center president role is underway, with an appointment anticipated in early 2020.

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