BALTIMORE (AP) — The dean of the University of Iowa’s school of medicine is heading east to become chief executive officer and dean at Johns Hopkins Medicine, overseeing not only the university’s medical school and hospital but a $6.5 billion health system with global reach.

Paul B. Rothman will be the medical school’s 14th dean and the second CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine when he takes over July 1, succeeding Edward D. Miller, who is retiring.

Rothman said he would bring with him ideas from Iowa and the 20 years he spent before that at Columbia University in New York. But first he planned to spend several months learning about Johns Hopkins.

“The Midwest is a different market and I’ve learned some things at both Columbia and Iowa that I think are valuable and will help inform my decisions here,” Rothman said. “That being said, Hopkins has wonderful traditions and I’m committed to ensuring that those traditions are followed.”

Johns Hopkins University president Ronald J. Daniels said Rothman, who has been dean of the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine since 2008, has a deep understanding of the challenges facing health care. Daniels said the 20-person search committee chose Rothman from among 180 individuals.

Daniels said he was moved by Rothman’s “drive for excellence” and “the great collaborative spirit” he has brought to his work, from clinical care to research and leadership positions.

The rheumatologist and molecular immunologist said the cost of health care is one of the greatest challenges facing medicine.

While the fight continues in Washington over reform, Rothman said “we need to continue to develop a health-care system that is affordable and provides the safest and highest quality care to all populations.”

Rothman will lead the far-flung system with Ronald R. Peterson, president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine, one of the largest employers in Maryland with about 34,000 employees.

Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital is one of six hospitals in the system spanning Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Johns Hopkins Medicine also has several suburban health-care and surgery centers, more than 30 outpatient primary care centers as well as managed care plans and consulting and clinical education services worldwide.

Miller, who guided the expansion after taking the post in 1997, said it was unclear whether the institution will maintain the same pace of growth going forward.

“I think our expansion occurred partly because there is consolidation in the marketplace and I think there will continued consolidation. Whether we participate more I think is going to be on open question,” Miller said. “We’ve got a lot on our place right now to digest.”

When asked whether he had any advice for his successor, Miller said he agreed with Rothman’s plan for his first few months.

“I think he said it already. I think you need to just sit back and listen,” Miller said. “It’s a very complicated system, it
took me 15 years and I’m still learning.”

Rothman earned his medical degree at Yale.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)