Richard Crowell, M.D., a senior faculty member at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, has been named chief quality officer for the UNM Health System.

Crowell, who assumes his new responsibilities effective immediately, will be responsible for executing the vision and strategy for the HSC quality and safety program, which encompasses the UNM Hospital, UNM Medical Group, Sandoval Regional Medical Center and the UNM Cancer Center.

He will primarily report to Michael Richards, M.D., the health system’s executive physician-in-chief, and to Chief Operating Officer Steve McKernan.

"We are very fortunate to have someone of Dr. Crowell's experience and vision to lead this new, integrated effort to improve the safety and quality of the health system,” Richards said.

Crowell, who earned his B.S. in zoology and comparative literature from The Ohio State University and his M.D. at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, arrived at UNM as a fellow in 1983.

He joined the School of Medicine faculty as an instructor in 1985. From 1993 to 2001 he was chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Section at the Albuquerque Veterans Affairs Medical Center and was chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine from 2001 through early 2013.

Crowell received tenure in 1997 and was appointed full professor in 2001. Since March he has served as executive vice chair for the Department of Internal Medicine. He has also served as senior vice chair for Quality, Safety and Clinical Operations for that department since 2011.

In his new role, Crowell will launch a new Quality Department, which will have primary responsibility for serving the quality data and reporting needs of the UNM Health System. The department will ensure that the system’s entities maintain their accreditation, improve patient safety and quality of care, provide education in healthcare performance and assist with strategic analysis and assessment.