At Ohio State, Dr. Paz, who goes by Hal, leads all seven health science colleges and the $4-billion Wexner Medical Center enterprise, which includes seven hospitals, a nationally ranked college of medicine, 20-plus research institutes, multiple ambulatory sites, an accountable care organization and a health plan. Academic health care is one of five key focus areas outlined in the university’s Time and Change Strategic Plan, and Dr. Paz is responsible for ensuring that Ohio State continues its ascent as a leading academic health center.
A comprehensive flagship university, Ohio State is at the forefront of defining the future and educating the next generation of healthcare professionals for a very different world. Dr. Paz is future-focused and intent on addressing the healthcare needs of Ohioans in innovative, personalized and integrated ways. His passion for identifying nontraditional healthcare delivery methods—from digital applications to virtual visits supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning—will position Ohio State to lead the way in meeting our patients where they are through state-of-the-art digital solutions.
Dr. Paz came to Ohio State from CVS Health|Aetna, a managed healthcare company based in Hartford, Conn., where he was executive vice president and chief medical officer for five years, providing clinical leadership for the company’s domestic and global businesses. In addition to advancing a nationally recognized, innovative, personalized health strategy, he led Aetna’s enterprise-wide opioid initiative that tackled opioid abuse through a three-pronged program of prevention, intervention and support.
From 2006 to 2014, Dr. Paz led the healthcare enterprise at Penn State University, where he served as CEO of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the College of Medicine and president/CEO of the Penn State Hershey Health System. His vision for healthcare transformation there led to the formation of an integrated healthcare system of four hospitals, 64 ambulatory care practices and 18 affiliated hospitals focused on population health across central Pennsylvania.
Prior to his tenure at Penn State, Dr. Paz served as dean of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson University Medical Group from 1995 to 2006. Under his leadership, NIH funding increased by more than 88%, and the endowment increased by more than 600%.
Dr. Paz is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine. He earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology and his medical degree from the University of Rochester, and a master’s in life science engineering from Tufts University. He completed his internal medicine residency at Northwestern University and a postdoctoral fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine and environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Early in his career, he held faculty and administrative appointments at Hahnemann University School of Medicine (now Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia.
A fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Chest Physicians, Dr. Paz is on the board of Research!America. He is past chair of the board of directors of the Association of Academic Health Centers and a former member of the boards of directors for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the University HealthSystem Consortium. He previously was chair of the AAMC Council of Deans and has served on the AAMC executive council, in addition to corporate and scientific advisory boards in the biotechnology field. He has authored more than 100 publications, including peer-reviewed research and quality articles, chapters, commentaries and abstracts.
He and his wife of nearly 40 years, Sharon Press, a clinical psychologist, have two adult daughters. In alignment with “practicing what he preaches,” Dr. Paz exercises each day, often by running. He also enjoys sailing, skiing, biking and fishing.