UAB Medicine names Lou Baverso COO

As COO, Baverso says his priorities will be in continuing UAB Medicine’s clinical excellence and expanding services to serve even more patients and Alabamians.

Lou BaversoLou Baverso
Photography UPMC
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System has announced a key leadership appointment, naming Lou Baverso chief operating officer, effective Sept. 18, 2023.

Baverso brings nearly 28 years of health administration experience to UAB Medicine, serving his entire career within the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center network, most recently as president of UPMC in central Pennsylvania.

“UAB Medicine’s reputation for high-quality, top-ranked programs and excellence was a key factor in wanting to serve in this position,” Baverso said. “The mission of this organization is second to none, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to help the Health System grow and serve its patients and the state.”

Baverso will report to UAB Health System CEO Dawn Bulgarella, stepping in as Reid Jones — who served UAB for more than 30 years — retires as UAB Medicine CEO in September. 

“Bringing Lou on to support UAB Medicine is great news for UAB, Birmingham and Alabama, as his expertise will support our mission of providing world-class health care to our patients and the community,” Bulgarella said. “His diverse experience supporting a variety of medical disciplines and hospitals will be critically valuable as we continue to advance as a national and global leader.”

Baverso served in many leadership roles throughout his tenure at UPMC, including COO of UPMC Central Pennsylvania, vice president of Operations at UPMC Magee-Womens, and vice president of Operations at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside. Notably, his critical roles in expanding key service lines, including women’s health, cancer care and expansion of pediatric services, in collaboration with UPMC Children’s Hospital have been defining experiences in his career.

“UAB Health System’s role in the greater UAB framework is absolutely vital, and bringing on top talent like Lou to the organization furthers the institution’s important mission pillar of patient care and supports all areas of our mission,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “I congratulate Dawn on this important addition and also thank the University of Alabama System Office leadership and UA System Board of Trustees for continuing to support the unprecedented growth on our university and academic medical campus.”

Baverso’s appointment follows a national search led by a committee co-chaired by Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development David Randall and Tony Jones, M.D., president of the Health Services Foundation and chief physician executive of the UAB Health System, and senior associate dean for Clinical Affairs in the Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine.

“Bringing a dynamic health care administrator like Lou to the UAB Medicine team is something that will continue to help us enhance our operations and is a testament that UAB is a destination for top talent,” Jones said.

Baverso will have responsibility for management of UAB Hospital, Ambulatory Services (the clinical component of UAB Medicine), and UAB Callahan Eye Hospital and related support services.

UAB Medicine welcomed almost 2 million patient visits last year and continues to expand its presence throughout the state to improve access to health care for Alabamians. Last year, the UAB Health System generated $6.4 billion in statewide economic impact and supported or sustained more than 57,100 jobs in Alabama.

The UAB Health System includes UAB Hospital, UAB Hospital-Highlands, the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, affiliate relationships with Medical West and Baptist Health Montgomery, and management relationships with Russell Medical, J. Paul Jones, Whitfield Regional, Northwest Regional Health and Regional Medical Center of Central Alabama. The system also includes Cooper Green Mercy Health Services and the UAB Health System/Ascension St. Vincent’s Alliance.