Steven D. Shapiro, executive vice president and chief medical and scientific officer of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and president of its Health Services Division, has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president for health affairs at USC, President Carol L. Folt announced March 11. He will report to the president and begin his new role on May 15.

In his new post, Shapiro will directly oversee Keck Medicine of USC and the Keck School of Medicine of USC with oversight of associated research programs. He will work closely with Provost Charles Zukoski and the university’s senior leadership team as well as serve as a key member of the USC Health System Board.

He joins USC after spending 15 years at UPMC serving in a number of roles. Most recently, he led the Health Services Division that encompasses 40 hospitals and over 7,000 employed and affiliated physicians, and he worked closely with the UPMC health plan providing value-based care for the $23 billion health care provider and insurer. In addition, he and the dean of the UPMC medical school stressed important innovative research and became a top-six institution in research funding.

“Dr. Shapiro has the perfect background and leadership experience to lead both the Keck Medicine and Keck School of Medicine enterprises and guide the development of USC’s strategic priorities for health and biomedical sciences programs,” Folt said.

“The new leadership and board governance structure we now have in place will lead to greater collaboration and alignment across the university and increase the positive impact we can have in our community.”

New senior vice president for health affairs looks to further position USC as leader in health care

Shapiro will work with the medical enterprise’s senior leadership team to position USC as a key clinical player in the increasingly competitive Los Angeles health care market, driving a research engine with considerable resources and leading the health sciences to educate the next generation of leaders shaping the future of health care.

“This is a critical time in health care where only a select few institutions will have the ability to take advantage of the great advances in science to provide markedly improved clinical care if not cure intractable diseases,” Shapiro said. “USC and Keck Medicine are poised to lead this transformation, and I am proud to join this great leadership team.”

Keck Medicine is one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. The medical enterprise operates Keck Medical Center of USC, which includes two acute care hospitals: Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. It also owns the community hospital USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and includes more than 40 outpatient facilities, some at affiliated hospitals, in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties. In addition, it operates USC Care Medical Group, a medical faculty practice.

The Keck School of Medicine of USC, founded in 1885, is one of the nation’s leading medical institutions, known for innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education and community service.

Steven Shapiro: Combining care and research

Shapiro began his tenure at UPMC serving as the Jack D. Myers Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine. He was named UPMC’s chief medical and scientific officer in 2010.

A physician-scientist who has remained active clinically and at the lab bench, Shapiro’s research has focused on novel molecular pathways of inflammation, issue destruction and host defense in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, infectious diseases, vascular disease and lung cancer. His efforts have led to several new potential therapies that are in clinical trials.

Shapiro is the author of more than 230 peer-reviewed manuscripts, chapters and reviews. In addition, he was the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology and serves on several editorial boards.

He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Chicago. He then completed an internal medicine residency and fellowship in respiratory and critical care at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Prior to UPMC, Shapiro was the Parker B. Francis Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

New USC senior VP brings enthusiasm for L.A. and a knack for basketball

As an undergraduate, Shapiro played point guard at the University of Chicago. “We were once called the doctors of dunk because we were all medical students and we could dunk,” he recalled. His lifelong affinity for sports drives his enthusiasm to see Trojan teams in action. “Growing up in the Midwest, I was a bit traumatized by USC,” he said. “The Big Ten would get trounced in the Rose Bowl, so it might be nice to be on the other end of that.”

Along with his wife, Nicole, Shapiro will bring three school-age daughters west. “If it were anywhere but Los Angeles, that might be tough,” he said, “but they’re excited to come.”

An early riser who spends an hour working out at 4 or 5 a.m., he isn’t put off by the lesser-loved aspects of Southern California life. L.A. traffic, he said, is simply a chance to catch up on audio books.

— Ron Mackovich